PHOTOS: Equality Florida Action PAC hosts fundraiser for State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The Equality Florida Action PAC hosted State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s final re-election fundraiser before the Nov. 6 general election at The Venue in Orlando on Oct. 23.

Dozens of Central Florida voters listened as The Venue owner Blue Star and Smith’s partner Jerick Mediavilla spoke about the importance of voting for the self-professed “proud progressive, liberal, feminist, gay, Latinx, democrat.”

Continue Reading >>

Pride-banning Ronda Storms loses bid for Florida House

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

BRANDON | Ronda Storms, who led Hillsborough County’s now-defunct ban on the recognition of LGBTQ Pride, lost her bid for House District 59 in Florida’s GOP Primary Aug. 28.

Storms announced March 9 that she would run for the office, having left the public eye in 2012 after losing a property appraiser’s race. The two-term state senator’s anti-LGBTQ ban on pride celebrations in Hillsborough County passed in 2005 and remained in place until 2013.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s 5 Questions for a Fringe Regular

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

Orlando Fringe is in full swing and from what we have seen so far this is one of the best year of shows we have ever seen.

But any Fringe veteran will tell you that the shows are only part of the experience. You have the food, the drinks, the parties and of course chilling on the Fringe lawn and making some new friends.

Continue Reading >>

Dean Trantalis becomes Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Wilton Manors attorney Dean Trantalis defeated former police chief and current vice mayor Bruce Roberts with 64 percent of the vote March 13 to become Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay mayor.

Trantalis was also Fort Lauderdale’s first openly gay city commissioner. Trantalis was elected to the city’s District 2 seat in 2003 and served until 2006. Trantalis was re-elected to the seat in a 2013 special election and served up until his mayoral win.

Continue Reading >>

Pride-banning Ronda Storms announces bid for Florida House

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

Republican Ronda Storms, who spearheaded Hillsborough County’s now-defunct ban on the recognition of LGBTQ Pride, has announced her candidacy for Florida’s House District 59.

“I’m Ronda Storms,” the two-term state senator and Hillsborough County commissioner announced via social media on March 9. “I want to thank each of you that have stopped [to encourage] me to run for office. After much prayerful consideration, my family and I have decided to step forward and make the personal sacrifice necessary to run… this time, State House, District 59, Republican.”

Continue Reading >>

British LGBTQ film event #FiveFilms4Freedom comes to The Abbey Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

The British Council and the British Film Institute have teamed up for the third year to bring the world’s first global digital short-film program, #FiveFilms4Freedom, to audiences, and they are bringing it to The Abbey in Orlando tonight, Nov. 9, starting at 6:00 p.m.

The program is a collection of both dramatic and documentary short films that tell the LGBTQ experience.

Continue Reading >>

Former State Representative Joe Saunders returns to Equality Florida as Senior Political Director

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Florida’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization, Equality Florida announced Aug. 9 that former State Representative Joe Saunders would be rejoining the staff as the new Senior Political Director.

Saunders previously held the position of Field Director with Equality Florida for nearly a decade before running for, and winning, a seat in the Florida House of Representatives in 2012. Saunders, along with Miami Beach’s David Richardson, became the first openly gay Floridians elected to the legislature.

Continue Reading >>

Equality Florida celebrates two decades of making change happen for our LGBTQ community

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

“Does this look OK?”

There are yachts. There is a breeze. There is Charlie Crist’s condo out of the corner of the eye. But on this day in St. Petersburg, March 22, there is only one figure that absolutely matters, and she’s sitting on a tree close to Cassis American Brasserie, posing for her cover shot.

Nadine Smith is the force behind most LGBTQ measures that have changed Florida’s societal landscape. Her calm tones weighted by heavy thoughts have come to define the nature of Equality Florida, the organization she formed with Miami’s Stratton Pollitzer 20 years ago. She played rugby at the Air Force academy, she says, but she didn’t know where the score would go thereafter.

Continue Reading >>

Equality Florida’s Carlos Guillermo Smith announces run for State House seat

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO – Equality Florida’s Carlos Guillermo Smith announced he will run for Florida House Representative in District 49 in the upcoming election year.

Smith, who is also the current Chair for the Orange County Democrats, decided to run after former State Representative Joe Saunders made the decision to not make another bid for the Florida House in 2016.

Continue Reading >>

Joe Saunders not running for Florida House seat in 2016

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO – Former State Representative Joe Saunders will not make another run for the Florida House in 2016.

Saunders was considering another run after current District 49 State Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) announced he would run for the District 50 seat in the next election.

Continue Reading >>

Joe Saunders may try to reclaim his seat in the Florida House of Representatives in 2016

By : Staff Report
Comments: 0

Orlando – Former State Representative Joe Saunders may make another run for Florida House in 2016. Saunders said he’s considering running again after current District 49 State Representative Rene Plasencia (R-Orlando) announced he would run for the District 50 seat in the next election.

“Some game changing news for House District 49 this week,” Saunders said via Facebook April 26. “Rene Plasencia’s decision not to seek re-election in District 49 has taken me as much by surprise as the rest of you and given me a lot to think about.”

Continue Reading >>

Zebra Coalition scholarship helps fund college for LGBT youth

By : Samantha Rosenthal
Comments: 0

Orlando – The Zebra Coalition, in partnership with UCF, will start a fund to provide a scholarship opportunities to LGBT youth as they continue their higher education.

The Zebra Coalition LGBTQ Scholarship Foundation will establish a $25,000 fund that would be dispersed to LGBT youth that may have difficulty securing funding for college.

Continue Reading >>