Equality Shuffle & LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show

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Mark your calendar and join us for the Equality Shuffle and LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show on Sunday, February 23rd from noon-3pm at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Courts. The event is free and open to the public.

This is a great opportunity for our members, supporters of equality, and the Tampa Bay community to learn about the work of securing LGBTQ equality in Florida and enjoy an afternoon playing shuffleboard.

As part of this event we are proud to host the Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show. This is a chance for young LGBTQ+ individuals to express themselves through art. If you know of any LGBTQ+ youth that would be interested in participating, please encourage them to be part of this event.

The Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show is a platform to showcase and celebrate young LGBTQ+ artists. We want them to feel safe to express who they are through their art and in their life.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, Equality Florida committed to honor the victims with action. We launched our Safe and Healthy Schools Program that is aimed to end LGBTQ bias where it begins, with our youth. By helping our schools and educators create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, students feel welcomed, supported and can thrive.

The theme of the show is “Safe” and artists will interpret it through a LGBTQ+ youth lens. Artists will explore topics such as… What does being safe mean to you? When do you feel safe to be who you are? What is your safe place? Is your safe place a location, person or activity? How can those around you make you feel more safe?

Call for Artists: If you are LGBTQ+ and 21 or under, we invite you to submit your art to be included in this special event. Deadline to submit art is February 12, 2020. For details, visit https://forms.gle/H3L9knmvtfxGS25u8 or contact Jennie O’Leary, Equality Florida St. Petersburg Steering Committee Chari at eqfljennie@gmail.com.

Thank You to Our Sponsors: Diversity Arts, Florida CraftArt, Gobioff Foundation, Mainframe Real Estate and The St. Petersburg Celebration for the Arts

LGBTQ+ Free Youth Art Workshop

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LGBTQ+ youth throughout the Tampa Bay area are invited to attend a free art workshop where they will create a multi-media collage piece. The workshop will be led by artist, John Gascot of Diversity Arts. Pieces will then be featured at the upcoming Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Art Show.

Limited number of spots available. To attend the workshop, please sign up here (https://forms.gle/kEZYNXA2RZwa3aVG6).

The Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show is a platform to showcase and celebrate young LGBTQ+ artists. We want them to feel safe to express who they are through their art and in their life.

The theme of the show is “Safe” and artists will interpret it through a LGBTQ+ youth lens. Artists will explore topics such as… What does being safe mean to you? When do you feel safe to be who you are? What is your safe place? Is your safe place a location, person or activity? How can those around you make you feel more safe?

The show will be displayed at the Equality Shuffle on Sunday, February 23rd from Noon to 3pm at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Courts located at 559 Mirror Lake Dr N, Saint Petersburg, Florida 33701.

Thank You to Our Sponsors: Diversity Arts, Florida CraftArt, Gobioff Foundation, Mainframe Real Estate and The St. Petersburg Celebration for the Arts

Brendon Urie donates $1 million to support LGBT youth

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie has teamed up with GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to establish GSA (Gender & Sexuality/Gay-Straight Alliance) clubs in high schools across America.

“For years my fans have inspired me with their determination and creativity as they have created a safe and inclusive community,” Urie said in a statement. “I felt the time had come for me to join them boldly, to bring that energy and power to bear on the huge challenges facing our whole society.”

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Protesters: Trump a ‘bully’ for rescinding trans student protections

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Hundreds of people gathered outside the White House on Wednesday to protest President Trump’s decision to rescind guidance on how public schools should accommodate transgender students.

Gavin Grimm, a trans student who filed a lawsuit against his Virginia school district’s bathroom policy that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear next month, is among those who spoke to the crowd.

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GLSEN kicks off new school year with a new fundraiser

By : Chelsea Santiago
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School can be a challenging time for any student, and for those struggling with bullying, it can make school an even bigger challenge. LGBTQ students in the Tampa Bay area are finding some relief thanks to GLSEN.

GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) is an organization that focuses on safe schools for all students regardless of gender identity.

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NYC fire department releases “It Gets Better” video

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — The Fire Department of New York wants struggling lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth know that life does get better.

Commissioner Daniel Nigro announced Sunday that the FDNY has made an “It Gets Better” video, featuring a dozen firefighters, paramedics and EMTs who discuss the challenges LGBT youth face.

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Catching up with St. Petersburg’s first gay councilman

By : Aaron Alper
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Steve Kornell became the first openly gay elected official in 2009 for St. Petersburg City Council. Since that time, Steve has become a champion for not only the LGBT community, but for human rights, artists, musicians, writers and youth culture. In a sense, he is the antithesis to the cynical-politician stereotype.

When confronted with the idea that coming out at 32 and being the first elected gay official in St. Pete at 42 is remarkable (skipping the “gay adolescence” many late-bloomers have via the disco or, these days Grindr), Kornell simply laughs.

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ALSO Youth to Launch New Program in Venice

By : Krista DiTucci
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Venice and North Port LGBT youth will soon have their own ALSO Youth branch, making LGBT support and services more easily accessible.

Courtesy of a $5,000 grant from the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the ALSO Youth Venice Satellite Pilot Project will kick off September 4, 2015. Since 1992, ALSO Youth in Sarasota has been providing peer support services, educational programs, advocacy and referrals to LGBT youth ages 13 to 21.

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Zebra Coalition receives national awards

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – The Zebra Coalition received two national recognitions at the American Counseling Association’s 2015 Conference, which was held in Orlando this year at the Hyatt Regency Orlando.

The conference had its National Awards Ceremony on March 14, and Zebra Coalition was awarded $1,500 by the American Counseling Association (ACA) and its Human Rights Committee from the ACA Human Concerns Fund. The Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Counseling (ALGBTIC), one of the 19 divisions of the ACA, also awarded and recognized Zebra Coalition for its work with LGBT youth, yet the amount of ALGBTIC’s award wasn’t available at press time.

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LGBT youth turn to sexual encounters to survive

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – A unique federally funded study offers a detailed look at the lives of gay, lesbian and transgender youth in New York City who cope with homelessness and poverty by engaging in what the researchers call “survival sex.”

In extensive interviews conducted over three years by the Urban Institute, 283 young people spoke about experiencing family rejection, establishing support networks with groups of their peers, and learning how to subsist on earnings from sexual encounters. Many said there were positive aspects to their lives, but a large majority expressed a yearning to get out of the sex business.

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By setting up a scholarship, Karen Castelloes reached out directly to LGBT Youth in 2014

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – If Karen Castelloes could describe her year in one word, she said it be “rewarding.”

Castelloes, an exiting board member of Joy MCC and the co-founder of the Jeff Voss Education Fund, has been an active member in the LGBT community, volunteering her time and effort to a variety of organizations and people to help give back.

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Orlando debuts Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Alyssa Merwin
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Orlando – For the first time ever, Orlando City Hall will host a youth empowerment event targeted at LGBTs.

The Central Florida Youth Empowerment Summit will run from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1. The free event is presented by The Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network along with Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

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