Mural of mosaic hearts to show diversity, community in Orlando

By : Melanie Ararat
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ORLANDO | A mural of more than 800 mosaic hearts, made by artists from around the world, has been created in Orlando in support of the LGBTQ community.  The mural, which is located on the exterior wall of The Lamp & Shade Fair at 1336 N. Mills Ave., was installed throughout August and early September.

The mural’s hearts form a large, colorful rainbow floating away from a silhouetted figure blowing kisses.

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Day of Love and Kindness announced to honor Pulse anniversary

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – While there will certainly be a number of events launched in the coming months to pay homage to those who suffered from the June 12 massacre at Pulse, the city and the county are preparing for the event in the best way they know how. A “Day of Love and Kindness” has been planned to coincide with vigils at the Pulse site, Lake Eola and the History Center.

Orlando’s LGBTQ Alliance, which formed in the wake of the tragedy, is working with the municipal governments to make “love and kindness” matter. Alliance member Jennifer Foster of Foster Productions Inc. says that June 12 should be a day where everyone makes a special effort to be kind in traffic, maybe donate blood and generally be good to locals.

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In the wake of the Pulse massacre last summer, millions of dollars rolled in to help the survivors. But where has the money gone?

By : Alma J. Hill
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Every Friday night, for the past 13 years, Josean Garcia had gone out with the same two friends. Garcia, Amanda Alvear and Mercedez Flores had been inseparable since they bonded in middle school. On June 12, after some coordinating, the three made their way to Pulse Nightclub.

They bought a few drinks. Alvarez danced on camera for her Snapchat story, and filmed partygoers early in the night. In her haunting final clip, gunshots rang out, cutting through the music. She mutters lowly, the word “shooting” audible in the chaos. She bites her thumb searching, fumbles, and the feed cuts out.

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Orlando Magic presents first Pride Night

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Orlando’s signature sports league the Orlando Magic would be hopping onto the “Pride Night” train. After all, Orlando has been in the global spotlight since last year’s Pulse massacre which took the lives of (eventually) 50 victims. The Magic has made a point of its engagement with the community and the community has paid in kind (nearly $500 million) to build the Amway Center, the spired city landmark that hosts the basketball team and its games. The league is proud of its varied community, staff says. Giving back is what it is all about.

“We, over the last two years have been introducing more theme nights for our community around myriad things,” Linda Landman Gonazalez, vice president of philanthropy and multicultural insights for the Orlando Magic, says.“We’ve always done Black History Month; we’ve always done Hispanic Heritage Month, Latin Night; we’ve always done everything.”

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Issue 24.02: Living on the Edge

By : Jake Stevens
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Political attacks on both reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality are often indirect. More importantly, they work. Orlando’s LGBTQ Alliance brings collaboration in a post-Pulse world, St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman pulls city funding from St. Pete Pride after relocation announcement, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Allied and ready: Orlando’s LGBTQ Alliance brings collaboration in a post-Pulse world

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – “I called Carlos Carbonell on June 12,” Orlando LGBTQ Alliance co-founder and member of the Metropolitan Business Association (and founding chair of the area’s Human Rights Campaign group) Jennifer Foster says. “On June 13, he and I got together, and on that Thursday was our first meeting. Thirty people showed up!”

Carbonell, CEO and founder of Echo: Tech & Strategy Apps in downtown Orlando, remembers the day well.

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