PrideFest Kissimmee

By : KathleenHarper
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A celebrtion grounded in welcoming, fostering awareness of, and acknowledging the impactful contributions of members from the local LGBTQ community. This free event is open to the public and will feature vendors, advocacy organizations, live music, foods trucks, and a kids activity zone.

LGBTQ+ Advance Directive and Will Clinic

By : Maia Monet
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In remembrance and honor of the victims of the Pulse tragedy and their families, The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association and its community partners are offering a free event for the LGBTQ+ community. Volunteer attorneys will prepare simple wills, durable power of attorney, healthcare surrogate and living wills free of charge. To schedule an appointment call 407-841-8310, ext. 3167.

Connecticut recruiting LGBTQ families to adopt, foster kid

By : wire report
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ABOVE:  Connecticut governor Dannel P. Malloy. Image from Governor Malloy’s Facebook.

WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s child welfare agency has launched an initiative to actively recruit members of the state’s LGBTQ community to become foster and adoptive parents, bucking recent efforts in some states to curtail gay adoptions.

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MSNBC’s Joy Reid can’t prove hackers wrote ‘hurtful’ homophobic posts

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC’s Joy Reid, under fire for homophobic language in old blog posts, apologized Saturday for any past comments that belittled or mocked the LGBTQ community and says she hasn’t been able to verify her claim that her account was hacked.

Reid opened her weekend show “AM Joy” by acknowledging has said “dumb” and “hurtful” things in the past. “The person I am now is not the person I was then,” she said.

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USF holds inaugural Lavender Graduation honoring LGBTQ students

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The University of South Florida (USF) held its first Lavender Graduation ceremony on April 9 to honor students within the LGBTQ community and their allies.

Lavender Graduations are an annual ceremony designed to acknowledge the achievements and contributions that LGBTQ students and allies have made to their respective universities. They were created in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a lesbian, after she was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her children due to her sexual orientation.

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Equality Florida highlights 2018’s statewide legislative battles

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Nadine Smith, CEO of Equality Florida

Tallahassee, fla. | Equality Florida has released a highlight of the battles fought on behalf of the LGBTQ community during Florida’s 2018 legislative session.

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04.05.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s often argued that one shouldn’t discuss religion or politics,

so I’d like to talk about both.

When I was in high school, I learned through friends in my Southern Baptist youth group that the deacons of my small-town, smaller-minded church were trying to pray my gay away. Spoiler alert: it didn’t work.

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Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds waves rainbow flag at Brazil festival

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Imagine Dragons lead singer Dan Reynolds showed his support for the LGBTQ community by waving a rainbow flag at the Lollapalooza Brazil Festival in Sao Paulo.

Reynolds, 30, documented the moment with a special Twitter post.

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NY Gov. Cuomo announces anti-discrimination initiatives

By : wire report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order that bans all New York state agencies and authorities from conducting business with companies that tolerate or promote discrimination.

The Democrat also said he’s supporting legislation that will ban the use of a “gay panic” defense in which a person charged with attacking someone attempts to blame the victim’s sexual orientation for a violent reaction.

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Parents say college student killing may have been gay hate crime

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Gideon, Blaze, and Jeanne Pepper Bernstein. Image from Jeanne Pepper Bernstein’s Twitter.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The parents of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student killed and buried in a California park said Tuesday that the killing may have been a hate crime against their gay son.

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The Last Page with Creative Assistant Jason R. Donnelly

By : Jeremy Williams
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Jason Donnelly has deep roots in Orlando. He graduated from Dr. Phillips High School during the creation of ‘NSYNC and, as most of us have done, worked for the Mouse.

Jason met his husband, Chad Lewis, at the Parliament House during a run of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The couple moved to California to be closer to Chad’s family some years later. When it was time for their wedding ceremony, they returned to Orlando for a ceremony at the Orlando Shakespeare Theater Festival officiated by good friends Beth Marshall and Michael Wanzie.

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The Lines That Join Us

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The Lines That Join Us is a collection of portraits by photographer Carrie Moran that tell the stories of people who have chosen to get tattoos in response to the Pulse tragedy. Each portrait is accompanied by a brief narrative, and will introduce viewers to one of the many who have decided to honor the 49 and greater LGBTQ+ community in this way. The Lines That Join Us will be on display at the Orlando Public Library through November.