Fit for Print: Stop weaponizing religion

By : Steve Blanchard
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From a very young age it was drummed into me that there was a right way to act and a wrong way to act. I’m talking, of course, about my days in church.

Fortunately, the church I attended wasn’t a fire and brimstone kind of place. There were plenty of messages about kindness, doing unto others and helping those who are less fortunate. But every message had the same footnote: “By the way, stay on the straight and narrow and avoid an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Do what you’re told to do and the big man in the sky who spends all of his time spying on you won’t have a reason to punish you forever.”

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Florida’s drag families prove Mum’s the word

By : Ryan Williams-Jent, Divine Grace
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Drag culture is intrinsically tied to the LGBTQ community, from Stonewall to the life-dependent lip-syncs now featured weekly on VH1. Now more than ever it borders on the mainstream, with the art form highlighted (and contoured) on televisions worldwide and available now on iTunes.

As drag paints itself even further into the history of pop culture, it can be easy to forget that it has its detractors, often found in the safe spaces drag performers share. It can lead to camaraderie amongst entertainers as they gravitate toward one another for belonging and assistance, creating both a sense of family and of home.

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Fit for Print: The warm familiarity of the rainbow flag

By : Steve Blanchard
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Recently, and for the first time in my life, I traveled to another country. My husband and I spent two weeks in Ireland, where we toured historic sites, drank plenty of Guinness and mingled with the locals in several of the country’s beautiful cities and towns. It was truly the trip of a lifetime and one I would do again in a heartbeat.

Ireland is a welcoming country and was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage by a popular vote back in 2015. Knowing that marriage equality was voted into place by the citizens of the country, I knew that we would be welcomed and respected as a couple. In fact, we didn’t see or hear any negativity toward the LGBTQ community during our travels.

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June passes with no Pride Month recognition from White House

By : Jeremy Brener
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Pride Month came and went, and Donald Trump stayed silent for his second June in office.

While this did not come as a surprise to many LGBTQ leaders, it adds to the frustration the community has felt toward a President who has failed to acknowledge LGBTQ people since taking office even after making promises to stand for the community during his campaign.

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Madonna lip-syncs to Demi Lovato, sends Pride message to LGBTQ community

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Madonna sent a special Pride message to the LGBTQ community in an Instagram post over the weekend.

In the video, Madonna lip-syncs to “Solo” by Clean Bandit featuring Demi Lovato.

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PHOTOS: St. Petersburg raises Pride Flag for fifth year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | The city of St. Petersburg once again shared its commitment to the LGBTQ community by raising the Pride flag above City Hall June 21.

Community leaders and advocates gathered for the short ceremony, led by Mayor Rick Kriseman. “This is the fifth time that we have raised the rainbow flag above City Hall,” the mayor began, “and each time  that we have done so has been special.”

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St. Petersburg celebrates sixteen years of Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Pete Pride drew 220,000 people to St. Petersburg for its weekend-long celebration last year, around 40,000 short of the Sunshine City’s entire population.

As any event of its size would, particularly one so intrinsically tied to the community it serves, the organization’s 15th year faced its fair share of cheers and jeers. For the first time in its history, the St. Pete Pride parade was held in downtown St. Petersburg rather than in the city’s Grand Central District.

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Two LGBTQ contestants cast on ‘Big Brother’

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | On Monday, the cast for the 20th season of ‘Big Brother’ was revealed, and two of the sixteen new contestants are proudly representing the LGBTQ community on the show this summer.

Kaycee Clark, 30, is a professional football player from San Diego, California. She has played in the Women’s Football Alliance for the San Diego Surge for six of the past eight seasons and currently lives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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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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