LGBTQ Resource Center seeks coming out stories for project

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: The opening reception of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s “Transcending Gender” exhibit in Nov. 2018. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

Gulfport, Fla. | The LGBTQ Resource Center at the Gulfport Public Library is seeking your coming out stories on or before Oct. 11, National Coming Out Day 2019.

The organization “is embarking on a project to produce a book entitled ‘Coming Out in Gulfport … Our Stories,’” they shared Sept. 30. “We are currently seeking local residents who would be willing to share their coming out story on audio tape that we could then transcribe into a publication for our collection.”

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Positive Living: Ruby slippers, raising a flag and serious questions

By : Greg Stemm
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I recently had the wonderful experience of participating in the inaugural Gulfport Friends of Dorothy march, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. It began a month-long whirlwind of events sponsored by the award-winning LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library, of which I am privileged to serve on the board of directors, to celebrate Pride season.

As I was marching up Beach Blvd. in a rainbow wig, ruby slippers and with several hundred members of my Gulfport “family,” I couldn’t help but reflect on the significance of what Stonewall started and what it has meant to the LGBTQ community in the past 50 years. I was most moved by the fact that the carriers of the lead banner were an openly gay vice mayor and an openly gay state representative. That would have been unthinkable in June of 1969.

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Tampa Bay remembers Pulse tragedy at 3-year mark

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Community advocate and allies throughout Tampa Bay will gather for events and memorials June 12, honoring those killed at the Pulse nightclub three years ago today.

We have gathered information below.

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Gulfport Public Library, LGBTQ Resource Center celebrate Pride, national honor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT, Fla. | The Gulfport Public Library has received the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums ahead of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s month of Pride programming.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Gulfport Public Library as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service May 7. The winners were chosen from 30 nationwide finalists for addressing unique issues and challenges confronting communities through their services. Programming provided by the LGBTQ Resource Center, housed in the library and established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in April, was singled out for recognition.

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LGBTQ Resource Center established as independent nonprofit, launches scholarship

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT, Fla. | The award-winning LGBTQ Resource Center at the Gulfport Public Library announced April 9 that it will now operate as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

The community resource, which previously functioned as a project of the nonprofit Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, began in 2014 with a donation of hundreds of LGBTQ-themed books. A committee was formed to cultivate the materials and the collection opened to the public in 2015.

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The Last Page with Greg Stemm

By : Rick Claggett
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What kind of writing do you do for Watermark?

I write a regular perspective column and news stories, especially investigative pieces with multiple contacts.

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LGBTQ Resource Center celebrates Pride Month with events through June

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Gulfport | The LGBTQ Resource Center has announced a series of Pride events beginning May 31 and culminating June 24 at the St. Pete Pride Festival.

The resource center is a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends, the organization which supports the Gulfport Public Library. In February, the American Library Association awarded the library with the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence for serving the LGBTQ community for its dedication to programming and awareness.

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Positive Living: LGBTs in Gulfport helping to redefine what a library can be

By : Greg Stemm
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In a normal community, if you want to find gay people you might visit a bar or go to a gay pride celebration.

But Gulfport is far from being a “normal” town.

If you want to meet gay people in this small artsy community, virtually surrounded by our bigger but just as gay cousin St. Petersburg, you visit the Gulfport Public Library.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Read all about it

By : Anonymous
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The Gulfport Public Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center will hold its inaugural Readout: Books for Lesbians event Feb. 16-18.

The event will begin with a Friday night reception, feature readings, book sales, signings and a keynote speech from author Elizabeth Sims on Saturday. It will conclude on Sunday with workshops and a panel discussion for registered participants.

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Calling all authors: Gulfport gears up for weekend of lesbian literature

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT | The Gulfport Public Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center is seeking authors for its first ReadOut event, self-described as a “weekend of lesbian literature.”

The event is currently scheduled for Feb. 17 at the Gulfport Public Library, and will also feature “other lesbian events taking place during the week leading up to it,” Readout 2018’s press release reads.

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