07.12.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’m not a very religious person. Actually, I’m not religious in the traditional sense at all. Organized religion and I have not seen eye to eye for some time. That’s not a secret to those who know me well, but sometimes I find it harder to admit that to people than to say that I am a gay man.

In a previous article of mine, I described in detail a story of how I felt manipulated by “the church,” which was the beginning of the end for me. I then attended a very religious college, which to a young and outspoken liberal just seemed like a propaganda machine and torture device.

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Metro Wellness sees surge in Hormone Replacement Therapy patients

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Trans Care Coordinator Lucas Wehle (L) and LGBTQ+ Youth/Transgender Program Coordinator Cole Foust share Metro’s offerings at St. Pete Pride’s TransPride pre-party June 22 (Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent).

ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness and Community Centers — currently providing Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to 584 patients throughout Tampa Bay — has announced that nearly half of those patients have begun receiving care within the last year.

“We’ve had 275 new HRT patients and that’s without counting the 76 who are in another program that we offer,” Metro’s Trans Care Coordinator Lucas Wehle says. “Almost half of our patients have started HRT care with us within the last year… that’s huge. We’ve had a huge growth.”

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Central Florida candidates describe differing enthusiasm levels among young volunteers

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | A push for stricter gun laws, among other prominent issues, has politically mobilized Florida’s youth; however, Central Florida candidates say they have conflicting experiences with the enthusiasm levels of young volunteers and voters.

Three Central Florida candidates — Eric Rollings, Susan Makowski and Anna Eskamani — discussed how national enthusiasm has translated at the local level during a June 27 Pride & Allies Meeting held at the Orange County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.

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Mexico’s president-elect cites LGBTQ community in victory speech

By : Grace Perry of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Photo by ProtoplasmaKid via Wikimedia Commons.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on July 1 became Mexico’s first leftist president in decades, winning in a landslide victory with more than 50 percent of the vote.

Lopez Obrador — commonly known by his initials AMLO — has a long history in politics. He was Mexico City’s mayor from 2000 to 2005, and he ran (and lost) in the two previous presidential elections. A member of the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD), Lopez Obrador ran on an anti-corruption platform and a narrative of social change centered around eradicating poverty. His win represents a clear rejection of the status quo and political establishment and a desire for widespread change.

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Gender change on birth certificates now easier in New Jersey

By : Wire report
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – It’s now easier for New Jersey transgender residents to change their genders on their birth certificates.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed the measure into law July 3.

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Hong Kong court upholds ruling in favor of same-sex couple

By : Wire report
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HONG KONG (AP) – Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeal ruled Wednesday that the same-sex partner of a British expatriate is entitled to equal treatment under immigration law, marking a significant step for gay rights in the Chinese territory.

The unanimous judgment said the woman identified only as “QT” should be issued the same dependent visa that spouses and children of other foreigners working in the Asian financial hub are entitled to.

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New initiative aims to boost LGBTQ visibility in STEM fields

By : Layla Ferris
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The first international LGBT STEM Day on July 5 aims to celebrate the accomplishments and highlight the struggles of LGBTQ people in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

LGBT STEM Day is a primarily online initiative, with organizations and individuals sharing stories on social media about the experiences of LGBTQ people in STEM, according to a July 2 press release.

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Obama Foundation takes steps to ensure diverse workforce

By : Wire Report
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CHICAGO (AP) – Officials overseeing construction of the Obama Presidential Center on Chicago’s South Side say they’re taking steps to ensure a diverse workforce builds the center.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a firm owned by the brother of former Mayor Eugene Sawyer will monitor the construction company building the center to make sure it meets diversity goals.

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Watermark is hiring a Multimedia Assistant

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark is seeking a full-time multimedia assistant. The multimedia assistant will maintain, as well as create, content for our website, WatermarkOnline.com. They will handle all Watermark social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.), organize and promote Watermark contests and support the business manager with administrative duties.

This is an on-site position at our Orlando office. This is an entry-level position for a self-motivated, multi-faceted worker seeking to thrive in a challenging, fast paced environment. Position includes health insurance benefits, dental and 401K options.

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Marvel adding two out LGBT characters to film franchise

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie from ‘Thor: Ragnarok.’ Screenshot via YouTube.

Marvel is working on adding two LGBT characters to its Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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‘Shadowhunters’ fans raise money for the Trevor Project after show cancellation

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVEMagnus Bane (Harry Shum Jr) and Alec Lightwood (Matthew Daddario) in ‘Shadowhunters.’ Screenshot via YouTube.

“Shadowhunters” fans are channeling their heartbreak over Freeform canceling the show into a good cause.

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Pride on Edge: A pop-up gay bar and nightclub experience

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Love is magic and we’ll be celebrating both as I Love the Burg St. Pete, Uniqorn, and OpenHouse ST. PETE welcome revelers to Pride on Edge, St. Pete’s first pop-up gay club experience for TWO NIGHTS ONLY.

This is not your typical pride party. The magical Uniqorn touch means an experience that’s never over the top, but hardly comfortable playing it safe.

We’ll be popping up on the fringes of downtown in one of its coolest up and coming neighborhoods, the Edge District. OPENHOUSE’s new and unique event space provides the perfect blank canvas for a weekend full of music, lights, dancing, drinks, DJs, and other colorful entertainment.

A portion of proceeds go to benefit Metro Wellness & Community Centers in support of their essential LGBTQ, transgender, and youth programs.