139 colleges labeled ‘absolute worst’ for LGBT students

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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For the second year in a row, Campus Pride has released its national list of the “absolute worst” college campuses for LGBT students.

The list includes 139 colleges and universities, an increase from last year’s 102 campuses, that do not foster a safe environment for LGBT students, faculty and staff.

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TIGLFF: What’s Playing Where?

By : Jeremy Williams
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Whether you are looking for drama or comedy, musicals or documentaries, short films or feature length pictures; the 28th Annual Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, running Oct. 6-14, has got it all.

With more than 50 films showing at nearly a dozen locations across Tampa Bay, you’re sure to get a “reel” sense of LGBTQ life on film. For more information on the films being presented and ticket prices, visit TIGLFF.com.

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8.24.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Hate is easy. Anger is easy. Drive through downtown Orlando on I-4, or cross the Howard Frankland Bridge at rush hour and you will see what I mean. People either drive too aggressively, or are not aggressive enough. Drivers rubberneck their way past an accident or cut you off, almost creating an accident of their own. More often than not, our instinct is to be angry.

Have you ever found yourself fuming when you are leaving a crowded elevator while new passengers rush onboard before you have a chance to exit? Do you fight for a parking space around the holidays and think of keying the car that took your spot? Do you get irritated when you have to answer a question more than once?

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay softball leagues celebrate milestone anniversaries this season

By : Steve Blanchard
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For more than two decades, LGBTQs in Central Florida have enjoyed friendship and sportsmanship on the softball field. The area’s two largest leagues are celebrating milestones this fall season.

The Suncoast Softball League in Tampa celebrates its 25th anniversary this year and the Central Florida Softball League will mark its 20th year when the first pitches are thrown out this fall. Besides their incredible growth over the years, both leagues have plenty of reasons to celebrate their respective milestone anniversaries in 2017.

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Trump on trans ban: ‘I’m doing the military a great favor’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump said Thursday he’s “doing the military a great favor” by seeking to ban on transgender people from the armed forces, insisting he has “great support” from the LGBT community.

Trump made the remarks during an exchange with reporters at the Bedminster National Golf Club in New Jersey, where the president is staying during August vacation as the situation over North Korea’s improved nuclear weapons capabilities continues to escalate.

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Tucson’s rainbow crosswalk vandalized ahead of ceremony

By : Wire Report
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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A Tucson rainbow crosswalk painted to celebrate the LGBTQ community was vandalized hours before the city’s dedication ceremony.

One of the city’s two new crosswalks was vandalized either late Monday or early Tuesday.

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Acclaimed singer and actress Barbara Cook has died at 89

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Barbara Cook, whose shimmering soprano made her one of Broadway’s leading ingenues and later a major cabaret and concert interpreter of popular American song, has died. She was 89.

Cook died early Tuesday of respiratory failure at her home in Manhattan, surrounded by family and friends, according to publicist Amanda Kaus. Her last meal was vanilla ice cream, a nod to one of her most famous roles in “She Loves Me.”

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Central Florida elected officials gather at JOY MCC to stand with the transgender community

By : Jeremy Williams
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(ABOVE: (L-R) Orange County District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla, Florida Senator Linda Stewart, Orlando District 5 Commissioner Regina Hill, JOY MCC Senior Pastor Rev. Terri Steed Pierce, Orange County District 3 Commissioner Pete Clarke, Florida House District 49 Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, Orlando District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan.)

ORLANDO | Nearly two dozen elected officials are standing in solidarity with the transgender community after President Donald Trump’s tweets last week announcing a ban on trans people serving in the U.S. military.

Eric Rollings, Orange County’s Soil and Water Conservation Chair, spoke from the pulpit at JOY Metropolitan Community Church July 30, reading from a list of Central Florida politicians who stated they unequivocally stand with the LGBTQ community, especially with the transgender community in light of the recent attacks.

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Ex-Navy doctor promises free surgery for trans military patients

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dr. Christine McGinn, an ex-Navy surgeon, has vowed to offer free gender-confirmation surgery for transgender military patients.

McGinn told CNN’s Michael Smerconish that she will still perform operations for patients already on her list despite President Donald Trump announcing a ban on transgender people in the military.

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Israeli military’s first transgender officer criticizes Trump

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The first transgender officer in the Israel Defense Force has criticized President Trump’s decision to ban trans people from the U.S. military.

Capt. Shachar Erez in a commentary that A Wider Bridge, which describes itself as an “LGBTQ advocacy group building connections between the Israeli and North American LGBTQ communities,” posted on its website on July 27 wrote “barring transgender individuals from serving their country is not a policy based on credible professional opinion.”

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Central Florida’s Hope & Help to relocate, launch new website

By : Rachel Dececco
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Hope & Help announced the grand opening of a new location, along with the launch of their new website, both occurring Aug. 1, less than two months before the annual Headdress Ball.

The beloved non-profit organization, which opened in 1988, will be located at 707 Mendham Blvd in Orlando as it continues as Central Florida’s oldest and largest HIV/AIDS testing, education and care center.

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Orlando LGBTQ icon and former Watermark editor, Billy Manes, dies at 45

By : Staff Report
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

ORLANDO | Billy Manes, iconic Orlando LGBTQ activist, former longtime columnist for Orlando Weekly and former editor-in-chief of Watermark, died July 21 just after 4 p.m. from a sudden onset of pneumonia. He was 45. He is survived by his husband, Anthony Mauss.

Manes was from Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 1997. He began his career in journalism in the sales department at Orlando Weekly and eventually became a staple in the paper, writing the “B-List,” “Blister” and “Happytown” columns. He also attended Orlando city council meetings and recapped them in the column “Council Watch.”

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