For The Culture Skate Night

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It’s For The Culture Skate Night! Hangout with us for a night that will be filled with many cute moments. The cover charge is $10.00 which includes your skates. You can pay at the door with cash or card. Whether you are a beginner or expert skater; we want to see you there! And bring a plus one; the more the merrier!

2018 LGBTQ+ Youth Summit

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It is 2018 and our local and national leaders are looking to youth to rise up and create positive change. The objective of the LGBTQ+ Youth Summit is to provide information on Health, Education, and Empowerment so that every attendee walks away knowing that they belong and have an important voice in the community.

Workshops will include topics such as: LGBTQ+ history, self-care, communicating with family/parents about your LGBTQ+ identity, adulting 101, becoming a civically engaged member of the community, and more!

After an empowering day of workshops, youth are invited to a dinner sponsored by GLSEN and dance featuring a DJ.

Email Youth@MetroTampaBay.org for more information. RSVP by February 9th to reserve your space! https://www.metrotampabay.org/lgbtq-youth-summit/

Sen. Gillibrand: Defeat Trump in 2020 to pass Equality Act

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) called Saturday night for the defeat of President Trump in Election 2020 and a change of Congress to enact long-sought after federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people.

Gillibrand, a possible Democratic contender in 2020, made the remarks Saturday at the 2018 HRC Greater New York Gala, encouraging attendees to join efforts to make change in the mid-term election and the presidential election in 2020.

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2018 Watermark’s WAVE Awards – Tampa Bay/Sarasota Final Round

By : Watermark Staff
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We asked for your favorites and you responded in droves. The 2018 WAVE Awards are in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category. Now it’s time to pick the best!

The WAVE Awards, or the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, recognize the best in Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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1.25.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s good to be back. Last issue Jeremy Williams took over this space in Central Florida and Ryan Willams-Jent wrote the column for Tampa Bay. They will continue their columns every other issue, and I will continue mine in the alternating weeks.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I have been on a journey to live a healthier and better life—while I still have a few good years ahead of me. There is the physical: regular personal training sessions with Max Dunley at Rock Hard Fitness, eating well, LASIK and braces. There is also the mental, or my version of spirituality. With the help of a twelve step program, I spend a lot of time looking at my past to understand the responsibility I have in the choices I’ve made in the hopes that I will make better decisions in the future.

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Pro-LGBTQ groups file motion for Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) and the law firm Carlton Fields have filed a motion on behalf of Equality Florida to defend Tampa’s conversion therapy ban.

In December, the anti-LGBTQ group known as Liberty Counsel filed a suit against the city for banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors, citing a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

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Out medical director opens Diversity Health Center of Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Diversity Health Center of Tampa Bay, dedicated to evidence-based patient care and to developing long-lasting relationships within the community it serves, is open for business.

Dr. David W. Lyter, who came out in the early 1980s, has “been doing gay men’s healthcare ever since.” He formerly served Tampa Bay as the medical director for Metro Wellness & Community Centers, and says he founded the new facility to “focus on a broader type of medical care.”

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Central Florida attorney elected chair of HRC board of directors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Central Florida attorney John Ruffier was elected as the vice-chair of the Human Rights Campaign board of directors and will become the chair of the organization next year.

The announcement was made by the law firm Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A.— where Ruffier is a practicing attorney—in a press release Jan. 12.

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Orlando’s LGBTQ Center changes name, debuts new logo

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | In honor of a milestone year, the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Central Florida, Inc. is changing its name to The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc.

The Board of Directors approved the decision to legally change the name and logo on Jan. 13 at the organization’s annual board retreat. Board members supported the name change as a way to update the organization and The Center’s imprint on the community.

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Watermark’s Third Thursday – January Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the first Watermark Third Thursday of 2018 as we meet and mingle at Celebration Gardens in Winter Park. As always, light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. See you there!

Report of HHS anti-trans health rule riles LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new media report that the Trump administration is set to propose a rule that would allow medical providers to refuse abortion-related services or treatment for transgender people has invoked concern among both LGBT and women’s groups.

On Wednesday, Politico reported the Department of Health & Human Services is preparing a rule enabling its civil rights office to shield workers who refuse to provide abortion-related care and services to transgender people on religious grounds. The rule would reportedly allow HHS to punish organizations that don’t allow practitioners to express these objections.

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A look at the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency for the LGBTQ community

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Whatever your thoughts on Donald Trump, it’s difficult to deny his influence on Americans after his first year as the 45th President of the United States.

America is often altered 140 characters at a time, and the changes are felt worldwide in walls both proposed and erected by climate change denial and Twitter diplomacy. The LGBTQ community has not been immune from presidential impact.

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