ACLU sues Metro to reinstate ads for Milo, others

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in federal court on Wednesday charging that the D.C.-area Metro transit system’s decision to ban advertisements for a book written by gay conservative writer Milo Yiannopoulos and “message” ads from three other groups, including the ACLU itself, violates the First Amendment.

Noting that Metro initially accepted the ads for Yiannopoulos’ book before abruptly taking them down last month, ACLU lawyers filed a motion asking for “immediate relief” from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for reinstatement of the ads to avoid further loss of revenue from book sales.

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METRO Health brings history and fun to LGBTQ youth

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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ST. PETERSBURG – LGBTQ teens and supporters are invited to sleep in and attend METRO Health’s third annual LGBTQ+ Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. at its headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The one-day event focused on developing youth will begin with workshops, the topics of which were requested by METRO’s youth group participants, and end with dinner and a social dance.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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2016 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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The 28th Annual World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. From the early morning hours of that day at the YMCA in Ocala to the not-as-early morning hours of Saturday’s AIDS Walk in St. Pete, the community will be honoring the memories and celebrating the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

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Pride Happy Hour Kickoff: There’s No Place Like METRO

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Kickoff St. Pete Pride in grand fashion with a happy hour benefitting METRO at Enigma St. Pete. There’s a chance to win prizes and things might get a little messy with jell-o shots!

50/50 Drawing
1 ticket — $2 suggested donation
3 tickets — $5 suggested donation
+ $3 JELL-O Shots!
+ Drawing for a liquor basket provided by Enigma

**Portion of all proceeds from the drawing and jell-o shots will go to METRO’s ongoing capital campaign. To learn more: http://www.metrotampabay.org/product/capital-campaign

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This event is a part of our month-long community awareness campaign to help us raise capital for our renovations.

With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing: http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/article/20764878/a-little-help-as-hiv-cases-rise-a-local-lgbt-nonprofit-fights-to-meet-demands

Pride Happy Hour Kickoff: There’s No Place Like METRO

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Kickoff St. Pete Pride in grand fashion with a happy hour benefitting METRO at Enigma St. Pete. There’s a chance to win prizes and things might get a little messy with jell-o shots!

50/50 Drawing
1 ticket — $2 suggested donation
3 tickets — $5 suggested donation
+ $3 JELL-O Shots!
+ Drawing for a liquor basket provided by Enigma

**Portion of all proceeds from the drawing and jell-o shots will go to METRO’s ongoing capital campaign. To learn more: http://www.metrotampabay.org/product/capital-campaign

______________________________________________________________________________

This event is a part of our month-long community awareness campaign to help us raise capital for our renovations.

With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing: http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/article/20764878/a-little-help-as-hiv-cases-rise-a-local-lgbt-nonprofit-fights-to-meet-demands

Shisha & Spreads for METRO

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Unwind with interesting shisha flavors thoughtfully paired with specialty drinks and spreads of cheese, fruit, and nuts at Sawgrass Tiki Bar & Teahouse.

The hookah pairing is $25 and includes 2 drinks, hookah, and a small plate of cheese, fruit, and nuts.

**$5 from each pairing sold will go to METRO’s ongoing capital campaign. To learn more: http://www.metrotampabay.org/product/capital-campaign

Pairings include:

Drink: Ruby in the Rough (port wine, habanero, lime juice and green olives)
Hookah flavors: Guava, Chocolate, Cinnamon

Drink: Lady Lychee (Nigori Sake with Lychee Sake)
Hookah flavors: Sex Panther – Peach, Watermelon, Orange

Drink: Kratom Tea
Hookah flavors: Watermelon, Guava, Mint

Drink: Kava
Hookah flavors: Blueberry, Mint, Watermelon

Reservations are highly suggested. Call 727-945-2907 to make yours.

A 15% gratuity will be automatically added.

______________________________________________________________________________

This event is a part of our month-long community awareness campaign to help us raise capital for our renovations.

With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing: http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/article/20764878/a-little-help-as-hiv-cases-rise-a-local-lgbt-nonprofit-fights-to-meet-demands

Shake It for METRO at the Flamingo Resort

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Let’s shake it while we raise the roof — our building needs a new roof, get it? — with a night of fun and dancing at the Flamingo Resort St Pete. There will be FREE shots and prizes!

Everyone enjoys a complimentary shot with your $5 suggested donation at the door.

There will also be a chance to win Raffle Items, generously provided by the Flamingo:
1 night stay at the Flamingo Resort
2 – $25 Gift cards
2 – $10 Gift Cards

**All Proceeds from the door and Raffle items to go to METRO.

______________________________________________________________________________

This event is a part of our month-long community awareness campaign to help us raise capital for our renovations.

With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing: http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/article/20764878/a-little-help-as-hiv-cases-rise-a-local-lgbt-nonprofit-fights-to-meet-demands

Punky’s Happy Hour Kickoff: There’s No Place Like METRO!

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Join us as we kick-off PRIDE season in grand fashion with a happy hour at Punky’s Bar and Grill, Thursday May 26th from 5pm–8pm.

Come enjoy an evening with friends while supporting METRO’s committment to our LGBT community for the past 20+ years. With the recent purchase of the St. Petersburg location building, METRO now needs the community’s support in raising the funds to complete required renovations to update the building and expand their essential services.

To help us kick off a month-long community awareness campaign, our friends at Punky’s have graciously agreed to donate 10% of all food and drinks purchased between the hours of 5pm and 8pm. So please grab your partner, friends and family and join us for a fun-filled evening as you help us with the purchase and immediate needs for our building. See you there!

Read more about METRO’s expansion in Creative Loafing: http://www.cltampa.com/news-views/article/20764878/a-little-help-as-hiv-cases-rise-a-local-lgbt-nonprofit-fights-to-meet-demands

METRO’s Chris Rudisill bids Tampa Bay adieu as he catches the train to Fort Lauderdale

By : Jeremy Williams
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After more than five years as a visible face of the LGBT community, Chris Rudisill will be leaving METRO and the Tampa Bay area Dec. 4.

Rudisill, 39, ran St. Pete Pride for three seasons starting in 2010 before being recruited by METRO CEO Lorraine Langlois as the Director of LGBT Community Center Services in 2012, and since has helped build up Metro Health and Wellness from an HIV/AIDS clinic into an “all under one roof” LGBT community center that includes primary healthcare, a welcome center and programs developed to assist with transgender issues, PrEP and LGBT elderly concerns.

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Chris Rudisill stepping down at METRO Tampa Bay

By : Staff Report
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METRO Tampa Bay announced Nov. 23 that after more than three years with the organization, Chris Rudisill will be stepping down as the Director of LGBT Community Center Services, according to a press release.

Rudisill is credited as being an essential part of expanding METRO’s list of programs, as well as establishing the LGBT Welcome Center.

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METRO Tampa Bay to celebrate community with Gala Rouge

By : Jeremy Williams
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St. Petersburg – The Third Annual METRO Tampa Bay Gala will be held at its new venue within the Historic Train Station in St. Petersburg’s Warehouse Arts District Nov. 7.

The event, headlined as Gala Rouge, will be a night of scantily clad men and women, delicious eats, hand-crafted beverages and a historic venue and is being called “a true voyeur’s delight” according to METRO’s website.

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