LGBTQ youth who are making a difference: Yasmin Flasterstein

By : Jeremy Williams
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25 | Bisexual | She/Her/Hers

Yasmin, who was born in Israel, came to Orlando to study psychology at the University of Central Florida. Her initial involvement in Orlando’s LGBTQ community came by working at Mental Health Association of Central Florida when they created the Orlando United Counseling program in response to the Pulse tragedy. That is also the time that she came out.

“I was inspired to come out by the overwhelming feeling of anger I had after Pulse that made me feel like I shouldn’t be ashamed,” she says. “I felt so much anger by what happened and then I self-reflected on that. It encouraged me to come out and be my authentic self.”

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Miss Tora’s Drag is O-Town Show

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Miss Rose Dynasty 2019 Miss Tora will be hosting her Drag is O-Town show.

Tora will be raising money for One Orlando Alliance. Within days of the Pulse tragedy, local LGBTQ organizations and community leaders in Orlando saw a need to come together, and formed a unified alliance of 18 LGBTQ+ service organizations. One Orlando Alliance and empowers LGBTQ+ organizations in Central Florida. Central Florida serves as the model of nonprofits, businesses, philanthropies and government institutions working together to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive community for all LGBTQ+ people.

Tora, Momma Ashley Rose and many of their Friends will bring you an evening of fun an excitement!

This show is fun for all ages!

Seating is limited so get your tickets today!

$20 Online (online closes August 23rd)

$30 At The Door   

50% of Ticket sales go to One Orlando Alliance.

Orange County Mayor names new LGBTQ+ Community Liaison

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Chief of Staff to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, Roseann Harrington announced Marc Espeso as Special Assistant to Demings during the One Orlando Alliance quarterly meeting held on Aug. 14. Espeso will act as the LGBTQ+ Community Liaison for Demings.

Espeso, who is currently Orange County’s Digital Communications Editor, will expand his responsibilities to include the new position.

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Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

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Petition launched in Central Florida demands Orange County ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County, Florida has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, The Trevor Project, Zebra Coalition, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and One Orlando Alliance.

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City of Orlando, Orange County proclaim June 12 ‘Orlando United Day’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Artwork from Orlando County Regional History Center’s 2018 exhibit “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” (Photo by Layla Ferris)

ORLANDO | Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, along with the Orlando City Commissioners and Orange County Commissioners jointly proclaimed June 12, 2019 to be “Orlando United Day.”

“As we approach the three-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, our community continues to honor the 49 innocent lives taken on June 12, 2016, and support the survivors and victims’ families,” said Dyer. “I am proud to join Mayor Demings to proclaim this June 12 as ‘Orlando United Day’ in the City of Orlando and Orange County and help show that we are still responding to that hateful act with love, compassion and unity.”

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PHOTOS: One Orlando Alliance holds ‘Love and Kindness’ event, announces new Barnie’s coffee honoring Pulse victims

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | One Orlando Alliance gathered people at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Orlando for “Love and Kindness on the Lawn” on June 9.

The event was to honor the spirit of #OrlandoUnited!, and featured food trucks, games and dancing as well as performances by Jasmin Rhia, Melissa Crispo, the Orlando Gay Chorus and Pulse survivors Joshua Lewis and Vico Baez Febo.

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RED Shirt Pride Day looks to continue Orlando’s traditional Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom

By : Jeremy Williams
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In June 1991, a group of LGBTQ Central Floridians—led by openly gay Orlando resident Doug Swallow—decided to meet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to say to “The Most Magical Place On Earth” that “We’re here, we’re queer and we’d like to see Cinderella’s Castle!”

“[Doug said] ‘let’s go be somewhere where we can be ourselves and let people see that we’re normal people, but let them know that we are gay … we’ll do something like wear a red shirt so we can know who each other are.’ That was totally Doug’s idea, to make that day what it is,” said Michael Wanzie, a Central Florida entertainer who was at the very first event, in an interview with Watermark in 2018.

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Zebra Coalition to host LGBTQ Youth Pride Prom

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: The Zebra Coalition celebrates Come Out With Pride on their float during the parade in downtown Orlando last year. Photo courtesy for Zebra Coalition

ORLANDO | The Zebra Coalition is hosting its first-ever Youth Pride Prom at the Orlando Museum of Art June 22 from 6-10 p.m. for LGBTQ youth ages 14-20.

Zebra is partnering with more than a dozen coalition partners and a youth committee to plan the event.

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One Orlando Alliance to host community discussion on LGBTQ homelessness

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | The One Orlando Alliance is hosting a Central Florida-based discussion on the topic of LGBTQ youth homelessness at the Holden Heights Community Center in Orlando on April 11.

The discussion panel will consist of representatives from Alliance member organizations Bliss Cares, Equality Florida and Zebra Coalition; and will be moderated by Homeless Services Network of Central Florida Deputy Director Brian Postlewait.

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Orlando Apollos partner with One Orlando Alliance to celebrate first Pride Night

By : Amanda Espinosa
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UPDATE: Orlando Apollos Pride Night CANCELLED, the club is no longer in operation, effective immediately. 

ORLANDO | The Orlando Apollos, a newly formed team for the Alliance of American Football league, will be celebrating its first-ever Pride Night at the University of Central Florida’s Spectrum Stadium on April 6 at 8 p.m.

The Apollos are partnering with One Orlando Alliance, a nonprofit coalition empowering more than 30 LGBTQ organizations in Central Florida.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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