Diversity Mural of mosaic hearts dedicated in Orlando

By : Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | The Diversity Mural, a rainbow made from more than 700 mosaic hearts, was dedicated to the city of Orlando Sept. 21.

The mural’s mosaic hearts, installed on the side of The Lamp & Shade Fair building at 1336 N. Mills Ave. throughout the month of August and September, were made by people across the U.S. and several other countries throughout the world. To represent diversity, no two hearts in the mural are alike.

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Mural of mosaic hearts to show diversity, community in Orlando

By : Melanie Ararat
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ORLANDO | A mural of more than 800 mosaic hearts, made by artists from around the world, has been created in Orlando in support of the LGBTQ community.  The mural, which is located on the exterior wall of The Lamp & Shade Fair at 1336 N. Mills Ave., was installed throughout August and early September.

The mural’s hearts form a large, colorful rainbow floating away from a silhouetted figure blowing kisses.

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Bliss CARES announces new program to assist hardship patients

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO l Bliss CARES announced a new eligibility card program to help patients experiencing financial hardships or individuals without insurance.

The eligibility card will allow the holder access to free healthcare services related to HIV, Hepatitis and STDs for one year. Services will include clinic visits, lab tests, mental health care counseling, vaccines, co-pays, medicine and care management.

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The Center Orlando to become home for permanent LGBTQ history exhibit

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc. and LGBTQ History Museum of Central Florida are partnering up to install a permanent LGBTQ history exhibit in The Center Orlando, which has undergone a new renovation.

The collaboration’s mission is to “promote and empower the LGBT community and its allies through information, education, advocacy and support.”

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One-woman crusade to make Orlando more inclusive

By : Melanie Ararat and Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | Raquel Giorgio was strolling through downtown Asheville, N.C. with her family three weeks ago when she noticed a trend. Several shops and restaurants had signs in their windows welcoming people of all races, genders and religions. Giorgio thought the signs had a great message and se wanted Orlando to have the same spirit.

“I called the people at Asheville and asked about the signs and they said that those signs appeared because of a good Samaritan,” Giorgio says.

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The Center Orlando hosts annual Celebrity Bartending fundraiser

By : Christen Kelley
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ORLANDO | Local celebrities will go head-to-head in a competition for tips during The LGBT+ Center Orlando’s sixth annual Celebrity Bartending night at SAVOY Orlando Sept. 11.

LGBTQ and ally politicians, journalists, entertainers and more will be making drinks for attendees from 6 p.m. to midnight. All proceeds will benefit The Center for services such as STI testing and LGBT+ education and outreach in Central Florida.

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Louisiana library plans ‘Drag Queen Story Time’ for children

By : wire report
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LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) | Residents are defending a Louisiana public library’s plan to host fraternity brothers who are going to read to young children while dressed as drag queens.

All but one of the 20-plus citizens who spoke at Tuesday’s Lafayette City-Parish Council meeting said they support the Oct. 6 “Drag Queen Story Time,” The Advertiser reported . The event is being planned by a provisional chapter of the Delta Lambda Phi fraternity at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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PHOTOS: HRC Orlando’s 7th Annual Disco Bowl

By : Meghan Sweeney
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Team Watermark attended Human Rights Campaign Orlando’s seventh annual Disco Bowl Aug. 12 at Aloma Bowl.

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The Center Orlando and Zebra Coalition will expand partnership to new Kissimmee Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando and Zebra Coalition announced Aug. 8 that they will expand their collaborative services to the brand new LGBT Center location in Kissimmee.

The program expansion —made possible by grant support from both the Contigo Fund and Orlando Health — will include youth mental health counseling support, as well as youth and parent support groups facilitated by a Zebra Coalition mental health counselor.

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The Center Orlando announces opening of new Kissimmee location

By : Colton Adkins
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KISSIMMEE, Fla. | After releasing plans earlier this year to expand into Kissimmee, The Center Orlando has announced the location and opening date of its new LGBT+ Center.

The Center Kissimmee, located at 21 W. Monument Ave., will open Aug. 8 with an official grand opening and ribbon cutting scheduled for Aug. 15.

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Paintball shooting in Lake Eola linked to potential LGBTQ hate crime

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | Police are investigating a possible hate crime at Lake Eola Park in Orlando after several LGBTQ individuals were attacked by a paintball gun being shot from a moving vehicle on July 27. The attacker also shouted homophobic slurs at the victims.

One Orlando resident, who asked not to be identified by name, was shot in the leg with paintballs while playing the popular app game “Pokemon Go” with a friend at Lake Eola Park. He also says that a lesbian couple in the park told him they were also hit with paintballs.

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MBA Orlando’s 2018 Pride in Business Gala

By : Kathy Ruiz
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ORLANDO | The MBA Orlando LGBT Chamber of Commerce is hosting their annual Pride in Business Gala on Aug. 4 at the Hard Rock Live Orlando. Up to 350 LGBT & Allied business, civic and community leaders will be attending to celebrate diversity and inclusion in Central Florida.

This unique event will feature a red carpet entrance, six award categories and a VIP reception. According to the Pride in Business Awards Gala social media, awards will be presented by distinguished community leaders and and business professionals during a full course dinner. The Gala will also include a silent auction where all proceeds will go toward the non-profit Come Out With Pride, who hosts the Orlando Pride Parade every October.

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