Central Florida Overheard: Church Closure

By : anonymous
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Reeves United Methodist Church, a church that has been in Orlando for nearly 100 years, permanently closed their doors leaving parishioners without a place to worship. The church was scheduled to close May 1 to be re-opened later this year as a daycare center, but decided to shut down a couple weeks early. Church volunteers were left to pack up their belongings while a locksmith was changing the locks, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The church was not just home to the roughly 30 church members, but was also home to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups, as well as a rehearsal and storage location for the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard and a meeting space for the Orlando Youth Alliance.

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Babes in Bonnets sets record in fundraising for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Babes in Bonnets, The Parliament House’s annual Easter fixture, set a fundraising record bringing in $32,171 for the Orlando Youth Alliance March 26.

The previous record was set last year when Babes in Bonnets brought in $28,000 for OYA.

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3.22.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The first person I ever came out to was a complete stranger. It was surprisingly easy. The journey to get to that moment was not easy, nor the mountains I would have to climb after; but coming out to a stranger wasn’t difficult. It was freeing and desperate.

It was the early 1990s and he was a mentor with the Delta Youth Alliance, now the Orlando Youth Alliance. At the time, it was the only resource for gay youth to meet and support each other and it remains a vital component of the community today. My involvement with the group gave me the courage to come out to my high school best friend. That was difficult because it was someone close to me. It was a bigger gamble as there was more riding on her reaction than that of the stranger.

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Central Florida Overheard: The Kids Are Alright

By : Anonymous
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The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida has made a few changes as of late. In addition to new Executive Director George Wallace and the return of their monthly BINGO night, The Center is bring something else back.

According to Wallace, The Center will welcome back the Orlando Youth Alliance for their weekly meetings.

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2016 was the worst year ever, and 2017 was the year we found our footing

By : Jeremy Williams
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In these very pages one year ago we proclaimed 2016 to be the worst year ever. It started off with so much promise and optimism, with the official passing of the torch as the former owner of Watermark turned the reins over to new owner Rick Claggett and Watermark Media became Watermark Publishing Group.

President Barack Obama was heading into the final year of his second term and everything seemed in place for another torch to be passed, that of the first black president passing the country off to the first female president.

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Orlando Youth Alliance gives $14,000 in scholarships

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The Audubon Park Exchange community room, hidden above East End Market, buzzed with conversations ranging from the political climate of Central Florida to the effectiveness of the lighting in a production of Les Miserables. The students leading those talks wouldn’t be able to study politics or theatre without the help of local LGBT group Orlando Youth Alliance.

OYA serves LGBTQ children and adults between the ages of 13 and 24 in their three Central Florida locations. OYA specifically focuses on offering a community with safe spaces for self-expression. They hosted their reception for their six scholarship winners on Wednesday night.

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Babes in Bonnets sets fundraising record for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Parliament House Footlight Theatre was home again to the fabulous bonnet auction known as Babes in Bonnets April 10.

The annual Easter tradition, hosted by Darcel Stevens and Blue Star, is a community wide fundraiser to benefit the Orlando Youth Alliance and featured more than a dozen beautiful bonnets paired with amazing gifts and prizes donated by local businesses and organizations.

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Transgender Day of Remembrance to be held at Valencia East on Nov. 17

By : Billy Manes
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For each the last few years the trans community has been celebrating its way through the hatred and sadness and doing so together in late November. Just as a reminder, tomorrow is Orlando’s Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) and, given the murders of trans folk this year – and the current climate of hatred – we thought you’d might like to join your brothers and sisters in seeing how far they have come. Here’s the info. Hope you can make it. This one is going to be huge.

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on November 20, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of transphobia and to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

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Babes in Bonnets 2016 Auction Photos

By : Jamie Hyman
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Parliament House Footlight Theatre hosted the annual Babes in Bonnets March 28, and they raised a whopping $26,000 for the Orlando Youth Alliance, crushing their goal of $20,000.

Darcel Stevens played host while Blue Star made big bucks as auctioneer.

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City of Orlando to host 3rd annual Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Adam Manno
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Orlando – For the third year in a row, community mentors will team up to empower Orlando’s LGBT youth at the Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit Feb. 6.

The City of Orlando, in partnership with the Orlando Youth Alliance, GLSEN, Darden Restaurants and other local organizations, will host O-YES from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Orlando City Hall first floor rotunda.

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College-bound LGBT students receive Orlando Youth Alliance scholarships

By : Jamie Hyman
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OYAScholarships2015Two Central Florida LGBT students are getting a little help with their future by way of scholarships through Orlando Youth Alliance.

Emily Mound and London Nunn were awarded $1,500 each at OYA’s 20th anniversary reception at Dubsdread Country Club Aug. 14.

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Pride Gala 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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The Metropolitan Business Association honored Orlando’s best in LGBT business Aug. 22 during Pride Gala 2014 at JW Marriott.

See all the great photo from the night and a complete list of winners after the jump:

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