Orlando Youth Alliance selected to be Lucky’s Market 1st quarter fundraiser partner

By : Amanda Espinosa
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Lucky’s Market, located at 11750 E Colonial Dr, announced Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) as one of its three nonprofit partners participating in Bags for Change, a quarterly fundraiser hosted by the supermarket chain.  Lucky’s Bags for Change program will help raise funds for OYA from Feb. 3 to May 25.

OYA is a nonprofit local organization providing LGBTQ youth a safe place and support group to discuss any issues or concerns in their lives and includes members from ages 13 to 24.

Continue Reading >>

OYA in the running to be Lucky’s Market Orlando 1st quarter fundraising recipient

By : Amanda Espinosa
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Lucky’s Market is a supermarket chain not only with a focus on organic foods but also a focus on giving back to its local community. Bags of Change, a fundraiser organized by the supermarket chain, helps three local nonprofits to raise some much needed funds each quarter.

Each one of Lucky’s Market locations nominate five nonprofits and its customers vote on which three will be the fundraising recipients, and Lucky’s Market Orlando selected the Orlando Youth Alliance as one of the five nominees for its first quarter. Now it is up to you to make OYA one of the top three.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark Film Company’s new documentary ‘Greetings From Queertown’ shines a light on Orlando’s LGBTQ history

By : Christen Kelley
Comments: 0

From KKK members threatening Pride-filled parade marchers to a sea of red shirts ascending on Disney World for Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom to standing “Orlando Strong” around Lake Eola, Central Florida has come a long way for the LGBTQ community. It’s a rich history that Watermark Film Company plans to detail in their upcoming documentary, “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando.”

Spearheaded by Watermark owner, publisher and editor Rick Claggett, director/producer Sandi Hulon, director of photography Tye Belcher and others from Team Watermark, the film company was created to share the story of “Queertown.”

Continue Reading >>

The Center Orlando to bring LGBTQ children’s books to the community

By : Colton Adkins
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center Orlando is expanding again, and this expansion is bringing in something for the kids.

George Wallace, The Center’s executive director, says the new expansion will include a children’s library complete with LGBTQ children’s books and youth novels. A children’s library will be added into the new Center coming to Kissimmee as well.

Continue Reading >>

Central Florida Overheard: Church Closure

By : anonymous
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Babes in Bonnets sets record in fundraising for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

3.22.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Central Florida Overheard: The Kids Are Alright

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Orlando Youth Alliance gives $14,000 in scholarships

By : Anna M. Johnson
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Babes in Bonnets sets fundraising record for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

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

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>