AIDS pageant in Uganda seeks to stem stigma, discrimination

By : Wire Report
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KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) – When she was younger, Tryphena Natukunda’s mother discouraged her from swallowing her antiretroviral medicines among strangers or even distant relatives.

Because the girl had AIDS, which can fuel stigmatization and invite harsh judgment, the mother wanted her daughter’s condition kept a secret within the family.

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Barcelona pageant celebrates transgender women

By : Wire Report
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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) – Despite facing violence and discrimination in many countries, 28 transgender women found a place to shine.

The women competed last weekend to be crowned Miss Trans Star International, Europe’s largest beauty pageant for transgender women and one of a growing number of events aimed at celebrating a population more often condemned.

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Miss Gay Venezuela crowned

By : Wire Report
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CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — There’s a beauty contest for almost everyone in pageant-obsessed Venezuela.

In the popular Miss Gay Venezuela competition, men don elaborate wigs and layers of makeup to show off their skills in what they call “the art of transformation.”

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3.12.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185I’m competitive, but I don’t necessarily like contests. I’m not one of these new age people who think everyone should get an award or a trophy for just showing up. Trophies, tiaras and awards should be given to those who earn them. But contests—no matter the type—can cause hurt feelings, bitterness and resentment.

When I was in school I excelled at track & field. I was a hurdler—running in both the 110 high hurdles and the 300 intermediates. I am proud to say I have a collection (somewhere in my parents’ basement, I suppose) of medals from local, small town meets to the state finals. During those late teenage years, track was my life. I measured my success on the number of shiny medals hanging on my bedroom wall.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Pageant season is among us!

By : Anonymous
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Bangkx takes ASAP crown
Performer Ashley Bangkx was crowned Miss ASAP 2015 at Blur Nightclub in Dunedin, becoming the 10th impersonator to claim the title in as many years. The pageant featured three local performers from Tampa Bay and four former title holders were either at the judges table or performing special numbers throughout the night. Outgoing Miss ASAP 2014 Monica Moore served as emcee for the evening and pointed out that everything she wore was red—in honor of the AIDS Ribbon. One outfit—a sparkling red pants suit, could be made into the iconic ribbon, she explained, after standing with her legs slightly apart and her hands clasped above her head. Bangkx will begin her reign as Miss ASAP immediately and will be at the organization’s fundraisers, like AIDS Walk Tampa Bay, Dining Out for Life and the Santa Speedo Run.

Atwell shows support on wedding day
Upon first glance, one would have thought that the two women embracing and laughing were getting ready to tie the knot on the morning of Jan. 6 in Sarasota. But upon closer inspection, it turned out to be Sarasota Pride chairperson Cindy Barnes and Sarasota City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell celebrating the historic day. Atwell has been a long-time supporter of LGBT equality and initiatives in Sarasota and a personal friend to Barnes. Atwell has appeared at Sarasota Pride every year it’s been at JD Hamel Park and also makes it a point to appear at other LGBT events and festivals like the Harvey Milk Festival in May. Atwell could be overheard telling Barnes, “I wouldn’t miss this. We’ve worked so hard to achieve this day.” Thank you, Commissioner. We couldn’t have done it without advocates like you.

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Miss Gay Days Pageant 2014

By : Patrick O'Connor
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Harmony Breeze is the winner of The 24th Annual Miss Gay Days Pageant, held June 4 at the Doubletree by Hilton Orlando.

The four contestants (there were supposed to be five, but one backed out) vied for the crown in front of a teeming crow of fans, competing for the chance to represent Gay Days®, Inc. at parties and festivals throughout the year. Coco Montrese, of RuPaul’s Drag Race and Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas fame, hosted the evening and crowned a glowing Harmony Breeze the star of the evening. When questioned about the future, the pageant contestants expressed hope for a gay president and sent out the message that we are one love, one nation and one humanity.

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Lizzie Borden… bound for Broadway?

By : Anonymous
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Gather all your friends with useless knowledge
Ivanhoe Village is teaming with the Hammered Lamb for a weekly trivia night to benefit the Ivanhoe Village Main Street. Winners can expect prizes every Tuesday’s from 6- 8:30 p.m. at the bar located at 1235 N Orange Ave., Orlando. Trivia games will consist of three rounds with two questions each night to focus on the neighborhood. Ivanhoe Trivia Knight is hosted by Scottie Campbell, Executive Director for Ivanhoe Village. For more information, call 407-704-3200 or visit HammeredLamb.com

Could the second time around be the charm?
For the second year in a row, Orlando’s own Chantel Reshae will fly to Atlantic City to complete for the crown in the 2013 Miss’d America Pageant Saturday, Sept. 21 at the House of Blues Atlantic City at Showboat. More than 2,000 people are expected at the event, which raises money for the The Greater Atlantic City GLBT Alliance and the Schultz-Hill Foundation. Reshae, an 18-year drag veteran, is the only Florida-based contestant. The Miss’d America Pageant was started in 1991 the Sunday after the Miss America Pageant (which used to be held in Atlantic City) as a fun, but very competitive way to raise money for local LGBT charities. For more information, on Miss’d America, visit Acglbt.org

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Miss South Carolina has first openly gay contestant

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Analouisa Valencia came to the door in a bright blue facial mask and sweatpants, surprised anyone was coming to see her.

“I’m sorry. I got mixed up and didn’t know you were coming today,” she told the reporter at the door. “Miss South Carolina contestants aren’t supposed to let people see them like this.”

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