Barry Manilow says coming out earlier would have ‘killed my career’

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Barry Manilow opened up about why he chose to spend decades in the closet before coming out in 2017.

Manilow married his high school girlfriend Susan Deixler in 1964. Deixler had the marriage annulled in 1966. He began dating TV executive Garry Kief in 1978 and the couple secretly wed in 2014. However, Manilow didn’t go public with his sexuality until an interview with People in 2017.

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U.S. Women’s soccer stars Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris announce engagement

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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U.S. Women’s soccer teammates Ali Krieger and Ashlyn Harris are engaged.

The couple announced that they have been engaged since September in an interview with People on March 13.

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Ben Platt gets candid about his sexuality in personal new music

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ben Platt is publicly sharing his sexuality with the world on his debut solo album “Sing to Me Instead.”

The 25-year-old “Dear Evan Hansen” star told People that he’s been out since he was 12 years old and wanted to include all of who he is on the record.

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George Wallace: Current LGBT+ Center of Central Florida Executive Director

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

I may not be aware of all that George Wallace has done to make him a hero of 2018 specifically, but I do know that George has been my personal hero for many years.

Firstly, as a healthcare advocate for special needs individuals. Secondly, as a person who has helped countless individuals in need—on a personal level, well beyond the scope of any employment mandate, and he has done so often and without fanfare or public recognition. Thirdly, as one of the true visionaries and hardest working people who dedicated every fiber of his being to help make The Orlando Fringe Festival the resounding success it is today.

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Two contestants on ‘Bachelor: Vietnam’ leave competition for each other

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Two contestants on the Vietnamese version of “The Bachelor” shocked viewers when they left a rose ceremony to be together.

Truc Nhu and Minh Thu are two women competing for the affections of Nguyen Quoc Trung, During a rose ceremony. Thu reveals she has fallen in love but with another contestant.

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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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Networking for Authors

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Most new authors have heard it’s important to connect with potential colleagues, but how exactly do you get the time of day from a pro when you’re just starting out? If you’re a wallflower, how can you make connections with people in the industry? Introvert or extrovert, how do you build relationships without coming across as needy or demanding? Authors Elle E. Ire and José Pablo Iriarte will show you how to approach and interact with industry pros on Twitter, via fan-mail/email and in-person, and share do’s and don’ts for each situation.

Adam Rippon is off the market, meets new man on Tinder

By : Jeremy Williams
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Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon is having quite the year, and it’s only April.

He won a bronze medal at the Winter Olympics earlier this year becoming the first openly gay U.S. male athlete to do so. Rippon also became a headline maker, first calling out Vice President Mike Pence for his anti-LGBTQ views, then doing a media tour as the self-proclaimed new “America’s Sweetheart,” and making huge fans out of everyone from E! News host Justin Sylvester to Sally Field’s son to to another American Sweetheart, Reese Witherspoon. He even got social media buzzing when he appeared on the red carpet of the Academy Awards in a leather harness/tux combo.

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Anderson Cooper splits with longtime boyfriend Benjamin Maisani

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Anderson Cooper and his longtime boyfriend Benjamin Maisani have broken up.

“Benjamin and I separated as boyfriends some time ago,” Cooper, 50, said in a statement. “We are still family to each other, and love each other very much. We remain the best of friends, and will continue to share much of our lives together.”

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Walk to fight Suicide

By : Alex Storer
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Many people first learn about the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s (AFSP) lifesaving work through our walks. In the beginning, only a few came out to walk against suicide, but they were the grassroots spark that started a movement that gains momentum each year. As the core of the Out of the Darkness Walks, the Community Walks are proof that when people work together, they can make big changes in our world. Taking place in hundreds of cities each fall, these walks raise awareness for our important cause as they raise the resources we need to carry out our mission.

Sean Hayes says his mother wanted him to go to therapy when he came out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sean Hayes is known for playing out and proud Jack McFarland on the hit sitcom “Will & Grace” but his real-life journey to being out was a difficult one.

Hayes, 47, told People that when he was younger he kept his sexuality a secret from his family as he started to understand it.

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AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee 2017

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On Saturday, December 2, 2017, Community AIDS Network (CAN) will host its annual AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee to raise awareness and funds for HIV. Several hundred people are expected to participate in the annual AIDS Walk. This year’s walk celebrates the many people in Florida and beyond who have fought and will continue to fight the spread of HIV.

 

AIDS Walk Sarasota-Manatee will begin at 8 a.m. in beautiful J.D. Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota, continue over the Ringling Bridge, and lead back to the park for shared testimonials, free food, and raffle prizes.  The cost to walk is only $10 and participants can register through midnight on November 27, 2017 at www.cccsrq.org/aids-walk-sarasota-manatee-2017  or on the day of the event.

 

CAN will be providing free, confidential rapid HIV tests and education about living with HIV. School teams, local businesses, families, and even friendly pets are all invited to participate in this important community event. Suncoast News Network (SNN) will have a walking team and Anchor, Nicole Sommavilla along with Chief Meteorologist, Justin Mosely will be at the walk to participate in the opening ceremonies.

 

For more information about participation, sponsorship opportunities, and the mission of CAN, please visit www.cccsrq.org/aids-walk-sarasota-manatee-2017 or call Jessly Santiago at (941) 366-0461 ext. 14402. CAN will be offering free booths to vendors at the walk. Call Jessly to make your reservation.