10.19.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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We are nearing the end of Pride season; Oct. 21 marks bi-coastal celebrations in Volusia County and Sarasota, and we close with Sanford Pride Nov. 5. As the Pride door shuts the holiday door swings open.

You can always tell when the holidays are coming, and I include Halloween as the official kickoff to the end of year holiday extravaganza. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, people are complaining that Christmas trees are already on sale and the temperature drops from a balmy 98 degrees to a cool 92. Ah yes, fall in Florida. There really is nowhere I’d rather be. I’m so basic that I love everything pumpkin, it’s never too early for tree shopping and nothing is better than warm weather. Fall is arguably the best time of the year.

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Montenegro: Pride event urges less violence, more rights

By : wire report
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PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) – About 200 people have gathered at an LGBT Pride event in Montenegro urging more rights and zero tolerance for violence against gay people in the conservative Balkan country.

Participants held banners with sayings such as “Proud my son is gay” and “My daughter is lesbian” as they marched Saturday through the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. Police sealed off the area for protection.

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Harry Styles opens solo tour with rainbow flag

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Harry Styles kicked off his first solo tour at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco on Tuesday with a nod to the LGBT community.

A fan threw a rainbow flag onstage prompting Styles, 23, to attach it to his mic stand while performing his set.

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07.12.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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One day at a time. That’s what they tell me. It’s one of the most useful tools in sobriety, especially in the beginning.

I stopped drinking on October 1, 2015. It was nine days before the annual Come Out With Pride celebration at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and I was nervous. How was someone like me, someone who would binge drink at every opportunity, going to make it through this major weekend-long event at only nine days sober? The answer: 24 hours at a time.

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Watch: police officer’s girlfriend proposes at London Pride Parade

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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One police officer got a heartwarming surprise while working the 45th annual London Pride parade.

The British Transport Police (BTP) posted a short video of one of their officers getting engaged to her girlfriend. In the video, the officer approaches her girlfriend, who then drops to one knee and pulls out a ring.

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6.29.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Amid all of the hue and cry about the transformative nature of St. Pete Pride over the weekend – it was all going to be about moving the parade route; it would be new shoes to bear the 15 years upon which the celebration previously stood – most concerns seemed to melt into the violet of the sunset sky along Bayshore Drive on Saturday night, dancing in abandon with the glitter and the confetti to various mixes of pop songs you might be too old to know, much less remember.

What struck me most, though, was just how together – how empathetic, collective and genuine – that a mass gathering that may have attracted 200,000 people could be.

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Straight cop shares heartfelt Pride message to LGBT community

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A straight cop sent a message of solidarity with the LGBT community before he worked the Pridefest in New York City last weekend.

The ally, who goes under the name Huge Fat Loser on Facebook to chronicle his weight loss journey, shared a special photo of himself before the Pride festivities. He is seen wearing a T-shirt with the words “I may be straight but I don’t hate” with the word “hate” written in rainbow lettering.

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Sesame Street celebrates Pride with rainbow tweet

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sesame Street showed its support for families of all types in a tweet that appears to be a nod to the LGBT rainbow flag.

“Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes and colors,” the show’s account tweeted along with a photo of some different colored characters standing next to each other. The picture seems to mimic the LGBT rainbow flag.

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Hundreds of thousands at Brazil’s massive gay pride parade

By : Wire Report
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SAO PAULO (AP) – Hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered in Sao Paulo June 18 for one of the world’s largest gay pride parades with this year’s event focusing on the threat of religious fundamentalism to Brazil’s LGBT community.

Under a giant rainbow-colored flag, revelers of all ages, many wearing bright wigs, turned the city’s Paulista avenue into a multicolored sea of people filling more than 10 city blocks. Organizers said they expected 3 million people to participate in Sao Paulo’s 21st annual gay pride parade, though military police did not release a crowd estimate.

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St. Pete Pride board member Susan McGrath responds to our St. Pete Pride Viewpoint column

By : Billy Manes
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Though we don’t normally do this – not directly, except in our letters section – we’d like to present this rebuttal to one of our Viewpoints. Not everybody is happy with Greg Stemm’s opinion piece in our Viewpoint section about St. Pete Pride. You can read the original here.

This is Pride board member Susan McGrath’s response.

As a St Pete Pride board member and a 19-year homeowner in Historic Kenwood, I cannot express my level of disappointment in opening the “St Pete Pride” Watermark edition to see a page devoted to substantial misinformation and language that is divisive and unproductive for our community.

Let’s begin with the facts.

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Trump tweets ‘never forget’ on one year mark of Pulse shooting

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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On the one-year mark of the Pulse massacre, President Trump tweeted on Monday an image of the 49 individuals killed at the gay nightclub, urging his followers to “never forget” the victims.

“We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting,” Trump tweeted.

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Pentagon celebrates Pride with LGBT service members

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. military has entered a new era under the Trump administration as many wonder if the LGBT progress after “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal will remain in place, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the annual reception at the Pentagon recognizing Pride.

The event — coordinated by DOD Pride, the Pentagon affinity group for LGBT service members and civilians — took place on Monday as it has each year after repeal of the military’s gay ban, and now after the rule change allowing transgender people to serve in the armed forces.

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