Overheard in Orlando: ‘Beard’ be gone

By : Anonymous
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Hair today, gone tomorrow
Lee Vandergrift, WAVE award winner for favorite local photographer & LGBT artist, is taking the clippers to his Beard Envy project. He’s wrapping up the series next month. The project started a little over a year ago and was intended for fun, but resulted in a Facebook fan page, calendar and—soon—a book. Vandergrift’s goal is to shoot a few last “big” beards and then he will be done by April 1. So if your facial bristles are bustling to be immortalized, you better hairy up.

If a tree falls in Orlando
Recently, out environmentalist Eric Rollings and others held a rally for Constitution Park, which houses quite a few old trees in the city of Orlando. The property is privately owned by the Caruso family and it’s been said that the family is looking to develop the property. With an estimated 200 people in attendance, 5,200 signatures via the online petition and the support from Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan and area neighborhoods, the group may have a fighting chance to convince the family to save the park. If you want to help, sign the petition on the Constitution Green Park, Save our Orlando Treasure Facebook page.

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Meet Mr. Friendly: The symbol is the newest way to raise HIV Awareness

By : Staff Report
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Since the AIDS epidemic first hit, the leather community transitioned to the role of activist. Fundraisers for fallen brothers and sisters and, eventually, awareness campaigns promoting safe sex were often born out of the leather community.

But it wasn’t until 2008 that the leather community seemed to fully embrace a symbol of the HIV movement. That’s because up until then, there wasn’t any organized effort to recognize HIV without some stigma. That’s what gave Mr. Michigan Leather 2009 Dave Watt the idea for Mr. Friendly.

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The war isn’t over: St. Petersburg “Rocks It Red” for World AIDS Day

By : Greg Stemm
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St. Petersburg – About 100 prominent St. Petersburg residents and volunteers gathered at the LGBT Welcome Center on Central Avenue Dec. 1 for a candlelight vigil and reception commemorating the 25th Anniversary of World AIDS Day.

The vigil was the final event in an art installation which created a mile and a half long virtual red ribbon on Central Avenue by wrapping 173 trees in red cloth. The installation featured an opportunity for visitors to write messages of remembrance and inspiration for those touched by the epidemic.

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Through modern and traditional media, Your Real Stories breaks social boundaries

By : Chris Muscardin
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St. Petersburg – The 2011 dramatic film The Help had quite the impact on St. Petersburg resident Lillian Dunlap. It inspired her to take a look at the stories of the real life ‘help’. What started as a small project to showcase “Decades of Day Work” has turned into a journey of stories turned into plays turned into art shows.

Now, Your Real Stories, the organization that produces the show, has announced its first official season.

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Project DTO’s Midday Mingle

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Project DTO hosted Midday Mingle at the Wall Street Plaza June 25, allowing residents who live, work or play in Downtown Orlando to be a part of the planning process of expanding the area.

Nine interactive stations lined Wall Street, each station represented an area the Executive Advisory Committee, Task Force and City Staff hope to focus on in order to create a “community-guided vision and strategic plan for Downtown Orlando,” as their website says, to help redevelop the area, bring a brand platform and marketing strategy for Downtown and building upon the community’s needs and interests for the future.

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Suncoast AIDS Theater Project spoofs a Bette Davis classic with ‘All About Steve’

By : Steve Blanchard
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St. Petersburg – Every summer the St. Petersburg community expects three things—rain every afternoon, a fantastic St. Pete Pride festival and Matthew McGee in a dress. This year, we get a special surprise—Scott Daniel will also be in a dress!

The Suncoast AIDS Theater Project, directed by Garry Breul, returns for the annual Prelude to Pride spooftacular—and this year’s victim is the Bette Davis classic All About Eve. Of course, in this incarnation, It’s All About Steve because Eve is actually Steve played by Daniel, a drag queen who is jealous of the success of his mentor, played by McGee.

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