onePULSE Foundation awarded up to $10 million for museum

By : Melanie Ararat
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The Orange County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) awarded the onePULSE Foundation up to $10 million in hotel-tax revenues  on Oct. 30 to help it acquire land and create designs for its proposed Pulse museum.

The present members at the BCC meeting unanimously approved the funding and the onePULSE Foundation was met with the support of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, the Tourism Development Council and the Application Review Committee.

Continue Reading >>

Two Spirit announces $25,000 donation to OnePulse Foundation toward permanent memorial

By : Jaime Donelson
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Two Spirit Health Services announced Oct. 16 it will be donating $25,000 to the OnePulse Foundation to support the development of a permanent memorial site where the Pulse nightclub tragedy occurred on June 12, 2016.

Two Spirit is a nonprofit organization providing mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, transgender health and related services to the LGBTQ community. Two Spirit’s mission is to provide a “one- stop shop” health center where LGBTQ individuals can obtain expert healthcare by providers comprised of LGBTQ professionals and allies.

Continue Reading >>

New children’s book explains Pulse tragedy to kids

By : Christen Kelly
Comments: 0
ABOVE: Miss Sammy reads “My Tio’s Pulse” to Come Out With Pride festival attendees at Lake Eola’s Amphitheater. Photo by Danny Garcia

ORLANDO | Leaders of the Orlando community gathered for National Coming Out Day Oct. 11 to introduce a new book meant to help children understand tragedies such as the Pulse shooting.

“My Tio’s Pulse” follows main character Angel and his Uncle Luis, who was at Pulse Orlando on June 12, 2016. The story intends to help parents start a conversation with their children about gun violence, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and mental health.The book was created and written by local author Keith Newhouse. As a queer person, Newhouse was deeply affected by Pulse and wanted to do something to help the community.

Continue Reading >>

One Orlando Alliance names Board Chair Jennifer Foster as new Executive Director

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Jennifer Foster, who served as board chair for the One Orlando Alliance since formation, was named the organization’s founding executive director Oct. 11.

Foster’s appointment as the Alliance’s director comes on National Coming Out Day and during Orlando’s Pride Week — a weeklong celebration led by Alliance member Come Out With Pride.

Continue Reading >>

Co-editor Roy G. Guzman talks about the release of ‘Pulse/Pulso,’ an anthology of poems honoring the Pulse victims

By : Gregg Shapiro
Comments: 0

Co-edited by queer writers Roy G. Guzman and Miguel M. Morales, the breathtaking poetry anthology “Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando” (2018, Damaged Goods Press), is a literary tribute to the 49 lives lost and 53 wounded at Pulse nightclub in June 2016.

Containing the work of 18 poets; including Caridad Moro-Gronlier, Chen Chen, Baruch Porras-Hernandez, Monica Palacios, James A.H. White and Tessara Dudley; “Pulse/Pulso” is a powerful, poetic memorial to lives lost and forever changed on that fateful night.

Continue Reading >>

Diversity Mural of mosaic hearts dedicated in Orlando

By : Christen Kelley
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The Diversity Mural, a rainbow made from more than 700 mosaic hearts, was dedicated to the city of Orlando Sept. 21.

The mural’s mosaic hearts, installed on the side of The Lamp & Shade Fair building at 1336 N. Mills Ave. throughout the month of August and September, were made by people across the U.S. and several other countries throughout the world. To represent diversity, no two hearts in the mural are alike.

Continue Reading >>

09.20.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

Thanks to the wonders of Facebook’s “On This Day,” a feature which allows users to grin or grimace at their social media posts from yesteryear, I recently discovered I’ve been living in Florida for 11 years.

For whatever reason, I still tell folks I’m from Cincinnati, Ohio when they ask. They tend to figure out that I’m from the North when I correctly describe Diet Coke as “pop,” but I suppose I should really start telling my Lyft drivers that I’m from St. Pete. I put too much thought into small talk, which is probably why I’m so bad at it.

Continue Reading >>

The Reformation Project hosts sixth national LGBTQ Inclusion Conference in downtown Orlando

By : Jaime Donelson
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | LGBTQ Christians, theologians and allies will gather for worship and education on inclusion in the church at the Reformation Project’s sixth annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando Oct. 18-20.

The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit Christian organization that works to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the church. They focus on reforming the church’s teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Continue Reading >>

The Orlando Ribbon Project announces some big changes

By : Jaime Donelson
Comments: 0

The Orlando Ribbon Project has created nearly 500,000 ribbons since the Pulse tragedy in June 2016. Founder Ben Johansen felt he had to do something to help his community in their time of grief. The ribbons have spread all around the world appearing in multiple countries and pinned to politicians, celebrities and community leaders everywhere. Now, as the organization’s Facebook page says, the project is evolving.

“We have applied for our 501(c)(3) nonprofit license. We are also creating a college scholarship program for GLBTQ students that have been kicked out of their homes. The scholarship will be called The Orlando Ribbon Project, Helping Hands Scholarship program,” the page reads.

Continue Reading >>

How Central Florida’s Middle Eastern and Muslim LGBTQ community has found their voice post-Pulse

By : Holly V. Kapherr
Comments: 0

Recall two seminal moments from our recent history: Most—if not all—of us nearing our mid-thirties and beyond remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center fell to the ground. Similarly, thousands will never forget the morning they woke up and heard about the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

For many, these two events may share very little in common: the scope of the terror, the size of the cities in which they occurred, the generality or specificity of their victims, how removed or close-to-home the impact.

Continue Reading >>

07.26.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

As we head into the final summer month of 2018, I have been thinking a lot about the summer season from two years ago. All eyes were turned to Orlando as we were trying to make sense of a senseless act that left 49 people dead at Pulse. It was also a time when one of my college professors, Ken Carpenter, was battling for his life after a cancer diagnoses earlier in the year.

Ken was the journalism professor at Valencia College, and as I enrolled in more and more journalism classes he became a person that I started to see every single day. He became more than just a teacher to me. He became a friend and mentor, and not just to me. I can’t think of a single student who walked through those glass doors at Valencia College’s West Campus, passing by the mannequin wearing a suit made entirely out of newspaper, into the newsroom, who didn’t feel a connection with Ken that surpassed the word teacher.

Continue Reading >>

onePULSE Foundation seeks ideas from community for permanent memorial

By : Kathy Ruiz
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Last month marked the two-year anniversary of the Pulse shooting, which at the time was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. From this tragedy the Orlando community grew together, and organizations such as the onePULSE Foundation were introduced to ensure that “hate will never win.”

The onePULSE Foundation is the only non-profit created by, Barbara Poma, the owner of Pulse. According to their website, it was established to create “a sanctuary of hope around this tragic day in American history which honors the 49 lives that were taken, the 68 injured victims, the affected survivors and the first responders and healthcare professionals who cared for the victims.”

Continue Reading >>