Better Together: Sarasota’s LGBTQ community unites for Sarasota OUT

By : Krista DiTucci
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People in the Sarasota area looking for LGBT-friendly resources now have a one-stop shop for their needs thanks to Sarasota OUT, Sarasota’s new LGBT directory of events and businesses.
“I think Sarasota OUT could be the driving force to help make the LGBT community come together,” Sarasota OUT manager Josh Beadle says.
Beadle says he and Al Ferguson, owner of Al and Chuck Travel, have discussed the issue of unification within the Sarasota LGBTQ community. Beadle says he and Ferguson noticed that several LGBT organizations were going in separate directions and no one was coming together to support each other.
“I wanted to give us the one place to go to see what’s going on in Sarasota,” Beadle says. “And Al (Ferguson) lit the candle under my ass to do that.”

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Watermark is looking for the Most Remarkable people of 2016

By : Watermark Staff
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Every year, Watermark chooses stand-outs from the LGBTQ community – remarkable individuals who made a mark in the past year, whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

2016 has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, especially considering the marriage victory last year, so we’re looking to honor those who have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

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Equality Florida to honor MCC Rev. Nancy Wilson at Sarasota Suncoast Celebration

By : Krista Di Tucci
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Rev. Nancy Wilson

Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson

SARASOTA – Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson, Metropolitan Community Churches’ Global Moderator, will be presented with the 2016 Voice for Equality Award by Equality Florida at Sarasota’s Suncoast Celebration Nov. 20.

Rev. Wilson was pastor of Sarasota MCC before she was elected as Global Moderator in 2005. However, she has been an activist and a leader in the MCC since she was 22 years old. Rev. Wilson says she came out at a young age when the MCC was in its early stages and no one could envision LGBT victories such as marriage equality. She says her work began to transform into a global issue over time.

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Sarasota gears up for Fabulous Independent Film Festival at the Harvey Milk Festival

By : Krista DiTucci
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Film lovers in Sarasota will experience three days of LGBTQ cinema at Harvey Milk Festival’s sixth annual Fabulous Independent Film Festival, Sept.30-Oct. 2.

“Every single one of these films is so interesting in its own way,” Magida Diouri, festival programmer, says. “It’s remarkable. I really was looking for the best I could get for Sarasota – things that would not otherwise come here.”

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Sarasota Pride to move forward, will honor Pulse victims

By : Krista DiTucci
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SARASOTA – Cindy Barnes has been the face of Sarasota Pride for almost a decade. But a few months ago, Barnes had made the decision to step down as Pride director. However, her plan to resign recently took an unexpected turn.

Edward “Eddie” Sotomayor was one of the 49 victims killed in the Pulse shooting. Sotomayor was a Sarasota native and actively involved in Pride. Just before the shooting, he and Barnes arranged for a lunch meeting the following week to discuss Sarasota Pride’s future and Barnes’ decision not to continue with Pride. Sadly, Sotomayor was killed before the meeting took place.

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Sarasota County still not allowing bathroom equality for transgender students

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The Sarasota County School District, after four months of community upheaval over the issue, still has no official policy that protects the rights of transgender students to use bathrooms that align with their gender identities.

In January, Pine View Charter School created a policy that gave transgender students the right to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. This change came about after Nate Quinn organized a call-in day for allies to encourage the Pine View administration to adopt an inclusive stance. Since then, the Sarasota County School Board has heard from community members on both sides of this issue through their participation in protests, emails, phone calls and public board meetings.

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Sarasota County School Board continues debate on trans-inclusive bathrooms

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Sarasota County School Board heard public opinion yet again on whether to implement new trans-inclusive bathroom policies countywide at the March 1 board meeting.

The community has been divided on the issue since the school board first heard public debate on the subject at the Feb. 2 board meeting. A Feb. 16 workshop left the board divided on whether or not to implement the policy leading to a request from them to hear more public discussion.

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ANSWERS Suncoast rallies to have voice in trans bathroom debate at next Sarasota County School Board meeting

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Sarasota County School Board split on whether to implement transgender-inclusive bathroom policies at a board workshop Feb. 16 and have decided to hear public opinion on the subject at the next school board meeting March 1.

The last time the Sarasota County School Board heard on the matter Feb. 2, the meeting had more than 150 attendees.

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Sarasota County School Board to discuss trans-inclusive bathroom policy after hearing from community

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Sarasota County School Board will discuss the future of transgender-inclusive bathroom policies at a board workshop Feb. 16.

This comes after a Feb. 2 school board meeting where more than 150 people attended to voice their opinions on the subject.

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Issue 23.02: Weed the People

By : Jake Stevens
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Weed the People: Melissa Etheridge on medical marijuana, music and politics, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Sarasota County school adopts trans-inclusive bathroom policy after transgender student organizes call-in

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pine View, a grades 2-12 magnet school in Osprey, Fla., is now the first school in Sarasota County to pass a transgender student inclusive bathroom policy.

The policy, adopted Jan. 14, allows transgender students in grades 6-12 to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with regardless of what gender they were assigned at birth. The bathrooms for elementary grade students will remain the same.

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Issue 23.01: Philanthropy

By : Jake Stevens
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Givers and receivers: Philanthropic organizations are rallying for more LGBT donations, Dawn Elizabeth Waters comes out on switching teams, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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