Sarasota Pride skips 2019, announces January 2020 celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride, Inc. announced Aug. 15 that its next PrideFest will be held Jan. 25, 2020 rather than in 2019, a departure from the organization’s traditional celebrations held in October.

Sarasota Pride aims to promote visibility and self-esteem among the LGBTQ community in Sarasota and throughout Florida. Chairman Cindy Barnes led the organization into its 29th year on Oct. 20, 2018 at J.D. Hamel Park.

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We look back on 2018, a midterm year for a country that’s just living on a prayer

By : Jeremy Williams and Ryan Williams-Jent
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It’s been two years since we, as a country, entered into the reality that is the Trump Administration. The country feels more divided than ever and the phrases “fake news” and “it’s all a witch hunt” are commonplace.

The violence that seems to define who Americans are these days is also there, particularly in Florida, where there has been no justice for the five transgender women of color who were murdered and yet another mass shooting—this time at a high school in Parkland, Fla.—pulled the focus of the world to our state.

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PHOTOS: Sarasota celebrates PrideFest 2018

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride held PrideFest 2018 at J.D. Hamel Park on Oct. 20, a “Rainbow Resistance” for the organization’s 29th annual celebration.

Community organizations and celebrants gathered for a full day of education and entertainment from noon until 6 p.m., hosted by the “First Lady of Sarasota” Lindsay Carlton-Cline. Fellow drag entertainers like Georgia Moore, Rockell Blu and Grandma Pearl performed in-between live music provided by fan favorites The Cheaters, The Honey Vines, Divine AF and Kelly Neff.

Watermark was on hand to help celebrate and share our inaugural Sarasota Living with Pride, now available online. Check out some of our photos below.

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Sarasota Pride holds 29th annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride will hold PrideFest 2018 at J.D. Hamel Park on Oct. 20, a “Rainbow Resistance” for the organization’s 29th annual celebration.

Sarasota Pride exists to promote the elimination of prejudice and discrimination as well as to defend civil rights secured by law. The nonprofit aims to promote visibility and self-esteem among the LGBTQ community in Sarasota and throughout Florida, something the organization says it does by sponsoring events year-round.

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Following controversy, Sarasota Pride renews focus ahead of Pride Fest 2017

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | As the Sarasota LGBTQ community and its allies readied themselves for Pride Fest 2017 on Oct. 21, Sarasota Pride board members and community leaders met to renew the upcoming celebration’s focus.

“Perception is a reality and the past 48 hours has proven that statement to be true,” Joél Pozo, Berry Ayers (Beneva Fruitville) and Sarasota Pride released in a joint statement following an Oct. 3 meeting. “Everyone in this community has a voice and that has been reflected in our collaboration.”

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From coast-to-coast, Central Florida and Tampa Bay celebrate Pride in the fall

By : Jeremy Williams
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Many people think of the month of June when someone says Pride, but thanks to National Coming Out Day and the state’s cooler temperatures, October is fast becoming Florida’s big Pride month.

Whether you are looking to march through the streets or spend a few hours in the park with your friends, October has got a Pride for you.

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Issue 23.20: Sarasota Pride

By : Jake Stevens
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Pride of Place: Sarasota Pride stays the course in the face of tragedy, OADO returns: anti-discrimination group to focus on gun reform, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Sarasota Pride stays the course in the face of tragedy

By : Greg Stemm
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The shock waves that continue to ripple through the LGBTQ community in the aftermath of the tragic shootings at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12 have had a profound effect on Sarasota Pride. In fact, according to Cindy Barnes, who has served as the head of Sarasota Pride for nine years, the event wouldn’t even be happening at all this year if Pulse hadn’t taken place. Sarasota Pride is scheduled from 12 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 15 at J.D. Hamel Park.

“The board of directors had already made the decision that Sarasota Pride in its current form would be suspended this year, and we would focus on producing four smaller events throughout the year,” Barnes says. “Actually I was on vacation out of state when I heard what had happened in Orlando. I felt right away that there was no way we could not have a full Pride celebration in light of what had happened. I got on the phone right away with board members and, with a full court push, we were able to obtain vendors and entertainers at the last minute and to move ahead with producing the event. But if Pulse had never happened, things would be a lot different with Sarasota Pride than they are now.”

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10.6.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

Betwixt the cacophonous roars of television-news hurricane paranoia – “It’s comin’ right fer us!!!” – and the horrific thought of a swoop of pumpkin hair covering a megalomaniac with a distinct lack of scruples – also, coming right for us, if we’re not careful – it’s hard to imagine that this issue finds us straddling two pride celebrations in their own whirlwinds of flux. Maybe that’s a good thing. It’s a life of surprises, after all. We don’t always want to read the last page first.

For me, personally, Pride celebrations carry with them so many memories of letting go, feeling free (to be, you and me, etc.) and sweating my ass off until the rain comes and turns my head into artificial crab meat fit for the breaking, wanly dripping down a drain. But this year, of course, is different.

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Issue 23.16: Badges of Courage

By : Jake Stevens
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Local authorities across Central Florida and Tampa Bay aim in the direction of tolerance, not discrimination, the OneOrlando fund reachers for public transparency, Sarasota Pride moves forward, will honor Pulse victims, South Florida restaurant defends transgender employee, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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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 Pride 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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Sarasota celebrates the 26th annual Pridefest in J.D. Hamel Park Saturday, Oct. 17.

The theme was “Color the World with Pride,” and the festival ran from 2 – 6 p.m.

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