Orlando Derby Girls’ LGBT-inclusiveness puts them on track to compete internationally

By : Ciara Varone
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Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls are skating their way to high-stakes competition. On Jan. 22, the league was accepted alongside nine other teams – ranging in location from across the country in Hood River, Oregon to across the world in New Zealand –into an apprentice program for the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association, the international governing body of a sport considered by many to be the fastest-growing in the world.

Completion of the apprentice program typically takes from six months to a year. If the league is then accepted into WFTDA, it will play against the best teams in the country and even the world.

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METRO’s Chris Rudisill bids Tampa Bay adieu as he catches the train to Fort Lauderdale

By : Jeremy Williams
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After more than five years as a visible face of the LGBT community, Chris Rudisill will be leaving METRO and the Tampa Bay area Dec. 4.

Rudisill, 39, ran St. Pete Pride for three seasons starting in 2010 before being recruited by METRO CEO Lorraine Langlois as the Director of LGBT Community Center Services in 2012, and since has helped build up Metro Health and Wellness from an HIV/AIDS clinic into an “all under one roof” LGBT community center that includes primary healthcare, a welcome center and programs developed to assist with transgender issues, PrEP and LGBT elderly concerns.

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Republican bill to extend Indiana LGBT civil rights protections includes religious exemptions

By : Wire Report
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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Senate Republicans released a proposal Nov. 17 that would extend state civil rights protections to LGBT people while also carving out broad exemptions for religious institutions and some small businesses that object to working with gay people.

Ever since controversy erupted last spring over a divisive religious objections law, business groups and other supporters of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights have pushed the Legislature to ban disicimination in housing, employment and public accommodation based on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Religious conservatives object because they believe it could force Christian businesses owners to violate sincerely held religious beliefs.

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HBO’s “Looking” set to film finale

By : Jeremy Williams
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When the HBO series Looking was cancelled after only two seasons, it left fans without a proper finale and many unanswered questions. HBO promised a 2-hour movie special to tie up the loose ends and it now looks like they are delivering on that promise.

Filming starts Nov. 2 and series star Jonathan Groff will be stepping away from his current role on Broadway in Hamilton to shoot the film. Book of Mormon and Girls’ actor Andrew Rannells will temporarily replace Groff in the musical while filming during the month of November.

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Smithers comes out in new season of “The Simpsons”

By : Jeremy Williams
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EXCELLENT!

Waylon Smithers, the overly obsessive personal assistant to billionaire Mr. Burns on the hit FOX show The Simpsons, is coming out and it only took him 27 seasons.

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80’s series “Hart To Hart” getting gay couple remake on NBC

By : Jeremy Williams
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The network that brought you Will & Grace is looking to create the next big gay-themed show, and this time it’s a remake.

NBC looks likely to be the home for a Hart To Hart remake, according to Deadline Sept. 15.

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Tears of Gaga give birth to Cary Nokey, the band opens for Drag Race tour in Tampa and Orlando

By : Joseph Kissel
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RuPaul’s Drag Race: Battle of the Seasons is coming to Tampa and Orlando March 31 and April 1. And while drag performers Adore Delano, Bianca Del Rio, Jinkx Monsoon and Sharon Needles are just some of the high-wattage star power fueling the tour, it’s the accompanying band Cary Nokey that’s receiving more and more attention.

The band is the brainchild of songwriter, producer and performer 8-Bit, also known as Rob Fusari. It came about after he painfully parted ways with Lady Gaga.

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Screened Out – The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

By : Stephen Miller
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Antonio Banderas, Voices of Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Mr. Lawrence

SpongeBob’s legions of fans (many of them adults) are going to be overjoyed to see this sunshiny yellow weirdo and his underwater friends in their first full-length animated movie in over ten years. The rest of us might or might not enjoy the hyper absurdity, depending on our taste for craziness. I personally like my childish humor served this way – manic, wide-eyed, a little gross, and without a trace of malice.

If you don’t know SpongeBob…well, have you been living under some undersea rock somewhere? SpongeBob is a very square, very optimistic sponge – he looks more like the kitchen variety than the natural type – and he’s the most positive resident of the underwater town Bikini Bottom. His show on Nickelodeon is for kids, but the level of Monty Python absurdity and twitchy humor draw all sorts of fans. He’s the station’s most popular show nine seasons running.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Pageant season is among us!

By : Anonymous
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Bangkx takes ASAP crown
Performer Ashley Bangkx was crowned Miss ASAP 2015 at Blur Nightclub in Dunedin, becoming the 10th impersonator to claim the title in as many years. The pageant featured three local performers from Tampa Bay and four former title holders were either at the judges table or performing special numbers throughout the night. Outgoing Miss ASAP 2014 Monica Moore served as emcee for the evening and pointed out that everything she wore was red—in honor of the AIDS Ribbon. One outfit—a sparkling red pants suit, could be made into the iconic ribbon, she explained, after standing with her legs slightly apart and her hands clasped above her head. Bangkx will begin her reign as Miss ASAP immediately and will be at the organization’s fundraisers, like AIDS Walk Tampa Bay, Dining Out for Life and the Santa Speedo Run.

Atwell shows support on wedding day
Upon first glance, one would have thought that the two women embracing and laughing were getting ready to tie the knot on the morning of Jan. 6 in Sarasota. But upon closer inspection, it turned out to be Sarasota Pride chairperson Cindy Barnes and Sarasota City Commissioner Suzanne Atwell celebrating the historic day. Atwell has been a long-time supporter of LGBT equality and initiatives in Sarasota and a personal friend to Barnes. Atwell has appeared at Sarasota Pride every year it’s been at JD Hamel Park and also makes it a point to appear at other LGBT events and festivals like the Harvey Milk Festival in May. Atwell could be overheard telling Barnes, “I wouldn’t miss this. We’ve worked so hard to achieve this day.” Thank you, Commissioner. We couldn’t have done it without advocates like you.

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Santa Speedo Run 2014

By : Bruce Hardin
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Men and women in skimpy attire returned to Ybor City’s Centennial Park for The Santa Speedo Run and Mrs. Claus in Bras on Dec. 14.

This is the fifth year for the event and the contingent of runners was slightly larger than last year.

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Top 5 Sports stories of 2014

By : Staff Report
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Michael Sam in, out of NFL
Michael Sam became the first out gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. The former University of Missouri defensive end was picked late in the 2014 draft by the St. Louis Rams, but that team failed to pick up for the roster. He then worked with the Dallas Cowboys practice squad until he got cut in the fall. A documentary on his experience is scheduled to air on OWN Dec. 27.

The anti-gay Winter Olympics
In February, all eyes were on Russia—and it’s anti-LGBT policies. President Vladimir Putin wooed the Olympic Committee with a $51 billion mega-project meant to showcase modern Russia. However, what was showcased was the country’s ongoing intolerance toward its LGBT citizens and protestors showcasing the harsh anti-LGBT laws.

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Long time MLB umpire comes out

By : Staff Report
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Major League umpire Dale Scott has worked three World Series, three All-Star Games, two no-hitters and numerous playoff games. He is also gay and married to his partner of 28 years.

That last fact is just part of who Dale Scott is and has had no impact on his abilities as an umpire for the past 29 seasons. Yet it is understandably the one that most people will notice, because Scott is the first Major League Baseball umpire to publicly say he is gay while active (and the first out active male official in the NBA, NHL, NFL or MLB). This story you are reading now came about because Scott made a decision to first come out in a very quiet and understated way.

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