Gay man leaves D.C. Stonewall exhibit, told he’s ‘going to burn in hell’ by Lyft driver

By : Kevin Naff OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A gay D.C. man claims his Lyft driver told him he was “going to burn in hell” after being picked up at the Newseum leaving a new exhibit on the Stonewall riots and the LGBTQ rights movement.

Greg Alexander attended a private dinner opening of the “Rise Up” exhibit on March 7 as a guest of the Washington Blade, which is a sponsor. At about 9 p.m., he says he called the Lyft car service to pick him up at the Newseum. He began talking to the driver, who asked what exhibit he’d seen. Alexander responded, “It’s for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots … which helped launch the gay rights movement.”

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Washington’s Newseum features Watermark, other LGBTQ publications in new exhibit to honor Stonewall 50th anniversary

By : Jeremy Williams
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WASHINGTON | Newseum, a museum located in the nation’s capitol dedicated to increasing the public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment, will unveil a new exhibit dedicated to the LGBTQ community March 8.

“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement,” will explore the modern fight for LGBTQ equality. It began 50 years ago when a police raid of the Stonewall Inn in New York’s Greenwich Village turned into riots and protests from the community due to the treatment by local police.

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United Arts of Central Florida names new manager of grants and art education

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | United Arts of Central Florida has named Rafael Torres as the new manager of grants and art education.

“This is my dream job and something I’ve wanted to do since graduate school,” says Torres, who immediately applied for the position the day it was posted.

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Rival group to hold competing Pride march in NYC

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A New York City-based group called the Reclaim Pride Coalition announced last week that more than 50 LGBT rights organizations in the U.S. and other countries have endorsed its plans for a “non-corporate, grassroots” civil rights march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Organizers say the “Reclaim Pride” march will take place on June 30 on the same day and at the same time but along a different route than the official New York City Pride March, which has been organized for more than 20 years by the group Heritage of Pride or HOP.

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Stonewall Orlando hosting inaugural comedy showcase

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | Stonewall Orlando is bringing the laughs to the party with the debut of its first stand-up comedy showcase Jan. 30.

Hosted by Heather Shaw, the free showcase starts at 9:30 p.m., with doors opening 30 minutes beforehand. The inaugural event will feature comedians Shaw Smith, Simon Nash, Christophe Jean, Chris Alexander, Krystal Tholen and Ariana Garcia-Chow.

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Watch: Madonna gives surprise NYE performance at Stonewall Inn

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Madonna gave a surprise performance for partygoers at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve.

The 60-year-old pop star stopped by with her son David Banda, 13, to give a speech on the LGBT movement and to treat the crowd to two musical performances.

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PHOTOS: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ steals the show at Stonewall Orlando’s Halloween night

By : Danny Garcia
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ORLANDO | It was FUN HOUSE Happy Hour at Stonewall Orlando for Halloween Oct. 31. Hosted by Erica Roberts, the event was filled with fun games and fantastic prizes, including theme park tickets!

The FUN HOUSE wrapped up with its Halloween Costume Contest at 9 p.m., where Kurt Kors and CJ Clontz won dressed up as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” King of Halloween Jack Skellington and his love Sally … with their ghostly pooch Zero in tow, of course.

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New York Yankees announce LGBT scholarships for Stonewall’s 50th anniversary

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The New York Yankees will launch an LGBT initiative in 2019 that will provide scholarships to high school students to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative will award five $10,000 scholarships to one graduating public high school student from each of the five boroughs who” have demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ community.”

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Florida’s drag families prove Mum’s the word

By : Ryan Williams-Jent, Divine Grace
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Drag culture is intrinsically tied to the LGBTQ community, from Stonewall to the life-dependent lip-syncs now featured weekly on VH1. Now more than ever it borders on the mainstream, with the art form highlighted (and contoured) on televisions worldwide and available now on iTunes.

As drag paints itself even further into the history of pop culture, it can be easy to forget that it has its detractors, often found in the safe spaces drag performers share. It can lead to camaraderie amongst entertainers as they gravitate toward one another for belonging and assistance, creating both a sense of family and of home.

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06.28.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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You can ask any of my friends or family, here at Watermark or otherwise, and they’ll tell you it’s no secret that I love drag.

I don’t do it myself, given my penchant for facial hair and the amount of foam it would take to give me a proper backside, but it’s something I’ve respected for most of my life. It’s a love and respect that began in 1996.

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LGBA Conference to be held in Orlando

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | The Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard (CFSOF) announced that the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) will hold their 2019 conference in Orlando Oct. 10-13.

The announcement was made in a press release by CFSOF, as well as South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble and Tampa Bay Pride Band, May 8.

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Trans filmmaker claims Marsha P. Johnson doc director stole her work

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender filmmaker and researcher Reina Gossett has accused “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” director David France of stealing her idea for the documentary.

The film, which is streaming on Netflix, examines Johnson’s involvement in the Stonewall riots, her transgender activism, and mysterious death. Gossett, who is an activist-in-residence at the Barnard College Center for Research on Women’s Social Justice Institute, worked on the short film “Happy Birthday, Marsha!” with Sasha Wortzel.

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