Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida, Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Once upon a time, in the mystical land of San Francisco, wordsmith Michelle Tea had a dragulous idea.

As the Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Lesbian Fiction and the creator of RADAR Productions, the nonprofit that develops groundbreaking literary work by supporting LGBTQ artists, she understood both the power of community and the written word—and so Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was born.

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The Orlando Ribbon Project releases new enamel pin

By : Lauren Lee
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Famous figures including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and HRC’s Chad Griffin have worn the now famous rainbow-colored ribbon, now the Dissent Pin Company has partnered with the Orlando Ribbon Project to create enamel versions of the ribbons that traveled the world in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Orlando.

“Its been rather amazing watching the project grow from just a handful of fabric ribbons for volunteers to a worldwide symbol of love and hope,” says founder of the Orlando Ribbon Project, Ben Johansen.

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OYA and Parliament House’s Easter tradition continues with Babes in Bonnets

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: A sample of the bonnets auctioned off at the 2018 Babes in Bonnets event. Photo by Tabitha Widby

ORLANDO | The Parliament House will once again host the Easter holiday auction Babes in Bonnets, which fund raises for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA).

Each fundraiser over the past several years has continued to surpass the one before it, with last year’s auction bringing in a record $32,171. The fundraiser itself has been around for 21 years and was started by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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Drag Queen Story Hour comes to life with Gidget Galore at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | Central Florida drag queen Gidget Galore was not on her usual stage March 21 at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando, but instead sat in a circle with nearly 20 children reading stories to them.

“I look like a clown. I’m big, bright, sparkly and colorful and kids love it,” says Galore. “I have been looking forward to this since [we did it at] the Kids Fringe Festival and George [Wallace, The Center’s executive director] asked, and I said ‘Yes, this is for me!'”

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LGBTQ cops in Central Florida are ready to talk GOALs

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ABOVE: GOALcfl’s founding board members. (Photo courtesy GOALcfl.com)

ORLANDO | The Gay Officer Action League (GOAL), a fraternal civil rights organization providing a safe place for active and retired LGBTQ law enforcement officers, got its start in New York in 1982.

Since then GOAL has opened several other chapters in the U.S. with the most recent one kicking off in Orlando on Jan. 26. GOALcfl, as it is called for short, is now one of four chapters that branched from the original GOALnyc.

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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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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida named new Orlando Fringe venue

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Orlando International Fringe Festival—the longest running Fringe Theatre Festival in the U.S.—is preparing for Winter Mini-Fest, which plays at Loch Haven Park Jan. 10-13, 2019, at the moment but that isn’t stopping information from coming out about the main festival in May.

The 14-day arts festival packs so much crazy, uncensored, experimental, amazing theatre into its schedule that Loch Haven Park cannot contain all of it so Orlando Fringe ventures out into the city and theater locations are set up throughout Orlando.

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George Wallace: Current LGBT+ Center of Central Florida Executive Director

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

I may not be aware of all that George Wallace has done to make him a hero of 2018 specifically, but I do know that George has been my personal hero for many years.

Firstly, as a healthcare advocate for special needs individuals. Secondly, as a person who has helped countless individuals in need—on a personal level, well beyond the scope of any employment mandate, and he has done so often and without fanfare or public recognition. Thirdly, as one of the true visionaries and hardest working people who dedicated every fiber of his being to help make The Orlando Fringe Festival the resounding success it is today.

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: The Center Orlando is NOT 40 years old

By : Michael Wanzie
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michael wanzie atheist

SeaWorld Orlando is 156 years old this year! Universal Studios Florida is 96 years old this year!

Orlando’s LGBT+ Community Center—THE CENTER—is 40 years old this year!

All three of the above statements are patently false, albeit based on the same flawed logic.

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Historic Downtown Kissimmee points the way to the LGBT+ Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida opened its second location in Kissimmee over the summer and while the reception at its ribbon cutting on Aug. 15 was overwhelmingly positive, many were curious how a more conservative city would respond to having an LGBT+ Center.

Well to steal a phrase from The LGBT+ Center’s Executive Director George Wallace, “Kissimmee has welcomed The Center with open arms.”

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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida celebrates 40 years with a Studio 54-inspired party

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida has undergone several name and location changes in its 40-year history, but the mission has always remained the same.

“The focus since the beginning was always advocacy, making sure there was a voice for the community and socialization,” says George Wallace, The Center’s current executive director.

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Watermark Giveaway: A pair of VIP tickets to The Center’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

By : Meghan Sweeney
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The LGBT+ Center Orlando is celebrating the big 4-0 and Watermark wants to give you and a guest the chance to celebrate in style!

The Center’s 40th Anniversary Celebration- A Night At Studio 54 will feature food, drinks, and a special live performance by one of the Queens of Disco – Martha Wash!

To enter, comment down below and let us know what your favorite disco song is.  We will pick a winner on Oct. 31 at noon.

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