PHOTOS: Metro raises funds, celebrates at the PeaCocktail Party

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT | Metro Wellness & Community Centers held its annual fundraiser Nov. 10, benefiting the organization’s diverse lineup of LGBTQ programming and honoring community leaders.

The celebration took place at Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport from 7-11 p.m. It honored three outstanding individuals for their excellence in leadership – St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Dr. Kanika Tomalin, Christina Burke and Todd Richardson. Metro CEO Lorraine Langlois was also celebrated for her 25 years of service and dedication to the Tampa Bay community.

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Metro Wellness & Community Centers announces annual benefit, honorees

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness & Community Centers will hold its annual fundraiser on Nov. 10, benefitting the organization’s diverse lineup of LGBTQ programming and honoring community leaders.

This year’s celebration, presented by Mail Meds pharmacy for the sixth consecutive year, will be a “PeaCocktail Party” held at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport from 7-11 p.m. The organization describes the gathering as a bold and colorful party, celebrating the beauty of Tampa Bay’s diversity.

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Equality Florida’s Todd Richardson shares his story of being discharged from the United States Air Force because he is gay

By : Jeremy Williams
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“Airman Richardson, I am here to escort you to the commander’s office.”

Long before Todd Richardson, the Pinellas County Regional Coordinator at Equality Florida, was an openly gay man living in Tampa Bay, he was an airman in the United States Air Force. He was also in the closet.

“Escort me?” Richardson said to the Technical Sergeant who had just walked into his office. The sergeant’s tone let Richardson know that he was in trouble, but for the life of him he could not figure out what he had done. Richardson’s performance reports showed he was an exemplary airman with an impeccable record. As they approached the commander’s office door, Richardson noticed several airmen standing in front of the office. Richardson suspected he knew what they were there for, probably the same reason he was there.

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11.02.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The death of Matthew Sheppard on October 12, 1998, shook me to my core. It was a devastating, brutal reminder of the misguided hatred some had, and still have, for the LGBTQ community. It was also a reminder to me of how lucky I was to have survived college relatively unscathed.

I identified with Matthew a great deal. We were close in age, just under two years apart; we both went to small, remote colleges; and neither of us was quiet about being gay.

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Baker action: Opponents of former mayor Rick Baker sound off on his equality record

By : Samuel Johnson
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ST. PETERSBURG – We will go forward; we’ve come too far to go back. This was the overarching sentiment of some 20 LGBTQ advocates at a press conference in Saint Petersburg May 11. They gathered on the front steps of City Hall to voice their concerns about ex-St. Pete mayor, Rick Baker, and his announcement that he is entering the city’s mayoral race for this year.

Ed Lally is a St. Pete resident who works with Equality Florida. He was on hand for the event, brandishing a “Rick Baker Never” sign. Lally didn’t mince words in his assessment of Baker. “He’s not a man for equality for the whole community. I don’t trust the guy and would never vote for him. … His prior actions with the LGBT community would rate a big fat F,” he says.

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