LGBTQ cops talk about being out and proud in Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Tom Woodard had law enforcement in his blood. His parents were both officers; his mother was a detective for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and his stepfather was a major in the Winter Haven Police Department. Woodard wanted nothing more than to go into the family business, and in Oct. 1988, he got his wish. Woodard became a deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) on Halloween.

Less than a year later, Woodard’s world would be turned upside down when a fellow officer outed him as a gay man.

Continue Reading >>

Overheard in Tampa Bay: Project Pom Pom underway

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

All doors lead to Pom Pom’s
Retired Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy Tom Woodard has been busy renovating an old gas station in the Grand Central District for his new restaurant set to open in late June. Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria, a popular, eclectic hang-out near downtown Orlando, is scheduled to open its second location at 2950 Central Ave. in time for St. Pete Pride. In the meantime, Woodard is looking for people to donate old exterior doors and for artists who want to paint them. The completed artwork will be featured in the first “Art at Pom Poms St. Pete,” when the restaurant opens. If you have an exterior door—plain, cracked, decorated—to donate or you want to lend your skills to the project, please call Woodard at 407-451-5705.

McCray-Taylor takes comedy queen title
Tampa Bay has a brand new comedy queen—Kyla McCray-Taylor. The performer took the title during the annual Tampa Bay Comedy Queen pageant held at The Honey Pot in Ybor City on Sunday, May 18. The Fort Lauderdale resident is known for her comedy, and is the current Miss Fort Lauderdale Comedy Queen as well. When she’s not on stage, Kyla (also known as Trenton) is the assistant manager at Hair Cuttery in Wilton Manors. First runner-up in the 2014 pageant was Alyssa Lemay and second runner-up was Muffy VanBeaverhousen.

Continue Reading >>