PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride kicks off its 2019 week of events with Drag Race 5K

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride kicked off its week-long Pride celebration with the second annual Drag Race 5K at Lake Baldwin’s Harbor Park in Orlando Oct. 6.

The participants lined up to walk, run and sashay their way around lake Baldwin after starting the festivities off with a good old pep rally.

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Two Spirit to host GayDayS events with focus on families, trans community

By : Jeremy Williams
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Two Spirit Health Services—a nonprofit that provides mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, primary care, transgender health and related services to Central Florida’s LGBTQ community—is stepping up its involvement with GayDayS by hosting a series of events focused on the transgender and LGBTQ family communities at the host hotel.

“I think a lot of times the LGBTQ community can be pigeon-holed into we are all single and here for the pool parties, and I think that people know nowadays that’s not the case,” says Brittani Acuff, Two Spirit Community Relations and Events Manager. “This year [Two Spirit co-founder and COO] Robert Baker-Hargrove was really the one behind wanting to get involved because GayDayS has such a vast variety of great people, and that’s what Two Spirit is about.”

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The Center Orlando, Two Spirits to hold toy drive for LGBTQ families

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida and Two Spirit Health Services are holding a holiday toy drive to benefit LGBTQ families and foster kids in the Central Florida area.

Toy collection will begin Dec. 3 and go through Dec. 21. They will start picking toys up on Dec. 22 to take to the kids. Drop off locations will be at Southern Craft, located at 2405 E. South St.; The Hammered Lamb, located at 1235 N. Orange Ave.; and The LGBT+ Center Orlando, located at 946 N. Mills Ave.

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Two Spirit announces $25,000 donation to OnePulse Foundation toward permanent memorial

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Two Spirit Health Services announced Oct. 16 it will be donating $25,000 to the OnePulse Foundation to support the development of a permanent memorial site where the Pulse nightclub tragedy occurred on June 12, 2016.

Two Spirit is a nonprofit organization providing mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, transgender health and related services to the LGBTQ community. Two Spirit’s mission is to provide a “one- stop shop” health center where LGBTQ individuals can obtain expert healthcare by providers comprised of LGBTQ professionals and allies.

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Addressing mental health concerns within the minority LGBTQ community

By : Samuel Johnson
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“Mental health is not a lack of willpower. Mental health is not being inflicted by the Devil. Mental health isn’t about not being strong enough to cope with life.” This is the opinion of psychiatrist Dr. Z. (She has requested that her name remain anonymous).

Dr. Z is a Hillsborough National Alliance on Mental Illness board member and has both clinical knowledge as well as the mental health delivery system. Untreated mental health, as she views it, is a serious public health issue; “Not in the contagious sense of the word. I can’t catch depression from someone else. I can’t catch schizophrenia from someone else. I can’t catch bipolar [disorder] from someone else. But how I’m feeling does impact others. For example, social ails like homelessness, like prison populations, where a lot of that has to do with untreated mental illness; society at large is impacted by the way we that we approach the treatment of mental health.”

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Second chances: Two Spirit Health Services opens in downtown Orlando

By : Billy Manes
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As doctors’ offices go, Two Spirit Health Services, recently-opened on North Magnolia Avenue in Downtown Orlando (on the North side of Orange Avenue), is fairly posh – far beyond expectations for a health center which seeks to become a one-stop, judgment-free zone for a predominately LGBT client base, covering primary care, mental health concerns, substance abuse, trans-specific health care, among other things (there is a laser hair-removal component).

On the outside, it’s a standard office building across from the nearby Wells Fargo skyscraper; inside, however, its modesty gives way to a touch of flair. The reason for the color splashes and stylish wall adornments is clear: Dr. David Baker-Hargrove (or, Dr. Dave), a longtime fixture in the Orlando LGBT community, a noted mental-health therapist and the former president of the Metropolitan Business Association, isn’t one to play things down. Though getting the point of launching Two Spirits took some downtime and soul searching, he says, some of that is due to the stresses of leading a volunteer board.

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