Southwest Nature Walk & Book Talk

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Do you enjoy taking a walk and love to discuss books? Then join the Southwest Branch for a casual nature walk followed by a lively book discussion of Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel. Attendees are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Light refreshments will be provided. Meet at the trail entrance of the Dr. Phillips Community Park (Longhorn Steakhouse Loop). Enjoy the benefits of exercising your mind and body! Registration recommended. Ages 18 and up. For more information and in case of inclement weather, contact Sandy via email: southwest@ocls.info or call 407.835.7323 for alternative event details.

Melrose Meetups: Say It Paint So!

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Sit and relax while painting on a canvas with instructor assistance, and walk away with your very own masterpiece!

Out Olympian Tom Bosworth breaks one-mile race walk world record

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Out Olympian Tom Bosworth won the one-mile race walk at the London Anniversary Games on Sunday with a recorded time of 5:31.08, setting a new world record.

The 27-year-old athlete broke the previous 27-year record by almost six seconds.

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Dragtastic! Featuring Randy Roberts

By : Alex Storer
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The Best PRIDE Kick Off event this year! Join us for Dragtastic, a Drag Show Featuring Randy Roberts. Movie Star, Entertainer, Musical Performer and Key West Headliner. As seen on America’s Got Talent, you won’t want to miss this party! He’s the Whole Package! Bette Midler, Cher and more. Tickets are only $35++ and include a specialty Signature Drink. After the Opening Ceremonies in Straub Park, walk over to The Birchwood and kick off PRIDE in STYLE!

Transgender student fights for school to use his preferred name

By : Wire Report
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Millersville, Md. (AP) – Matthew Nolte’s report card is stacked with A’s, but he scratched out the name on it – which is not Matthew – until the paper wore away, leaving a rectangular hole.

Matt, a junior at Old Mill High School, is a transgender student fighting for the school system to recognize his preferred, not legal, name.

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1.28.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

Where were you while we were getting high?

By virtue of political plate tectonics and the mahogany-and-starched-shirt drudgery of a state legislative cycle in full swing during a presidential election year, you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the earth is actually moving under your feet right now. Nope, not vertigo. Nah, you aren’t drunk (maybe?). High? Hopefully!

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The Other Side of Life: Hold, Fold, Walk Away

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Jason Leclerc

It was only recently, quite honestly, that I restored my membership in the Grand Old Party. I had defected in the late ‘90s in favor of Libertarianism which I, in my wiser thirties, decided was too radicaland un-nuanced an answer to our nation’s ills. I’ve always considered myself a Jeffersonian and agree that his brand of liberal democracy is best suited for a small insular, wealthy, homogeneous, market-directed nation. His theories and writings, quite aside from his biting politics, form the basis for an ideal, academic thought experiment.

Alas, that is not our America; while I think this was potentially Jefferson’s America—an America made, in many ways, rich on the backs of slaves—it is an America that can’t—without a severe and painful social, economic and cultural restructuring—be recaptured. Besides the dark past of Libertarianism’s (then called Democratic-Republicans) first true experiment in America, pure modern Libertarianism, informed most famously by the objectivist theories of Ayn Rand, devolves into selfishness, arrogance and self-absorption (and awful prose).

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Episcopal leaders say they will not change stance on marriage

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Presiding Bishop Michael Curry said Jan. 15 the U.S. Episcopal Church will not roll back its acceptance of gay marriage despite sanctions imposed this week by Anglican leaders.

In a phone interview from England, where he attended the gathering of top Anglican archbishops, Curry said he told his fellow leaders they should expect no change. The top Episcopal legislative body, called General Convention, last year voted overwhelmingly to authorize same-sex marriage ceremonies in church. In response, Anglican leaders stripped the Episcopal Church of any role in deciding doctrine or determining how the Anglican Communion operates for three years, effectively reducing the church to observer status in the 85 million-member global fellowship.

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1.14.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

It was about 3 a.m. when, curled in my perpetually awkward slumber that involves noise and talking for no real reason, I “heard the news today, oh boy.” My lifelong hero, my sun, my moon, the man who fell to earth and influenced every song or band or fashion to which I would cling in dreams and sleep and love and hate was dead. Tony, my husband, was doing a radio show when the update clouded the transom: David Bowie, 69, had passed from cancer just a couple of days after his birthday.

I only mention this because, well, it meant that my skull collapsed and shattered and the ground became a hole. Yes, it’s overdramatic to eulogize a celebrity or an artist in such a sadly choreographed fetal-position cramp, but that’s what I did. I cried in a ball, I pressed words together in my head the same way that Bowie did on small pieces of paper, I made nonsense make sense and I ran to my computer to relive a life I had already absorbed once before. I was an Absolute Beginner once. A Starman. A Hero. A Dead Man Walking.

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Screened Out – Mustang

By : Stephen Miller
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Günes Sensoy, Ayberk Pekcan, Suzanne Marrot

Sweet, poetic Mustang has been called the Turkish Virgin Suicides, and there’s good reason. They’re both female-directed movies about exactly five sisters locked up by their oppressive guardians. In both stories, female sexual awakening is seen as evil.

However, foreign-language Mustang has some differences: a real sense of time and place and a level of compassion. Its Turkish setting – along with the sexual politic, the pro-feminist critique, and the subtle religious despotism – is both beguiling and infuriating. The sisters support each other, come to sexual fruition, and individually negotiate their confinement; they are the real draw here.

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Tampa Bay AIDS Walk and Fun Run has big turn out

By : Jeremy Williams
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AIDS Service Association of Pinellas (ASAP) and Empath Health hosted the 12th annual AIDS Walk Tampa Bay at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg Dec. 12.

More than 1,000 people participated in the walk, which began with a new Fun Run. Early reports from ASAP say they raised $135,000 and with  donations still coming in that number will climb.

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Transgender actress and Warhol muse, Holly Woodlawn dies at 69

By : Wire Report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Holly Woodlawn, the transgender actress made famous by Andy Warhol and Paul Morrissey in their 1970s films “Trash” and “Women in Revolt,” has died.

Woodlawn died Sunday in Los Angeles after a battle with cancer, said her former caretaker and friend Mariela Huerta. She was 69.

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