Central Florida candidates describe differing enthusiasm levels among young volunteers

By : Layla Ferris
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ORLANDO | A push for stricter gun laws, among other prominent issues, has politically mobilized Florida’s youth; however, Central Florida candidates say they have conflicting experiences with the enthusiasm levels of young volunteers and voters.

Three Central Florida candidates — Eric Rollings, Susan Makowski and Anna Eskamani — discussed how national enthusiasm has translated at the local level during a June 27 Pride & Allies Meeting held at the Orange County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.

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Brendon Urie donates $1 million to support LGBT youth

By : Mariah Cooper of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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Panic! at the Disco frontman Brendon Urie has teamed up with GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) to establish GSA (Gender & Sexuality/Gay-Straight Alliance) clubs in high schools across America.

“For years my fans have inspired me with their determination and creativity as they have created a safe and inclusive community,” Urie said in a statement. “I felt the time had come for me to join them boldly, to bring that energy and power to bear on the huge challenges facing our whole society.”

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Keeping It Real: The Reality of Growing Up LGBTQIA+ Today

By : Nathan Bruemmer
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What’s it like growing up LGBTQIA+ in 2018? It depends on whom you ask and where you live. The general perception from generation to generation is that youth have it better, but for this generation of LGBTQIA+ youth, even before the change in administration, it is a much more complicated answer.

The progress of social equality has been impressive over the last decade or two. Today we live in country with marriage equality, more resources, more support and fewer challenges than in the past. However, not all Florida communities have embraced this progress. Even communities with a progressive citizenry may not have progressive city councils, county commissions, school boards or school board policies. 

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LGBTQ youth homelessness epidemic to be addressed in St. Petersburg

By : Christina Diaz
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ST. PETERSBURG –A collaboration of organizations has been formed to find out how many homeless LGBTQ youth are living in Pinellas County.

Funded by The Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg, the LGBTQ+ Homeless Youth Project is conducting research to help better serve this community.

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Trump admin to rescind trans student protections

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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Despite pleas from parents of transgender children and LGBT employees, the Trump administration is set Tuesday to rescind Obama-era guidance to schools barring discrimination against transgender students and ensuring they have access to the restroom consistent with their gender identity.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, told the Washington Blade on Monday she’s heard from “reliable sources” President Trump has green-lighted the plan for the Justice Department and Education Department to send a “Dear Colleague” letter to schools rescinding the guidance.

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LGBT gang members-turned-entrepreneurs appeal for support

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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Nearly 10 years ago, when they had the distinction of being members of the nation’s only known LGBT youth gang called Check It, most members never imagined the group could evolve into a budding fashion clothing business.

But members and supporters say that’s exactly what happened after several of them began organizing an effort about five years ago to produce and sell T-shirts and other clothing items and put together several runway shows.

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METRO Health brings history and fun to LGBTQ youth

By : Alexis Vilaboy
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metro building

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ST. PETERSBURG – LGBTQ teens and supporters are invited to sleep in and attend METRO Health’s third annual LGBTQ+ Youth Leadership Summit on Saturday, Feb. 25 at 1 p.m. at its headquarters in St. Petersburg, Fla.

The one-day event focused on developing youth will begin with workshops, the topics of which were requested by METRO’s youth group participants, and end with dinner and a social dance.

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White House to honor nation’s oldest LGBTQ youth drama group

By : Wire Report
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BOSTON (AP) – A Boston-based youth theater group is being honored at the White House this week.

True Colors: Out Youth Theater, the nation’s longest-running LGBTQ youth drama group, is among the recipients of the 2016 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.

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Disney comps LGBT youth for Gay Day at Magic Kingdom

By : Jamie Hyman
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A gaggle of red-shirt-wearing LGBT youth will converge upon the Magic Kingdom June 4, thanks to a donation of comped tickets from Disney to the Zebra Coalition.

According to Zebra executive director Heather Wilkie, 60 people are going: 45 youths and 15 chaperones.

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First Lady urges youth to vote to ensure LGBT rights, among other things

By : Wire Report
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Jackson, Miss. (AP) – First lady Michelle Obama told graduates of a historically black university in Mississippi that “the power of voting is real and lasting” and they need to cast ballots to protect civil-rights advances made by previous generations.

She said many young African-Americans have disenfranchised themselves because only about 20 percent of them voted in the 2014 midterm elections.

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Panasonic a pioneer for LGBT rights in Japan

By : Wire Report
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TOKYO (AP) – For decades, Panasonic Corp. has shaped Japanese corporate tradition – be it morning exercise routines or lifetime employment. But don’t hold your breath waiting for other Asian businesses to emulate its latest policy announcement: Recognizing same-sex partnerships.

Much of Asia remains far behind the West in such attitudes. Panasonic’s move is rare, although bold, and seems unlikely to herald a sea change.

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Watermark endorses Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential primary

By : Billy Manes
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The bluster was all there in Orlando on Feb. 17, as it typically is at Democratic political events held in union offices. There was a violinist, there were stilt-walkers and there were numerous names and faces often associated with the local liberal machine. There was also a cheering squad of three shouting things like, “When I say madam, you say president!” It was all in the name of advancing Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Florida, of course. Clinton has been opening offices throughout the state in the past weeks, eliciting hyperbolic statements of support. When statements like, “She’s a hard-nosed candidate who can get things done,” are thrown around by union leaders, it’s hard not to notice.

The battle is on.

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