A Night with Varla Jean Merman

By : Alex Storer
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Come see Varla Jean Merman in her award-winning, one-woman show for an ONE exclusive night of comedy and song to benefit The Zebra Coalition, presented by The Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

You’ve seen her on Project Runway, on stage in Provincetown, on the big screen in “Girls Will Be Girls,” and now she’s performing live in a special one night event at the Parliament House where ALL of the proceeds from the shows will go to charity.

$45 online VIP Tickets get priority reserved seating AND a photo op with Varla Jean Merman. ($50 at the door, if available).

$25 online General Admission is first come – first served seating as long as it lasts, and standing room after that ($30 at the door, if available).

ONE NIGHT – TWO SHOWS! – Pick one:
Early show – 7:00pm
Late show – 9:00pm

Orlando’s Overheard: Hate crime in Hollywood, Aloha Alauna and old school fundraising

By : Anonymous
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RPDR’s Trinity attacked!

In “Trump’s America,” it’s always a tough call when there’s an assault on anyone in the LGBTQ community to not assume it’s a hate crime, but this time in L.A., the hate seems pretty clear.

The incident was reported as a late night attack on March 16 in West Hollywood. The victims of this crime included photographer Jason King and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 cast members Valentina and Orlando’s very own Trinity Taylor.

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Rights at stake, again: As Trump revokes federal protections, Orlando community advocates for trans youth

By : David Thomas Moran
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ORLANDO – Local leaders are rallying behind transgender youth in Central Florida in response to the Trump administration’s recent attacks on transgender rights. There’s already been an onslaught of Trump executive orders seeking to limit the rights of immigrants, Muslims, women, the poor and now transgender and gender nonconforming youth.

President Trump’s Feb. 22 executive order, rolling back Obama-era protections, leaves trans students across the country at the mercy of local school board politics yet again.The anti-LGBTQ policy has also effectively stalled the Gavin Grimm vs. Gloucester County School Board lawsuit – a highly-anticipated, transgender rights case that until recently was headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Pride skates in for a Zebra Coalition fundraiser

By : Danny Garcia
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Nostalgia rolled rampant at Semoran Skateway in Orlando Feb. 12 for Pride Skate.

The skating party was a fundraiser for the Zebra Coalition, and was a throwback to the days when everyone hung out at the weekly Gay Skate.

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Macbeth Studios to host “Local Love Night”

By : Billy Manes
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Up in the loft-like heights of Jim Hobart’s Macbeth Studios downtown, a wall is splashed in a cloud of rainbow colors. Interrupting the dizzying mélange is a large bit of white text. “Orlando Loves,” it reads. Local luminaries from consultant Kelly Cohen – who can flip her hair like Mariah Carey when goaded – to Ted Maines and Jeffrey Miller have been here to show their pride in the little city that could while Hobart skirts around the edges of focus to find just the right shot.

The reason? Hobart is, at heart, a philanthropic photographer. And on Feb. 2, Macbeth Studios will host a “Local Love Night” event to benefit the Zebra Coalition at CityArts Factory from 5-10 p.m. The networking and social party seeks to bring like-minded Orlandoans together with the organizations that need their support.

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Stripes: Zebra Coalition graduate and trans champion Eli Sellers makes us all proud

By : Alma J. Hill
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Temperatures are well below freezing as Eli Sellers braves tempest-like winds on his walk to class near his home in Chicago, Illinois. As a newly enlisted member of the United States Navy, he’s taking his first round military training classes at his assigned base, Naval Station Great Lakes.
Eli is a third generation military serviceman. His father and his grandfather both served in the U.S Army. His father is still actively serving in the Army. With a legacy such as this, you could safely assume that Eli is familiar with the ins and outs of life in the military: The constant relocation, the strain on family, all these are challenges he has had to navigate within his 20 years. Yet, the obstacles that Eli faces on his journey to becoming an officer of the Navy are unique; challenges that neither his father, nor his grandfather can help him navigate. They are both cisgender, straight men. Eli, however, was born a woman.

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Local leaders weigh in on the way we were and the way we will be

By : Billy Manes
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Dumbfounded. Knocked out. Afraid. Broken. These are just a few of the things that many of us are feeling in the wake of Donald Trump’s historic rise to presidential power on Nov. 8.

If you’re anything like us, you have a lot of questions. You may have even been harassed already. We reached out to some of our best and brightest for answers, options, hope. And they provided just that. We’re not done yet. And so we rise. Here are some words from our friends. Stay strong.

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Organización comunitaria local busca exaltar las voces de la comunidad LGBTQ+ y Latinx

By : David Thomas Moran
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Translated by Esteban Rios.

Un grupo recién formado trabaja para promover la intersección a nivel local de las voces y opiniones de las comunidades LGBTQ+ y Latinx a lo largo de toda Florida Central.

Más que nada, QLatinx desea brindar un espacio de sanación para sus miembros. El grupo busca fortalecer a las personas LGBTQ+ y Latinx, así como a sus aliados quienes han resultado sumamente afectados por el crimen de odio cometido en Pulse, para movilizar y apoyarse los unos a los otros a medida que afrontan las secuelas del tiroteo. El grupo ya ha sido noticia reciente al aparecer en la revista The New Yorker.

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Continuing Pulse resources divided by group

By : Anna M. Johnson
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The tragedy at Pulse continues to take a toll on families, friends and the community as a whole, but there is help and there are resources available.

Watermark has set-up a list of where you can go based on who you are and what your needs are.

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Kinky Boots event brings LGBT youth behind the curtain

By : Jamie Hyman
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About 20 of Central Florida’s LGBT youth will get an opportunity to learn about what goes into a Broadway production.

Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, in partnership with Zebra Coalition, Kinky Boots and the True Colors Foundation is hosting the event, which is an afternoon of educational speakers followed by a dinner, performance and then a Q&A with the Kinky Boots cast.

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Orlando gay organizations add groups

By : Jamie Hyman
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Two Central Florida LGBT organizations are offering new groups to benefit the community they serve.

Older, Wiser, Learning (OWL), a program for older LGBTs run out of the GLBT Center, now offers a weekly “Lady Hoots,” a forum for women to discuss issues and topics they face in their daily lives.

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Leader of the pack: Patty Sheehan makes remarkable waves as she launches her fifth term

By : Billy Manes
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District 4 Commissioner Patty Sheehan hasn’t had the easiest of years, but she’s made certain to make it easier for much of Orlando’s LGBT population. In addition to being out, loud and proud, Sheehan has tackled all of the issues, from marriage equality to sidewalks and back again. By now, most Orlandoans know of Sheehan’s attention to detail – don’t even try to take away her giant binder of ordinances and research; she will attack, and you won’t like that.

She’s got the power.

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