ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health and The Dru Project will present “Stonewall to Pulse: A Community Discussion” June 26, an inter-generational event featuring panelists who have experienced LGBTQ milestones firsthand.
The presentation “brings together individuals who experienced some of the most significant events, movements and moments in LGBTQ+ history,” the organizations announced June 1, “including the Stonewall Riots, Pulse Massacre, participation in ACT UP AIDS activism and the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard.”
“The event is the first of its kind,” Metro LGBTQ Division Manager and panel moderator Cole Foust says. “Generations will share their experiences as we aim to facilitate a space for the entire community to learn and connect about events every generation should know about and learn from.”
In addition to Foust, panelists include Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida’s media relations manager and Pulse survivor; Christine Leinonen, former state trooper and mother of Christopher “Drew” Leinonen, Pulse victim; Cristina Yelvington, coordinator for LGBTQ+ initiatives at University of South Florida; Jason Marsden, executive director of The Matthew Shepard Foundation and Jay Chetney, an activist present for the Stonewall Riots.
“We are fortunate to have diverse LGBTQ+ leaders on the panel to represent the history and evolution of the LGBTQ+ community,” Metro Inclusive Health Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Brian Bailey adds. “We are stronger as a community when we reflect on where we’ve come from and what is still left to do.”
The panel is the beginning of a series of Metro Inclusive Health’s events showcasing how the LGBTQ community has responded to trauma and tragedy with activism and resilience. It will be held June 26 in Metro’s Grand Hall from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Photo, L-R: Brandon Wolf, Christine Leinonen, Jason Marsden, Cristina Yelvington, Cole Foust, courtesy Metro Inclusive Health.