Equality Shuffle & LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show

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Mark your calendar and join us for the Equality Shuffle and LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show on Sunday, February 23rd from noon-3pm at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Courts. The event is free and open to the public.

This is a great opportunity for our members, supporters of equality, and the Tampa Bay community to learn about the work of securing LGBTQ equality in Florida and enjoy an afternoon playing shuffleboard.

As part of this event we are proud to host the Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show. This is a chance for young LGBTQ+ individuals to express themselves through art. If you know of any LGBTQ+ youth that would be interested in participating, please encourage them to be part of this event.

The Equality Florida LGBTQ+ Youth Art Show is a platform to showcase and celebrate young LGBTQ+ artists. We want them to feel safe to express who they are through their art and in their life.

In the wake of the mass shooting at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, Equality Florida committed to honor the victims with action. We launched our Safe and Healthy Schools Program that is aimed to end LGBTQ bias where it begins, with our youth. By helping our schools and educators create safe spaces for LGBTQ youth, students feel welcomed, supported and can thrive.

The theme of the show is “Safe” and artists will interpret it through a LGBTQ+ youth lens. Artists will explore topics such as… What does being safe mean to you? When do you feel safe to be who you are? What is your safe place? Is your safe place a location, person or activity? How can those around you make you feel more safe?

Call for Artists: If you are LGBTQ+ and 21 or under, we invite you to submit your art to be included in this special event. Deadline to submit art is February 12, 2020. For details, visit https://forms.gle/H3L9knmvtfxGS25u8 or contact Jennie O’Leary, Equality Florida St. Petersburg Steering Committee Chari at eqfljennie@gmail.com.

Thank You to Our Sponsors: Diversity Arts, Florida CraftArt, Gobioff Foundation, Mainframe Real Estate and The St. Petersburg Celebration for the Arts

SSL’s Got Talent Pageant and Fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Join us on Saturday evening November 3rd for our 26th annual Miss / Mr. SSL Pageant & Fundraiser where we raise money for the community. See your favorite softball players display themselves in uniform, evening wear or swim wear, and talent as they seek a title for 2018-19 while helping out local charities Athena House, Meals on Wheels, Suncoast Animal League, Vets for Pets and Ybor Youth Clinic. To donate prizes or for more information, contact producer@suncoastsoftball.org.

Minnesota Vikings to host LBGTQ summit and fundraiser

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Retired Olympian Greg Louganis will be a featured speaker at the Minnesota Vikings’ first LGBT summit. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Minnesota Vikings are hosting an LGBTQ summit and fundraiser featuring speakers such as retired Olympian Greg Louganis and former Vikings punter Chris Kluwe.

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Paws in the Park

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Pet lovers from all over Central Florida gather at beautiful Lake Eola to support Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s mission to educate, shelter, place, and heal pets and their families with compassionate, responsible care.

This community wide fundraising event provides support for the more than 8,000 homeless pets who will be cared for at our two shelters this year. 

Paws in the Park is the opportunity for us to join together as a community and support the mission of Pet Alliance. It’s free to register, we encourage participants to either fundraise as an individual or start a team with your friends and family and “fun” raise together!

Thousands of participants join their community, and lots of four legged friends, for the fundraising and awareness walk followed by dog-friendly and family activities.

Sign up, form a team and invite your friends and family to join us for a day filled with fun! Register and raise $75 or more and on event day, you’ll receive a commemorative event t-shirt.

Hope & Help’s 28th Annual Headdress Ball was pure “Imaginarium”

By : Jeremy Williams
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Attendees let their “Imaginarium” run wild as they pulled out some of the most amazing, elaborate outfits ever for Hope & Help’s 28th Annual Headdress Ball Sept. 23.

The evening’s Steampunk theme left the Marriot World Center in Orlando filled with an fashionable blend of industrial age meets science fiction-inspired costumes filled with gears, gadgets and goggles that seemed to blend the worlds of Wicked, Wonderland and Mad Max.

Want to see what we mean, check out the stunning photos from last Saturday’s event.

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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

Babes in Bonnets sets fundraising record for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Parliament House Footlight Theatre was home again to the fabulous bonnet auction known as Babes in Bonnets April 10.

The annual Easter tradition, hosted by Darcel Stevens and Blue Star, is a community wide fundraiser to benefit the Orlando Youth Alliance and featured more than a dozen beautiful bonnets paired with amazing gifts and prizes donated by local businesses and organizations.

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Equality Florida’s Great Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Equality Florida held the Greater Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art Nov. 4.

Check out the photos from the event.

Photos by Jake Stevens.

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From Headdress with Love

By : Jeremy Williams
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Hope and Help’s 27th Annual Headdress Ball was a huge success in their new home at the Marriott Orlando World Center Sept. 17, as they raised a record setting $356,000.

The massive ballroom looked like the circus rolled into town with acrobats, dancers and drag queens entertaining at every turn. 

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Broadway’s “Fun Home” comes to Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for some healing

By : Nicole Dudenhoefer
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The musical Fun Home has touched the lives of many as an honest, emotional representation of sexual identity issues through nearly 600 shows on its Broadway stage, but the cast of the production is bringing an extra special version of the show to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts stage to touch a community that is in great need of healing and hope.

Fun Home is a Tony-Award-winning musical based on the autobiographical graphic novel of the same title by Alison Bechdel. The story centers on Alison, a lesbian cartoonist, who is writing a graphic memoir about her life, as she tries to make sense of and connect with her father’s life, homosexuality and suicide. Even the show’s title touches on the dark aspects of Alison’s childhood, as her father was the town’s mortician, and she was raised in a funeral home that was referred to as the “Fun Home.”

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Major Pulse funds join forces

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – The GLBT Center, National Compassion Fund and Equality Florida are teaming up with the city of Orlando to distribute funds raised for Pulse shooting victims, survivors and their families.

The city’s fund is called OneOrlando and its total is not publicly published, but as of June 30, OneOrlando, EQFL and The Center combined had raised more than $17 million. As of July 6, EQFL’s fund stood at nearly $7 million and The Center’s total was $545,022.

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WeAreOrlando Jacksonville Fundraiser

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Please join us this Wednesday for a fundraiser for the families of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse tragedy. Blackfin will be donating 10% of its total sales from 3-7PM and giving $1 dollar back from each Tito’s cocktail sold. 100% of the proceeds of this fundraiser will go to Equality Florida’s Go Fund Me to directly support the families and survivors with transportation, funeral arrangments, and any costs as needed.

Donate directly, here: https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund