2020 WAVE Award Spotlight: George Wallace and The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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Central Florida’s Favorite Activist; Most Effective Local Nonprofit Organization

It makes sense that Central Florida’s Favorite Activist would come from the community’s Most Effective Local Nonprofit Organization.

George Wallace, the executive director of the LGBT+ Center, says while he is honored to be named Favorite Local Activist the win came as a bit of a surprise.

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The Center Orlando to host 8th annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Samantha Neely
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ORLANDO| The LGBTQ+ Center Orlando will celebrate local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during its 8th annual Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast and Awards on May 20.

The event is in honor of the Harvey Milk, the first openly gay politician in California. Despite a short political career due to his assassination, the event acknowledges the legacy he left and how, 42 years later, he is still one of the most important figures in human rights history.

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Former LGBT+ Center Orlando ED Terry DeCarlo passes away

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Terry DeCarlo, the former executive director of the LGBT+ Center in Orlando who headed The Center in the aftermath of the Pulse tragedy, passed away after battling Stage 4 neck and face cancer. He was 56 years old.

DeCarlo’s husband, Bill Huelsman posted the news to DeCarlo’s Facebook page Jan. 28.

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LGBTQ activist and pioneer Cleve Jones to visit The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando will host a book signing and meet & greet with LGBTQ rights pioneer Cleve Jones Jan. 29.

Jones — who chronicled his life in his memoir “When We Rise: My Life in The Movement” — was involved in many of the most pivotal moments of the LGBTQ rights movement including working as an activist with Harvey Milk, co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceiving the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

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WFTV’s Jorge Estevez tackles LGBTQ issues in new podcast ‘Under The Rainbow’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Podcasts are fast becoming a primary medium for people to get their news. A CBS News poll conducted earlier this year found that nearly two-thirds of Americans listen to podcasts at least occasionally, with nearly a quarter of the people polled saying they listen several times a week.

With numbers like those, Central Florida’s WFTV Channel 9 knew they needed to get into the podcast business.

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The Center Orlando to host Stonewall National Museum exhibit

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando has been selected to host the national traveling exhibit from Stonewall National Museum & Archives, the organization announced July 30.

The Center will be one of 20 LGBTQ community centers in the U.S. to feature selections from the museum’s Stonewall National Education Project, a program of 14 LGBTQ educational exhibits.

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Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida, Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Once upon a time, in the mystical land of San Francisco, wordsmith Michelle Tea had a dragulous idea.

As the Lambda Literary Award winner for Best Lesbian Fiction and the creator of RADAR Productions, the nonprofit that develops groundbreaking literary work by supporting LGBTQ artists, she understood both the power of community and the written word—and so Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) was born.

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Central Florida LGBTQ pioneer Joel Strack passes away at age 59

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Joel Strack at his celebration of life at Leu Gardens in Orlando June 23. (Photo by J.D. Casto)

ORLANDO | Joel Strack—an LGBTQ leader, activist and pioneer in Central Florida’s fight for equality— passed away in the early morning hours of July 15. He was 59.

Strack was instrumental in launching what would become known as Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom, helped create Orlando’s first Pride parade and assisted in founding both the Orlando Gay Chorus and the Gay and Lesbian History Museum.

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Florida House candidate Elizabeth McCarthy’s credibility questioned

By : Jeremy Williams
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SANFORD, Fla. | Elizabeth McCarthy—the openly LGBTQ, Democratic candidate running for Florida House District 28, whose full legal name is Catherine Elizabeth McCarthy—has come under fire for inconsistencies about her past, most notably her claims of working as a cardiologist at Orlando Regional Medical Center on June 12, 2016 after the Pulse tragedy.

Florida Politics reported June 15, when confronted about the inconsistencies, McCarthy insisted that “Yes, I am a doctor” and “Yes, I did work the night of Pulse.”

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Dining Out For Life adds Central Florida, Space Coast LGBTQ organizations to list for 2020

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Dining Out For Life, an annual fundraiser for local HIV service organizations at locations around the world, announced June 6 that The LGBT+ Center and Project Response would be participating in the event in 2020.

“Central Florida will now be part of Dining Out For Life International because of the efforts put forth by The LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc. (The Center) and Project Response, Inc. of Melbourne,” the press release announced.

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The LGBT+ Center to honor community leaders at Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Orlando (The Center) will honor local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during the 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at Dubsdread in Orlando May 22.

The seventh annual event—named for the first openly gay elected official in California and LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk—will be hosted by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell, and will take place on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. The day is designated as “Harvey Milk Day” in the U.S.

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The Orlando Ribbon Project releases new enamel pin

By : Lauren Lee
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Famous figures including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and HRC’s Chad Griffin have worn the now famous rainbow-colored ribbon, now the Dissent Pin Company has partnered with the Orlando Ribbon Project to create enamel versions of the ribbons that traveled the world in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Orlando.

“Its been rather amazing watching the project grow from just a handful of fabric ribbons for volunteers to a worldwide symbol of love and hope,” says founder of the Orlando Ribbon Project, Ben Johansen.

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