Tampa Bay performers announce unofficial, digital Tampa Pride weekend

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Francis Queerbot 9000, Mr. Tampa Pride 2020 Kirk DaVinci and Juno Vibranz, photos via Kirk DaVinci/Tampa Pride.

TAMPA | Tampa Pride 2020 entertainers have planned a weekend of digital performances March 27-29 following the event’s postponement.

The sixth annual gathering was originally scheduled for the same weekend. It was moved to May 30 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

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UPDATED: Tampa Bay entertainers stream performances amidst COVID-19 closures

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Rest in North Dakota, the Scott & Patti Show and Daphne Ferraro. Photos via performers’ Facebook pages.

TAMPA BAY | Entertainers throughout Tampa Bay are utilizing social media to share their craft with the community as closures mount in response to COVID-19, the coronavirus declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

LGBTQ and ally organizations throughout Tampa Bay began announcing event cancellations, postponements and closures in mid-March. Many of the decisions preceded Gov. Ron DeSantis’ order to close nightclubs and bars for 30 days statewide, impacting a growing number of area entertainers and performance venues financially dependent on scheduled performances.

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Community Cafe, Drag Queen Story Hour find temporary home

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Mandy Keyes at the original Community Cafe in the Grand Central District. Photo courtesy Community Cafe.

ST. PETERSBURG | Former Grand Central District restaurant Community Cafe, the home of Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) Tampa Bay, has found sanctuary at the LGBTQ-affirming Allendale United Methodist Church.

Owner Mandy Keyes opened Community Cafe in 2013 to become “your home away from home,” offering a full menu specializing in vegan and vegetarian options. It served as a safe space in St. Petersburg’s traditional “gayborhood” until late last year.

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