Jane Castor, Mayor of Tampa

By : City of Tampa Staff
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After serving 31 years with the Tampa Police Department, Jane Castor became the 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor of the city of Tampa this year.

She worked her way from a beat cop to the first female Chief of Police. Castor helped reduce major crime by 70% citywide, oversaw the security plan for Super Bowl XLIII and led the Department of Homeland Security’s Tampa Bay Urban Area Security Initiative. It was announced this year that Super Bowl LV will return to Tampa in 2021, its fifth time.

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Orange County adopts policy to keep track of LGBTQ-certified businesses

By : Lora Korpar
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ABOVE: Orange County government at Come Out with Pride 2019. (from Orange County Government Facebook page)

ORLANDO | Orange County commissioners unanimously agreed to a policy last week that would require county staffers to create a database of LGBTQ-certified businesses.

These businesses must be at least 51% owned and operated by LGBTQ people and be certified by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce as an LGBT Business Enterprise.

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Trans March on DC called ‘first major step’ in visibility campaign

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The National Transgender Visibility March, photo by Michael Kay of The Washington Blade.

Organizers and observers said between 1,500 and 3,000 people turned out on Saturday for the first ever National Transgender Visibility March on Washington in which scores of participants held signs proudly declaring their status as transgender or gender nonconforming Americans.

The march kicked off at 11:35 a.m. on Sept. 28 from Freedom Plaza in downtown D.C. following the completion of a two-and-a-half hour rally. It traveled along Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., from 13th to 4th Streets, where the march ended four blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

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LGBT groups hedge on support for Trump impeachment

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Donald Trump, photo by palinchak via Bigstock.

Following bombshell media reports suggesting President Trump improperly made U.S. government aid to Ukraine a condition of investigating his potential political opponent Joseph Biden, LGBT groups are hedging on calling for impeachment.

Each of the LGBT organizations contacted by the Washington Blade upon release of the White House transcript of Trump’s call—which reveals the U.S. president asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky to coordinate with Rudy Giuliani and Attorney General William Barr in the investigation—stopped short of supporting outright impeachment.

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Tampa recognizes LGBTQ-certified businesses by executive order

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Tampa Mayor Jane Castor presents her executive order to recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses at the 2019 NGLCC conference Aug. 14. Photo courtesy Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.

TAMPA | The city of Tampa will formally recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses in contracting and procurement opportunities, Mayor Jane Castor announced Aug. 14 during the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference.

The conference, held at the Tampa Convention Center Aug. 13-16, is the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world. Castor, Tampa’s 59th and first openly LGBTQ mayor, detailed her executive order directing the city to formally recognize LGBTQ businesses during a luncheon interview with NGLCC President Justin G. Nelson.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber hosts NGLCC Opening Reception

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC) hosted the opening reception for the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) International Business & Leadership Conference at the Italian Club in Ybor Aug. 13.

The NGLCC’s 2019 conference is being held in Tampa Aug. 13-16 and is the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world. More than 1,000 of its attendees gathered for the opening reception at the historic venue, which was chosen to highlight Tampa’s Cuban and Italian heritage.

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08.08.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I was young, probably around 12 or 13, but I vividly remember the first death I helped cause. They say you never forget your first.

I was in middle school and likely clad in a pair of husky jeans, the free whale necklace that came with the “Free Willy 2” VHS and a “Batman and Robin” tee beneath my Starter Jacket. Clutched against my side was the thickest Trapper Keeper a family like mine could afford, something I rarely let out of my sight during school hours because it protected two of my dearest possessions.

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Tampa hosts 2019 NGLCC International Business & Leadership Conference

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: NGLCC Senior Vice President Jonathan D. Lovitz (C) is joined by business and community leaders at 2018’s Philadelphia conference. Photo courtesy NGLCC.

TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce (TBDCC) will welcome the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) to Tampa Aug. 13-16 for the largest gathering of LGBTQ business leaders and allies in the world.

The 2019 International Business & Leadership Conference is an annual conference presented by the NGLCC, the nation’s only organization dedicated to expanding economic opportunities for the LGBTQ business community. The TBDCC, one of the NGLCC’s 15 affiliate chambers, has served Tampa Bay for more than 35 years.

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Orlando becomes first Florida city to recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and members from both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) gathered at Se7enBites in Orlando to announce a new LGBTQ business initiative April 2.

The LGBTQ+ Business Inclusion Resolution allows the city to develop a database and registry of LGBTQ-certified businesses with the NGLCC that will track city contracts and spending with LGBTQ-owned businesses and ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Central Florida.

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National Out to Win Day aims to increase LGBTQ representation

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Washington D.C. | The LGBTQ Victory Institute and 18 equality-focused partner organizations are participating in the first National Out to Win Day April 2, aiming to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of LGBTQ people holding elected office.

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success. They advise that currently, LGBTQ people hold just 0.1 percent of elected positions in the U.S. despite being 4.5 percent of the population.

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Nancy Pelosi makes surprise appearance at NGLCC National Dinner

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of the Natioan LGBT Media Association
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House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Nov. 16 celebrated Democrats regaining control of the U.S. House of Representatives when she made a surprise appearance at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s National Dinner Gala.

“The American people elected a Democratic majority,” said Pelosi to applause as she spoke at the National Building Museum in D.C.

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – Like a shiny unicorn, the gay mafia does exist! (and other homo business advice)

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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I have a secret to tell you: The “gay mafia” is real. I know because I met them a few weeks ago.

In early August, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) held its annual conference in Philadelphia. Targeted at both LGBTQ+ owned businesses as well as the purchasing professionals for many Fortune 500 companies, the event was a combination of educational sessions to run your business better to focusing on how to more effectively engage with minority vendors. The conference was strongly attended by many members of Central Florida’s Metropolitan Business Association (MBA), our local LBGTQ+ Chamber of Commerce (who awesomely won Chamber of the Year in 2017).

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