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Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

The annual Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is back in town until October 13th. It will feature over 63 films from 17 countries, and showcase major names like Molly Shannon, Matt Smith and Paul Rudd.

Photo courtesy of Southern Poverty Law Center on Campus@USF

A University of South Florida student is speaking out about his past in the white nationalist movement.

Scott Ernest, an undergraduate student in public health at USF Tampa, said he first got involved in the movement online in 2004 and eventually moved to Montana to join a white nationalist organization. Now, Ernest advises young people who are thinking about leaving the alt-right, particularly those who are LGBT.

Pasco Pride Facebook page

Pasco Pride is planning its first LGBT event for October, and organizers say it’s long overdue for the county.

The Competitive Workforce Act would prohibit discrimination for LGBT individuals working for businesses in Florida.

Heidy Rodriguez, 17, created an LGBTQ support group at her Miami-Dade high school when she realized that like her, many of her friends needed a place to share their struggles and successes.

Morgan McMullen / WUSF 89.7 News

Surrounded by a crowd of about a hundred spectators, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman lowered the American flag outside City Hall.

He then re-raised it, with a new rainbow flag adorning the rope just beneath it.

After Pulse, An LGBTQ Effort For Gun Control

Jun 8, 2017

The Pride Fund to End Gun Violence says it has raised $125,000 in the year after the Pulse mass shooting, the deadliest in modern American history.

The World OutGames are up and running again after last-minute mass cancelations, and it's thanks to the City of Miami Beach and the South Florida's LGBTQ community, who has rallied to keep as many events going as possible.  

After a gunman killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community worked to translate grief into political action. Even though attempts to pass civil rights protections in the statehouse failed again this year, LGBTQ activists are claiming a victory.

The Trump administration says bathroom use policies regarding gender are best left at the local level, while state lawmakers are considering new workplace protections aimed at the LGBT community.

This week on Florida Matters we’re talking about the latest policy debates surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Florida.

This week on Florida Matters, we’re looking at the latest policy debates surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals.


The average age when people are coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender is falling. 

But a climate of growing acceptance doesn't necessarily translate to the current generation of teens wanting to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at school. To some, it's a place that still feels unsafe.

Florida lawmakers want to add protections in state law for the lesbian gay bisexual and transgender community. 

Pulse nightclub
Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

The owner of Pulse says she is planning on re-opening the gay nightclub in a different location.

Human Rights Campaign

Three Florida cities have gotten the highest score possible on an index that measures the quality of life for gays, lesbians and transgender residents.

GunsHolstersAndGear / Wikimedia

Fifty people, including the gunman, died in Orlando’s Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, and Florida gun control advocates hoped lawmakers would be compelled to propose stricter gun laws. They urged a special legislative session.

Bilingual Counselors In High Demand In Orlando Post Pulse

Jun 23, 2016

Bilingual therapists are on standby for people in need of grief counseling following the Pulse massacre.

Hispanic Family Counseling has been busy counseling survivors and others affected, free of charge. The organization has 25 therapists that speak English, Spanish, Portuguese, Creole and French … and the group is adding staff.

Quincy Walters / WUSF News

It's been a little over a week since a gunman entered the Pulse nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. It was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. And in just a few days, the Tampa Bay area plays host to St. Pete Pride - Florida's biggest celebration for the LGBT community. 

Increased Security Planned For St. Pete Pride Parade

Jun 17, 2016
Devin Rodriguez/WUSF

The St. Pete Pride Parade is one of the largest LGBT events in Florida, with crowds expected to be over 100,000.

But after the shooting at a gay club in Orlando which took 49 lives and injured many more, the St. Petersburg Police Department has decided to step up security measures for the parade on Saturday, June 25.

Tampa Bay Rays

“Pride Night” at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball game this Friday is being dedicated to the victims of the Orlando mass shooting. And all remaining tickets are priced at $5 to make the game more accessible, said Rays President Brian Auld.

In what has become an all-too-familiar ritual in the United States, President Obama said the mass shooting in Orlando on Sunday morning was an "act of terror and an act of hate."

"This is a sobering reminder that attacks on any American ... is an attack on all of us," Obama said during remarks from the White House briefing room. "No act of hate or terror will ever change who we are as Americans."

Obama also said that this shooting is a reminder of "how easy it to let people get their hands on a weapon" that will let them open fire on a place like a school.

A gunman opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., early Sunday morning, killing at least 50 people in the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history before being shot dead by police.

Bigger Gains Expected from St. Pete Pride

Jun 24, 2015
"WorldPride 2012 - 164" by Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

St. Pete Pride, the annual LGBT celebration in downtown St. Petersburg is here for it's 13th year and organizers expect a $15-20 million economic impact. 

"We've seen hotels throughout downtown St. Pete just booking like crazy," executive director of St. Pete Pride, Eric Skains said. "A lot of them are sold out. The typical ones are already sold out and a few are booking up quickly that really normally don't."

M.S Butler

Florida's Department of Children and Families said in 2014  there were at least 5,700 homeless people under the age of 18 in our state. Some of them teenagers living on their own. But there's one group that makes up a disproportionate amount of homeless teens in Florida and throughout the nation.

They've been called street kids, couch surfers or as St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman said back in March: “There is a federal bureaucratic term for the young people who will be served here—unaccompanied youth. But they are in reality homeless.”

WMFE

Opponents of a bill restricting public bathroom use based on a person’s born gender spoke out in Orlando Tuesday. The Single Sex Public Facilities Bill cleared a house committee last week, and could be heard by a committee as early as next week.

The bill imposes fines and possible jail time for transgender Floridians using the bathroom of the sex they identify with. For example, a transgender man who identifies as a woman could not use the women’s restroom.

  A measure basing which bathroom a person is allowed to use on biology has cleared its first hurdle in the House. The Civil Justice Subcommittee heard more than one dozen testimonies Wednesday for and against the bill, which makes entering a bathroom designated for another sex illegal.

The state should ensure women and girls can feel safe in possibly vulnerable places—such as restrooms and other facilities. That’s Miami Republican Representative Frank Artilles’ argument.

This news that broke locally in Florida last week is starting to grab headlines and attention across the nation:

"Disney Ends Funding To Boy Scouts Over Gay Policy." (The Associated Press)

Here's how The Orlando Sentinel, one of the first outlets to report the news, frames the story:

stevebrownetc.com

A self-described “former leftist lesbian," Rosaria Butterfield, has a lecture tonight on the USF Tampa Campus.

Luke Blankenship, president of the P.R.I.D.E Alliance, says he hopes Butterfield's message doesn't influence young minds confused about their sexuality.

hillsboroughcounty.org

Hillsborough County Commissioners unanimously voted today to lift the ban on county promotion of gay pride events.  

But one opponent to repealing the ban was Bianca Perez.

"As a mother and as a resident of Hillsborough County, I do not want my tax dollars being used to promote a lifestyle that the Bible clearly says is wrong," she said.

She continued to quote two scriptures from the Bible.