And the 2020 OUT Award Winners are:
Favorite Performing Arts Venue: Asolo Repertory Theatre
Favorite Wedding Venue: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Favorite Hotel: Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection
Favorite Brunch: Station 400 Sarasota
Favorite Gallery: The Ringling
Favorite Area Attraction: The Ringling
Favorite LGBTQ Group: A League Of Our Own (Bowling)
Favorite LGBTQ Youth Activist: Ramona - ALSO Youth Ambassador
Favorite LGBTQ Community Leader / Activist: Vanessa Valenziano Nichols
Favorite (LGBTQ) Non-Profit Organization: ALSO Youth
Favorite Non-Profit Organization: CAN Community Health
Favorite Annual Event: Harvey Milk Festival
Favorite (LGBTQ) Annual Event: Sarasota Pride, Inc
Favorite Event (Seasonal, Weekly, Monthly) OUT@ASOLO Rep
Favorite Business: The Bazaar on Apricot & Lime
Favorite (LGBTQ Owned) Business: Mellow Mushroom Sarasota
Favorite Pet Lodging, Pet Spa or Pet Service Provider: SPOT srq Dog Grooming
Favorite Realtor: Donna Palm
Favorite Bank: Sabal Palm Bank
Favorite Shop / Boutique: Pixie Dust Metaphysical Boutique
Favorite News Source: SNN, The Suncoast News Network
Favorite Travel Agency: myxoadventures.com
Favorite Lawyer: Liz Moneymaker, Attorney
Favorite Apartment Community: (tie) ARCOS Apartments & Bainbridge Palmoré
Favorite Church: MCC Church of the Trinity
Favorite Adult Novelty Store: Giggles Sarasota
Favorite Fitness Center: Crunch Fitness
Favorite Health Care: CAN Community Health
Favorite Health Care Provider: Steve Grogg, DO from Medpeds Associates of Sarasota PA
Favorite Beauty Spa: Elite Medical Spa of Sarasota
Favorite Makeup Artist: Katie McCurry
Favorite Coffee Spot: The Reserve SRQ
Favorite Insurance Agent/Company: Allstate Insurance Agent: Richard Dean Plummer II
Favorite Restaurant: Sage SRQ
Favorite Chef: Christopher Covelli
Favorite Local Actor / Actress: Beneva Fruitville
Happy Hour: G2H2 Sarasota - Gay Group Happy Hour
Favorite Person of the Year: Joshua Beadle
Favorite Bar: State Street
Favorite LGBT Bar: (tie) Oasis Restaurant & Bar & Purple Rhino Lodge
Favorite DJ: Joey Daskalidès
Favorite Bartender: Brock Beason
Favorite Drag Queen Bingo: Beneva Fruitville's Bingo Bonanza
Favorite Interior Designer / Company: IDS Sarasota Chapter
Favorite Artist: Lipstick Lex
Favorite Photographer: Cliff Roles
Favorite Musician / Band: Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota
Favorite Salon: SALON FORTY ONE On Palm Avenue
Favorite Barbershop: Just Gents Barber Spa
Favorite Drag Personality: Beneva Fruitville
Favorite Social Media Personality: Joey Panek
2020 ICON AWARD WINNER
This award is designed to recognize and honor a person who best exemplifies passion and dedication to Sarasota's LGBTQ community.
ALSO Youth, a nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, is pleased to announce the hiring of James Robinson as Executive Director. He will assume the role on April 13, 2020 and brings 20+ years of nonprofit and fundraising experience to the organization.
Mr. Robinson recently served as Development Director for De LaSalle Academy of Fort Meyers, FL, a school-based program for children living with learning challenges. Prior to relocating to Florida, he served as the Executive Director of Youth Pride - Rhode Island’s only LGBTQ+ Youth Center, where he increased the Center’s programs, services, staff and outreach to youth. He has worked for many organizations over the years in HIV/AIDS activism, healthcare and community development.
We have ambitious plans to continue our growth and outreach into both counties, and we believe James is ideally suited for the role. We also wish to thank Donna Hanley, our interim Executive Director since September 2019 for returning to lead the organization and provide a steady hand while we searched for a new Executive Director,” ALSO Youth Board President, Mary Tavarozzi, stated.
Mr. Robinson holds an advance degree in Urban Affairs from Hunter College in NY and is looking forward to his new role and meeting our community of supporters. He notes “I am so excited to join the dedicated Board and staff of ALSO Youth. It is as important now as ever to support and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth in Sarasota and Manatee Counties, and I look forward to getting started”.
About ALSO Youth: At ALSO Youth we believe that you should celebrate who you are, what makes you unique and why you matter. We provide a safe, inclusive and affirming environment. Our mission is to empower youth to foster relationships, develop personal and professional skills and to create inclusive communities. ALSO Youth is open to young people between the ages of 13-21. Our programs and services build self-esteem and help ready you for various life stages.
On Sunday, October 22nd, Harvest Sarasota came OUT with their hearts for the LGBTQ+ community. Pastor Dan Minor’s message was real, raw and practical. Many Churches and their members struggle with how to Love and align with scripture regarding sexuality, and here’s a great example.
Pastor Minor has 2 siblings who are gay including his sister Erin Minor, the Executive Director of Harvest House Transitional Centers. Below is a clip from Sunday's sermon where you will see one Pastor leap with blind faith and we’re hoping he lands on solid ground with support from the community.
Later in the pastors sermon he stated: "I don't care where you are, who you're with, what you do, what it looks like... you are not only welcome here, you're celebrated here and we want you to have an opportunity to pursue and receive and experience the grace of God." To watch the full video CLICK HERE.
Dr. Boyd Lindsley has been elected chair of the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. The 23-member board is from a 22-county region of Florida, which includes Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples.
Lindsley began volunteering for Planned Parenthood in 2011 and joined the board in 2013. He and his husband, Michael Farmer, live near Orlando, where he is the senior associate director for the University of Central Florida’s Nicholson School of Communication and Media. Lindsley is a recognized leader in the LGBTQ community and serves on committees for Equality Florida and the Zebra Coalition.
Three years after launching services for transgender patients, the program at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida continues to grow rapidly. The number of transgender patients receiving services has increased from 180 during the 2016 – 2017 fiscal year to 1,152 during 2018 – 2019.
“As a member of the LGBTQ community, I know how important these services are,” said Dr. Boyd Lindsley, chair of the board of directors of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “We are proud to provide sexual and reproductive health care that is inclusive, compassionate and non-judgmental.”
Transgender services are offered at ten health centers in the 22-county region that includes Orlando, Tampa, Sarasota, Fort Myers and Naples. Patients can receive hormone replacement therapy, cancer screenings, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and sex education that includes transgender people’s identities and experiences. While most patients live locally, some travel from other states, including Georgia and Virginia.
“The most rewarding part of working with this program is seeing the dramatic change in patients,” said Michelle Tarte, a physician’s assistant at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “Patients often struggle with depression when they arrive and are extremely happy by the time they complete the program. It is life-saving.”
The mission of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida is to provide affordable access to comprehensive reproductive health care and accurate health information through patient care, education and advocacy.
The Voices of Sarasota Holiday Concert, December 8, 2019 “Tis The Season…” In celebration of its 22nd anniversary, Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota is proud to present a holiday concert featuring the universal theme of celebration! The musical event will be held at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center (Holley Hall), 709 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236 on Sunday, December 8 at 3 p.m. Diversity’s singers will enchant audiences with songs of celebration. The concert program will include “Everywhere Christmas Tonight” and beautifully arranged classics like “Once in Royal David’s City“ and “Away in a Manger”. Diversity will also perform songs of celebrating who we are including “True Colors”, “This is Me” and others.
Tickets to “Tis The Season…” are $20 in advance, available from Diversity’s singers or online at www.DiversitySarasota.org. If not sold out, tickets may also be available at the door at the Beatrice Friedman Symphony Center prior to the concert.
For more information, please call 888-550-6279.
DIVERSITY: THE VOICES OF SARASOTA’S MISSION: Through songs of hope and inclusion, our LGBTQ and LGBTQ-friendly chorus celebrates all of humanity and inspires our community to embrace equality.
Non-Profit Organization: ALSO Youth
Favorite LGBT Group: Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota
Annual Event: Sarasota Pride - Winter Wonderland!
LGBT Activist: Shannon M Fortner
LGBT Owned Business: Mellow Mushroom Sarasota
Favorite Business: The Reserve SRQ
Area Attraction: The Ringling
Performing Arts Venue: Asolo Repertory Theatre
Pet Lodging: SPOT srq Dog Grooming
Realtor: Jim Jablonski
Insurance Agency: Allstate Insurance Agent: Richard Dean Plummer II
Hotel: Art Ovation Hotel, Autograph Collection
Travel Agency: myXOAdventures
Apartment Community: ARCOS Apartments
Church: MCC Church of the Trinity
Salon: SALON FORTY ONE On Palm Avenue
Fitness Center: Balance Health + Fitness
Health Care Professional: Complete Care Group
Community Bank: Sabal Palm Bank
Beauty Spa: The Laser Lounge Spa of Sarasota
Make-UP Artist: MOD Makeup on Demand
Coffee Spot: The Reserve SRQ
Restaurant: Sage SRQ
Chef: Christopher Covelli
Brunch: Station 400 Sarasota
Happy Hour: G2H2 Sarasota - Gay Group Happy Hour
Bar: Purple Rhino Lodge
Bartender: Hunter Vance
LGBT Bar Purple Rhino Lodge
Drag Queen Bingo: Beneva Fruitville's Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza at McCurdys
Boutique: Pixie Dust Metaphysical Boutique
Wedding Venue: Selby Gardens - Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Interior Designer: Interior Design Society of Sarasota
Gallery: The Ringling
Artist: Tom A. Ford
Photographer: Samantha Ponzillo Media
Musician: Jami Sophia Gee
DJ: Lucy Blu
Adult Novelty Store: Giggles Sarasota
Drag Personality: Beneva Fruitville
Social Media Personality: Joey Panek
Youth: Tyler Lerch
ICON AWARD: Margaret Good
ALSO Youth, a Sarasota based nonprofit organization that provides peer support services, educational programs, advocacy, and referrals for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth ages 13 to 21, their families and friends, and the community, announced today the resignation of its Executive Director, Nathan Bruemmer, JD, effective August 31, 2019. Mr. Bruemmer had served as the Executive Director for the past two years.
“We appreciate Nathan’s leadership during a crucial time in ALSO Youth’s history and look forward to further growth and deepening of the work spearheaded during his tenure,” said Lana Bruce, President of the Board of Directors.
“As family demands require me to step away, I am proud of the hard work and great strides we have taken over the past years to meet the growing and evolving needs of the youth,” said Mr. Bruemmer. “I am incredibly humbled by the courage our kids have shown by raising their voices to express their needs. It has been my honor to serve them.”
Donna Hanley, MA, LMHC, the former Executive Director of ALSO Youth, will serve as interim Executive Director effective September 3, 2019.
For over 25 years, ALSO Youth has been empowering LGBTQ+ youth and their allies and building inclusive communities. Founded by parents and community members, ALSO Youth serves Sarasota and Manatee counties through advocacy, outreach and by providing a safe space “drop-in” center.