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Author name: Rachel Covello

Rachel Covello is an award-winning speaker, writer, diversity consultant, and LGBT advocate. She was the Founder of LGBT Equality Alliance, a Chester County, PA nonprofit organization. She is currently the Publisher of OutCoast.com and Producer of the OutCoast TV YouTube Channel, both of which highlight LGBTQ welcoming destinations in Florida.

Counseling

OUTCOAST Partner Profile: Aimee Beardslee, Owner of Rainbow Counseling

OUTCOAST partner, Aimee Beardslee, LMHC, EdS, MS, sat down with OUTCOAST to share her favorite childhood memory, what brought her to Florida, and why she focuses on supporting primarily the LGBTQ community in her counseling work. Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your upbringing. I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. I enjoy

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OUTCOAST Profile: Penelope Smit and Elise Ann De Villiers, Match Fishing Champions

OUTCOAST sat down with Team USA Ladies Match Fishing teammates and spouses, Penelope Smit and Elise Ann De Villiers, to learn about their love for fishing, their admiration for one another, and their passion for teaching youth about their sport. Where did each of you grow up? Penelope: We are both from South Africa. I was

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conversation

A Conversation Can Move Mountains: Business Owner Apologizes for Homophobic Comments

Earlier this week, I wrote an article about John Adams, the Concrete Flooring, Inc. business owner who gay bashed a lesbian via Facebook when she requested LGBT-friendly dining suggestions on a foodie group page. I’ll be honest. Prior to writing the article, I debated whether or not to share the story.  Usually OUTCOAST is a

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Lynn Thorne

Who Am I If You’re Not You? A Must-Read Love Story for Anyone in Transition

Press Release written by Lynn Thorne He’s fighting the clock; she’s fighting the urge to go back to bed. They kiss goodbye, grab their coffee, pile into separate cars, and head out to face the day: work, dinner, Netflix, and bed. They’re your typical hetero couple living the American dream. Only they’re not your typical

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Know Bisexuality

7 Things You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Bisexuality

As a bisexual woman, and in honor of Bisexuality Awareness Week, I thought it important to share some basic facts about bisexuality and to clarify and correct common stereotypes and assumptions. It is important to note that although the term “bisexual” is used in this article, “bisexual” can be swapped for the term “pansexual” or “queer”

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Irma

St. Petersburg Gay Bars Get Slammed Following Hurricane Irma

In a world filled with technology and instant gratification response times, several days without power, internet service, and Netflix can feel like an eternity. It came as no surprise that the St Petersburg area LGBT community was chomping at the bit for social interaction by Tuesday evening. “We got power back sometime yesterday morning and were slammed on

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bingo

Project No Labels Hosts Water Drive to Support Hurricane Victims

FLAMINGO BINGO IS NOW OFFICIALLY A WATER DRIVE!! 💧💧💙💧💧 If you have excess water from being over prepared for the hurricane, please consider bringing it to Project No Label’s Flamingo Bingo event on Thursday, September 14th at Flamingo Resort St Pete. The organization will donate water to affected areas in Florida. EVENT DETAILS Flamingo Bingo is hosted

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SueZie Hawkes

OUTCOAST Couple Profile: Cheryl and SueZie Hawkes – A Transition of Love

Although SueZie Hawkes knew in her mind and heart that she was a little girl in her youth, her physical form and society said otherwise. As she grew up, she experienced the isolation, depression, and challenges that many transgender women experience. Then she met Cheryl, who lived an ocean away. Cheryl filled SueZie’s life with

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Come OUT St Pete and Project No Labels Host Bridging the Bay CommUnity March

On October 14, 2017, Come OUT St Pete and Project No Labels will come together to host Bridging The Bay, an “LGBTQ+ CommUnity March Urging all Tampa Bay’s supporting LGBTQ+ businesses, individuals, and organizations to put their differences aside and join in unity and solidarity to raise visibility and awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.” “We were doing the

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Efrain Toro

From Broadway to Brokerage: The Adventures of Efrain Toro and His $10 Suit

At first greeting, Efrain Toro seems to be down-to-earth, upbeat, and successful Senior Partner with JPB & Associates, a brokerage firm that offers a variety of insurance and financial products. While all of this is true, there is so much more than meets the eye with Toro. OUTCOAST sat down with Toro earlier this week

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Fairfield Inn & Suites

OUTCOAST Travels: A Night at the Fairfield Inn & Suites in Kissimee, Florida

As a hot spot for all things entertainment, it’s no surprise that the Orlando area is stock-full of hotels and resorts. In fact, there are so many hotels and resorts that it can often be challenging to know which of these properties is the most welcoming to LGBT travelers while also being clean, comfortable, and

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Mayor Kriseman

Mayor Rick Kriseman Brings “Hope for Continued Progress” With LGBTQ Community

On June 26, Susie Stroud and Robbie Kety hosted a fundraising reception for Mayor Kriseman in their St. Petersburg home. A couple dozen supporters were in attendance and it came as no surprise that several identified as LGBTQ. Kriseman has been an outspoken supporter of LGBTQ rights since his first mayoral campaign in 2103, in

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Jennifer Real

OUTCOAST Artist Profile: Getting Real with St. Petersburg Music Icon, Jennifer Real

With more than 15 years as a professional session/tour/background singer for several major labels including Arista and EMI,  local singer, Jennifer Real, provides hours of entertainment for music lovers and dancers in the Tampa/St. Petersburg region and beyond. Real has won several awards during her career, including 2016 and 2017 “Best Entertainer of the Year”

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Exclusive: Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Amanda Simpson, on Trump

On Wednesday morning, after tweets from President Donald Trump announced the barring of transgender individuals from military service, transgender leaders, allies, and veterans throughout the world, including Tampa-based NAVY Seal Kristin Beck, spoke out about the shocking decision. Caitlyn Jenner even took to Twitter voicing her disappointment, a shift from her usual support for her candidate of

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Technology

Quality of Life Helps Tampa Bay Rank Highly for Technology Labor Pool Growth

Contributors: Audrey Pitcher and Rachel Stevenson Tampa Bay’s technology labor pool is growing rapidly, reports Margie Manning in the Tampa Bay Business Journal. According to the CBRE Tech Talent Scorecard, which ranks U.S. and Canadian markets by their tech labor growth, Tampa Bay has increased its tech workforce by 55.3 percent between 2011 and 2016.

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Christye Ozog

OUTCOAST Partner Profile: Christye Ozog, Realtor, Veteran, Wife

OUTCOAST had the pleasure of sitting down with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services’ Christye Ozog of the Florida Properties Group to discuss her military background, support of her LGBTQ community, and career transition into real estate. Where did you grow up?  Lexington, KY Share with us a favorite childhood memory. Very thankful to have grown up in a time

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