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David's Thoughts

by David Placher

The 2016 Pulse massacre reverberates still through Orlando city politics. Councilwoman Patty Sheehan, whose district includes Pulse, talks with Baltimore OUTloud

On June 12th, 2016, a deranged gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 at Pulse, a gay bar and dance club in Orlando. “Some families lost their only child and another family lost a mother. So much pain,” said Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Councilwoman who represents the district where Pulse was located and is herself a member of the LGBT community. “It was a hate crime against the LGBTQ people.”

Friday, August 04, 2017

Orlando • The Dark of the Sun

From 1828 to 1987, the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, commonly referred to as the B&O, was the first common carrier railroad. Today, “B&O” should mean the Baltimore-to-Orlando flight path. With several daily roundtrip flights, the convenience of sun and fun is only a couple hours away from Charm City. JetBlue, Southwest, and Spirit airlines often offer specials, as low as $140 round-trip. Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. It is known for its theme parks – which attracted 68 million visitors in 2016. It is also known for being very friendly to the LGBT community, offering several LGBT nightclubs and social events. But as we all remember, it’s not always sunny in Orlando.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tampa’ll Tempt’ya

Florida with a cool, crisp edge.

The Tampa Bay Area sits on the west coast of Florida, including Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and the cities of Tampa, Saint Petersburg, and Clearwater. Its population is over three million and continues to grow. Spirit, JetBlue, Delta, Southwest, and other airlines offer nonstop service for the two-hour flight, with competitive prices. The sunny and warm city of Tampa has a beautiful downtown that’s filled with hotels, high-rises, and historic old quarters, such as Ybor City and Old Hyde Park. Check out the famous tourist attractions – and of course its thriving gay scene.

Martha’s Vineyard is located south of Cape Cod off the coast of Massachussetts. It is known for its la-di-da residents, elegant cocktail parties, snazzy dressers who often sport the famous Nantucket red pants with navy blue shirts, and historic mansions. It is the 58th largest island in the U.S. and it is 100 square miles. Traveling to Martha’s Vineyard can be complicated and expensive – it’s only accessible by boat or air. Flying from Baltimore to Martha’s Vineyard can cost a shocking $600 round trip, but for the savvy traveler a cheaper way is to fly from Baltimore to Boston on Southwest, Spirit, or JetBlue, with the final leg by Cape Air or a seasonal ferry. It’s a great destination for a weekend trip because it’s gay-friendly, full of history, and it has many charming small towns and beautiful landscapes.

Friday, June 09, 2017

Land o’Lakes • Minnesota

The wise old saying, “in order to have a friend, you have to be a friend” guided my answer when I was asked to join a friend in her journey to Minnesota. The trip included us having an official song – Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” – along with some hiccups of mutual impatience, and personal growth. Most people know that “LGBT” stands for “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender,” but some of us also include “queer,” “intersex,” and “asexual,” resulting in the abbreviation “LGBTQIA.” My trip with my friend was a learning experience about both intersex and Minnesota.

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