The purpose of the Resource Center is not only to provide a welcoming communal space to the large LGBTQ population of Gulfport and Pinellas County, but also to establish a sense of awareness and advocacy for a segment of the Gulfport community that is ingrained in the very fabric of the community; it’s history, unique sensibility, and accepting creative spirit. The LGBTQ Resource Center is a is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit.
Phone: (727) 893-1074
Here is a listing of upcoming events for the next three months! Please call 727-893-1074 for more info
A Festival of Lesbian Literature Lesbian Voices Persist and Prevail!
Friday, February 26 through Sunday, February 28, 2021.
Please see ReadOut 2021 Website for specific times and information. mygulfport.us/readout
Virtual Reading with Tyler Gillespie on April 22, 2021, at 7 PM.
Registration link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ibwW3jfnQoOFeLkal50XRQ
Visit mygulfport.evanced.info/signup/calendar for regular updates on all library programs.
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A quarterly newsletter keeping you informed about what’s happening at the Gulfport Library’s LGBTQ Resource Center.
People Plan, Gods and Goddesses Laugh
Susan Gore, Board Chair
I recently looked up last Winter’s ShoutOut for the ReadOut 2021 Organizing Committee, and I admit, my cover article, 2020Vision: Looking Back, Moving Forward, made me laugh out loud. We had BIG PLANS for 2020, building on the success of Resource Center events in 2019 – ArtOut, ReadOut, June Pride month, our LGBTQ movie series…the list goes on.
ReadOut: A Festival of Lesbian Literature was the first – and last – live event to be held in 2020. It was a resounding success for the third year in a row, thanks to the hard work of co-chairs Alison Solomon and Karen Gates, backed by a dedicated cadre of volunteers. We realized the library was too small for 2021 and reserved the Casino.
We planned…and the gods/goddesses laughed. As the threat of COVID-19 grew, the City of Gulfport wisely closed all public facilities, including the Library and Casino. We adapted as reality sank in that “normal” has been replaced with a “new normal” of social distancing, face masks – and ZOOM.
ReadOut is coming back! We are delighted to announce ReadOut is returning as a virtual event, to be held February 26-28 on Zoom. Offering ReadOut 2021 on Zoom enables it to reach far beyond the borders of Gulfport, eliminating the cost of travel for authors and participants. In addition, with the generous support of your membership dues and the City of Gulfport’s technical assistance, the Resource Center is able to offer Readout 2021 for free to everyone who has online access. How right is it that this year’s theme is Lesbian Voices Persist and Prevail?!
ReadOut 2021 features leading lesbian authors Sally Bellerose, Elana Dykewomon, Sheree Greer, Sue Katz, Rose Norman, Jean Redmann and Susan Stinson, who will present livestreamed PODS on writing by elder lesbians, Jewish, Southern and Black lesbians. There will be prerecorded PEARLS with writings grouped into themes by authors who may come from anywhere in the world. Saturday night will provide entertainment, and PLAYTIME interludes of music, comedians and performance artists are designed throughout the event to help participants avoid becoming Zoom Zombies.
February 1 is the deadline for submitting a videotaped reading for ReadOut’s PEARLS
sessions. See the Call for Submissions that appears elsewhere or join us online February 26-28 as part of the community of authors and readers ReadOut supports.
ArtOut returns virtually in June, as well. Other programs are under development as we adapt to the “new normal” COVID-19 has created.
Call it a creative response to difficult circumstances, necessity birthing invention or just plain stubbornness, but your Resource Center remains committed to its mission, promoting awareness of the diversity of experiences contributions and needs of people who are lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender and/or queer.
Greetings past ReadOut participants!
The Organizing Committee is delighted to send you this CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS for ReadOut 2021: A Festival of Lesbian Literature. This year’s event is being held via ZOOM on Friday, Feb. 26 – Sunday, Feb. 28. In keeping with the resilience demonstrated by so many during the COVID pandemic, this year’s theme is Lesbian Voices Persist and Prevail.
ReadOut 2021 will be a unique hybrid of livestreamed interactive PODS, prerecorded readings in strings of PEARLS, and PLAYTIME entertainment and chat opportunities between sessions. Well-known lesbian authors including Sally Bellerose, Elana Dykewomon, Sheree Greer, Sue Katz, Rose Norman, Jean Redmann and Susan Stinson are slated to present 90-minute livestreamed PODS (aka panels) on themes such as elder lesbian writings, Black women writers, mystery, fiction and the intersection of friendship and careers as lesbian authors.
Details about how you may submit a prerecorded reading for consideration follow. With the magic of ZOOM, readers and participants may attend from anywhere in the world.
The deadline for submissions is February 1, 2021.
DO NOT MISS THIS EXCITING GLOBAL EVENT!
We look forward to your video readings! The Organizing Committee Edie Daly Sonja Franeta Susan Gore Ellen Levy Jeanine Normand Barbara Talkov Milton Wendland
Get to know our Board Members
Milton Wendland LGBTQ RESOURCE CENTER BIO
Milton and his husband Michael moved to the waterfront district in Gulfport in 2019, drawn by its old Florida charm and its walkability. Milton has long been a supporter of public libraries after growing up gay in a small rural town of just 800 people where the tiny branch library was a lifeline. He’s especially excited to be a part of the LGBT Resource Center and looks forward to helping maintain and grow the programming and success of the Resource Center.
Milton is a faculty member in the Department of Women’s & Gender Studies at USF Tampa, where he teaches courses like LGBTQ+ Cultures, Queer Film & TV, and Sexualities Studies. He has won the USF Faculty Pride award twice in the last seven years for his work with the LGBTQ+ community on campus and served as Co-Chair of the USF Presidential Committee on Issues of Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity. He presents regularly on LGBTQ+ issues on campus and in the community with organizations like Citibank Employee Education Committee, Pasco County LGBT Democrats, and Metro Inclusive Health’s LGBTQ+ Annual Youth Summit. He organized a “Queer Tour of St Petersburg” for student residents of the USF Stonewall Suites LGBTQ+ student residential floor, which included a guided tour of the LGBTQ Collection of the Gulfport Public Library and a visit without lesbian State Representative Jennifer Webb in the library’s outdoor garden area.
Prior to moving to Gulfport, Milton served on the Board of Directors at the Barbara S. Ponce Library in Pinellas Park for several years.
ZOOM BOOK READING, THE THING ABOUT FLORIDA, APRIL 22 at 7 p.m.
Join the LGBTQ Resource Center 2019 scholarship winner, Tyler Gillespie, as he reads from his new book, The Thing About Florida: Exploring a Misunderstood State, published by the University of Florida Press.
This FREE event on Zoom requires registration at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ibwW3jfnQoOFeLkal50XRQ
You may pre-order The Thing About Florida at Barnes & Noble, Amazon Amazon.com, or directly through the University Press of Florida at: https://upf.com/book.asp?id=9780813066875.
In The Thing about Florida, Tyler Gillespie faces his Florida denial and takes readers on an exuberant search for the state behind the caricatures, cutting through the media storm with curiosity and humor. His journey leads him to eclectic and unconventional Floridians who have been misrepresented in news stories. He interviews storm chasers, Civil War reenactors, cattle ranchers, drag queens, python hunters, and pet smugglers. His conversations delve into serious issues such as addiction, Florida’s racist past, and care options for the state’s LGBTQ senior citizens. With perspective and empathy derived from his background as a gay man raised Southern Baptist, Gillespie shows how important it is to understand the diversity and complexity of Florida today.
“Ripe with history, packed with fascinating information about the interior of the state, The Thing about Florida is a personal look at a profoundly misunderstood place. A necessary read.”— Kristen Arnett, author of Mostly Dead Things
Tyler Gillespie, a fifth-generation Floridian, is a poet and award-winning journalist. He has written for GQ, the Guardian, the Nation, VICE, and Salon. He is the author of Florida Man: Poems and co-editor of The Awkward Phase: The Uplifting Tales of Those Weird Kids You Went to School With.
We’re getting ready to celebrate our local artists in the fourth “annual” ArtOut. Unfortunately, last year’s 2020 ArtOut was just getting organized when COVID-19 changed our lives significantly.
The 2019 ArtOut exhibition at the Gulfport Public Library was a big success! We’re doing it again for 2021, although modified in some meaningful ways, and you are invited to join the fun!
This year, due to COVID-19, we plan to forego the opening reception and celebratory gathering for the flag-raising and proclamation activities on the library’s south lawn. If there is a change to that, we will post that notice in the library and on Facebook. But the ArtOut exhibit will be open and available for public viewing starting 10 AM Friday, May 28, 2021. As was true in previous years, your artwork will be displayed throughout the month of June – Pride Month. Your minimum commitment would be simply to loan one to three pieces of your work to be displayed in the library for the month. You will also have an additional opportunity mentioned below. Plus, you will need to sign a liability waiver… nothing has been damaged before, and we don’t expect that to change. We currently plan to collect your pieces of art in mid-May, so there would not be any person-to-person contact until then.
Here is an exciting change to ArtOut from previous years. The minimum requirement, as mentioned above, is the commitment to display your work in the library. In addition, for ArtOut 2021, given the socially distanced and virtual environment we’re in today, we will also offer the opportunity for you to submit a five- to seven-minute pre-recorded segment to be made available for art viewers both local and anywhere our website can be viewed…even internationally. This recording may be used to explain the inspiration and/or technique for your chosen pieces that will be on display, and something about yourself as a Gulfport artist. You may provide a link to allow ArtOut exhibit viewers (in person or virtual) to contact you or buy your work, but the segment may not contain a “sales pitch.” Look for more details soon, you may address additional questions to GulfportArtOut@gmail.com. The video submission is due by April 15, 2021. If your video submission is accepted, you, as the artist, will retain the copyright to the work, but you grant the library permission to edit the video with closed-captioning and the LGBTQ Resource Center the right to post your video online and to use or refer to it in Resource Center print and online publications and/or promotions for ArtOut.
You will also be listed in printed pieces promoting the exhibit and noted in the Pride month press releases that we send to the Gabber, Watermark, Tampa Bay Times, Creative Loafing, etc.
While we cannot sell your works in the library, several artists said they negotiated sales individually with people who saw their work during June. You are welcome to put prices or “not for sale/nfs” signage on your pieces and provide business cards available to attendees.
Wall art should be securely framed or on stretched canvas. We also have easels for small pieces that will go on tables in the exhibit area. If your work is three-dimensional and cannot be displayed on a table top, please provide a pedestal. We will decide on the placement of each piece after we know what kinds and how many works are going to be part of the exhibit. In general, we will attempt to locate an artist’s multiple pieces together.
We also invite you to help us create this show by sharing information about it with other artists you know who are either LGBTQ or whose work expresses LGBTQ-affirming themes. Here are the show requirements: Every artist needs to be a resident or to have clear ties to Gulfport (e.g., a studio in-town). Straight allies who support LGBTQ inclusion through their artwork and who are similarly local are also invited. For example, an ally’s work that shows two women or men embracing or some other image that clearly is identifiable as LGBTQ-positive would be welcomed. We believe our allies deserve to be part of the Pride celebration if they want to be included. The artwork by LGBTQ participants does not have to be gay-themed. ALL works must fit within the City of Gulfport’s family-friendly public expression policy, however. No naked humans or f-bombs, no matter how artistically they are represented.
You may request an art submission form at GulfportArtOut@gmail.com or pick one up in the racks at the entrance of the Gulfport Public Library.