Top LGBT weekend happenings

Pride & Passion, Una Voce and the Harvey Milk Festival highlight a weekend of fabulous events.



Looking for something fabulous to do this weekend? Here are our top LGBT events taking place in the Tampa Bay area this weekend.

Kick off your weekend early Thursday, May 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with an LGBTA (the “A” stands for ally) happy hour and networking event at Bar Louie in Tampa. There will be a cash bar, with appetizers and non-alcoholic soft drinks provided by the event’s sponsor, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Bring a business card for the prize drawing. To RSVP, e-mail Jennifer Glenn.

Or you could head south to join Equality Florida and the Manatee Players for the first-ever Suncoast Equality Connection in Manatee County Thursday, May 17, 5 to 7:15 p.m., at the Manatee Performing Arts Center in Bradenton. This free event is designed for Equality Florida members, LGBT equality supporters and those new to the organization to gather, mingle and learn more about how to support equality in Florida. There will be delicious light bites offered free of charge and a cash beer and wine bar. RSVP here.

Attendees may also stay for a performance of the George and Ira Gershwin musical My One and Only. Manatee Players will offer a 20 percent discount for Equality Connection attendees who call in to purchase their tickets using the code “EQFL”. The number is (941) 748-5875. Equality Connection attendees can also purchase discounted tickets the evening of the mixer, subject to availability.

Do you have a story or a poem to share? Maybe even a joke, a song or a rant? Anything goes when Oral Fixation takes the stage at Ybor City’s R Bar Thursday, May 15, 9 p.m., for its monthly LGBTQ open mic.

The fifth annual Harvey Milk Festival takes place in Sarasota this weekend. This fun, free music, arts and film festival celebrates and honors the life of Harvey Milk, one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. All of the musicians, filmmakers and artists participating support diversity and reject discrimination, and the event’s mission is to promote equality for LGBTQ people through supporting equal rights legislation.

Join the festival for its kick-off event, the screening of The Dog, Thursday, May 15, 9:30 p.m., at Burns Court Cinema. This important documentary depicts the real-life story of John Wojtowicz, the inspiration behind the cult classic film Dog Day Afternoon, which is about a 1970s bank heist in New York City to pay for Wojtowicz’s lover’s sex change.

The Harvey Milk Festival Equality Gallery will host its opening Friday, May 16, 7 to 10 p.m., at Circus City Architectural Salvage. This year’s gallery theme is “Love without Limits.” This opening will also include musical performances by Kristopher James and RaeF.

The main festivities will take place Saturday, May 17, 2:30 p.m. to midnight, at Five Points Park. This year’s headliners include Slow Magic, MeteorEYES and Ghost Beach, as well as various speakers, vendors, artists and more throughout the evening. The after party will be held at Throb Nightclub from 12 to 2 a.m.

Una Voce: The Florida Men’s Chorale performs Friday, May 16, 8 p.m., at The Palladium at St. Petersburg College, and Saturday, May 17, 8 p.m., at Hillsborough Community College Mainstage Theatre. Stand By Me, the group’s 12th anniversary concert, will feature songs about the journeys we make to find that one special person. In addition to their voices, Una Voce members will also share their own personal experiences with love, loss and life partnerships. A portion of every ticket sold will be donated to Equality Florida’s Get Engaged campaign. Tickets are $25.

Fall in Love with Pride & Passion this year and celebrate diversity in our community. Join over 800 at the Tampa Art Museum Saturday, May 17, 7 p.m. to midnight, for a dazzling night of art, entertainment, food and drinks. Proceeds from the event support the museum’s educational programs and help bring new and unique exhibitions to Tampa.

Tickets are $100 and include heavy hors d’oeuvres by Timpano Italian Chophouse, dessert and coffee by Piquant Hyde Park, signature Tito’s Vodka Cocktails, the Wine Exchange champagne bar, entertainment, full gallery access and an annual museum membership. Upgrade your tickets to VIP status, or be a Passion sponsor for $500.

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