Whenever we hear the expression “I LIVE,” we think of Anjila. This very hard-working young person is wonderful both in and out of drag. Every time she is on stage, she is the perfect example of a “class act.” You will be laughing, smiling and WOWed.
You Just Can’t Make This Stuff Up: A Lesson for Mark and Carrie
This week we had a very interesting conversation with Bonnie, a nice African American lady. Bonnie was in her 30s and had an active 3-year-old. She told us how she had been in Ybor City for the past 13 years and wanted to thank us for all that we have done to make Ybor a better place the last few years. Her observation was that the people of Ybor were always open minded and accepting of the LGBT community but the outside community didn’t know this.
It was not until the GaYBOR District members’ stickers started to appear in the storefront windows that people outside of Ybor started to come back and feel safe. They knew it was more caring and diversified. We thanked her and said it was a group effort of many good people in Ybor City. Then we told her the story about the stickers and Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio. In one of our many meetings with Pam, she asked about the bright GaYBOR stickers. We told her it was a way for LGBT people to know they are welcome and safe at this business. Pam looked surprised and said “In my city, the LGBT community is welcome everywhere.”
We sadly but wholeheartedly had to enlighten the mayor. We said, “Pam, picture yourself walking in a strange town by yourself. Some creepy people walk up fast behind you. You could turn and walk into a store and be safe. If you are a LGBT person, you are not sure that if you did this, that you would be safe in that store.”
Pam smiled and said “Now I understand.”
After we told this story to our new friend Bonnie, she smiled and said, “Maybe you guys don’t get it. It is not only the LGBT people who understand the rainbow but straight black women like me. When I was growing up, we always looked for the rainbow. It means these are cool, nice people and that I would be accepted there too. There were places in Ybor that I never thought about walking into until I saw the rainbow.”
Thank you Bonnie for enlightening us! Bonnie was right; the rainbow flag means acceptance of everybody. In this cruel world, a little small colorful sign of tolerance is very welcoming.
The Pro Shop, Established 1976
A stop at The Pro Shop is a must-do anytime you go to Clearwater! It is now the oldest LGBT Bar in the Tampa Bay area, having been established in 1976. We walked in and knew everybody in the club. WOW, what a “Cheers” bar! With great people and great drinks, it’s easy to see how The Pro Shop has been a staple in our community for so many years.
Three cheers for Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn! Our mayor has just made recycling so much easier! There are now 96-gallon green dump bins being distributed throughout Tampa. Everything recyclable goes in the bins together. It’s easier to say what does not get recycled than does. The new bins inspired us to do a garage clean out.
Sorry Carrie, the plastic containers that your plants were packaged in got recycled! LOL