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South Florida is home to tens of thousands of LGBT folks looking for love – sometimes in all the wrong places.

So we decided for this Valentine’s Day to let our readers nominate themselves, or others, so we could choose and highlight 10 of them. We received 75 nominations – far more than we expected in such a short amount of time. There were so many wonderful nominees we just couldn’t just decide on 10 – so we bumped it up to 19. We hope to make this an annual tradition where we highlight some of our region’s most interesting and eligible singles who are looking for a date for Valentine’s Day.

Check out Part 2 as well.

Interested in meeting one of these individuals? Email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we’ll make sure to connect you.

Dasha Shareyko


How do you identify? Woman

Occupation? Narrative Designer and Writer

Where do you live? Miami

Age? 22

What are you looking for in a partner? Someone with a sense of constant adventure. Not afraid to swim in the ocean at night (who knows?). Sense of humor would also be appreciated.

Biggest turn-off? When they talk only about themselves and never listen.

Biggest turn-on? Making me laugh. Never being condescending. Getting pop culture references.

Hobbies: Cosplay. Diving. Snorkeling. Writing (Romance)

Any charitable/volunteer work? I volunteered at the Aquarium of the Pacific once.

Pets/kids/neither? Puppy - Dream (named after Dream of the Endless from The Sandman) 

What’s your love language? Touch. Sometimes gifts.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Casual movie night or something more active like ice skating.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Baking shows with lots of failures.

One obscure fact about yourself: I can’t live more than two months with the same hair color. 

What’s Your Motto? Never shy away from what you love - it’s your life.

Sid Diaz


How do you identify? I personally don’t identify as anything. I actually work hard at trying not to identify with anything, to allow myself space to grow and keep an open mind where I can have many things in common with anything or anyone without putting myself in “a little box.”

Occupation? I’m retired from The U.S. ARMY (Vet) and a certified chef.

Where do you live? Live in North Miami Beach. Born and raised in San Juan PR.

Age? 51 years young.

What are you looking for in a partner? I’m looking for someone with a sense of humor, that can dish it as much as take it. Honestly, I’m not looking for anything in specific, yet there’s so much I can admire and even get sucked in by the person I least expected, with a new quality that just might blow my mind.

Biggest turn-off? Biggest turn off is being with someone that wants me to make all decisions, choose the restaurant, and pretty much let me be in a relationship with myself. I cannot be with someone who’s insecure to the extent that they can’t even remember what they like because they’ve spent so much time focusing on pleasing others. 

Biggest turn-on? Biggest turn on is someone who’s smart, funny and a hopeless romantic.

HobbiesI love refurbishing furniture. All crafts! And of course, cooking.

Pets/kids/neither? I have two dogs: both 12 years and I honestly think they can be so much better than many humans! I have two adult sons who have their own families.

What’s your love language? My love language is physical. I love to be held and touched, caressed, slept on (CRUSHED) lol anything where I can feel that special someone’s touch or vice versa. BTW I’m not necessarily looking for someone whose love language is the same as mine.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Favorite date night activity has got to be people watching, anywhere and of course making fun of them in a healthy way of course. I have no interest in intimidating people.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Hahahaha where should I start? Am I the only one who has noticed that almost everything that gives us true pleasure gives us the biggest guilt trips, but anyway, I will say food! I love all food!

One obscure fact about yourselfI’d have to say that I love being around way younger people because other than working and paying my bills, I’d be considered a 15-16-year-old…lol! In a good way.

Carlos A. Blanco


How do you identify? Gay-Bear!

Occupation? I am currently working as a Massage Therapist with future hopes of completing school to practice Oriental Medicine.

Where do you live? Wilton Manors

Age? 36 years old

What are you looking for in a partner? I am looking for someone who has their own ambitions and actively working towards them. Go hard, yet we can support each other as we move forwards during hard times. Travel and go to different shows/theaters. Someone to get in trouble with in this town, grab my hand and run with me as opposed to holding me back.

Biggest turn off? Someone who can’t put down the phone on a date/conversation. Lacks ambition. Guys that run late constantly. Beats around the bush or expects me to read their minds.

Biggest turn on? A guy who carries himself with confidence directs and leads with compassion. Love a dark (and normal) sense of humor. Furry men and beards tend to catch my eye. Backrubs! And a nice butt.

Hobbies: Cooking from scratch, going to shows or performances (theater, music, comedy), Going to the beach at night. Enjoy getting together with friends and watching shows together. Also into Gayming (I can get competitive and talk trash though.)

Any charitable/volunteer work? Absolutely! I have been told, "You can’t keep anything if you don’t give it away." I volunteer annually at one of the biggest conferences held down here in South Florida every year. Also, I inspire to volunteer at the SMART ride massaging riders. (Future Goals, haven't completed this one yet.)

Pets/kids/neither? I love pets. I wanted to be a Veterinarian when I was younger. Currently have a bearded dragon named "Princess Buddha." I grew up with dogs all my life, love them. Kids, I’m open to in the future with a stable partner.

What’s your love language?Surprised me, but apparently it's receiving gifts! But just to add, it's more a thoughtful "thinking of you" type gift than name expensive brands or labels. If a guy can surprise me, that's huge for me because I feel I am hard to surprise.

What’s your favorite date night activity? It has to be the theater and/or performances, but specifically theater plays. Going out to a new restaurant and then heading to watch a play at the Broward Center or a local theater in Wilton Manors has to be my absolute favorite activity. Easy way to get me to rub your back to sleep at night.

What’s your guilty pleasure?Korean dramas and anime while having cheesecake.

One obscure fact about yourselfAdrenaline junkie. I like being scared and taking risks. I've jumped out of planes, swam with crocodiles, and rappeled off the side of a 12-story building. Heck, I even survived a pig dance!

What’s Your Motto? " least I’m not ugly."

Eileen Oakley


How do you identify? Female; lesbian.

Occupation? Retired.

Where do you live? Stuart.

Age? 68.

What are you looking for in a partner? One who enjoys life; respects others.

Biggest turn off? Show off; bragger.

Biggest turn on? Kindness; acceptance of others.

Hobbies: pickleball; dancing.

Any charitable/volunteer work? I volunteer at a horse rescue

Pets/kids/neither? Two male cats

What’s your love language? Quality Time and words of affirmation.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Dinner and dancing or relaxing and snuggling.

What’s your guilty pleasure? A few drinks on the weekend.

One obscure fact about yourself: I enjoy new adventures.

What’s Your Motto? Treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Valencia Gunder


How do you identify? Black/Lesbian/She/Gemini

Occupation? Non-Profit Director

Where do you live? Miami

Age? 38

What are you looking for in a partner? A Sunday kind of love. Unattached, Healed, Spontaneous, Black (From anywhere in the world), Woman, Funny, Honest, Happy, Masculine, Goal Oriented, Family first, Community grounded, Mental stability, Nice Smile, Creative, Sexy, Introverted extrovert, High Sex Drive, Long term/Life Partner and Best friend. Must know how to dress. (Swagger is Mandatory) **Shrugs**

Biggest turn off? Being attached to your ex in any way (Unless you all have children). Laziness.

Biggest turn on? Spunk/Wit. And Swag!

Hobbies: Cooking, Reading, Serving Community, DIY Home projects and Sometimes I think I'm a comedian.

Any charitable/volunteer work? I don't do charity. But my life's work is serving the community through models of self-determination. I get the joy of waking up every day and serving and supporting communities with tools to restore hope! So if you date me, be ready for lots of community engagement.

Pets/kids/neither? My nieces, nephews and God Children are my whole entire world! You will see what I mean when/if we meet.

What’s your love language? Physical touch and acts of kindness.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Candle making, good food, and a night stroll on the sand by the beach.

What’s your guilty pleasure? True crime documentaries and cannabutter.

One obscure fact about yourself: No obscured facts. I'm an open book, read me!

What’s Your Motto? I am because we are!

Martin Donald Goodkin


How do you identify? Gay Male

Occupation? Retired

Where do you live? Fort Lauderdale

Age? 87 (Or being a Leap Year Baby I will be 22 on February 29, 2024)

What are you looking for in a partner? Honesty

Biggest turn off? Homophobics

Biggest turn on? Life

Hobbies: Writing, theatre, movies, the beach

Any charitable/volunteer work? I prefer to remain behind the scenes and unknown

Pets/kids/neither? Neither

What’s your love language? Words of affection and touch

What’s your favorite date night activity? Theatre, dinner, sex

What’s your guilty pleasure? Sex in the ocean

One obscure fact about yourself: No choice; has to remain obscure

What’s Your Motto? As long as I wake up, not too early, in the morning I am a winner!

Lilly Ann Velez


How do you identify? Woman of Trans Experience and my sexual orientation is Lesbian.

Occupation? Operations Manager at Amazon.

Where do you live? Miami.

Age? 39.

What are you looking for in a partner? Someone to grow old with, someone that accepts me for who I am and have similar goals as mine. Someone to share my life with!

Biggest turn off? People who are fake and try to impress. Just be yourself.

Biggest turn on? A self-made independent woman that takes charge and also exercises.

Hobbies: Running (I run about 5 miles per day), music (I play bass, guitar and drums), anything outdoors.

Any charitable/volunteer work? I’m an Executive Board Member of the Board of Directors for Miami Beach Pride.

Pets/kids/neither? My three kids ages 16, 9 & 5 and my doggie Pinky.

What’s your love language? I’m a hopeful romantic, flowers, handwritten letters, details, and physical touch!

What’s your favorite date night activity? If it’s a date night out, dinner (doesn’t matter whether the place is fancy or not, as long as the date is fun and we share a good time full of laughs and quality time). If it's a stay home date, I cook a delicious romantic dinner and share some wine and maybe watch a movie or play some music.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Krispy Kreme Donuts.

One obscure fact about yourself: I started my transition in 2019 but I’ve been able to accomplish a lot like my GRS and my FFS.

What’s Your Motto? Why is it called Common Sense if it’s not so common? Learn to not make norms out of exceptions! Assumptions are the mother of all screwups!

Miguel Pinedo


How do you identify? Cisgender gay male.

Occupation? Media and Social Media Analyst

Where do you live? Hollywood

Age? 49

What are you looking for in a partner? I'm looking for a potential life partner. He has to be trustworthy, loyal, sincere, honest, a best friend, good sense of humor, family-oriented, hard worker, and empathetic. A good human being with good feelings, loving and affectionate.

Biggest turn off? Lies, cheating and disloyalty

Biggest turn on? Empathetic, funny and loving. Hairy (Not a Must), great smile and tall

Hobbies: Gym and long walks

Any charitable/volunteer work? I support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Pets/kids/neither? A cat son named Chester

What’s your love language? My love language is a few words of affirmation, physical touch and quality time.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Anywhere but doing it together! going out for dinner, movies, staying in bed watching tv.

What’s your guilty pleasure? Lots of desserts!

One obscure fact about yourself: Not obscure but funny maybe: When I have nightmares I yell sometimes, so I will scare you in the middle of the night hahaha.

What’s Your Motto? "Don't do to others what you don't want to be done onto you."

Mayte de la Mata


How do you identify: She/Her

Occupation? Counselor, Mortgage Loan Originator, Real Estate Investor

Where do you live? Miami

Age: 50

What do you look for in a partner? Someone who is on a spiritual path, honesty, integrity and we must have chemistry.

Biggest turn off? Racist, and close-minded.

Hobbies? Biking, rollerblading, and remodeling houses.

Charitable/Volunteer work? Volunteer at Unity on the Bay, and Habitat for Humanity.

Pets: I rescue pets. Currently have a beautiful old lady, a dachshund named Luna; A chill shih tzu named David & a tiny Yorkie with a broken jaw and several tumors named Mia. They are my furry babies and I give them Reiki and much love on a daily basis.

What's your love language? Spending quality time with the woman I love. Physical touch. I am a hugger and a lover.

Favorite night activity: spending quality time walking and talking under the moon and the stars while feeling a cool breeze on my skin. I love deep conversations and spending time talking about anything and everything. No small superficial talk here.

Guilty pleasure: A glass of malbec, chocolate and a deep passionate kiss.

My motto: The most powerful force on earth is the human soul on fire! Live with passion and purpose.

Salvannah Phillips


How do you identify? Female / Woman.

Occupation? Safe House for Children.

Where do you live? Port Saint Lucie Florida.

Age? 62

What are you looking for in a partner? Kind-Honest-Self-confident person-A take charge type but also open.

Biggest turn off? A drunk or liar. Bad hygiene.

Biggest turn on? Self-confidence.

Hobbies: I am not a handy person but I have a big imagination and love DIY projects, theater, and arts, so I am always trying to create something. Keyword “trying” lol as finishing a project it then ending up with professionals correcting all my mistakes or close friends or family. But the idea and vision always seem great!

Any charitable/volunteer work? I am a volunteer for children and women that have been abused. I also advocate for children and women. I run toy drives and occasional clothes drives. I also feed the homeless on the holidays! I have run a safe house for over 27 years helping young women and children. I have also worked in the foster care system and have taken care of over 43 children in my home as well as provide an educational home for children all around the world with the Exchange Program.

Pets/kids/neither? I have an adult son.

What’s your love language? Quality time.

What’s your favorite date night activity? Cooking a special meal together and enjoying each other’s company. There is always passion for food at least for me!

What’s your guilty pleasure? It may sound cheesy but relaxing in an indoor jacuzzi chatting since it is where you most feel each other's vulnerability, no clothes, no one around, you can’t walk away, no phone just you and that special person with a sense of sexiness.

One obscure fact about yourself: It would be that my deliverance when speaking is not to be rude it is just my passion for speaking the truth!

What’s Your Motto? Life is like a camera: focus on what is important, capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.

All photos courtesy or by Carina Mask.


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