Broward

  • With summer behind us, the political season is coming to life. Here’s a few juicy nuggets on the LGBT scene.

  • Betsy Benson, a longtime public defender, launched her campaign for Broward County Court Judge during a well-attended function at her offices in Coral Springs on Thursday evening, Oct. 8.

  • When Chris Caputo was diagnosed with HIV five years ago, he “cried it out.” Then, he sought out the help and support he needed. “I thought the world was over,” he said. 

  • If you flip through the channels on your television, you’re likely to run across a performance by the thrilling keyboard duo of David Dunlap and Wesley Pennington. They can usually be found on one of the local PBS affiliates during the important membership drives with their popular program of classic and pop songs performed on piano and a custom Wersi computer organ.

  • Strong communities are made of great, supportive people. Denise Spivak is one of them. You may know her from Women in Network (she’s a past board president); or perhaps seen her during an AIDSWalk, or supporting another South Florida pride event. 

  • Dr. Myron Davidson is an internal medicine doctor in Wilton Manors. On any given Saturday morning, the Rowan Tree Medical office is buzzing with patients—men, women, young, old, straight or gay.

  • The Reverend Doctor Durrell Watkins lets the sun shine in at Sunshine Cathedral. Watkins, the Reverend of the Sunshine Cathedral boasts that it is a ‘different kind of church’ where all are welcome. The church is a vibrant, thriving, progressive congregation that features blended worship, liberal theology, biblical exposition (likely in new ways than many are used to), and a lot of unapologetic fun.

  • When Emery Grant organizes discussions dealing with culture, sexual orientation and other issues, he tries to be as inclusive as possible. But there’s one thing he always attempts to exclude: preconceived notions.

  • Last year, Harold Dioquino was selected to become the artistic director of the critically-acclaimed 150-voice Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida. Born and trained in the Philippines, Dioquino had served for five years as associate director and then one season as interim artistic director while the chorus initiated a nationwide search.

  • Jarad Gibson is not your typical attorney. He practices law by day and runs a candy store by night.

  • There are few people that have done as much for the South Florida LGBT community as Jodi Reichman.

  • He’s a husband, outdoorsman, mayor and best of all – daddy.

  • Between working as an executive office manager for CenterLink, volunteer for the Pride Center and Women in Network, Julia Landis does whatever she can for her community — and she loves it.

  • Re-elected to the Wilton Manors City Commission in 2016, Julie Carson continues a record of public service.

  • Kezia Gilyard is the LGBQ+ and T Coordinator for Broward County Public School district. In that role, Gilyard protects the rights and liberties of LGBQ+ and T students, staff and families, with an emphasis on intersectionality. The job includes training school staff on policies and procedures for LGBQ+ and T, including sensitivity and resiliency training.

  • If there is one safe space for LGBTQ youth, it’s SunServe. If there’s one person who leads them, it’s Mandi Hawke.

  • Urbandictionary.com defines “Kiki” as “a party including good music and good friends, held for the express purpose of calming nerves, reducing anxiety and stress and generally fighting ennui. May involve locked doors, tea and salacious gossip.” 

  • For years, Miik Martorell has been one of South Florida’s most popular local DJs. On any given weekend, he could be found in the booths of the most popular dance clubs, some long gone, some current fixtures in the gay nightlife scene.

  • Like many leaders, Morgan Mayfaire’s journey began because he saw a need.

  • In 2016, Paulette Armstead made her first run for political office. She lost her race for the Florida House of Representatives by just 718 votes.

  • Rajee Narinesingh is on a journey with lots of ups and downs. People all over the world know her face and the story behind it thanks to the reality TV show Botched. 

  • Robert Lamarche is all about building families. He spent most of his career in social work – focusing on child welfare. Lamarche is now an attorney and Executive Director of ACF Adoptions, a licensed, private adoption agency that provides adoption services to birthmothers and adoptive parents, including LGBT parents. Lamarche was also involved in creating the Pride Center’s “parenting series” for LGBT parents looking to parent and also volunteered to build the playground there.

  • Roger Roa is a busy man. As Director of Development for the Pride Center at Equality Park, Roa handles all the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of major donors for annual, capital and planned gifts. He also plans and executes the Center’s major events such as the Rainbow 5k, Diversity Honors Gala and Wicked Manors. 

  • Tatiana Williams is enthusiastic about fighting HIV. Her passion guides her in the many roles she fills in our community. At the Pride Center she is the Testing Expansion Coordinator, where every day she works to reduce the incidence of HIV infections.

  • There’s not too much work in South Florida for someone of Tiffany Arieagus’ talents. But Arieagus, a transgender woman and former Miss F.I. Florida in 1978, who sings jazz, disco and the blues, isn’t having trouble getting work in other parts of the country and the rest of the world.

  • Tom Runyan left active duty with the U.S. Navy under the Clinton-era policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” The policy, he said, was “designed to keep LGBT persons in the closet.”

  • Victor Zepka is the owner of the Boardwalk Bar. Zepka opened the Fort Lauderdale mainstay in Miami in 1984 and relocated it to Broward in 2001. Zepka describes Boardwalk as more than just a bar—he says it’s an entertainment complex.

  • After their announcement of becoming fathers last month, Pete and Chasten Buttigieg shared their first family photo with their twin babies to the world.

  • Can Beyonce (ID 656127) hop into your heart and home? This beautiful bunny is sweet, curious and doesn’t mind being held. 

  • Adorable Maggie (ID 657766) is a 4-year-old, Australian shepherd who was transferred to the Humane Society of Broward County from a rural shelter.