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  • September 20, 2017 12:00 PM | Kevin (Administrator)

    The Get-IT network will be holding their next meeting October 7th and will have a guest speaker from the Florida Legal Rural Services and will discus how to legally change your name and official documents for free!

    This is both for adults and children/parents. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Get-IT network or FL Legal Rural Services.

    Join them and please share this if you know someone that might be interested

    Contact Get-IT at:
    info@get-it.network

    http://get-it.network/
  • September 15, 2017 5:18 AM | Kevin (Administrator)


    Arlene Goldberg, founding member and board member of the Southwest Florida Harmony Chamber of Commerce, joined demonstrators from across the U.S. to participate in the annual Equality March in Washington, D.C: “This is personal for me. No one should experience the fear and anxiety [my late wife] Carol and I endured for so many years.”

    June is National LGBT Pride Month. This year, I joined several thousand demonstrators from across the U.S. to participate in the annual Equality March in Washington, D.C. It was an amazing show of solidarity to support equality for our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

    Sadly, this year’s celebration also marks a somber occasion, as we remember the 49 victims killed and others injured in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando one year ago. Many of the victims were LGBT Hispanic young people. This horrific event underscores the need to stamp out hatred toward LGBT people and all minority communities to prevent future targeted acts of violence.

    This month, we also celebrate the two-year anniversary that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of marriage equality for same-sex couples nationwide. This ruling was a milestone for the LGBT community and our fight for equality under the law. I wish my late wife, Carol, had been with me on that day to see it happen. Carol and I were partners for 47 years before she passed away in 2014, one year before the historic decision was delivered.

    Carol and my marriage was the first same-sex marriage to be recognized by the state of Florida. We were married in a legal ceremony in New York in 2011. But when we returned to our home in Fort Myers, our marriage was not recognized at that time in our home state. Following Carol’s death, with the help of the ACLU of Florida, I challenged the state of Florida in court to be listed as Carol’s surviving legal spouse on her death certificate and prevailed. Carol’s death certificate was amended to recognize us as a married couple. Four months later, in January 2015, the Florida Supreme Court allowed marriage equality to proceed for same-sex couples in the state. Continue reading on News-Press.com

  • August 25, 2017 11:23 PM | Kevin (Administrator)
    Link to the Original Article on Financial Planner LA

    Love the Best Gay Financial Planner

    Why a Gay Financial Planner Just Might Be Best for You

    In ordinary times, the politics of who works with you and your money shouldn’t matter a lick.  But hoo boy, my friends, these are far from ordinary times.  That’s why having a gay, or at least a gay-friendly, financial planner can make the going a little better for all parties.

     By David Rae Certified Financial Planner™, Accredited Investment Fiduciary™

     The demographic truth is that that the financial planning industry – my industry – is mostly older, whiter and more socially conservative that the population as a whole.  Mind you, just because your adviser is a 65-year-old Trump supporter doesn’t necessarily mean he (and in this case he probably is a ‘he’) is a big ol’ homophobe.  But aside from some notable, admirable exceptions (I’m doffing my hat to you Mike Bloomberg), fiscal conservatives aren’t exactly out there speaking up for LGBT rights.  Some, in fact, may be blatantly hostile to them.

     What difference does any of this make when it comes to financial planning? Quite simply, the way you spend and allocate your money has everything to do with who you are and how you live. It follows that if someone has a visceral prejudice against your very existence, how can you trust them to have your best interests at heart?

     So here are the top reasons you may be happier with a LGBT  gay or gay-friendly financial planner:

     

    1 – Worldview of a Gay Financial Planner

    Every time I go to a financial industry event I’m reminded how conservative many advisers are.  They may be nice guys, but wow do we see the world differently.  I’ve spoken to many women who describe their families advisor as creepy.  Not exactly how I’d want to be described, or a skill I’d like for in my financial planner.

     A gay financial planner will more likely share your social and political views. Why is this important? In a nutshell it gets down to trust and empathy. In today’s climate it’s very difficult to trust someone or feel empathy for – or in turn be trusted by or feel empathy from – someone with a vastly different political orientation. (This is an unfortunate by-product about how our brains are wired. But the moral and ethical implications of neuroscience are a conversation for another day.) Hopefully, this means hiring someone you can trust. If you find that you can more easily trust someone who is gay or gay-friendly, then so be it.  (I’m no Pollyanna, mind you. I’m well aware that there are plenty of amazing and wonderful straight people just as I know there are nefarious and dastardly gay ones.)

     Then there is the business of making your money walk the talk. For all the gay alt-right Peter Thiels or self-hating homophobic Milo Yiannopoulouses out there, there are millions more of us who want to put our money where our hearts are and support our brethren in LGBT businesses.

     

    2 – Lifestyle comprehension- The Best Gay Financial Planner Advantage

    We’d like to think that the closet is history but in many parts of the country staying ‘in’ can literally be a matter of survival.

     Over the years I’ve spoken with tons of people who were afraid to come out to their financial professionals. This is a supposedly trustworthy person whose brief is to guide you towards financial freedom. But if they don’t know what truly motivates you and what you are looking to accomplish, how can they possibly offer the best advice for your specific goals and the time frame in which to accomplish them?

     I’ve also literally reviewed financial plans where the sex of the second spouse was changed to cover the fact that this was an LGBT couple.  Two glaring problems present themselves here:

    1)  The input of both spouses were not included. Financial Planning for couples (gay or straight) is not a solo sport.

    2) Health care needs and life expectancy are quite different if a couple is two women, versus two men.  The difference may not be dramatic now, but can prove quite sizable over time.

     Does marriage equality mean the end of LGBT-specific financial planning?

    I’m guessing no and that the best LGBT-oriented financial planning is here to stay even if, we hope and pray, homophobia eventually gives up the ugly ghost.

     The good news is that the LGBTQ community has achieved legal marriage equality. With that equality comes all the rights and responsibilities of marriage. When it comes to income taxes and estate planning, this has really helped level the playing field for LGBT citizens by granting access to spousal benefits like Social Security and additional retirement account options.

    But alas, marriage equality does not mean an end to the unique challenges facing LGBT seniors. From ingrained homophobia throughout much of the country, to unique health care issues and needs.  Plus, gay seniors may differ in priorities, interests, hobbies and ideal retirement options.  Case in point, I’m still in the prime of my working life but I can’t imagine that my biased (and stereotypical) gay tastes are going to change when I’m older. I’ll always prefer discussing the play Hamilton to a play-by-play analysis of Superbowl Whatever. (Kidding here on that last bit, my father played in Superbowl XI with the Oakland Raiders. Fair warning, pal, I can talk sports with the best of them).

    Best Gay Financial Planner Unicorn ChihuahuaThis Unicorn may not be real, but the Best Gay Financial Planner is.

    Checklist essentials for a Gay Financial Plan

    Choosing the best gay financial planner is one of the more important decisions you’ll ever make as an adult. Here’s what to look for:

    • Make sure your financial advisor provides the services that you need to help you accomplish your specific financial goals. Maybe they’re great for the guy down the block but that doesn’t mean they’ll be good for you.
    • Upgrade to a person who actually does comprehensive financial planning as opposed to just selling investments or insurance products.
    • Look for professional designations like Certified Financial Planner™ and Accredited Investment Fiduciary™.
    • Make sure your financial planner works on the Fiduciary Standard. This means that they put your financial best interests before their own and must offer unbiased advice. Want to know if they are working under the fiduciary standard? Just ask.
    • If you are approaching retirement, you may also want to consider your advisor’s age. If they are much older than you, will they still be working when you need them most in the later years of your own retirement? If not, is there a younger partner in place to assure seamless succession?

     If your prospective financial advisor passes muster with flying colors on all the above, then you ask if he or she is a fiscally fabulous LGBT Financial Planner. Affirmative? Hop on your unicorn and ride on over to their office and let them help you maximize your money while you maximize your life.

    Best Gay Financial Planner LA David RAE


    David Rae is one of the top LGBT Financial Planners in the Country


    Live for Today, But Plan for Tomorrow. Gay Money Matters.

     

     DAVID RAE, CFP®, AIF® is a Los Angeles-based retirement planner with DRM Wealth Management. He has been helping friends of the LGBT community reach their financial goals for over a decade. A regular contributor to the Advocate Magazine, Investopedia and Huffington Post as well as the author of the Financial Planner Los Angeles Blog. He lives in West Hollywood with his husband and two Chihuahuas. For more information check out his Fiduciary Financial Planning Website www.davidraefp.com

    The opinions voiced in this article are for general information only.
  • August 15, 2017 10:26 PM | Kevin (Administrator)

    Original press release from NGLCC

    NGLCC released the following statement in condemnation of the attack against Americans in Charlottesville, Virginia:

    “The NGLCC and our allies in business will not remain silent in the face of attacks on America’s diverse communities. Charlottesville must be a wakeup call

    that we cannot ignore the hatred that

    exists against Americans based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, and more. Diversity is the lifeblood of this nation, and celebrating our diversity is essential for our moral and economic wellbeing.

    The hearts of the NGLCC family go out to those harmed by these attacks, and attacks like this around the world. Our outrage must be focused on supporting the health and wellbeing of our diverse communities, ensuring their voices are elevated, celebrated, and encouraged to thrive.  There has never been a more important time for solidarity among America’s diverse communities, our allies, and the businesses who believe in them.”

    Attributed to NGLCC Co-Founder & President Justin Nelson and Co-Founder & CEO Chance Mitchell

    # # #

    ABOUT NGLCC:
    The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce is the business voice of the LGBT community and is the largest global advocacy organization specifically dedicated to expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT people. NGLCC is the exclusive certification body for LGBT-owned businesses. www.nglcc.org | @NGLCC

    MEDIA CONTACT:
    Jonathan Lovitz
    Senior Vice President
    jlovitz@nglcc.org
    954-695-5896

  • August 09, 2017 10:00 AM | Kevin (Administrator)

    Members of Congress are headed home for the August recess.  This is a huge opportunity for the LGBTQ community to demonstrate our strength and reach.  Now would be a great time to schedule a visit with your representative in their local office.  Find them here.

    In September things like budget, health care reform, and immigration policy will be tackled in Washington. These subjects have real-life implications for us.  It's important to let your representatives know about the issues concerning our community.  Make sure they understand that you're watching how they are voting.

    Here is a 5-part video guide and a tookit from the Indivisible Project and NextGen America on how to engage in activism over the August recess.

    Sent via ActionNetwork.org.

  • August 02, 2017 5:16 PM | Kevin (Administrator)

    Original Story with Video Clip from News-Press.com

    I am often concerned when I think about what my “world” will look like in 20 years.

    You should know that “my world,” as it is, consists of aging gay, lesbian and transgender Americans.

    I am one of many “out and proud” gay physicians in our great country. It is my vocation to help my patients age the best way they can.

    Clint PotterI am not naive, nor are most of my patients and those who love them.  Our health care system is in a state of dangerous flux when it comes to caring for a populous that will double in number to more than 7 million in 20 years  (70 million over the age of 65 total population, gay and straight and every stripe in between).

    What, then, are the most crucial issues of our greying gay population?

    We are, first and foremost, Americans, above and beyond anything else.  We are proud military veterans, we live in all counties in the U.S.; we are the teachers, laborers, judges, politicians, doctors, lawyers, farmers and just plain folk that make up the beautiful fabric of America.  

    So when my patients ask me, “Doc, what will happen to me when I get old? Where will I go, and who will look after me?” I take their hand and at the very least let them know they won’t have to go there alone.

    But before I could answer some simple questions, I realized I didn’t know half as much as I thought I did about the challenges facing older lesbian, gay and transgender persons.

    A big issue that kept screaming at me during my research was “Social Isolation.” 

    In fact, older LGBT persons are twice as likely to live alone, twice as likely to be single in old age and four times less likely to have children. 

    Many of my patients are estranged from their biological families.

    With Social Isolation comes self-neglect, depression, anxiety and a host of preventable morbidities for our elderly.  One fix would be to gravitate to housing situations that are welcoming to us.  Indeed this phenomenon is beginning to take form slowly but steadily in cities in the U.S.  

    Another important call to action should be to our clergy and church members that are of LGBT affirming denominations.

    What about housing and culturally sensitive health care?

    Will Mary and Alice, a loving lesbian couple in a 50-year relationship be able to stay together when they need to enter an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home?  Will staff even recognize their love? 

    After navigating a lifetime of discrimination, prejudice and outright hate, will my older patients be told they now have to “go back into the closet” as they become dependent on caregivers they don’t know?  

    To my fellow physicians, I say, at the very least, be aware that roughly 10 percent of your patients are gay, lesbian and/or transgender.  We don’t have to fail so miserably at addressing the needs of our older gay patients.  

    When we took that oath, yes, the one where we vowed to “do no harm,” did we pretend we could be selective about caring for one of the most vulnerable slices of our society?  I don’t think the majority of my colleagues willfully disregard his or her LGBT patients.  But how many of us ask who our patients really are?  What makes up their world and who loves and cares for them?  Who will call or stop by to check on our uniquely special patients when they become ill?

    Finally, to my patients, I say the same things I have had said for years: Please eat better foods, don’t smoke, drink less alcohol, and try to get a hobby that takes you out of your house on a regular basis.  Move more and laugh when you get the chance. 

    And, if possible, to the extent you can, live out loud, be counted. You’ve come too far to accept anything less than the best health care, housing and legal rights all Americans have come to expect.

    The times they are a changing.  

    Dr. Clint Potter, of Naples, is a veteran of LGBT medicine and a long-standing member of GLMA (Gay and Lesbian Medical Association).
  • July 20, 2017 7:30 AM | Kevin (Administrator)

    The IT consulting firm expects to grow to more than 2,300 associates by 2022.

    See the informational video on News-Press.com

  • July 20, 2017 7:02 AM | Kevin (Administrator)

    This week the Republicans' Better Care Reconciliation Act failed due to lack of votes. Your advocacy is working, but they haven't given up on throwing millions of people off health care coverage.  The fight for our lives is not over.  A scarier and deadlier bill has come back to life.

    Republicans now plan to vote on a complete repeal of Obamacare without replacement that would leave 32 million more without health care and premiums would double! We need to stay vigilantto stop this inhumane decision that would affect thousands of LGBT people.

    Contact these wavering Senators to tell them to VOTE NO ON REPEAL.

    Senator Jeff Flake:  (202) 224-4521

    Senator Flake's Facebook

    Senator Flake's Twitter


    Senator Dean Heller:   (202) 224-6244

    Senator Heller's Facebook

    Senator Heller's Twitter


    Senator Rob Portman:  (202) 224-3353

    Senator Portman's Facebook

    Senator Portman's Twitter

    To contact all other senators call:  (202) 224-3121

  • July 19, 2017 10:42 PM | Kevin (Administrator)
    Original Story  from The River Weekly News



    Rotarians Present Leader Awards

    The Rotary Club of Fort Myers South presented its prestigious 4-Way Test Award to Arlene Goldberg and Vocational Service Leadership Award to Diana Willis at its June 26 luncheon.

    Rotary’s 4-Way Test is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test acknowledges truth, fairness, goodwill and benefit for all concerned. It is the standard by which a Rotarian’s highest level of conduct is measured, and the criteria Rotary Club of Fort Myers South uses to award a community member every year.

    Along with many other community service activities, Goldberg is co-founder of both the Southwest Florida Harmony Chamber of Commerce and Visuality. The harmony chamber provides networking and business outreach opportunities for LGBTQ business owners, potential customers and straight allies. Visuality is a non-profit organization aimed at ending violence, harassment and discrimination based on real or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or expression. It provides support groups, educational panels, workshops and youth socials to reduce violence and isolation.

    Goldberg successfully fought for her and her late wife, Carol, to become the first legally married same-sex marriage in the state of Florida. In making sure that the privileges most of us take for granted are beneficial and fair to all in our community, she lives by the spirit of the 4-Way Test.

     

     The Vocational Service Leadership Award recognizes individuals who exemplify integrity and high ethical standards in their vocation and use their vocational talents to serve the community. As vice president, chief motivational officer and co-owner of Jason’s Deli of Southwest Florida, Willis operates six locations from Sarasota to Naples, employing more than 300 people.

    Over the past 16 years, Willis has assisted many nonprofits in the five counties her business serves, and is current board chair for PACE Center for Girls, Lee County. She is also the advisory board past chair for Florida Gulf Coast University’s School of Resort and Hospitality Management and serves on the Dean’s Council for the Lutgert College of Business. Willis and her team at Jason’s Deli donate thousands of dollars worth of food and beverage to numerous nonprofit organizations and the community in need every year. Her admirable vocational leadership service in the community sets the example for others and makes her the ideal recipient for this prestigious award.

  • July 14, 2017 3:28 PM | Kevin (Administrator)
    Original Story w/video clip on News-Press.com

    Southwest Florida International has landed new nonstop service to Germany.

    Lee County Port Authority reported Friday that Lufthansa Group airline Eurowings will begin service to Fort Myers in May 2018.

    According to the port authority:

    Eurowings will start twice weekly nonstop service from Southwest Florida International Airport to Munich Airport and a weekly flight to Cologne Bonn Airport on May 1 and May 4, 2018, respectively.

    Flights will operate on an Airbus A330 with 310 seats.

    The service will start out with a May-through-October schedule; however, that always is subject to change, said Port Authority spokeswoman Victoria Moreland.

    The international airport has enjoyed nonstop flights from Airberllin between Fort Myers and Dusseldorf for many years.

    Gaining the Eurowing flights “will strengthen the bridge between Germany and Southwest Florida," said Jeff Mulder, port authority executive director.

    "Travelers from Fort Myers will now be able to reach two extremely popular destinations in Germany more conveniently, as well as take advantage of connecting flights throughout Europe," Mulder said, adding that, "We also look forward to welcoming more European visitors to experience the natural beauty of Southwest Florida.”

    The new air service also promises to give Southwest Floridians easy access to additional communities in Germany, including connecting flights to Hamburg, Berlin, Vienna and other locations.

    Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau, Executive Director Tamara Pigott called the new air service "fantastic news."

    Germany already is an important feeder market for Southwest Florida tourism and hospitality, an industry that accounts for 1 in 5 jobs in Lee and Collier counties alone.

    Last year, more than 320,000 German-origin visitors came to Lee County, "and spent more than $352 million while in our community," Pigott said.

    International guests such as the Germans are especially prized here because they stay longer and spend more than the typical domestic visitors, Pigott said.

    And, although international visitors come throughout the year, their primary vacation time falls in the summer months, when Southwest Florida gets far fewer visitors from other parts of the United States.

    Eurowings flight reservations to and from Fort Myers already are available by visiting www.eurowings.com/us.html.
    For more information about Southwest Florida International Airport, visit www.flylcpa.com  or like the airport on Facebook at www.facebook.com/flyRSW.

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PO Box 07427
Fort Myers, FL, 33919

800-967-7750

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