January Meet & Greet is a Sunday Tea Dance at Mt. Dora Plaza Live - Address:  2728 W. Old 441, Mt. Dora (located in same shopping plaza as the new Mt. Dora Post Office)

  • Sunday, January 12th, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. - $27 per person

  • Pasta Buffet Dinner Included:  Caesar salad, 4 different pastas, green beans, garlic sticks, gluten free pasta, beggar’s tiramisu

  • Alan Darcy will DJ – “a splendid time will be had by all

  • How to purchase tickets1) Make your check payable to Triangle Connection and mail to Triangle Connection, P.O. Box 382, Mt. Dora, FL 32757.  Please list names of all people for each ticket on the check.  Checks MUST be post-marked by Jan. 2, 2020.  2) We'll also sell tickets on Pisces Rising's deck every Friday afternoon in December from 6:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

  • Cash Bar

  • Feel free to bring items for Lake Cares as we will collect like all other Meet & Greets - 50/50 drawing + more raffle items.


  • Saturday Afternoon Folk Concert with Tret Fure is at Serendipity in downtown Mt. Dora - Address: 144 W. 5th Avenue, Mt. Dora

    • Saturday, February 15th, 4 p.m. - $20 per person for the concert

    • How to purchase your tickets:

      • Tickets can be purchased on-line at http://www.tretfure.com/concerts/

      • Tickets can also be purchased at the Serendipity shop with cash or  checks – please make checks payable to “Tret Fure”

    • Serendipity has a beer and wine license and offers light meals plus great coffee.  

    • 20 tickets sold already and this concert is still 2 months away!  This is a cozy and intimate venue, so get your tickets early before they sell out!

     

    February Meet & Greet is at Gator Dockside on State Road 441 - Address:  15241 U.S. Hwy 441, Eustis

    • Wednesday, February 19th, 6 p.m.

    • Rick Betson, Sunny Beseler, and Don Williamson hosting

    • No tickets or registration needed – just plan to come on over to mingle and have dinner

    • More details to follow and go ahead and mark your calendar



     https://calendar.google.com/event?action=TEMPLATE&tmeid=MGpxM2g0aDdxdHQ2c2RuNmdna2oya3R0bHYgZG1scGxvcjQ4ZzRlZ2o4b2w2Zm10ZzhpNThAZw&tmsrc=dmlplor48g4egj8ol6fmtg8i58%40group.calendar.google.com

    Weekly Social and Entertainment Opportunities in the Area:


    Pisces Rising is the location for weekly Friday cocktails, starting around 6 p.m. - 239 W 4th Ave, Mt Dora. This tradition of gathering at Pisces on Fridays has been going on 14+ years.


    Change of location for Friday cocktails at Pisces Rising for one week only.  For Friday, January 31 (one week only), we will move the location from Pisces Rising to Ruby Street Grill in downtown Tavares due to the parking issues on that Friday associated with the Mt. Dora Art Festival. Ruby Street is located at 221 E. Ruby Street, Tavares. 


    Two weekly breakfast groups meet and look forward to welcoming you as follows:

     * Lake House is the place on Mondays at 8:30 a.m. - 315 N. Highland St, Mt Dora.

     * Geronimo's is the place on Thursdays 8 a.m. - 359 E. Burleigh Blvd, Tavares.

    Serendipity hosts Drag Queen Bingo weekly on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. - 144 W 5th Ave, Mt Dora. Call Serendipity at 352-729-2213 to reserve your table. "Big Mama" is always ready for show biz on Wednesdays.
     
    Mt Dora Plaza Live is where "Brunch with the Broadway Bunch" show take place on specific Saturdays, at 11 a.m. - 2728 W Old Hwy 441, Mt Dora (same plaza as new Post Office). Future show according to Mt. Dora Plaza Live's FB page is Dec 21. Go online for more details and to purchase tickets.  https://www.facebook.com/MDPlazaLive/

    Also check out our friends at Rainbow Family & Friends in The Villages for their activities and initiativesOur sister organization is just down the road a few miles NW of us:  http://www.rainbowfamilyvillagesfl.com/

    Other TC News:

    750 TC friends strongWhen you look at the 610 email addresses our newsletter is sent to, 530 FB followers, and knowing there are some duplicates between the two, it appears our TC population is at least 750 people strong.  We are a diverse population of LGBTQ+ people and allies.  While mostly in central Florida, we have FB followers all over Florida, the U.S., and some followers as far away as Canada Africa, South America, Europe, and Asia.  Yes, TC is an international community of friends.


    Local Pride event planned by Lake County Pride 2020 organization.  This Pride organization is led by Danielle Olivani, and she invites you to connect with her if you wish to help with the group’s June 20, 2020 Pride event. Part of their proceeds are to be donated to Triangle Connection’s William A. Sievert Scholarship Fund.  Below is a link to this Pride group’s official website to obtain more information, volunteer, and leave a message to inquire about the group: https://www.lakecountypride2020.org/    


    The William A. Sievert Scholarship100% of the donations collected for the scholarship fund go to the students.  100%.  We make this happen with the Triangle Connection organization paying all administrative fees.  For example, when you buy raffle tickets at Meet & Greets (and any other donations to TC), that money is part of  TC operating budget and about 20% of the funds annually are used to pay the administrative costs to manage the William A. Sievert Scholarship enabling all donations to scholarship to go directly to the well deserving students.  Please visit the Scholarship tab to learn how to make donations to the William A. Sievert Scholarship.

    "Diversity is being invited to the party.  Inclusion is being asked to dance."

    Lately I have been thinking more and more about our Triangle Community's diversity, as well as our inclusiveness.  My rationale started with this specific question:  “Are we inclusive to females in our community?”  While we are a good and strong community of LGBTQ+ people, the large majority of us who attend functions are white, male, coupled, and 55 plus.  As I talked with several people within Triangle Connection about my concern Robyn Kelly, a longtime community member of Triangle said, "We need to make sure everyone is welcome" and not try to focus on a particular segment of our Triangle population.  So true, Robyn.  Randall Keeton, another active Triangle Connection friend, added that "we want a community where all different kinds of people can thrive" which will lead to more diversity and ultimately more inclusiveness.”

    Deep down I believe we all want to see this level of diversity and inclusiveness as we grow the Triangle community.  For example, our mission statement addresses our goal of being a "welcoming and inclusive environment for all people."  Your Triangle board is committed to this concept.  Many Triangle people I have spoken with agree this should be a priority.  A more welcoming community will lead to more diversity and an inclusive community.  This is how our group’s effectiveness will expand. 

    Board member Bruce Endsley reminded us in a July article for Triangle, "We are open for all:  LGBTQ, straight, all genders, non-binary, any ethic group, singles, couples, older, younger, transgender and non-transgender, secure in their identity or struggling, those who live in Lake County and those beyond.”  Bea Palmer, a longtime participant within Triangle Connection, recently said to me, “We always feel welcome at events.  We enjoy the guys, but it would be great if we had more woman, too.”  Another Triangle Connection person community, Mari Cruz said to me recently, "We are improving on being more inclusive, but we have "to be more welcoming to grow and expand; not just women but all people."

    I am not pointing fingers and blaming.  Instead, I am looking internally as a white, male, coupled, and 55+ person within Triangle Connection.  I realize my identify group is the dominate segment within our family at most functions.  Since there are lots of other people who look similar to me, I wonder if I can see what transgender people, female, brown or black, younger, single, non-binary and others feel when they walk into one of our events.  It’s clear we have good intentions of being more diverse and inclusive, but others may see walls we don't even realize exist.  As Mari said, "We are born into our identify groups but they don't have to separate us."  Good point, Mari.  Not reaching out more to all people and more effectively will hurt our efforts to grow our community and will also limit our long-term and overall effectiveness.  We want to be a resource for everyone, including straight allies.  They need us as much as we need them.

    The good news is we have new people becoming part of our Triangle Connection community regularly.  Yes!  We are growing.  Tina Manning and Michele Matheson are new to our Triangle Connections. Tina said to me, “We came into the group because of Jack and Bruce.  They were originally clients of our business and we became friends.  They invited us to Friday night cocktails by saying, ‘We’d love you to join us,’ and indicated that Triangle was trying to bring in new friends and improve diversity in general.”  Tina added, “We’ve enjoyed being around the group. The best thing about Friday cocktails is how warm and welcoming people are.  We were not ignored.  People reach out and we already feel like we’re part of the family.  It would also be great if we could help others in the area know Triangle is here for them.  Recently we took a friend of ours to a Meet & Greet and she really enjoyed it.  She may never have attended a function had we not invited her, like Jack and Bruce did for us.”

    Tina added, “Sometimes you need women to get more women involved.”  In looking at our TC Facebook followers, a definite trend is we are attracting more females.  Eighty percent of our new FB followers are women and on FB, we actually have more women followers than men.  It appears that females are observing TC through FB and this is a good sign about our long-term diversity.  “Historically a lot of the LGBTQ+ bars were segregated,” Michelle added.  “Especially in Chicago.  That’s the way it was, but not the way it has to be.”  When you look at our nearly 500 FB followers, 600 people who receive our email addresses, and realizing some of the above two overlap, we figure we have about 750+ friends at Triangle Connection. Being a truly integrated community of ALL 750 will bring us strength as we look at even furthering our inclusiveness.

    I hear from people like Jane Rutter and Gary Brozenich, a straight couple who moved to Eustis about ten years ago from New York State who love our community.  Jane was telling me about how when they moved here there was a common bond at that time - the quest for marriage equality - that pulled the Triangle Connection group into a diverse family.  "Gary and I are a straight couple but immediately felt included.  The group's solidarity led to strong friendships and walls didn't exist," Jane explained.  I believe history can repeat itself.  A Triangle Connection without walls will lead to more diversity, which will lead to more inclusiveness.”    

    Bea Palmer commented further, “While we really enjoy the group, but having more women in the mix would make it even more inviting for women to easily join in.  We met some new women recently at a Meet & Greets and are now friends on FB.  To include more new people of all identities, Bea suggests we “mix it up with more activities such live music or a DJ.”  Bea continued by saying, “The drinks and dinners are fine but more of a variety would be great and it would probably lead to more people who are different from the usual mix.”  A better mix of activities would lead to a better mix of people.

    Bea also said we would love to see more single people join our activities, so in looking at a variety of functions what would the singles want to see” is a question the community should also consider.  “A few singles joining us would probably lead to more single people, Bea added.  “Rainbow’s weekly dance at the Bonifay Club draws a nice mix of single and coupled people.  I’d like to see something of that nature here in Lake County” so we don’t have to drive all the way to the Villages to enjoy a different type of activity.

    And the desire to be more inclusive to people of color must also be part of our vision for a long-term and successful Triangle Connection community.  As I ponder this subject and I think you’ll agree, we have much work to do.

    To quote Randall Keeton once again, "Diversity is what you have.  Inclusion is what you do."





    Local Businesses Supporting Marriage Equality




    The Triangle Connection's Marriages



    Amy and Capt. Mary's Wedding

    Amy Mary Wedding

     







    Bruce and Dale: July 2014
    Happy Anniversary!