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Equality Florida Tallahassee Gala

By Charlotte Robinson, April 06, 2015
Civic & LGBT activist Jim Van Riper will be honored at annual Equality Florida Tallahassee Gala event at the Mission San Luis Ballroom on Friday, April 10th that will bring together leaders in politics, business & the community. Since moving to Tallahassee in 2003 Van Riper has been a leader in almost every aspect of its lesbian, gay, bisexual & transgender community. Jim’s activism began in Colorado when in his early 30s he realized he was gay. Determined to keep his responsibilities to his family he became concerned when his middle-school-aged son was being bullied because of his father’s coming out. Jim’s therapist urged him to find support at the local gay & lesbian community center. Anyone who knows Jim will not be surprised that he quickly became involved. For several years Jim commuted between Colorado & Florida as an internet technologies consultant. Finally Jim & his partner Myles Robertson decided to relocate to Tallahassee. They bought a little house and began putting down roots. That included reaching out to the Family Tree LGBT Community Center where Jim asked how he could help. They married in Hawaii in 2012. And when it finally became legal to do so in Florida this past January, they did it again -- sharing their ceremony with two other couples & a retired Southern Baptist minister in Cascades Park in downtown Tallahassee. About their marriage Jim stated, “I thought it wouldn’t make any difference in how I felt but I was surprised that it did. I felt a sense of security that I never had before. And that’s pretty wonderful.”
For More Info & Tix: eqfl.org
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Hear Audio Interviews w/ LGBT Leaders @OUTTAKE VOICES™


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