14 Jun Jim Nixon – “Turning Points” a History of LGBTQ+ Issues, Progress and Work Still to Be Done
June is PRIDE month in St. Petersburg and to kick it off, BPW welcomed Jim Nixon on Thursday, June 2nd. Jim is the Director of the Mayor’s Action Center and LGBTQ Liaison for the City of St. Petersburg. In his role as the LGBTQ Liaison, he serves as an accessible and friendly ear to the city’s LGBTQ community and elevates LGBTQ-related concerns to the city executive and other city officials. He’s serving as both a spokesperson for the Mayor’s Office to the local LGBTQ demographic as well as a representative of LGBTQ interests to the leaders of St. Petersburg Government.
Jim has been a constant marketing force in the LGBTQ community throughout Tampa Bay. Nine years ago, he began working on reorganizing a grassroots committee, the St. Pete LGBTQ Marketing Committee, to focus on marketing the Tampa Bay area as an LGBTQ vacation destination, which directly impacted the IGLTA 2017 Global Convention held in St Petersburg in May 2017.
Over the past five years, he has worked on many initiatives making St Petersburg an Inclusive and welcoming city. He was able to modify the city’s Anti-Bullying policy to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in all youth-facing services. He assisted in the inclusion of LGBTQ Businesses in the Greenhouse SBE program and successfully navigated St. Pete’s Human Rights Campaign Municipal Equality Index resulting in the city receiving a perfect score every year.
He now comes to BPW to share a history of LGBTQ+ issues, progress and work still to be done.
Jim also shared with us a very powerful image of our city in something he wrote about the City Of St. Petersburg
Let me tell you who we are…..
We are the city that First signed our Human Right ordinance in 2002
We are the city that hosted the World for Interpride, The conference for international producers of Pride, and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Conference
We are the city that extended Bereavement Leave to include paid leave for domestic partners
We are the city that Included Transgender inclusive Health Care for all City employees
We are the city that raises the Pride Flag above City Hall
We are the city that has scored a 100 on the HRC Municipal Equality Index for the last eight years
We are the city that opened the nation’s 3rd LGBTQ Welcome Center
We are the city that proclaimed May Equality Month and May 3rd as “Edie Winsor Day.”
We are the city that sent an LGBTQ delegation to CUBA to uplift LGBTQ business owners and advocated for Same-Sex Marriage during International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
We are the city that recognizes Transgender Day of Visibility and Remembrance with a signed proclamation presented to the City Council.
We are the city that leads our most prideful celebration with a Trans March to elevate and celebrate the visibility of our trans siblings.
We are the city that Paints our street in Progressive Rainbows to recognize our most marginalized and celebrate the history of Pride in our community
We are the city that distributes Rainbow flags and Trans flags to local business owners to kick off Pride Month.
We are the city that Paints our buildings in Rainbow and Trans colors by artists and LGBTQ+ Youth.
We are the city that says NO to bullying in All Youth Facing Services, including Sexual orientation, Gender Identity, and Expression
We are the city that stands on the steps of city hall and highlights the danger of Trans violence, especially to Trans women of color.
We are the city that includes LGBTQ+ Businesses in our diversity tracking of City Procurement alongside other marginalized communities.
We are the city that has supported our home-grown Pride Festival and Parade for 20 years, growing into one of the largest in the country with over 260 thousand attendees and generating 62 million dollars in economic impact.
We are the city that, in the face of a global Pandemic and Cancelled Pride, lit up our buildings in those dark times.
We are the city that Lights up the Bob Graham Sunshine Skyway Bridge, the Gateway to Tampa Bay in full rainbow color for 11 nights during Pride
We are the city that Realtor.com ranks 3rd Top places for LGBTQ+ people to live and USA Today ranks as the 2nd best Pride Festival.
We are the city that has an active LGBTQ Liaison in both the Mayor’s Office and St. Pete Police Department.
We are the city that actively recruits through LGBTQ+ Community job fairs
And, We are the city that, in 2023, will again host the World for the International Gay and Lesbian Football League’s International final. When 32 teams from around the World that will gather in downtown St Pete’s Al Lang stadium
We are St Pete!