While it is important to be thankful for the wonderful things one has in life throughout the year, it is especially apropos to recognize one’s blessings and to give thanks on Thanksgiving. With this holiday just around the corner, I share what I’m thankful for, and I am also honored to share the blessings of people in our community.

thank_phelpsGreg Phelps
Co-Owner of the Village Pub

Thanksgiving is all about family, and my family at Village Pub is a wonderful one to be a part of!   I am lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life, but specifically I am most thankful to have THE most amazing mother on the planet and THE most amazing best friend and business partner, Mark Byard, in my life.  I am also humbly thankful to our community for their support of Village Pub over the last year.  We wouldn’t be the success that we are without each and every one of you!  I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season filled with wide eyed amazement!

thank_thomasAlyson Thomas
Manager Mekka/Discotekka & Owner Carolina Continental Pageantry

I am most thankful for the people in my life who inspire me and give me the drive to be the best I can be.  I am thankful that I am able to influence so many female impersonators to achieve their dreams and believe in themselves through pageantry, sponsorship, support and friendship.  I am thankful to live in a city I love where I am close to the tranquility of the ocean, yet surrounded by a city full of culture, ethnicity, vibrance and excitement.  My circle of friends and extended family, as well as my fans and followers keep me motivated to maintain my professional attitude to excel and achieve in all I do.

thank_bodifordRobin Bodiford
Attorney at Law

I am thankful for my GLBT community of friends and clients who sustain me emotionally and substantively.  I am thankful to have lived long enough to appreciate the tremendous gains we have made in our equal rights to be full participants in our society.  I am thankful for my little dog, my work, my own self and the gay rights achievements I have contributed to in our community over the past two decades.

thank_tunkusChris Tunkus
Wilton Manors Massage

I am Thankful for a long term fulfilling relationship, prosperous successful business, and good health!



thank_callowayCaro Kinsella
Attorney at Law

This year more than ever I am thankful for equality. This time last year our nation had not yet ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, therefore countless same-sex married couples were viewed as second class citizens by our government, and denied basic rights that our heterosexual counter parts are granted with ease. Therefore, this year I am proud of the fact that our community persevered, fought the good fight and that justice prevailed. Each and every day for me is a reminder of this victory not only on a personal level but also in a professional capacity as I help countless couples petition for their immigration rights. It gives me the greatest joy when I speak with couples who have lived in fear of deportation for years and are finally able to get green cards for their spouses.  Remember GAY stands for ‘Good As You’, its great to now see our people treated equally under the law!

thank_slutskyPaul Slutsky
Realtor, Castelli Real Estate Services

I’m thankful for all the experiences in life that I’ve had. The good which have given me happiness and the bad which have give me strength. The ability to laugh and the ability to cry. I’m thankful for family, friends and good health. And, lastly I’m thankful for knowing there’s always a bottle of Vodka in my freezer for the days when life throws me a curve ball.

thank_rogersShane Rogers
Executive Editor at / JustCircuit.MAG

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve discovered so many things I’m thankful for:  I’m thankful to have been blessed with being able to help others achieve their goals and dreams by providing creative support and promotions in new and exciting ways.  I’m thankful for good health and positive attitude for the future.  I’m thankful to have never voted for a Republican in my life. But I am most thankful for the lifelong support I’ve received from all my family and friends throughout my entire life as a gay man from rural northeast Louisiana.

thank_mccoyJohn McCoy
Co-Owner at Hammerheads Beer and Wine Bar

I’m thankful to have a great support group of a few very close and dependable friends! In these tough times I’m thankful for my home and the good friends I have who help me get through these times we’re in.

Owning and running Hammerheads Beer and Wine Bar is a challenge and I’m also lucky to have a great business partner and housemate.  I’m thankful for an awesome collection of bartenders and performers who have put together amazing shows at a moment’s notice! I’m also very lucky to have a great group of regular customers that have chosen Hammerheads to be their hangout several nights per week. Without our customers, we have no purpose!  I’m thankful to have met so many other small business owners that have shared tips and advice in this tough economy. Finally, I’m thankful for having been a part of so many amazing memories, and I’m excited about many more that are sure to come in the future!

thank_libonatiJim Libonati

I am grateful for ALL THE Continued Good in my life, as I know that my life is the out picturing of my thoughts, beliefs and attitudes.  I am empowered!



thank_beadleJoshua Beadle
Art Director at

I’m thankful for so many things. I’m thankful for the life God gave me, and the talent he blessed me with.

I moved from Pennsylvania four years ago, and I moved down here to Florida knowing only one person. In that time, I’ve started my own graphic design business and had the pleasure of working with some outstanding companies., Sawmill Campground, Hotspots Magazine, Out on the Town Magazine, Florida Entertainment and so many more! All the work I’ve done over the past four years in Florida is online at; my portfolio has grown so much. I’m thankful for the life I’ve built for myself and for the freedom for me to grow, expand, and share what I love to do with the LGBT community!

thank_britaVanessa Brito
Chairperson at Equal Marriage Florida; President at Myami Marketing

Facing the reality of an aging mother with a deteriorating disease, I have found it nearly impossible to be anything but thankful – for everything. It is clear that my deepest gratitude is unequivocally for my mother, whose resilience still gives me chills. I am thankful for the life I have lived and the choices I have made – even those that have cost me friendships, relationships, and a lot of tissues. Today, I wake up to a career that I love, not because I have an office with a Bay view, but because I believe wholeheartedly in what I do. With that said, the life of an activist and strategist quickly envelopes all those around you – even the dogs. My partner, Heather, has truly beat the odds and I cannot go one day without reminding her how grateful I am for her kindness, patience, and commitment. To have been raised with unconditional love, to risk everything for a career you love, and to find someone whose love you crave – that’s a gift I’ll be thankful for until my last breath.

thank_enterlineZak Enterline
Owner Ramrod

I’m thankful for Ranch Wheat Thins and Squirt Cheese ,and that i have the STAMINA and determination to EAT the whole box in one seating  while watching a HGTV (Love it or List it .. marathon)


thank_cormanBrendan Corman
Co-Owner/Manager Rumors

2013 has been an exciting year. I am most thankful for all of my friends/family that continue to support me. And the great success that has blessed my life.


thank_fergusonMark Ferguson
Inside Account Manager,

As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I reflect back on what a incredible year it has been for our community here in the Tampa Bay area. From the Hillsborough County Commission ending the eight-year ban on recognizing gay pride… to both the mayors of Tampa and St. Pete signing the St. Pete Pride Proclamation, to two open lesbians elected to the St. Pete City Council, a lot has happened, and for that I am thankful! But most of all I am thankful for our community who I consider to be my family. Everyone here has been so supportive of me, along with being very warm and welcoming.

But my life would not have gone anywhere if it were not for two very special individuals who are not only my bosses, but friends for life. Greg and Victor, you both have my deepest appreciation for giving me the opportunity to get back on my feet again back in March this year by working for, along with that swift kick to get my life back in drive again. Thank you for believing in me.

thank_stjamesOlivia St. James
Tuesday Night Cast Member at GBar

I have a lot to be thankful for. I’ve got an amazing family, boyfriend, friends and fans, each of whom are immensely supportive of everything that I do. I am eternally grateful to all of them! Another thing I am thankful for is music! Music is such an important thing in my life. It is my outlet! It has saved me many times.

Lastly, I am thankful for my jobs. I am blessed to work at Wesley United Methodist Church, where I am the Director of Music Ministries; the schools that hire me to accompany choruses and orchestras; and at GBar in Ybor City, where I am a female illusionist each and every Tuesday night!

thank_mikeMike Halterman
Editor at Hotspots Magazine

I am thankful for change. At the beginning of this year, I closed down my own business and moved back to my home state of Florida from Arkansas. Within weeks I was working with Hotspots, and I feel truly blessed to be a part of the Hotspots Media family. I took chances, which were definitely scary at the outset, but I am blessed to have landed with both feet on the ground. I’m thankful for my professional and personal prosperity this year, and I am thankful for having such a close group of friends and family. I can’t ask to be in better company.