Florida is a place that either looks like paradise or the nation’s worst pariah. People flock to the Sunshine State for its eternal summer, but for Floridians, there remains at all times an uphill battle in the popular imagination. Amid the bizarre headlines that appear nightly on national news, the zany folks who end up on mugshot websites and an inevitable flurry of chaos during election season, there is a day-to-day reimagining of what Florida should be in pockets of the state cradling the Gulf of Mexico. The ongoing transformation of a once desolate LGBTQ community reveals the sentiment: Change is here, and it’s written on a postcard from Southwest Florida with a big rainbow stamp.
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