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COLUMN

Happytown

We're proud Linda Stewart was born this way and born to run for office. We're not so proud the the Creative Village may turn into Portlando. That Commander X hacking thing? We don't know what to think. We're too busy marching.

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We’ve got a big gay secret and we’re not telling (unless we have just one drink and then maybe we’ll tell you everything)! Gulp! Actually, like most gay secrets we’ve tried to keep – hi, Mom! – the payoff in the end is much less that of slack-jawed surprise than a disappointed smirk of “I already knew that. Don’t burn any bridges, lady.” But, this being Pride week, we thought we’d dress this one up really big and send it flying out of the red boxes underneath the rainbow flags currently flying all over downtown: We have a drag queen running for the Florida Senate! On Sept. 27, Lyndon Stevens – also known as former Orange County Commissioner Linda “Lovelace” Stewart – officially tossed her oversized bedazzled gardening hat into the Senate pool for Florida’s 19th District, the very same seat that droopy-drawers belt peddler Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, is simultaneously exiting so he can run as his own wife Victoria! God, Orlando is gay.

We dutifully yanked at the dusty old string connecting our gossip can to Stewart’s gossip can to get the shocking details. News flash: They aren’t that shocking. Stewart’s been hinting at a “big announcement” ever since her loss in the Orange County mayoral race last year – when not popping up uncomfortably at the Casey Anthony trial and in public flash mob scenarios, that is. (She says her “performance” of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” at this weekend’s pride parade will be her last tug at that tired meme). Stewart plans to make her official announcement at Lake Eola’s Walt Disney Amphitheater on Oct. 7, the day before the parade. If this seems opportunistic coming from a lady who once squawked a duet of “Islands in the Stream” with us at a divey gay bar, it probably is. She says her focus, at least for Pride, will be trying to gather the 1,500 signatures she needs to get on the ballot without paying. Cheap!

Stewart’s fairly amorphous agenda in-cludes jobs, transportation, the environment, restoring agencies axed by the Republicans by “renaming them” and reintroducing them. Also, she loves the gays. “I’m very liberal,” she says.

So far, she has four Democratic opponents including “Mrs.” Siplin, State Rep. Geraldine Thompson, D-Orlando, former State Rep. Curt Levine and some guy named Robert Acosta. As of yet, there are no Republicans, gay or straight, in the race. But even with slightly intriguing chances at gaining higher office, don’t expect Stewart to go changing her wigs, er, stripes.

“I know some people say, ‘Linda, you gotta get dressed up,’” she says. “Linda is Linda. I’m sorry, I can’t be that way. I’m just going to be natural.” Baby, Lyndon was born this way.

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