2023 Winter Conference, Orlando

The 2023 Winter Conference of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus at
The Reinassance Airport Hotel in Orlando is around the corner!

February 24 – 26

Florida Democrats and the LGBTQ+ community are under fire from Republicans intent on erasing us and our values from the Sunshine State.
What do we do?
Rise Up!

Join the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus in Orlando February 24-26 for our 2023 Winter Conference. Our sessions and speakers will point the way for our party and our community and outline the challenges facing us in the upcoming legislative session.

You’ll hear from all the candidates running for FDP chair, one of whom will be elected this weekend to rebuild the party. We’ll have panels on how to engage young people, who are our next generation of leaders, and on the new frontline battle on LGBTQ+ and personal freedom issues — Florida’s school boards. We’ll also have a training session from ActBlue on digital fundraising, plus we’ll also hear from a ton of elected officials and policymakers who want to hear from you!

The in-person event with a virtual Livestream option brings together activists, allies, advocates, candidates, elected officials, and policymakers for a weekend of planning and networking.

Why does this matter?
We must RISE UP together now more than ever here in Florida after the 2022 Midterm Elections!

“The contrast of visions for Florida cannot be any starker,” said Stephen Gaskill, president of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus. “While Democrats work to lift up and support the diverse community of Floridians, Republicans shamefully hurt their own constituents with culture war attacks designed to distract from Republican inaction on economic issues.”

Our program is in development, and speakers are being added daily. Early registration and ticket prices are in effect until Friday, February 3, at 4 PM. Our special hotel room block runs through that time too and is first come, first served. The event program, ticket, registration, and room links are below.

Registration and Ticketing

For event ticket prices, purchasing, and registration for the membership meeting, click here.

  • All events and meetings are open press, excluding our Saturday afternoon caucus membership meeting and Sunday drag brunch.
  • Conference registration includes the Friday Welcome Reception, Saturday’s Continental Breakfast, and Saturday’s Lunch.
  • We have a virtual ticket option that lets you see everything that occurs on Saturday during the conference for those that cannot attend in-person.
  • Our membership meeting is open to all registered Democrats, although only active Caucus members may participate in voting.
  • All registration fees and tickets are non-refundable.

Venue Location

The Renaissance Airport Hotel (5445 Forbes Pl, Orlando, FL 32812) is a spacious venue allowing for ample social distancing during all programming portions. (Face masks are optional) The conference is open to all registered Democrats.

The Renaissance Airport Hotel offers a discounted room rate of $189/night for a limited number of rooms. The hotel stay includes complimentary internet in your room, meeting room internet, and self-parking. A savings of $140.85 if you were to stay Friday thru Sunday.

The last day to reserve in the caucus room block is Friday, February 3, at 4 PM ET and rooms are first come, first serve.

All funds raised at our Winter Conference support our GOTV campaign fund to elect pro-equality candidates and promote pro-equality policies.

Event Program

Welcome Reception

Friday, February 24
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Includes Hors D’oeuvres and Drinks

Special Guests


Saturday, February 25
8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
Includes Continental Breakfast and Lunch

Conference Breakfast – Opening Speakers

  • Stephen Gaskill, President of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
  • Matthew Inman, President of the Rainbow Democrats of Orange County
  • Dawn Curtis, Chair of the Orange Democrats
  • Lynn Moira Dictor, Chair of the Seminole Democrats

2023 Legislative Outlook – How Much Worse Will It Get?

  • Victor Torres, Jr., State Senator District 15
  • Rita Harris, State Representative District 44
  • Carlos Guillermo Smith, Former State Representative
  • Nathan Bruemmer, Legislative Director for the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus

The State of Hate: Hate Crimes on the Rise in Florida

  • Nicole Wilson, Orange County Commissioner District 1
  • Deborah Bowie, Executive Director of OnePulse Foundation
  • Ashley Figueroa, Executive Director of Gay Officers Action League Central Florida
  • Rindala Alajaji, Public Policy Associate – Equality Florida

Reading, Writing, Republicanism — The Real Indoctrination in Our Schools

  • Johanna Lopez, State Representative District 43
  • Maria Salamanca, Orange County School Board District 2
  • Jennifer Jenkins, Brevard County School Board
  • Kila Murphy, Former Orange County School Board Candidate
  • Carol Cleaver, VP of Emerald Coast Equality LGBTQ Democratic Caucus and VP of the Escambia Ed. Ass.

What Will It Take to Get Young People Engaged?

  • Jayden D’Onofrio, President of Voters of Tomorrow Florida
  • Tyler Williams, President of Florida High School Democrats
  • Will Larkins, President of Queer Student Union at Winter Park High School
  • Rhea Maniar, Policy Director – Voters of Tomorrow Florida

Training Session: Digital Fundraising

  • Jose Gamboa, Democratic Politics and Elections Associate – ActBlue

Florida’s Transgender Community Confronts the Future

  • Amy Mercado, Orange County Property Appraiser and Parent of a Transgender Child
  • Kristen Browde, Past Chair of the National Trans Bar Association
  • Dr. Rafael Piñero, Owner of Piñero Preventive Medical Care
  • Gina Duncan, Regional Development Leader Central Florida – Equality Florida

Conference Speakers:

  • Darren Soto, US Congressmen House District 9
  • Carmen Torres, Candidate for FL Senate District 15
  • George Washington Initiative

Lunch Speaker:

  • Patty Sheehan, Orlando Commissioner District 4 and LGBTQ+ Pioneer

Membership Meeting

Saturday, February 25
3:30 PM – 5 PM

  • Board Reports
  • Officer Elections

Saturday Evening Cocktail Reception

Saturday, February 25
7:30 PM – 10 PM
Includes Heavy Hors D’oeuvres and Open Bar

Congressional Keynote Speaker: Maxwell Alejandro Frost

Keynote Speaker: Brandon Wolf

  • Stephen Gaskill, Immediate Past President FL LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus
  • New FL LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President
  • Remarks from the newly-elected Chair of the FDP
  • Andrew Warren, Former Hillsborough County State Attorney

Resistance Drag Brunch

Sunday, February 26
11 AM – 1 PM
Includes Food and Brunch Cocktails

We have a wonderful lineup of talented drag queens who will be performing for their lives!

Our Magnificent Emcee is Gidget Galore!

Special Performance by:

Music by DJ Scott Roberts

Remember to tip your drag queens!


Click here to support us as a sponsor!

All funds raised support our GOTV program, which is more important than ever!

Presenting Sponsor

Media Sponsor


Panel Sponsor





James Witherspoon




Senator Victor Torres, Jr.



Nicole Wilson, Orange County Commissioner

Connie Stolp

Claudia Thomas & Christa Teno

Marbert Sise

Lee Perry

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