Sunday, June 21, 2020

Why I No Longer Believe this Organization & Company to be LGBTQ+ Allies



Why I no longer believe this organization & company to be LGBTQ+ allies.

Excerpt from a document I was presented with for my signature. (Warning: Homophobia lives in this document)

“Staff noted in the message that even though staff’s religious beliefs are against resident’s sexual orientation that has never led to staff treating or saying anything to purposefully make resident  feel that their lifestyle was wrong and staff advocates for what is right not what their religious orientation subscribes to. Again resident took staff’s words to mean that staff was discriminating against him on moral grounds and that staff felt morally superior to him.”

The Facts & Analysis Behind Pinky Penmark’s withdrawal of Support for FirmlyEstablished, Inc. & Holistic Coaching

"I am confident that if local leaders and business are made aware of my experience that they will reconsider partnering with FirmlyEstablished, Inc. or Holistic Coaching if presented the opportunity to partner with them in the future."
The Timeline

On May 28, 2019, I moved into a property managed by HolisticCoaching and under its corresponding program and handbook rules as I began rebuilding my life after a long illness. I shared the house with two other men and at times three other men. 

Three months later I transitioned into more independent living when I moved by myself into the converted garage apartment behind the main house on the same property.

In the beginning the leadership of Holistic Coaching, a for-profit company in St. Pete, seemed personable, and I felt like these properties and its program were going to be a good fit for me.

Soon after I began living there, I learned that the same leadership also ran a nonprofit organization named Firmly Established, Inc, and its mission was to serve at-risk children and families in Pinellas County.  I was quickly interested in seeing if I could find a way to help this organization fulfill its mission.

Those of you that are familiar with me know  for the past decade I have volunteered extensively for local non-profits including ASAP, now Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) and Tampa Bay AIDS Walk in addition to serving as Operations Manager for St Pete Pride for a couple years.  

In a wild twist of events after I created the Pinky Penmark character, a character intended to be a one-night appearance at the MetroInclusive Health Gala, I was asked to bring Pinky back as the Host of Bingo4Charity at Punky’s Bar and Grill.  The idea scared the hell out of me before I embraced it as an opportunity to continue my work raising funds and awareness for local non-profits.

Thus, the Pinky Penmark character returned, and I continued to host Bingo4Charity at Punky’s for approximately a year and a half until my illness rendered me unable to continue.  During that time Pinky had organically evolved into a, this blog , and many social media followers.

When I had learned that the leadership of Holistic Coaching also ran the non-profit Firmly Established, Inc. I immediately told them about my Bingo4Charity days and suggested that I schedule a Bingo Event at Punky’s to benefit the organization.  I decided I would make a return appearance of Pinky along with its current host in order to raise funds for the organization.

Everyone at Firmly Established seemed on board and excited for the event which was held in August of 2019.  The event was successful, and we scheduled another bingo at Punky’s at which Pinky made another return appearance in December of 2019.

During the months in between, I also began volunteering a couple days a week at the Firmly Established, Inc. offices and even went out on a limb to set up events for them in partnership with a local HIV/AIDS Service Organization.  I suggested the organization reserve a booth at Come Out St Pete at which I would also work in October 2019.

I eventually stopped my volunteer work with them because I felt their volunteer expectations were no longer comfortable to me which inspired a previous blogpost “Re-affirming My Boundaries & Reclaiming Myself”. The parting was amicable enough, and we even scheduled another bingo event at Punky’s in April 2020 in which Pinky would again make a special appearance.  The COVID-19 crisis forced the cancellation of that event.

The Document

Even before COVID-19 intervened, I had made the decision to cancel Pinky’s appearance at the April event based on the feeling I was forced to sign the document referenced above in order to keep a roof over my head.  Below is an actual image of the text of that portion of the document I felt coerced into signing.  The full document including signatures is available by request.

Actual image of the document presented to me by Firmly Establisded, Inc. staff for my signature

Monday, June 15, 2020

Pinky Penmark Withdraws Support of Two Local Organizations

Writer's Note:  June 15, 2020.

Please note Pinky Penmark no longer endorses Firmly Established, Inc. or Holistic Coaching as an LGBTQ allied organization or company. I have left the events and works I did for both these entities on my websites and Facebook accounts, however, because I want to be transparent about my misguided affiliations with them in the past. Feel free to email me if you would like to inquire about strong reservations about continuing to endorse, recommend or support Firmly Established, Inc. and/or Holistic Coaching.

Former Host Plans Cameo Appearance at Punky's Bar and Grill

Bingo4Charity benefiting Firmly Established, Inc. hosted by Victoria Michaels is Tuesday, August 6 at 7 PM

Victoria Michaels

Yes, it's me, Pinky Penmark, talking about my planned cameo in the 3rd person.....

because the event, hosted by Victoria Michaels, is all about a local non-profit, Firmly Established, Inc., that has grown very important to me.

As always, Bingo4Charity will be held at the local restaurant and pub, Punky's Bar and Grill, that has become a local favorite and hero for leading the way in its continued support of numerous local non-profits, events, causes and the LGBTQ+ community at large.

I urge you all to clear your calendars on Tuesday, August 6 from 7 PM to 9PM and plan to attend this event along with me that will support a much deserving non-profit while having some good clean (and sometimes dirty) fun playing Bingo! alongside the fabulous Victoria Michaels who does Central like no other gal we know.

  I (Pinky) will be donning a dress (and maybe a nightgown too) for the first time in 18 months to celebrate this event, this cause and your years of support. Blink and you could miss this event and your chance to see this old, bald man in a dress for another 18 months.

Firmly Established, Inc and Holistic Coaching, from which Firmly Established was born, share a mission and a vision that benefits the entire Tampabay LGBTQ+ community, our allies, our friends and our businesses.

Holistic Coaching is bravely attempting to help the chronically homeless and/or addicted regain their dignity and their lives before helping them return to independent living.

And, Firmly Established, Inc, a 501(c)(3) organization, is helping local at-risk youth realize their potential through leadership, guidance, referrals, workshops, and seminars.

Working hand in hand, Firmly Established, Inc. and Holistic Coaching are improving the lives of many of our local citizens.

Your attendance and support at this event are crucial to the success and mission of Firmly Established, I would very much appreciate your attendance at this event when Pinky comes out of the closet (again).

And, don't forget to call 727.201.4712 to reserve your table ASAP or you might be playing Bingo4Charity while standing (and that wouldn't be cute).

Pinky hopes to see you there! 

Thank you for your continued support of Pinky, myself and our ever-evolving adventures.

Please RSVP to the event here: Bingo4Charity benefiting Firmly Established, Inc.

For more information on Firmly Established and Holistic Coaching visit and

Pinky Penmark

Friday, October 25, 2019

Re-affirming My Boundaries & Re-claiming Myself

Writer’s Note:
The contract with myself below is not a result of any specific occurrence or situation in my life. For two years my health and my mental health have chipped away at my ability to be an effective advocate for myself and others. I enter this contract with myself without holding any resentments.  My life is a journey and adventure not without purpose that ebbs and flows. My adventures would be wasted if I didn’t allow myself moments of reflection that remind me who I am, why I am here, how I can become the best version of myself, and how I can best help others.

My life as of late has been filled with the tension of a chess game, and it’s my fault. To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can make me feel inferior without me first giving them permission to do so.

No one can make me feel like they have too much control of my time, of my opinions and of my options without me first giving them too much access to my life.  When the chaotic world of the "me revolution" reveals its need for dominance, I must occasionally slap myself in the face, look in the mirror and reclaim the person I want to be.

Sunday, October 6, 2019

How the Tragedies of September 11, 2001, Ironically Saved My Life

The New Season of
Pinky Penmark Blogs
is Here.

Overcoming fear, tragedy, and depression and getting your life back.

Other than being in Tallahassee Regional Medical Center for the 27th time suffering from pancreatitis with a Demerol PCA pump allowing me to stay in a pain-free haze while coming in and out of consciousness, September 11, 2001, began as a typical day.

What of which I had no idea was that this day would forever change my country, the world, and my life.