The Last Page with Scottie Campbell

By : Rick Claggett
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What is your favorite LGBTQ Event?

Come Out With Pride. It’s been wonderful to see our parade grow over the years to a celebration with community-wide participation.

What made you want to write for Watermark?

I picked up the first issue of Watermark on Rollins’ campus. It was an important moment for me and I knew Watermark would be revolutionary for Orlando.

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Jane Castor officially enters Tampa’s mayoral race

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | Tampa’s former Chief of Police and out local Jane Castor officially announced her candidacy for Tampa mayor on April 19.

Castor, who served as one of 2018’s Tampa Pride grand marshals and has a long history of LGBTQ community involvement, made the formal announcement via her new website “Jane Castor for Mayor.”

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Campaign seeks to expose the anti-LGBT history of ‘The Real Mike Pence’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The nation’s largest LGBT group launched a new campaign on Thursday seeking to expose the anti-LGBT record of the No. 2 public official in the United States: Vice President Mike Pence.

The Human Rights Campaign initiative consists of a video highlighting Pence’s past anti-LGBT statements over his years in public office as well as a report detailing his anti-LGBT record and positions contrary to other progressive causes, such as abortion rights for women, climate change and gun control.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Jamiel and Rachel Maze

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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Taking a chance on same-sex attraction ends in always-and-forever I do’s.

Jamiel Maze had never dated or been attracted to women before. That’s when she met Rachel at an end-of-year bowling party. “Jamiel randomly came up to me and challenged me to a game,” says Rachel, Jamiel’s new wife. “The entire competition seemed like flirting, but I couldn’t be sure.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Hey, bidder, bidder…

By : anonymous
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Local community advocates will come together to raise funds for Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ “Auction for a Night Out with a Community Leader” on April 27.

Participants can bid on the auctionee of their choice and the “night out” experience, which may include dinner or tickets to a local show or museum.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Creative Leaving

By : anonymous
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The Cleveland-headquartered Euclid Media Group has purchased Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing.

“We’ve got new overlords, people,” the outlet announced on Twitter April 9.

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Central Florida Overheard: Church Closure

By : anonymous
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Reeves United Methodist Church, a church that has been in Orlando for nearly 100 years, permanently closed their doors leaving parishioners without a place to worship. The church was scheduled to close May 1 to be re-opened later this year as a daycare center, but decided to shut down a couple weeks early. Church volunteers were left to pack up their belongings while a locksmith was changing the locks, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

The church was not just home to the roughly 30 church members, but was also home to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) groups, as well as a rehearsal and storage location for the Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard and a meeting space for the Orlando Youth Alliance.

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Central Florida Overheard: Southern Dumplin’

By : anonymous
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Late last summer we told you how Orlando’s very own Josh Eads, a.k.a. Ginger Minj, was making friends with one of America’s most famous “Friends,” Jennifer Aniston. It was announced they were both set to star in “Dumplin’,” a film based on the novel of the same name that follows a confident, plus-sized teen who, to spite her beauty queen mom (played by Aniston) and the other girls in school, enlists in a local pageant.

While producers have not yet set a release date or said what Eads’ role will be in the film, it was announced that the one and only Dolly Parton, would be involved in the production.

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USF holds inaugural Lavender Graduation honoring LGBTQ students

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The University of South Florida (USF) held its first Lavender Graduation ceremony on April 9 to honor students within the LGBTQ community and their allies.

Lavender Graduations are an annual ceremony designed to acknowledge the achievements and contributions that LGBTQ students and allies have made to their respective universities. They were created in 1995 by Dr. Ronni Sanlo, a lesbian, after she was denied the opportunity to attend the graduations of her children due to her sexual orientation.

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Out local launches global LGBTQ professional networking site

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Out entrepreneur and local resident Dennis Velco launched OutBüro (outburo.com) on April 3, a global and professional networking website focusing on the LGBTQ community.

“It’s a bit of a mash-up,” Velco says of his creation. “OutBüro is similar to LinkedIn and it’s similar to a couple other websites, with a huge focus on GlassDoor.com. Every single person can join the website around the world and create a profile, begin networking with other people, join groups [and] add your resume to the job portal.”

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4.19.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I haven’t always loved my job. Who loves anything all of the time? Even a parent who loves their child might want to slap them “into the middle of next week” occasionally. So I hear. I don’t have children, but I have adorable dogs that drive me crazy as much as they warm my heart.

I remember I was at a low point in 2004 with my career at Watermark. The repetition of an administrative assistant position with a local niche newspaper was taking its toll on me. I was young, stupid and combative. Up to this point, I never held a job for more than a year and a half and I was currently over two years at Watermark. I was starting to get antsy, so I looked for another job. Walt Disney World accepted me to their entertainment team as a production assistant and I took a few days off at Watermark to enroll in the Disney training class known as Traditions. The only thing left to do was put in my notice and leave.

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Anti-LGBTQ statements prompt senators to oppose Pompeo nomination

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mike Pompeo during his confirmation hearing to become the next secretary of state declined to specifically say whether he thinks being gay is “a perversion.” Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Two members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee have cited Mike Pompeo’s anti-LGBTQ statements as among the reasons they oppose his nomination to become the next secretary of state.

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