Activists gather at White House to protest Trump anti-trans proposal

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Upwards of 200 people gathered outside the White House on Monday to protest against the Trump administration’s proposal to define sex in federal policy as biological gender.

National Center for Transgender Equality Executive Director Mara Keisling and Casa Ruby CEO Ruby Corado are among those who spoke at the #WontBeErased rally. Keisling, Corado, National LGBTQ Task Force Rea Carey, Freedom for All Americans CEO Masen Davis and others spoke at the Human Rights Campaign before they marched to the White House.

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Another gay wedding cake case reaches Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Months after the U.S. Supreme Court in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case issued a narrow ruling in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to make a custom-made wedding cake for a same-sex couple, anti-LGBT legal groups are before justices again seeking a more expansive decision allowing refusal of service to LGBT people.

As reported SCOTUSblog on Monday, the Texas-based law firm First Liberty has filed before the Supreme Court a petition on behalf of Aaron and Melissa Kline of Sweetcakes in Gresham, Ore., asserting a First Amendment right to decline wedding-related services to same-sex couples.

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Trump vague in response to outrage over report of anti-trans memo

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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President Trump was characteristically vague on Monday in response to outrage over a reported proposal within his administration to eliminate transgender protections in enforcement of civil rights law.

Before boarding Marine One on departure from the White House, Trump said in response to a reporter’s question “different concepts” are on table within his administration for transgender rights.

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PHOTOS: Sarasota celebrates PrideFest 2018

By : Dylan Todd
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SARASOTA | Sarasota Pride held PrideFest 2018 at J.D. Hamel Park on Oct. 20, a “Rainbow Resistance” for the organization’s 29th annual celebration.

Community organizations and celebrants gathered for a full day of education and entertainment from noon until 6 p.m., hosted by the “First Lady of Sarasota” Lindsay Carlton-Cline. Fellow drag entertainers like Georgia Moore, Rockell Blu and Grandma Pearl performed in-between live music provided by fan favorites The Cheaters, The Honey Vines, Divine AF and Kelly Neff.

Watermark was on hand to help celebrate and share our inaugural Sarasota Living with Pride, now available online. Check out some of our photos below.

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Watch: Trixie Mattel, Shangela are drag superheroes in ‘Super Drags’ trailer

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Netflix has released the first full trailer for its new original animated series “Super Drags.”

The Brazilian series features the familiar voices of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” alum Trixie Mattel, Shangela, Willam and Ginger Minj.

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Laverne Cox, Janet Mock, Cher respond to leaked anti-trans memo

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Celebrities are reacting to reports that the Trump administration has proposed a government memo that would roll back protections for transgender individuals by defining gender by a person’s genitalia at birth.

Actress Laverne Cox responded to the reports of the transgender community’s civil rights being revoked with an impassioned series of tweets.

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Who was Most Remarkable in 2018?

By : Watermark Staff
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Toward the end of each year, Watermark highlights local, unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to show with action just how remarkable they are.

We want our readers to help decide who deserves recognition for their inspiration, contribution or achievement in the 2018 calendar year. In honor of the year, we are looking for the 18 — 9 from Central Florida and 9 from Tampa Bay — Most Remarkable People of 2018.

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Outrage over report of sweeping Trump administration anti-trans plan

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender advocates were vocal in their indignation Oct. 21 over a report in the New York Times about a sweeping anti-transgender plan within the Trump administration to limit the definition of “sex” in U.S. government policies to biological gender.

According to the New York Times, the Department of Health & Human Services is set to spearhead the initiative with the proposed rule that has been drafted and circulating since last spring and will be presented to the Justice Department by the end of the year. In the words of the New York Times, the proposal would amount to “defining transgender out of existence.”

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Young Catholics urge Vatican to issue inclusive LGBT message

By : wire report
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VATICAN CITY (AP) | Catholic bishops are entering their final week of debate over hot-button issues facing young Catholics, including how the church should welcome gays and respond to the clerical sex abuse scandal that has discredited many in the church hierarchy.

The monthlong synod of bishops ends Oct.  27 with the adoption by the 260-plus cardinals, bishops and priests of a final document and approval of a separate, shorter letter to the world’s Catholic youth.

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Uruguay passes law granting rights to trans people

By : wire report
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MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) | Uruguay’s Congress has approved a law that guarantees rights to the South American country’s transgender community.

Lawmakers in the lower house voted in favor of the measure Oct. 18. It had already been approved by the Senate.

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Transgender rights lie in the hands of a state’s electorate

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP) | Nicole Talbot isn’t quite old enough to vote, but she isn’t shy about urging Massachusetts residents who are to keep a state law that protects transgender people from discrimination, including the right to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.

It makes her feel safe, Talbot said, which wasn’t always the case for the teenager, an accomplished singer with dreams of a Broadway career. For as long as she can remember, she felt she was a girl — like the time she insisted upon being a princess at a preschool Halloween party — even when the world beyond her mother subjected her to taunts and discrimination.

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Yara Shahidi urges fight against ‘identity blind narrative’

By : wire report
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LOS ANGELES (AP)| Yara Shahidi brought the crowd to its feet at the GLSEN Respect Awards as she warned against an “identity blind narrative” in the struggle for acceptance of all.

“We should all feel deserved and supported in expressing our right to being our whole selves, limited by nothing regardless of ethnicity, gender, identity, sexuality, ability, religion or any other identity that we choose,” the 18-year-old “grown-ish” actress said Oct. 19 at a ceremony in Beverly Hills, California. “More than that, the common spaces we must maneuver through should be safe spaces in which our presence and existence are inherently valued.”

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