Overheard in Tampa Bay: Mark your calendars for Tampa Pride!

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Tampa Pride set for March in Ybor
A version of Tampa Pride is returning to Hillsborough County in 2015! According to Carrie West of MC Film in Ybor City, Tampa Pride will happen on March 28, 2015, along 7th Avenue in Ybor City. The street festival will incorporate a parade along the historic roadway during the afternoon, which gives local bartenders and entertainers time to rest up from the previous night’s activities. Details aren’t finalized just yet, but West was excited to share the news with Watermark during the July 19 NeighBearHood Takeover party at The Social in Ybor City. Expect a lot of details to start hitting the media and soon, ways to register floats and vendor booths will be available online. We’ll keep you posted!

Speedos and bras
While we are still definitely in the dog days of summer (where’s the A/C?), it’s never too early to think about the holidays or, more specifically, fundraising programs over the cooler months. Jay Aller, outreach coordinator for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, announced July 27 that this year’s Santa Speedo Run is set to return to Ybor City Dec. 14, and will incorporate Mrs. Claus in Bras. The newly expanded title of the one-mile run, Santa Speedo Run and Mrs. Claus in Bras, will hopefully increase female participation in the fundraiser. Last year, more than 150 people turned out for the run, which begins and ends in Centennial Park in Ybor City. Aller also announced the identity of of this year’s chairperson of the event—Watermark editor Steve Blanchard.

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Overheard in Orlando: Cloudy with a chance of ‘Twerkin’ in the Rain’

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Todrick Hall twerks his way on stage
YouTube sensation, singer and entertainer Todrick Hall had the crowd twerking with him as he performed at Hard Rock Live for his Twerk Du Soleil tour on July 18. The American Idol season 9 alum has also appeared on Broadway and worked as Beyonce’s choreographer. What he’s best known for today, however, are his Disney-themed parodies on YouTube and target flash mobs. Hall brought those videos to life on stage with “Beauty and the Beat,” in which Belle gets her hair done in the hood, and “Once Upon a Grime,” with his Judge Judy impersonation as Disney characters appear in court. Of course his big hit, “Twerking in the Rain,” was the big crowd-pleaser.

Sayonara Sassy
P-House show girl Sassy Devine will say farewell Aug. 9. Sassy has been a cast member of the Footlight Theater for the last 8 years and has certainly left a mark as one of Orlando’s sexiest and most genuine performers. Sassy may now focus on her true passion: art and interior design. Aside from her on-stage persona, she’s also known in the community as an accomplished artist with several local art shows under her belt. Sassy is leaving on extremely good terms with the world famous LGBT resort and has been advised by the owners that she’s more than welcome to return anytime.

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7.31.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Embracing marriage equality isn’t always easy. After years of hearing how awful we gay people are, it’s difficult for some to embrace shifting attitudes and accept, even respect, same-sex couples.

It can be done, and without infringing upon a person’s religious or personal beliefs. Call it evolution, call it common sense. But there is a right way and a wrong way.

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Charlie Crist would sign LGBT protections order first day in office

By : Wire Report
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St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP) – Former Gov. Charlie Crist says he will sign five executive orders on his first day back in office if he’s elected in November.

Crist made the announcement July 29. He said he would order agencies under his control to require that contractors pay employees at least $10.10 an hour.

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Sending a mixed signal: Statement from Orange Mayor sparks debate

By : Tom Dyer
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Orlando – In late July, same-sex marriage was advanced by two South Florida circuit courts. But the debate made an unexpected stop in Orange County Commission chambers.

Responding to queries from activists and the media, a majority of commissioners endorsed marriage equality.

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Guest column: Blood on a Beach

By : Richard Rosendall
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Richard Rosendall

Richard Rosendall

“It’s terrible,” my lover Patrick says by phone from Brussels about anti-Israeli demonstrators holding signs that say, “Hitler was right.” As a native of Congo, he is familiar with war. He knows that peace is not served by fomenting hatred.

The latest outbreak of war in Gaza gained plenty of steam from maneuverings by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but Hamas was all too eager to accommodate him. Netanyahu has made it clear he has no intention of giving up the West Bank. Hamas, meanwhile, wants to wipe the Jews from the map. Caught up in this are innocent children on both sides, though Israeli children are far safer thanks to Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

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Preaching to the Converted: A Reasonable Expectation

By : Ken Kundis
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KenKundisHeadshotAs I pedaled through the West Village on my bike ride recently, I came across a poster taped to a pole on the corner of Christopher Street and the West Side Highway.

“Is Monogamy Reasonable?” it asked. I spent the next 19 miles riding and contemplating that concept. Given where it was positioned, across the street from a building that has housed at least four different gay bars that I know of, mere blocks from Stonewall and Sheridan Square, and at the west end of the, dare I say, gayest part of Manhattan, I can be forgiven for thinking that the question was directed squarely at gay men.

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Screened Out – Guardians of the Galaxy

By : Stephen Miller
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Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, David Bautista, Lee Pace, Benicio Del Toro, Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Voices of Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel

Summer of 2014 – we’ve been waiting for what seems like forever for that fantastic popcorn flick. It’s finally arrived, happening right now in a galaxy far, far away!

Guardians of the Galaxy may not be the deepest or most scientifically sound film ever made. However, this sci-fi hero story is a visual onslaught ripe with humor, loveable characters, and derring-do. It likely marks a few people’s rightful entrance into the big leagues, including actor Chris Pratt (Mr. Anna Faris) and director/cowriter James Gunn (Slither and the new Dawn of the Dead).

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Cape Coral, Boynton Beach consider partnership benefits

By : Staff Report
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Two Florida cities may soon recognize domestic partnerships. Cape Coral and Boynton Beach are both looking to extend benefits to same-sex couples.

Dozens of same-sex couples gathered on July 28 at a Cape Coral City Council meeting where leaders discussed and agreed to consider an ordinance to establish a domestic partnership registry, News-Press.com reported.

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Fashion industry, retailers and the gender binary

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – As a transgender woman who began her transition about a year ago, Kylie Jack is still figuring out her fashion style, but she wanted one thing right away: well-fitting bras.

Friends recommended Petticoat Fair in Austin, Texas, where she lives. The lingerie shop is known for one-on-one fittings, but Jack was denied access to the area where professionals work privately with customers after being asked if she was an anatomical female.

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Watch: UFC fighter bends over to support gay marriage

By : Staff Report
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During a weigh-in before a recent Ultimate Fighter Champion match, Kyle Kingsbury, 32, dropped his drawers to reveal pink-colored underwear with black lettering reading “legalize gay” printed across his behind.

The pro-LGBT display has received national attention.

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Same-sex marriage case could head to Florida’s Supreme Court

By : Wire Report
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MIAMI (AP) – Attorneys for two Key West men challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage want the Florida Supreme Court to take up the case.

The lawyers representing the Monroe County couple filed a motion July 28 asking that the 3rd District Court of Appeal certify the case to the state’s highest court.

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