Watermark’s Holiday Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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The holidays are in the air! From the Golden Gals to Holiday How-To’s, Watermark’s Holiday Guide 2019 has everything to keep you up to date this holiday season.

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Issue 26.23: Get on the Bus

By : Dylan Todd
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We look at a trans woman’s journey to activism, Pulse Memorial selects winning design, Tampa appeals conversion therapy ruling, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!!

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Porowski named by People as ‘Sexiest Reality Star’

By : John Paul King OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Antoni Porowski, photo via Porowski’s Facebook page.

Antoni Porowski of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” has been voted the “Sexiest Reality Star” by readers of People magazine.

As part of its annual poll, the magazine breaks down contenders into multiple categories, and has been revealing the name of this year’s winners, one a day, for the past week. The final announcement, naming singer John Legend as 2019’s “Sexiest Man,” was made on Tuesday’s episode of “The Voice.” Legend is a celebrity judge on the show.

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Victory Institute chief: Nationalism, populism ‘eroding democracies’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: LGBTQ Victory Institute President Annise Parker. Photo courtesy of LGBTQ Victory Institute.

The head of the LGBTQ Victory Institute blamed fundamentalism, populism and nationalism as three factors “eroding democracies” Wednesday night at the welcome reception for its annual conference for international LGBTQ leaders.

Annise Parker, CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund & Victory Institute, said the remarks at the event at the Atlantic Council in a speech welcoming attendees to the 2019 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference.

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The Last Page: Lisa Brown and Dawn Kallio

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Bowled Over Promotions owners Lisa Brown and Dawn Kallio from Orlando. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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PHOTOS: Metro’s annual party raises funds, welcomes Deborah Cox

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health‘s annual Cocktail Party featuring recording artist Deborah Cox raised nearly $110,000 on Nov. 9.

Metro utilizes the annual event to raise awareness and funds for its essential health and community services. The organization served more than 27,000 individuals in Tampa Bay last year and is on course to significantly increase that number in 2019.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Christopher and Kahmari Ellis

By : Tiffany Razzano
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As Christopher Ellis waited for the SkyConnect to take him from Tampa International Airport’s main terminal to the gate of his California-bound flight in November 2018, he paused when he overheard a guy exiting the tram discussing “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“This piqued my interest. Being an ex-bartender at Flamingo Resort, I know some of the girls,” he says.

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11.14.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Progress, not perfection: One of the many mantras for those in a 12-step program. The idea is that no one is perfect; therefore striving for or searching for perfection is futile. One should simply try to do the next right thing, work toward being better one day at a time. It sounds nice on paper, but putting it in practice is much more difficult. It takes tools and time to train your brain to think this way.

I can’t say if this is the way things have always been or if I am just opening my eyes to it in the wake of information overload, but our society seems too preoccupied with perfection — giving way to an all or nothing culture.

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Adam Rippon spends birthday on ice

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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Olympic medal-winning figure skater Adam Rippon turned 30 on Nov. 11, and he took to the ice to celebrate.

He decided to commemorate his milestone by shooting a video of himself dancing a “birthday joy skate.”

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New York courts to expand gender options on jury documents

By : Wire Report
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) | New York’s court system says it plans to expand the gender options on jury documents in an effort to be more inclusive of people who do not identify as male or female.

State court spokesman Lucian Chalfen says the system aims to have the updated juror information card set for distribution by early January.

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Something old, something new for Michael Stipe

By : Wire Report
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(Photo by Sam Taylor-Johnson, from MichaelStipe.com)

NEW YORK (AP) | After Michael Stipe opens a gate to the abandoned Manhattan storefront that serves as his studio, you find a man easily traversing his past, present and future creative lives.

He’s promoting a 25th anniversary package of the R.E.M. album “Monster” while excited by the response to the first single he’s released since the band’s 2011 retirement. Surrounding him are examples of the photography and visual art that has occupied much of his time since then.

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Pence extols Trump’s anti-LGBTQ adoption rule as ‘decisive action’

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Vice President Mike Pence extolled an anti-LGBTQ adoption rule proposed by the Trump administration. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech intended to honor National Adoption Month, extolled Nov. 12 a proposed Trump administration rule that would allow taxpayer-funded adoption agencies to refuse child placement in LGBTQ homes.

Pence made the comments at the Department of Health & Human Services in D.C., which was holding a celebration in promotion of adoption with top Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Health & Human Services Alex Azar.

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