‘On Your Feet!’ dancer Joseph Rivera talks dance, touring and the Estefans ahead of the show’s Florida run

By : Jeremy Williams
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Dancer Joseph Rivera is heading to the Sunshine State with the company of the hit Broadway musical, On Your Feet! in both Orlando at the Dr. Phillips Center Oct. 17-22 and in Tampa at the Straz Center Oct. 24-29.

On Your Feet! is based on the life and love of 26-time Grammy Award-winning power couple Emilio and Gloria Estefan. The show is packed with many of Estefan’s chart-topping hit songs, as well as some of the most intense dancing you will see on any stage.

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Kellyanne Conway tempts Anderson Cooper in ‘It’ ‘SNL’ spoof

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kellyanne Conway tries to tempt Anderson Cooper to let her on his show in a parody of Stephen King’s thriller “It” on “Saturday Night Live.”

Cooper (Alex Moffat) encounters Conway (Kate McKinnon)in a sewer Pennywise-style, where she tries to entice Cooper with wacky quotes to get her on the show.

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Report: Trump joked Pence ‘wants to hang’ all gay people

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The anti-LGBT history of Vice President Mike Pence apparently isn’t lost on President Trump, who once joked his No. 2 in office “wants to hang” all the gay people, according to a recent article in the New Yorker.

The lengthy profile piece on Mike Pence contains significant details about his long career in politics starting as a U.S. House member, then Indiana governor and now vice president — highlighting Pence’s ties to the corporate right, including the Koch brothers, and the social conservative movement. (Recalling Pence’s time as a member of Congress, a former Republican staff member is quoted as saying Pence “was as far right as you could go without falling off the earth.”)

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Amazon Studio exec placed on leave for harassing lesbian producer

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Amazon’s programming chief Roy Price has been placed on leave following allegations of sexual harassment against producer, Isa Hackett.

While promoting “The Man in the High Castle,” a series based on the book by Hackett’s father Philip K. Dick, Hackett says she went to a party with Price and Amazon executive Michael Paull. In the taxi, she claims that Price made repeated sexual advances on her.

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Here’s what’s in the grab bag at the anti-LGBT Values Voter Summit

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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If you look inside the grab bag given to attendees at the 2017 anti-LGBT Values Voter Summit, you might find various items including a schedule of events, but you’d also find a flyer expressing a view of the impact of gay people on public health way out of line of mainstream health organizations.

The flyer advertises for a book called, “The Health Hazards of Homosexuality,” which stokes fears about negative health impacts of being gay as if it were a public health crisis.

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Trump to address anti-LGBT Heritage Foundation on Tuesday

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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In the latest of a series of outreach efforts to anti-LGBT activists, President Trump is set to address on Tuesday the conservatives think-tank known as the Heritage Foundation.

The organization sent out an email blast Sunday night with the announcement, a link to the livestream of his upcoming address and an opportunity to submit a question for Trump. The speech is set Tuesday at 7:30 pm and will take place during its annual President’s Club meeting.

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Bipartisan legislation introduced to protect trans servicemembers

By : Karen Ocamb of The Washington Blade, Courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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California Reps. Jackie Speier and Susan Davis joined four other members of Congress on Friday to introduce a bipartisan bill intended to protect transgender military servicemembers under siege by the Trump administration. H.R. 4041 prohibits the Department of Defense from discharging trans members of the Armed Forces based solely on their gender identity.

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has repeatedly said the current policy of trans open service remains in effect until he has had a chance to develop a policy, under President Trump’s orders, based on recommendations from a panel of experts. Trans servicemembers have been serving openly since June 2016 without incident. However, in a sudden series of tweets last July 26, Trump issued a directive ordering Mattis and the Pentagon to reverse the Obama-era policy and kick out all transgender individuals working in any capacity and prevent any recruitment or promotion through the accessions policy. Trump gave Mattis six months to come up with a new personnel policy, while Mattis is simultaneously preparing for the possibility of nuclear war. LGBT groups have urged Mattis to recruit trans people with military or national security experience to sit on that panel of experts.

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In Africa, LGBT rights activists worry about Trump impact

By : Wire Report
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DAKAR, Senegal (AP) – Gay rights activist Joseph Achille Tiedjou is worried every day that he will be harassed or arrested in Cameroon.

Defending LGBT rights can be dangerous in Africa, where many countries have laws against homosexuality. But in recent years activists have stepped out of the shadows, empowered by the support of the Obama administration and the international community.

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Come Out With Pride’s Launch Party kicks off a weekend of Pride

By : Danny Garcia
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Come Out with Pride’s Launch Party kicked off Orlando’s Pride festivities Oct. 12 with a full house at the Veranda in Thorton Park.

Cocktails were served by the staff of The Hammered Lamb and entertainment was provided by some talented local flavor. Emceed by Addison Taylor, the night saw performances from local drag entertainers April Fresh and Bridgette Galore; a musical act by the cast of the upcoming cast of “Debbie Does Dallas”; Gay Bar Star Janine Klein and a trippy dance by the one and only Weego.

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Bliss CARES recognizes transgender individuals at TRANSaction’s Celebration of Success

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Bliss CARES recognized nearly 30 transgender individuals for the TRANSaction “Celebration of Success” at the Parliament House’s Footlight Theater Oct. 11.

Bliss Cares is a nonprofit dedicated to saving lives by treating and preventing the spread of HIV, Hepatitis and STDs. Bliss’ TRANSaction program, a six-part instructional series, assists the transgender community in providing education on a variety of topics such as safety, discrimination, medical, name changes and more.

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Trump at anti-LGBT summit: ‘The times are changing back again’

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump took the opportunity Friday of speaking at an anti-LGBT summit to express pleasure in his administration’s actions reversing the legacy of the Obama years, citing among other things recent “religious freedom” guidance seen to enable anti-LGBT discrimination.

Entering the stage at the 2017 Values Voter Summit to chants of “USA! USA! USA!” Trump sought to connect with an audience of social conservatives, who were largely responsible for his win in the 2016 presidential election.

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Nominate the Most Remarkable People of 2017

By : Jeremy Williams
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Since the end of 2012, Watermark has highlighted “Remarkable” people of the year in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. It is that time of year again where we ask you to help decide who deserves recognition for their inspiration, contribution or achievement in the 2017 calendar year.

Who are those unsung heroes who have gone out of their way to improve the community? Who has made an impact in Central Florida and Tampa Bay to make the lives of LGBTQ people better?

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