PHOTOS: Tampa’s heroes, villains descend on 43rd annual All Hallows Ball

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The good, the bad and sometimes scantily clad crowded into the Bryan Glazer Family JCC for the 43rd annual All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball Oct. 19, honoring or completely ignoring this year’s “Villains & Heroes” theme.

The party is billed as one of Tampa’s longest-standing traditions. It returned to the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa for the second year to offer attendees over 20,000 sq. ft. to meet, mingle, dance and drink.

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Ohio lawmakers introduce bill prohibiting LGBTQ discrimination

By : wire report
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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) | Ohio lawmakers have introduced a bill to forbid employment and housing discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community.

The latest iteration of the Ohio Fairness Act was introduced by Democratic Rep. Michael Skindell and Republican Rep. Brett Hillyer last week.

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Utah soccer star overcomes challenges as openly gay athlete

By : wire report
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ABOVE: Carly Nelson. Photo by Steve C. Wilson via University of Utah Women’s Soccer’s Facebook page.

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Carly Nelson loves everything about her goalkeeper’s job description for the Utah women’s soccer team, including the pressure of keeping opponents from scoring, having a unique view of the field and directing the defenders in front of her. “And, of course,” she said, “wearing the different colors.”

Nelson has worn distinctive goalie uniforms of gray, pink, blue and yellow at various times in her Ute career. Those color choices are her personal expressions, just as her parents once believed about her sexual orientation.

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Finding Hope: Suicide risk high among LGBTQ youth in Idaho

By : wire report
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NAMPA, Idaho (AP) | According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, LGBTQ+ people are at a higher risk than the general population for suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, and experts tell us, in Idaho, those rates are especially high among LGBTQ+ youth.

“It was very clear what needed to happen to remain alive and healthy,” Jess Cziapewski, trans woman from Idaho told Boise television station KIVI .

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City of Orlando recognizes October as LGBTQ+ History Month

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Proclamation reading at City Hall in Orlando Oct. 21. (Photo courtesy the City of Orlando)

ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council recognized October as LGBTQ+ History Month in the City of Orlando at City Hall Oct. 21.

“Orlando is a city for everyone! This is one of the many ways we continue to build a community that values equality and inclusion,” said Felipe Sousa Matos Rodriguez, the City of Orlando’s  Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Senior Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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Drama about trans woman among films honored at Student Academy Awards

By : Wire Report
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(Screenshot from YouTube)

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) | “Miller & Son,” a drama about a transgender woman mechanic living in rural America written and directed by Asher Jelinsky, joined an animated film about Grendel and a documentary about a girl finding her birth parents in China among the gold medal winners at the Student Academy Awards.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences held the 46th edition of the event in Beverly Hills Oct. 17. The awards spotlight emerging student filmmaking talent. Notable past winners include Patricia Cardoso, Pete Docter, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Trey Parker, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis.

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Former Mississippi jail guard says she was fired for being transgender

By : Wire Report
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ABERDEEN, Miss. (AP) | A former jail guard in northeast Mississippi says she was fired for being transgender.

Elise Hebert says she was treated differently from other Chickasaw County jail guards, and that supervisors didn’t keep her transgender status secret despite her request.

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Pete Buttigieg surges in new Iowa poll

By : Wire & Staff Reports
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WATERLOO, Iowa (AP) | John McAnear, a 77-year-old Air Force veteran, stood in an audience of hundreds in suburban Des Moines with an oxygen tank at his side, wheezing as he implored Pete Buttigieg to protect the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The Democratic presidential hopeful offered a respectful, if perfunctory, “thank you for serving” and skipped any attempt to bond over their mutual military service. Instead, Buttigieg offered a list of proposals to fix the VA.

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Adam Lambert is happy to see more LGBTQ artists finding success

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Adam Lambert performs on stage in 2017. (From Wikimedia Commons)

NEW YORK (AP) | Adam Lambert, who rose on the music scene as the runner-up on “America Idol” in 2009, says he’s happy to see more mainstream LGBTQ artists find major success.

“I think it’s less taboo to be queer in the music industry now because there’s so many cases you can point to like, ‘Oh, it worked for him. It worked for her.’ I think 10 years ago, it was a lot different,” Lambert said in a recent interview. “Ten years ago, it was kind of like no one really knew. And I met a lot of amazing people in the industry — executives, people, publicists, marketing people — who on a personal level were cool with me and totally open, but didn’t understand how this was going to work in mainstream America, or the world for that matter.”

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets for Gus Dapperton in Tampa on Halloween

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Recording artist Gus Dapperton, who released his first full length album “Where Polly People Go to Read” earlier this year, will spend Halloween in Tampa—and Watermark has your opportunity to join him!

The album followed the release of “In Passing: 001,” the artist’s EP benefiting LGBTQ youth. Dapperton’s music is a blend of R&B, indie and pop, which he’ll showcase during “The Polly People US Tour” Oct. 31 at The Orpheum in Tampa beginning at 7 p.m.

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Judy and Dennis Shepard criticize AG Barr on LGBTQ rights

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ABOVE: Judy and Dennis Shepard. Photo via the Matthew Shepard Foundation’s Facebook page.

The parents of Matthew Shepard, the gay college student murdered in 1998, assailed Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for what they called hypocrisy on LGBTQ rights during a Justice Department ceremony commemorating a hate-crimes law named after their son.

The ceremony, held in the department’s Great Hall, marked the 10th anniversary of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which was signed by President Barack Obama in October 2009. The act expanded the 1969 federal hate-crime law to include crimes based on a victim’s sexual orientation, gender identity or disability.

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Who were the Most Remarkable People of 2019?

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 2019 calendar year. In honor of the year, we are looking for the 19 Most Remarkable People of 2019 from Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

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