‘The Golden Gals LIVE!’ heads back to Parliament House for Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Get your cheesecake ready, because the gals are back!

“The Golden Gals LIVE!”—the smash hit show that played to sold out crowds in March—is coming back to the world famous Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre for just two special performances during Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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Orlando artist Nick Smith turns literary classics into original works of art

By : Jeremy Williams
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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away known as Orlando, an artist by the name of Nick Smith was rediscovering his love of art and began creating original pieces based on classic novels and popular stories.

“I’ve been drawing since I was a wee little lad,” Smith says. “I actually started tracing, that’s one of the things I always tell people, learn how to trace when you’re young so you get an idea of shapes and figures.”

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Orlando’s Big LGBTQ Weekend still has something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
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The newly created KindRED Pride Foundation is bringing some of the weekend’s most anticipated events, but the kickoff weekend to Orlando’s big Pride Month is packed full of some returning favorites and big surprises.

Just as with the last several years, RED Shirt Pride Days has a designated Disney theme park for each day from May 30-June 2.

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RED Shirt Pride Day looks to continue Orlando’s traditional Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom

By : Jeremy Williams
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In June 1991, a group of LGBTQ Central Floridians—led by openly gay Orlando resident Doug Swallow—decided to meet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to say to “The Most Magical Place On Earth” that “We’re here, we’re queer and we’d like to see Cinderella’s Castle!”

“[Doug said] ‘let’s go be somewhere where we can be ourselves and let people see that we’re normal people, but let them know that we are gay … we’ll do something like wear a red shirt so we can know who each other are.’ That was totally Doug’s idea, to make that day what it is,” said Michael Wanzie, a Central Florida entertainer who was at the very first event, in an interview with Watermark in 2018.

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Vote for your Orlando Fringe LGBTQ favorites in the 3rd annual Watermark Splash Awards

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando Fringe has kicked off its 28th season and this year features more LGBTQ shows than ever before.

So with all of this amazing LGBTQ talent, we want to know what are readers think about the shows and talent – both on stage and behind the scenes – and which ones are the best of the best in LGBTQ-themed Fringe. Welcome to the third annual Watermark Splash Awards.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see Pentatonix w/ Rachel Platten & Citizen Queen at Orlando’s Amway Center

By : Watermark Staff
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Don’t miss your chance to see three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix in their first-ever performance at Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Pentatonix are joined by multi-platinum-selling recording artist Rachel Platten and the sensational all-female quintet Citizen Queen.

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TIGLFF announces ‘Evolution of Drag’ fundraiser

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Tampa Bay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival (TIGLFF) has announced “The Evolution of Drag: Drag through the Decades!”—scheduled for June 1 at the Palladium in St. Petersburg—will serve as a fabulous fundraiser benefiting their upcoming 30th anniversary.

The drag production is described as a mixture of comedy, dance and history. Through the eyes of a drag queen, it transports audiences with “an exhilarating voyage through ten decades and has packed houses near and far!”

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PHOTOS: Equality Florida’s 2019 St. Pete Gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Equality Florida welcomed supporters to the Mahaffey Theater on May 11 to celebrate the organization’s annual St. Pete Gala.

The evening began by honoring Linda Lerner with the Voice for Equality Award. Lerner, an advocate for LGBTQ issues in her role on the Pinellas County Schools board, retired in 2018 as its longest-serving member. Fan favorite artist John Gascot then received the Amy S. Mandel Service & Leadership Award for his work with Diversity Arts, his nonprofit which serves disenfranchised, mostly LGBTQ youth.

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The 28th annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival showcases 30+ LGBTQ shows

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival returns to Loch Haven Park and surrounding venues for its 28th season May 14-27.

The folks at Orlando Fringe reviewed the applications of more than 350 shows and whittled them down to 140, including 33 LGBTQ-themed shows. They will play at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art, as well as a handful of venues throughout the area including the Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park and Savoy Orlando. It will also be the final year for The Venue Orlando’s “Black Venue” and the first year for The LGBT+ Center Orlando, which will be home to the newly-named “Rainbow Venue.”

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Harvey Milk Festival holds 10th annual celebration

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | The Harvey Milk Festival (HMF) will hold its 10th annual celebration May 9-11, honoring the life and legacy of activist Harvey Milk by fostering the arts as a catalyst for change.

“It feels comforting,” founder and HMF Executive Director Shannon Fortner says of entering the festival’s 10th year. “I feel proud of our community that we’re able to sustain festivities.”

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St Pete Pride 2019 welcomes Lisa Loeb, Rita Ora

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | St Pete Pride announced April 24 that entertainers Lisa Loeb and Rita Ora will headline concerts for the organization’s 17th annual celebration in June.

Loeb is a singer-songwriter who began her career with the platinum-selling hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from “Reality Bites.” Other singles include “Do You Sleep” and “Let’s Forget about It,” which she’s sure to perform as she headlines the organization’s SP2 Concert June 21 from 7-10 p.m.

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Parliament House’s Darcel Stevens wins Miss Continental Plus 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens has been crowned Miss Continental Plus 2019.

Miss Continental Plus is a part of Continental Pageantry Systems, described as the ultimate female impersonation pageantry system throughout the world. The system began in 1980 and expanded to include Miss Continental Plus in 1990. The 2019 pageant featured 23 contestants, including Stevens, who was crowned in Chicago on April 23.

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