Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Awards Final Round – Tampa Bay

By : Watermark Staff
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Our WAVEs 2020 vision has gotten a bit clearer. You nominated, we counted and now we have your Top 3!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more. In each category, we asked our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. You have spoken and here is the final round. Now tell us your favorite from the Top 3.

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Awards Final Round – VOTE NOW

By : Watermark Staff
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Our WAVEs 2020 vision has gotten a bit clearer. You nominated, we counted and now we have your Top 3!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more. In each category, we asked our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. You have spoken and here is the final round. Now tell us your favorite from the Top 3.

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Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Awards Final Round – Central Florida

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

Our WAVEs 2020 vision has gotten a bit clearer. You nominated, we counted and now we have your Top 3!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs as we call them, recognize the best in Central Florida’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more. In each category, we asked our readers to write in who best represents the values of the LGBTQ community in your area. You have spoken and here is the final round. Now tell us your favorite from the Top 3.

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Central Florida native Michael James Scott heads back to Agrabah (and Orlando) to play the Genie in ‘Disney’s Aladdin’

By : Jeremy Williams
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Michael James Scott has run the gamut when it comes to appearing on Broadway. He has been in “Mamma Mia!,” “Hair,” “Elf,” “Something Rotten!” and “The Book of Mormon” to name a few, but there is one role above all that he is most associated with — “Aladdin’s” Genie.

“I call it my ‘Genie journey,’” Scott says. “I never expected it to be a part of my life for this length of time and for it to literally take me all around the world.”

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Taylor Swift explains why she got political in new Netflix doc

By : Jeremy Williams
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(Screenshot from YouTube)

“I need to be on the right side of history,” pop icon Taylor Swift says about her jump into the political arena in the trailer to a new documentary film coming to Netflix Jan. 31. “Miss Americana,” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Lana Wilson, follows Swift throughout the making of her album “Lover” and as she finds her political voice over the last few years.

Prior to the 2018 mid-term elections, Swift had been quiet publicly on matters of politics until she came out in an Instagram post endorsing two Democratic candidates in her home state of Tennessee in October 2018. Less than a year later, Swift encouraged her fans to support The Equality Act — legislation designed to protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination on the basis of  sexual orientation and gender identity — in the music video for her single “You Need To Calm Down,” which featured dozens of LGBTQ entertainers.

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Sundance to include LGBTQ panels by Outfest

By : John Paul King of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Sundance Film Festival. (Photo by Film Inquiry)

LA’s Outfest has been hosting a famous Queer Brunch at the Sundance Film Festival for years, but this year the organization has announced plans to expand its presence there for the first time in more than a decade.

The world-renowned LGBTQ Film Festival announced Jan. 20 that it was launching the Outfest House @ Sundance, an afternoon of celebration and education for festival alumni, community and fans of cinema celebrating the LGBTQ films at Sundance. Taking place in the heart of the festival at Kimball Terrace, it will offer a program of panels and discussions with industry professionals, exploring the history, politics and purpose of queer cinema.

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LGBTQ activist and pioneer Cleve Jones to visit The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center in Orlando will host a book signing and meet & greet with LGBTQ rights pioneer Cleve Jones Jan. 29.

Jones — who chronicled his life in his memoir “When We Rise: My Life in The Movement” — was involved in many of the most pivotal moments of the LGBTQ rights movement including working as an activist with Harvey Milk, co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and conceiving the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt.

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PHOTOS: Watermark kicks off Third Thursday at Hope & Help

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Watermark kicked off a new year of its Third Thursday networking socials at Hope & Help in Winter Park Jan. 16.

Attendees got a chance to tour the new facilities of the Central Florida nonprofit as well as win amazing raffle prizes, proceeds of which benefited Hope & Help.

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PHOTOS: Watermark Wednesday benefits EPIC at Postcard Inn

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark’s bi-monthly Tampa Bay social Watermark Wednesday benefited Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) Jan. 15 at Postcard Inn on the Beach, also serving as the 2020 Remarkable People Reunion.

EPIC is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care supporting those challenged by chronic and advanced illnesses. They offer support to help clients maintain healthy, self-sufficient lives and provide HIV testing and education throughout Tampa Bay.

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LGBTQ workshop to help heal trauma coming to Winter Park

By : Samantha Neely
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ORLANDO | The sting of rejection within the LGBTQ community is something therapists Lindsay Kincaide and Marcie Cramer have seen for years, both professionally and personally, and is something they have seen show up in many forms.

“When you look at what people think of trauma and they think about sexual abuse or being beaten or being neglected, at the core of all of those is a rejection because from my perspective, as a community, the community is rejected, so it’s multifaceted and you’ll see it’s really like a gem,” Cramer says. “Wherever you turn, you’ll see a different facet but at the core of this is: ‘Do I have a right to be here?’ ‘Do I have a right to exist?’ ‘What is my worth?’ — and that all comes from rejection.”

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PHOTOS: Orlando Ballet opens new center named for philanthropist Harriett Lake

By : Samantha Neely
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ORLANDO | The Harriett’s Orlando Ballet Centre officially opened its doors to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 10. 

Complete with multiple dance studios, a 400-seat auditorium that can be converted into a 450-seat ballroom and multiple programs for dancers to choose from, the building was opened with round of applause as the board of directors cut the silver ribbon. 

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Performer John Michael gets interactive in Orlando with Harry Potter-themed show

By : Jeremy Williams
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John Michael doesn’t consider himself an actor.

“I usually call myself a performance artist, not an actor,” Michael says. “I try not to outright say that I’m not because it can piss some of my actor friends off, but I guess the reason why that’s helpful for people to understand about my work is my shows are about how I’m really trying to create reality in a sense of fantastical circumstances.”

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