For same-sex couples, a new path to legal parenthood

By : wire report
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BOSTON (AP) | When Sara Watson’s partner got pregnant with their son through in vitro fertilization, they were overjoyed. Then the fear came.

They weren’t married, so Watson had no legal rights as Eli’s parent even though her eggs were used to conceive him with donor sperm. If the worst happened, Watson wondered, would she even be able to bring their baby home from the hospital?

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Two inspiring individuals prove leaving the corporate world can really pay off

By : Holly Kapherr Alejos
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When I called Victor Bokas for an interview, he was in the middle of working on a five-foot-square commissioned painting for an art collector in Spain. “I could have never done this had I stayed in the corporate world,” he said to me with an incredulous half-laugh. Since being let go from his position as a senior graphic designer at Tupperware Brands in 2015, he has devoted his full energy to his craft, and it’s made all the difference.

Mandy Keyes, owner of Community Cafe in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg, also left her corporate position as an interior designer to open a storefront on Central Avenue, the area’s main thoroughfare. When I walked into the cafe for our interview, she was in the thick of taking orders, clearing tables, fielding questions – all the things you’d expect from a small-business owner – popping up at intervals during our conversation to tend to her customers. At 10:30 a.m. on a Saturday, the place was packed. It’s working.

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Oregon hospital removes gender identification from bracelets

By : wire report
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BEND, Ore. (AP) | A hospital in central Oregon has made a small change that represented a huge difference for its transgender patients: It removed the gender designation from patient identification bracelets.

The Bulletin newspaper in Bend reports the St. Charles Health System adopted the change last month. The ID bracelet is designed to provide caregivers an easy way to identify patients based on two distinct identifiers.

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Lesbians treated differently in health care

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. | According to a new study that used data from the National Survey of Family Growth 2006-2015, lesbians were less likely to report receiving a birth control prescription or birth control counseling compared with straight women.

However, they were more likely to report having received sexually transmitted infection (STI) counseling, testing or treatment, after adjusting for sexual partners in the past 12 months. In a clinical setting, lesbians were less likely to report receiving birth control counseling at a pregnancy test and lesbian women without recent male sex partners were less likely to report receiving counseling about condom use at an STI-related visit compared with heterosexual women.

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Brides set their wedding dresses on fire after exchanging vows

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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One couple displayed their passion for each other by setting their wedding dresses on fire during their ceremony in Iowa on Oct. 13.

Bethany Byrnes, 28, and April Choi, 31, are both daredevil entertainers who are familiar with fire. They both are experts at fire-eating and breathing, according to SWNS.com. 

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LGBT History Project: Author talks new book about overlooked LGBT tragedy

By : Larry Nichols, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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Author Robert Fieseler’s new book, “Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire and the Rise of Gay Liberation,” dives deep into the events leading up to and the aftermath of the Up Stairs Lounge Fire, a tragic and unsolved arson that claimed the lives of 31 men and one woman on June 24, 1973, the largest mass murder of gays until the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016.

The tragedy went largely ignored until the mid-2000s for reasons the book explores in great detail. PGN spoke to Fieseler about the insights about the era he was able to uncover in the writing and documentation of this important piece of LGBT History.

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LGBT History Project: Tea With No Shade

By : Rebecca Huff, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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A gloomy, rainy Sunday in September couldn’t stop what was originally planned as an outdoor tea dance among the trees and fountains of Washington Park in Cincinnati. The gay tradition, revived last year in Ohio by a couple who lost their go-to bar, simply moved across the street and indoors.

Even inside the majestic, century-old Memorial Hall, though, Cincinnati’s 2018 version of the tea dance is still far more out-in-the-open than events of old. The once- or twice-monthly dances rotate from location to location in Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky, from hotel ballrooms to restaurant rooftops and theater lobbies to straight bars.

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LGBT History Project: Legendary performer Maurice Hines talks seven decades of keeping toes tapping

By : Larry Nichols, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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Out dancer, performer, choreographer and actor Maurice Hines has been in show business since he was five years old, which means almost 70 years in the game.

A New York City native, Hines has seen and experienced a great deal of art and history in his time, first performing alongside his brother, the legendary Gregory Hines, and then later on television and theaters across the country and Europe as part of Hines, Hines & Dad.

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LGBT History Project: Frances Kellor and the Birth of Multiculturalism

By : Victoria A. Brownworth, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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Few topics in American politics under President Trump elicit more controversy than immigration. The same was true in early 20th century America when waves of immigrants flooded Ellis Island, causing fears that the country would become “overrun with foreigners,” as Henry Cabot Lodge wrote in 1891. With open borders, 30 million Europeans moved to the U.S. between 1850 and 1913. By 1920, about 15 percent of the U.S. population was foreign-born – much as it is in 2018.

It was into this milieu of a burgeoning immigrant population, as well as the Great Migration of freed black slaves, that Frances Kellor defined herself as one of the most important and radical social reformists of her time. Kellor’s progressive political and social stance was dominated by her belief that society had to be a true melting pot–a term she disliked–and not just a poetic metaphor of one. She is credited with creating the concept, if not the term, of multiculturalism.

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LGBT History Project: Florida’s panhandle once hosted the largest LGBT gathering in the country

By : Graham Brunk, SPECIAL TO WATERMARK FROM THE LGBT HISTORY PROJECT
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Emma Jones was one of the greatest LGBT allies in the 1960s in northern Florida. Too bad she didn’t actually exist.

When a reporter once went looking for the mysterious woman he was told, “Honey, the Emma Jones Society is you and me and every other faggot in this town, and nobody here gives a damn who Miss Emma Jones herself is.”

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LGBT History Project: Lesbian Erasure

By : Victoria A. Brownworth, special to Watermark from the LGBT History Project
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AUTHOR’S NOTE: for the purposes of space, except for brief references, this article focuses on lesbian couplings in the U.S.

Part One: Defining Lesbianism

Lesbians exist.

Lesbians, like gay men, have always existed.

If there is a singular lesson to be learned this LGBT history month, it is that lesbians didn’t just appear suddenly in the 20th century, anomalous figures with no antecedents throughout history. Lesbians have lived and loved and had bodice-ripping passionate sex for millennia.

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LGBT History Project: An unlikely advocate for gay rights emerges as America’s first equality governor

By : William Burton, special to Watermark from the LGBT History Project
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In April of 1975, a groundbreaking event occurred in the fight for gay and lesbian equal rights. In Pennsylvania, a state not generally known for liberal politics, a courageous and progressive Governor, Milton J. Shapp, signed an executive order that banned discrimination in state government. This was the first state in the nation where a governor had taken such action. It would be another four years before another state would take such a bold move.

In Pennsylvania, activist groups had sprung up throughout the state. Gay activist Mark Segal had been active in the Gay Liberation Front in New York (GLF-NY), and gained notoriety as founder of the Gay Raiders, famous for their “zaps.” As Segal’s visibility and reputation grew, he soon brought his urgent feelings of activism back home to Philadelphia, wanting to make an impact politically.

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