Belize: LGBTQ Adventure in the Jungle

By : Aaron Drake
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“Jump in!” one of the tour guides shouted when it was my turn to immerse myself in the crystal clear, freezing cold stream leading into the mouth of the cave. The cave was Actun Tunichil Muknal—better known as ATM by the locals—one of the natural cave systems in Belize that was used by the Mayan civilization for rituals and ceremonies.

It was like something straight out of an “Indiana Jones” movie; after being outfitted with a helmet, headlamp and life vest, we set off on a 45-minute hike through the jungle, crossing three shallow waterways before we literally jumped in. Once inside the cave it got very dark and was a vigorous workout to climb over and through rocks, occasionally stopping to admire the stalagmites and stalactites that had formed over thousands of years.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: DeLaran Withers

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 49

HOMETOWN: Fort Myers, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: “DeLaran. I love who I love.”

PRONOUNS: She/Her/Hers

SIGN: Aries

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Gadiel Vasquez

By : Meghan Sweeney
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AGE: 24

HOMETOWN: Catalina, Puerto Rico

IDENTIFIES AS: Non-binary

PRONOUNS: Responds to everything

SIGN: Capricorn

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Nate West

By : Jeremy Williams
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AGE: 38

HOMETOWN: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay

PRONOUNS: He/ him/ his

SIGN: Aries

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Blue Star

By : Jeremy Williams
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AGE: 44

HOMWTOWN: Marietta, Ga.

IDENTIFIES AS: “Me, just me.”

PRONOUNS: “Me.”

SIGN: Aquarius

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Cole Foust

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 24

HOMETOWN: Brandon, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay, Transgender Male

PRONOUNS: He/Him/His

SIGN: Leo

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Brian Gallaher

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 31

HOMETOWN: Grafton, West Virginia

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay

PRONOUNS: He/Him/His

SIGN: Aries

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Kathy Ruiz

By : Jeremy Williams
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AGE: 21

HOMETOWN: Miami, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: Bisexual

PRONOUNS: She/her

SIGN: Aquarius

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Daniel Stevens

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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AGE: 30

HOMETOWN: Tampa, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: “Gay, like very.”

PRONOUNS: He/Him/His

SIGN: Libra

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As you work toward a healthier and happier you in 2019, we look at some LGBTQ-specific healthcare concerns you should bring up with your doctor

By : Jeremy Williams
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Members within the LGBTQ community are as diverse as the total population. They cover the entire spectrum of race, sex, gender, age, religion and socioeconomic status; so many of the recommended health screenings and medical evaluations for LGBTQ people are the same as the heterosexual and cisgender communities. However, there are certain health concerns that carry higher risk factors for members of the LGBTQ community.

Because of that, we spoke with LGBTQ-friendly doctors in Central Florida and Tampa Bay about specific community healthcare issues to help you begin the conversation with your primary care physician and get 2019 started off right.

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Start the conversation: transgender people

By : Jeremy Williams
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How often should you see your primary care physician? What health screenings, evaluations and/or vaccinations should you have? Should you be on any medications? Don’t ask us! We aren’t real doctors, we only occasionally play one on TV.

Just like every fingerprint, snowflake and social media opinion; each person’s individual health concerns are varied and different. That’s why the only effective healthy game plan for you is one that is constructed between you and your doctor.

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LGBTs ‘particularly vulnerable’ to opioid abuse

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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NEW YORK | LGBT people are particularly vulnerable to opioid misuse and bi women are an especially high risk, The Fix reports citing a study from The American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 40,000 individuals who took the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an annual study conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

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