Watermark selects 10 of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the Central Florida and Tampa Bay areas

By : Watermark Staff
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Here we are, approaching that love-filled holiday known as Valentine’s Day: a day that brings butterflies to our stomach as we wonder what romantic surprises our significant other, or others, have prepared for us.

Will it be a fancy dinner, expensive gifts or a beautiful bouquet of long-stem roses? Will it be a night out on the town or a quiet evening at home together? Or, for you singles out there, will it be another terrible, not so good, horrible day that’s full of reminders that you still don’t have someone?

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New play ‘The Bigot’ heads to Shakes Orlando with a look at prejudice in America

By : Jeremy Williams
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As Donald Trump continues with his attempt to “Make America Great Again,” his presidency is having quite an impact on the world of performing arts. Artists, musicians and playwrights are using these polarizing times to create new, meaningful works that are shining bright spotlights on the dark areas of American society.

Two such artists are Gabi and Eva Mor, a married couple who live in Manhattan. Their new play, The Bigot, which opened Off-Broadway last year, heads to the John & Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center- Mandell Theater in Orlando with performances on Feb. 17-18 and 24-25.

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02.08.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Love is in the air. Even the most cynical of us who publicly curse the day of St. Valentine, I’m sure feel a bit of warmth when no one is looking. Valentine’s Day was always a happy day in our family, a day of celebration. After all, it was the day Daddy proposed to Mama, and every year since then he brings her flowers and a box of chocolates.

Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. No, wait. She didn’t. That was Forrest Gump’s Mama. My Mama had some good advice, though. Never go to bed angry, never be afraid to say I love you and if you ever want to meet a good man always start at the gay bar. After all, that is where she met Daddy.

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MBA Orlando introduces new board of directors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Metropolitan Business Association announced their 2018 board of directors at a reception held at the Hard Rock Live in Orlando Jan. 27.

MBA Orlando Executive Director Kellie Parkin spoke to the event’s attendees before introducing them to the board.

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onePulse Foundation announces date for next town hall forum, continues series of community talks

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The onePULSE Foundation announced that the date for their next town hall forum will be on Wednesday, Feb. 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the Orlando Repertory Theater.

The town hall forum’s topic will focus on the impact of gun violence in the community and in the country.

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Hope & Help Center expands clinic services, hosts Orlando AIDS Walk at Lake Eola

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida held a grand re-opening Jan. 26 to unveil their new building and expansion of LGBTQ health services. The center added a medical clinic to their services where clients can receive primary care, screening, treatment and urgent care for medical issues.

The center has expanded its fight against STDs by offering a full panel of testing. The clinic offers services for people in the transgender community as well.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see the Orlando Magic on Valentine’s Day

By : Maia Monet
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Looking for something special to do with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Watermark is giving away two pairs of ticket to see the Orlando Magic on Pride Night, Feb. 14 at 7pm at the Amway Center! Enjoy the game vs the Charlotte Hornets from Ultimate Seats inside the first seven rows of the court. Show your LGBTQ pride as you listen to the Orlando Gay Chorus at halftime. When you and your date get hungry, order from the available in-seat waiter service or head to the Fields Ultimate Lounge. The exclusive lounge has free beverage service including beer, wine, and soda as well as complimentary meat carving stations and a grab-and-go candy wall.

To enter, comment on this post and tell us the name of your favorite Magic player. More details after the jump.

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PHOTOS: Orlando’s Hope & Help Raises over $40K with AIDS Walk

By : Maia Monet
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News 6 anchor Julie Broughton, joined by fellow News 6 meteorologist Troy Bridges and traffic safety expert Steve Montiero, hosted this year’s AIDS Walk to benefit Orlando’s nonprofit Hope & Help center. Also on hand were Pride Radio Orlando’s Ricky and Sondra Rae as well as Pulse Nightclub owner Barbara Poma.

In keeping with the appearance of local notables, walk participants were encouraged to dress as their favorite celebrities for the mile-long walk around Lake Eola. According to their website, a total of $41,965 was raised to assist Hope & Help with its HIV/AIDS services including free testing, community education initiatives, and case management.

More photos after the jump.

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Lacking resources for an aging LGBTQ community

By : Steve Blanchard
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Aging is a reality we all face. Everyone gets older and everyone eventually finds himself or herself in the twilight years.

But for older LGBTs, aging can be more challenging than for their heterosexual counterparts. That’s mostly because resources and those who provide them are not specifically geared toward the LGBT community.

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Chris Harder brings his one-man show, ‘Porn To Be A Star,’ to the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House

By : Jeremy Williams with additional reporting by Randa Griffin
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“‘Poor little porn star,’ his somber, dark gaze seemed to convey, though in my mind I suddenly imagined I was seated at the head of a garishly decorated room, noise makers filling the air, the guest of honor at his surprise pity party, so generously thrown on my behalf.”

The opening line to gay adult film star Chris Harder’s HuffPost article titled “Exiting the Porn Star Pity Party” is one of many encounters Harder has had with individuals who have seen one of his movies and felt the need to tell him he’s better than that.

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LGBTQ support center in Altamonte Springs front for gay sex club

By : Jeremy Williams
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ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. | An LGBTQ support center going by the name of Club 1000 was actually a place where gay men could go to pay for sex, according to the Altamonte Springs Police Department.

The business, which is listed by the name TA Support Group LLC and operated from an Altamonte Springs strip mall on State Road 436, was raided by police Jan. 12 after a two-week, undercover investigation.

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Watermark’s 2018 WAVE Awards Final Round – VOTE NOW

By : Watermark Staff
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We asked for your favorites and you responded in droves. The 2018 WAVE Awards are in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category. Now it’s time to pick the best!

The WAVE Awards, or the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, recognize the best in Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

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