PHOTOS: Orlando Fringe gives a taste of what’s to come at this year’s festival

By : Danny Garcia
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ORLANDO | Orlando Fringe kicked off its 28th year by giving audiences a taste of what to expect at this year’s festival with the annual preview shows, one for general audiences and one for the more mature shows, at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre April 15.

Performers had two minutes each to woo the audience with a preview to their show. Check out the photos below and stay tuned to Watermark as we bring you our annual LGBTQ preview of Orlando Fringe in the coming weeks.

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PHOTOS: Babes in Bonnets raises $32,000 for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Parliament House hosted Babes in Bonnets, an Easter holiday tradition that raises funds for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), at the Footlight Theatre in Orlando April 15.

The fundraiser, which was started 21 years ago by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia, brought in $32,000 for OYA programs and services.

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Hope & Help moves annual Orlando AIDS Walk back to the a.m.

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ABOVE: QLatinx marches in the 2018 Orlando AIDS Walk at Lake Eola. (Photo by Maia Monet)

ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida, Inc. is bringing the annual AIDS Walk back to the morning hours at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando on April 27.

“This year, the event returns to the morning,” announced Hope & Help’s Executive Director Lisa Barr on Facebook. “With the community’s support, we will continue to work hard in reducing new HIV transmissions in our area. Every step we take around Lake Eola is a step towards progress.”

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The Orlando Ribbon Project releases new enamel pin

By : Lauren Lee
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Famous figures including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and HRC’s Chad Griffin have worn the now famous rainbow-colored ribbon, now the Dissent Pin Company has partnered with the Orlando Ribbon Project to create enamel versions of the ribbons that traveled the world in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Orlando.

“Its been rather amazing watching the project grow from just a handful of fabric ribbons for volunteers to a worldwide symbol of love and hope,” says founder of the Orlando Ribbon Project, Ben Johansen.

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PHOTOS: Orlando recognizes Jazell Barbie Royale with city proclamation

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the current Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale with a proclamation to the city declaring it “Jazell Barbie Royale Day” in the city of Orlando on April 11.

Dyer and Royale were joined on the steps of City Hall by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens, Orlando Police Captain Jim Young, Bliss CARES Medical Director Dr. Roberto Ortiz and many of Royale’s family, friends, fans and supporters.

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‘Dirtwoman’ lives on through documentary coming to Florida Film Festival

By : Abigail Brashear and Amanda Espinosa
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Running for mayor, defecating in the back of a police car, mud wrestling and helping to raise tens of thousands of dollars for food banks: Donnie Corker, otherwise known as Dirtwoman, did it all.

Corker, who was a drag icon in Virginia’s LGBTQ community, is known for his outrageous attitude, raunchy acts and kind heart. The 350 lb. legend earned the nickname ‘Dirtwoman’ after a particularly interesting incident.

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Para lograr la igualdad LGBTQ, primero debemos abordar la discriminación dentro de nuestra propia comunidad

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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Hacer compras en el supermercado es una tarea normal para la mayoría, lo que identificar los productos que desea comprar rápidamente mientras camina por el pasillo del supermercado resulta crucial. Por esto, mantener la consistencia de las formas, colores, tamaños y texturas de los productos hará su vida más fácil. Pregúntele a cualquier aficionado del mercadeo qué tan exitosa es esa botella específica de jarabe de maple con forma femenina, y qué dulce hace sus panqueques en la mañana.

Las etiquetas han visto beneficios a lo largo de nuestra historia, desde la definición de los movimientos artísticos a lo largo de los siglos como el Renacimiento, el período barroco o el arte pop hasta comprender la diferencia entre una rosa y un tulipán. Esta diferenciación puede ser una situación de vida o muerte al diagnosticar una enfermedad que requiere tratamiento y atención específicos. Las etiquetas son útiles, porque cuando hablamos de objetos, es clave discernir entre lo que te atrae y lo que no. La naturaleza discriminatoria de nuestro cerebro nos permite dar sentido al mundo físico, y en ese contexto, decidir cuándo dejar de buscar información adicional y comprometernos con una elección se convierte en una tarea orgánica.

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To gain full LGBTQ equality we must first address discrimination within our own community

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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Grocery shopping is seen as a chore for most, so it is crucial to identify the products you want to buy quickly as you walk down the supermarket aisle. Because of this the consistency of the shapes, colors, sizes and textures of products will make your life easier. Ask any marketing aficionado how successful a specific female-shaped bottle of maple syrup is, and how sweet it makes your morning pancakes.

The branding of objects has seen benefits throughout our history, from defining the artistic movements throughout the ages like the Renaissance, the baroque period or Pop art to understanding the difference between a rose and a tulip. This differentiation can be a life or death situation when diagnosing an ailment which requires specific treatment and care. Labels are useful, because when we talk about objects, it is key to discriminate between what speaks to you and what does not. The discriminatory nature of our brains allows us to make sense of our physical worlds, and in that context, deciding when to stop searching for additional information and commit to a choice becomes an organic chore.

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Disney earns perfect score on HRC workplace equality report

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | The Walt Disney Company earned a perfect score of 100 on the 2019 Corporate Equality Index (CEI). The CEI is a national survey administrated by the Human Rights Campaign that evaluates corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality.

“We are committed to creating and sustaining a welcoming environment for all our employees,” said Latondra Newton, senior vice president and chief diversity officer of The Walt Disney Company, in a post on the company’s website. “We are proud of our longstanding commitment to LGBTQ workplace equality and recognize that we thrive when all people are valued and encouraged.”

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10 LGBTQ films you need to see at the 2019 Florida Film Festival

By : Jeremy Williams
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We covered six LGBTQ short films that are looking to win a jury prize at this year’s Florida Film Festival (FFF) in order to get them one step closer to the Holy Grail of film recognition—an Academy Award. You can read about those films here.

While not “going for the gold,” these 10 FFF LGBTQ-themed film offerings—both feature-length and short subject—are sure to have all the festival goers buzzing. Make sure to get your tickets and check them out at this year’s festival.

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6 LGBTQ short films among those competing at the 2019 Florida Film Festival for a chance at some Oscar love

By : Jeremy Williams
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For most, talk of the Academy Awards is a once-a-year event where people comment on who is or isn’t hosting, whether the films up for Best Picture are deserving and who wore the best dress; but for filmmakers the road to winning an Oscar is a lifelong quest for recognition from their peers and to be honored as the best at their field for that year.

Hollywood producers and big-name directors going for Oscar gold can easily get their films in front of voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science, but smaller filmmakers—especially those who make short films and documentaries—would find it near impossible to have their works seen by the right people without Oscar-accredited festivals like the Florida Film Festival (FFF) in Orlando, which runs April 12-21.

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Take the 2019 LGBTQ community survey and have your voice heard

By : Watermark Staff
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Want to help out your LGBTQ community and get the chance to win $50? Of course you do! All you have to do is take part in the 13th Annual LGBTQ Community Survey.

Participation in this survey gives important feedback to our LGBTQ community media and organizations, and provides valid data to companies interested in serving our community, sponsoring our charities and supporting their LGBTQ employees. Last year’s survey yielded 45,000 respondents from 150 countries!

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