Out comedian Kevin Allison brings award-winning podcast to Tampa and Orlando

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Comedian Kevin Allison knows a thing or two about coming out. As one part of the hive-mind behind MTV’s cult classic sketch series “The State,” Allison publicly came out in the mid-’90s. He says it was an easy decision because he knew he was gay with his first conscious thoughts.

Since then, he’s dedicated his life to helping others come out, not just as a member of the LGBTQ community, but about anything—utilizing his award-winning live show and podcast “RISK.” With over two million monthly downloads, it highlights real people (and the occasional celebrity) as they share real stories in public that they never thought they’d dare to discuss.

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Mad Cow Theatre explores sexual identity, family tension with local run of ‘Fun Home’

By : Layla Ferris
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After national tour stops in both Orlando and Tampa from the Tony Award-winning musical “Fun Home,” Orlando’s Mad Cow Theatre is putting on a production featuring local talent starting June 1.

“Fun Home,” the first Broadway musical to have a lesbian protagonist, is an adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s 2006 graphic memoir. The show portrays Bechdel’s uncovering of her own sexuality, her strained relationship with her closeted gay father and the re-examination of the years leading up to his unexpected suicide. The hour and 40-minute show is seen through the eyes of a 43-year-old Alison who looks to the past as she writes the graphic novel the play is based on.

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With changes to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend coming in 2019, we look back on the history of Gay Day

By : Jeremy Williams
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Outside of Pride parades and festivals, one could argue that no other LGBTQ event in the world is as recognizable as the one that occurs on the first Saturday in June every year at the happiest place on Earth.

Gay Day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom has gone through many changes and obstacles in its 28-year history. What began as one day at the park ballooned into multiple days of events from many groups who bring circuit parties, concerts, expos and pool parties every year that encircle the original event and carry the same message of visibility that Gay Day at Magic Kingdom was founded on.

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Seeing ‘RENT’ for the first time as told by a Watermark intern

By : Colton Adkins
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Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical “RENT” changed the landscape of Broadway when it premiered in 1996.

A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Boheme,” “RENT” — currently in the third year of its 20th Anniversary National Tour — follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.

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Javon King makes national tour debut with ‘RENT’

By : Layla Ferris
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Javon King plays Angel in the national tour of “RENT”

Javon King is an openly gay actor from New Jersey, and he is making his national tour debut with the company of “RENT.” He joins the cast with his portrayal of fan favorite Angel Dumott Schunard.

King, 21, studies musical theater at Rider University in New Jersey. He’s been in several productions at the university such as “Of Thee I Sing” and “Once on This Island.”

King says he’s shocked and ecstatic to have the opportunity to perform “RENT” nationally. King spoke with Watermark on the show’s opening night in Orlando to discuss his first memories of “RENT,” the show’s depiction of the LGBTQ experience and the complexities of playing Angel.

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PHOTOS: Hamburger Mary’s Broadway Brunch Bunch get into the Gay Days spirit

By : Jake Stevens
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Hamburger Mary’s Orlando held its Gay Days-inspired Broadway Brunch, with hosts Nicky Monet and Angel Sheridan and the Broadway Brunch Bunch, June 3.

The show featured  great song and dance numbers, deep cuts from the 90s, fabulous costumes and more than few hilarious sharp barbs traded between the hosts. All in all, a really fantastic way to cap Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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PHOTOS: The Cheaters take the stage at The Abbey in Orlando

By : Sam Callahan
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Bee-Dazzled Promotions was back at The Abbey in Orlando June 1 with Tampa’s rockin’ and rollin’ cover band, The Cheaters.

Fans were treated to a night of rock ‘n’ roll in what is becoming a Gay Days tradition.

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PHOTOS: Life was a HardHat Cabaret at the Tidal Wave Party

By : Jeremy Breners
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Tidal Wave Party held its HardHat Cabaret Show at the Holiday Inn Disney Springs June 1.

The “not your usual drag show” mixed drag with live musical performances featuring Ginger Minj, Delighted Tobehere, Nakia and more.

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PHOTOS: Chantel Reshae wins Miss GayDayS 2018

By : Colton Adkins
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A new Miss GayDayS was crowned at the fifth annual Miss GayDayS pageant at the DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld June 1.

Hosted by ChiChi LaRue and Coco Montrese, seven queens competed for the crown which by evening’s end went to Chantel Reshae your Miss GayDayS 2018.

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PHOTOS: Partygoers strutted into Disney Springs’ House of Blues for One Magical Weekend’s RED party

By : Jeremy Williams
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One Magical Weekend continued with the weekend’s biggest parties with RED Vol. III: #STRUT at the House of Blues in Disney Springs June 2.

The days official color of red continued on as many partygoers swapped out the red t-shirt for red shorts, crop tops and harnesses. The dance floor was packed by midnight as thousands moved, shook and strutted under a giant, red 9-foot high heel.

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PHOTOS: Deborah Cox performs at Parliament House for Gay Days 2018

By : Layla Ferris
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Thousands of people flocked to Parliament House to see Deborah Cox live in concert on June 2.

Cox played hits such as “Things Just Ain’t the Same” and “Absolutely Not.” Cox also celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” with the crowd.

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PHOTOS: GayDayS visitors kept cool on those hot days by going poolside

By : KathleenHarper
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GayDayS’ pool parties, held at their host hotel DoubleTree by Hilton at SeaWorld, were going on throughout the big gay weekend in Orlando.

Check out a few poolside photos below.

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