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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OYA and Parliament House’s Easter tradition continues with Babes in Bonnets

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: A sample of the bonnets auctioned off at the 2018 Babes in Bonnets event. Photo by Tabitha Widby

ORLANDO | The Parliament House will once again host the Easter holiday auction Babes in Bonnets, which fund raises for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA).

Each fundraiser over the past several years has continued to surpass the one before it, with last year’s auction bringing in a record $32,171. The fundraiser itself has been around for 21 years and was started by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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One Orlando Alliance to host community discussion on LGBTQ homelessness

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | The One Orlando Alliance is hosting a Central Florida-based discussion on the topic of LGBTQ youth homelessness at the Holden Heights Community Center in Orlando on April 11.

The discussion panel will consist of representatives from Alliance member organizations Bliss Cares, Equality Florida and Zebra Coalition; and will be moderated by Homeless Services Network of Central Florida Deputy Director Brian Postlewait.

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onePULSE Foundation’s Barbara Poma discusses the future of the Pulse memorial and museum

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Barbara Poma speaks during the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy at the interim memorial. Photo by Maia Monet

ORLANDO | The onePULSE foundation announced March 25 that it is launching an international design competition challenging architects from around the world to create a unique and iconic National Pulse Memorial and Museum.

While the look of the final project will be left to the winning design team, the competition does layout three key elements that will be a part of the finished product: a memorial, a museum and pedestrian pathway known as “Survivors Walk.”

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Orlando becomes first Florida city to recognize LGBTQ-certified businesses

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer, City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and members from both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) gathered at Se7enBites in Orlando to announce a new LGBTQ business initiative April 2.

The LGBTQ+ Business Inclusion Resolution allows the city to develop a database and registry of LGBTQ-certified businesses with the NGLCC that will track city contracts and spending with LGBTQ-owned businesses and ensure the inclusion of LGBTQ-owned businesses in Central Florida.

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Orlando Apollos partner with One Orlando Alliance to celebrate first Pride Night

By : Amanda Espinosa
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UPDATE: Orlando Apollos Pride Night CANCELLED, the club is no longer in operation, effective immediately. 

ORLANDO | The Orlando Apollos, a newly formed team for the Alliance of American Football league, will be celebrating its first-ever Pride Night at the University of Central Florida’s Spectrum Stadium on April 6 at 8 p.m.

The Apollos are partnering with One Orlando Alliance, a nonprofit coalition empowering more than 30 LGBTQ organizations in Central Florida.

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Parliament House takes on a cult classic with ‘ShowGirls in Drag’

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | “ShowGirls in Drag”—based on the 1995 cult film, “Showgirls”—turns the iconic “girl moves to the big city to make it big” movie on its head in a dragtastic shocking parody at the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre April 19-21. The show stars drag sensations Cara Cavalli, MRMS Adrien and Tora Himan.

“The film was made to be a drag parody” says Himan, who plays the show’s narrator. “It’s trash, glamour, diamonds, glitter and a whole lotta boobs! I mean, that’s a normal night at any gay bar. This show is one of my favorite productions ever, seriously.”

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Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale to be recognized by City of Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | The City of Orlando will recognize Parliament House entertainer Jazell Barbie Royale, who made history as the first black transgender woman to be crowned Miss International Queen in Thailand, with a ceremony at City Hall on April 11.

“We always see trans rights in such a hostile way,” says Darcel Stevens, Parliament House’s entertainment director. “There’s so much brutality in the community, so it is wonderful to see trans issues in such a positive light.”

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