The LGBT+ Center to honor community leaders at Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Orlando (The Center) will honor local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during the 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at Dubsdread in Orlando May 22.

The seventh annual event—named for the first openly gay elected official in California and LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk—will be hosted by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell, and will take place on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. The day is designated as “Harvey Milk Day” in the U.S.

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AIDS Walk Orlando raises over $52K for Hope & Help

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | More than 400 walkers gathered at the Walt Disney Amphitheatre at Lake Eola Park in Orlando April 27, helping raise over $52,000 for Hope & Help’s 29th annual AIDS Walk.

AIDS Walk Orlando was moved back to the morning hours after two years as an evening walk around Lake Eola, kicking off at 7:30 a.m. with registration and guest speakers at the amphitheater. Speakers included City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and Hope & Help’s community developmental director Joshua Myers, also the AIDS Walk Orlando event director.

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Come one, come all to a summer of fun as every body says love!

By : Watermark Staff
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As summer draws closer, everyone is starting to plan for what promises to be an epic season for the LGBTQ community. From beach days and backyard barbecues to the inaugural Red Shirt Pride Days in Orlando and the 17th annual St Pete Pride, there is going to be so much to do.

We here at Watermark say that there is no ideal body type for loving who you are and spending the summer having fun with your friends, family and community. That’s why, in observance of the summer season, we have gathered together a diverse collection of LGBTQ models from Central Florida and Tampa Bay to celebrate beautiful beach-ready bodies of all genders, races, sizes and shapes.

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Parliament House’s Darcel Stevens wins Miss Continental Plus 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens has been crowned Miss Continental Plus 2019.

Miss Continental Plus is a part of Continental Pageantry Systems, described as the ultimate female impersonation pageantry system throughout the world. The system began in 1980 and expanded to include Miss Continental Plus in 1990. The 2019 pageant featured 23 contestants, including Stevens, who was crowned in Chicago on April 23.

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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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