Bambusa Bar & Grill no longer opening at former Georgie’s Alibi locale

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Bambusa Bar & Grill, an LGBTQ-friendly restaurant and entertainment hotspot in Naples, will not open a St. Petersburg location at the former Georgie’s Alibi.

The Naples eatery announced their intent to expand to St. Petersburg in August 2017, noting they had chosen to resurrect the Alibi location, a spot synonymous with the St. Petersburg LGBTQ community for years.

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Local filmmaker to hold world premiere of religious LGBTQ film ‘At the End of the Day’ in Lakeland

By : Jeremy Williams
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LAKELAND, Fla. | Kevin O’Brien, a local-area filmmaker, announced his first feature-length film “At the End of the Day” will premiere at the historic Polk Theatre in Lakeland May 18.

“At the End of the Day” is a dramatic comedy that explores the tensions between the evangelical church and the LGBTQ community. Dave Hopper, played by Stephen Shane Martin, is a conservative professor at a Christian college who goes undercover in a gay support group to try and stop them from launching an LGBTQ homeless youth shelter in his small town.

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Local author launches historical Pride Flag picture book in St. Petersburg

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | Local and out author Rob Sanders will officially launch “Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag,” the first picture book detailing the history of the Pride flag, on April 12 at ArtsXchange St. Pete.

“This is the first official release event and we’re having it in St. Pete for the Bay area,” Sanders says. “This is the 40th anniversary of the Pride flag, so the book coming out is perfect timing for it.” The launch party, co-sponsored by Tombolo Books, the Warehouse Arts District, Random House Books and the SunLit Festival, follows the book’s official release date of April 10.

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Dali and Duchamp’s unlikely friendship on display at The Dali

By : Samuel Johnson
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ABOVE: (L) Salvador Dalí and Edward James, Lobster Telephone, 1938, telephone, steel, plaster, rubber, resin and paper. Edward James Foundation, West Dean / © 2018 Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí, Artists Rights Society. (R) Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917/1964 Photography: © Schiavinotto Giuseppe © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 2018

Two powerhouses of surrealism converge in a dual exhibition at The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg. Marcel Duchamp, widely recognized as the father of conceptual art, and Salvador Dali, one of the most enigmatic and influential surrealist painters, are showcased together.

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Dining Out for Life returns to Tampa Bay for 13th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: EPIC Executive Director Joy Winheim

Tampa | The annual HIV/AIDS fundraiser Dining Out for Life (DOFL) will return to Tampa Bay for the 13th time on April 26 to benefit Empath Partners in Care, or EPIC.

Founded in 1991, DOFL takes place in over 60 cities throughout the United States and Canada. Over 3,000 restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds from the day of dining to licensed AIDS service agencies across North America.

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PHOTOS: Manatee Pride celebrates its fifth year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Bradenton | The Manatee Pride Festival held its fifth annual LGBTQ pride event on March 17 at the Bradenton Riverwalk Pavilion.

New and returning vendors surrounded the event’s main stage, allowing attendees the perfect view of the event’s performers. Entertainment included area favorites like Divine AF, an ensemble from The Players Centre for Performing Arts, Beneva Fruitville and Johnny Sparks.

Darwin’s Brewery and Tap Room once again provided the signature Manatee Pride beer, event sponsor CAN Community Health offered free health screenings and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. You can check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: Tampa Pride 2018

By : Maia Monet
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Tampa | The 4th annual Tampa Pride occured March 24 in all its glory on the streets of Ybor City. Leading things off in the morning was the Festival Marketplace on the campus of Hillsborough Community College Ybor. Filled with vendors, artisans, churches and theater groups, there was a lot to take in and enjoy for the rainbow-bedazzled public greatly enjoying the perfect early spring weather.

The action shifted in the afternoon to the Diversity Parade led by Grand Marshals Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw, Jane Castor and Christopher Sean. As the parade participants slowly made their way down 7th Ave. through the heart of Ybor City, they were met by thousands of cheering people dressed-to-express their LGBTQ pride and waving rainbow as well as transgender pride flags. Watermark was lucky enough to have a float in the parade and capture some of the sights for your viewing pleasure. Check out our pics after the jump below.

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PHOTOS: Project No Labels kicks off Tampa Pride at City Side Lounge

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | Project No Labels helped kick off Tampa Pride on March 23 at a transformed City Side Lounge for the group’s first Pride Legacy Awards.

The awards highlight local leaders, individuals and businesses who dedicate themselves to the LGBTQ community through time and/or resources. The night was hosted by area favorite Mayven Missbehavin’ and featured food from local restaurants, free shots from Tito’s Vodka and a wide array of entertainment.

Aerial artists, fire performers, vocalists and some of Tampa Bay’s best drag performers dazzled the crowd—and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. You can check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: The Florida Aquarium kicks off Tampa Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Florida Aquarium hosted a Tampa Pride kickoff party on March 23, treating attendees to penguins, performances and pride.

Presented by Brier Grieves Insurance, the event featured an open bar with signature cocktails and began with full access to the aquarium’s many exhibits. Area favorite Stephanie Shippae performed, and the evening even included a special visit from the aquarium’s African penguins.

Watermark was on hand to help celebrate—and you can check out some of our photos below.

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Aaron Carter says reports on bisexuality were ‘misconstrued’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa-born Aaron Carter has once again spoken out on his highly-publicized coming out, calling reports on his bisexuality “a little misconstrued.”

In an exclusive interview with HollywoodLife, the 30-year-old singer was asked about his coming out, as well as recent interviews in which he had discussed it more in-depth. “The other bomb that you dropped on us… you came out as bisexual,” one of the podcast’s hosts asked. “You didn’t really indicate that you’ve had a relationship with a guy… have you, or is it just more that you’re open to it?”

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Gun control rallies take place in Florida, across U.S., around the world

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A participant in a “March for Our Lives” rally in Tampa, Fla., on March 24, 2018, holds a sign in homage of Emma González, a bisexual student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., who has emerged as a vocal gun control advocate after a gunman killed 17 people inside her school last month. Washington Blade photo by Michael K. Lavers.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hundreds of “March for Our Lives” gun control rallies, marches and protests took place across the U.S. and around the world on Saturday.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Austin & Philip Gustin-Helms

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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After three months, Austin and Philip made their relationship official. Almost four years later, they heard the words “I now pronounce you married.”

Mississippi native Austin Helms had just moved back to St. Petersburg after living in New York City and wasn’t sure he was ready for a relationship. Then he met Philip Gustin. “The conversation was fun and easy,” he says about their lunch date at The Avenue. “The attraction was obviously there.” Philip remembers being captivated by Austin’s piercing blue eyes. “If I hadn’t been crushing on him already from our texts, I sure was then!”

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