Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see ‘A Drag Queen Christmas’ hosted by Nina West

By : Watermark Staff
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It’s the holidays and Watermark wants to gift you a pair of tickets to see some the most popular queens from “RuPaul’s Drag Race” this season!

“A Drag Queen Christmas” — hosted by Nina West and featuring Latrice Royal, Shuga Cain, Shea Coulee, William, Thorgy Thor, Lady Bunny and more singing seasonal classics and bringing that naughty holiday spirit — will be at The Plaza Live in Orlando Dec. 27 and the Straz Center in Tampa Dec. 29.

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Joseph Caldwell’s memoir ‘In the Shadow of the Bridge’ revisits 1980s New York, AIDS epidemic

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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New York was a different place in 1950, which is exactly why Joseph Caldwell loved it. The Milwaukee native, fresh from the Air Force and then 21, was finally ready to live openly as the young gay man he was. The city gave him that opportunity.

He found the home any New York-bound aspiring writer would want. It was an apartment “In the Shadow of the Bridge,” now the title of his memoir – which he saw published at age 91 this year.

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What does Undetectable = Untransmittable mean for U?

By : J.D. Cerna
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Thomas’ libido was especially high that Thursday night. The Orlando resident, who prefers not to use his real name, met a man at his Grand Bohemian Hotel room on the dating application Grindr.

They became sexual rather quickly and Thomas, lost in the delirium of his sex drive, says he allowed the man to penetrate him without a condom. Thomas snapped, “Wait. I’m not on PrEP, pull out.”

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Watermark is hiring! Tampa Bay Distribution Specialist needed

By : Watermark Staff
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Are you a motivated individual who thrives in an independent work environment and would like to make a little extra money?

We have the perfect job for you!

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Central Florida, Tampa Bay organizations recognize World AIDS Day 2019 with events

By : Watermark Staff
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World AIDS Day is the first-ever global health day and has taken place every Dec. 1 since 1988. It is a day where the entire planet comes together to remember the nearly 40 million lives lost to the virus, but also to acknowledge those still living with the disease and to celebrate the advances made in fighting HIV/AIDS.

Several groups and organizations will be holding events on, and throughout the week surrounding, World AIDS Day in the Central Florida and Tampa Bay. We have gathered a list of events with information and links below for you to help raise funds, remember those we have lost, honor those living with the virus and places you can get tested.

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The Last Page: Karen Atwood

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Mellow Mushroom Pizza Bakers owner Karen Atwood from Sarasota. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Watermark Giveaway: Two Tickets for Melissa Etheridge at Ruth Eckerd Hall

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Superstar recording artist Melissa Etheridge has announced “The Medicine Show Tour” – and Watermark has your chance to win tickets to her stop at the newly-reimagined Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater!

Tickets for Etheridge’s tour went on sale Nov. 22. It begins next March in Illinois and will conclude in Clearwater May 1, 2020. Watch the tour announcement below.

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St. Petersburg marks Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Transgender Day of Remembrance at Metro LGBTQ Welcome Center Nov. 20. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ community advocates and allies gathered Nov. 20 on Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) at Metro’s LGBTQ Welcome Center to honor the known transgender lives lost in 2019.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender and gender non-confirming people were killed this year. Equality Florida adds that since 2018, seven transgender women of color have been murdered in Florida, the most of any state in the country.

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A trans woman’s journey to activism

By : Alec Reynolds
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Would constant fear of harassment and assault motivate or defeat you? Would you turn inward, mentally tucking yourself away on the outskirts of society if you felt unloved and unappreciated in almost every instance of your life? If you felt that your mere existence made others feel uncomfortable, could you still love yourself?

These are the struggles faced by many transgender women of color in the United States and across the world every day. Transgender women of color are engulfed in fear of becoming the next statistic in the American transgender murder epidemic. Violent deaths in Dallas, Jacksonville, Kansas City and across the nation often instill a sense of perpetual panic.

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Orlando, St. Pete, Tampa receive perfect HRC scores

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Nov. 19 that the cities of Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in the 506 cities rated. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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Central Florida, Tampa Bay mark Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LGBTQ community advocates and allies will gather for vigils throughout Central Florida and Tampa Bay Nov. 20 to mark Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender and gender non-confirming people were killed in 2019. Equality Florida adds that since 2018, seven transgender women of color have been murdered in Florida, the most of any state in the country.

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Tampa philanthropist David Straz dies at 77

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: David Straz (R) and wife Catherine Lowry Straz speak at Tampa Pride’s 2019 VIP Sponsor Party March 28. Photo by Dylan Todd.

TAMPA | Tampa philanthropist and former Tampa mayoral candidate David A. Straz Jr. has passed away. He was 77.

David A. Straz Jr. Foundation spokesman Jarrod Holbrook announced Straz’s passing in a statement late Nov. 18. “It is with a heavy heart the Straz family regrets to inform you that while on a recent fishing trip with close friends David A. Straz, Jr. passed away peacefully in his sleep,” he shared.

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