Metro Wellness & Community Centers announces annual benefit, honorees

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness & Community Centers will hold its annual fundraiser on Nov. 10, benefitting the organization’s diverse lineup of LGBTQ programming and honoring community leaders.

This year’s celebration, presented by Mail Meds pharmacy for the sixth consecutive year, will be a “PeaCocktail Party” held at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport from 7-11 p.m. The organization describes the gathering as a bold and colorful party, celebrating the beauty of Tampa Bay’s diversity.

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PHOTOS: Tampa sets its frights on 42nd annual All Hallows’ Ball

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The spooky to the scantily-clad filled the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa for the 42nd annual All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball Oct. 27, celebrating or completely ignoring this year’s theme of “Scary Movie Night.”

All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball, the haunting not-for-profit billed as one of Tampa’s longest-standing traditions, offered attendees over 20,000 sq. ft. to meet, mingle, dance and drink – including Watermark. You can check out some of our spooktacular photos below.

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This is Halloween: Full event calendar for Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Watermark Staff
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As Halloween draws closer, Watermark has complied a full list of spooky happenings across Central Florida/Tampa Bay

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Podcaster Scott Swenson talks living hauntingly ever after

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Scott Swenson is a storyteller. In his 30-year career, he’s produced, directed, written and performed at theme parks and in theaters nationwide—bringing his love of all things horror along for the wicked ride.

He and a small team developed Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s first Howl-O-Scream in 1999, now a fan-favorite haunted attraction. In his nearly 22 years at the park, where he served as entertainment director, he worked on the annual event for 15.

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Time Warps and Terror Tours: Tampa Theatre brings fabulous frights

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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October is upon us, and while Florida isn’t known for its fall-like weather, Tampa Bay is lucky to have the Tampa Theatre—dedicated to bringing the area chills in other ways.

Built in 1926, the newly-renovated landmark has a longstanding reputation of being one of Tampa Bay’s most entertaining sites. On the heels of the 29th annual Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, the theatre is setting its sights on spooky with “A Nightmare on Franklin Street,” now in its frighteningly fifth year.

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‘Jersey Boys,’ the story of The Four Seasons’ rise to fame and the gay man behind the success, comes to the Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jaime Donelson
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Wade Dooley, who plays the character of Bob Crewe in the North American tour of “Jersey Boys,” says he feels very connected to his character as an openly gay actor.

“I try to put a bit of myself into [the character]. Still today there are times when I can’t tell if it’s safe or not safe to be myself. I try to bring some of that realism to it,” says Dooley.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay prep to eat, drink and be scary this Halloween

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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From the fierce to the freakish, Halloween is a celebration of self-expression. It’s a chance for those of any age, gender identity or sexual orientation to live exactly as they are—or should they choose, to become someone or something else entirely.

For those reasons and more, so many in the LGBTQ community have gravitated toward Halloween throughout its hallowed history. But deeper meanings aside, it’s also fun. How can you go wrong with costumes, candy, parties and puns?

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Breast cancer survivor confronted during Bucs game for using female restroom

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Orlando resident Toni Gott, a breast cancer survivor who has undergone a double mastectomy, prematurely left the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Cleveland Browns game honoring cancer survivors at Raymond James stadium Oct. 21 following a confrontation with a Tampa Sports Authority employee concerning her use of a female restroom.

The game followed the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Foundation’s sixth annual Treasure Chests 5K and Fun Run, benefitting breast cancer research and patient services across Tampa Bay. Throughout the game, the Buccaneers honored cancer survivors and featured other league-wide programming.

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Who was Most Remarkable in 2018?

By : Watermark Staff
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Toward the end of each year, Watermark highlights local, unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to show with action just how remarkable they are.

We want our readers to help decide who deserves recognition for their inspiration, contribution or achievement in the 2018 calendar year. In honor of the year, we are looking for the 18 — 9 from Central Florida and 9 from Tampa Bay — Most Remarkable People of 2018.

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Metro Wellness and Community Centers relaunches LGBTQ Welcome Center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Community leaders and advocates gathered at Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBTQ Welcome Center to officially relaunch the organization’s LGBTQ safe haven Oct. 6.

The welcome center, a renovated home located in the Grand Central District, has served Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community since its opening in 2014. Through its weekly programming, the majority of which Metro Wellness provides at no cost, it offers a gathering space for LGBTQ community members of all ages.

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Activist and actor Eddie Izzard on comedy, politics and the end of the world

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Photo by Amanda Searle, via EddieIzzard.com.

Activist, actor and author Eddie Izzard’s 30-year career has been as proactive and fabulous as the comedian himself.

That’s evident in “Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death, and Jazz Chickens,” published in 2017 to critical acclaim. Izzard’s intelligent humor dishes on historical and sexual politics, mad ancient kings and chickens with guns, all while reflecting on the childhood loss of his mother, his time in boarding school and his sexuality. It also details his time in comedy, film, politics and philanthropy.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete steps out for inaugural parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) held its inaugural parade in the Grand Central District during its second annual celebration Oct. 6.

The parade began at 10 a.m., heading west on Central Ave. from 22nd St. to 31st St. “Bringing a parade back to Grand Central is definitely something the community has voiced for some time,” COSP Co-Chair Jimmy Biascan shared ahead of the event. “It’s really cool to be able to give them what they want.”

COSP did exactly that – and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. Check out some of our photos below.

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