Activists welcome National Center for Transgender Equality to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Area activists will host a special reception for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) Sept. 12 at the Tampa Club to raise awareness and funds for the social justice advocacy organization.

NCTE is devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues. They advise that by empowering transgender people and their allies to educate and influence policymakers and others, NCTE facilitates a strong and clear voice for transgender equality in the nation’s capital and around the country.

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How Central Florida’s Middle Eastern and Muslim LGBTQ community has found their voice post-Pulse

By : Holly V. Kapherr
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Recall two seminal moments from our recent history: Most—if not all—of us nearing our mid-thirties and beyond remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001, when the World Trade Center fell to the ground. Similarly, thousands will never forget the morning they woke up and heard about the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando on June 12, 2016.

For many, these two events may share very little in common: the scope of the terror, the size of the cities in which they occurred, the generality or specificity of their victims, how removed or close-to-home the impact.

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Out singer/songwriter Calum Scott talks his new album, Tinder and first U.S. tour

By : Aaron Drake
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You might know him by his heartbreaking version of “Dancing on My Own,” but “Britain’s Got Talent” golden boy Calum Scott has much more up his sleeve.

The out singer and songwriter just released his debut album “Only Human” on Capitol Records, and he’s wasting no time in getting it out on tour. It’s his first major tour through the U.S., and many of his LGBTQ fans are eager to see him live. He will be performing with well-known a capella group Pentatonix at his upcoming show in Tampa at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater Aug. 9.

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Watermark Giveaway: A pair of tickets to see Janet Jackson in concert

By : Meghan Sweeney
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Does the thought of free Janet Jackson tickets make you want to ‘Scream’ with excitement?! Then look no further!

Watermark is giving away two free tickets to the Janet Jackson concert on Tuesday, August 7, at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds.

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G St Pete announces grand opening in St. Petersburg

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The Florida Entertainment Group has announced that G St Pete will open its doors in downtown St. Petersburg Aug. 4.

“We’ve wanted to be a part of the St. Pete community for a long time and the opportunity finally presented itself with the right venue and location,” co-owner Ernie Webb tells Watermark. “We’re really excited to be a part of the community there.”

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Watermark Giveaway: A pair of tickets to see Kesha and Macklemore in concert

By : Jeremy Williams
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Do you want to see The Adventures of Kesha and Macklemore Sunday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m. at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the Florida State Fairgrounds in Tampa? Well, here’s your chance!

To enter, comment below and tell us your favorite Kesha or Macklemore song. We will choose a winner at random Aug. 1 at noon.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Erin Boone and Jennie Gintoli

By : Aaron Drake
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“The minute I turned around on the stairs for our ‘First Look’ pictures and saw Toli, I just had never been so filled with anticipation and excitement as when our photographer told me to turn around,” Erin Boone shared about the wedding to her wife Jennie “Toli” Gintoli. “Seeing her for the first time in her dress was just… amazing. There was something so magical about that moment, and I will never forget it.”

Boone and Gintoli say they met where all 30-somethings meet these days: Tinder. When they matched, Gintoli says she wasn’t looking for a relationship—but Boone quickly won her heart.

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Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay sees increase in volunteers from St. Pete Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tampa Bay (BBBSTB) have announced that last month’s St. Pete Pride saw over 200 men and women sign up to volunteer to be a “Big” in the nonprofit’s mentorship program.

The recruitment drive this year follows the organization’s launch of a nationwide initiative focusing on LGBTQ inclusion for Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, which at over 100 years old remains the nation’s largest volunteer-supported mentoring network. The nonprofit exists to make meaningful matches between adults and at-risk youth.

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St. Pete Chamber of Commerce releases list of Good ‘Burger Awards finalists

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce has released its list of finalists for the sixth annual Good ‘Burger Awards, and multiple LGBTQ organizations and allies are vying for your vote.

A “Good ‘Burger” refers to a business, organization or individual in the greater St. Petersburg area that makes a positive impact in the community, the chamber advises. They further note that the awards are named in honor of a former mayor who referred to his citizens as “burgers,” as in “St. Petersburgers.”

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07.26.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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There are moments in our lives that stick with us—defining who we were, who we are or who we want to be.

Among my list of essentials are a summer with my grandmother, probably my favorite person that I’ve ever known. The two of us would take turns telling one another stories we’d make up on the spot, finishing each other’s dangling plot threads well into the wee hours of the night. She also helped cement my role as a night owl.

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Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay seeks singers

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay (GMCTB) will hold auditions for new and returning talent Aug. 4 and Aug. 13 ahead of the group’s fall season.

Founded in 2002, the GMCTB — formerly known as Una Voce — exists to celebrate the inherent dignity of all people through excellence in men’s choral music. Singers do not have to be gay or male to sing with the group, they advise, noting that the only requirement is that singing members “are willing and able to sing a male vocal part: tenor, baritone or bass.”

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Balance Tampa Bay’s Avant Garde masquerade to benefit EPIC

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Balance Tampa Bay will hold its fourth annual masquerade ball Aug. 4 in Tampa Heights to benefit Empath Partners in Care (EPIC).

Balance Tampa Bay is an LGBTA volunteer organization that focuses on promoting fellowship, fun and philanthropy throughout the LGBTQ community. The organization’s annual masquerade ball has benefited EPIC since the event’s inception, with 2017’s gathering raising $32,000 for the nonprofit dedicated to providing services to those impacted by HIV/AIDS throughout the region.

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