Central Florida Overheard: Who run the world?

By : anonymous
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ABOVE: President of the Barber Fund and owner of The Venue, Blue Star.

Orlando Magazine has named its Women of the Year in Central Florida and a couple of familiar names popped up on that list. “They are educators, mentors, counselors, fund-raisers, business owners and managers of organizations that help those in need. But most of all they are leaders, who step forward to help keep our community strong,” says Orlando Magazine of its 23 individual selections.

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Central Florida Overheard: Quilt of memories

By : anonymous
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The AIDS Memorial Quilt is a massive quilt started in the 1980s by LGBTQ activist Cleve Jones to bring awareness to how bad the AIDS pandemic really was. Each panel was personalized for someone who lost their battle with the disease. It is meant to honor the dead and bring healing to the person’s loved ones.

This year, the Orlando VA Medical Center is raising awareness for HIV/AIDS and letting the community know the fight is still not over by creating a local quilt to be displayed later this year. “We are going to unveil the quilt on Worlds AIDS Day,” says Freda Johnson, a social worker with the VA’s Infectious Disease Team. “Then it will be displayed at the various VA locations around Central Florida.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Your son’ll come out tomorrow

By : anonymous
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MattocS Productions, American Stage and the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project will bring their latest Pride parody musical to St. Petersburg on June 25 with “Dannie.”

The spoof “skewers one of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters,” American Stage advises. It follows Scott Daniel’s Dannie, a young orphan with big dreams of starring on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The awful Miss Mannigan (Matthew McGee) aims to stop her—while Sugar Daddy Bigbucks (Jonathan Harrison) tries to adopt the orphan to “bankroll her dreams of stardom.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: One Love

By : anonymous
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Project No Labels marked the two year mark of the Pulse tragedy on June 11 at Thirsty First in St. Petersburg, raising nearly $1,000 for the Contigo Fund.

Funds were raised for the Orlando organization via donations and silent auctions. The fund was formed in the aftermath of the tragedy and offers financial support to organizations working to heal, educate and empower LGBTQ and Lantinx individuals, immigrants and people of color.

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06.14.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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As you are reading this it has been a few days since the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, but because of how deadlines and press days fall, I am writing this the day before the June 12 date.

June 12 carries a weird energy with me now. For those who don’t know, I share my birthday with the same day that a disturbed individual decided to take 49 lives at Pulse. Last year at the one-year mark, while attending memorials and vigils, I was receiving notifications of Happy Birthday and messages wishing me a fun and happy day all while grieving with my community and consoling friends.

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06.14.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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We live in an age where it can be easy to forget your pride. The White House certainly does. Even with orange prominently displayed in our flag, the current administration declined to issue a proclamation acknowledging LGBTQ Americans for the second year in a row.

The Pentagon followed suit, opting for the first time since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to not formally acknowledge LGBTQ Pride Month. It was a bold reflection of the administration’s ever-looming transphobic military policies.

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Wonderful World of Wanzie: Watermark Style Guide “Gay Correlation”—Wanzie Style

By : Michael Wanzie
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I’ve been happily writing for Watermark for some time now. With the coming of this past New Year, a message went out to all contributing writers—from the desk of the publisher of this fine publication—instructing us that moving forward all Viewpoint submissions were to have a “correlation” to gayness.

In my particular case the point was made that if I’m going to write a rant about tRump, then I need to make a point as to how and why the topic of my column should also be of concern to the gay community. I was admonished— in a totally civil manner— to do so because, in the words of the publisher, “After all, this is a gay publication.”

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Positive Living: Pride Made Me an Activist

By : Greg Stemm
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I remember the very first time someone called me a “gay activist.”

Fortunately that jarring epiphany didn’t come while I was alone. Just prior to the first St. Pete Pride celebration, we founders were sitting around a table having one of our last-minute board meetings. Since there had never been a gay pride celebration of any size or merit in St. Pete before, understandably the Tampa Bay Times (actually it was still called the St. Petersburg Times back then in 2003) was following our planning process very carefully.

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Seeing ‘RENT’ for the first time as told by a Watermark intern

By : Colton Adkins
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Jonathan Larson’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning musical “RENT” changed the landscape of Broadway when it premiered in 1996.

A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Boheme,” “RENT” — currently in the third year of its 20th Anniversary National Tour — follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Zoom, zoom, zoom

By : anonymous
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DJ Greg Anderson and entertainer Kiki Butter Lords have announced ZOOM Parties Sarasota, a venue-spanning party highlighting dining, drinks and drag.

“Welcome members to the ZOOM parties of Sarasota, Florida!” Anderson shared on the group’s Facebook page. “Kiki Butter Lords and I are super excited to bring Sarasota a new type of party… tell your friends about Zoom and let’s get Zooming!”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Spooky Suprise

By : anonymous
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“Casper” and the anonymous hosts behind Tampa’s not for profit All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball have emailed out the first “Save the Date” for the 42nd annual Halloween spook-tacular.

While the group remained mum on this year’s locale, listing only a “surprise South Tampa location,” the by invitation only event will officially begin at 8:01 p.m. on October 27, 2018.

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Central Florida Overheard: Fringe Forever

By : anonymous
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The Orlando International Fringe Festival wrapped another hugely successful year with an awards celebration and party on the Fringe lawn at Loch Haven Park this past Memorial Day.

Fringe had well over 100 sold out performances during the course of the 13-day festival, they announced. Then Watermark took the stage to present our readers’ choice 2018 Splash Awards. The big winner of the night was AJ Prats’ “PeeVira’s ScareVan Singalong: Disney Addicktion” which won both Favorite LGBTQ Show and Favorite LGBTQ Lead Performer for Prats.

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