The Tender Activist: We’re not getting any younger

By : Scottie Campbell
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scottie campbellWarren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the wrong movie for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars. If you didn’t watch the broadcast, you probably watched the video of the moment, gone viral and only recently unseated by a couple of precocious kiddies strolling in their dad’s office during a BBC broadcast. At the very least you may have heard about the award ceremony snafu around the watercooler, and goodness knows we no longer need to have witnessed something to have an opinion about it.

The immediate assumption heard ‘round the world: Bonnie and Clyde screwed up because they’re old. Beatty turns 80 this month and Dunaway is 76. Hate gets an express pass in the day and age of social media and the assumption was given Herme’s speed. “HOLY SHIT!” tweeted a Hollywood writer friend of mine. “This is what you get when you let two ancient vampires awakened before their time present an award.”

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The Other Side of Life: Totem polls

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Who might have imagined that the irrelevance of Hollywood would become a totem to the nation writ large in the age of Trump? When I say totem, of course, I intend to conjure images of poles: the biggest poles, polls that now accurately misstate everything from presidential popularity to Academy Award winners.

We are pole-driven, metaphor-driven partisans who have bought into cults of personality if only for the fleeting moments needed to crush other cults. In 2017, we pit irrelevant reality stars against their replacements as if one were the President of the United States and the other were the former governor of California.

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3.23.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

“Eat the rich” is the common parlance for societal injustice mostly attributed to 18th Century philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau; “Let them eat cake!” is but another foodie rallying call through political revolution that has often been (falsely) assigned to Marie Antoinette in a French Revolution fit – though it, too, has its roots in Rousseau’s philosophically hyperbolic oeuvre. At any rate, the message is clear: When we’re not voting with our ballots or simply our wallets, we are voting with our stomachs.

In this issue, Watermark takes on the daunting task of breaking down the politics of eating. Before you even flip to our cover story, “Love Bites,” please understand that we know that it is impossible for us to be absolute and comprehensive when there are restaurants, food joints – some even on wheels! – and means of masticating in nearly every urban peripheral glance. I’m sure we’ll catch hell for some exclusions, but let’s just consider this a starting point.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Hate crime in Hollywood, Aloha Alauna and old school fundraising

By : Anonymous
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RPDR’s Trinity attacked!

In “Trump’s America,” it’s always a tough call when there’s an assault on anyone in the LGBTQ community to not assume it’s a hate crime, but this time in L.A., the hate seems pretty clear.

The incident was reported as a late night attack on March 16 in West Hollywood. The victims of this crime included photographer Jason King and RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 cast members Valentina and Orlando’s very own Trinity Taylor.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Arson at the bathhouse and a conversion therapy ban at City Hall

By : Anonymous
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In the heat of the night

The Ybor Resort & Spa in Tampa has had a rough time lately. The private men’s club and bathhouse was closed down earlier this year after being sold by owner Vincent R. Pawlowski Esq.

Pawlowski wrote in an email that he sold the property due to “tremendous heat from the city” and that they could have “stayed open another four to five years,” but he had an “opportunity to sell the property for a nice profit.” Bathhouses were a popular hotspot back in the day, but today, with everybody online, they just aren’t the hangouts they once were. “Why pay money to hang out at a place when you can dial up a menu on your computer and have sex delivered via social media? In short, Tampa didn’t want the drugs and sex associated with this type of business. Tampa gets what Tampa wants,” Pawlowski wrote.

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Uprisings: A New Deal?

By : Billy Manes
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On the last day of February, our national leader and television star Donald Trump launched his congressional speech with a nod to his wife and to Black History Month, attempting, apparently, to launch a new narrative about the Trump presidency, one that doesn’t involve salacious groping and Twitter accounts.

“Tonight, as we mark the conclusion of our celebration of Black History Month, we are reminded of our Nation’s path toward civil rights and the work that still remains,” he said with all the gall of a teenage actor.“ Recent threats targeting Jewish Community Centers and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, as well as last week’s shooting in Kansas City, remind us that while we may be a Nation divided on policies, we are a country that stands united in condemning hate and evil in all its forms.”

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Words To Live By: Courage

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick_ClaggettBy the time I was in the ninth grade I accepted the fact I was a homosexual. I wasn’t out or proud.  I was scared. I had done my time with self-loathing and trying to talk myself into being normal. My knowledge of the homosexual world revolved around what I’d picked up from TV, church, family and friends. Homosexuals were sinners, gross deviants who were to be laughed at and avoided. Although I didn’t feel that described me, I came to terms with it. After all, I thought boys were cute.

Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, I was given a glimmer of hope that maybe I wasn’t such a terrible person. I had a teacher who decided to stray from the normal health-class curriculum by sharing her story of homosexuals. She started the lesson off by referring to the community as gay. A student quickly asked if she meant homosexuals. She answered yes, but said they preferred to be called “gay” because their lives were about whom they love and not necessarily about with whom they have sex, a pretty ballsy move for a Southern teacher in 1990. She went on to describe gay people as normal. This was a first for me. I remember living next to a gay couple when I was in elementary school. Plenty of words were used to describe them, but normal wasn’t one of them.

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Positive Living: A Male Feminist at a Woman’s March

By : Greg Stemm
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GregStemmHeadshotIt all began one bright Florida winter-warm December morning at a Quaker meeting in St. Petersburg. An 81-year-old spitfire of a woman stood up and said something like, “Isn’t it wonderful that there is going to be a women’s solidarity march in Washington?

“Like many of you, much as I would like to go, making that trek is impossible for me right now. Wouldn’t it be lovely if we had a march of our own in St. Petersburg?” We all pretty much said to her, “Yeah that would be great. Why don’t you make it happen?” We had no idea of what we were about to unleash.

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3.9.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Love, exciting and new; come aboard, we’re expecting you! It’s WAVEs week, which means that we’ve been buried in profiles and lost in the madness of photo shoots and the interstate, but it also means that we love you, as do many other people.

Without being too repetitive (see the actual WAVE section inside), this issue is one of our favorites to put together. The Tampa Bay community and Central Florida community have come to know and love the WAVEs for nearly two decades, and this year they turned out in droves. This year, of all years, our LGBTQ community needed it. This year we received one of our largest responses in history.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Guy says hi, Cirque says bye and Orlando stands together

By : Anonymous
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Guy Fieri takes a full 7

Guy Fieri of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives fame has been in Orlando a lot lately. With the re-launch of the updated Planet Hollywood at Disney Springs featuring Guy’s food and a taping at local eateries, Guy sightings were everywhere, hard to miss that spiked bleach job.

He was recently spotted at the LGBTQ owned Se7enbites; we’re told he was there taping a segment for his show. No word yet as to when the show will appear.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: St. Pete Pride Grand Marshal nominees and Equality Florida’s record-breaking fundraising

By : Anonymous
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St. Pete Pride makes decision on move, Grand Marshal finalists

St. Pete Pride announced March 2 via Facebook that the annual parade will move to the downtown area, but will keep the street festival in the Grand Central District. The new parade route begin’s at Albert Whitted Park and proceeds along Bayshore Drive to Vinoy Park. The compromise will allow St. Pete Pride to keep that city funding.

The night before St. Pete Pride met with the city to discuss parades and festivals, they announced the finalists for Pride’s Grand Marshals.

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2.23.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

I had a friend threaten to kill herself this week because she was tired of breathing. I had a collapsing roof that needed to be fixed with haste and all of the nailing and banging and visceral management that comes along with contractors trying to make your life better for thousands of dollars. I watched a famewhore grab a spotlight and run with it, tumbling beneath his own Milo significance, falling somewhere near his pretty little lying face and whatever hair color or sociocultural mythology or, let’s be honest, pedophilia could buy him a headline.

I gazed at the moon; I stared at the ground. And for a few minutes there, I gave up. I mean I really gave up. I won’t even bring up too much of Donald Trump’s scorching of the earth here, because that’s something you all should have expected when you, oh no, hated Hillary for being a woman. My problems get lost in their own translations, and I own my terrors however weak they may be. It’s been a rough patch, to say the least.

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