PFLAG Tampa paves the way for love in Ybor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

Watermark’s Most Remarkable People John and Nancy Desmond – community activists known for their work with Tampa Pride, PFLAG and more – have long shared their support for the LGBTQ community throughout Tampa Bay.

On most weekends, the duo can be seen on 7th Ave. in Ybor City proclaiming that support and love, pro-LGBTQ signs in hand across from religious protesters. Now, even if they can’t make it, the protesters will be greeted from below with a paver reading “I love my gay son, PFLAG.”

Continue Reading >>

Ladyfingers: How Sabby gets her booty back

By : Sabrina Ambra
Comments: 0

I don’t know how to say this, so I’ll just say it: I have recently come to the realization that I lost my booty. I’m not sure how or when; I can only assume at some point in the last few years it happened. I just know now that it’s definitely lost.

You’re probably just itching to find a full body shot of me from 2011 on the internet right now, aren’t you? Spoiler alert: it ain’t big, but there was, in fact, a time when I could truly shake what my momma gave me.

Continue Reading >>

High Fidelity: Out for the holidays

By : Miguel Fuller
Comments: 0

Share this story:

I told your grandma you are gay.” That statement didn’t come from my mom when I came out in high school, when I had my first boyfriend in college or when I was honored as Grand Marshal of St Pete Pride in 2016. My mom called and told me that a couple of months ago. After being open and honest in my personal and professional life since high school I was still nervous to tell grandma.

There are a couple of reasons why the timing of this statement was so important, like I was deciding if I should finally bring my longtime boyfriend to meet my family. In my 33 years of life I had never taken anyone home for the family to meet. Now I was a few months away from the holidays and I was struggling on what to do. My mom knew that I was nervous about talking to my very religious grandmother about my sexuality. To add to it, there was more stress on my shoulders because I’m African-American and my boyfriend is white. So without ever having had that conversation with my grandmother, I was about to introduce her and the rest of my family to my white boyfriend. 

Continue Reading >>

01.10.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Everything I need know about drugs I learned from Nancy Reagan. Don’t smoke cigarettes as a kid or you’ll end up a homeless junkie scrounging for next dime bag of crack.

Don’t smoke pot or you’ll end up dead on the street with a needle in your arm. Don’t drink underage or you’ll find yourself pushing everything you own around in a shopping cart, dumpster diving for food and keeping warm with trash can fires.

Continue Reading >>

Block Advisers in Winter Park launch fundraising campaign with The Center Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The U.S. tax code is not an easy thing to understand and with all the changes that were implemented in 2018, the task of tax preparation may seem daunting—but have no fear, tax agent Rodney Willoughby and Block Advisors in Winter Park have you covered.

Along with easing your filing anxiety, Willoughby is helping give back to the LGBTQ community this tax season with a fundraising campaign through income tax preparation services H&R Block and Block Advisers which will benefit The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida. Here’s how it works: Come into Block Advisers at 2205 Aloma Ave. in Winter Park and let Willoughby help get your taxes prepared this year. While there, give him The Center’s special 14-digit code (400-1000-109-9542) and the company will donate $20 to The Center. It’s that easy.

Continue Reading >>

Tampa Bay LGBTQ sports leagues hold inaugural winter event

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

LGBTQ athletes and supporters from across Tampa Bay will hold the inaugural winter Tampa Bay LGBTQ+ Sports Day at Enigma Jan. 13.

Presented in partnership with Tampa and St Pete Pride, the gathering seeks to raise awareness about LGBTQ athletic opportunities throughout Tampa Bay. It follows the creation of an area marketing group focused on LGBTQ sports, spearheaded by Suncoast Softball League (SSL) Producer and Tampa Pride LGBTQ+ Sports Liaison Gerre Reynolds as well as fellow SSL Hall of Fame player Andrew Cohen.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s 2019 WAVEs – Tampa Bay/Sarasota nomination round

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

Welcome to 2019! Fresh off the historic blue wave that swept progressives into political offices in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and across the country; we bring you a wave of our own … the purple WAVE!!!

The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, or the WAVEs for short, recognize the best in Tampa Bay and Sarasota’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

Continue Reading >>

The Wonderful World of Wanzie: What I learned from 2018

By : Michael Wanzie
Comments: 0

With the New Year upon us the impulse to write some sort of “Year in Review” column is, of course, pressing upon me, but to do so would only result in me exceeding my allotted word count a fraction of the way through my list of ways in which President tRump has screwed the American people and diminished our standing as a world leader while aiding the interests of enemy nations in 2018.

I want to greet 2019 with hope and optimism. The only way to do that is to hold fast to the promise of Robert Mueller’s investigation — even though I have no doubt that if the report were to say tRump murdered someone, let alone that he conspired with the Russians regarding election interference, every imaginable step and challenge will be enacted in an effort to suppress the findings.



Continue Reading >>

Fit to Print: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

By : Steve Blanchard
Comments: 0

Christmastime is my second favorite time of the year. My favorite holiday has always been Halloween, but all of the cliches during “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” put me in the jolly spirit every November and December.

I enjoy shopping for gifts (which may be in large part to the miracle that is online retailers), spending time with those closest to me and I am always proud to have one of the brightest homes on the block. I feel like I’m finally the adult that I always wanted to be.

Continue Reading >>

12.27.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

It’s hard to believe the end of the year is here. It’s cliche to say, but when you live your life in two week cycles across two metropolitan areas—time flies. 2018 zoomed by in the blink of an eye.

Watermark did well in 2018. We saw an increase in sales, so thank you to the businesses and organizations that support us and help us to continue bringing the latest in LGBTQ news to our readers—and congratulations to Senior Account Manager Sam Callahan who had a stellar year. We also saw an increase in distributions sites and are now available at over 600 locations in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.

Continue Reading >>

The Other Side of Life: More Effs

By : Jason Leclerc
Comments: 0

Last month, I walked into the temple and called out the Republican Sadducees. I toppled tables and scattered thousands of years of ill-gotten treasure.

I called for a bottom-up revolt against ingrained patriarchy and traditional oppressive masculinity. Bordering on a lamentation, my essay may have been interpreted (especially among my more generally optimistic readers) as a dire representation of history in light of the present. For column-inch purposes, I edited out the obvious ironies inherent in Christian America’s normalization of the effers who’ve gamed the system in their own favor and in direct conflict with Jesus’s own abstention from the (physical, sexual) act of effing.

Continue Reading >>

Mama Bearings: “Erasing My Son”

By : Sylvie Griffiths
Comments: 0

One month ago, I was walking on the treadmill at the gym facing the rows of televisions and remember having my breath taken away. I was walking, not even building up to a jog, so this was not a part of my cardio. The news was breaking my heart.

It announced that the president could move to define gender based solely off of an individual’s biological sex. To be blunt, a person would be only considered a “male” or “female” based on their genitalia at birth

Continue Reading >>