Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – LGBTQA: Be a Dragon

By : Steve Yacovelli
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DISCLAIMER: this article has nothing to do with grand wizards or Harry Potter stuff (but “Expelliarmus David Duke!”). However, it does have some “Game of Thrones” spoilers in it … so be warned!

When I mention the names “Grey Worm,” “Little Finger,” “Ramsay Bolton” or “The Queen of Thorns,” I’m not talking about new categories for gay men nor of adult porn stars or even that new sarcastic bitch you met at brunch last week.

No friends: we’re talking “Game of Thrones” … the HBO sensation whose Season Seven finale aired recently. As I’ve been watching this amazing series this season it struck me what we who are fighting for the rights and equity for the LBGTQ Community have faced, and continue to face, has some striking similarities to the themes and stories within the “Game of Thrones” world, and I think there’s some lessons we can learn from a trip to The Seven Kingdoms.

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High Fidelity: The summer of single

By : Miguel Fuller
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The summer of single is officially over. Well, according to the calendar of the Gods we technically still have a while before summer is officially over. But after Labor Day weekend, our minds shift to pumpkin spice lattes and figuring out how much weight we can lose to get into a slutty Halloween costume. That’s directly followed by figuring out how much weight is socially acceptable to gain during the Thanksgiving season. I digress.

The summer of single is officially over. For most of 2017 I have written in Watermark about my breakup, my foils and fumbles of dating and my use of gay dating apps. You know, those apps that we single people delete and then re-download every other week. I do it as well; you are not alone. 

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09.07.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Musical theater is god to me. Yes, I subscribe to the idea that theater is spelled with an er not re at the end. Theatre is like pineapple on pizza. It’s weird. It just doesn’t belong. I digress.

Broadway ranks at the top of the list of my favorite things, right next to Air Supply, of course. I’m holding out for the day I get to see the Broadway show based on Air Supply songs. Can you imagine? My gay heart would explode! Until then, it’s enough for me sit in the park and watch American Stage Theatre Company put on Hairspray, or go to the Calvary Church to see Central Florida Community Arts’ concert version of Titanic: The Musical. Both were incredible, by the way. We are lucky to have such amazing local talent bringing to life Broadway shows that many people don’t get a chance to experience. We are also fortunate to have fabulous venues for Broadway tours to entertain us.

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF WANZIE: What I did over the summer

By : Michael Wanzie
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School is back in session so as routine dictates it’s time to report – What I did over the summer:

I’m not a student, so the only thing that made me aware school was out in June was my inability to skip haphazardly though a theme park with carefree abandon – as I have been known to do from time to time. Instead I was reduced to a vigilant crawl carefully navigating and calculating every step so as not collide with another god damned stroller. Never-the-less, I thoroughly enjoyed my “Flight of Passage” on the back of a banshee in the new land of Pandora at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. I must admit all my pent up resentment over the fact the ride was nothing more than a cross utilization of the already existing “Soarin’” technology was quickly allayed about five seconds into this spectacular experience. It was actually worth the 90-minute wait.

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Positive Living: Our staunchest political friend needs our help

By : Greg Stemm
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It was the summer of 1983 and I had just moved to St. Petersburg from Columbus, Ohio.

St. Petersburg? Yuck, they said. “God’s waiting room.” “Home of the newlywed and nearly dead.”

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8.24.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Hate is easy. Anger is easy. Drive through downtown Orlando on I-4, or cross the Howard Frankland Bridge at rush hour and you will see what I mean. People either drive too aggressively, or are not aggressive enough. Drivers rubberneck their way past an accident or cut you off, almost creating an accident of their own. More often than not, our instinct is to be angry.

Have you ever found yourself fuming when you are leaving a crowded elevator while new passengers rush onboard before you have a chance to exit? Do you fight for a parking space around the holidays and think of keying the car that took your spot? Do you get irritated when you have to answer a question more than once?

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Trans of Thought: Transphobia

By : Melody Maia Monet
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Hello, I’m a transgender woman and I am mentally unstable. My well being is propped up on a razor’s edge by hormones, complicated and expensive medical procedures, as well as therapy.

I am a ticking time bomb and cannot be trusted around your children, women in the ladies’ room, or to do my job in combat situations. I suffer from a mental illness that deludes me into thinking I am a woman, but in actuality I am the sick byproduct of a patriarchy compelled to undermine female power and invade their spaces. I entrap straight men into committing unwitting homosexual acts and trick lesbians into sex with men. I am a deceiver and counterfeit with the intent of forcing the world to reject common sense views on gender and sexual identity. The only positive aspect of my existence is that I am part of a group so small that my rights as a human being can be conveniently disregarded by society based on the slimmest of suspicions, but without any basis in proven fact.

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The Other Side of Life: All That Freedom, And a Bag of Chips (eh?)

By : Jason Leclerc
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“We don’t need two bags of chips,” I scowled, “but, I reckon they’ll keep.” Who was I to turn down a Publix BOGO sack of Ruffles. I expected full well that they’d be devoured in time for the next week’s grocery trip; all we had to do was pay full price for the first bag.

We started with the All-American Classics then scoured the shelf for the gimmicky “get-one.” Four curious eyes zeroed in on the maple leaf-decorated ‘All-Dressed’ flavor. Since our autumn visit to Toronto, we were open to things that our northern-nation neighbors had to offer. We joked, right there in the snack aisle, about poutines-as-fake-nachos. We laughed about how a kilometer was only two-thirds of a mile and how a loonie was only three-fourths of a dollar. Even their easy-on-the-eyes leader is a scaled-down version of our own odd, party-sized POTUS.

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8.10.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I never understood sports as a child. I played baseball from tee-ball to high school, but always under the shadow of much more talented siblings. When it came time to pick the all-star teams at the end of each season their names were at the top of the list, whereas mine wasn’t on it at all. “Sorry Ricky. We only have room for 13, but if we could add one more player you would be on the team,” was a familiar sentiment I received when the team rosters were announced.

I don’t begrudge them their spot on the top of the heap. They earned it. My brother Jimmy, as I called him back then, was a superstar. To say we didn’t have a lot of money growing up would be a gross understatement. Our extracurricular activities were whatever we could find to do at the park or whatever mischief we could get into. Someone from the Braes Bayou Little League saw Jimmy throwing rocks in a park when he was nine years old and demanded he join the league. They paid his entry fee and bought him a glove. Thus began my family’s love affair with the sport.

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Ladyfingers: Crazy cat lady

By : Sabrina Ambra
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In light of the recent news that Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc., is filing for IPO after being backed by Ashton Kutcher (oh, you didn’t hear?), I have decided to come up with a chicken noodle recipe of my own. Happiness, inspiration and hope are great and all, but gloom, reality and pessimism have the potential to be so much funnier.

Also, the thought of the Chicken Soup roundtable reading my story while huffin’ and puffin’, and/or dry-heaving makes me giggle like the adorable little troll I am. Plus, double-plus for the millennials, they would never let me say “fuck” in there. As far as I’m concerned, the most valuable lessons that life will teach you involve the word “fuck” in some form or another.  So with that, I present to you: Chicken Soup for the Asshole: You’ve Cat to be Kitten Me.  

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: President Pants on Fire

By : Michael Wanzie
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Where is even one Republican in Congress with the spine, conscience and courage to stand up and say, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore?”

Apparently they don’t yet exist.

The Wall Street Journal has called for the Trump regime to immediately engage in “radical transparency” as the only means by which they might save themselves from the heavy weight and potentially dire consequences of the Russia probe. This would be sound advice if, and only if, Donald Jr. and the Trump administration had nothing to hide.

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7.27.17 Founder’s Forum: Remembering Billy Manes

By : Tom Dyer
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Tom Dyer Watermark gay

Billy Manes wore sweaters on the hottest summer days, often with a scarf and beret. He was quirky in that and so many other ways.

With his gangly body and loose-limbed walk, and that shock of peroxide blonde hair, he was like an elfin Muppet. Strange in a stylish and wonderfully appealing way. Disarmingly honest. Transparently vulnerable. Self-effacing to a fault. But also passionate and courageous when moved by injustice.

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