PHOTOS: Sanford Pride brings rainbows and clear skies for weekend festival

By : Jeremy Williams
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SANFORD, Fla. | The weather was perfect for the third annual Sanford Pride festival held in downtown Sanford Nov. 3.

Attendees were treated to live entertainment, food trucks, drag performances and a city proclamation from the Mayor of Sanford.

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PHOTOS: St. Petersburg holds ‘We Won’t Be Erased’ transgender support rally

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ community leaders and advocates gathered Nov. 4 at Williams Park for St. Petersburg’s “We Won’t Be Erased” transgender support rally.

Nathan Bruemmer organized the rally following reports that the Trump administration may attempt to define gender as an immutable condition determined at birth. Partner organizations included Equality Florida, TransAction Florida, Metro Wellness & Community Centers, St. Pete Pride, the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce and Project No Labels. “We rally for our rights, for our future and for our lives,” Bruemmer shared with Watermark ahead of the event. “These rallies are happening all over our country right now. I hope the politicians who need to hear this message do so and act.”

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PHOTOS: Spooky Empire gets scary for its Ultimate Horror Weekend

By : Meghan Sweeney
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What would the Hallow Season be without Spooky Empire? The Ultimate Horror Weekend took over the Caribe Royale from Oct. 26-28 providing attendees with a chillingly good time!

Convention-goers were treated to a full “X-Files” reunion featuring stars David Duchovney and Gillian Anderson, “Hocus Pocus” star Kathy Najimy posed with fans and over 200 vendors sold their delightfully scary wares.

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PHOTOS: Halloween weekend was spooktacular at Parliament House

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The first of Parliament House’s costume contests brought out all of Orlando’s most creative costumers Oct. 27.

From the scantily clad to the big-budget players, everyone showed off their skills vying for that $5,000 prize money.

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PHOTOS: Tampa sets its frights on 42nd annual All Hallows’ Ball

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The spooky to the scantily-clad filled the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa for the 42nd annual All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball Oct. 27, celebrating or completely ignoring this year’s theme of “Scary Movie Night.”

All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball, the haunting not-for-profit billed as one of Tampa’s longest-standing traditions, offered attendees over 20,000 sq. ft. to meet, mingle, dance and drink – including Watermark. You can check out some of our spooktacular photos below.

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PHOTOS: ‘We won’t be erased’ rally held at Orlando City Hall after Trump administration’s anti-trans memo leaked

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: An audience gathers on the steps of City Hall Plaza in Downtown Orlando for the Orlando We Won’t Be Erased Transgender and Allies Support Rally on Oct. 27. Photo by Melanie Ararat

ORLANDO | Colorful flags and posters waved in the air as people chanted “We won’t be erased” outside City Hall Plaza in Downtown Orlando on Oct. 27. The chant was led by Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s director of transgender equality.

“We send this message to the White House saying that the Orlando transgender and gender nonconforming communities will not be erased,” Duncan says. “We will not be defined out of existence.”

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PHOTOS: Equality Florida Action PAC hosts fundraiser for State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Equality Florida Action PAC hosted State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s final re-election fundraiser before the Nov. 6 general election at The Venue in Orlando on Oct. 23.

Dozens of Central Florida voters listened as The Venue owner Blue Star and Smith’s partner Jerick Mediavilla spoke about the importance of voting for the self-professed “proud progressive, liberal, feminist, gay, Latinx, democrat.”

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PHOTOS: The Reformation Project’s 6th annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference holds service in Orlando

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | LGBTQ Christians, theologians and allies all gathered to worship and learn about LGBTQ inclusion in the church held by The Reformation Project. The event — the sixth annual LGBTQ Inclusion Conference — was held at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando Oct. 18-20.

The Reformation Project is a Bible-based, nonprofit Christian grassroots organization that works to promote the inclusion of LGBTQ people and other marginalized groups in the church. The organization focuses on reforming the church’s teachings on sexual orientation and gender identity.

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PHOTOS: Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith says YAS! to Pride proposal from partner Jerick Mediavilla

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out with Pride 2018 had a lot of memorable events, but few came close to the marriage proposal during the Pride Rally at the Walt Disney Amphitheater Oct. 13.

LGBTQ activist Jerick Mediavilla went down on one knee in front of thousands of Pride attendees and proposed to his partner, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

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PHOTOS: COWP’s Most Colorful Parade brings pride, pageantry and politics to Lake Eola

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride had the eyes of the city on them as The Most Colorful Parade passed through the streets of downtown Orlando for thousands of attendees Oct. 13.

The parade route was filled with rainbow-colored floats, performers and — this being an election year — lots of voters, activists and politicians.

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PHOTOS: COWP’s Pride Festival at Lake Eola had something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Thousands of people gathered, danced and showed their Pride around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to celebrate Come Out With Pride on Oct. 13.

The day-long festival included live performances, vendors and entertainment for all ages. Rainbow colors were on display everywhere you looked.

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PHOTOS: Parliament House shows its Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Parliament House was all about that Pride Oct. 13 with its Come Out With Pride after party.

The huge party was headlined by COWP Grand Marshal, and “RuPaul’s Drag Race” judge, Carson Kressley, as well as Monet Xchange and Orlando’s very own drag superstar, Ginger Minj.

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