Ann Paula Bautista and her fellow cast members bring truth to the stories of Disney princesses in ‘Disenchanted!’

By : Jeremy Williams
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While Disney princesses are loved the world over, many people don’t know that the characters are based on real historical figures or darker fairy tales. That changed in 2011 when history teacher Dennis Giacino created the musical Disenchanted!.

Disenchanted! is a cabaret-style show that features 10 “Disney” princesses speaking out about their treatment in the House of Mouse. The show started as an Orlando Fringe show and has since gone on to sell out shows around the world and Off-Broadway.

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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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Free transgender documents workshop in downtown Orlando

By : Anna M. Johnson
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Transgender people in Central Florida have advocates that not only stand in solidarity with them, but that offer legal assistance to help with some of the more bureaucratic facets of transitioning.

On March 25, the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association will host a free transgender identification workshop and legal clinic at the Orlando Red Cross. The event focuses on making legal services accessible for transgender individuals who may be seeking name changes.

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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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Central Florida progressive groups, state representatives try again for an equal pay act

By : Billy Manes
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Orlando – Following an extensive history of refusal by several states, including Florida, to pass the historic federal Equal Rights Amendment insuring fair pay for women in the workplace, this year several state legislators are moving forward – as they have been for the better part of this decade – to push it through on a state level.

On March 14, outside Orlando City Hall, representatives from the LGBTA Democratic Caucus, the American Civil Liberties Union of Central Florida, the League of Women Voters of Central Florida, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida and Greater Orlando Now gathered in support of Florida Senate Bill 410 and House Bill 319. Congressman Darren Soto (D-Kissimmee) was also in attendance as he was snowed out of Washington during the recent blizzard.

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State Representative David Richardson declares victory against conversion therapy in south Florida House district

By : Billy Manes
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Tallahassee – Gay state Rep. David Richardson took a stance early in this legislative session against so-called conversion therapy, the anti-LGBTQ means of “correcting” behaviors of the gay community. House Bill 273 presents a strong statement against the psychological manipulation of LGBTQ youth by therapists, arguing that conversion therapy – which can often include electric-shock therapy – must not be used on minors. In 2015, President Barack Obama made it clear that the nation, under his administration, would not accept “reparative” therapy, due to its destructive effects on patients.

“We share your concern about its potentially devastating effects on the lives of transgender as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and queer youth,” his department said in a statement. “As part of our dedication to protecting America’s youth, this administration supports efforts to ban the use of conversion therapy for minors.”

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Trans woman murdered in Baltimore

By : Steve Charing OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A transgender woman, yet to be identified, was fatally shot in the 2400 block of Guilford Avenue Wednesday morning. At approximately 4:15 a.m., officers responded to that location for a shooting.

According to Baltimore Police, upon arrival, officers located a 38-year-old transgender female who was suffering from a gunshot wound to the stomach. The victim was transported to Johns Hopkins Hospital where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Glenn Chesbrough and Ricardo Dixon

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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image3“There was a part of me that felt that ‘happily ever after’ was never in the cards for me, so that is the best thing that he’s ever given to me,” Ricardo says about Glenn. “It’s something that a lot of people would disregard, but to me it’s the biggest thing because he actually gave me strength.”

Glenn Chesborough, who works in the healing arts field, and Ricardo Dixon, who is a licensed massage therapist and paramedical esthetician, met 12 years ago in 2004 online through a local chat group. Glenn was in Florida to help his mom rebuild her house after Hurricane Charlie.

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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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Sarasota Film Festival presents the 2017 LGBTQ film lineup

By : Krista Di Tucci
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This year’s LGBTQ film series at the 19th annual Sarasota Film Festival, March 31 – April 9, will consist of five feature films, six short films and an LGBTQ panel.

“I’m most excited about the collaboration between the Harvey Milk Festival and the Fabulous Independent Film Festival, as well as the strengthening of our relationship between them,” SFF Director of Education and Community Outreach Shakira Refos says. “We are keeping these relationships going and building on them as a result of the LGBTQ programming.”

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