Police say they’ve cracked rape case of lesbian that columnist deemed hoax

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — New York City detectives say they’ve cracked a 23-year-old rape case a newspaper columnist wrote was a hoax.

A woman was walking through Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in 1994 when she was dragged into the bushes and raped. She gave police a detailed description of her attacker.

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Sean Hayes says his mother wanted him to go to therapy when he came out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sean Hayes is known for playing out and proud Jack McFarland on the hit sitcom “Will & Grace” but his real-life journey to being out was a difficult one.

Hayes, 47, told People that when he was younger he kept his sexuality a secret from his family as he started to understand it.

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Ricky Martin reveals he secretly married Jwan Josef

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ricky Martin and Jwan Yosef are married.

Martin, 46, dropped the bombshell to E! News that he and Yosef have already tied the knot. However, the big celebration is still to come.

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Usage remains low for pill that can prevent HIV infection

By : wire report
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NEW YORK (AP) — From gritty neighborhoods in New York and Los Angeles to clinics in Kenya and Brazil, health workers are trying to popularize a pill that has proven highly effective in preventing HIV but which — in their view — remains woefully underused.

Marketed in the United States as Truvada, and sometimes available abroad in generic versions, the pill has been shown to reduce the risk of getting HIV from sex by more than 90 percent if taken daily. Yet worldwide, only about a dozen countries have aggressive, government-backed programs to promote the pill. In the U.S., there are problems related to Truvada’s high cost, lingering skepticism among some doctors and low usage rates among black gays and bisexuals who have the highest rates of HIV infection.

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Landmark ruling recognizes marriage, trans rights in the Americas

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights on Tuesday issued a landmark ruling that recognizes same-sex marriage and transgender rights in the Western Hemisphere.

The seven judges who issued the ruling stated governments “must recognize and guarantee all the rights that are derived from a family bond between people of the same sex.” Six of the seven judges also agreed that it is necessary for governments “to guarantee access to all existing forms of domestic legal systems, including the right to marriage, in order to ensure the protection of all the rights of families formed by same-sex couples without discrimination.”

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The Last Page with Art Director Jake Stevens

By : Rick Claggett
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Jake Stevens is approaching his 11-year anniversary with Watermark, making him the most senior staff member outside of the owner.

“I needed a job where I not only could push myself as an artist and contribute to my community in a meaningful way, but feel valued as an employee,” says Jake. Watermark provided him the space he needed to do just that.

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Out dancer Greg Molony shows off his moves in the 20th anniversary tour of ‘Riverdance’

By : Jeremy Williams
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The international Irish dance sensation Riverdance is celebrating 20 years of kicking, jumping and jigging with a North American tour that will land them at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Jan. 19-21 and at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando Jan. 26-28.

Greg Molony has been in love with Irish dancing ever since he saw Riverdance while watching TV at his home in Denver when he was four years old. Now 24, the openly gay dancer has been around the world with different Irish dancing troupes, including several past tours of Riverdance.

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LGBT designer responds to criticism for using child drag queen for clothing company

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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LGBT designer Brandon Hilton is defending his clothing company House of Mann’s decision to use nine-year-old drag queen Lactatia to promote the line.

Twitter and online bullentin board 4chan slammed House of Mann’s Instagram photo featuring Lactatia, also known as Nemis Quinn Mélançon Golden calling it “pedophilia” and “child abuse.” Conservative news sites the Daily Caller and Breitbart News also took issue with the clothing company using Lactatia. House of Mann sells drag queen clothing as well as lingerie and bondage gear.

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01.11.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution—at least that I can remember.It isn’t because I don’t hope for a better year than the last, particularly after a rather polarizing 2017. It’s just something that never really occurs to me, especially now that I have to wrangle my husband for my midnight-mandated “kissy” photo op. He hates pictures of people kissing.

There’s nothing wrong with people making resolutions. It works for some, and that’s wonderful. I try to make every day the best it can be, so an over-arching 365-day look-ahead just doesn’t do it for me.

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01.11.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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I have been working at Watermark for several years now, and words that I have pieced together into sentences and strung into readable stories have appeared hundreds of times in dozens and dozens of issues of this publication.

This is however the first time that I have been asked to write something that would appear on this page. It’s not an interview or a news article on an upcoming event. It’s words strung together from me to form an opinion. I wasn’t thrilled at first to be writing anything with my opinion in it.

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Gay lead character straight-washed in NBC drama ‘Rise’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Josh Radnor as Lou Mazzuchelli in ‘Rise.’ Screenshot via YouTube.

NBC drama “Rise” is based on the true story of closeted high school teacher Lou Volpe but in the upcoming TV series, Lou will be straight.

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Deal reached to withdraw Supreme Court petition on trans bathroom use

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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An agreement was reached to withdraw a petition pending before the Supreme Court that could have established a nationwide rule on whether transgender kids are entitled to use school restrooms consistent with their gender identity.

The petition, filed by Kenosha School District in Wisconsin, sought to challenge a ruling from the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of Ash Whitaker, a transgender high school student seeking to use the restroom consistent with his gender identity. It was the first-time ever a federal appeals court reached that decision.

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