20 years of Watermark’s historical highlights

By : Tom Dyer
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1994

August: With a staff of three, Watermark publishes its first 24-page issue featuring Winter Park’s Amanda Bearse (Married With Children) on the cover.

1995

August: Todd Simmons signs on as editor as Watermark expands to Tampa Bay.

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Issue 21.19: 20 Amazing Years

By : Jake Stevens
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20 Amazing Years: On Watermark’s anniversary, founder Tom Dyer reflects on two transforming decades. Also: Local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events, and much, much more!

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Agents of Change: Interviews with Patty Sheehan and Nadine Smith

By : Tom Dyer
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Throughout 20 years of Watermark, two remarkable people appear again and again, from the very beginning to the present: Patty Sheehan and Nadine Smith. To celebrate our 20th anniversary, I sat down with both of these newsmakers to get their take on our times. Turns out, the last two decades have been an inspiring journey for both.

PattiCap     NadineCap

Preaching to the Converted: How Watermark Ruined My Life

By : Ken Kundis
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KenKundisHeadshotDamn you, Watermark!

In celebration of this newspaper’s 20th anniversary, I’ve been asked to share my observations as a long-time contributor.

My first piece was for the second issue and I have now appeared in the paper more than 500 times—as a first person editorialist, reporter, feature writer, summer fiction author, music critic and advice columnist. I think I can summarize my experience pretty succinctly.

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Metro to honor Equality Florida CEO at second Gala

By : Dylan Drobet
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Tampa Bay – Metro Wellness and Community Center will honor Equality Florida CEO Nadine Smith at its second annual Tampa Bay Gala on Saturday, Sept. 13.

Smith will receive the Robert Pop Distinguished Leadership Award for the work she’s done for equality in Florida. The award is given each year to honor someone in the community whose work exemplifies great leadership and accomplishment with regard to the LGBT or HIV communities.

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Issue 21.15: Truvada/PrEP

By : Jake Stevens
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The new safe sex with Truvada: Take daily pill, throw away condoms forever, and have as much unprotected sex as you like and never worry about contracting HIV, because that’s how it works… right? WRONG. Hillsborough County considers protections for LGBTs, Idol vet Melissa McGhee steps out with new music, appearances, Any day now: Florida cities prepare to celebrate marriage decision, local news, celebrity interviews, events, photos, and much more!

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The biggest changes are on the way, but there’s still plenty of new in the theme parks this Gay Days

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Every few years our area’s theme parks go through a phase where they each launch new shows, rides and attractions. Whether the ultimate goal is to provide guests with additional unique experiences and memories…or if it’s a bottom line-based attempt to capture as much market share of tourism dollars as possible is debatable. But hey: if it means fun and exciting new thrills for us, we’re good. And while you might think that the theme park engineers and designers would have their newest offerings all ready to go by Gay Days—because, seriously, who’s better at creating buzz around anything new than we are?—try as they might, sometimes they just can’t get everything running correctly, and safely, until later in the summer.

No worries, though. Even if you hit all of the area’s theme parks last year, there’s still plenty new to be found this year.

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4.10.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshot_137x185Before this issue of Watermark went to press, I celebrated another year on this planet.

It wasn’t one of those “milestone birthdays” with an “0” or even a “5” after the first number. But it was a landmark to me, nonetheless.

This birthday was especially poignant for me because the year of my life that just came to a close was one of change. It saw the end of a long-term relationship, the death of—not just one—but two—elderly pets, and the beginnings of a move to a new address.

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20th Anniversary Links

By : Patrick O'Connor
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1994

1995

1996

1997

Elton John honors Hillary Rodham Clinton for HIV/AIDS work

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – Elton John honored Hillary Rodham Clinton for her work to help those affected by HIV and AIDS at an annual event for his foundation.

Clinton was excited as she accepted the first founders award from the Elton John AIDS Foundation Oct. 15 in New York City. The former secretary of state told the crowd at Cipriani’s restaurant that “we still have so far to go” when it comes to helping those affected by HIV and AIDS.

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New Jersey Supreme Court sets date for marriage equality case

By : Wire Report
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Trenton, N.J. (AP) – The state’s highest court agreed to hear a case on whether gay marriage should be legal and whether same-sex marriage licenses can be issued while it decides.

The issue, battled in New Jersey’s courts and Legislature for more than a decade, has taken on new urgency on both fronts with the opponents the same – Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican who is considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate, and the state’s gay rights advocates.

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Metro Tampa Bay Fire & Ice Gala 2013

By : Steve Blanchard
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The Tampa Garden Club along Bayshore Boulevard was transformed on Sept. 14 in to an icy palace, but the temperatures stayed plenty warm as 150-plus people celebrated Metro Tampa Bay’s 20th anniversary.

The gala, which also served as a fundraiser for the organization’s HIV/AIDS services and LGBT outreach programs, was themed “Fire & Ice” and the blue and white decor by Concept Bait hammered home the theme while a fire dancer welcomed guests outside the Garden Club’s doors.

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