Issue 22.22: Five for Fighting

By : Jake Stevens
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Five for Fighting: Orlando city commisioner Patty Sheehan isn’t going anywhere, Clark makes her mark: Songwriter Brandy Clark emerges from the shadows to grab her spotlight, Amanda Bearse all: original Watermark cover star returns to talk to old friend Tom Dyer, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Issue 22.21: There Goes The Gayborhood

By : Jake Stevens
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There goes the gayborhood: The mess closing of Georgie’s Alibi in St. Pete signals potential hard times for the LGBT community, In your ears: Mat Staver’s Liberty Counsel Proffers hate, In your eyes: Jess T. Dugan’s intimate portraits expose truth, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Uprisings: September 24 – October 7

By : Billy Manes
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Once upon a time, it felt like a public duty to witness the beads of sweat lining Richard Nixon’s lips while the glowing complexion of John F. Kennedy burned visible anxiety into said grumble face made for print media and the quotes that come with it. Once upon a time, there was the underlying sense that gentlemen (now women, too!) standing atop a stage in front of tens of millions of people to discuss the fate of our still-young nation was a piece of this, our great democracy, a piece not to be missed. And then 2015 happened: The debates had to be split into kids’ table and grown-ups’ table by dint of polling percentages, and all of American life turned into a reality show based around a pageant based around hate and ignorance based around what the hell life has turned into.

By no means does this column mean to discourage public communication by those who would like their finger on the imaginary red button or desire to have their private lives ravaged by the altitude of overexpression. Heavens, no. We’re all spectators out here. Bring on the dancing horses.

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Mount Dora Pride debuts in conservative Lake County

By : Jeremy Williams
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MT. DORA, Fla. – Just a month after Lakeland brought Polk County Pride to Central Florida, another LGBT organization has set up shop in a traditionally conservative town. Mount Dora Pride made their first appearance in Lake County, marching in the Fourth of July parade.

“I think what is significant about this was that it is of course not a gay pride parade or gay event,” said Bill Sievert, President of Mount Dora Pride.  “I think that this is the first time that I know of in Central Florida that any gay organization has had a float in a city’s municipal parade and the fact that that is happening in Lake County, which is traditionally considered a conservative area, I think it was a rather bold step.”

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Editor’s Desk 07.02.15

By : Billy Manes
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BillyManesCapGood afternoon and welcome to my gracious drawing room.

I’m not certain who is or who isn’t aware of my past journalistic ridiculousness in Central Florida, because the wind blows and the rain falls and we all have our own lives to pin ourselves to. I am aware, however, that if you are reading this, we have a common purpose: love.

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WORDS TO LIVE BY: Pride

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

The word “pride” has been everywhere lately. It started this month with Gay Days Weekend/One Magical Weekend, then came the Supreme Court decision declaring same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional, and finally St. Pete Pride rounded out the month.

Pride, though, is a yearlong event here at Watermark. It begins in March with the newly resurrected Tampa Pride and ends late October with Volusia County Pride. Along the way we make stops in St. Pete, Orlando, Sarasota, Volusia County and Polk County.

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2014 Come Out With Pride Parade

By : Jake Stevens
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Always one of the most anticipated events of COWP, the Pride Parade took to the streets of Downtown Orlando Oct. 11. With floats and parade participants representing LGBT organizations and LGBT-friendly organizations all over Central Florida, the event was full of beads, bold costumes and outrageous floats.

The parade, which circled Lake Eola, started at 4 p.m. and featured organizations like the Orlando Gay Chorus, Out & Proud Veterans of America, Wells Fargo, Stonewall and many more.

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Miss Gay Nicaragua crowned to help raise awareness about sexual diversity

By : Wire Report
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MANAGUA, Nicaragua (AP) — Carlos Castro hugged his mother and wept after the announcer named him Miss Gay Nicaragua 2014. It was the culmination of a lot of work by the 19-year-old agronomy student and the beginning of a lot more.

Castro, known as Amerika Ithzell Korkobas Berdrinadxy, will now visit several provinces in the Central American nation in the role of Miss Gay Nicaragua seeking to raise awareness about sexual diversity and gender identity and to help fight discrimination.

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St. Pete 2014 Night Parade

By : Steve Blanchard
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A light evening breeze helped keep parade revelers cool and comfortable June 28 as more than 100 lighted floats made their way down Third Avenue North and Central Avenue. Saturday alone brought in an estimated 175,000 people to watch the LGBT community put on its first-ever night parade.

According to Eric Skains, executive director of St. Pete Pride, St. Pete Pride will stick with the new night parade/day time festival format again in 2015.

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Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Stonewall Pride Wilton Manors took over Wilton Drive this year, celebrating 45 years of being proud of who you are and who you love.

With the Stonewall Street Festival starting at noon, the crowds turned out despite the overcast. Vendors and sponsors lined the streets handing out fliers, passing out goodies and coming together to celebrate Pride month in the City of Wilton Manors. There was a variety of food trucks, frozen drink tents, local bars with drink specials and street vendors open throughout the day.

Click the jump below to read more and view more photos

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6.5.14 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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It’s June, which means news outlets around the country will cover LGBT Pride events. And as with every year, the uneducated collection of straight individuals who don’t know their civil rights history or understand the importance of equality will be irritated by this attention. And eventually, they will ask the repetitive question: “Why isn’t there a straight pride parade?”

They’ve asked before, so let’s break it down, shall we?

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Guest Column: GayDays, Pride, and thoughts on being a June bride

By : Steven Yacovelli
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Steven Yacovelli

Steven Yacovelli

I remember my first GayDays: it was 1995 and I was a young gayling of 24 years old here in O-town. My BFF (at the time and still to this day), Bruce convinced me to go. I didn’t quite know what to expect: being newly out, this was one of my first “Pride” events and it was an incredible, powerful, moving, and affirming experience.

A sea of red shirts at the Magic Kingdom, boys in swimsuits at Typhoon Lagoon, and just a feeling of support coupled with a whole lot of fun. Being part of this was more than encouraging: it was the opportunity to not only see so many of my “people” being out and proud in one spot, but just as important was the opportunity to be seen by others outside of the community as an out gay man as well.

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