Wonderful World of Wanzie: Watermark Style Guide “Gay Correlation”—Wanzie Style

By : Michael Wanzie
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I’ve been happily writing for Watermark for some time now. With the coming of this past New Year, a message went out to all contributing writers—from the desk of the publisher of this fine publication—instructing us that moving forward all Viewpoint submissions were to have a “correlation” to gayness.

In my particular case the point was made that if I’m going to write a rant about tRump, then I need to make a point as to how and why the topic of my column should also be of concern to the gay community. I was admonished— in a totally civil manner— to do so because, in the words of the publisher, “After all, this is a gay publication.”

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Anti-transgender bill finds opponents in tourism industry and its benefactors

By : Wire Report
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Sioux Falls, S.D. (AP) – Opponents of a bill that would prohibit transgender students in South Dakota from using the bathroom of their choice are taking aim at the state’s $3.8 billion tourism industry.

Activists this week used a Twitter hashtag created by South Dakota’s Tourism Department to criticize lawmakers for advancing legislation the activists believe would lead to bullying and discrimination, the Argus Leader newspaper reported.

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Transgender student fights for school to use his preferred name

By : Wire Report
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Millersville, Md. (AP) – Matthew Nolte’s report card is stacked with A’s, but he scratched out the name on it – which is not Matthew – until the paper wore away, leaving a rectangular hole.

Matt, a junior at Old Mill High School, is a transgender student fighting for the school system to recognize his preferred, not legal, name.

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Screened Out – The Revenant

By : Stephen Miller
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck

Beautiful, savage, and relentless; those are the words that come to mind watching The Revenant, the newest film by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman, Babel). The acting is brilliant. The landscape photography is gorgeous. The film makes its point long, long, long before it’s willing to move on.

It’s like its protagonist – driven, focused, and overwhelmingly cruel. Whether The Revenant succeeds depends on how committed you are to a dogged, ferocious film at 2 hours and 40 minutes, as horrifying, bloody, cruddy things keep piling up.

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Watermark Year in Review: October 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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Cindy Barnes is a woman who knows how to leave on a high note. After six years as chairwoman of Sarasota Pride, in 2015 Barnes announced she’s stepping down as the successful event’s big cheese.

Come Out With Pride caps a comeback year with a vibrant, crowded, but well-organized event. After the firing of COWP’s executive director in late 2014, the Pride committee worked overtime in overdrive to ensure that 2015 Orlando Pride would do Orlando proud. Mission accomplished.

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Not ready to back down: St. Petersburg Commissioner Steve Kornell fights the power and wins

By : Jeremy Williams
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During a critical year for the St. Petersburg city commission, where the shadow to the Tampa Bay Rays loomed over the election, Steve Kornell was able to retain his seat against all odds and without an endorsement from the area’s largest newspaper.

The Tampa Bay Times wrote many articles about Kornell this past year as he was fighting to get re-elected in District 5. Kornell opposed the deal by St. Petersburg mayor RickKriseman that would allow the Rays to look for stadium sites outside of St. Petersburg, but within the region.

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Mexican state bans surrogacy for gay men

By : Wire Report
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MEXICO CITY (AP) – A Mexican state legislature is closing the door to foreign couples and male gays looking to have a child by surrogacy.

Surrogacy is the practice of hiring a woman to carry a fetus to term.

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Gay Iranian poet flees to Israel

By : Wire Report
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Payam Feili, a gay poet, fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality. Now, he has made a years-long dream come true – he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays.

But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

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MAD magazine names Kim Davis one of the dumbest people of the year

By : Jeremy Williams
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mad magazine dumb trumpWhile Kim Davis won’t be TIME magazine’s Person of the Year, she has been named one of The 20 Dumbest People, Events and Things by MAD magazine.

To honor this achievement, MAD magazine introduces in its pages the “All-American Girl” doll, Kim.

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Overheard in Orlando: Fringe lottery, Stonewall bartenders and Universal’s Beetlejuice’s demise

By : Anonymous
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The Fringe Jackpot!:
The Fringe lottery is complete, and although the wait list is long, a lot of your favorite local Orlando LGBT performers are set to have their own shows. Although most artists don’t announce the actual name of the show until after the new year, Watermark was able to get the inside scoop for some. Yow Dance will return with a dance revue, Logan Donahoo will be performing another one man show that he promises to be semi-educational and of course entertaining. We have Michael Wanzie, who will be revisiting his very first Fringe show, a drama about two soldiers stuck in a foxhole, one gay and one straight. There will be a show about Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche. Comedian, Disney fan and Movies Out Loud host Jeff Jones is writing a comedy, this time not set in hell, but a sit-com style show about four Disney animatronics living together as roommates called Animatronicans; the show will feature the Polar Bear (from the now closed Maelstrom), Abe Lincoln (the Hall of Presidents), the Dreamfinder (Journey to Imagination) and John (Carousel of Progress).

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John Waters looks to bring all the sin and sex back to the holiday season with his Christmas-themed, one-man show

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pop culture icon John Waters is well known for many things: being from Baltimore, being THE director of cult classic cinema, that ‘stache! But one thing you may not know that gets Waters excited every year is Christmas. The legendary filmmaker tells the tale of religious spectacle crossed with commercialism in his one-man show, A John Waters Christmas: Holier & Dirtier, coming to the Plaza LIVE in Orlando Dec. 8 and in Clearwater at the Capitol Theatre Dec. 16. Waters took a moment away from decorating the tree and hanging the stockings by the fireplace to talk to Watermark on the phone about his upcoming show, as well as a few other holiday topics.

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ACLU to Kim Davis: Just reissue the damn marriage licenses, already

By : Wire Report
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kim davis kentucky clerk bigot

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Frankfort, Ky. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union says a Kentucky county clerk’s office should reissue altered marriage licenses even though the governor has promised to recognize them as valid.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis stopped issuing marriage licenses after a U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Two gay couples and two straight couples sued her. Davis lost and spent five days in jail for refusing to obey a judge’s order. Her deputies issued the licenses in her absence. When she got out of jail, she altered the marriage licenses to remove her name and the county’s name, arguing it cleared her conscience.

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