The Center to host HIV and aging awareness event

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – This year will be the first time the Florida Department of Health in Orange County will help raise awareness about National HIV/AIDS and Aging Awareness Day (NHAAAD) by holding an event in Orlando. The Department of Health will be partnering with The Center, Central Florida AIDS Planning Consortium and the community to educate Central Florida about HIV and aging.

The Sept. 18 event is free and will take place at The Center. There will be rapid HIV testing, flu shots, blood pressure screenings and educational resources at the disposal for attendees.

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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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Headdress Ball celebrates 25 Years

By : Dylan Drobet
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Orlando – Headdress Ball celebrates its 25th anniversary on Sept. 20 and plans call for it to be the largest and wildest ball yet. The milestone event is the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida´s largest fundraiser of the year and the Central Florida AIDS service organization has raised over $5 million since its inception. The center’s mission is simple: to save lives by treating and preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS in Central Florida.

Headdress Ball is often referred to as Orlando´s most outrageous black tie event. It is an evening of food, drinks and lively Las Vegas-style entertainment. In addition to the dinner, awards, live auction and entertainment there is, of course, a headdress exhibition.

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WhyNot Fundraiser Event

By : Jamie Hyman
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WhyNot Wednesday, a fundraiser for Hope and Help of Central Florida, Inc., raised more than $3,000.

The event was held in a private residence Aug. 27. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.

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Readers respond to Watermark’s story remembering Paul Wegman

By : Jamie Hyman
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It was ten years ago that Central Florida lost an entertainer who was both a force and a friend – Paul Wegman. In Issue 21.10, we published an article that was a tribute to Wegman’s life and legacy.

Several readers took to the comments section to post their own memories of Miss P. Read what they had to say after the jump: 

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UCF listed among top 50 most LGBT-friendly colleges and universities

By : Staff Report
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Orlando – Campus Pride released is annual “Campus Pride Top LGBT-Friendly Colleges & Universities” listing for 2014 and the UCF Knights made the cut.

The University of Central Florida graced the list of institutions of higher learning that were considered the most LGBT-friendly, making it the only school in Florida to appear on the list. Normally, Campus Pride releases a “Top 25 List,” but this year was the first year it released the fifty “Best of the Best.”

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Third Thursday August 2014

By : Danny Garcia
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Watermark staff, readers and advertisers gathered at Gilded Home Aug. 21 for Watermark’s Third Thursday Social. Raffles raised more than $150 for Hope and Help of Central Florida, Inc.

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Gender identity and expression added to Orlando’s anti-discrimination ordinance

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Orlando – Changes to Chapter 57 the City of Orlando’s ordinance for protections against discrimination in employment, housing and public accommodations—were unanimously adopted Aug. 11 to now include protections for the transgender community.

“Society in general has changed, in that people are much more inclusive and much more accepting of the LGBT community,” said Gina Duncan, transgender inclusion director of Equality Florida.”But secondly, which is what has really driven us, is that the transgender community has also stepped up and is visible, so that people see and are more aware of transgender people.”

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Jacobs weighs in on marriage equality

By : Tom Dyer
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A Monroe County circuit court judge recently declared Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Four more cases are pending, including one in Miami-Dade. With the issue front-and-center in the state, activists on both side of the issue have sought the opinion of Central Florida’s most powerful elected official, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs. Watermark requested an interview with Mayor Jacobs, which has been promised in the near future. This afternoon, Mayor Jacobs released this exclusive statement to Watermark publisher Tom Dyer.

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Nash eyes Hillsborough’s District 7 countywide seat

By : Steve Blanchard
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MarkNash

Mark Nash

Tampa – Mark Nash is a familiar name in Hillsborough County politics. The Brandon native was a key strategist in Commissioner Kevin Beckner’s successful 2008 campaign and also campaigned with Kathy Castor when she first sought her statewide position as Florida’s 14th District representative in 2007.

Now, two years after an unsuccessful bid for the District 4 seat in 2012, Nash, an openly gay Democrat, has his eyes set upon the countywide District 7 seat. That seat is currently held by Mark Sharpe, who cannot seek re-election due to term limits.

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4th of July Fireworks Round-up 2014

By : Jamie Hyman
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Wanna see the sky go BOOM this 4th of July weekend?

From Tampa Bay to Orlando to Daytona, Watermark has a round-up of Central Florida’s 4th of July 2014 celebrations.

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Issue 21.14: St. Pete Pride Post Coverage

By : Jake Stevens
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Our First Night Out! St. Pete Pride boasts 200,000 weekend attendance with its first night parade and separate street festival, Florida court hears marriage equality case, Outfest to celebrate the modern family in Central Florida, local news, celebrity interviews, events, photos, and much more!

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