‘Paris is Burning’ viewing benefits St. Petersburg VFW

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The LGBTQ-owned and operated Bambu the Eco Salon is hosting a two-part experience to educate, entertain and raise money for St. Petersburg’s VFW Post No. 39 beginning June 7.

The salon will present the 1990 documentary “Paris is Burning” at 7 p.m. The must-see film chronicles New York City’s 1980s ball culture and the African American, Latino and LGBTQ communities involved in its rise. During a brief intermission, performers will provide a history of the ball scene and demonstrate fabulous and fierce voguing techniques. 

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Metro Wellness and Community Centers relaunches LGBTQ Welcome Center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Community leaders and advocates gathered at Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBTQ Welcome Center to officially relaunch the organization’s LGBTQ safe haven Oct. 6.

The welcome center, a renovated home located in the Grand Central District, has served Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ community since its opening in 2014. Through its weekly programming, the majority of which Metro Wellness provides at no cost, it offers a gathering space for LGBTQ community members of all ages.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete steps out for inaugural parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) held its inaugural parade in the Grand Central District during its second annual celebration Oct. 6.

The parade began at 10 a.m., heading west on Central Ave. from 22nd St. to 31st St. “Bringing a parade back to Grand Central is definitely something the community has voiced for some time,” COSP Co-Chair Jimmy Biascan shared ahead of the event. “It’s really cool to be able to give them what they want.”

COSP did exactly that – and Watermark was on hand to help celebrate. Check out some of our photos below.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates second annual festival

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) held its second annual street festival in the Grand Central District following its inaugural parade Oct. 6.

Beginning at 12 p.m., vendors shared their goods and services with festival fans across the district. Entertainers also captivated audiences at The Garage, Pom Pom’s, Steep Station, Numex Chile, Right Around the Corner, The Queens Head, URBAN Comfort, Punky’s Bar and Grill, Dog Bar and Old Key West Bar & Grill.

At 1 p.m., community leaders and supporters joined together to celebrate the reopening of Metro Wellness and Community Centers’ LGBTQ Welcome Center. “It was our goal to create a safe place for those looking to build a network of friends or find access to LGBTQ-friendly resources,” Lorraine Langlois, CEO of Metro, shared ahead of the ceremony. “Whether someone is just coming out or in a new city looking to make friends, we want St. Petersburg to have a resource for all.”

Watermark was on hand to celebrate – you can check out some of our photos below.

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Come OUT St. Pete: When and where to come out

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) returns for its second outing with an inaugural parade and five days of events Oct. 4-11.

COSP kicks off Oct. 4 with the Taste of Grand Central, a celebration of restaurants in the Grand Central District. It’s also where the majority of the celebration’s events will take place; something COSP Co-Chair Jimmy Biascan says is intentional.

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10.04.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I like beer. This month marks 3 years since I stopped drinking. I talk about it all the time because I think it’s not talked about enough in our community.  Not talking about it perpetuates a stigma about alcoholics that is false. Since truth is now my everything, I talk about it. I like beer.

It is weird to me, turning terrible behavior into something to celebrate. Congratulations, Rick, on three years of doing something you should have been doing all along. Although, it is a celebration of sorts: It’s like coming out. It’s about owning who you are and choosing an honest path.  It’s about taking bad life choices and turning them into good, or at least attempting to. This is why every year in the month of October, I share my story. I don’t do it so I get likes on Facebook or some pat on the back. I do it so people can see how addiction affected my life, as well as those around me. I do it so people who might see similarities in their lives can know there is a better way.

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Come OUT St. Pete returns with inaugural parade in second Pride-filled year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) will return for its second outing with an inaugural parade and five days of events Oct. 4-11.

The organization’s mission is to inspire those in the LGBTQ community to live genuinely, raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and encourage public support from community allies. It began last year as a committee of the Grand Central District Association but has since applied for its own 501(c)(3) designation.

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Come OUT St. Pete’s second year to feature daytime Grand Central parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Come OUT St. Pete’s inaugural parade, the first daytime pride parade in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District since 2013, will include a city block-length rainbow flag.

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) announced its second year will include a daytime LGBTQ parade in the city’s Grand Central District Oct. 6.

COSP, which began last year as a committee of the Grand Central District Association, has now applied for its own 501(c)(3) designation and exists as its own Florida nonprofit corporation. Its mission is to inspire those in the LGBTQ community to live genuinely, raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and encourage public support from community allies.

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2016 was the worst year ever, and 2017 was the year we found our footing

By : Jeremy Williams
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In these very pages one year ago we proclaimed 2016 to be the worst year ever. It started off with so much promise and optimism, with the official passing of the torch as the former owner of Watermark turned the reins over to new owner Rick Claggett and Watermark Media became Watermark Publishing Group.

President Barack Obama was heading into the final year of his second term and everything seemed in place for another torch to be passed, that of the first black president passing the country off to the first female president.

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From coast-to-coast, Central Florida and Tampa Bay celebrate Pride in the fall

By : Jeremy Williams
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Many people think of the month of June when someone says Pride, but thanks to National Coming Out Day and the state’s cooler temperatures, October is fast becoming Florida’s big Pride month.

Whether you are looking to march through the streets or spend a few hours in the park with your friends, October has got a Pride for you.

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As St. Petersburg celebrates Coming Out and LGBTQ film, a new Pride emerges

By : Samuel Johnson
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Two Bay Area LGBTQ festivals are joining forces this October. The Tampa-based Tampa Bay International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is collaborating with the nascent St. Petersburg Come OUT St. Pete. The former has been a staple on the LGBTQ calendar for 28 years; and the latter is in its first year. Although 2017 marks the COSP inauguration, the apex of the celebration falls on Oct. 11: National Coming Out Day which honors the anniversary celebration of the National March on Washington D.C. for Lesbian and Gay Rights 29 years ago. For those of you wondering what gift is appropriate for each anniversary, here is the traditional gift suggestion: Orchids for 28 years and furniture for 29 years.

The partnership between the established TIGLFF and the newborn COSP is rooted in a palette of shared core values: celebration, reflection and education. But most of all it’s a good fit for the twin cities on the Bay.

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Come OUT St. Pete has something for everyone at their inaugural coming out

By : Jeremy Williams
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While the nation will celebrate National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, Grand Central and the City of St. Petersburg are looking to celebrate for seven pride-filled days with a series of events for everyone across the LGBTQ spectrum.

Whether you are interested in LGBTQ film, food, festive drinks or just relaxing with friends, COSP has got you covered. All events are subject to change, and all films will be announced at a later date, so be sure to keep an eye on WatermarkOnline.com and ComeOutStPete.org for any updates.

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