Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Nate West

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 1

AGE: 38

HOMETOWN: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay

PRONOUNS: He/ him/ his

SIGN: Aries

Continue Reading >>

02.07.2019 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Love is in the air and I’m a sap. In fact, I’m an Air Supply listening, rom-com loving, “This Is Us” crying sap. You have to be pretty close to me to see it, but it’s there. When 90 percent of your social life is work related, it’s easy to have work-mode walls up. What may seem like an all-business exterior is really just all mush inside.

I can’t say where this love of love stems from. My earliest memories are of growing up with little means in Houston, Texas. There were five kids, my parents and an uncle in the house. Making ends meet and raising a herd of kids didn’t leave a lot of room for romance. Although, my parents did go on a date to see Willie Nelson’s New Year’s Eve concert every year and I thought that was sweet.

Continue Reading >>

Come Out With Pride announces intent to host WorldPride during Pulse 10-year mark

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced in a press conference at The Venue Jan. 23 that they plan to bid to host WorldPride in Central Florida in 2026.

InterPride, an international organization that ties Pride together globally, brings WorldPride to major cities across the globe every two to six years. This year WorldPride will take place in New York City to coincide with the 50-year mark of the Stonewall riots. Several members from the COWP board will be in attendance at the event this June.

Continue Reading >>

Come Out with Pride partners with InterPride to host first Prides of Southeast conference in Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Members of the LGBTQ community will gather for the Prides of Southeast (POSE) conferencein downtown Orlando on Feb. 7-10. POSE is a networking and educational conference designed to bring together Pride organizations from all over the Southeast for workshops, networking opportunities and social events.

POSE will be hosted jointly by Come Out with Pride (COWP) and InterPrideat the Holiday Inn Resort at Lake Buena Vista, one mile from the Walt Disney theme parks.

Continue Reading >>

WatermarkOnline’s Top News Headlines of 2018

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

WatermarkOnline.com had its largest number of visitors in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of readers came to the website throughout the year for the stories that impacted the LGBTQ community in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and across the country.

Below, we have complied the top five headlines from each of our LGBTQ news sections: Central Florida News, Tampa Bay News, State News and Nation & World News. The sections top headlines are based on the number of clicks on each story.

Continue Reading >>

Jerick Mediavilla: Educator and Central Florida LGBTQ Activist

By : Ida Vishkaee Eskamani
Comments: 0

Ida Vishkaee Eskamani

It’s fall 2017 and we are somewhere in Tallahassee. Legislative committee weeks had commenced and Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida’s first LGBTQ Latinx lawmaker, was telling me about a new man in his life.

He was both giddy and bewildered by how well they were vibing. This guy was handsome (I immediately verified this with some light social media lurking), kind, funny, attentive, smart, successful and, most importantly, emotionally available and into Carlos. His name is Jerick Mediavilla and my friends—This man is remarkable!

Continue Reading >>

Buddy Dyer: Mayor of Orlando

By : Gina Duncan
Comments: 0

Gina Duncan

Today, the city of Orlando is known as a national leader in LGBTQ diversity and inclusion. This distinction has been a direct result of the intentional work of Mayor Buddy Dyer and his diverse leadership team at The City Beautiful.

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling granting same-sex marriage rights in the United States, Orlando was one of the first cities in Florida to pass a Domestic Partner Registry providing rights and protections for unmarried couples. This was quickly followed by the passage of Orlando’s Human Rights Ordinance protecting people against discrimination based on their sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.

Continue Reading >>

Jeff Prystajko: Come Out With Pride Board President & Operations Director

By : Bob Azzarito
Comments: 0

Bob Azzarito

Several years ago, Jeff Prystajko joined our team at Come Out with Pride. I’ve had the privilege to work with him on the board of directors and the production team, and I am proud to call him a friend.

In 2018, he took on the role of president of the board of directors. He assembled an impressive team and together they produced a fantastic event.

Continue Reading >>

Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (HD47): first Iranian-American woman lawmaker elected in Florida

By : Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (HD49)
Comments: 0

Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (HD49)

If you haven’t heard the name Anna V. Eskamani, you have probably been living under a rock … especially since Republicans spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads to portray Eskamani as a vulgar, radical extremist (they actually made her look like a badass in a leather jacket). Voters made history in November by electing Anna as the first Iranian-American to serve in the Florida Legislature, rewarding her with 57 percent of the vote.

Odds are you have heard of Eskamani, who has become a role model for young people across Orlando. You saw her on the cover of TIME magazine featured as one of many women across the country running for public office hoping to make real change. You read in local newspapers about her healthcare expertise as a senior director for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. You watched her lead the Orlando Women’s March or proudly walking in the Come Out With Pride parade at Lake Eola. If not, you more than likely overheard her signature Eskamani-style laugh in person at any number of local community events, since she makes it a point to attend every single one of them.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith says YAS! to Pride proposal from partner Jerick Mediavilla

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Come Out with Pride 2018 had a lot of memorable events, but few came close to the marriage proposal during the Pride Rally at the Walt Disney Amphitheater Oct. 13.

LGBTQ activist Jerick Mediavilla went down on one knee in front of thousands of Pride attendees and proposed to his partner, State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: COWP’s Most Colorful Parade brings pride, pageantry and politics to Lake Eola

By : Jaime Donelson
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride had the eyes of the city on them as The Most Colorful Parade passed through the streets of downtown Orlando for thousands of attendees Oct. 13.

The parade route was filled with rainbow-colored floats, performers and — this being an election year — lots of voters, activists and politicians.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: COWP’s Pride Festival at Lake Eola had something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Thousands of people gathered, danced and showed their Pride around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to celebrate Come Out With Pride on Oct. 13.

The day-long festival included live performances, vendors and entertainment for all ages. Rainbow colors were on display everywhere you looked.

Continue Reading >>