Come Out With Pride is searching for new board members

By : Jeremy Williams
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Have you attended Come Out With Pride’s (COWP) parade, festival or any of the amazing events they present each year and wondered how you too could be a part of that amazing organization? Well, here is your chance.

COWP’s Board Member Application process is now open and they are looking for anyone who wants to be a part of the team, the organization announced on Facebook Jan. 3.

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2019 was a year for the LGBTQ record books

By : Jeremy Williams & Ryan Williams-Jent
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Of course not! That’s why after a historical 365 days, Watermark has assembled our annual year in review.

2019 was a landmark year for us here at Watermark. In August, we proudly celebrated 25 years of serving Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s ever-expanding LGBTQ communities.

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Marc Espeso, LGBTQ Liaison, Orange County

By : Mayor Jerry L. Demings, Orange County
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We strive to make Orange County a place that truly works for everyone.

Marc Espeso wholeheartedly embraces our diverse community because he is proudly a part of it. He works with me, and all Orange County staff members, to ensure everyone has a seat at the table and all residents have a voice in my administration.

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Eric Rollings, Central Florida Realtor, Activist, Environmentalist

By : State Sen. Linda Stewart, District 13
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I want to congratulate Eric Rollings on being selected for Watermark’s “Most Remarkable People”! I have known Eric for almost a decade and I am so proud of all he has accomplished. He is a close friend, and for as long as I have known him he has been fighting for just causes and been dedicated to issues such as climate change and LGBTQ rights. He has been at the forefront of the Central Florida community serving as a representative for our area locally and at the national level.

Eric has served as a delegate of the first ever delegation from Orlando to the United Nations General Assembly this year, advocating for the city’s place on the international stage at the forefront of fighting climate change and progressing the rights of the LGBTQ community. He has been a leader on the team effort to ban the practice of conversion therapy in Orange County with ConvertToLove.org. because of his advocacy, Congressman Darren Soto entered Eric into the Congressional Record as a “Distinguished LGBTQ Leader for Pride Month.”

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The Last Page: Lisa Brown and Dawn Kallio

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

This issue, we check in with Bowled Over Promotions owners Lisa Brown and Dawn Kallio from Orlando. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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City of Orlando recognizes October as LGBTQ+ History Month

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Proclamation reading at City Hall in Orlando Oct. 21. (Photo courtesy the City of Orlando)

ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer and the Orlando City Council recognized October as LGBTQ+ History Month in the City of Orlando at City Hall Oct. 21.

“Orlando is a city for everyone! This is one of the many ways we continue to build a community that values equality and inclusion,” said Felipe Sousa Matos Rodriguez, the City of Orlando’s  Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Senior Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

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PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride celebrates 15th annual festival and parade in Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) brought rainbows and all to the Pride festival in Lake Eola Park and The Most Colorful Parade in the streets of downtown Orlando for the 15th annual celebration Oct. 12.

Thousands and thousands of attendees poured into the Lake Eola area waving flags, collecting beads and having a gay ol’ time! COWP’s 2019 celebration was also the most sustainable, not only in the history of pride, but ever at lake Eola.

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International drag superstar Pabllo Vittar headlines Orlando’s Pride Stage

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pabllo Vittar may not be as recognizable in the U.S. as she is in other parts of the world yet, but be prepared to remember that name because she is on the verge of becoming a global superstar. Vittar is a musical sensation in her home country of Brazil, has been called “the world’s most popular drag queen” by Vogue magazine and is widely seen as an important voice for South America’s LGBTQ community.

Vittar burst onto the scene in 2014 with an appearance on a Brazilin music-focused television show where she brought the house down with a rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Since that performance, Vittar has released two albums, collaborated with some of music’s hottest stars and became the first ever Grammy-nominated drag queen.

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Come Out With Pride to go eco-friendly for festival and parade

By : Jeremy Williams
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Come Out With Pride will have a lot of the same things that you have come to expect over the last 15 years since the parade and festival have been held in and around Lake Eola. Food vendors, parade floats, live entertainment, fireworks and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

Some things you won’t see this year—or any upcoming years—will be single-use plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene foam single-use food containers. This is because the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban these items from all city properties back in June.

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PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride kicks off its 2019 week of events with Drag Race 5K

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride kicked off its week-long Pride celebration with the second annual Drag Race 5K at Lake Baldwin’s Harbor Park in Orlando Oct. 6.

The participants lined up to walk, run and sashay their way around lake Baldwin after starting the festivities off with a good old pep rally.

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Issue: 26.20: Planet Pride

By : Dylan Todd
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Come Out With Pride goes eco-friendly for 2019 festival and parade at Lake Eola, LGBA marches into Orlando for annual conference, Come OUT St. Pete returns for third outing, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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10.03.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In 2016, Evan Minton was scheduled to receive a surgeon-approved hysterectomy at a faith-based hospital in California. After disclosing his transgender status, they canceled the procedure.

Minton filed a lawsuit claiming that his civil rights had been violated, which the courts dismissed. He appealed the ruling and his suit was revived in late September.

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