#RED Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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Watermark’s Complete Guide to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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Mama Bearings: Leap of Faith?

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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PQ: I fully understand that the world might not love my child because he identifies as a transgender male. It is sad, enraging and a terrible truth.

I’ve had an “it’s complicated” relationship status with organized religion since I was a child. My mother converted to Judaism, the religion my father’s family raised him within, and on Friday nights and many holidays, took us to synagogue. We were far from orthodox and we celebrated Christmas with my maternal grandparents annually. I also frequently attended Catholic church when spending Saturday nights at my best friend’s home growing up. Overall, I would say I’ve flirted with religion but never fully committed.

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The Last Page: Brianna Rockmore

By : Rick Claggett
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To run a regional, niche newspaper you need to have a passion for the community you serve and a passion for how your newspaper is connected to that community. You can only hope that those who work with you share your enthusiasm. With Brianna Rockmore, Watermark won the employee lottery.

I usually write a narrative on this page after submitting questions to each employee, but I was so impressed with what Brianna had to say that I decided to use her words to show you who she is. As a self-described goofy class clown, Brianna sees things in a positive and funny way, using comedy to bring people out of despair and into a “full of life kind of way.” This is Brianna Rockmore!

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Hope & Help bumps gala to 2020, launching new event to honor donors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hope & Help had a successful event with the AIDS Walk Orlando thanks to all of the people who opened their pockets and donated what they could, and for that they want to say thank you with a celebration.

Hope & Help’s community developmental director Joshua Myers says that the nonprofit will be pushing its annual gala, typically held in September, to next year and instead this October will hold an invite only event called Hope & Help Society.

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OYA in the running to be Lucky’s Market Orlando 1st quarter fundraising recipient

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO | Lucky’s Market is a supermarket chain not only with a focus on organic foods but also a focus on giving back to its local community. Bags of Change, a fundraiser organized by the supermarket chain, helps three local nonprofits to raise some much needed funds each quarter.

Each one of Lucky’s Market locations nominate five nonprofits and its customers vote on which three will be the fundraising recipients, and Lucky’s Market Orlando selected the Orlando Youth Alliance as one of the five nominees for its first quarter. Now it is up to you to make OYA one of the top three.

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Equality Florida brings transgender workplace training to Orlando

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: Gina Duncan speaking at an Equality Florida event at Orlando City Hall in 2015. Photo by Dana Ng

ORLANDO | Equality Florida will host the organization’s Transgender Dynamics in the Workplace workshop at the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce on Oct. 16.

The workshop includes a panel discussion with corporate leaders, as well as an appearance from Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. The event looks to educate attendees on transgender workplace issues and concerns, as well as offer ways to improve policies and protocols for transgender employees.

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PRIVATE SCHOOL: Class is in Session

By : Angelique Luna
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Have you thought about how you will prepare your children for a healthy relationship?

Do you feel that your children are not getting enough sex education at school? Do they know how to ask about consent? That they have various different options for safe sex? The consequences of STDs/STIs?

Please attend PRIVATE SCHOOL: Class is in Session to learn about the available community resources outside your children schools. To help answer all these questions and teach you a few things along the way.  This is a FREE family-friendly event.

PRIVATE SCHOOL: Class is in Session

Sat, April 7, 2018

2:00 PM – 4:30 PM EDT

Henao Contemporary Center

5601 Edgewater Dr

Orlando, Florida 32810

PRIVATE SCHOOL is dedicated to the sexual education of the community. Our goal is to help fill in the gaps that purely abstinence-based teaching can leave. It’s time to get down and dirty and get the answers you deserve!

We are excited to put a new spin on sexual health education!! Our professors will titillate and stimulate your mind (and other places), developing a safe and open space to learn how to make sex fun and safe.

Classes offered are consent and pleasure, reproductive health, and STI/HIV prevention.

Enroll today and let us help with those gaps (in your sexual knowledge)!!

PRIVATE SCHOOL is a family-friendly event, though some material may be better for those 13 and older.

Beer and wine service available to those 21+ inside the venue!!!

Access to community partners focused on education for our youth and the community!!

PRIVATE SCHOOL: Class is in Session

By : Angelique Luna
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PRIVATE SCHOOL is dedicated to the sexual education of the community. Our goal is to help fill in the gaps that purely abstinence based teaching can leave. Its time to get down and dirty and get the answers you deserve!

We are excited to put a new spin on sexual health education!! Our professors will titilate and stimulate your mind (and other places), developing a safe and open space to learn how to make sex fun and safe.

Classes offered are consent and pleasure, reproductive health, and STI/HIV prevention.

Enroll today and let us help with those gaps (in your sexual knowledge)!!

PRIVATE SCHOOL is a family friendly event, though some material may be better for those 13 and older.

A local food truck will be on site while beer and wine service availible to those 21+ inside the venue!!!

Access to community partners focused on education for our youth and the community!!

03.08.18 Tampa Bay’s Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I recently learned that I’m a monster. Before I get too far into how, I’d first like to thank readers for choosing me as Tampa Bay’s favorite LGBTQ–friendly writer in Watermark’s annual WAVE Awards. It’s a category I share with some very talented writers, like my Central Florida counterpart and syntax sister, Jeremy Williams. He’ll never let me win again.

It’s my goal as the Tampa Bay bureau chief to represent our community and our allies to the best of my ability, something I couldn’t do without all of you. I’m very proud to be in the position that I’m in, and so grateful that I get to learn so much from the community that we’re here to serve.

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2018 LGBTQ+ Youth Summit

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It is 2018 and our local and national leaders are looking to youth to rise up and create positive change. The objective of the LGBTQ+ Youth Summit is to provide information on Health, Education, and Empowerment so that every attendee walks away knowing that they belong and have an important voice in the community.

Workshops will include topics such as: LGBTQ+ history, self-care, communicating with family/parents about your LGBTQ+ identity, adulting 101, becoming a civically engaged member of the community, and more!

After an empowering day of workshops, youth are invited to a dinner sponsored by GLSEN and dance featuring a DJ.

Email Youth@MetroTampaBay.org for more information. RSVP by February 9th to reserve your space! https://www.metrotampabay.org/lgbtq-youth-summit/

Paws in the Park

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Pet lovers from all over Central Florida gather at beautiful Lake Eola to support Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s mission to educate, shelter, place, and heal pets and their families with compassionate, responsible care.

This community wide fundraising event provides support for the more than 8,000 homeless pets who will be cared for at our two shelters this year. 

Paws in the Park is the opportunity for us to join together as a community and support the mission of Pet Alliance. It’s free to register, we encourage participants to either fundraise as an individual or start a team with your friends and family and “fun” raise together!

Thousands of participants join their community, and lots of four legged friends, for the fundraising and awareness walk followed by dog-friendly and family activities.

Sign up, form a team and invite your friends and family to join us for a day filled with fun! Register and raise $75 or more and on event day, you’ll receive a commemorative event t-shirt.

Meetup: Craft It Forward

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Sew, knit or crochet to benefit your community. Select a charity of your choice or contribute to one of our projects.