Watermark’s Swipe Right Party – Central Florida

By : Jamie Hyman
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Watermark is celebrating love with the Swipe Right Party Feb. 7.  The party is an LGBTQ singles mixer where any and all can come out to try and find that special someone.

Here’s how it works:

-Bracelets will be made available as you arrive.

-Blue means you’re looking for a man.

-Purple means you are looking for a woman.

-Orange means you’re taken.

-Yellow means you’re looking, non-binary.

-Wear as many as you feel expresses who you are.

The event is free and open to all looking for love. Light bites will be provided and cash bar available. Come out and find your Valentine!

9.21.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Two things I told myself

I would never write about: Aging and dating. Who wants to hear another middle-aged gay man talk about the woes of getting older and being single? Does every homosexual writer think he’s Carrie Bradshaw? Well, it’s time to break my own rule. Getting old sucks!

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High Fidelity: It’s dating again

By : Miguel Fuller
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My name is Miguel Fuller. I am 31 years old and I don’t know a damn thing about dating. Do they still make the “For Dummies” books? If so, I need the How to date when you are in your 30s and are severely awkward for Dummies book.

So here I am, six months out of the longest relationship I’ve had and I have been on more dates in that time than all the dates counted together in my 20’s. So what’s wrong? Why am I not connecting? Why do I feel so awkward? Maybe you’ve been down this path of self-discovery and have worked out the kinks of your personality.

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Trans of Thought: The Dating Game

By : Melody Maia Monet
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MaiaMonet_MugI’ve never been very good at dating. In fact, you might say I am downright awful at it. I just never learned to do it when other people did. When I was a young teenager, I was inhibited by the fact that there was a lot of shame wrapped up in my interest in girls. Of course, not in the same way a typical lesbian would experience it, because there was none of the taboo of same-sex attraction. However, I found it incredibly confusing to process the fact that, not only did I have the strong drive to be with a girl, I also had an equally strong desire to BE her.

Here was something not even hinted at in my grade school human sexuality class. There was a great gaping chasm of missing information if you were anything except cisgender and heterosexual. I don’t recall if I even knew about transgender people back then, but I do remember an intense curiosity to know what it was like to grow curves. It was also around this time I started to make a habit of “borrowing” clothes from my sisters, trying them on in my locked room and pretending I was the female version of me.

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Sordid Lives creator Del Shores wants the dating world to know that it is hard out there for a “minor gay celebrity” in his 50s

By : Jeremy Williams
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Few filmmakers write LGBT stories with equal parts humor and heart and even fewer are able to take that story to cult status, but one who seems to do it with ease is Del Shores, writer/director of the successful 2000 cult film Sordid Lives. Shores is heading to The Cuban Club in Ybor with his one man show, SINgularly SORDID, where he talks about politics, religion and returning to the dating world after getting divorced in his 50s. Tinder and Grindr and Scruff, oh my! Shores was gracious enough to speak with Watermark ahead of his Tampa Bay show about Oscar diversity, election coverage and a much talked about sequel in the Sordid franchise.

SINgularlySORDID is your one man show that you are bringing to Tampa. What can we expect to see from you?
I always consider myself a storyteller or a humorist: I observe, I sometimes steal from my own life and other people’s lives and talk about it on stage. This piece has become very personal, because I have gone through a divorce in my 50s and getting back into the dating scene has been crazy, so a lot of that is the SINgularly Sordid part of this. I just tell tales about Leslie Jordan and Dolly Parton and people I have had encounters with, good and bad. I love politics and controversy. My dad was a Southern Baptist preacher, so we’ll cover religion.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Melissa Crispo and Candace Salemi

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Melissa Crispo and Candace Salemi“My favorite thing about Candace is she has a beautiful heart,” Melissa says. “She has so much love in her, and not just for me but for everybody—and it just shines.”

Candace Salemi, who is a senior higher education specialist, and Melissa Crispo, who is a musician/songwriter and paramedic, hung out in the same circle of friends for 15 years. Candace came to see Melissa perform regularly, but they only ever considered themselves acquaintances.

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Buzzfeed video asks about weird questions gay couples get

By : Jeremy Williams
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A same-sex relationship is just like a straight relationship in most ways. The butterflies in the stomach, the putting your best face forward and the stressing out about what to wear on the first date are all universal.

One of the more interesting things about being in a same-sex relationship is the response and questions you get from your straight friends, family and even strangers about what it’s like to be gay and dating.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Manny Agon and Nick Kresky

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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WB_NickKresky_MannyAgonEmmanuel “Manny” Agon, who is an Expedia market manager, and Nicholas “Nick” Kresky, who is a team member at Universal Studios Parks and Resorts, first met through their shared love of music as members of the Orlando Gay Chorus at the first rehearsal for the 2010 “Rainbows over Broadway” Spring Concert.

“Our section leader in the Chorus, Sheri, we call her our ‘Sheri Godmother,’ kind of nudged Nick into my direction, knowing that I really liked him. We have a lot to thank Sheri for—for getting us together,” Manny says.

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Debate over “This Book is Gay” in Alaska library

By : Wire Report
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Share this story:

thisbookisgayAnchorage, Alaska (AP) – The Wasilla Library may have to take U.K. author James Dawson’s “This Book is Gay” out of the juvenile nonfiction section.

KSKA-FM reports a committee will release its decision this week on a request from parent Vanessa Campbell, who asked library director K.J. Martin-Albright to move the book after she saw her 10-year-old son reading it.

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Homicides of transgender women in U.S. reach alarming high

By : Wire Report
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For a few transgender Americans, this has been a year of glamour and fame. For many others, 2015 has been fraught with danger, violence and mourning.

While Caitlyn Jenner made the cover of Vanity Fair and Laverne Cox prospered as a popular actress, other transgender women have become homicide victims at an alarming rate. By the count of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, there have been 22 killings so far this year of transgender or gender-nonconforming people – including 19 black or Latina transgender women.

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11.19.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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BillyManesCap

Billy Manes

I can still remember the scents, the sounds, the television movies and the intentional distractions associated with my first encounters with the HIV virus: its full-blown AIDS inevitability (at the time) replete with lesions forming volcanic country masses across innocent chests and arms, the crushed ego of acting legend Rock Hudson as his strong jaw turned sadly and vulnerably into a fading vibration, the tacit reconciliation that swallowed the fluttering falsetto of Queen’s regal Freddie Mercury as he sat before the clicks and clacks of prying press cameras to speak to the fact that he, too, had fallen, would fall, and, in fact, was dead shortly thereafter. I remember it all, because this is largely my history. We watched, we felt punished, my closet doors were glued shut, and this would never, ever happen to me.

But mostly I remember a telephone call to my landline in my Florida State University dorm room, one where the absence of air conditioning made everything feel like a sweaty inquisition, a drip pan for shame or humility.

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Foster-care agencies step up efforts on behalf of LGBT youth

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – When she entered a foster-care group home in 2012, Delilah Ramos was, by her own description, a hard-drinking teen with a wild streak. And as a lesbian, she was unsure how her sexual orientation would be received.

Today, three years later at age 19, Ramos could leave Marian Hall, her group home in Manhattan. But she wants to stay two more years.

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