Watermark Year in Review: July 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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Out Walt Disney World president George Kalogridis, who spoke with Watermark this year (gasp!), played a huge role in making Disney’s stance clear: Gays are welcome here. The Out and Equal Institute, which advocates for equality in the workplace, historically showed up at WDW’s Coronado Springs Resort. Next year, Out and Equal’s annual summit comes to Disney’s Swan and Dolphin resort for four days. It pays to like gays.

It was a rough year for HIV/AIDS advocates in Central Florida. In July, news came down that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control would not be funding any Orlando-area HIV/AIDS-care organizations. Though Metro Wellness in St. Pete did make the cut, Orlando orgs were pushed into a scramble, which is sad when you consider that Orange County’s new HIV cases were up 47 percent.

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Gay filmmaker directs Adele in video for new single “Hello”

By : Jeremy Williams
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Adele returned with a new single and music video Oct. 23, three years after the release of the James Bond theme “Skyfall,” the last time we heard the powerhouse belt out her amazing sound.

The new single, “Hello,” is a heartbreaking song with a beautifully shot six-minute video directed by openly gay filmmaker Xavier Dolan.

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New game lets you hit Kim Davis in the face

By : Jeremy Williams
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A new app lets you to smack around Rowan County clerk Kim Davis without fear of following in her footsteps and ending up in jail.

The game, called “Condemn Kim” and developed by Orlando-based company Endless Spiral, has you throw marriage applications at the clerk for Christ trying to hit her in the face. If you hit her enough times you send her back to jail. If you miss just once, she laughs at you as the character shakes up and down.

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8.13.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Here comes that sinking feeling. Surely you remember the itch of the blanket that turned your Sunday night fears into an anxiety burrito – the tossing, the turning, the worrying about your external outfit and your internal self-worth. Would there be pimples, would there be cameltoe, would there be fat rolls, would there be sweat-stain-inducing derision as you walked down the corridors of first-day-of-school judgment? Or, worse, would nobody even notice you? Would you be completely invisible?

This week, we take the whole “back to school” theme – one typically associated with backpacks and new jeans and Trapper Keepers – and turn it on its head a bit. That sales-tax holiday isn’t going to save everyone, after all. Some people exist in the margins that don’t involve finance, devils dancing and performing inside of their own heads while walking face down through a life that doesn’t accept them. It gets better? Maybe, but current teen suicide rates don’t exactly indicate that, nor do some of the messages being perniciously broadcast by conservative politicians beneath the afterglow of recent LGBT victories in the courts.

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Christian game developer creates anti-LGBT shooter game

By : Staff Report
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A Christian video game developer launched an anti-LGBT, first-person shooter game on the gaming website Steam on May 4 before having it pulled down several hours later.

Randall Herman, a failed Christian shoe promoter, and Skateboarder, a California-based game developer, created and released Kill The Faggot, an online video game that awards points for shooting gay and transgender people as they run through a city street.

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Federal judge strikes down Arkansas same-sex marriage ban

By : Wire Report
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge struck down Arkansas’ gay marriage ban on Nov. 25, which could pave the way for county clerks to resume issuing licenses.

U.S. District Judge Kristine Baker ruled in favor of two same-sex couples who had challenged a 2004 constitutional amendment and earlier state law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, arguing that the ban violated the U.S. Constitution and discriminated based on sexual orientation.

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Six AIDS researchers aboard shot down Malaysian plane honored at conference

By : Wire Report
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – An international AIDS conference opened in Australia on July 20 with a tribute to several delegates who were killed en route to the gathering when their plane was shot down over Ukraine.

Officials at the opening ceremony for the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne held a moment of silence for the six AIDS researchers and activists killed aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

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Gay characters down on broadcast TV, up on cable

By : Wire Report
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Los Angeles (AP) – Fewer gay and bisexual characters are part of the new broadcast TV season following a record-setting year, while cable depictions continued to increase, according to a new study from a media advocacy group.

GLAAD’s 18th annual, “Where We Are on TV”, report released Friday says 3.3 percent of 796 regularly appearing characters on prime-time broadcast dramas and comedies are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

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