Following controversy, Sarasota Pride renews focus ahead of Pride Fest 2017

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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SARASOTA | As the Sarasota LGBTQ community and its allies readied themselves for Pride Fest 2017 on Oct. 21, Sarasota Pride board members and community leaders met to renew the upcoming celebration’s focus.

“Perception is a reality and the past 48 hours has proven that statement to be true,” Joél Pozo, Berry Ayers (Beneva Fruitville) and Sarasota Pride released in a joint statement following an Oct. 3 meeting. “Everyone in this community has a voice and that has been reflected in our collaboration.”

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Miss GayDays Pageant

By : Alex Storer
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Sassy looks, sequin-covered dresses and shimmying hips dominated the stage at the Miss GayDays 2016 pageant on June 3. The pageant’s theme – “Marvel-ous” – encouraged contestants to impersonate female superheroes, and impersonate female superheroes they did. The queens embodied Rogue, Tigra, Captain Marvel and more.

After Imani Valentino’s heart-wrenching final performance as Miss Gay Days, Alexis Mateo of St. Petersburg was crowned the winner, with Rhiannon Todd being named first alternate and crowd favorite, a new category for the 2016 competition.

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Have a Great Gay Weekend: June 3, 2016

By : Jamie Hyman & Jeremy Williams
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Have a great gay weekend

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Yes, Gay Days dominates the LGBT social scene this weekend, but there are plenty of other fun ways to Have a Great Gay Weekend and your friends at Watermark have rounded them all up, just for you.

Party on, dudes. 

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Have a Great Gay Weekend: April 29, 2016

By : Jamie Hyman & Jeremy Williams
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Have a great gay weekend

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Whether bowling’s your game, you want to hear teen writers explore questions of gender or you really, really just can’t wait for Halloween, Watermark’s Have a Great Gay Weekend events round-up has you covered.

Hell, one of our weekend events doesn’t even happen till Monday. What can we say? We’re thorough. 

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Funky Monkey is coming to a close

By : Gina Avile
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Orlando | Every road must come to an end. After eight fabulous years Funky Monkey on Mills, the first restaurant in Orlando to feature dinner and drag shows, will be closing its doors June 28.

“We’ve decided to focus all our energy at our Pointe Orlando location,” said Eddie Nickell, who owns Funky Monkey with his husband Nicholas Olivieri. “It’s more than bittersweet, it’s sad. We’ve made so many memories here.”

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With ‘Have You Heard?’ Coco Peru reminisces in St. Pete and Orlando while benefiting SMART Ride

By : Aaron Alper
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“Did you ever get cum in your eye, Gabriel? It burns!”

It’s that line from 1999’s Trick that LGBTs will always associate with Miss Coco Peru. But 15 years later, the hilarious drag persona is still a mouthpiece for the LGBT community.

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Sarasota Pride preps for its biggest year yet

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sarasota–Ever since Cindy Barnes pulled Sarasota Pride out of the shadows and onto Main Street five years ago, the festival has grown exponentially each year. In 2014, the Oct. 18 festival is expected to bring more than 5,000 to J.D. Hamel Park in one of the most visible areas of the city.

“More than 225,000 people pass by that park every six hours,” explained Barnes, chairman of Sarasota Pride. “Visibility is key to Pride and we have to be out there to let people know we are a part of the community.”

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Drag queens dress down Facebook over names

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco drag queens are sparring with Facebook over its policy requiring people to use their real names, rather than drag names such as Pollo Del Mar and Heklina. But the world’s biggest social network is not budging from its rules.

In recent weeks, Facebook has been deleting the profiles of self-described drag queens and other performers who use stage names because they did not comply with the social networking site’s requirement that users go by their “real names” on the site.

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RuPaul’s Drag Race skips Sunshine State talent in season 6

By : Steve Blanchard
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RuPaulS6AbstrOn Jan. 24, gays everywhere tuned into LOGO to watch the premiere of season 6 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. It was bigger, louder and more outrageous than ever, which was expected. But Floridians noticed one major difference over previous seasons. There wasn’t a single Florida queen in the mix.

Performers from around the country apply to be one of only 14 contestants on the reality competition show every year, so not every state is represented. This year the season premiere was split into two shows, with seven queens competing in the first episode, and the remaining seven competing in the second episode on March 3.

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Despite drag complaints, Ivory Lounge will remain open in Sarasota

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sarasota – Residents of The Plaza at Five Points condominium complex in downtown Sarasota, are not fans of drag queens or late night music.

That is according to a complaint the complex’s association filed with the City of Sarasota against the Ivory Lounge last fall, which hosts several drag queen-themed shows a week. Among them, Drag Queen Pillow Fighting and Drag Queen Jell-O Wrestling.

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