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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Oscar and Tony-winner Joel Grey opens up about sexuality in new memoir

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – At a cafe the other day, Joel Grey was drawn to an item on the menu that was both confusing and intriguing.

He called over a waiter and asked: “What is this thing? The herbed goat cheese with chili flakes and pomegranate syrup?” The waiter was stumped. “OK, I’m going to take a chance,” said the Tony-and Oscar-winning actor.

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The fight for medical marijuana started with the gay community, and it may end in Florida this year

By : Billy Manes
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It wouldn’t be a white Christmas in Florida in 2015; it never is. But you could argue that a green Christmas came in the form of a unanimous ruling in mid-December by the Florida Supreme Court that refined language to the state’s medical marijuana constitutional amendment. Backed by mega-attorney John Morgan and his millions of dollars, along with political organization United for Care (formerly People United for Medical Marijuana), the bill received a solid 58 percent approval from a low-turnout midterm electorate, meaning 3.4 million Floridians voted in favor of the amendment, even in a state that is hostile to progressive causes. The state requires a 60 percent vote to pass a constitutional amendment.

“I’mmmmmmmmmmbaaaaaaaaaack,” Morgan told the Miami Herald earlier this month. He’s back, only with $4 million less in his back account.

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Watermark readers respond: HRC endorses Hillary Clinton

By : Jamie Hyman
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You guys had a lot to say about the Human Rights Campaign’s endorsement of Hillary Clinton for U.S. President.

Read a round-up of Watermark reader comments after the jump: 

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12.31.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself, “Well … How did I get here?” the Talking Heads once rattled over a thumping bassline. “Once in a Lifetime,” indeed.

2015 was certainly a big year for the LGBT community, seemingly allowing decency to coast atop the terrible notions of people like Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi into a panacea of hopefulness. In our coverage area, so much change happened: new leadership, new businesses, a new outlook, and, gasp, a new editor.

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12.3.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

When Dame David Bowie once asked us to “turn and face the strange,” because, you know, “ch-ch-ch-changes,” we had some idea what he was going on about. It wasn’t all platform shoes and glitter, shaved eyebrows and existential overstatement, the cold war and some cold cream – it was about evolving as people, living statements and art installations. Minus a trickle of pretension, that’s what this issue is largely about, too. We’re moving, not stopping; we’re trying, not giving up. We got this.

As several stories within this dangling, old-year issue purport, those changes don’t always come easy, and if we choose to roll our eyes and ignore our movements forward, we become the wrinkles of our checkered pasts. We become boring crows’ feet.

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St. Pete has a new gay watering hole

By : Aaron Drake
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St. Pete has a new face in town. From the looks of it, she’s sassy, wacky and eager for her guests to enjoy a night out. Punky’s Bar & Grill, 3063 Central Ave. at 31st St. N, is the city’s newest gay bar, set for a soft opening before Thanksgiving and a larger celebration in December.

“We’re excited to be in the Grand Central District,” says co-owner Brian Longstreth, owner of Gay St. Pete House and a longtime activist in St. Pete’s LGBT community. “In addition to several bars and restaurants, there are realtors, CPAs, attorneys, home décor, antiques – it’s still one of the largest concentrations of LGBT-owned businesses in the country.” He joins co-owners Lynn Deibert and John Burt, who are also local residents and proud members of the LGBT community, in starting Punky’s. The 3,200-square-foot, 150-person maximum capacity establishment was formerly home to Jimbo’s Joint.

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Full Exposure: Executive Director Eric Skains talks about transparency, relevancy and the future direction of St. Pete Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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St. Petersburg — St. Petersburg’s LGBT community has been overrun by questions, concerns and rumors ever since it was announced that Georgie’s Alibi was closing its doors. For 15 years, Georgie’s was a tent pole for the community, whether it involved charities and fundraisers or celebrations and events.

One such event that utilized Georgie’s Alibi and the surrounding areas was St. Pete Pride. St. Pete Pride is the largest Pride event in the state of Florida and routinely has more than 100,000 supporters line the streets for the parade, concerts and a street festival the last weekend of June.

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Reform Jews poised to pass transgender resolution

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – When Rabbi Elliot Kukla became the first out transgender rabbi ordained in the Reform Jewish movement almost a decade ago, he would get questions from other rabbis along the lines of “There’s a transgender congregant coming to services. What should I do?” He would tell the other rabbis to greet them with, “Shabbat shalom,” the traditional welcome for anybody.

Now, other rabbis ask more sophisticated questions and lack the discomfort of the earlier ones: Is there a ritual for a trans man who is converting to Judaism but doesn’t have a penis for a traditional circumcision? How can we celebrate a 12-year-old trans girl’s name change at her Bat Mitzvah?

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us: On Being Racist, Sexist, and Having Gay Cave People’s Brains

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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Steve Yacovelli

Steve Yacovelli

I have a confession to make: I’m a racist.

For those who know me, that might come as a shock, since I’m a diversity and inclusion consultant. But yes; I’m racist. But you know what? To some extent you are, too.

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9.24.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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BillyManesCap

Billy Manes

“It’s not going to stop ‘til you wise up.” That’s the song, the notoriously tear-dredging anthem of internalized polar angst penned by Aimee Mann for the film Magnolia nearly two decades ago, that was dragging my internal jukebox into the ground this morning before work. No, it’s not because I’m an alcoholic, or a drug addict, or a cop, or a former child star, or a dying television host, or a survivor of sexual abuse, or a frog falling from the sky – though none of those were lost on me in various moments of central casting, hanging out by the craft service table of existential self-mythology. I’ve been down. I am out. I’ve moved up.

We all have, in many ways. Or so you would think. I don’t want to pussyfoot around the issues of rising ships and incremental gains at this point, because that’s something that implies an apathy that doesn’t necessarily ring with truth: not in this guy, not in this paper. Yes, it is important to mind our tempers as we watch prospective politicians toss our names into the gutter in order to gain base-minded cheers in election years, just as it is important that we scream from the tops of our lungs (and/or social media fingers) at the injustices still lying before us, sometimes in the simple code of Facebook speak.

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Issue 22.18: Keys to the Kingdom

By : Jake Stevens
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Keys to the Kingdom: President George Kalogridis and the quient evolution of the LGBT culture at Walt Disney World, Janine Klein walks into a bar, Nadine Smith walks in to the future, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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