Why is Halloween like Gay Christmas?

By : Scottie Campbell
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History probably gives us some insight. Halloween is rooted in religion, but those origins are a convoluted mixture of Christian observances and pagan rituals.

The LGBTQ community’s relationship with religion has historically been, and continues to be, tenuous; maybe we recognize ourselves to that aspect of the October 31 celebration. Halloween is generally considered a decadent holiday so much so that Christian bloggers suggest alternatives like, we kid you not, a Reformation Day Party. (One such blogger inexplicably suggests a Noah’s Ark Party as an alternative to trick-or-treating. Now that just screams: “I need gay friends!”)

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LGBT gang members-turned-entrepreneurs appeal for support

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of National Gay Media Association
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Nearly 10 years ago, when they had the distinction of being members of the nation’s only known LGBT youth gang called Check It, most members never imagined the group could evolve into a budding fashion clothing business.

But members and supporters say that’s exactly what happened after several of them began organizing an effort about five years ago to produce and sell T-shirts and other clothing items and put together several runway shows.

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1.14.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

It was about 3 a.m. when, curled in my perpetually awkward slumber that involves noise and talking for no real reason, I “heard the news today, oh boy.” My lifelong hero, my sun, my moon, the man who fell to earth and influenced every song or band or fashion to which I would cling in dreams and sleep and love and hate was dead. Tony, my husband, was doing a radio show when the update clouded the transom: David Bowie, 69, had passed from cancer just a couple of days after his birthday.

I only mention this because, well, it meant that my skull collapsed and shattered and the ground became a hole. Yes, it’s overdramatic to eulogize a celebrity or an artist in such a sadly choreographed fetal-position cramp, but that’s what I did. I cried in a ball, I pressed words together in my head the same way that Bowie did on small pieces of paper, I made nonsense make sense and I ran to my computer to relive a life I had already absorbed once before. I was an Absolute Beginner once. A Starman. A Hero. A Dead Man Walking.

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Trash 2 Trends Recycled Fashion Show Preview

By : Jamie Hyman
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Those who attended the Orlando Museum of Art’s First Thursday event for December were in for a treat – they got a sneak preview of the upcoming Trash 2 Trends Recycled Fashion Show, where designers create looks from materials that were headed to the landfill or recycling bin.

The 2016 event will be Feb. 6 at SeaWorld’s Ports of Call. A panel of judges will choose the winners from among 30 designers, and the show is hosted by comedian Doug Ba’aser and Orlando Sentinel columnist Scott Maxwell. 2016 is the third annual Trash 2 Trends and the event benefits Keep Orlando Beautiful. 

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Snap! Couture Culture Photos

By : Deanndra Meno
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Snap! Couture Culture,  an exhibit which at once idealizes and deconstructs the notion of fashion and beauty, was Sept. 18 2015 at Snap! downtown Orlando. The event featured high fashion and couture photography, plus live music and cocktails.

Photos by Deanndra Meno. 

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Fall Fashion. Give Back. 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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Zebra Coalition hosts Fall Fashion. Give Back. runway show and fundraiser at Neiman Marcus Orlando Aug. 20.

The event, which included a runway show, food, drinks and a silent auction, raised funds for Zebra Coalition. 

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YouTube stars find acceptance online, in person at VidCon

By : Wire Report
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Ingrid Nilsen has been brought to tears.

The 26-year-old YouTube star openly wept as she was showered with cheers and applause from an enthusiastic crowd upon arrival on stage at this weekend’s VidCon, the sixth annual celebration of online video.

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Write for Watermark!

By : Billy Manes
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Words make things happen, tell the stories of those whom would otherwise be silenced, jump up and slap you in the face and then collide on the freeways of thought. Watermark is looking for some wordsmiths (OK, freelance writers) who are willing to report, spin yarns around LGBT issues of the day and make things matter in a dynamic fashion.

Do you think you have what it takes to send a message? Well, send a message to editor@watermarkonline.com along with some samples of your skills. Maybe we’ll be great together.

Caitlyn Jenner’s emotional ESPY Awards acceptance speech

By : Billy Manes
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As you may have heard, Caitlyn Jenner accepted ESPN’s ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award last night. “The last few months have been a whirlwind of experiences and emotions,” she said, following a 15 minute tribute video that highlighted Jenner’s former career as an Olympic champion.

“I had never met a trans person [before],” she said after making a few jokes about the fashion police coming after her Versace dress.

But Jenner’s tone turned fairly and rightfully serious shortly thereafter, highlighting suicide rates and suicide stories from the trans community. She spoke of the responsibility of the spotlight and the responsibility of the media in highlighting “a very simple idea: accepting people for who they are.” It’s pretty amazing to see this in our times. Please, if you have a minute and a tissue, watch the link below.

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E! Network’s Ross Matthews showed St. Pete Pride in Fashion

By : Bruce Hardin
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St. Pete Pride held the Pride in Fashion show at Macy’s in the Tyrone Square Mall June 25.

The event was hosted by E! Network personality and Rupaul’s Drag Race judge, Ross Matthews.

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Wedding Bells at Watermark: Mike Hollis and David Lee

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Mike and David 2You know that married couple that has been with each other so long they finish each other’s… sentences? Well, that is exactly what Mike Hollis and David Lee will be after their wedding this month. The St. Petersburg couple has been together for seven and half years. They feel like they’re already united as one even before they say “I do”.

“We don’t yell at each other, we don’t call each other names,” Hollis says. “We agreed not to do that when we met.”

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Giorgio Armani: gay men do not need to “dress homosexual”

By : Staff Report
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Giorgio Armani is being criticized after stating in an interview that gay men shouldn’t dress gay.

“A homosexual man is a man 100 percent. He does not need to dress homosexual,” the Italian fashion designer said in an interview with Sunday Times magazine. “When homosexuality is exhibited to the extreme – to say ‘ah, you know I am a homosexual’ – that has nothing to do with me. A man has to be a man.”

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