DeLand Pride Block Party

By : Jeremy Williams
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Our annual DeLand Pride Block Party was first held in the fall of 2016 to celebrate LGBT History Month. Attendance was expected to be around 200 to 250 but we far surpassed those initial estimates. That first year, attendance was estimated at around 750 people. The following year’s Block Party involved a new location and an expansion of services including free onsite HIV testing, flu shots, community outreach from a variety of nonprofits, health and counselling services, and many other amazing vendors and entertainment. This year DeLand Pride is very excited to be expanding our Block Party once again. This year’s festival will be held on October 20th from 2pm to 7pm and will span the entire western block of Indiana Ave in the heart of Downtown DeLand. In addition to expanding on previous year’s vendors and outreach programs, this year we will be adding a Pet Zone, Kids Zone, Teen Outreach Area, and a Health and Wellness Area.

Watermark’s Third Thursday – May Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to our Watermark Third Thursday for May as we meet and mingle at the LGBT+ Center of Orlando. Light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit the LGBT+ Center itself.

Join us as we help support The Center and all the good work they do in our own community.

See you there!

Watermark’s Third Thursday – February Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the post-Valentine’s Day Watermark Third Thursday as we meet and mingle at Magruder Laser Vision in College Park. Light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit the newly renamed LGBT+ Center Orlando – The Center.

Join us as we help The Center celebrate 40 years of serving the community.

See you there!

September Watermark Wednesday Social at Quench Lounge

By : Danny Garcia
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Watermark Wednesday
is back! Our LGBTQ+ networking social is back in Tampa Bay and we are kicking it off for the month of September at Quench Lounge. Light bites and first drink are provided. Raffle prizes will be available with proceeds going to benefit Balance Tampa Bay. Hope to see you all there Sept. 20!

SEX ED

By : Alex Storer
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Everyone remembers when they had “the talk,” but, as many of you know, that is only part of your sexual education. We all know, “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage,”  but there is so much more to it than that. SEX ED helps to fill in the holes (pun intended) and tells the remarkably normal story of a midwestern girl coming into her own while using Disney parody songs to help her along the way. From her first kiss to her first fraternity party, Ipema takes you through her sexual education where she found answers in the most unexpected places. Kerry Ipema enlists the help of Fringe God TJ Dawe to dramaturge her production, the two just finished an 11 week tour of the US with One Woman Sex and the City, a show they co-wrote – Dawe directed and Ipema starred. It was Dawe who introduced Ipema to the Fringe circuit and she is thrilled to come Orlando, to debut her new show, SEX ED! For Mature audiences.

8.27.16 FRAT HOUSE at Southern Nights Tampa

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#SwankSaturdays Presents: FRAT HOUSE
Calling all pledges to the first frat party of the fall semester!

NO COVER before 10pm 21+ (18+ Welcomed)

Hosted by Roxxxy Andrews, Jade Embers, and Angelica Sanchez

$2 Wells till 11pm
$5 Three Olives, Fireball, Jungle Juice
$3 Bud Light
$7 Grey Goose

DJ JB Burgos

Seal

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GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter Seal makes his way to Clearwater for his Ruth Eckerd Hall debut! Seal explores love and all of its implications, idiosyncrasies and intricacies on his seventh full-length album, 7 which saw him reunited with producer Trevor Horn for their first collection of original material since 2003. Seal goes right to the heart of the club with Life On The Dancefloor, which pairs a syncopated house beat wrapped in horns with a massive hook. Everything culminates on Love. Pairing his voice with just a piano, it’s his most vulnerable and vital moment as he declares. Seal’s inimitable voice was first heard on Adamski’s 1991 smash Killer. Another huge hit Crazy arrived shortly after as Seal went on to achieve global acclaim with his debut album. Songs such as the legendary Kiss From a Rose would turn him into a superstar. Don’t miss Seal only at Ruth Eckerd Hall!

Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Lissette Reyes and Karen González

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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WeddingBells“She’s very adventurous. She loves trying new things and just being herself and just being out there,” Lissette says about Karen. “She taught me that you just have to live life to the fullest and enjoy every day and not to be afraid of trying new things. If you fail, that’s the just a part of the whole business of being alive.”

Lissette Reyes and Karen González met through a mutual friend. Lissette went to Miami to visit her friend. Karen was staying with her at that time, and that’s how they met – at a party at her friend’s house. Lissette said that from there they just hit it off and the rest was history.

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Positive Message: Bob Poe wants to put a face on HIV in Congress.

By : Tom Dyer
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bob poe hiv

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We all have labels. They define how others see us, and also how we see ourselves. For Bob Poe, they include husband, father, gay man, politico, entrepreneur, businessman, philanthropist, success. He’s now prepared to share one more: HIV-positive.

The addition is consequential. Poe is running for election to the U.S. House of Representatives in Florida’s 10th District. If successful, he would be the first openly HIV-positive person elected to Congress; a handsome, healthy, winning face of HIV to be reckoned with every time funding is threatened. He’s just the second HIV-positive person to run, and the first with a real chance of winning.

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Watermark Wedding Bells: Juli Textor and Julie Milford

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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WB_TextorMilford“Everything about her, that is who I want to be with,” Julie Milford says. “I just knew that if we ever had an opportunity to be together one day that it would be forever – everything just seemed absolutely perfect.”

Juli Textor, an executive assistant, and Julie Milford, a creative director, met through mutual friends. They knew of each other, and they were finally introduced, and from that point forward, they had their eyes on each other. When they first met, the timing wasn’t ideal, but then everything just fell into place.

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Meet the first openly transgender White House staffer

By : Jamie Hyman
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History in the making! President Obama appointed Raffi Freedman-Gurspan as the White House LGBT liaison, making her the first transgender person to fulfill that role.

Freedman-Gusrpan is a long-time advocate who has been Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel since August of 2015. Here are five things to know about her:

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2016 WAVE Awards Spotlight: St. Pete mayor Rick Kriseman

By : Jeremy Williams
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rick kriseman

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Advocates for LGBT rights are important regardless of where they are or what field they work in, but they are needed even more in positions of political office, especially in a time when the legislative year brings dozens of anti-gay bills offered up on the state and local levels. In the Bay area, one of the most vocal advocates we have is St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Kriseman was elected mayor of St. Petersburg in 2013 and has shown that he is a mayor for all the residents in the city. He is especially concerned with the needs and concerns of those groups who are traditionally disenfranchised because of sex, race, sexual orientation and gender identity.

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