2016 Watermark Reader Valentines

By : Watermark Readers
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Watermark readers are a loving bunch – at least that’s how it seems each year when we ask for your Valentine’s Day greetings.

You delivered in a very big way this this year, and we’re happy to showcase so many happy couples in our midst. 

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Overheard in Orlando: Bearded lady, honoring Paris, BlueStar and Central Florida softball changes

By : Anonymous
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Meet the Bearded Lady!
Who says a drag queens can’t participate in Movember? Local entertainer and bartender Addison Taylor is foregoing the typical hairless painted-face look of most drag entertainers, and she’s been sporting a full beard since the start of November.

Movember, also known as No-Shave November, was conceived in 2004 in Australia and New Zealand as a way to raise awareness and funds for men’s health, such as testicular and prostate cancer. It quickly grew fame over the years making No-Shave November an annual event where most men don a beard or mustache.

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Mr. Blue Sky: Rolling in the deep

By : Eric Rollings
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EricRollingsMug

Eric Rollings

Ten inches is a lot! This is one estimate on how much the sea level will rise in the next 15 years. Our coastal neighbors will be feeling brunt of this first; in fact Miami Beach and surrounding lower areas were seriously flooded this week. The summer of 2015 worldwide was the hottest ever on record and I could guess Central Florida added to this both in temperature and rainfall. Climate change is here – it’s not what is coming, it is what has arrived, and its threats have become promises.

Some years back a friend of mine asked, “Why do you care about the environment? You’re gay; it’s not like you’re going to have kids?” The fact is the LGBT community is concerned about the environment and we are having more and more couples creating families with children. The scary part is that we can’t leave it to our next generation to figure things out. We need to address the issues today, and we can do it sensibly. The LGBT community has proven itself time and again: When we come together, things change for the better. Our environment, which affects all of us, needs to be at the top of our list of goals,and here’s why. Property values: Areas that are more prone to flooding are required to carry expensive flood insurance and, as the frequency of flooding increases, it will be more difficult to sell homes in those areas. As we experienced in Tampa and Orlando this summer, you don’t have to live on the beach to feel the effects of what a more severe climate can bring to our neighborhoods. Water is life: Clean water for the LGBT community is as important as the African-American community as the Latin community – you get the point … everyone without exception.

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Trevor Southey, artist and gay icon, dies at 75

By : Wire Report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Trevor Southey, a Utah artist who went from BYU teacher to gay icon, died Oct. 20 in a Salt Lake City hospice. He was 75.

Southey specialized in the human form, something that was considered old-fashioned the late 20th century, according to Utah Museum of Fine Arts Executive Director Gretchen Dietrich.

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Fishing From the Other Side of the Boat

By : Michael Kilgore
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St. Petersburg – Stephen Graumlich, introducing The Rev. Elder Dr. Nancy L. Wilson, World Moderator of the Metropolitan Community Churches, to a full house at the 4TH Annual Pride Celebration at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter’s paused a moment. He reflected upon one sentence she shared with him 30 years ago, “We have to learn to fish out of the other side of the boat.”

At the time Graumlich was struggling to find a place where, as a gay man, he could reclaim his spiritual roots. And Wilson was a minister in a fledgling MCC church. Graumlich finally found his home in an inclusive Episcopalian church. Wilson now heads a church with 300 congregations in 37 countries. Her message of inclusion remains the same.

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‘Fun Home,’ Kelli O’Hara among Tony Awards winners

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Patrick Harris was just a presenter this time, but he sure looked glad to be back from the Oscars. And why wouldn’t he be?

Even when uneven, the Tonys are the most reliably entertaining of the awards shows, and often the most warmhearted and uplifting, too. That was the case June 7, as the intimate, poignant, lesbian coming-of-age story “Fun Home” took best musical over more conventional fare, and longtime stage sweetheart Kelli O’Hara finally won a trophy after six nominations, charming the crowd with a goofy mix of bliss and relief.

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Overheard in Orlando: Pour it up at Savoy

By : Anonymous
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GoFund yourself
A GoFund me account was recently created for Danielle Hunter, which you may have read on WatermarkOnline.com had claimed mistreatment for being transgender after being admitted to the Lakeside Behavioral Center after a suicide attempt. She has since been moved to a new facility, but according to her GoFund me, which was created by Terry DeCarlo at The Center, Danielle’s bank account is in the negative and she doesn’t have any insurance to cover the cost of her treatment. Danielle is the Entertainment Manager for FMI (Funky Monkey & Divas). Although there has been a slew of well wishes and support, the GoFund me page had at least one very Negative Nelly who made some incredible accusations we’re not going to repeat here. The comment and a rebuttal have since been removed. The fundraising goal is set at $5,000; just over $1,200 was raised as of press time.

Bibbidi-Bobbidi-MONEY!
Walt Disney World Resorts showed more than 100 organizations the money, to the tune of $4.5 million in grants. The Zebra Coalition and the Orlando International Fringe Festival were among the recipients, allowing them to continue to positively affect families and children in Orlando. The Mouse gave a total of $4.5 million worth of grants to 102 organizations in Central Florida at a ceremony held at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts on March 30. The Zebra Foundation for Youth, which funds Zebra Coalition, received $20,000, and Orlando Fringe received $5,000. Now that’s what we call some Disney Magic!

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Overheard in Orlando: ‘Beard’ be gone

By : Anonymous
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Hair today, gone tomorrow
Lee Vandergrift, WAVE award winner for favorite local photographer & LGBT artist, is taking the clippers to his Beard Envy project. He’s wrapping up the series next month. The project started a little over a year ago and was intended for fun, but resulted in a Facebook fan page, calendar and—soon—a book. Vandergrift’s goal is to shoot a few last “big” beards and then he will be done by April 1. So if your facial bristles are bustling to be immortalized, you better hairy up.

If a tree falls in Orlando
Recently, out environmentalist Eric Rollings and others held a rally for Constitution Park, which houses quite a few old trees in the city of Orlando. The property is privately owned by the Caruso family and it’s been said that the family is looking to develop the property. With an estimated 200 people in attendance, 5,200 signatures via the online petition and the support from Mayor Buddy Dyer, Commissioner Patty Sheehan and area neighborhoods, the group may have a fighting chance to convince the family to save the park. If you want to help, sign the petition on the Constitution Green Park, Save our Orlando Treasure Facebook page.

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Screened Out – Fifty Shades of Grey

By : Stephen Miller
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Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Marcia Gay-Harden

Do you know what’s shocking about Fifty Shades of Grey? It’s dull. This film about a virgin who dips her pinky toe into a BDSM relationship is about as titillating as buying cat litter. There’s hardly enough plot to call this a story.

Not that the source material promised much. I barely got through the bad grammar and simple sentences of the first book, which started as pornographic fan fiction for the Twilight books. According to snarky legend, enough bored housewives loved it that E.L. James removed the copyrighted stuff and made it a bodice ripper replete with semi-kinky sex and glamorous living. Not being one for understatement, James gave her characters the grandiloquent names Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey.

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Overheard in Orlando: Bacon goes to the Big Apple

By : Anonymous
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When Justice wins
Recently OutLoud Orlando’s Justice has sported a new sleek look. Instead of his usual, dark curly head of hair, the DJ decided to shave his head. On a recent broadcast he shared that the decision came after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins High Grade B Cell Lymphoma. That diagnosis came in November and in mid-December he began an aggressive chemo treatment. Justice tells us he’s happy that it’s a treatable form of lymphoma and he’s keeping a very positive outlook. The shock-jock will continue his work on 91.5 and webcast.

Love handles
When XL 106.7’s Johnny’s House challenges different businesses to get fit, the staff at the Parliament House accepts! The staff of the P-House—including Anthony Gray, Drew Sizemore, Darcel Stevens, Bryan Granatstein and Randy Justice—are finalists in the ehgiht-week fitness challenge presented by Planet Fitness. They jokingly say they have joined together to fight the battle of bulge as Team Love Handle! This is the type of challenge where you hope to be the biggest loser. And really it’s not a matter of winning or losing this time around, but by how good you look by Gay Days.

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‘Decision Day’ gatherings planned across Florida to celebrate ruling on marriage equality

By : Christal Hayes
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Florida’s LGBT community and supporters are still waiting for the ruling that could change their lives.

A lawsuit was filed back in January by six same-sex couples and the Equality Florida Institute in the state courts of Miami, stating that Amendment 2 in the Florida Constitution banning same-sex marriages was unconstitutional. Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge Sarah Zabel heard arguments in that case July 2 and has yet to issue a ruling.

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