Out St. Pete filmmaker and life coach Eric Casaccio seeks to empower the world

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg transplant Eric Casaccio, an out filmmaker and international life coach, has published Empowerment from Narcissistic Situations, a manual designed to help move readers’ lives forward.

The e-book provides a roadmap for moving beyond narcissistic situations and “clearing out feelings of doom that come as a result,” Casaccio says. “It’s a workbook guide for taking the story of your disempowered past in the now and transforming it into a story of your empowered future.”

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Ball players brave cool temperatures at Gasparilla Classic

By : Staff Report
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Tampa – More than 50 teams braved cold morning temperatures when they participated in the annual Gasparilla Softball Classic held at softball complexes throughout Tampa Bay on Valentine’s Day weekend. With lows near 40s, players started the tournament in jackets and sweatshirts. But afternoon temperatures reached the low 70s.

Teams from Knoxville, Tenn., Philadelphia, Orlando, Tampa and Atlanta all placed in each of the three divisions.

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Gasparilla Pirate Festival 2015

By : Steve Blanchard
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Estimates placed 700,000 people along the parade route for the 100th Gasparilla Pirate Festival in Tampa on Jan. 31.

Among the revelers were many LGBTs and allies, including Mayor Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and State Representative Kathy Castor.

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Overheard in Tampa Bay: Leather, leather and MORE leather!

By : Anonymous
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Erotic St. Petersburg
Really, it is erotic. The return of the Erotica art show at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts ex expected to bring a huge crowd and some beautiful models for the 2014 edition on Feb. 13 at 5:30 p.m. Erotica: An Evening with Venus, explores erotic imagery in ancient Roman Art and plans include bodybuilder models and beautiful women representing the time period and artwork. They will truly be walking works of art, complete with body paint. Spathose’s George Medieros, who helped create the event, said he expects the largest crowd yet and some very happy vendors, who will display their own works of art in the museum’s lobby. After a mingle near the entrance, Dr. Robert Stephen Bianchi will introduce selections of sensually themed graffiti from Pompeii, proving that “horny” isn’t just a modern-day emotion. Tickets range from $15-$25 and are available at Fine-Arts.org.

Knight Parade shooting wasn’t gay-related
We get that this headline seems more appropriate for the news pages, but there is speculation that a shooting immediately following the Gasparilla Knight Parade in Ybor City involved two gay men. Police say that is incorrect. According to official reports, the shooter was a straight teenager who was upset with his ex-girlfriend but had awful aim and shot an innocent male bystander. Of course, the incident is under investigation but at press time, that’s the official account from Tampa Police. Rumors on Facebook swirled that it was gay-on-gay violence amidst the revelry of the Feb. 8 tradition. So far, there’s no evidence to support that.

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Top 5 Sports stories of 2013

By : Steve Blanchard
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Sochi Olympics subject to anti-gay law
Throughout 2013, the media talked about the upcoming Winter Olympic games scheduled for Sochi, Russia, in 2014, and how out athletes would handle new legislation making “promoting homosexual propaganda” illegal in that country. No official boycotts of the Olympics have happened yet, but Russian response to concerned athletes have been mixed, to say the least.

Collins, Cruz, Griner and Daley come out
Four well-known athletes shared that they were gay with the world in 2013. Most notably were basketball players Brittney Griner and Jason Collins, who both shared their sexuality in the spring of 2013. Also coming out in 2013 were Puerto Rican boxer Orlando Cruz and British diver Tom Daley.

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Tampa teams dominate 19th Annual Gasparilla Softball Tournament

By : Staff Report
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Softball teams from Tampa dominated the 19th Annual Gasparilla Softball Tournament the weekend of Feb. 15-17, taking home first place trophies in both divisions.

In all, 67 teams competed in the annual tournament on the fields of the Greco Softball Complex in Tampa and the Woodlawn complex in St. Petersburg. The cooler, windy temperatures made morning games more challenging than in years past, but rain held off through the weekend as a cold front settled into the area.

In the C-Division, the Tampa Beefs fended off the New Orleans Master Batters to take home the first place trophy, which meant the Master Batters took the second place title back to Louisiana. The Bill’s Blue Crush from Fort Lauderdale finished third in the division.

The newly formed Tampa Ducks edged out fellow Tampa Bay team the Panthers to secure a first place finish in the D-Division, which had 35 teams competing this year. The Panthers’ second place trophy stayed in Tampa while the third place prize fell to the Madison Big Cheese.

There were no other divisions in this year’s Gasparilla Softball Classic. The regular season for the Suncoast Softball League, which puts on the Gasparilla tournament, begins March 3. For more information, visit SuncoastSoftball.org.

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Tampa Bay: Gancho no mas

By : Anonymous
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No Gancho…this year
The annual Gancho dance party that has invaded the Ritz Ybor the past couple of years will take 2013 off, according to organizers. Last year the dance party was held during Gasparilla Weekend and sparked controversy when it was viewed as direct competition to nearby clubs. Details on why the party is taking this year off are sparse, but a statement from organizers says that future Gancho parties won’t be held during Gasparilla and cites “scheduling issues and competing events.” Gancho remains a partner with other Florida events, including Miami’s Winter Party Festival, Mark Baker’s Wonder World, Let’s Go Play One Magical Weekend and Pride & Passion, among others. More information on Gancho’s partner events – and the future of Gancho itself, can be found on the GanchoTampa Facebook page.

St. Pete: Hipper than you thought
Things are changing in St. Petersburg – at least according to the folks at the Toronto-based publication The Star. In a recent issue, the paper sent a reporter to St. Petersburg to explore, and what she found was “trendy cafes,” “speed walkers, dog walkers and your regular-brand leisurely walkers on the prowl for a hit of caffeine.” The hustle and bustle of St. Petersburg impressed the writer, who found that the image of the coastal community being “God’s waiting room” is about three decades out of date.”What’s happening in St. Pete is hip, happening and cool. And it’s all thanks to museums,” the article reads, citing experiences at the Dali Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Chihuly collection. The exposure is good for the city’s tourism industry, and for the home of the state’s largest LGBT Pride celebration. Who knows, it could mean even more people invading St. Petersburg this summer.

Buckhorn talks to GLCC
The Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as the Tampa Bay Business Guild) is starting 2013 on a high note. It hosted Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn at its Jan. 15 meeting at the Wyndham Tampa Westshore Hotel. Buckhorn, who has consistently voiced his support for diversity and the LGBT community, spoke about what lies ahead this year for Tampa’s growing business community. This issue of Watermark literally went to press while Buckhorn was speaking to the organization, so expect to hear more about his visit at WatermarkOnline.com.

Looking for Sarasota’s talent
Every Friday, Club Throb is literally looking for talent in Sarasota. Friend of Watermark Arica Love hosts the weekly event at Sarasota’s only LGBT club and is joined by a rotating cast of special guest judges. Talent can range from drag, dancing, male revue numbers, comedy or musical talent. Winners get to take home some cash, some liquor and a couple of possible gigs. The contest starts at 10:30 p.m. each Friday, but if you plan to participate, make sure you’re at Throb no later than 9:45 p.m. to ensure you’re seen by the judges.