10.5.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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On June 11, 2016, I was out celebrating the birthday of a co-worker and friend. We had plans to have dinner, see a movie and possibly hit a local hot spot to end the festivities. We had a friend with us who spent every Saturday night at Pulse and we were prepared for him to drag us older fellows out there.

The restaurant was crowded so the wait for the table was over an hour. This changed the course of the evening. We missed our movie and had to settle for a later, more obscure film called The Lobster. The birthday boy was ecstatic because we ended up seeing the movie he wanted to see anyway.

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Jake Stevens defines a decade at Watermark

By : Rick Claggett
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img_9450-2016headshots_ppOrlando – February 8 marked the 10-year anniversary for Watermark’s art director, Jake Stevens.

Tom Dyer, Watermark’s founder and guiding light, remembers the day he met Stevens. “I’ll never forget Jake’s job interview. He radiated New England, down to the brown corduroy jacket. And he had this wonderful, ornery self-confidence. He wanted the job, and I could tell he would give it his all. That’s exactly what he’s done these past ten years, under four very different editors and two publishers,” said Dyer.

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LGBT Community & Allies Reception supporting Bob Poe for Congress

By : Jamie Hyman
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Community members backing Bob Poe for Congress met Feb. 29 at The Mezz in downtown Orlando for a LGBT Community and Allies Reception.

Attendees mingled and munched on light bites while learning more about Poe and his platform. 

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Longtime Off-Broadway hit launches full-frontal assault at the Parliament House

By : Billy Manes
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And, they’re off! Within approximately five minutes of musical pleasantries and coy sideways glances, the entire cast of longtime Off-Broadway bachelor/bachelorette-party revue Naked Boys Singing sheds its clothing and reveals its combined parcels of manhood. At the show’s Feb. 4 VIP/press engagement in advance of its Feb. 5 opening, the sound may have been a little bit quiet in the Footlight Theatre at Parliament House, but the message was writ large: Nudity isn’t just titillation; it’s bold and honest, especially on a stage in front of a packed house.

“I think it celebrates the male anatomy, but we do it in a humorous way,” William Bruce, he of the Prince Albert affectation and the cojones to match, tells us over an arranged lunch in advance of the performance. “It’s also really poignant.”

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Tampa Bay shined bright at the Diamonds Awards

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Tampa Bay Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce sure can throw a party and they should that at the second annual Diamond Awards at the Tampa Garden Club on Jan. 16.

Hosted by WFLA News Channel 8’s Paul Michael Mueller and TBGLCC president Ashley Brundage, the event was fun and fancy as guests were entertained by musician Jennifer Real.

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#GayGoal2016: Set a goal, check in, keep the LGBT equality movement rolling

By : Jamie Hyman
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Some say there’s hardly a need for LGBT activism in a post- marriage equality world, and while we can’t deny that a sense of urgency and injustice has been deflated, we’re not quite ready to give up on fostering, nurturing and reporting about a tight-knit, active LGBT community.

Yes, there is still political work to do. Activists are – and should continue – fighting for workplace protections, against bullying, to ensure young LGBTs can come out safely and to add gender identity and sexual orientation to existing anti-discrimination policies where LGBT-specific protections are far too frequently excluded.

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Founder’s Day: Redefining my arc

By : Tom Dyer
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Tom Dyer Watermark gay

Tom Dyer

I decided to sell Watermark to our talented publisher, Rick Claggett, some time ago. In fact, I considered timing the transition to coincide with our 20th anniversary celebration last fall. But I wasn’t ready.

Last week I finally shared my plans with Watermark’s staff, just before the lunch break at our year-end retreat. I’d been contemplating the details for months,so my emotional reaction was a surprise. The shocked look on their faces illuminated something I had avoided: that a remarkable chapter of my life was ending. Along with some staff members, I shed a few tears.

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Issue 22.26: Remarkable People

By : Jake Stevens
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It’s that time of year again! We feature the most remarkable people across Central and West Florida, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Headdress Ball 2015 raises $325,000 for Hope and Help

By : Jamie Hyman
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Headdress Ball 2015 is in the books.

Here’s the press release from Hope and Help: 

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Volusia County Pride 2015

By : Jamie Hyman
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LGBTs and allies gathered and celebrated at Old Fort Park in New Smyrna Beach for Volusia County Pride 2015.

They enjoyed live music, vendors and Rev. Dr. Diane Langworthy performed a blessing for all married couples.

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Come Out With Pride Church Street Block Party

By : Jamie Hyman
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The evening before COWP 2015 main event, LGBTs and allies partied at Church Street Station at the annual block party.

Pride on Church Street featured  live entertainment from Amy & Freddy, NYC’s Red, Hot & Funny Bob the Drag Queen, Beth Sacks, and Ginger Minj & The Minx.

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Sarasota Fabulous Film Festival

By : Deanndra Meno
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The 5th annual Sarasota Fabulous Independent Film Festival was held September 18-20 at Burns Court Cinemas and USF Sarasota/Manatee campus.

Watermark introduced Tangerine, the story of two transgender women and how they adjust to life’s obstacles. 

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