Watermark 25: Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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With this issue Watermark celebrates 25 years of publishing, 25 years of sharing information and helping to build a community. I am beyond proud to be a part of this organization.

As I sat down to write this column, I visited the words of Founder and Guiding Light Tom Dyer as he shared his thoughts on the 20th Anniversary of Watermark. It’s funny to see how much has changed, and how little has changed. We still operate with a small, dedicated staff who are as passionate about their work as they are talented. Watermark still focuses on local community news in its pages, offering a voice to stories other publications will not; and at times we still walk the fine line between financial gain and commitment to community partnerships.

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05.15.19 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Change scares a lot of people. You get so comfortable with the way things are—whether they are ideal for you or not—and you figure why change it up? What if you make things worse? What if the payout isn’t what you thought it would be in the end?

I have always been a fan of change. I’ve rarely lived in the same place more than a few years, opting to pack up and change homes, roommates and, in some cases, entire states for a change of scenery. It’s why I always fit well in the military lifestyle, a lifestyle I would most likely still be a part of if not for that pesky “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” thing. No, I wasn’t discharged because I was gay but the hardship of hiding who I was and having to come up with inventive, new ways to explain to my commander why my “roommate” accompanied me to all work functions, family gatherings and annual vacations was more work than I wanted to put into a lie.

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05.02.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Nobody likes to be called ignorant, but we all are. I certainly am. I’m ignorant when it comes to Venezuelan politics, cooking Indian cuisine and the quantum mechanics of time travel. I just saw an article this morning that suggested the present and the future exist simultaneously and now I have a headache. I can’t even discern how there is still only one Marty McFly and how he always finds the DeLorean.

It’s okay to be ignorant, but somewhere along the way people decided being called ignorant meant that you were stupid or dumb—instead of just simply lacking knowledge of something. Some years ago I was hanging out with my brothers, drinking beer around a fire pit and listening to old country music; a favorite pastime for the Claggett boys. One of my brothers, a genuinely nice person who tends to lean to the right with his political views, started talking about the Affordable Healthcare Act. Yes, family + holidays+ alcohol + politics = disaster.

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Come one, come all to a summer of fun as every body says love!

By : Watermark Staff
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As summer draws closer, everyone is starting to plan for what promises to be an epic season for the LGBTQ community. From beach days and backyard barbecues to the inaugural Red Shirt Pride Days in Orlando and the 17th annual St Pete Pride, there is going to be so much to do.

We here at Watermark say that there is no ideal body type for loving who you are and spending the summer having fun with your friends, family and community. That’s why, in observance of the summer season, we have gathered together a diverse collection of LGBTQ models from Central Florida and Tampa Bay to celebrate beautiful beach-ready bodies of all genders, races, sizes and shapes.

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12.27.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s hard to believe the end of the year is here. It’s cliche to say, but when you live your life in two week cycles across two metropolitan areas—time flies. 2018 zoomed by in the blink of an eye.

Watermark did well in 2018. We saw an increase in sales, so thank you to the businesses and organizations that support us and help us to continue bringing the latest in LGBTQ news to our readers—and congratulations to Senior Account Manager Sam Callahan who had a stellar year. We also saw an increase in distributions sites and are now available at over 600 locations in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.

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Watermark owner creates film company, premieres first movie’s trailer

By : Staff Report
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ORLANDO | Watermark Film Company premiered the first trailer to its documentary film “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando” at a private fundraising event at The Venue in Orlando Aug. 23.

Watermark Film Company was launched by Watermark Publishing Group owner Rick Claggett as a way to create, produce and distribute films that inform and educate audiences on the LGBTQ experience, according to a press release.

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PHOTOS: Hamburger Mary’s Broadway Brunch Bunch get into the Gay Days spirit

By : Jake Stevens
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Hamburger Mary’s Orlando held its Gay Days-inspired Broadway Brunch, with hosts Nicky Monet and Angel Sheridan and the Broadway Brunch Bunch, June 3.

The show featured  great song and dance numbers, deep cuts from the 90s, fabulous costumes and more than few hilarious sharp barbs traded between the hosts. All in all, a really fantastic way to cap Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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PHOTOS: Tidal Wave goes Under Construction at Disney Springs host hotel

By : Jake Stevens
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Big sexy bellies, glow sticks and singlets were the name of the game at Tidal Wave’s Under Construction Party in the main ballroom of the Holiday Inn at Disney Springs June 2.

The music and fun was pumping just as hard in the ballroom as it was at the pool.

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The Last Page with Art Director Jake Stevens

By : Rick Claggett
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Jake Stevens is approaching his 11-year anniversary with Watermark, making him the most senior staff member outside of the owner.

“I needed a job where I not only could push myself as an artist and contribute to my community in a meaningful way, but feel valued as an employee,” says Jake. Watermark provided him the space he needed to do just that.

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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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