PHOTOS: Watermark Wednesday benefits EPIC at Postcard Inn

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark’s bi-monthly Tampa Bay social Watermark Wednesday benefited Empath Partners in Care (EPIC) Jan. 15 at Postcard Inn on the Beach, also serving as the 2020 Remarkable People Reunion.

EPIC is a member of Empath Health, a nonprofit integrated network of care supporting those challenged by chronic and advanced illnesses. They offer support to help clients maintain healthy, self-sufficient lives and provide HIV testing and education throughout Tampa Bay.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2019

By : Watermark Staff
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What a remarkable year 2019 has been for the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

Whether it was in the field of politics, philanthropy, activism, entertainment or pageantry; there was no shortage of remarkable people for us to choose for Watermark’s annual list of the Most Remarkable People in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.

In honor of the year 2019, we choose 19 people across our readership area who were breaking records and blazing trails for the LGBTQ community. Once we selected our 19 Remarkables, we asked members of the community work know, work and admire each of them to write why they thought they were remarkable.

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Gina Driscoll, St. Petersburg City Council Vice-Chair

By : Jim Nixon, St. Petersburg Mayor's Office LGBTQ Liaison
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In every sense of the word, Gina Driscoll is an advocate. For her community, for her family – and yes, even for her dogs.

She is a longtime St. Pete transplant from Dade City, where she grew up as the oldest of six. Her work has taken her to Orlando and North Carolina, but she has spent the last 13 years advocating for issues here in St Pete.

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St. Petersburg marks Transgender Day of Remembrance 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Transgender Day of Remembrance at Metro LGBTQ Welcome Center Nov. 20. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ community advocates and allies gathered Nov. 20 on Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR) at Metro’s LGBTQ Welcome Center to honor the known transgender lives lost in 2019.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, at least 22 transgender and gender non-confirming people were killed this year. Equality Florida adds that since 2018, seven transgender women of color have been murdered in Florida, the most of any state in the country.

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Orlando, St. Pete, Tampa receive perfect HRC scores

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) announced Nov. 19 that the cities of Orlando, St. Petersburg and Tampa each received a perfect score of 100 in the organization’s eighth annual Municipal Equality Index (MEI).

The MEI examines how inclusive municipal laws, policies and services are for LGBTQ people who live and work in the 506 cities rated. The score is based on non-discrimination laws, the municipality as an employer, municipal services, law enforcement and the city leadership’s public position on equality.

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PHOTOS: Come OUT St. Pete celebrates annual festival, parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) celebrated its third annual festival and second annual parade in the Grand Central District on Oct. 5.

The festivities began simultaneously at 11 a.m., welcoming more than 20 parade entries flanked by proud participants enjoying 100 vendors. The route began at 20th St. and moved west on Central Ave to 30th.

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Listen: Watermark, Metro, more discuss American Stage’s ‘Fun Home’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Mollie Posnik, Adrianna Hick and David Mann in American Stage’s “Fun Home.” Photo courtesy American Stage.

ST. PETERSBURG | American Stage has released the latest episode of “Spotlight: The American Stage Podcast,” a community conversation surrounding their production of “Fun Home” featuring representatives from Watermark, Metro Inclusive Health and more.

“Spotlight” exists to illuminate the artistry and ideas behind the theatrical stories American Stage produces. The company closed out its 2018-2019 season with the hit musical “Fun Home” on Aug. 18.

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St. Petersburg adds LGBTQ-owned businesses to small business program

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The City Council unanimously voted to recognize LGBTQ-owned businesses in St. Petersburg’s small business enterprise (SBE) program June 6.

The program certifies SBEs for contracting and procurement opportunities in construction, professional services, goods and supplies. Working in conjunction with The Greenhouse, the city’s facility for starting and growing local business, SBEs are provided business counseling, networking and specialized assistance with access to capital and credit for startups.

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St. Petersburg seeks to recognize LGBTQ-owned businesses

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The City Council will vote on a resolution June 6 to recognize LGBTQ-owned businesses in the city’s small business enterprise (SBE) program to promote a more inclusive economy.

The effort was led by St. Petersburg City Councilmember Gina Driscoll, an advocate for smart development including affordable housing and the city’s reduction of single use plastics. If passed, the resolution will recognize businesses which are at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by LGBTQ individuals and monitor the usage of LGBTQ-owned businesses in St. Petersburg’s procurement of goods and services.

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St. Petersburg issues Transgender Day of Visibility proclamation

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Mayor Rick Kriseman has issued a proclamation recognizing March 31 as Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) in St. Petersburg.

TDOV is an annual holiday celebrated worldwide, now in its 10th year. It is dedicated to celebrating the accomplishments and victories of transgender people while raising awareness of the work that is still needed to save transgender lives. 

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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’s Most Remarkable People of 2018

By : Watermark Staff
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The LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay are resilient and resourceful. So many members of our community, along with our allies, proved that to be true in 2018.

They’re also remarkable. That’s why Watermark solicited readers for your suggestions of the year’s most impactful individuals in each area. From there, the editorial staff chose 18 unsung heroes and difference makers – nine from Central Florida and nine from Tampa Bay – to name them our Most Remarkable People of 2018.

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