PHOTOS: COWP’s Most Colorful Parade brings pride, pageantry and politics to Lake Eola

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride had the eyes of the city on them as The Most Colorful Parade passed through the streets of downtown Orlando for thousands of attendees Oct. 13.

The parade route was filled with rainbow-colored floats, performers and — this being an election year — lots of voters, activists and politicians.

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PHOTOS: Pride starts the day off with the wedding of Debo Ofsowitz and Milena Jacobina

By : Rick Claggett
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride kicked off with a special celebration Oct. 13.

COWP’s Debo Ofsowitz and fiancee Milena Jacobina shared their wedding vows at noon on Lake Eola, surrounded by friends and family.

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Paintball shooting in Lake Eola linked to potential LGBTQ hate crime

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | Police are investigating a possible hate crime at Lake Eola Park in Orlando after several LGBTQ individuals were attacked by a paintball gun being shot from a moving vehicle on July 27. The attacker also shouted homophobic slurs at the victims.

One Orlando resident, who asked not to be identified by name, was shot in the leg with paintballs while playing the popular app game “Pokemon Go” with a friend at Lake Eola Park. He also says that a lesbian couple in the park told him they were also hit with paintballs.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

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2018 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Orlando Pride soccer

By : Jeremy Williams
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CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ SPORTS LEAGUE/ORGANIZATION

If you want to know how many members of the LGBTQ community support Orlando Pride soccer all you need do is check out the backs of our cars. Affixed to our bumpers— next to our yellow and blue HRC equal sign— you will see the Orlando Pride magnet.

The purple and light blue logo featuring the famous Lake Eola fountain can be found throughout the city. Sure, it is usually side-by-side with Orlando City Soccer’s purple and yellow lion shield, but when the ballots were counted it was the women’s team that had our readers busting with pride–maybe next year, boys.

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Hope & Help Center expands clinic services, hosts Orlando AIDS Walk at Lake Eola

By : Randa Griffin
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida held a grand re-opening Jan. 26 to unveil their new building and expansion of LGBTQ health services. The center added a medical clinic to their services where clients can receive primary care, screening, treatment and urgent care for medical issues.

The center has expanded its fight against STDs by offering a full panel of testing. The clinic offers services for people in the transgender community as well.

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Central Florida Overheard: Patty passed up

By : Anonymous
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Over the Jan. 20 and 21 weekend across the country, women and men joined together to march on the one year anniversary of the original Women’s March held the day after President Trump’s inauguration.

The Orlando march was on Sunday, Jan. 21, at Lake Eola. The peaceful demonstration featured several speakers, but one prominent member of the LGBTQ community and a female elected official seems to have not been invited.

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Hope & Help to take an evening stroll around Lake Eola for the annual Orlando AIDS Walk

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida returns with their annual AIDS Walk on Feb. 3 at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in Downtown Orlando.

Hope & Help moved the event, typically held in the morning, to an evening time last year which proved a huge success, according to Joshua J. Myers, Hope & Help’s community developmental director.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Barry Miller, Orlando attorney and founder of The 49 Fund

By : David Lee, writer/director of O-Town: Voices from Orlando
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David Lee

In the wake of the Pulse Nightclub shooting, local attorney, entrepreneur and CEO of The Closing Agent, Barry Miller wondered “What about the kids?” He was concerned about the future of the children of the victims of the attack.

We sat outside of his apartment at Lake Eola in the summer of 2016 and he said to me, “So many of the victims of the Pulse incident were parents of small children. Some of the survivors are barely out of high school. Who is going to take care of them? Their future? Their education?” Thus began the idea that became my friend Mr. Miller’s very own brainchild, The 49 Fund, an endowed scholarship administered by The Central Florida Foundation (CFF). This scholarship is offered to LGBTQ students in Central Florida with special consideration to be provided to survivors of the Pulse tragedy or to immediate family members of those whose lives were lost in the tragedy.

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Orlando gathers downtown to celebrate Come Out With Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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Lake Eola Park, and it’s surrounding streets, were packed Oct. 14 for Orlando’s annual Come Out With Pride parade and festival.

The big, colorful floats and LGBTQIA+ marchers took their turns proudly around the lake as thousands of community members and supporters cheered.

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Come Out With Pride wants you to keep dancing, but also to keep involved

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pride is a word that once carried a negative connotation. One of the original seven deadly sins, it was seen as something shameful and immoral. In the years after the 1969 riots at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, the word Pride was taken up as sign of honor, respect and loyalty by the LGBTQ community.

Pride became how we stood up for ourselves and celebrated who we are. Nearly 20 years later we celebrated the first National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, 1988. Pride was applied to something everyone in the community had to do no matter which letter you identified with in the LGBTQ spectrum. The significance of that day was to mark the one year anniversary of the 1987 National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.

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Pulse lawsuit against employer, wife moved to state court

By : Wire Report
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ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – A lawsuit brought by victims of the Pulse massacre against the gunman’s employer and wife was withdrawn from federal court and filed in state court in South Florida March 27.

Attorneys for 61 Pulse victims and family members of those killed filed the lawsuit in state court in Palm Beach County, just days after a federal judge said in an order that he doubted federal court was the proper jurisdiction for the case.

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