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 (AP) – A lawsuit brought by victims of the Pulse massacre against the gunman’s employer and wife was withdrawn from federal court and filed in state court in South Florida March 27.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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2016 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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The 28th Annual World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. From the early morning hours of that day at the YMCA in Ocala to the not-as-early morning hours of Saturday’s AIDS Walk in St. Pete, the community will be honoring the memories and celebrating the lives of those impacted by HIV/AIDS.

World AIDS Day is held on the first of December each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died. World AIDS Day was the first ever global health day, held for the first time in 1988.

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Orlando’s Overheard: The masses came out for Pride, new Mojoman and Fringe exit

By : Anonymous
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We’re coming out

After being rescheduled from October 8 to November 12 due to Hurricane Matthew, Orlando proved that despite the move, Pride came out in full force! The Orlando Police Department estimated that over 150,000 people showed up for the parade.

The entire parade lasted nearly two hours on the new expanded route which included parts of Orange Avenue. The festival completely encompassed the entire area of Lake Eola Park, which included bars, outdoor entertainment, vendors and a kid’s zone.

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Orlando packed Lake Eola for Come Out With Pride

By : Watermark Staff
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After having to be rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew from Oct. 8 to Nov. 12, Orlando proved that no matter when they celebrate they can come out with Pride in full force.

The Orlando Police Department say an estimated 150,000 people showed up for the parade. The entire parade lasted nearly two hours on the new expanded route which included parts of Orange Avenue. The festival completely encompassed the entire area of Lake Eola Park, which included bars, outdoor entertainment, vendors and a kid’s zone.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Randy Rainbow, fun city and a colorful Lake Eola

By : Anonymous
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Getting Randy on Election Day

Thanks to social media, internet celebrity and blogger Randy Rainbow (yes, that’s his real name) has musically educated many on the election process and, well, the candidates.

With his latest debate video YouTube hit “BRAGGADOCIOUS!” Randy’s been making the social media circuit.

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Come Out With Pride 2016 Guide

By : Jake Stevens
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Come Out With Pride is back and bigger than ever! This year we celebrate our diversity, honor lost friends, and heal Orlando.

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Come Out With Pride rises to the challenge of healing a community still in a haze of grief

By : Billy Manes
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“In the beginning, everybody was kind of in shock,” Come Out With Pride board secretary and auction chair Deb Ofsowitz says. “It was hard to even talk about it.”

Osfowitz, of course, is referring to the June 12 Pulse massacre that resonated throughout the world; those few minutes of artillery fire that led to the deaths of 49 people and the injuries of 53 more at Pulse Orlando after a Saturday night, before the dawn of Sunday. The board convened immediately, she says, everybody soon after scattering into various public relations poses as public people often do in the face of tragedy.

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Watermark Year in Review: March 2015

By : Jamie Hyman, Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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As they celebrated their 25th year, the Orlando Gay Chorus also named James Rode as their new artistic director and conductor. Rode, who is also the vocal director for Celebration High School in Osceola, was excited and pleased to be at the helm for the OGC’s 25th year. Rode showed what he was capable of with his inaugural OGC concert One Voice at the Plaza Live which celebrated a quarter century of music in the LGBT community.

The Hope and Help Center raised funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS for the 20th year with the Orlando AIDS Walk March 28. The two-mile march around Lake Eola brought more than 1,400 walkers and raised over $120,000. The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence led the walk followed by 89 registered teams and individuals.

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As World AIDS Day approaches, philanthropic organizations adjust to changing times and perceptions in the world of HIV

By : Billy Manes
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A little over a year ago, Orlando resident Logan Donahoo, 33, was frightened into a new reality. After receiving the typical glossing over on issues of STDs and HIV/AIDS from primary care physicians throughout his adulthood, the awkward nudges toward using protection during sex that ring in distant absolutes as if to brush the subject away, he got a clearer view.

“I got my annual physical done, and for my first time, even though I’ve been tested for HIV over and over again throughout my life. I finally got tested for [sexually transmitted diseases] and I got tested for HIV,” he says. “I got a little STD scare when the health department called me and gave me the scary news. Even though I knew that was within the realm of possibility, and I knew about partner notification, finally getting that phone call and knowing what that feels like made it hit home. So, I was like, ‘OK, if I can never have this happen again, and I can know that it’s something non-life threatening, then I will.’

Finally, he opened up with his doctor.

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2015 World AIDS Day events round-up

By : Watermark Staff
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Here is a smattering of the events going on locally to honor World AIDS Day, many involving chances for you to know your HIV status, most involving fun with a splash of historical context and remembrance. Please check with the individual HIV agencies for more events.

See the list of events: 

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