The Other Side Of Life: Hashtag Amity

By : Jason LeClerc
Comments: 0

I was recently honored to be a guest of Pulse founder Barbara Poma for an intimate talk and tour of the interim #PulseMemorial organized by Equality Florida. As regular readers of this column know, I’m Watermark’s token conservative columnist: a red soul in a sea of blue, even as I have advocated for a just-right-of-center, nuanced approach to political discourse that I call Radical Centrism.

Arguing from a position of empathy and fact-driven rationality in favor of such positions as climate change resiliency, justifiable local taxation and the Florida Competitive Workforce Act, I have riled members of my own Party. In the age of Trump, I’ve become a bit of a #RINOsaur. While there are members of the current Republican power structure who are ready to revoke my membership card for some of my #RadicalCentrist positions, my attendance of an Equality Florida event would likely push them further toward apoplexy.

Continue Reading >>

‘Paris is Burning’ will return to theaters for Pride month

By : Mariah Cooper Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

“Paris is Burning” will be re-released in theaters in time for Pride month.

The 1990 cult documentary followed the Latinx and African American underground ballroom scene in New York City during the 1980s. It brought ball stars Willi Ninja, Pepper, LaBeija, Octavia St. Laurent and Venus Xtravaganza into the spotlight chronicling their joys and hardships.

Continue Reading >>

To gain full LGBTQ equality we must first address discrimination within our own community

By : Jerick Mediavilla
Comments: 1

Grocery shopping is seen as a chore for most, so it is crucial to identify the products you want to buy quickly as you walk down the supermarket aisle. Because of this the consistency of the shapes, colors, sizes and textures of products will make your life easier. Ask any marketing aficionado how successful a specific female-shaped bottle of maple syrup is, and how sweet it makes your morning pancakes.

The branding of objects has seen benefits throughout our history, from defining the artistic movements throughout the ages like the Renaissance, the baroque period or Pop art to understanding the difference between a rose and a tulip. This differentiation can be a life or death situation when diagnosing an ailment which requires specific treatment and care. Labels are useful, because when we talk about objects, it is key to discriminate between what speaks to you and what does not. The discriminatory nature of our brains allows us to make sense of our physical worlds, and in that context, deciding when to stop searching for additional information and commit to a choice becomes an organic chore.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: Equality Florida Action PAC hosts fundraiser for State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | The Equality Florida Action PAC hosted State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith’s final re-election fundraiser before the Nov. 6 general election at The Venue in Orlando on Oct. 23.

Dozens of Central Florida voters listened as The Venue owner Blue Star and Smith’s partner Jerick Mediavilla spoke about the importance of voting for the self-professed “proud progressive, liberal, feminist, gay, Latinx, democrat.”

Continue Reading >>

LGBT Latinx support offered in Boston

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

BOSTON |  Fenway Health is offering a new Spanish support group for Latinx LGBT people, The Rainbow Times reports.

“Many LGBT people in the Latinx community struggle to reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with entrenched anti-LGBT cultural and religious stigma,” said Gerardo Moreno-Serrano, a bilingual psychotherapist at Fenway Health, who facilitates the group, according to The Rainbow Times. “Additionally, they must contend with racism and homophobia within our broader society, higher rates of HIV, immigration and asylum issues, and other issues of health and safety. Our group aims to give LGBT Latinx people the tools and support they need to live healthy, authentic, fulfilling lives.”

Continue Reading >>

Orange County Regional History Center opens Pulse exhibit

By : Kathy Ruiz
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | In honor and remembrance of the Pulse victims, The Orange County Regional History Center is presenting a special, limited-time exhibit titled “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” The exhibit opened at the start of Pride Month June 2 and will run through Oct. 14, the weekend of Come Out With Pride.

“Another Year Passes” includes more than 200 images and items collected at Pulse memorial sites throughout Orlando as well as community artwork and international messages and tributes. The exhibit will also feature the iconic 49 statue tribute crosses created to honor those who died through June 16.

Continue Reading >>

AIDS Healthcare Foundation awards The Center $25K grant for Kissimmee location

By : Layla Ferris
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) has awarded a $25,000 grant to the LGBT+ Center Orlando, Inc. (The Center) that will go toward opening The Center’s second location in Kissimmee.

AHF, a Los Angeles-based nonprofit organization, is the nation’s largest provider of HIV/AIDS medical care. It provides advanced medicine and advocacy to more than 900,000 people in 39 countries.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Pamela Schwartz, Orange County Regional History Center’s Chief Curator

By : Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Mayor
Comments: 1

Teresa Jacobs

It’s an honor and privilege to celebrate Pamela Schwartz as a 2017 “Remarkable Person.”

In the early hours after the Pulse Nightclub massacre, when we were reeling with anguish and disbelief from the brutal attack on our LGBTQ, Latinx and Hispanic communities and the unimaginable loss of 49 innocent souls, one person was already thinking about how we could help memorialize the staggering loss and remember the innocent victims. That was Pam Schwartz, who by the next day, had already outlined a plan for the collection and preservation of the tribute items that she knew would come.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Marco Antonio Quiroga, Program Director at Our Fund Foundation

By : Carlos Carbonell, CEO and Founder Echo Interaction Group
Comments: 0

Carlos Carbonell

It’s times like today that call for leadership like Marco Quiroga.

Although kind and soft-spoken, he unapologetically and confidently speaks loudly for those who have less of a voice in our community. He collaborates with leadership who came before him in the struggle of both the Latinx and LGBTQ communities, while still challenging and educating the status quo on what is still left to do and for whom.

Continue Reading >>

Editor’s Desk 6.1.17

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

For most of us, it’s been the year of our discontent: a slack-jawed reckoning with a grief that stretches city and countywide, a mourning that, for 12 months, confounded and consumed the entire world.

Even the uncomfortable cultural things that swarm in after the bomb drops – helicopters and newscasters and national media hovering around each tear we’ve been able to drop, each one of those drying our wells of stamina and breaking our private slouches – have served as difficult oil clouding our water. But never once have they cracked our resolve. Orlando strong? Yes. Orlando hurt? More than you can even imagine.

Continue Reading >>

Orlando’s Overheard: A review of Orange County and a preview of Orlando Fringe

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

Hand in Hand

On April 7, Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs hosted the State of the County address at the Orlando Eye on International Drive.

During her address, Mayor Jacobs paid tribute to the Pulse tragedy by addressing the massacre and sharing a video. In her own words, Mayor Jacobs said, “The world watched as we mourned and rallied with the common goal of supporting our LGBTQ and Latinx communities and all of those affected. Through our response to the greatest attack we’ve ever withstood, the greatest loss we’ve ever suffered, we learned something incredible about ourselves: We know that our culture of collaboration has allowed us to accomplish so much – but we [also] discovered that it is our culture of compassion that makes Orlando such an incredible place to live.”

Continue Reading >>

Protections for trans Puerto Rico Senate employees rescinded

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
Comments: 0

The president of the Puerto Rico Senate has eliminated protections for the chamber’s transgender employees.

El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, reported Sen. Thomas Rivera Schatz on March 31 rescinded an administrative order that said trans Senate employees could use bathrooms and wear clothing that is consistent with their gender identity.

Continue Reading >>