RED Shirt Pride Day looks to continue Orlando’s traditional Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom

By : Jeremy Williams
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In June 1991, a group of LGBTQ Central Floridians—led by openly gay Orlando resident Doug Swallow—decided to meet at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to say to “The Most Magical Place On Earth” that “We’re here, we’re queer and we’d like to see Cinderella’s Castle!”

“[Doug said] ‘let’s go be somewhere where we can be ourselves and let people see that we’re normal people, but let them know that we are gay … we’ll do something like wear a red shirt so we can know who each other are.’ That was totally Doug’s idea, to make that day what it is,” said Michael Wanzie, a Central Florida entertainer who was at the very first event, in an interview with Watermark in 2018.

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Buttigieg on Pence: ‘I’m not critical of his faith; I’m critical of bad policies’

By : Chris Johnson Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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In response to Mike Pence over what has developed into a spat over his anti-LGBT record, Pete Buttigieg shot back at the vice president April 11 for asserting his Christian faith was under attack, saying the issue is not his religion, but “bad policies.”

During an interview on “The Ellen Show” set for broadcast on April 12, host Ellen Degeneres asked Buttigieg about recent comments from Pence in which he said the openly gay 2020 hopeful was attacking his Christian faith and should “knows better.”

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

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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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.

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Fit for Print: A commercial revolution

By : Steve Blanchard
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I hate Big Pharma advertisements. So much so that I try to entertain myself when they interrupt my favorite shows. I have this annoying habit of making light of the commercial names of these products. Eucrisa? Latuda?

They sound like contestants on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

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Celebrities express support and outrage after attack of ‘Empire’ star Jussie Smollett

By : Amanda Espinosa
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The recent attack of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has sparked an outpouring of support and concern from celebrities on social media.

According to Chicago Police, Jussie was found with a rope around his neck and had bleach thrown at him, as well as having racial and homophobic slurs yelled at him. He was immediately hospitalized after the incident.

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The Other Side of Life: Effs to Give

By : Jason Leclerc
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Quite aside from our traditional definitions of masculinity within an institutionalized top-down order, we have built our own prejudices into our supposedly diverse LGBTQ community. The striations inherent in our growing acronym are still built upon prejudices in which some of us eff while others of us get effed.

In our case, it’s literal. As a totem to the wider society, the idea of effing versus getting effed is as much an idea as it is its own reality. For the most powerful among us, simply grabbing another’s genitals or exposing one’s own is its best own display of power: simply hinting that the power gradients are so ingrained in our social order is enough to reify that order.

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102 LGBT leaders ‘enthusiastically endorse’ Nancy Pelosi for speaker

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Courtesy of The National LGBT Media Association
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Amid uncertainty over whether House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will be elected speaker next year despite a Democratic majority in the House, a group of 102 LGBT leaders have come out to “enthusiastically endorse” her to become presiding officer of the chamber.

The leaders expressed support for Pelosi in a joint statement Nov. 16 asserting they “understand that the progress we have made is progress we must protect.”

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Venice announces first ever Pride Festival

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Venice’s LGBTQ community and its allies will celebrate diversity and visibility during the inaugural Venice Pride Nov. 3.

The celebration will be held on the five-acre campus of SunCoast Cathedral Metropolitan Community Church, described as a safe spiritual home for the LGBTQ community and its allies, from 1-5 p.m.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay prep to eat, drink and be scary this Halloween

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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From the fierce to the freakish, Halloween is a celebration of self-expression. It’s a chance for those of any age, gender identity or sexual orientation to live exactly as they are—or should they choose, to become someone or something else entirely.

For those reasons and more, so many in the LGBTQ community have gravitated toward Halloween throughout its hallowed history. But deeper meanings aside, it’s also fun. How can you go wrong with costumes, candy, parties and puns?

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Betty Who headlines the Come Out With Pride festival concert

By : Melanie Ararat
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Betty Who is a 26-year-old Australian singer-songwriter best known for her infectious dance songs. Her singles “Human Touch,” “Somebody Loves You” and “I Love You Always Forever” have all hit No. 1 on the U.S. Dance charts.

Who also opened the Australian leg of Katy Perry’s “Prismatic World Tour” and Kylie Minogue’s “Kiss Me Once Tour,” as well as headlined her own worldwide tours in 2015 and 2017.

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Watermark is hiring a Tampa Bay Advertising sales representative

By : Meghan Sweeney
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For more than 24 years, Watermark has been the premiere source for LGBTQ news across Central Florida and Tampa Bay and we are expanding our Tampa Bay sales team.

Now you can be part of the team that brings the news to the LGBTQ community.

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Fit for Print: Stop weaponizing religion

By : Steve Blanchard
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From a very young age it was drummed into me that there was a right way to act and a wrong way to act. I’m talking, of course, about my days in church.

Fortunately, the church I attended wasn’t a fire and brimstone kind of place. There were plenty of messages about kindness, doing unto others and helping those who are less fortunate. But every message had the same footnote: “By the way, stay on the straight and narrow and avoid an eternity in the fiery pits of hell. Do what you’re told to do and the big man in the sky who spends all of his time spying on you won’t have a reason to punish you forever.”

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