2018 LGBTQ+ Youth Summit

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It is 2018 and our local and national leaders are looking to youth to rise up and create positive change. The objective of the LGBTQ+ Youth Summit is to provide information on Health, Education, and Empowerment so that every attendee walks away knowing that they belong and have an important voice in the community.

Workshops will include topics such as: LGBTQ+ history, self-care, communicating with family/parents about your LGBTQ+ identity, adulting 101, becoming a civically engaged member of the community, and more!

After an empowering day of workshops, youth are invited to a dinner sponsored by GLSEN and dance featuring a DJ.

Email Youth@MetroTampaBay.org for more information. RSVP by February 9th to reserve your space! https://www.metrotampabay.org/lgbtq-youth-summit/

Watermark’s Third Thursday – January Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the first Watermark Third Thursday of 2018 as we meet and mingle at Celebration Gardens in Winter Park. As always, light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. See you there!

Report of HHS anti-trans health rule riles LGBT advocates

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A new media report that the Trump administration is set to propose a rule that would allow medical providers to refuse abortion-related services or treatment for transgender people has invoked concern among both LGBT and women’s groups.

On Wednesday, Politico reported the Department of Health & Human Services is preparing a rule enabling its civil rights office to shield workers who refuse to provide abortion-related care and services to transgender people on religious grounds. The rule would reportedly allow HHS to punish organizations that don’t allow practitioners to express these objections.

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A look at the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency for the LGBTQ community

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Whatever your thoughts on Donald Trump, it’s difficult to deny his influence on Americans after his first year as the 45th President of the United States.

America is often altered 140 characters at a time, and the changes are felt worldwide in walls both proposed and erected by climate change denial and Twitter diplomacy. The LGBTQ community has not been immune from presidential impact.

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Mike Parrow on being an openly gay wrestler, going viral and what he meant by “masculine-shaming”

By : Jeremy Williams
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Mike Parrow is a 34-year-old professional wrestler in Orlando, Florida. At 6 feet, 4 inches and weighing in at over 300 pounds, he towers over most people he comes in contact with. While his outward appearance impresses confidence, inside Parrow spent years gripped by panic that those around him would discover a secret he was keeping: he is gay.

Parrow first faced that fear about four years ago after he met Morgan—the man who would eventually become his fiancée—by coming out to those closest to him: friends, family and some co-workers.

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Watermark Wednesday – January Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the first Watermark Wednesday of 2018 as we meet and mingle at Hamburger Mary’s Pub House in Ybor City. As always, light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Tampa Pride. See you there!

Connecticut city’s elected body eliminates gender pronouns

By : wire report
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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — The legislative body in Stamford, Connecticut, has removed gender pronouns from its written rules.

The Board of Representatives voted last week to remove “he/she” and “his/her” from its rules of order, replacing them with specific titles, including president and clerk, the Advocate newspaper reported.

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PFLAG St Pete January Support Meeting

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PFLAG is America’s largest LGBTQ+ and Ally support organization. The new St. Petersburg chapter holds support group meetings on the third Tuesday of the month at the Metro Wellness & Community Center in St. Pete. If you need support OR know someone who needs support OR would like to offer others support, please join us.

01.11.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution—at least that I can remember.It isn’t because I don’t hope for a better year than the last, particularly after a rather polarizing 2017. It’s just something that never really occurs to me, especially now that I have to wrangle my husband for my midnight-mandated “kissy” photo op. He hates pictures of people kissing.

There’s nothing wrong with people making resolutions. It works for some, and that’s wonderful. I try to make every day the best it can be, so an over-arching 365-day look-ahead just doesn’t do it for me.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible LGBTQ Bachelors and Bachelorettes Search

By : Watermark Staff
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New year resolutions and goals vary as much as the people who set them, but there seems to be one common thread that passes through all of them; the world needs more love.

We here at Watermark couldn’t agree more, and that’s why we are doing what we can to bring some love, and maybe a little romance, into the lives of LGBTQ singles in the Central Florida and Tampa Bay area.

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Central Florida Overheard: DRIP Dried

By : Anonymous
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DRIP, the innovative dance show which initially made a big splash at Orlando Fringe, announced via its website that it will close its doors at the end of this month. The announcement did not mention if there will be a new location.

DRIP opened at their International Drive venue five years ago, incorporating performances geared toward the LGBTQ community during the month of June.

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Jacksonville’s Human Rights Ordinance threatened on the federal level by new bill

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. | Jacksonville’s City Council approved an anti-discrimination ordinance protecting the LGBTQ community less than a year ago, but those protections are already in danger at the state level.

Jacksonville Republican Rep. Jay Fant has introduced House Bill 871. It would allow businesses to set their policies in accordance to their religious beliefs—something Jacksonville attorney and LGBT activist Jimmy Midyette calls “insidious.”

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