St. Petersburg to hold ‘We Won’t Be Erased’ transgender support rally

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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LGBTQ community leaders and advocates will gather Nov. 4 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at St. Petersburg’s Williams Park for the area’s “We Won’t Be Erased” transgender support rally.

Nathan Bruemmer organized the rally following reports that the Trump administration may attempt to define gender as an immutable condition determined at birth. Partner organizations include Equality Florida, TransAction Florida, Metro Wellness & Community Centers, St. Pete Pride and Project No Labels.

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2018 Midterm election LGBTQ Voters’ Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Electing ally candidates is critical. That’s why Watermark reached out to 154 men and women running for political office across Central Florida and Tampa Bay to ask five questions focusing on LGBTQ equality.

You’ll find the abbreviated answers of 33 respondents below: 24 Democrats, one Republican, one Libertarian and seven without a party affiliation. While the first question was open-ended, the subsequent four were yes or no and some candidates opted to elaborate.

To read Watermark’s full coverage about the equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hoping to turn the tide Nov. 6, click here.

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Equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hope to turn the tide Nov. 6

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The LGBTQ vote matters. According to the Human Rights Campaign (HRC)—the nation’s largest LGBTQ civil rights organization—it made up five percent of the electorate in 2016’s general election.

The organization stresses that LGBTQ voters were one of the few voting blocs to increase its turnout following 2012’s cycle, noting one critical element. “Here’s the key thing to remember,” HRC President Chad Griffin tells Watermark. “Because we are intentionally excluded from the census—the Trump-Pence administration eliminated what would have been a census that included us—we know that number by independent exit polling data.

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Matthew Shepard laid to rest in DC

By : Wire Report
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WASHINGTON (AP) | After 20 years without a permanent resting place, the remains of Matthew Shepard, a 21-year-old college student whose brutal murder in 1998 has come to symbolize the plight of the LGBTQ community in America, were interred at the Washington National Cathedral Oct. 26.

More than 2,000 people gathered at the Episcopal cathedral, the second-largest cathedral in the country, to celebrate Shepard’s life, mourn his death and honor his memory.

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Fairvilla University: Navigating Bisexuality

By : Angelique Luna
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Bisexuality is often misjudged, sometimes met with responses like “Choose one” or “Stop being greedy”. Relationships are difficult to navigate especially if you have not come to terms with your own sexuality. In this workshop we will discuss the importance of owning your own sexuality, talking to your partner about your sexual preferences and the various types of challenges men and women experience.

Topics include:

  • Owning your own sexuality
  • Coming out when married
  • Talking to your partner about your sexual preferences
  • Communication and boundaries
  • Challenges men and women experience

About your presenters:

Angelique Luna is a Certified Kink Aware Professional relationship & sex coach, educator, entertainer and sexual abuse advocate. Angelique Luna is the host of Living A Sex-Positive Life podcast with her husband John C Luna where she discusses all aspects and effects of sexual relationships. She is a graduate of the inaugural year of the Kink Aware Therapy Certification Institute.

In his original career, John was an entrepreneur, author, professional educator and software developer. Now he educates others on alternative relationships and human sexuality. He lectures and coaches on non-monogamy, bisexuality, safe sexual practices, BDSM and other relationship & kink related topics.

Fairvilla welcomes individuals & couples of ALL genders & orientations.

Free mimosas included for those 21+

All attendees receive 15% off their purchase

Study finds LGBTQ characters on network TV hit a record high

By : wire report
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LOS ANGELES (AP) | A record-high percentage of LGBTQ characters are part of the new TV season’s prime-time network series, according to the media advocacy group GLAAD.

The annual study by media advocacy group GLAAD out Oct. 25 also found an increase in the characters’ ethnic diversity, with slightly more LGBTQ people of color than white for the first time.

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‘Arrow’ reveals major character is gay

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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“Arrow” revealed that one of its major characters is gay in the second episode of its seventh season.

The episode titled “The Longbow Hunters,” which aired on Monday, featured a flash forward with Oliver’s son William now all grown up. William is reunited with Roy and gives a quick rundown of what he’s been up to in an off-hand comment about his sexuality.

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

By : Jeremy Williams
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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.”

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Ellen DeGeneres says she received a bomb threat after coming out

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Ellen DeGeneres was celebrated by many during her historic coming out in 1997 but now the talk show host is opening up about the hardships she faced.

In a new interview with Ad Week, DeGeneres reveals she received death threats including a bomb threat.

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Women tie the knot in Austria’s first same-sex marriage

By : wire report
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BERLIN (AP) | Two women have tied the knot in Austria’s first same-sex marriage, months after the country’s Constitutional Court ruled to legalize it.

Vienna’s city government said the wedding took place Oct. 12 at a registry office in the capital. Austrian media reported that the women who married at a private ceremony were one of the couples whose case prompted the court ruling in December.

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Polish police use tear gas to protect gay rights march

By : wire report
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WARSAW, Poland (AP)| Polish police used tear gas and a water cannon on Oct. 13 against right-wing extremists who were trying to block the first equality parade in the city of Lublin in eastern Poland.

More than 1,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights activists with rainbow-colored flags and banners gathered in Lublin for the parade, while around 300 right-wing opponents stood in the march’s way. Police used tear gas, concussion grenades and high-pressured water to disperse them.

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Remarks at LDS General Conference worry LGBTQ supporters

By : wire report
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) | Some LGBTQ support groups are raising concerns about a Mormon church leader’s talk reaffirming opposition to same-sex marriage as well as the belief that gender is eternal.

Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, made comments about traditional marriage and gender on Oct. 6 during the church’s General Conference, KUTV reported.

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