Gulfport Public Library, LGBTQ Resource Center celebrate Pride, national honor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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GULFPORT, Fla. | The Gulfport Public Library has received the nation’s highest honor given to libraries and museums ahead of the LGBTQ Resource Center’s month of Pride programming.

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced Gulfport Public Library as one of 10 recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service May 7. The winners were chosen from 30 nationwide finalists for addressing unique issues and challenges confronting communities through their services. Programming provided by the LGBTQ Resource Center, housed in the library and established as an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit in April, was singled out for recognition.

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PHOTOS: Watermark’s 2019 Tampa Bay WAVE Awards Party

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Tampa Bay celebrated the 2019 WAVE Awards on March 8 at the newly-remodeled and WAVE Award winning Metro Inclusive Health.

All of the evening’s eats and entertainment were provided by fellow WAVE Award winners. The Stuffed Mushroom served fine hors d’oeuvres, Miguel Fuller of The Miguel & Holly Show hosted the festivities and DJ Duane Cook kept the crowd moving as Alyssa, Boys’ Entrance, Daphne Ferraro, Matthew McGee and Victoria Michaels wowed the crowd with their performances.

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PHOTOS: Metro Inclusive Health celebrates grand opening

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health welcomed the public into its 47,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art health and community center for its grand opening celebration on Feb. 9.

The organization, which unveiled its new name and branding Jan. 29, highlighted its many offerings with tours of its updated space as staff and clients alike provided personal testimony. Attendees were treated to a number of activities, a complimentary cookout and entertainment from the Scott and Patti show.

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Metro announces grand opening for state-of-the-art health and community center

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness and Community Centers will welcome the public into its new, state-of-the-art health and community center during a grand opening celebration Feb. 9.

Metro currently offers personalized health and wellness services in St. Petersburg, Tampa, Clearwater and New Port Richey. The organization first began transforming its St. Petersburg location after purchasing the 47,000-square-foot building it called home in partnership with CAN Community Health in 2016. At the time, they utilized only 18,000 square feet of the campus.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Your son’ll come out tomorrow

By : anonymous
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MattocS Productions, American Stage and the Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project will bring their latest Pride parody musical to St. Petersburg on June 25 with “Dannie.”

The spoof “skewers one of Broadway’s biggest blockbusters,” American Stage advises. It follows Scott Daniel’s Dannie, a young orphan with big dreams of starring on “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” The awful Miss Mannigan (Matthew McGee) aims to stop her—while Sugar Daddy Bigbucks (Jonathan Harrison) tries to adopt the orphan to “bankroll her dreams of stardom.”

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LGBTQ Resource Center celebrates Pride Month with events through June

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Gulfport | The LGBTQ Resource Center has announced a series of Pride events beginning May 31 and culminating June 24 at the St. Pete Pride Festival.

The resource center is a project of the non-profit Circle of Friends, the organization which supports the Gulfport Public Library. In February, the American Library Association awarded the library with the Newlen-Symons Award for Excellence for serving the LGBTQ community for its dedication to programming and awareness.

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American Stage, Matthew McGee bring “The Producers” to the park

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Being out in the park is the perfect place to do this,” Tampa Bay fan-favorite actor Matthew McGee says of “The Producers,” American Stage’s latest outdoor production. “American Stage can make gigantic sets for this huge show, they can have a large cast… and you can also make it available for lots of people to see.”

McGee plays Max Bialystock, a devious lead in Mel Brooks’ Oscar-winning 1967 film, Tony-winning 2001 musical and subsequent 2005 film of the same name. The cult classic, described as an “equal opportunity offender,” follows Bialystock and fellow-schemer Leo Bloom as they produce the most notorious flop in history, bilking their backers out of millions of dollars.

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05.03.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Whoever said money can’t buy happiness was never a chubby Ohio kid on vacation at Disney World.

At a ripe and round 13, my parents used the money they’d received after my dear grandmother’s passing to take me to the most magical place on earth. It was my first foray into Florida, and while I’d have gladly moved into the castle that day—it was transformed into a birthday cake for its 25th anniversary and I was chubby for a reason—I had no intention of moving here until a decade later.

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05.03.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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This past weekend officially kicked off (at least for me) the summer season with the release of “Avengers: Infinity War” in theaters. No spoilers, I promise, but at the time of writing this I have seen the film three times and it may be the greatest movie ever made. From here on out until July—along with a few more weekends of blockbuster cinema—we have Fringe, Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend, Pride month and my birthday among the events to look forward to.

Since starting here at Watermark as an account manager for the sales department more than five years ago, I have developed quite a few traditions within the LGBTQ community.

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10 Worst Costumes

By : Scottie Campbell
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We asked 10 notable people in our readership what their worst Halloween costume was and why.

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University of Tampa alum premieres drag and LGBTQ-centric play in St. Petersburg

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | STUN, a new play by Jordan K. Stovall centering on LGBTQ culture, held its first public reading at SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster in St. Petersburg Sept. 20.

The play, which was presented to the public in its entirety for the first time since its development at the Hamilton Project at the Barn Arts Collective in Maine, follows the story of four drag personas. Matthew McGee, Zachary Hines, Ricky Cona and Siobhan Monique brought Charmaine, Honey Pot, Misty Tension and Chastity to life for attendees, navigating “the polarizing labyrinth of family, gender, approval and self-actualization.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Amy Foster wins, Nadine Smith inspires and Scott & Patti entertain

By : Anonymous
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FOSTER CARES

Running unopposed, it wasn’t any surprise that Amy Foster was elected as the District 8 council member in St. Petersburg. Foster filed her paperwork to run on May 24, after social worker Tharius Bethel challenged her. However, after only one day, Bethel was forced to drop out of the race after informing the City Clerk’s office he did not live in District 8. Bethel originally listed his address as 4316 78th St. N, and in a withdrawal letter wrote he fell outside the required residence for District 8 and was “sorry for the inconvenience.”

Foster’s win is added to a long list of achievements. She served as the National Collaborative Network Manager for the EdLab Group’s National Girls Collaborative Project, focused on gender equity, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. She was also the former Vice President for St. Pete Pride. Congratulations Amy!

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