PHOTOS: St. Petersburg holds ‘We Won’t Be Erased’ transgender support rally

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | LGBTQ community leaders and advocates gathered Nov. 4 at Williams Park for St. Petersburg’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 included Equality Florida, TransAction Florida, Metro Wellness & Community Centers, St. Pete Pride, the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce and Project No Labels. “We rally for our rights, for our future and for our lives,” Bruemmer shared with Watermark ahead of the event. “These rallies are happening all over our country right now. I hope the politicians who need to hear this message do so and act.”

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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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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Hey, bidder, bidder…

By : anonymous
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Local community advocates will come together to raise funds for Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ “Auction for a Night Out with a Community Leader” on April 27.

Participants can bid on the auctionee of their choice and the “night out” experience, which may include dinner or tickets to a local show or museum.

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Students march for their lives at the fourth annual Tampa Pride

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The fight for LGBTQ equality was born when men and women spoke out, stood up and demanded change for a better tomorrow. It’s why we celebrate Pride: to remember our plight and assert that we’ll never be silent again.

Powerful movements often begin with conflict or tragedy, as witnessed more recently at the Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In February, the school became the site of the country’s latest mass shooting, prompting student survivors to speak out, stand up and demand a change of their own.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – TAMPA BAY

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida CEO

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Joanna Garcia Parkin, ESQ., St. Petersburg attorney

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

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Tampa Bay Overheard: The SMART Ride raises $830,245

By : Anonymous
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The SMART Ride, the only HIV/AIDS bicycle ride in the country of its size to donate 100 percent of funds raised to AIDS/HIV research, has completed its 14th year. Locally, the ride benefits charities like Metro Wellness & Community Centers in Tampa Bay.

The two-day, 165-mile bike ride from Miami to Key West was originally scheduled for November 2017, but Hurricane Irma forced organizers to delay the event after she ripped through the Florida Keys.

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Out medical director opens Diversity Health Center of Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | The Diversity Health Center of Tampa Bay, dedicated to evidence-based patient care and to developing long-lasting relationships within the community it serves, is open for business.

Dr. David W. Lyter, who came out in the early 1980s, has “been doing gay men’s healthcare ever since.” He formerly served Tampa Bay as the medical director for Metro Wellness & Community Centers, and says he founded the new facility to “focus on a broader type of medical care.”

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Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
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In a year filled with many setbacks and obstacles, the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay have met those challenges with amazing resilience and resisted all forms of discrimination.

The individuals selected as Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2017 come from many walks of life but all share one thing in common, they all were truly exceptional this year.

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Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: James Keane, Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ Director of LGBTQ Programs and Development

By : Lorraine Langlois, CEO Metro Wellness & Community Centers
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Lorraine Langlois

James Keane has become a remarkable local leader in the Tampa Bay area. He advocates for justice, inclusivity and equality whenever he sees a need.

James joined the Metro team in June 2014 as the Fundraising and Events manager. With a strong event planning background and passion for community he succeeded in making it a great first year. James’ major contributions to our organization and the LGBT community were exemplified in 2016 as his responsibilities increased. He became director of LGBT Programming and Development and he began to work to strengthen existing relationships and to develop new relationships with businesses and other non-profit organizations.

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Central Florida and Tampa Bay recognize World AIDS Day with events from coast to coast

By : Jeremy Williams
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World AIDS Day is the first ever global health day and has taken place every Dec. 1 since 1988. It is a day which the entire planet comes together to remember the nearly 40 million lives lost to the virus, but also to acknowledge those still living with the disease today and to celebrate the advances made in fighting HIV/AIDS.

From candlelight vigils to luncheons and HIV testing sights, several groups and organizations have events throughout Central Florida and the Tampa Bay area for you whether you want to pay your respects or know your status.

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Metro Wellness & Community Centers celebrates 25 years with the Great Gatsby Gala

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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(ABOVEMetro’s James Keane gives Watermark’s Tampa Bay team a tour of their expansion project. Photo by Jake Stevens.)

ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Wellness & Community Centers will commemorate its 25th year during their annual gala on Nov. 11, and the community it does so much to support is invited to help celebrate the organization’s landmark anniversary.

Community members can attend the organization’s Great Gatsby Gala, held at the appropriately-titled Gatsby’s, from 7:00-11:00 p.m. in Clearwater. For $50, attendees will enjoy an open bar, dinner, dancing and live entertainment, with collected funds used to support “life-changing LGBT programs for the youth, seniors, and transgender members of our community.”

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