2019 was a year for the LGBTQ record books

By : Jeremy Williams & Ryan Williams-Jent
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Of course not! That’s why after a historical 365 days, Watermark has assembled our annual year in review.

2019 was a landmark year for us here at Watermark. In August, we proudly celebrated 25 years of serving Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s ever-expanding LGBTQ communities.

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12.12.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Welcome to Watermark’s annual Remarkable People issue. This is, hands down, my favorite issue of the year. We take a handful of people in our local communities, 19 for 2019, and showcase why they are remarkable through the eyes of those closest to them.

Some of those recognized will be well known to you, as they have been champions of our community for many years. Others will be less known, those who work behind the scenes making magic happen, someone whose single act of kindness set them apart or those whose talent was so great it made them rise to the top in places LGBTQ people have not gone before. Whatever their accomplishment, I hope you will join Watermark in celebrating our remarkable people of 2019.

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Target hits the LGBT market, with much-improved aim

By : Scott Stiffler, OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: A Target contingent in D.C.’s Capital Pride parade. (Photo courtesy Target)

Fifty years after Stonewall, LGBT people who listen to a song, stream a series or read a book have more positive images to draw upon than ever before.

But where are our faces in the ads that sell us those things—or, for that matter, pretty much everything? Rarely seen is the same-sex couple sizing up choices at a car dealership, passing around a tube of toothpaste during their morning routine or sharing a smooch as anniversary rings are exchanged.

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The Last Page: Jimmy Biascan

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Central Florida and Tampa Bay. Here, we check in with graphic designer and creative director Jimmy (not James, it’s Jimmy on his birth certificate) Biascan from Tampa Bay.

Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Starbucks serves an empty cup to LGBT media

By : Scott Stiffler OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Starbucks, photo by Marco Pakoeningrat via Creative Commons. Editor’s note: This is the second in a three-part series highlighting large companies that talk the talk, but don’t always walk the walk when it comes to supporting LGBTQ customers.

Many are happy to stand in line for what they serve at Starbucks—but the global coffee conglomerate has left LGBT media standing at the altar, rebuffing repeated proposals to court a demographic of discerning tastemakers who would, seemingly, make for a marriage made in marketing heaven.

“It’s surprising to me that Starbucks wouldn’t target ads to our community,” says Todd Evans, president and CEO of Rivendell Media, which places advertisements for the National LGBT Media Association. Together, the Association’s members—including Boston’s Bay Windows and the Washington and Los Angeles Blades —reach an estimated 500,000 weekly print and online readers.

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10.03.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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In 2016, Evan Minton was scheduled to receive a surgeon-approved hysterectomy at a faith-based hospital in California. After disclosing his transgender status, they canceled the procedure.

Minton filed a lawsuit claiming that his civil rights had been violated, which the courts dismissed. He appealed the ruling and his suit was revived in late September.

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Apple ads fall far from the LGBT tree

By : Scott Stiffler OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Apple CEO Tim Cook. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

We buy their phones, wear their watches, and use their products to drive our businesses—but finding their iconic ads in the pages of your local LGBT newspaper or website is like looking for an apple in an orange grove.

“Some big companies with a good reputation in the community, like Apple, fail when it comes to speaking to us directly, effectively,” says Leo Cusimano, publisher and owner of the Dallas Voice newspaper, and OUT North Texas, a glossy magazine. “More and more, LGBT individuals are frustrated by brands that treat them as an afterthought.”

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NGMA announces national, local Ad POP Award winners

By : Jeremy Williams
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The National LGBT Media Association (NGMA) announced the winners of the 2018 Advertiser Pride in Online and Print Awards, better known as the Ad POPs.

The Ad POPs award the best representations of LGBTQ advertising, in both print and online, that are placed in the regional newspapers, magazines and websites of the NGMA’s member cities.

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National LGBT Media Association Announces 2017 Ad POP Awards

By : Staff Report
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The National LGBT Media Association announced its second annual Ad Pride in Online and Print, or Ad POP, Awards June 26.

The Ad POPs, which began in 2016 to honor the ad work of 2015, look to recognize the best representation of LGBT advertising in both online and print campaigns. All national ads placed in local LGBT media are eligible to be considered.

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