PHOTOS: Watermark celebrates its 25th anniversary in Central Florida

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark celebrated its 25th anniversary in Central Florida Aug. 23 with an event at the Orlando Museum of Art in Orlando.

The event featured a blessing from the Central Florida chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as well as city and county proclamations. Mayor Jerry Demings was on hand to read the Orange County proclamation and City Commissioner Patty Sheehan read the proclamation form the City of Orlando.

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Issue: 26.16 There’s No Place Like Home

By : Dylan Todd
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While setting the stage for its August 2019 outing, GayDayS paves way for June 2020 return, petition launched demanding Orange County ban conversion therapy, Tampa hosts National LGBT Chamber of Commerce conference, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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08.08.19 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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As we were coming into this latest issue, I had a lot of things that I wanted to rant about on this page, and Lord knows there is plenty to rant about.

I wanted to talk about the most recent round of Democratic presidential debates, which had Twitter all abuzz in support of author and “self-help guru to the stars” Marianne Williamson.

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Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

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Petition launched in Central Florida demands Orange County ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County, Florida has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, The Trevor Project, Zebra Coalition, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and One Orlando Alliance.

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City of Orlando, Orange County proclaim June 12 ‘Orlando United Day’

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Artwork from Orlando County Regional History Center’s 2018 exhibit “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” (Photo by Layla Ferris)

ORLANDO | Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings, along with the Orlando City Commissioners and Orange County Commissioners jointly proclaimed June 12, 2019 to be “Orlando United Day.”

“As we approach the three-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, our community continues to honor the 49 innocent lives taken on June 12, 2016, and support the survivors and victims’ families,” said Dyer. “I am proud to join Mayor Demings to proclaim this June 12 as ‘Orlando United Day’ in the City of Orlando and Orange County and help show that we are still responding to that hateful act with love, compassion and unity.”

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Orange County has largest primary voter turnout for 2018 midterms

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Voters in Orange County turned out in record numbers for the 2018 midterm primary elections Aug. 28.

More than 170,000 Orange County voters went to the polls to vote for their party’s nominees in state races for governor, Congress, attorney general and the Florida Legislature, as well as local races including Orange County mayor, Orange County Commissioners and Orange County School Board Chair.

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Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Brooke Renney

By : Jeremy Williams
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Age: 27

Hometown: Polk County, Florida

How you identify: Lesbian

What’s your sign: Scorpio

Brooke can be summed with two words: passion and politics.

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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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Orlando’s Overheard: Alliance honored, Outloud’s new host and more

By : Anonymous
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One Orlando Alliance honored

On July 15th, Orange County Mayor Theresa Jacobs honored the One Orlando Alliance with the 2017 Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award, the first time the county gave the award to a group.

The One Orlando Alliance is made up of over 40 local service organizations, including Watermark, and serves as a vital support system to strengthen the community in the wake of the Pulse tragedy.

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Orange County gets its first transgender deputy

By : Billy Manes
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ORLANDO – As transgender rights continue to snowball at the end of Pride month – despite political opposition via religious freedom and bathroom bills – Rebecca Storozuk has hit the message homeward in Central Florida. Her message? People should be who they are. In an Orlando Sentinel article published June 23, Storozuk made it clear to the masses that she was indeed the Orange County Sheriff’s Department’s lone transgender deputy with a headline reading, “I’m becoming who I want to be.”

As the story goes, Storozuk always identified as a female – even though born as “Peter” – and played the role of high-school jock fairly well all the way up to military service

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