UCF alum creates Orlando’s first space for LGBTQ Asians

By : Kathy Ruiz
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | University of Central Florida alum Rikki Ocampos founded the Orlando Queer and Trans Asian Association, or OQTAA (pronounced “octa”), in April. OQTAA looks to bring together LGBTQ individuals of Asian descent in the Central Florida area. The organization is set to launch July 8.

OQTAA will focus on empowering Asian-Americans who identify has queer and trans through culture and community. “There have always been spaces for queer people and for Asians in Orlando, but none have been designed specifically for the intersection of those identities” Ocampos says.

Continue Reading >>

The Big Gay Prom coming to Parliament House Orlando

By : Colton Adkins
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Did your first prom not go as well as you would like? Did you not even go to your high school prom?!?! Well the Parliament House wants to fix that and give the LGBTQ community a second chance at it with its first Big Gay Prom on June 30.

The Big Gay Prom will take place in the Parliament House’s Disco from 8-10 p.m. and will bring the full prom experience including the crowning of Prom King and Queen, decorations, high school-themed performances, music and a professional photographer taking prom pictures.

Continue Reading >>

Javon King makes national tour debut with ‘RENT’

By : Layla Ferris
Comments: 0

Javon King plays Angel in the national tour of “RENT”

Javon King is an openly gay actor from New Jersey, and he is making his national tour debut with the company of “RENT.” He joins the cast with his portrayal of fan favorite Angel Dumott Schunard.

King, 21, studies musical theater at Rider University in New Jersey. He’s been in several productions at the university such as “Of Thee I Sing” and “Once on This Island.”

King says he’s shocked and ecstatic to have the opportunity to perform “RENT” nationally. King spoke with Watermark on the show’s opening night in Orlando to discuss his first memories of “RENT,” the show’s depiction of the LGBTQ experience and the complexities of playing Angel.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: The Cheaters take the stage at The Abbey in Orlando

By : Sam Callahan
Comments: 0

Bee-Dazzled Promotions was back at The Abbey in Orlando June 1 with Tampa’s rockin’ and rollin’ cover band, The Cheaters.

Fans were treated to a night of rock ‘n’ roll in what is becoming a Gay Days tradition.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: Deborah Cox performs at Parliament House for Gay Days 2018

By : Layla Ferris
Comments: 0

Thousands of people flocked to Parliament House to see Deborah Cox live in concert on June 2.

Cox played hits such as “Things Just Ain’t the Same” and “Absolutely Not.” Cox also celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here” with the crowd.

Continue Reading >>

Hate crime suspect caught after mistaken release from jail

By : wire report
Comments: 0

CHICAGO (AP) — A man charged with threatening violence at gay bars in Chicago who was mistakenly released from jail is once again behind bars.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Cara Smith says 31-year-old Shane Sleeper was taken into custody on Chicago’s North Side Thursday afternoon.

Continue Reading >>

Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith recognized by The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

WASHINGTON | Florida Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith (D-Orlando) was awarded the Legislative Leadership Award at The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation’s AIDSWatch in D.C., according to a press release issued March 27.

Smith was selected for his HIV advocacy and, more specifically, for his part in helping to convince Publix Supermarkets to cover the HIV preventative drug known as PrEP for their employees.

Continue Reading >>

It’s time to celebrate your favorite picks for Tampa Bay and Central Florida’s best!

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

The curtain is falling on award season, but not before we announce your favorite picks for the best in Tampa Bay and Central Florida. The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence results are here.

In record numbers you listed your favorite people, places and things in our freeform ballot. We took the top three vote getters and opened up the competition for a finalist round. In record numbers again, you spoke and we listened.

Continue Reading >>

2018 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Orlando Pride soccer

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FAVORITE LOCAL LGBTQ SPORTS LEAGUE/ORGANIZATION

If you want to know how many members of the LGBTQ community support Orlando Pride soccer all you need do is check out the backs of our cars. Affixed to our bumpers— next to our yellow and blue HRC equal sign— you will see the Orlando Pride magnet.

The purple and light blue logo featuring the famous Lake Eola fountain can be found throughout the city. Sure, it is usually side-by-side with Orlando City Soccer’s purple and yellow lion shield, but when the ballots were counted it was the women’s team that had our readers busting with pride–maybe next year, boys.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Michael Deeying

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Age: 33

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

How you identify: Gay

What’s your sign: Aquarius

Michael is a self-professed nerd; he loves golf, Pokemon Go and board games. Above all, he values one thing the most: intelligence.

Continue Reading >>

2018 Watermark’s WAVE Awards – Central Florida Final Round

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

We asked for your favorites and you responded in droves. The 2018 WAVE Awards are in full swing and, thanks to you faithful readers, we have our Top 3 in each category. Now it’s time to pick the best!

The WAVE Awards, or the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence, recognize the best in Central Florida’s LGBTQ community in the areas of activism, service, entertainment and more.

Continue Reading >>