The 2018 Amendment Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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This year’s ballot lists 12 potential amendments to the Florida Constitution. Only two of those were proposed by Florida’s citizens, including Amendment 4. It is the only amendment Equality Florida has taken a stance on, advising that the eligibility to vote is fundamental to democracy and that voting yes “is the first step in helping LGBTQ people with former convictions.”

For more information about 2018’s proposed amendments, read on below.

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2018 Midterm election LGBTQ Voters’ Guide

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Electing ally candidates is critical. That’s why Watermark reached out to 154 men and women running for political office across Central Florida and Tampa Bay to ask five questions focusing on LGBTQ equality.

You’ll find the abbreviated answers of 33 respondents below: 24 Democrats, one Republican, one Libertarian and seven without a party affiliation. While the first question was open-ended, the subsequent four were yes or no and some candidates opted to elaborate.

To read Watermark’s full coverage about the equality-focused organizations, candidates and voters hoping to turn the tide Nov. 6, click here.

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The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida celebrates 40 years with a Studio 54-inspired party

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Central Florida has undergone several name and location changes in its 40-year history, but the mission has always remained the same.

“The focus since the beginning was always advocacy, making sure there was a voice for the community and socialization,” says George Wallace, The Center’s current executive director.

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PHOTOS: ‘We won’t be erased’ rally held at Orlando City Hall after Trump administration’s anti-trans memo leaked

By : Melanie Ararat
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ABOVE: An audience gathers on the steps of City Hall Plaza in Downtown Orlando for the Orlando We Won’t Be Erased Transgender and Allies Support Rally on Oct. 27. Photo by Melanie Ararat

ORLANDO | Colorful flags and posters waved in the air as people chanted “We won’t be erased” outside City Hall Plaza in Downtown Orlando on Oct. 27. The chant was led by Gina Duncan, Equality Florida’s director of transgender equality.

“We send this message to the White House saying that the Orlando transgender and gender nonconforming communities will not be erased,” Duncan says. “We will not be defined out of existence.”

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Watermark Giveaway: A pair of VIP tickets to The Center’s 40th Anniversary Celebration

By : Meghan Sweeney
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The LGBT+ Center Orlando is celebrating the big 4-0 and Watermark wants to give you and a guest the chance to celebrate in style!

The Center’s 40th Anniversary Celebration- A Night At Studio 54 will feature food, drinks, and a special live performance by one of the Queens of Disco – Martha Wash!

To enter, comment down below and let us know what your favorite disco song is.  We will pick a winner on Oct. 31 at noon.

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Each Halloween, Central Florida’s biggest costumed competitors vie for fame, prestige and prize money. What do they have in store for us this year?

By : Jaime Donelson
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Orlando’s biggest costume contest at the Parliament House is coming up on Oct. 27 and Oct. 31 with an $8,000 combined cash prize.

According to Kelly Stewart, who has participated in Parliament House’s costume contest for the last 12 years, it’s the people that make it the best costume contest in Orlando not just the cash prize.

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Who was Most Remarkable in 2018?

By : Watermark Staff
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Toward the end of each year, Watermark highlights local, unsung heroes who have gone above and beyond to show with action just how remarkable they are.

We want our readers to help decide who deserves recognition for their inspiration, contribution or achievement in the 2018 calendar year. In honor of the year, we are looking for the 18 — 9 from Central Florida and 9 from Tampa Bay — Most Remarkable People of 2018.

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Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us – When there’s a will there’s a gay

By : Dr. Steve Yacovelli
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Once upon a time I was a young 20-something twinkie gayling; working, playing and having a pretty fun and carefree life. I had a good job (actually using my degree!), lived in a cute one-bedroom apartment in downtown Orlando and was a little social butterfly most evenings out and about.

SIDE NOTE: How did many of us function as a 20-something going out about five days a week? Anyway, the last thing on my mind during this phase of my life was planning for the future, thinking about retirement and what to do with my possessions should I meet my demise.

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PHOTOS: COWP’s Most Colorful Parade brings pride, pageantry and politics to Lake Eola

By : Jaime Donelson
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride had the eyes of the city on them as The Most Colorful Parade passed through the streets of downtown Orlando for thousands of attendees Oct. 13.

The parade route was filled with rainbow-colored floats, performers and — this being an election year — lots of voters, activists and politicians.

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PHOTOS: COWP’s Pride Festival at Lake Eola had something for everyone

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Thousands of people gathered, danced and showed their Pride around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to celebrate Come Out With Pride on Oct. 13.

The day-long festival included live performances, vendors and entertainment for all ages. Rainbow colors were on display everywhere you looked.

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PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride’s Block Party took over the streets at Stonewall Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride took Friday night to Stonewall Bar, and its surrounding streets, this year for the COWP Block Party Oct. 12.

The streets were blocked off for people to enjoy big video screens, vendor tents and an outdoor street bar. COWP definitely got the weekend started with the music pumping and the party in full swing, inside and outside, all night.

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One Orlando Alliance names Board Chair Jennifer Foster as new Executive Director

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Jennifer Foster, who served as board chair for the One Orlando Alliance since formation, was named the organization’s founding executive director Oct. 11.

Foster’s appointment as the Alliance’s director comes on National Coming Out Day and during Orlando’s Pride Week — a weeklong celebration led by Alliance member Come Out With Pride.

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