Rainbow Democrats, Equality Florida Action PAC endorse Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Rainbow Democrats Caucus and the Equality Florida Action PAC have both endorsed current Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer for re-election ahead of the Nov. 5 election.

The Rainbow Democrats Caucus made its announcement in a statement Oct. 17.

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PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride celebrates 15th annual festival and parade in Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) brought rainbows and all to the Pride festival in Lake Eola Park and The Most Colorful Parade in the streets of downtown Orlando for the 15th annual celebration Oct. 12.

Thousands and thousands of attendees poured into the Lake Eola area waving flags, collecting beads and having a gay ol’ time! COWP’s 2019 celebration was also the most sustainable, not only in the history of pride, but ever at lake Eola.

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Wayne Brady heads home to Florida for interactive, improv rock concert

By : Jeremy Williams
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Wayne Brady loves Orlando. The City Beautiful is where he grew up, where he went to school and where he created and honed the skills that have made him one of Hollywood’s most versatile entertainers.

“While I wasn’t born there—I was born in Columbus, Georgia—in terms of my life, Orlando is the place that I claim. I always get a sense of pride whenever I see anyone come out of Orlando that’s done anything really great,” Brady says.

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‘Plant-curious’ eatery Hungry Pants to open in Orlando’s SODO area this fall

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Husbands Joey Conicella and Alex Marin, the dynamic duo behind Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, are bringing a new restaurant to the SODO area of Orlando.

Hungry Pants will be located at 3421 S. Orange Ave. and feature food inspired by the way Conicella and Marin eat in their everyday lives. A type of eating they have named “plant-curious.”

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Watermark celebrates its silver anniversary with a look back at the LGBTQ headlines of the past 25 years

By : Jeremy Williams
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For 25 years, in nearly 700 issues, Watermark has been telling the stories of Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ communities.

First premiering in Orlando in 1994, and then expanding into Tampa Bay in 1995, Watermark now covers more than a dozen counties across the state. We can be found in many Florida cities including Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota—and thanks to WatermarkOnline.com, we have developed an international audience which relies on us for news, politics, sports, arts and entertainment as it pertains to the LGBTQ community.

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Watermark 25: Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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I moved back to Orlando in 2008. It was my first time living in Central Florida as an adult. I was born in Colorado and, as a kid, the family moved to Florida where we lived up and down I-4—settling in Orlando then St. Petersburg and eventually Plant City where I attended high school. Sometime after graduation, life led the family to southern Georgia and from there I joined the Air Force and traveled all over the world.

I tell you that quick trek through my past because in my 40 years I have lived in many places, but no place has ever felt more like home to me than living in Orlando right now, and a good part of that feeling is due to Watermark.

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Issue: 26.15 LGBTQ Blue

By : Dylan Todd
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LGBTQ cops talk about being out and proud in Central Florida and Tampa Bay, Orlando LGBTQ pioneer Joel Strack passes away at 59, Flamingo Resort St. Pete announces imminent closure, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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#LoveHandlin: Family

By : Jerick Mediavilla
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Everywhere I’ve been in my life—every memory filled with laughter, companionship and solidarity—has been defined by family. From my own family in Puerto Rico, to the families that have cared for me in D.C., Mexico City and now Orlando, to the co-workers I spend so much time with; they have shown me the true magic that two or more people loving each other can create.

It is an insuperable feeling when in hard times, sickness or peril someone from your family circle comes to the rescue, calls you or even texts you. It is our innate response to always be available to others, especially those we have grown up with, shared a life-changing moment with, those we have decided to marry or those who are brought to this earth as our children. I am sure that as your read these lines, many people come to mind, along with flashbacks of those milestones that have defined your relationships to them.

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Issue 26.14: Reading Rainbows

By : Dylan Todd
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Reading Rainbows – Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida and Tampa Bay, “Newsies” comes to Osceola Arts, and Tampa hosts statewide LGBTA Caucus, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Orlando bans single-use plastics, foam on city properties

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Former Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor and environmental activist Eric Rollings says he was beside himself with joy when the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene single-use containers in the city of Orlando on all its properties.

“I was just one giant goosebump seeing it actually happen,” Rollings says with a smile.

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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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Issue 26.11: The Veronicas Exposed

By : Dylan Todd
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Australian Pop Duo, The Veronicas, headline Girls in Wonderland concert, 3 Wise Guys on Pulse 3 Years Later, St Petersburg to Recognize LGBTQ Businesses, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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