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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Orlando remembers 3-year mark of Pulse tragedy this June

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | June 12, 2019 will mark three years since a gunman walked into the Pulse nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more.

Several organizations will hold vigils, memorials and events in and around Central Florida to honor the victims leading up to and on June 12. We have gathered information on a few and provided it below. Watermark will continue to update this list over the next two weeks with more events as information becomes available.

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#RED Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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Watermark’s Complete Guide to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see Pentatonix w/ Rachel Platten & Citizen Queen at Orlando’s Amway Center

By : Watermark Staff
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Don’t miss your chance to see three-time Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling artist Pentatonix in their first-ever performance at Orlando’s Amway Center on Saturday, June 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Pentatonix are joined by multi-platinum-selling recording artist Rachel Platten and the sensational all-female quintet Citizen Queen.

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Hope & Help bumps gala to 2020, launching new event to honor donors

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Hope & Help had a successful event with the AIDS Walk Orlando thanks to all of the people who opened their pockets and donated what they could, and for that they want to say thank you with a celebration.

Hope & Help’s community developmental director Joshua Myers says that the nonprofit will be pushing its annual gala, typically held in September, to next year and instead this October will hold an invite only event called Hope & Help Society.

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The Orlando Ribbon Project releases new enamel pin

By : Lauren Lee
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Famous figures including Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi and HRC’s Chad Griffin have worn the now famous rainbow-colored ribbon, now the Dissent Pin Company has partnered with the Orlando Ribbon Project to create enamel versions of the ribbons that traveled the world in memory of the 49 lives lost at Pulse Orlando.

“Its been rather amazing watching the project grow from just a handful of fabric ribbons for volunteers to a worldwide symbol of love and hope,” says founder of the Orlando Ribbon Project, Ben Johansen.

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Drag Queen Story Hour comes to life with Gidget Galore at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | Central Florida drag queen Gidget Galore was not on her usual stage March 21 at The LGBT+ Center in Orlando, but instead sat in a circle with nearly 20 children reading stories to them.

“I look like a clown. I’m big, bright, sparkly and colorful and kids love it,” says Galore. “I have been looking forward to this since [we did it at] the Kids Fringe Festival and George [Wallace, The Center’s executive director] asked, and I said ‘Yes, this is for me!'”

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Jonathan y Jorge salsa their way to ‘World of Dance’ and onto a national spotlight

By : Jeremy Williams
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NBC’s dance competition series “World of Dance” premiered with a new season on Feb. 26. The hit series—led by the trio of dance superstar judges Jennifer Lopez (who also serves as an executive producer), Derek Hough and NE-YO—gives dancers the platform to showcase their talents and the opportunity to receive a life-altering grand prize of $1 million.

On the show’s third season premiere, the world witnessed the amazing dance talents of Orlando native Jonathan Troncosco and Peruvian dancer Jorge Valcarcel—collectively known on “World of Dance” as Jonathan y Jorge.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Aaron Bailey and Vincent Santamarina

By : Aaron Drake
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“We had bumped into each other once out and about, then we reconnected online,” Vincent Santamarina says about how he and his now-husband Aaron Bailey first met. “We made plans to meet up for a formal introduction. Our first date was at Busch Gardens on a perfect summer day! It was July 22, 2013.”

“During our first date I wanted the day to go on forever,” Santamarina continues. “Just talking and having fun gives you the gut feeling that you really know someone. I wanted the connection we made that day to be around forever.”

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