06.14.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

As you are reading this it has been a few days since the two-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, but because of how deadlines and press days fall, I am writing this the day before the June 12 date.

June 12 carries a weird energy with me now. For those who don’t know, I share my birthday with the same day that a disturbed individual decided to take 49 lives at Pulse. Last year at the one-year mark, while attending memorials and vigils, I was receiving notifications of Happy Birthday and messages wishing me a fun and happy day all while grieving with my community and consoling friends.

Continue Reading >>

With changes to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend coming in 2019, we look back on the history of Gay Day

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Outside of Pride parades and festivals, one could argue that no other LGBTQ event in the world is as recognizable as the one that occurs on the first Saturday in June every year at the happiest place on Earth.

Gay Day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom has gone through many changes and obstacles in its 28-year history. What began as one day at the park ballooned into multiple days of events from many groups who bring circuit parties, concerts, expos and pool parties every year that encircle the original event and carry the same message of visibility that Gay Day at Magic Kingdom was founded on.

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 >>

PHOTOS: Parliament House Orlando brings the Gay Days party with Alaska Thunderf*ck

By : Colton Adkins
Comments: 0

Alaska Thunderf*ck performed at the world famous Parliament House Orlando for its Friday night Gay Days at Parliament House concert June 1.

Along with the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner, the night featured Ms. Darcel Stevens, the Footlight Players, adult film stars and much more.

Continue Reading >>

Parliament House kicks off Gay Days with traditional PI@PH

By : Danny Garcia
Comments: 0

The world famous Parliament House got its Gay Days started with its PI @ PH celebration.

P House’s annual tradition featured amazing drag performances, the hottest music and a fantastic show from Hamburger Mary’s Broadway Brunch Bunch.

Continue Reading >>

Aquaria talks ‘Drag Race’ ahead of her Gay Days at Parliament House concert

By : Colton Adkins
Comments: 0

Only four years into her drag career, Aquaria has grabbed the attention of fans around the world in her short time on Season 10 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Prior to joining the show, Aquaria had around 200,000 followers on her Instagram. That number has grown to more than half a million.

Reigning from the New York City drag scene, Aquaria grew up in Pennsylvania when she started expressing interest in wanting to put on makeup for costumes. The drag daughter of Season 4’s winner Sharon Needles, Aquaria has continued to perform well on “Drag Race” by winning two mini-challenges and two main challenges, and she has never been in the bottom.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark on the Fringe: Wanzie’s “Monorail Inferno”

By : Danny Garcia
Comments: 0

Disney’s aging monorail system — a tram that transports guests around Walt Disney World — pops up occasionally in the news with technical issues such as doors not opening, trams getting stuck and, in one tragic case, the death of a Disney cast member when two of the trams collided. But before any of that, there was one major monorail event that occurred on June 26, 1985 which inspired Michael Wanzie to create a musical called “Monorail Inferno.”

Originally premiering at the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre in the 1980s and revived from the ashes about ten years ago, this musical comedy (which hits some serious dramatic notes as well) returns with showings in Orlando Fringe’s Silver Venue.

Continue Reading >>

Babes in Bonnets sets record in fundraising for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Babes in Bonnets, The Parliament House’s annual Easter fixture, set a fundraising record bringing in $32,171 for the Orlando Youth Alliance March 26.

The previous record was set last year when Babes in Bonnets brought in $28,000 for OYA.

Continue Reading >>

Blue Star puts gender fluidity in the spotlight with The Lady Boys of the Peek-A-Boo Lounge

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Orlando performer Blue Star is one person who embodies empowerment and being comfortable in your own skin. Blue came to Orlando in 2000 to attend Full Sail University after a successful dancing career in Atlanta and New York. She planned to stay for just 13 months; she never left. In 2012, Blue opened the theater The Venue.

“I just wanted a place to put on my shows,” Blue says. “But as I say now it’s not my Venue anymore, it’s Orlando’s Venue. It’s a safe place for performers to try out new things and new shows and take risks and really grow themselves.”

Continue Reading >>

2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

Continue Reading >>

An Homage to Five Generations of Black Entertainers in Orlando

By : Alma J. Hill
Comments: 0

In 1888, the first recorded arrests in the United States for female impersonation took place at the home of William Dorsey Swann, a black man.  Less than a mile from the White House, Swann and twelve other men of color were arrested and charged with vagrancy after police raided a secret drag dance he was hosting. The following day the headline in the Evening Star read “Colored Men in Female Attire.”

The erasure of the contributions and sacrifices of people of color is rampant throughout our history, not only as a country, but as a community. Individuals of color have long been an integral part of the LGBTQ community and they are deserving of recognition and praise.

Continue Reading >>

Chris Harder brings his one-man show, ‘Porn To Be A Star,’ to the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House

By : Jeremy Williams with additional reporting by Randa Griffin
Comments: 0

“‘Poor little porn star,’ his somber, dark gaze seemed to convey, though in my mind I suddenly imagined I was seated at the head of a garishly decorated room, noise makers filling the air, the guest of honor at his surprise pity party, so generously thrown on my behalf.”

The opening line to gay adult film star Chris Harder’s HuffPost article titled “Exiting the Porn Star Pity Party” is one of many encounters Harder has had with individuals who have seen one of his movies and felt the need to tell him he’s better than that.

Continue Reading >>