Come one, come all to a summer of fun as every body says love!

By : Watermark Staff
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As summer draws closer, everyone is starting to plan for what promises to be an epic season for the LGBTQ community. From beach days and backyard barbecues to the inaugural Red Shirt Pride Days in Orlando and the 17th annual St Pete Pride, there is going to be so much to do.

We here at Watermark say that there is no ideal body type for loving who you are and spending the summer having fun with your friends, family and community. That’s why, in observance of the summer season, we have gathered together a diverse collection of LGBTQ models from Central Florida and Tampa Bay to celebrate beautiful beach-ready bodies of all genders, races, sizes and shapes.

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Parliament House’s Darcel Stevens wins Miss Continental Plus 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens has been crowned Miss Continental Plus 2019.

Miss Continental Plus is a part of Continental Pageantry Systems, described as the ultimate female impersonation pageantry system throughout the world. The system began in 1980 and expanded to include Miss Continental Plus in 1990. The 2019 pageant featured 23 contestants, including Stevens, who was crowned in Chicago on April 23.

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PHOTOS: Babes in Bonnets raises $32,000 for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Parliament House hosted Babes in Bonnets, an Easter holiday tradition that raises funds for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), at the Footlight Theatre in Orlando April 15.

The fundraiser, which was started 21 years ago by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia, brought in $32,000 for OYA programs and services.

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PHOTOS: Orlando recognizes Jazell Barbie Royale with city proclamation

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Mayor Buddy Dyer recognized the current Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale with a proclamation to the city declaring it “Jazell Barbie Royale Day” in the city of Orlando on April 11.

Dyer and Royale were joined on the steps of City Hall by City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Parliament House Entertainment Director Darcel Stevens, Orlando Police Captain Jim Young, Bliss CARES Medical Director Dr. Roberto Ortiz and many of Royale’s family, friends, fans and supporters.

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OYA and Parliament House’s Easter tradition continues with Babes in Bonnets

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: A sample of the bonnets auctioned off at the 2018 Babes in Bonnets event. Photo by Tabitha Widby

ORLANDO | The Parliament House will once again host the Easter holiday auction Babes in Bonnets, which fund raises for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA).

Each fundraiser over the past several years has continued to surpass the one before it, with last year’s auction bringing in a record $32,171. The fundraiser itself has been around for 21 years and was started by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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04.04.2019 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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“Never put it in writing,” my mom always says. “You can’t put middle class values on a lower class society,” my 12th grade English teacher taught me. My former boss and mentor often advised me not to speak in absolutes. Most recently, my sponsor tells me to “do the next right thing.”

This is all fantastic advice from important people to me, and I try to obey these words of wisdom in daily life. Oh, I fail. Sometimes I fail miserably. However, the idea is progress, not perfection.

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Parliament House takes on a cult classic with ‘ShowGirls in Drag’

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | “ShowGirls in Drag”—based on the 1995 cult film, “Showgirls”—turns the iconic “girl moves to the big city to make it big” movie on its head in a dragtastic shocking parody at the Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre April 19-21. The show stars drag sensations Cara Cavalli, MRMS Adrien and Tora Himan.

“The film was made to be a drag parody” says Himan, who plays the show’s narrator. “It’s trash, glamour, diamonds, glitter and a whole lotta boobs! I mean, that’s a normal night at any gay bar. This show is one of my favorite productions ever, seriously.”

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Miss International Queen Jazell Barbie Royale to be recognized by City of Orlando

By : Lauren Lee
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ORLANDO | The City of Orlando will recognize Parliament House entertainer Jazell Barbie Royale, who made history as the first black transgender woman to be crowned Miss International Queen in Thailand, with a ceremony at City Hall on April 11.

“We always see trans rights in such a hostile way,” says Darcel Stevens, Parliament House’s entertainment director. “There’s so much brutality in the community, so it is wonderful to see trans issues in such a positive light.”

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Parliament House Celebrates 10 years of Erotica

By : Amanda Espinosa
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ORLANDO | Parliament House will celebrate 10 years of Erotica, billed as Orlando’s sexiest party of the year,  beginning at 8 p.m. on March 30.

Parliament House, the oldest gay resort in Central Florida, was selected for the 2019 Wave Awards as favorite local hotel/B&B and favorite LGBTQ club/bar.

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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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2019 WAVE Award Spotlight: Parliament House

By : Abigail Brashear
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Central Florida’s Favorite Local Hotel/B&B, Favorite LGBTQ Club/Bar, Favorite Place To Pick Up A Watermark, Which Local Person Or Group Needs A Reality Show? (Ms. Darcel Stevens)

Parliament House is the oldest gay resort in Central Florida, has been selected as the most popular LGBTQ bar in the United States by marketing organizations and has been home to such iconic stars as Miss P, Ms. Darcel Stevens and Tashae Royale Sherrington. It’s no wonder that they’ve won so many awards.

Parliament House was founded as a gay resort in 1975 and since then has become a bar, a theatre, a timeshare and a nightclub, featuring drag queens and LGBTQ icons. It’s seen as both a safe space and as a place where people from all walks of life can relax and have a good time.

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Parliament House’s Jazell Barbie Royale crowned Miss International Queen

By : Jeremy Williams
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Jazell Barbie Royale—a performer at Parliament House in Orlando—was crowned Miss International Queen on March 8. Kanwara Kaewjin from Thailand and Yaya from China were named first and second runner-up, respectively.

The Miss International Queen Pageant is a worldwide beauty pageant for transgender women held every year in Pattaya City, Thailand.

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