05.03.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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This past weekend officially kicked off (at least for me) the summer season with the release of “Avengers: Infinity War” in theaters. No spoilers, I promise, but at the time of writing this I have seen the film three times and it may be the greatest movie ever made. From here on out until July—along with a few more weekends of blockbuster cinema—we have Fringe, Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend, Pride month and my birthday among the events to look forward to.

Since starting here at Watermark as an account manager for the sales department more than five years ago, I have developed quite a few traditions within the LGBTQ community.

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Kesha officiates lesbian wedding in ‘I Need a Woman’ music video

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Kesha officiated a same-sex wedding as part of her new music video “I Need a Woman.”

In the video, couple Dani and Lindsay arrive in Las Vegas for their wedding. They explore their room and check out the casinos at the Bellagio. As they enjoy their vacation, Kesha is seen driving to meet them in Vegas.

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Suspected Miami Pride attackers released, could face hate crime charge

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Miami | The four men charged with aggravated assault for attacking two gay men during Miami Pride have been released from jail and may face additional charges of a hate crime.

Miami Beach ABC affiliate 10 News reports that the four men have been identified as Juan C. Lopez, Adonis Diaz, Pablo Reinaldo Romo-Figueroa and Luis Alonso-Piovet. The suspects surrendered to Miami Beach police on April 10 and face charges of felony aggravated assault for brutally attacking Dimitri Lugonov and Rene Chalarca during the annual event.

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PHOTOS: St. Pete gathers for Taste of Pride 2018

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | 500 area foodies, beer connoisseurs and art enthusiasts gathered on March 3 at the Coliseum to celebrate the return of St. Pete Pride’s Taste of Pride.

Local restaurants, bars and breweries offered some of their best samplings, with attendees weighing in on their favorites to award the inaugural Taste of Pride (TOP) Award to the Flying Boat Brewing Company. Following their favorite feasts, guests were treated to outstanding drag performances by Kori Stevens, Kenya Black, Chanel P. Cartier, Nicole T. Lane and PheYonce Montrese, with music from DJ L. Mo.

Watermark was on hand to join in on the dining and dancing, and you can check out our photos below. For more information about St. Pete Pride’s other upcoming events, click here.

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10.19.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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We are nearing the end of Pride season; Oct. 21 marks bi-coastal celebrations in Volusia County and Sarasota, and we close with Sanford Pride Nov. 5. As the Pride door shuts the holiday door swings open.

You can always tell when the holidays are coming, and I include Halloween as the official kickoff to the end of year holiday extravaganza. Pumpkin spice is everywhere, people are complaining that Christmas trees are already on sale and the temperature drops from a balmy 98 degrees to a cool 92. Ah yes, fall in Florida. There really is nowhere I’d rather be. I’m so basic that I love everything pumpkin, it’s never too early for tree shopping and nothing is better than warm weather. Fall is arguably the best time of the year.

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Montenegro: Pride event urges less violence, more rights

By : wire report
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PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP) – About 200 people have gathered at an LGBT Pride event in Montenegro urging more rights and zero tolerance for violence against gay people in the conservative Balkan country.

Participants held banners with sayings such as “Proud my son is gay” and “My daughter is lesbian” as they marched Saturday through the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica. Police sealed off the area for protection.

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Harry Styles opens solo tour with rainbow flag

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Harry Styles kicked off his first solo tour at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco on Tuesday with a nod to the LGBT community.

A fan threw a rainbow flag onstage prompting Styles, 23, to attach it to his mic stand while performing his set.

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07.12.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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One day at a time. That’s what they tell me. It’s one of the most useful tools in sobriety, especially in the beginning.

I stopped drinking on October 1, 2015. It was nine days before the annual Come Out With Pride celebration at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and I was nervous. How was someone like me, someone who would binge drink at every opportunity, going to make it through this major weekend-long event at only nine days sober? The answer: 24 hours at a time.

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Watch: police officer’s girlfriend proposes at London Pride Parade

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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One police officer got a heartwarming surprise while working the 45th annual London Pride parade.

The British Transport Police (BTP) posted a short video of one of their officers getting engaged to her girlfriend. In the video, the officer approaches her girlfriend, who then drops to one knee and pulls out a ring.

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6.29.17 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Amid all of the hue and cry about the transformative nature of St. Pete Pride over the weekend – it was all going to be about moving the parade route; it would be new shoes to bear the 15 years upon which the celebration previously stood – most concerns seemed to melt into the violet of the sunset sky along Bayshore Drive on Saturday night, dancing in abandon with the glitter and the confetti to various mixes of pop songs you might be too old to know, much less remember.

What struck me most, though, was just how together – how empathetic, collective and genuine – that a mass gathering that may have attracted 200,000 people could be.

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Straight cop shares heartfelt Pride message to LGBT community

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A straight cop sent a message of solidarity with the LGBT community before he worked the Pridefest in New York City last weekend.

The ally, who goes under the name Huge Fat Loser on Facebook to chronicle his weight loss journey, shared a special photo of himself before the Pride festivities. He is seen wearing a T-shirt with the words “I may be straight but I don’t hate” with the word “hate” written in rainbow lettering.

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Sesame Street celebrates Pride with rainbow tweet

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sesame Street showed its support for families of all types in a tweet that appears to be a nod to the LGBT rainbow flag.

“Sesame Street is proud to support families of all shapes, sizes and colors,” the show’s account tweeted along with a photo of some different colored characters standing next to each other. The picture seems to mimic the LGBT rainbow flag.

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