Trans Puerto Ricans can now change gender on birth certificates

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Transgender people in Puerto Rico are now able to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

A federal judge in March ruled the U.S. commonwealth’s previous policy — a 2005 decree from the Puerto Rico Supreme Court that said trans people could not amend the gender marker on their birth certificates — was unconstitutional.

Continue Reading >>

Central Florida Overheard: Fringe Forever

By : anonymous
Comments: 0

The Orlando International Fringe Festival wrapped another hugely successful year with an awards celebration and party on the Fringe lawn at Loch Haven Park this past Memorial Day.

Fringe had well over 100 sold out performances during the course of the 13-day festival, they announced. Then Watermark took the stage to present our readers’ choice 2018 Splash Awards. The big winner of the night was AJ Prats’ “PeeVira’s ScareVan Singalong: Disney Addicktion” which won both Favorite LGBTQ Show and Favorite LGBTQ Lead Performer for Prats.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark on the Fringe: “El Wiz”

By : Danny Garcia
Comments: 0

A true love letter to Puerto Rico, her people and her culture. This retelling of the classic “Wizard of Oz” is set in modern day Puerto Rico, but instead of our story’s hero Dorothy getting swept up in a tornado, she’s whisked away during Hurricane Maria which devastated the island this past fall.

Touting a very large cast with vocal performances that are quite strong, “El Wiz” blends Latin music, hip-hop and even traditional Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba music – we’re taken on Dorothy’s journey from start to finish in whimsical and family friendly ways. The characters in “El Wiz” are given a modern upgrade and all the incredibly talented performers fit the roles perfectly.

Continue Reading >>

Federal judge rules Puerto Rico birth certificate gender marker policy unconstitutional

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

A federal judge has ruled Puerto Rico must allow transgender people to change the gender marker on their birth certificates.

Lambda Legal last April filed a lawsuit on behalf of three trans Puerto Ricans and Puerto Rico Para Tod@s, a local advocacy group. U.S. District Court Judge Carmen Consuelo Cerezo in her ruling that she signed on March 28 said the U.S. commonwealth’s birth certificate policy, which the Puerto Rico Supreme Court decreed in 2005, is unconstitutional.

Continue Reading >>

2018 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Orlando Immunology Center

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

CENTRAL FLORIDA’S FAVORITE LGBTQ BUSINESS NOT A BAR/CLUB (OVER ONE YEAR), FAVORITE LOCAL HEALTHCARE PROVIDER (DR. EDWIN DEJESUS), WHO SHOULD BE ON THE COVER OF CENTRAL FLORIDA’S WAVE AWARD ISSUE (DR. EDWIN DEJESUS)

The Orlando Immunology Center, commonly referred to as OIC, has been a part of the Central Florida area for more than 40 years. They are the oldest and largest infectious disease clinic in Central Florida—one of the largest in the state—and specialize in the medical needs of the LGBTQ community. It’s no wonder that they were voted Central Florida’s favorite LGBTQ business.

The readers also named OIC medical director Dr. Edwin DeJesus as Central Florida’s favorite local healthcare provider, as well as the person they wanted to see on the cover of this issue.

Continue Reading >>

Puerto Rico governor vetoes religious freedom bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Feb. 7, 2018, vetoed a religious freedom bill that critics said would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination. Image by Nicolas Raymond; courtesy Flickr.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló on Wednesday vetoed a religious freedom bill that critics contend would have allowed anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth.

Continue Reading >>

Puerto Ricans with HIV/AIDS continue to struggle after Maria

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

ABOVE: Anselmo Fonseca of Pacientes de SIDA Pro Política Sana, left, works with Jesús Cruz, a social worker at Bill’s Kitchen, a San Juan-based organization that prepares meals for people with HIV/AIDS, to serve food to the elderly after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017. Photo courtesy of Anselmo Fonseca/Pacientes de SIDA pro Política Sana

The situation for people with HIV/AIDS in Puerto Rico remains precarious three months after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

Continue Reading >>

Puerto Rico Senate approves religious freedom bill

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

The Puerto Rico Senate has approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth. Activists and their supporters have urged Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to veto the measure. Image by Nicolas Raymond; courtesy Flickr

The Puerto Rico Senate on Sunday approved a religious freedom bill that critics contend would allow anti-LGBT discrimination in the U.S. commonwealth.

The bill — which is known as the Law for the Protection of Religious Liberty in Puerto Rico — notes the U.S. and Puerto Rican constitutions guarantee freedom of religion. The measure also states “it is important to remember the situations of confrontations that the religious sector experienced in the past administration where the public education sector tried to impose an ideology contrary to parents’ Christian principles.”

Continue Reading >>

Puerto Rico’s first LGBT monument undamaged by Hurricane Maria

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

Editor’s note: This is part two of a two-part interview with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz that the Washington Blade conducted on Nov. 1, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in D.C. Part one of the interview can be found here.

The mayor of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on Wednesday said Hurricane Maria did not damage the U.S. commonwealth’s first LGBT-specific monument.

Carmen Yulín Cruz on June 26, 2016, formally unveiled the monument — which is located in San Juan’s oceanfront Third Millennium Park — during the city’s annual Pride parade.

Continue Reading >>

San Juan mayor struggles to help people with HIV/AIDS

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

Editor’s note: This is part one of a two-part interview with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz the Washington Blade conducted on Nov. 1, 2017, at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center in D.C.

The mayor of the Puerto Rican capital of San Juan on Wednesday said her government is doing everything it can to help people with HIV/AIDS in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Carmen Yulín Cruz noted to the Washington Blade during a press conference at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center there is a clinic for adults and children with AIDS in San Juan. She said officials “stocked up” on medications and other supplies before Maria made landfall on Puerto Rico’s southeast coast on Sept. 20 with 155 mph winds.

Continue Reading >>

Helping Hands: Pulse survivors, families join LGBTQ groups and politicians to send support, supplies to Puerto Rico

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | As the sun was coming up on the east coast of the United States Sept. 30, the responses by the president in Washington, D.C., and the people of Orlando to the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria on the island of Puerto Rico could not have been more different.

“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” the commander-in-chief tweeted. ”Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort. 10,000 Federal workers now on Island doing a fantastic job.”

Continue Reading >>

Ricky Martin pleads for Puerto Rico relief on ‘Ellen’

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
Comments: 0

Ricky Martin made a surprise appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” to plead for relief efforts to aid the devastating Hurricane Maria aftermath in Puerto Rico.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I am from Puerto Rico and right now Puerto Rico is suffering,” Martin, who was born in Puerto Rico, says. “We were destroyed by a hurricane and it’s been very difficult right now. There is no water, there is no electricity, there is no food. There is no medicine. There is no diesel for the generators that will make the hospital work. People are dying. So, as a Puerto Rican, as the American that I am, I’m here to ask for your help.”

Continue Reading >>