Should you marry? Watermark’s primer will answer many of your questions.

By : Tom Dyer
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Cliff and Dan fell in love three years ago. They were introduced by friends and had lots in common. Both were in their mid-50s and had previously been married to women; one was divorced, the other a widower. Both had supportive adult children. Both had successful careers and substantial assets, including separate homes. When they came to see me a few months before their wedding date, their playful banter was infectious. We laughed a lot.

Zoe and Kim also consulted with me before their nuptials. Zoe had a daughter, born during a previous relationship that ended badly. Kim was single and settled in a nice suburban home. A year after they met, Kim invited Zoe and her daughter to move in. The three of them were now a family, and their love and happiness were on full display at my office.

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Words to Live by: Aging gracefully

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

By the time this article publishes, I will be 41. I’ve never been the type to dwell on age, well, not my own age. “I won’t fight aging,” I told myself. I will age gracefully. No plastic surgery, no covering up gray hair. Of course I made these promises when I had no wrinkles and my hair was a solid dark brown. Now I stare in anguish at the wrinkles near my ear and do my best to hide the variety of “Just for Men” products in my bathroom.

But aging gracefully isn’t just about your appearance; It’s about your way of life.

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2015 A to Z: Pop Culture Year in Review

By : Kirk Hartlage
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Last year was indeed a – forgive us – a watermark year for the LGBT community. Groundbreaking changes saw incredible advances in equality, which are reflected in the shows we watch, the products we buy and even how manufacturers sell said products to us. But despite the outpouring of rainbow-festooned support, not everyone is allowed access to the message that we gays and lesbians are still here, we’re still queer, and as far as marrying who we want, you better get used to it.

Take, for example, the child of one of those alleged “Million Moms.” The young boy or girl who just wants to play with a Barbie dolls, enjoy some colorful snack chips, or needs some type of pain or cold and flu relief. Heaven forbid if they want to multi-task their lunch with education, thanks to the alphabet-shaped noodles in their cup. No, now that the companies that make these products have demonstrated their dedication to diversity – be it in their 2015 marketing or philanthropic efforts – organizations like One Million Moms, the American Family Association and other conservative zealots have provided their right-wing parents a whole new list of businesses to avoid.

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Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor sworn in

By : Wire Report
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Salt Lake City (AP) – Jackie Biskupski was sworn in Dec. 4 as Salt Lake City’s first openly gay mayor, a landmark the former state lawmaker acknowledged shortly after taking the oath of office.

Biskupski, 49, said the historic moment should not be taken lightly, and noted great strides have been made for LGBT people in the state.

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Screened Out – Carol

By : Stephen Miller
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Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler, Sarah Paulson

Director Todd Haynes has done it again with this beautiful, tense and emotional film – tapping into the mid-20th century to create an immediate and riveting story. His 2002 film Far from Heaven and his 2011 miniseries Mildred Pierce both displayed this specific talent. Now, his version of Patricia Highsmith’s shocking 1953 lesbian love story The Price of Salt is turned into brilliant cinema about forbidden love, strong women, and sexual politics.

Not only is the film’s photography and 1950s style rich and alluring. Blanchett and Mara both deliver simmering, strained performances worthy of the highest praise.

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Founder’s Day: Redefining my arc

By : Tom Dyer
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Tom Dyer Watermark gay

Tom Dyer

I decided to sell Watermark to our talented publisher, Rick Claggett, some time ago. In fact, I considered timing the transition to coincide with our 20th anniversary celebration last fall. But I wasn’t ready.

Last week I finally shared my plans with Watermark’s staff, just before the lunch break at our year-end retreat. I’d been contemplating the details for months,so my emotional reaction was a surprise. The shocked look on their faces illuminated something I had avoided: that a remarkable chapter of my life was ending. Along with some staff members, I shed a few tears.

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Reno youth center cuts ties with chaplain over LGBT views

By : Jamie Hyman
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Reno, Nev. (AP) – A Reno juvenile detention center cut ties with a longtime chaplain over his views on homosexuality, highlighting an issue that some state-run correctional facilities face.

The facility is looking for someone with more tolerant views to lead Sunday services and Bible classes, detention center division director Steven Calabrese said. Calabrese told the Reno Gazette-Journal the decision was made in light of recent sermons made by Marvin Neal.

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Suzanne Westenhoefer slays at The Palladium in St. Pete

By : Jeremy Williams
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St. Petersburg – Suzanne Westenhoefer brought down the house at The Palladium in St. Petersburg Dec. 13.

Tampa’s own Jane Castor took the stage to introduce Westenhoefer and throw out a few jokes of her own (maybe a new career for the recently retired police chief).

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St. Pete and Orlando earn perfect municipal equality scores from HRC

By : Staff Report
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Orlando and St. Petersburg are among the record number 47 cities in the U.S. to score a perfect 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Municipal Equality Index.

The City Beautiful and St. Pete are joined by Wilton Manors as the three Florida cities who scored perfect marks on the HRC’s index that measures a city’s policies for LGBT inclusion and equality. Tampa was not far behind with a score of 95.

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St. Petersburg gay couple sues IRS after medical deductions denied

By : Jeremy Williams
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The Internal Revenue Service believes being gay is a choice, according to a lawsuit filed by a St. Petersburg gay couple who claim that is the reason they were denied tax deductions for in-vitro fertilization and surrogacy.

Joseph F. Morrissey, a professor of law at Stetson University, filed for $36,538 in medical deductions for the 2011 tax year after several attempts to have a child using fertility treatments including surrogate mothers and egg donors.

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The Authentic Life: Sarah Paulson on defying labels, pressure to be an LGBT activist and missing Jessica Lange

By : Chris Azzopardi
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What does Sarah Paulson remember about the first time she kissed a girl? “Nothing that I’m going to tell you!”she teases, laughing as if to say “nice try.”

Not that the actress’entire life is a secret. It hasn’t been.

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Homicides of transgender women in U.S. reach alarming high

By : Wire Report
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For a few transgender Americans, this has been a year of glamour and fame. For many others, 2015 has been fraught with danger, violence and mourning.

While Caitlyn Jenner made the cover of Vanity Fair and Laverne Cox prospered as a popular actress, other transgender women have become homicide victims at an alarming rate. By the count of the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs, there have been 22 killings so far this year of transgender or gender-nonconforming people – including 19 black or Latina transgender women.

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