The LGBT+ Center to honor community leaders at Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The LGBT+ Center of Orlando (The Center) will honor local LGBTQ leaders and businesses during the 2019 Harvey Milk Diversity Breakfast at Dubsdread in Orlando May 22.

The seventh annual event—named for the first openly gay elected official in California and LGBTQ icon Harvey Milk—will be hosted by the Orlando Sentinel’s Scott Maxwell, and will take place on what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 89th birthday. The day is designated as “Harvey Milk Day” in the U.S.

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12.27.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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It’s hard to believe the end of the year is here. It’s cliche to say, but when you live your life in two week cycles across two metropolitan areas—time flies. 2018 zoomed by in the blink of an eye.

Watermark did well in 2018. We saw an increase in sales, so thank you to the businesses and organizations that support us and help us to continue bringing the latest in LGBTQ news to our readers—and congratulations to Senior Account Manager Sam Callahan who had a stellar year. We also saw an increase in distributions sites and are now available at over 600 locations in Central Florida, Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.

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Watermark Film Company’s new documentary ‘Greetings From Queertown’ shines a light on Orlando’s LGBTQ history

By : Christen Kelley
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From KKK members threatening Pride-filled parade marchers to a sea of red shirts ascending on Disney World for Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom to standing “Orlando Strong” around Lake Eola, Central Florida has come a long way for the LGBTQ community. It’s a rich history that Watermark Film Company plans to detail in their upcoming documentary, “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando.”

Spearheaded by Watermark owner, publisher and editor Rick Claggett, director/producer Sandi Hulon, director of photography Tye Belcher and others from Team Watermark, the film company was created to share the story of “Queertown.”

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Watermark owner creates film company, premieres first movie’s trailer

By : Staff Report
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ORLANDO | Watermark Film Company premiered the first trailer to its documentary film “Greetings From Queertown: Orlando” at a private fundraising event at The Venue in Orlando Aug. 23.

Watermark Film Company was launched by Watermark Publishing Group owner Rick Claggett as a way to create, produce and distribute films that inform and educate audiences on the LGBTQ experience, according to a press release.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Hey, bidder, bidder…

By : anonymous
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Local community advocates will come together to raise funds for Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ “Auction for a Night Out with a Community Leader” on April 27.

Participants can bid on the auctionee of their choice and the “night out” experience, which may include dinner or tickets to a local show or museum.

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The Last Page with owner/publisher/editor Rick Claggett

By : Jeremy Williams
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Other than founder Tom Dyer, there is no other person more synonymous with the Watermark name than current owner/publisher/editor Rick Claggett.

Rick recently entered his 16th year with Watermark turning his love for Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ communities into his life’s passion of telling their stories, but that wasn’t the direction he originally saw his life moving.

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Kriseman raises the Pride flag at City Hall and Crist recognizes Pride in House

By : Jeremy Williams
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For the fourth year in a row, St. Petersburg mayor Rick Kriseman sent the rainbow Pride flag up the flagpole in front of City Hall June 22, bringing in start of St. Pete Pride weekend.

This is the fourth year in a row that Kriseman has acknowledged the LGBTQ community of St. Pete with this ceremony.

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Words to Live By: Decisions

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick_ClaggettDecisions rarely come easy. Sit in the car with my roommate and I while we try to figure out lunch on the weekend, or hang out on our couch while we sift through every movie, unable to decide which one to watch.
The bigger the decision, the more agonizing it is for me. When I was 15 years old, I struggled with being gay. I used to look in the mirror every night before bed lecturing myself on how being gay was a sin, telling myself I would wake up in the morning and be normal. Every morning I would wake with disappointment. Nothing had changed. This went on for at least a year until I decided to accept who I am. As I decided to gradually let others in, life started to get better for me.

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10.8.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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“Turn and face the strange,” a certain crazy-eyed pop-cultural god once warned us through the bedazzled bullhorn of a 1970s rainbow of weathered hope. “Ch-ch-changes” were at the root of David Bowie’s 1972 rhythmic cause for alarm and call to arms, a sort of anthemic response to a society teetering on various brinks, with only the scary monsters and super freaks holding on to any notion of prescribed normality. Everything – from war crises to social shifts to women’s rights to gay rights – was caught in the shuffle, and, these days, we’re better for it, right? Plate tectonics, changing fads, political upheaval and shifts in the weather have all resulted in who we are right now. And, in many ways, we are better for it. In some, we are far worse.

This week’s Watermark explores the changes we’re going through, both nuanced and on the real-estate surface, against the backdrop of Orlando’s Come Out With Pride celebration, of which we are always proud to be a part. While many, including those of us making journalistic noise at this publication, are urging caution in just how the LGBT community evolves from dissimilation to assimilation, how we negotiate our path into the grand old world of marriage and acceptance and infinite joy, we’re also aware of the shoulders upon which we’ve stood to get us here, even to get us in the conversation. You’ve heard this lecture before: Don’t forget from where you’ve come and never forget the history upon which you stand. You get it.

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Hamburger Mary’s Gay Days Broadway Brunch

By : Rick Claggett
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Hamburger Mary’s Broadway Brunch was the first since Ginger Minj took a break away from her home at the famous eatery to go on tour and left The Minx as the sole hostess of the brunch.

The Minx did an amazing job keeping the show going and showing that she is fully capable of having a solo act with Broadway Brunch.

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One Magical Weekend’s Red Version 1: Unmasked at Epcot

By : Rick Claggett
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One Magical Weekend brought the sea of red to Epcot June 6 with Red Version 1: Unmasked.

The next level circuit party was kept moving by DJ Paulo.

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5.21.15 Editor’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

It’s hard to believe this year marks a quarter century of Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom. You may know it by a different name. What was once simply known as Gay Day, you may now call “Gay Days,” ”One Magical Weekend,” “Girls in Wonderland,” or a variety of names given by various promoters throughout the years. This year, however, we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the first Saturday in June where it all began.

I didn’t make it to the first Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom. In June 1991, I ended my sophomore year of high school at Winter Park and had recently come out to myself. I didn’t know anything about the gay world. In fact, by the time I made it to Gay Day in 1992, I didn’t realize what I had stumbled into.

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