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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Words To Live By: Religious Right

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

Let’s start by clarifying the use of the word right immediately. I’m not referring to the religious right as in the social dictator and presidential doubtful, Mike Huckabee. Or the incoherent speaking marvel that is Sarah Palin.

This column is about the religious right as in the moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way, as defined by Google.

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Words to Live By: Community

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

My entire life is gay. I work in arguably one of the gayest offices in town, my gay friends and I mostly hang out in the locally gay-owned watering holes and I have played on gay softball, bowling, kickball and volleyball teams.

In fact, I even turn what’s straight about my life into something gay. My best friend, Jen, and I have lived together for almost 15 years.

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Words To Live By: Honored

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

It was mid-November 2013 when Tom Dyer began the discussion with me that I might one day replace him as publisher of Watermark. A few happy expletives and a multitude of emotions flooded my thoughts. The most prevalent among them was “honored.”

I felt honored that the man by whose side I worked for more than 12 years trusted me with his baby, honored that the godfather of gay royalty had chosen me to carry out his legacy, and honored that I would get to work closely with this community in telling the story of our ongoing, yet-to-be-written history.

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Photos: Watermark’s 20th Anniversary Party Orlando

By : Jake Stevens
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Hundreds of community members gathered at the Orange Studio Sept. 13 to celebrate 20 fabulous years of Watermark.

Many were engrossed by the slideshow displaying photos spanning the past two decades, while others enjoyed the delicious food and drink provided by John Michael Catering, and music by DJ Capt. Kirk.

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20 years of Watermark’s historical highlights

By : Tom Dyer
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1994

August: With a staff of three, Watermark publishes its first 24-page issue featuring Winter Park’s Amanda Bearse (Married With Children) on the cover.

1995

August: Todd Simmons signs on as editor as Watermark expands to Tampa Bay.

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Issue 21.19: 20 Amazing Years

By : Jake Stevens
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20 Amazing Years: On Watermark’s anniversary, founder Tom Dyer reflects on two transforming decades. Also: Local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events, and much, much more!

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