2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – TAMPA BAY

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida CEO

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Joanna Garcia Parkin, ESQ., St. Petersburg attorney

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

Continue Reading >>

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman issues Transgender Day of Visibility Proclamation

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

St. Petersburg | Mayor Rick Kriseman issued a proclamation on March 8 declaring March 31, 2018 as the city’s Transgender Day of Visibility.

Transgender Day of Visibility is “a holiday which celebrates transgender representation, activism, and equality,” St. Pete Pride’s statement on the proclamation reads. “The mayor honored this international holiday locally because he felt it was crucial to honor the bravery of the many transgender individuals who live, work, or play in their authentic gender in the Sunshine City.”

Continue Reading >>

01.11.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution—at least that I can remember.It isn’t because I don’t hope for a better year than the last, particularly after a rather polarizing 2017. It’s just something that never really occurs to me, especially now that I have to wrangle my husband for my midnight-mandated “kissy” photo op. He hates pictures of people kissing.

There’s nothing wrong with people making resolutions. It works for some, and that’s wonderful. I try to make every day the best it can be, so an over-arching 365-day look-ahead just doesn’t do it for me.

Continue Reading >>

2016 was the worst year ever, and 2017 was the year we found our footing

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

In these very pages one year ago we proclaimed 2016 to be the worst year ever. It started off with so much promise and optimism, with the official passing of the torch as the former owner of Watermark turned the reins over to new owner Rick Claggett and Watermark Media became Watermark Publishing Group.

President Barack Obama was heading into the final year of his second term and everything seemed in place for another torch to be passed, that of the first black president passing the country off to the first female president.

Continue Reading >>

St. Petersburg swears in Kriseman, first female-majority City Council

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | City officials and an engaged constituency lined the halls and streets of St. Petersburg’s City Hall Jan. 2 for the official Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayor Rick Kriseman and the City Council.

The ceremony began just after 11 a.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, where new and re-elected members of City Council vowed to serve St. Petersburg. Council Members Brandi Gabbard, Gina Driscoll, Darden Rice and Amy Foster were each sworn into the council, creating St. Petersburg history in the process.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Top headlines of 2017

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

2017 was a roller coaster of a year. Our highs were marked with great achievements and big celebrations, and our lows were filled with the passing of great LGBTQ leaders and fear-filled headlines we thought we would never read.

Below we look back on the top 5 LGBTQ headlines out of Central Florida, Tampa Bay, from the state of Florida and across the nation, and the world.

Continue Reading >>

11.16.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Thanksgiving has a long history of being my least favorite holiday. The reason is simple: turkey sucks! There, I said it. It’s ok to have a different opinion, but I’m right. No offense to my mother, but it’s always dry. It isn’t her fault. There isn’t enough water in the ocean to make turkey moist. My childhood memories of Thanksgiving involve two ounces of turkey swimming in four cups of gravy. Not even gravy could save Thanksgiving.

There is one exception to this rule and that is the Thanksgiving sandwich at PomPom’s Tea House and Sandwicheria. They have locations in both St. Pete and Orlando, so check it out. This is not a paid advertisement nor do I expect free sandwiches in return. It’s just that good and needs to be mentioned in any discussion I have about Thanksgiving. I digress.

Continue Reading >>

Tampa Bay Overheard: McBITTER

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

Following Rick Kriseman’s re-election on Nov 7, local business owner Kevin McBride, in self-described mourning, shut down his men’s clothing store to determine if he wanted to continue to live in St. Petersburg.

Potential patrons were greeted with a sign on McB’s, a “high-end men’s resale shop,” which advised the store was closed until further notice. “I am so sad. Mourning,” it read. “McB needs time to figure what… is going on in this town.”

Continue Reading >>

St. Petersburg re-elects Kriseman

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | On Nov. 7, St. Petersburg re-elected incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman.

Election night returns indicated that of the ballots cast, Kriseman received 51.62 percent of the vote. Behind him, former St. Petersburg mayor Rick Baker.

Continue Reading >>

St. Pete receives perfect score in HRC’s Municipal Equality Index for third consecutive year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | Under Mayor Rick Kriseman, the city of St. Petersburg  received a perfect score of 100 for a third consecutive year in the Human Rights Campaign’s annual Municipal Equality Index.

The organization’s score, released in late October, represents how inclusive a city’s laws, policies and services are for the LGBTQ people who live and work there. Of the 18 Florida cities ranked by the Human Rights Campaign this year, St. Petersburg was only one of four to receive a perfect score. Orlando, Tallahassee and Wilton Manors rounded out the list of perfect scorers.

Continue Reading >>

09.07.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Musical theater is god to me. Yes, I subscribe to the idea that theater is spelled with an er not re at the end. Theatre is like pineapple on pizza. It’s weird. It just doesn’t belong. I digress.

Broadway ranks at the top of the list of my favorite things, right next to Air Supply, of course. I’m holding out for the day I get to see the Broadway show based on Air Supply songs. Can you imagine? My gay heart would explode! Until then, it’s enough for me sit in the park and watch American Stage Theatre Company put on Hairspray, or go to the Calvary Church to see Central Florida Community Arts’ concert version of Titanic: The Musical. Both were incredible, by the way. We are lucky to have such amazing local talent bringing to life Broadway shows that many people don’t get a chance to experience. We are also fortunate to have fabulous venues for Broadway tours to entertain us.

Continue Reading >>

Kriseman wins primary by 70 votes, will face Baker in November run-off

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
Comments: 0

ST. PETERSBURG | On August 29, with a turnout of nearly 34 percent of the city’s registered voters, St. Petersburg decided Rick Kriseman and Rick Baker would move from the mayoral primary to a run-off in November’s general election.

Had any of the six eligible candidates for mayor obtained over 50 percent of the vote, St. Petersburg would have chosen its next mayor. Of the two viable options, neither frontrunner managed to do so—though the city’s current mayor, Kriseman, won the primary by 70 votes.

Continue Reading >>