High Fidelity: The summer of single

By : Miguel Fuller
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The summer of single is officially over. Well, according to the calendar of the Gods we technically still have a while before summer is officially over. But after Labor Day weekend, our minds shift to pumpkin spice lattes and figuring out how much weight we can lose to get into a slutty Halloween costume. That’s directly followed by figuring out how much weight is socially acceptable to gain during the Thanksgiving season. I digress.

The summer of single is officially over. For most of 2017 I have written in Watermark about my breakup, my foils and fumbles of dating and my use of gay dating apps. You know, those apps that we single people delete and then re-download every other week. I do it as well; you are not alone. 

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NYC reveals powerful gender-identity discrimination rules

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP) – Restaurant owners can’t require ties for male diners only. Gyms can’t tell clients which locker room to use. And in most cases, an employer can’t put “John” on a worker’s ID if she prefers “Jane.”

New York City’s Human Rights Commission is establishing what advocates called some of the most powerful guidelines nationwide on gender-identity discrimination, releasing specifics Dec. 21 to flesh out broad protections in a 2002 law.

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Words To Live By: Change

By : Rick Claggett
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Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

Change is inevitable. It’s scary. You can’t control it or predict it.

We’ve seen a great deal of change over the past several months. In September 2014, Tom Dyer announced that I would take over as Publisher of Watermark. Tom and I spent months working out the details, preparing me for the new role and coordinating the best time to make the move.

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Watermark’s 2015 Florida Legislative Tracker

By : Watermark Staff
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Florida’s Congress has been busy this year hearing and voting on bills that effect the LGBT community from marriage and adoption to where we can use the bathroom.

Knowing which ones you should be paying attention to and what’s going on with them can be confusing but no fear, Watermark is here. Below is a breakdown of the seven bills of LGBT interest in the Florida House and Senate that you should keep an eye on.

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The OUT@Asolo program celebrates five years of reaching out to Sarasota’s LGBT community

By : Krista DiTucci
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Sarasota – Hundreds of Sarasota LGBT supporters enjoyed a night of mingling and theater on Nov. 20 at South Pacific, the OUT@AsoloRep’s first event of the 2014-15 season.

During OUT@Asolo, the “premiere LGBT night in Sarasota,” attendees enjoy a discounted six-play series and pre-show reception at each event. Guests also learn about local participating LGBT organizations before the show and meet actors and other attendees after the performance.

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New study shows same-sex couple families the best ‘modern’ family financially

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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Same-sex couple families with kids have a similar financial profile as “traditional” families, but report having lower levels of debt than other “modern” families that were studied.

That’s according to the LoveFamilyMoney Study by Allianz, which investigates the financial needs of today’s families. Participants were ages 35-65 with at least a household income of $50,000. Traditional and same-sex couple families with and without kids were surveyed, along with five other types of described modern families: single-parent households; multi-generational families; families with adult children returning home (called boomerang families); blended families; and families with older parents and young children.

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Watermark’s 2014 Orlando Fringe Reviews: The Chronic Single’s Handbook

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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To anyone who has been single — and not for a couple of months, but for at least a couple of years like myself — the Orlando Fringe show The Chronic Single’s Handbook will be totally relatable to some of your worst date scenarios, pickup lines or hookups. The one-man show starring Randy Ross, told from a detached, first-person point of view, is inspired by a trip that Ross takes after being laid off, where he travels halfway around the world in search for the perfect girl.

The show is broken down into acts, where Ross moves about the stage as he transitions his way around the world through his show. Playing a single and very hypochondriac man, Ross embodies his characters through every word, movement and recollection of his travels and adventures (or lack of with some) with the exotic women he meets.

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Overheard in Orlando: Wanzie dances you away

By : Anonymous
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Good Morning Baltimore
It’s a cliché, but there literally wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Orlando said good-bye to Ron Legler and Andrew Springer at The Abbey on April 1. The beloved couple is moving to Baltimore, where Legler has accepted a position as president of the 2,300-seat Hippodrome Theatre at the France-Merrick Performing Arts Center. And Baltimore was a recurring theme during the party attended by more than 300 well-wishers. Legler’s co-workers at the Florida Theatrical Association and True Marketing starred in a hilariously reworked music video of “Good Morning Baltimore” from the musical Hairspray. The Orlando Repertory Theatre also performed a song from Hairspray before a string of downtown Orlando VIPs read a Top Ten List of reasons the couple shouldn’t move to Baltimore. Andrea Canny had Legler and Springer reaching for handkerchiefs with her stirring rendition of “Someone Like You” from Jekyll and Hyde—Legler’s favorite song. Then a relaxed and funny Mayor Buddy Dyer presented his friends with the Key to the City. When Legler and Springer joined him on stage, they were so moved they could barely speak. The next day Legler thanked everyone on Facebook and noted that the first Broadway touring show he’ll oversee at the Hippodrome, opening next week, is… Hairspray.

Learn velvet moves from Michael Wanzie 
Rumor has it that Michael Wanzie has the moves. The actor, producer, director and all-around talent has added ballroom dance instructor to his current repertoire. In a past life, he had the men and women at the Arthur Murray dance studio in a tizzy. He also choreographed for competition. Wanzie’s Ballroom Dance Crash Course is a series of three, six-week classes that began April 7 and will run through the summer. Gay, straight, single, coupled—all are welcome and encouraged. Classes will be held at The Venue. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for cocktails and class begins at 7 p.m. Classes will focus on the fox trot, rhumba and waltz, cha-cha, mambo, swing/jive and swing hustle and the tango and samba. Each series is $50 per person or $95 per couple. To sign up, visit Wanzie.com or email WanzieMichael@gmail.com.

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Mackinroth is ready to mingle

By : Anonymous
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Mackenroth: Single and looking
On Sept. 14, Metro Tampa Bay will celebrate it’s 20th anniversary with a fabulous Fire and Ice Gala at the Tampa Garden Club and HIV activist, designer and model Jack Mackenroth will be on hand to speak and meet and mingle. During an interview with Watermark editor Steve Blanchard on GSH Radio’s “Rainbow Hour” Sept. 4, Mackenroth said that while he’s been dating some in his home city of New York, he has yet to make a love connection. The hottie said that despite using his own dating site, Volttage.com, he hasn’t found the chemistry for a relationship. When pressed about his Tampa Bay visit, Mackenroth told Blanchard that he hopes people will approach him at the gala and won’t shy away because of his name recognition. “I’m approachable and I hope the men of Tampa Bay realize that,” he said on the show. Who knows, maybe someone local can lure the hunk to move here. You can listen to the entire interview at GSHRadio.com.

Mary arrives in Clearwater
The grand opening week of Hamburger Mary’s Clearwater brought visitors from throughout Tampa Bay to check out the new digs. The beautiful new restaurant has a main show bar, a sports bar, an outdoor tropical bar and a large dining room with a stage. There’s even a waterfall inside! The new restaurant is at 28910 US 19 in Clearwater, just north of Countryside Mall, and even Mary herself made an appearance during the opening week festivities, posing with restaurant staff and diners alike. According to our friend Carrie West of “Dishing with Mark and Carrie,” Hamburger Mary was spotted leaving on a Harley Davidson motorcycle. If opening attendance is any indication, folks will check out the restaurant to “Eat, Drink, and Be Mary” for years to come in Clearwater. To keep up on the new location, find the restaurant’s page on Facebook. We wish them the best!

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Judge rules in favor of Ohio gay couple

By : Wire Report
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Two Ohio men who want their out-of-state marriage recognized as one of them nears death have gotten a ruling in their favor from a federal judge, who wrote that they deserve to be treated with dignity in a case that’s seen as encouraging for same-sex marriage supporters in the state.

Federal Judge Timothy Black ordered Monday that the death certificate of ailing John Arthur show that he was married and that James Obergefell is his surviving spouse. The ruling means the pair can be buried next to each other in Arthur’s family plot, located at a cemetery that only allows descendants and spouses.

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3.28.13 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotSometimes a simple question requires so much more than a simple answer. Why, you might ask? Because cultural divides and antiquated views make things much more difficult than they need be.

Recently, when an acquaintance casually asked me if I was married, my response both baffled him and surprised me.

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Jodie Foster, out of the closet… sort of

By : Wire Report
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Jodie Foster came out without really coming out, and suggested she was retiring from acting without exactly saying so, in a long, breathless and rambling speech at the Golden Globe Awards.

Foster took the stage as this year’s winner of the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award, which had been announced previously. But her acceptance speech was anything but predictable as the veteran actress seized control of what is every year a noisy, boozy ballroom. The crowd of A-listers quickly quieted down Sunday night as it became apparent that she had something serious and important to say.

The 50-year-old Oscar-winner for “The Silence of the Lambs” and “The Accused,” who’s been protective of her private life and reluctant to discuss her sexual orientation, was coy at first, suggesting she had a big announcement that would make her publicist nervous.

Then she said, “I’m just going to put it out there, loud and proud … I am, uh, single,” pausing for dramatic effect before that last word. “I hope you’re not disappointed that there won’t be a big coming-out speech tonight. I already did my coming-out about a thousand years ago back in the Stone Age.”

Foster joked that celebrities are now expected to reveal they’re gay “with a press conference, a fragrance and a prime-time reality show. … No. I’m sorry. That’s just not me. It never was and it never will be. But please don’t cry, because my reality show would so boring.”

She added defiantly: “If you had been a public figure from the time that you were a toddler, if you’d had to fight for a life that felt real and honest and normal against all odds, then maybe you, too, might value privacy above all else.”

Foster thanked Cydney Bernard, a production manager whom she identified as “my heroic co-parent, my ex-partner in love but righteous soul sister in life,” her former partner of 20 years – a relationship she never hid and from which she has two sons.

She also made it sound as if she planned to retire from acting, something she’d considered before.

“This feels like the end of one era and the beginning of something else. Scary and exciting, and now what?” Foster said. “I may never be up on this stage again, on any stage, for that matter.”

But backstage afterward, she clarified for reporters: “I could never stop acting. You’d have to drag me behind a team of horses. I’d like to be directing tomorrow. I’m more into it than I have ever been.”

As for why she chose this place and time to discuss her private life, Foster explained backstage: “The speech kind of speaks for itself. … It’s a big moment. I wanted to say what’s most in my heart.”

Her revelation, vague as it was, nonetheless set Twitter on fire with reactions. Some called her words moving and brave, while others suggested that she should have done more to be a role model for lesbians.

Ricky Martin, who came out himself in 2010, tweeted: “Jody Foster On your terms. Its your time! Not before nor after. Its when it feels right.”

And Amy Poehler, who co-hosted the Golden Globes with longtime friend and fellow comedian Tina Fey, cracked as she was signing off for the night: “We’re going home with Jodie Foster!”