Legendary ‘Grand Ole Gal of the South’ Carmella Marcella Garcia passes away

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Carmella Marcella Garcia performing during the Babes in Bonnets fundraiser at Parliament House in 2018. (Photo by Tabitha Widby)

ORLANDO | George Timothy Reed, better known in the community as Carmella Marcella Garcia, passed away on Oct. 15 after a long-fought battle with cancer. He was 57. Reed was known in the drag community as the the “Grand Ole Gal of the South,” or just Mella to friends.

Reed started his career in Nashville in the mid 80’s performing at the Cabaret, Warehouse 28 and PLAY Dancebar. He worked in over 30 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Canada, according to OurCommunityRoots.com. The Kentucky-native won numerous titles and crowns including Miss Gay Orlando, Miss Gay Florida USofA, Miss Gay Florida America, Miss Gay USofA at Large and Miss Universe at Large, just to name a few.

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Come Out With Pride announces theme, events for 2019 celebration

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: Come Out With Pride board members (L-R) Marc Espeso, Nate West, Karen Brown, Clayton Altman, Jeff Prystajko, Blue Star and Joyce Almeida at the 2019 events announcement July 31. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced its official theme, entertainers and list of events during a press conference at The Venue in Orlando July 31.

“2018 was a spectacular year. The weather was perfect and we had a lot of changes; the layout changed, we added a new stage, we added a huge new Marketplace, the energy level was absolutely incredible and we want to keep that going,” said COWP Board President Jeff Prystajko during the press conference.

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OYA and Parliament House’s Easter tradition continues with Babes in Bonnets

By : Abigail Brashear
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ABOVE: A sample of the bonnets auctioned off at the 2018 Babes in Bonnets event. Photo by Tabitha Widby

ORLANDO | The Parliament House will once again host the Easter holiday auction Babes in Bonnets, which fund raises for the Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA).

Each fundraiser over the past several years has continued to surpass the one before it, with last year’s auction bringing in a record $32,171. The fundraiser itself has been around for 21 years and was started by the legendary drag queen Carmella Marcella Garcia.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Central Florida: Kathy Ruiz

By : Jeremy Williams
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AGE: 21

HOMETOWN: Miami, Fla.

IDENTIFIES AS: Bisexual

PRONOUNS: She/her

SIGN: Aquarius

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Southern Nights Orlando to host holiday benefit for The Trevor Project

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Southern Nights Orlando hosts the 11th annual Broadway Christmas cabaret, presented by Kai’ja Adonis and Jose Marrero and benefiting The Trevor Project, Dec. 20.

Adonis and Marrero began Broadway Christmas in the mid-2000s after they lost a friend to suicide.

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Babes in Bonnets sets record in fundraising for OYA

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Babes in Bonnets, The Parliament House’s annual Easter fixture, set a fundraising record bringing in $32,171 for the Orlando Youth Alliance March 26.

The previous record was set last year when Babes in Bonnets brought in $28,000 for OYA.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

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Newly-out Aaron Carter hits the road with his first album in 15 years

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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“For me, it’s all about the music,” Tampa-born Aaron Carter says. “And if there is one lesson I’ve learned this [last] year, it’s not to dwell on the past, but to live for the future.”

It’s a wonderful sentiment for the multi-platinum pop star on the eve of the release of LøVë, his first studio album in 15 years, particularly following a year of highly publicized ups and downs. But to understand Carter’s zest for his upcoming release and for the future, one has to examine his past.

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Tampa Bay Overheard: Adore tour no more

By : Anonymous
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Fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Adore Delano were disappointed to learn that the singer’s appearances for her “Adore Tour” were canceled in late October, just days ahead of her appearances at Southern Nights Tampa and Southern Nights Orlando.

Pardon Moi French, the event promoter presenting “The Adore Tour,” announced its cancellation just one day ahead of the Orlando stop and two before the scheduled show in Tampa. It had previously touted the tour, which would feature new music form the artist’s third studio album Whatever as “an incredible concert, featuring opening acts from some of your favorite entertainers in your city along with a 30+ minute concert.”

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Trans activist premieres short film showing women’s daily struggles

By : Jeremy Williams
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Transgender activist, musician, photographer and Watermark contributor Melody Maia Monet can add actress and screenwriter to her list of credits as she premiered her short film, Transgender Whiplash, at Southern Nights in Orlando Oct. 7.

The 9-minute film stars Monet, Kate Murray, Dev Zebra and Jeff Evans; and follows a transgender woman through a day in which she “magically jumps back and forth across the divide between the sexes. Along the way she runs head on into the professional, interpersonal and relationship differences faced by men and women every day.”

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Aaron Carter’s Southern Nights performances canceled as singer heads to rehab

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Aaron Carter, who recently came out as bisexual, canceled his scheduled performances at Southern Nights Orlando tonight, Sept. 22, and Southern Nights Tampa tomorrow, Sept. 23. TMZ reported the beleaguered singer and Backstreet-sibling is checking into a Florida rehab center.

“Unfortunately due to health-related issues,” Southern Nights Orlando announced via Facebook, “Aaron Carter will not be appearing with us at Southern Nights Orlando.” Southern Nights Tampa’s page echoed the announcement.

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Orlando’s Overheard: Ginger Minj gets married and Irma comes to the City Beautiful

By : Anonymous
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Disney’s newest Princess

At the New York 2017 RuPaul’s Drag-Con, fans of RuPaul’s Drag Race were treated to an unexpected surprise.

Soon after a make-up panel—where Central Florida’s Ginger Minj (Josh Eads) gave 8-year old internet drag sensation Lactatia a make-over—Ginger asked Lactatia “I’ve done your make up and your wig, can you do something for me? Do you want to be my flower girl?” Then Ginger announced she was getting married today.

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