Halloween 2019 events in Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Watermark Staff
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Whether you are looking for a spooktacular family-friendly outing or scares intended for adults, we have got you covered.

We gathered LGBTQ community and friendly events throughout Central Florida and Tampa Bay. We also took the liberty of listing costume contests throughout each area for those of you who are crafty and looking to earn a little cold hard cash and/or a few Halloween prizes.

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2 Pulse survivors to hold ‘ex-gay’ march in Orlando same week leaders look to ban conversion therapy in Orange County

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | As LGBTQ leaders and community supporters gathered Aug. 15 at Stonewall Bar in Orlando to hold a rally to ban conversion therapy in Orange County, two Pulse shooting survivors appeared on a Christian podcast to discuss an ex-gay march they plan to hold at Lake Eola next month.

Luis J. Ruiz and Angel Colon—both survivors of the June 12, 2016 mass shooting at Pulse— are claiming they are no longer gay and want to spread their message of “ex-gay” conversion by holding a march at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, less than two miles from Pulse, on Sept. 14.

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Orlando LGBTQ clubs bring the queens for GayDayS weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
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GayDayS weekend will not only be popping at the host hotel. Orlando’s clubs and bars are having parties of their own and they are certain to be lit!

Below we have gathered information on some of the hottest queens taking Orlando’s GayDayS weekend by storm.

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Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: William Taylor Bulloch and Rafael Torres

By : Aaron Drake
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William Taylor Bulloch and Rafael Torres went on their first date to Urban Wetlands at Greenwood Park.

“It was supposed to be just a lunch date and it turned into a whole afternoon thing,” Taylor says. 

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PHOTOS: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ steals the show at Stonewall Orlando’s Halloween night

By : Danny Garcia
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ORLANDO | It was FUN HOUSE Happy Hour at Stonewall Orlando for Halloween Oct. 31. Hosted by Erica Roberts, the event was filled with fun games and fantastic prizes, including theme park tickets!

The FUN HOUSE wrapped up with its Halloween Costume Contest at 9 p.m., where Kurt Kors and CJ Clontz won dressed up as “The Nightmare Before Christmas” King of Halloween Jack Skellington and his love Sally … with their ghostly pooch Zero in tow, of course.

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PHOTOS: Come Out With Pride’s Block Party took over the streets at Stonewall Orlando

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride took Friday night to Stonewall Bar, and its surrounding streets, this year for the COWP Block Party Oct. 12.

The streets were blocked off for people to enjoy big video screens, vendor tents and an outdoor street bar. COWP definitely got the weekend started with the music pumping and the party in full swing, inside and outside, all night.

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Come Out With Pride to keep Orlando dancing with this year’s parade, festival

By : Christen Kelley
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ABOVE: COWP’s Most Colorful Parade at downtown Orlando in 2017. Photo by Brian Becnel

ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) is gearing up for its most colorful day of the year — its 14th annual Pride festival and parade held on Oct. 13.

Aligning with National Coming Out Day and LGBTQ History Month, COWP is one of the largest Pride events in Florida with over 160,000 attendees last year. COWP President Jeff Prystajko says there will likely be even more this year.

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Come Out With Pride announces its week-long schedule of events for Pride 2018

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced its schedule of events at its 2018 Big Reveal at Tin Roof Orlando July 30. COWP will extend its official events from the traditional three-day weekend to a full week of events.

COWP’s week-long series of events will take place throughout Orlando Oct. 8-14. Several community leaders took the stage at the Big Reveal to make the announcements.

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Hot Seat Fundraiser at Stonewall for Eric Rollings

By : Maia Monet
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Join us for a Friday night of drinks and a celebration of our LGBT community at Stonewall Bar in Orlando.

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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