Rival group to hold competing Pride march in NYC

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A New York City-based group called the Reclaim Pride Coalition announced last week that more than 50 LGBT rights organizations in the U.S. and other countries have endorsed its plans for a “non-corporate, grassroots” civil rights march to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Organizers say the “Reclaim Pride” march will take place on June 30 on the same day and at the same time but along a different route than the official New York City Pride March, which has been organized for more than 20 years by the group Heritage of Pride or HOP.

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Stonewall Orlando hosting inaugural comedy showcase

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | Stonewall Orlando is bringing the laughs to the party with the debut of its first stand-up comedy showcase Jan. 30.

Hosted by Heather Shaw, the free showcase starts at 9:30 p.m., with doors opening 30 minutes beforehand. The inaugural event will feature comedians Shaw Smith, Simon Nash, Christophe Jean, Chris Alexander, Krystal Tholen and Ariana Garcia-Chow.

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Watch: Madonna gives surprise NYE performance at Stonewall Inn

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Madonna gave a surprise performance for partygoers at New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn on New Year’s Eve.

The 60-year-old pop star stopped by with her son David Banda, 13, to give a speech on the LGBT movement and to treat the crowd to two musical performances.

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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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New York Yankees announce LGBT scholarships for Stonewall’s 50th anniversary

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The New York Yankees will launch an LGBT initiative in 2019 that will provide scholarships to high school students to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

The Yankees-Stonewall Scholars Initiative will award five $10,000 scholarships to one graduating public high school student from each of the five boroughs who” have demonstrated academic achievement, a commitment to equality and impactful support for the LGBTQ community.”

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Florida’s drag families prove Mum’s the word

By : Ryan Williams-Jent, Divine Grace
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Drag culture is intrinsically tied to the LGBTQ community, from Stonewall to the life-dependent lip-syncs now featured weekly on VH1. Now more than ever it borders on the mainstream, with the art form highlighted (and contoured) on televisions worldwide and available now on iTunes.

As drag paints itself even further into the history of pop culture, it can be easy to forget that it has its detractors, often found in the safe spaces drag performers share. It can lead to camaraderie amongst entertainers as they gravitate toward one another for belonging and assistance, creating both a sense of family and of home.

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06.28.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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You can ask any of my friends or family, here at Watermark or otherwise, and they’ll tell you it’s no secret that I love drag.

I don’t do it myself, given my penchant for facial hair and the amount of foam it would take to give me a proper backside, but it’s something I’ve respected for most of my life. It’s a love and respect that began in 1996.

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LGBA Conference to be held in Orlando

By : Jeremy Brener
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ORLANDO | The Central Florida Sounds of Freedom Band & Color Guard (CFSOF) announced that the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) will hold their 2019 conference in Orlando Oct. 10-13.

The announcement was made in a press release by CFSOF, as well as South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble and Tampa Bay Pride Band, May 8.

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Trans filmmaker claims Marsha P. Johnson doc director stole her work

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Transgender filmmaker and researcher Reina Gossett has accused “The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson” director David France of stealing her idea for the documentary.

The film, which is streaming on Netflix, examines Johnson’s involvement in the Stonewall riots, her transgender activism, and mysterious death. Gossett, who is an activist-in-residence at the Barnard College Center for Research on Women’s Social Justice Institute, worked on the short film “Happy Birthday, Marsha!” with Sasha Wortzel.

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UCF celebrates LGBTQ history with a month of events

By : Rachel Dececco
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ORLANDO | “Our history did not begin with Stonewall, but our movement began there.”

These were the words that kicked off the opening ceremonies for LGBTQ History Month at the University of Central Florida Oct. 3.

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Stonewall Rebellion: It wasn’t Judy!

By : Perry Brass
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Judy Garland, while a gay icon, was not the reason for the Stonewall riots in 1969.

Many things have been said and written about “Stonewall,” the historic confrontation in June 1969 after a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a Mafia-run gay bar on Christopher Street in New York City’s Greenwich Village that ignited the Gay Revolution—and an incredible change in attitudes and feelings about queer people throughout the world.

Among them, it happened on the night of a full moon, so a lot of the craziness on the streets can be blamed on that—not true. Another rumor is that it was all sparked by the death—and funeral, at Frank E. Campbell’s mortuary, uptown on Madison Avenue and 83rd, around the corner from the Metropolitan Museum—of gay icon Judy Garland. The “girls” were just so discombobulated by grief that they let go of all restraint and started breaking windows, uprooting parking meters (remember them?), throwing 40-pound garbage cans through the windows and even biting cops on the legs.

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The other side of life: Intersections

By : Jason Leclerc
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Over the past year, we’ve tread the intersection of Kaley Street and South Orange Avenue as it’s become a crossroads swollen with mourners, with meaning. It meets the intersection of Christopher and Seventh. It meets the intersection of Pride and unity, where the Rainbow Flag meets an ongoing aggregation of initials. It meets the intersection of politics and partisanship and guns and economic equity.

Even as we make these intersections into hallowed spaces, each carrying the foot traffic of omnipresent ghosts, we are obliged to recognize that history is a gift from the past to the present – another intersection where the crosswalks are overwhelmed by facts and their pedestrian interpretations. The past lives alongside the present.

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