PHOTOS: Tampa Bay shows its Pride with the Rays’ Pride Night

By : Jake Stevens
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St. Petersburg | The Tampa Bay Rays faced off against the Seattle Mariners June 8 at Tropicana Field for the team’s 13th annual Pride Night.

LGBTQ organizations from across Tampa Bay gathered their own groups to attend to the game, and baseball and pride enthusiasts who purchased tickets ahead of the June 7 cutoff received a special Tampa Bay Rays pride-themed hat, seen above. While the Rays didn’t win the game, Project No Labels was a big winner: the organization was awarded Volunteer of the Year by the team for their dedication to the LGBTQ community.

Watermark was on hand to help celebrate this year’s Pride Night — and you can check out some of our photos after the jump.

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LGBTQ community to gather for Tampa Bay Rays Pride Night

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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St. Petersburg | The Tampa Bay Rays will face off against the Seattle Mariners tonight, June 8 for the team’s 13th annual Pride Night.

Multiple area LGBTQ organizations gathered their own groups to attend to the game, and baseball and pride enthusiasts who purchased tickets ahead of the June 7 cutoff will receive a special Tampa Bay Rays pride-themed hat, seen below:

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Beckner’s next move and Pride Nights for all

By : Anonymous
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Private Beckner reporting for duty

Many have been curious as to the next move of former Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner since he termed out of his seat last year. Hillsborough’s first openly gay commissioner ran unsuccessfully to be the next Clerk of Courts and since then has remained silent on whether he would pursue another run at an elected position or head back into the private sector.

Well, wonder no more. Beckner posted to his Facebook page April 20 that he has not one but two positions he will be filling: Executive Director of Hillsborough County’s Civil Service Agency and a position with human resource advisory and talent acquisition firm HR Trust.

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Community banker Barclay Harless kicks off campaign for St. Petersburg City Council

By : Jeremy Williams
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ST PETERSBURG – Barclay Harless, civic leader and local community banker, kicked off his campaign Jan. 31 as he runs for District 2 of St. Petersburg City Council.

Harless gathered with supporters at Ricky P’s Creole Kitchen in St. Petersburg to lay out his plan for the city should he be elected.

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Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has chosen those who stood out from the LGBTQ community – 16 remarkable individuals who made a mark in 2016; whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

It has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, and those we have selected have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

Below, our 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16.

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Take Me Out to the Ball Game: Tampa Bay Rays president Brian Auld is loud and proud about LGBTQ Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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A lot of stereotypes exist around the LGBTQ community and sports. Gay men don’t like them, lesbians are in love with them and the people behind the teams would rather not have anything to do with the community. Enter Brian Auld and the Tampa Bay Rays.

Auld has been with the Rays for 12 years and has been the team’s president since 2014, and, in his time at Tropicana Field, nothing else has been engrained into the Rays more than the inclusion of the entire community: inclusion of women, minority groups and the LGBTQ community.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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Billy Bean teaching MLB teams about inclusion in clubhouse

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Billy Bean has come full circle, throwing out the first pitch for the first Mets Pride Night Aug. 13 against his former San Diego team.

Bean came out as gay after he left the Padres in 1995. Now he’s Major League Baseball’s vice president for social responsibility and inclusion. In the past two years, he’s talked to all 30 MLB ownership groups, various teams and players about struggling with his sexuality during his career and gay and lesbian inclusion in the workplace.

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Tampa Bay Rays, MLB bring Pride and diversity to Tropicana Field

By : Jeremy Williams
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BillyBeanThe Tampa Bay Rays raised more than $300,000 for the victims of the Pulse shooting as they celebrated a decade of recognizing the LGBT community with the Rays Pride Night June 17.

The team announced June 14 that all remaining tickets for the game would be $5 and that the proceeds raised for and during the game would go to the Pulse Victims Fund.

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Tampa Bay Rays’ Pride Night raises $300,000 for Pulse victims

By : Alex Storer
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The Tampa Bay Rays raised more than $300,000 for the victims of the Pulse shooting at their 10th annual Pride Night against the San Francisco Giants June 17.

The team announced June 14 that all remaining tickets for the game would be $5 and that the proceeds raised for and during the game would go to the Pulse Victims Fund.

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LGBT Pride Night at Tropicana Field

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SAVE THE DATE:

Join us for our annual tradition in the bullpen Field level box adjacent to the Rays Bullpen! For this year’s LGBT Pride night, the Tampa Bay Rays are playing the San Francisco Giants.

Limited number of seats include a full buffet, two hours of beer, wine, or soda, and a free Rays T-shirt! Sponsored by Brian Longstreth, Your Neighborhood Realty. 100% of the ticket sales are donated to Equality Florida.

Purchase tickets here: http://eqfl.convio.net/site/Donation2?df_id=4360&mfc_pref=T&4360.donation=form1

Overheard in Tampa Bay: 10th Rays Pride Night

By : Anonymous
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Tampa Bay Rays and a decade of Pride
The Tampa Bay Rays and Equality Florida are organizing another event to recognize LGBT fans during a Rays home game at Tropicana Field. The official Pride Night will be June 17 as the Rays take on the San Francisco Giants. Pride Night 2016 marks the 10th year the Rays have invited LGBT groups to participate in a night dedicated to the community at the field. The Rays have been active with the Tampa Bay LGBT community for many years. Not only do they hold Pride Night each year, the team also participates in LGBT events in the area including St. Pete Pride and Tampa Pride. In 2011, the Rays released a video for the Trevor Project and the It Gets Better campaign to help end bullying.Tickets for the Pride Night are $99 for field level near the Ray’s bullpen and $30 in the higher section.

Hamburger Mary’s in Primetime
The popular CBS show Undercover Boss kicked off its seventh season with a few firsts. It was the first time the show featured co-owners of a company, it was the first time it featured identical twins going undercover and it was the first time world famous Hamburger Mary’s was featured on primetime network television. Twins Ashley and Brandon Wright own the 13-restaurant chain, five of which are here in Florida, and decided to go undercover at several locations. For those who have not seen the show, the owners of a company go undercover to see how the business is running and how the employees act. The Wright twins went in disguised as servers, bartenders and drag performers and they visited Hamburger Marys across the country. While they didn’t visit the two amazing locations we have here in the Tampa Bay area, the Clearwater location does have a connection to the show. Kenny Lawson was a server the show followed at the Kansas City location. In the show, Lawson told the undercover owner how he came to Kansas City after being kicked out of his house in Texas after coming out and found a new family at Hamburger Mary’s. Lawson is now at the Clearwater location waiting tables and signing autographs (we assume) after the very adorable Lawson was featured. Thanks to the owners, Lawson is now cruising the coast in a new car and basking in the Florida sun. Oh, and boys, he’s apparently single.