Watermark Wednesday – September Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Meet and mingle with the Watermark team, LGBTQ+ professionals and allies at the brand new G St. Pete.
During this event we will host a raffle drawing, so bring plenty of cash! All ticket sales will go directly to Suncoast Softball League! Your first drink is FREE and light bites will be provided.

Suncoast Softball League kicks off 26th year

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Suncoast Softball League, organized in 1993 to promote a safe environment for gay men and women in the Tampa Bay area to play softball, kicked off its 26th year Sept. 16.

“It’s hard to believe! A small handful of us were here on opening day 26 years ago,” the organization shared via social media. “We never imagined how successful the league would become; what an impact in the community it would have; the people and critters we would help year after year.”

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Mama Bearings: Why I am here

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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“Why are you guys even here?” This was the very direct and rude question my husband was asked in March during this year’s Tampa Pride. We were sitting at a crowded table shared with friends, old and new, at Hamburger Mary’s Ybor. Our eight-year-old son Jake was with us.

My husband, being the kind and patient human being he is, answered in great detail. He explained to his interrogator that we were attending Tampa Pride in support of our youngest child, who identifies as transgender. Jake was even on a float and gave out beads in the parade. It was an important and magical day for us as parents seeing our little dude being himself. Celebrating diversity is one of my fondest memories with Jake so far.

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09.06.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I’ve been told I communicate too much. I really am an open book and there isn’t much I won’t talk about, no matter how personal it is. I also tend to divulge all the information I have when telling a story. It’s strange to me that everyone doesn’t do this, yet I assume they do anyway. This often gets me in trouble with my roommate.

“Why did she do that?” she asks when I’m done with my story. To which I reply, “I’ve given you all the information I have.” “Why didn’t you ask more questions?” she retorts. I explain that I just go by the information people give me. She calls me weird and I call her weird. After 18 years of living together, I assure you we are both weird.

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City of Tampa hosts LGBTQ youth forum

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Community advocates will gather for an interactive and educational forum Sept. 12 at the Barksdale Adult Activity Center to spotlight the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ youth.

The forum is hosted by Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s Youth Leadership Council, a city program which allows local teenagers to develop leadership skills and apply them through service projects and workshops. To participate in the council, students must apply and have successfully completed one year in the Mayor’s Youth Corps. The latter program empowers youth to make community service a life-long commitment.

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Community organizations form Zero Pinellas initiative to combat HIV

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Seven community organizations have partnered to form Zero Pinellas, an initiative granted $2,207,694 over three years to reduce new HIV infections in Pinellas County by at least 50 percent.

The participating organizations—the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, The AIDS Institute, BayCare, Empath Health and EPIC, the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County and Metro Wellness and Community Centers—were granted the funds by the Foundation for a Healthy St. Petersburg. The private foundation uses its funds to support health equity countywide.

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Tampa welcomes thousands for 2018 Gay Softball World Series

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa Bay will host the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance’s (NAGAAA) Gay Softball World Series (GSWS) for the first time in the organization’s history Sept. 3-8.

Formed in 1977, NAGAAA is an international sports organization comprised of male and female softball players. The 501(c)(3) is dedicated to providing the LGBTQ community the opportunity to participate in organized competitions throughout North America.

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Watermark is hiring! Tampa Bay Distribution Specialist needed

By : Meghan Sweeney
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Are you a motivated individual who thrives in an independent work environment and would like to make a little extra money?

We have the perfect job for you!

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4.19.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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I haven’t always loved my job. Who loves anything all of the time? Even a parent who loves their child might want to slap them “into the middle of next week” occasionally. So I hear. I don’t have children, but I have adorable dogs that drive me crazy as much as they warm my heart.

I remember I was at a low point in 2004 with my career at Watermark. The repetition of an administrative assistant position with a local niche newspaper was taking its toll on me. I was young, stupid and combative. Up to this point, I never held a job for more than a year and a half and I was currently over two years at Watermark. I was starting to get antsy, so I looked for another job. Walt Disney World accepted me to their entertainment team as a production assistant and I took a few days off at Watermark to enroll in the Disney training class known as Traditions. The only thing left to do was put in my notice and leave.

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Watermark is hiring! Orlando advertising sales representative needed

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark is hiring an Orlando advertising sales representative.

For more than 24 years, Watermark has been the premiere source for LGBTQ news across Central Florida and Tampa Bay, and we are expanding our team.

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It’s time to celebrate your favorite picks for Tampa Bay and Central Florida’s best!

By : Watermark Staff
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The curtain is falling on award season, but not before we announce your favorite picks for the best in Tampa Bay and Central Florida. The Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence results are here.

In record numbers you listed your favorite people, places and things in our freeform ballot. We took the top three vote getters and opened up the competition for a finalist round. In record numbers again, you spoke and we listened.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – TAMPA BAY

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Nadine Smith, Equality Florida CEO

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Rick Kriseman, St. Petersburg Mayor

Second: Joanna Garcia Parkin, ESQ., St. Petersburg attorney

Third: Bob Buckhorn, Tampa Mayor

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