Study: Orlando second only to Vegas as most sinful city

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | WalletHub, a credit report website, named Orlando the second most sinful city in the U.S., behind only the self-proclaimed “Sin City,” Las Vegas.

The study looked at 182 cities in the U.S. across seven key dimensions: Anger & Hatred, Jealousy, Excesses & Vices, Greed, Lust Vanity and Laziness. Orlando ranked within the top 10 of Lust, Jealousy and most disturbingly, Anger & Hatred, where Orlando ranked fifth.

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Tampa Police chief leaves Safe Places for victims of hate crimes, bullying as he announces his retirement

By : Rachel Dececco
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TAMPA – Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward announced his retirement from the Tampa Police Department in a press conference with Mayor Bob Buckhorn July 6.

Ward has served 29 years with the TPD, the last two years as its police chief. Ward was appointed to replace former Police Chief Jane Castor in 2015. Castor was Tampa’s first female and openly gay police chief.

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With a ban in Tampa and a proposed ban in St. Petersburg, the Bay area is saying no to conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA – The practice of conversion therapy has not only been deemed ineffective, but has been called harmful by every major medical organization, including the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Even with all this opposition to conversion therapy, there is still no nationwide ban on the practice, so some state, county and city leaders have taken it upon themselves to get it banned at local levels, including right here in the Bay area.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see Bianca Del Rio’s “Not Today Satan” at the Straz Center in Tampa

By : Jeremy Williams
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Bianca Del Rio, the alter ego of comic Roy Haylock and season six winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is a self-professed “clown in a gown.”

This hilariously hateful comic is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humor, but her victims hardly have time to feel the sting before she zips on to the next topic, and now you and a guest have the chance to see it all live as Bianca Del Rio brings her eye of judgement to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa April 7 at 8:00 P.M. in her new global comedy tour, “Not Today Satan.”

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As sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, the battle for LGBTQ sex ed in schools is more important than ever

By : Samuel Johnson
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Another tale of twin cities is encapsulated in twin counties, both nestled on the Tampa Bay. St. Petersburg occupies the southern borders of the bay and Tampa hugs the northern shoreline; Pinellas County and Hillsborough County respectfully.

Like most twin cities, these twin counties are dealing with some of the same civic and social challenges: shared infrastructure or shared natural resources or even shifting residential patterns. Another aspect that these twin counties share is the startling rates of sexually risky behavior among their youth, which manifests itself in high rates of sexual infections and diseases.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Queer cities and pageant Queens

By : Anonymous
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Queer Bay

St. Petersburg and Tampa were named among the “Queerest Cities in America 2017” by The Advocate. What makes them so queer you may ask? Well lucky for you The Advocate gave the criteria they looked at to decide; everything from how many lesbian bars and Trans Pride parades the town has to how many theaters were showing Moonlight and hosting the music group Pwr Bttm.

Tampa came in at number 19, called Florida’s more “cosmopolitan” city (The Advocate hasn’t decided if Tampa is a Carrie or Samantha yet). According to The Advocate, this is where the young people flock to getting their education vibe on at the University of South Florida and Tampa University. They also mentioned the non-stop party of the GaYBOR district.

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Florida dispensaries aim to ‘normalize’ medical marijuana

By : Wire Report
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Vials of cannabis-laced sprays, lotions and tinctures line display shelves a few steps from handbags specially designed to tote marijuana products.

A stylish kitchenette and table is on the opposite side of this Surterra Wellness Center medical marijuana showroom, space used to host educational sessions on the merits of the drug — something legal only under very strict circumstances in Florida until Amendment 2 took effect last week.

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St. Petersburg and Orlando are very, very queer according to the Advocate

By : Billy Manes
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Though it may just be clickbait fodder for the nation’s beloved LGBTQ glossy the Advocate, we can’t help but take pride in the fact that both St. Pete and Orlando clipped into the highest of echelons in the Advocate‘s annual list of places where gays play the best.

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Watermark is looking for the Most Remarkable people of 2016

By : Watermark Staff
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Every year, Watermark chooses stand-outs from the LGBTQ community – remarkable individuals who made a mark in the past year, whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

2016 has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, especially considering the marriage victory last year, so we’re looking to honor those who have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Kriseman at Mary’s, HRC on St. Pete and Chick-fil-A in politics

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Mary’s Grand Opening

While the new Hamburger Mary’s at Tyrone Square in St. Petersburg has been opened for a few weeks now, they made the entire thing official with a grand opening ceremony Oct. 13.

A huge crowd gathered in the kitschy, fun restaurant known for big juicy burgers and even juicer drag queens as St. Pete mayor and super politician Rick Kriseman, along with family in tow, cut the ribbon. Mayor Kriseman wasn’t the only local celeb there. The event was also attended by former Republican governor (and future Democratic Congressman?) Charlie Crist, Tampa Bay gay royalty Mark & Carrie and Mary herself as they all let their hair down and celebrated the newest location.

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Anti-LGBT Republicans Pence, Rubio speak at Tampa fundraiser

By : Jeremy Williams
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TAMPA Vice Presidential hopeful Mike Pence and Sen. Marco Rubio spoke at a Republican fundraiser in Tampa Oct. 15 spending most of the time attacking Hillary Clinton.

Rubio, like many in the party, appears to be trying to distance himself since the infamous Access Hollywood tape that was leaked where Trump spoke about sexually assaulting women.

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Pulse shooting survivor found dead at Tampa residence

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pulse shooting survivor Chris Brodman died in the early morning hours while attending a friend’s birthday party in North Tampa Sept. 11.

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Brodman’s identity Sept. 13 after notifying his next of kin.

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