Tampa’s All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball spooks with 42nd annual theme

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The haunting not-for-profit All Hallows’ Masquerade Ball, billed as one of Tampa’s longest-standing traditions, has revealed the theme for its 42nd annual gathering. Guests will kick off Halloween Oct. 27 with “Scary Movie Night.”

“Cinematic themes of terror and fright / Cast yourself as that bump in the night,” the freshly-mailed invitations read. “Roles to consider, an excess for audition / Classic or current, witch, ghost or mortician. / Go campy or grotesque, any scene in between / It’s SCARY MOVIE NIGHT, the prequel to Halloween!”

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USF announces second annual Pride Night

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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University of South Florida (USF) football will hold the second annual USF Pride Night Sept. 1.

The Bulls will face competitor Elon at Raymond James Stadium at 6 p.m. for the outing, with Pride Night seats on the 50 yard line. “It’s critically important right now, especially in the political arena that we’re in, that we do all we can to support all of our communities,” Director of Internal Operations for the Bulls Club Todd St. John-Fulton says. “I feel like our community is coming under attack constantly, so it’s incredibly important to raise visibility.”

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Come OUT St. Pete’s second year to feature daytime Grand Central parade

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Come OUT St. Pete’s inaugural parade, the first daytime pride parade in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District since 2013, will include a city block-length rainbow flag.

ST. PETERSBURG | Come OUT St. Pete (COSP) announced its second year will include a daytime LGBTQ parade in the city’s Grand Central District Oct. 6.

COSP, which began last year as a committee of the Grand Central District Association, has now applied for its own 501(c)(3) designation and exists as its own Florida nonprofit corporation. Its mission is to inspire those in the LGBTQ community to live genuinely, raise awareness of LGBTQ issues and encourage public support from community allies.

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Out singer/songwriter Calum Scott talks his new album, Tinder and first U.S. tour

By : Aaron Drake
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You might know him by his heartbreaking version of “Dancing on My Own,” but “Britain’s Got Talent” golden boy Calum Scott has much more up his sleeve.

The out singer and songwriter just released his debut album “Only Human” on Capitol Records, and he’s wasting no time in getting it out on tour. It’s his first major tour through the U.S., and many of his LGBTQ fans are eager to see him live. He will be performing with well-known a capella group Pentatonix at his upcoming show in Tampa at the MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater Aug. 9.

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Watermark on the Fringe: “Becoming Magic Mike: An Action Adventure Comedy”

By : Danny Garcia
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Comedian DK Reinemer tackles Hollywood’s biggest action film stereotypes and cop comedy cliches in his one-man show, “Becoming Magic Mike: An Action Adventure Comedy.”

Reinemer plays by-the-book Tampa police officer Mark who, through a comical opening sequence, ends up letting the bad guys get away. Reinemer  also plays the Chief, Mark’s superior who is angered by the situation but offers Mark a chance to redeem himself by going undercover to investigate a male strip club named The Meat Locker where the strippers may be moonlighting (or is daylighting?) as bank robbers. Mark’s mission: infiltrate the group, gain their trust and crack this case without screwing up… again.

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Gainesville first north Florida city to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. | Gainesville became the first city in north Florida to ban conversion therapy for minors April 5 when the Gainesville City Commission unanimously voted to outlaw the practice.

The ordinance will “prohibit licensed professionals from engaging in counseling efforts, practices or treatments with the goal to change a minor’s sexual orientation or gender identity.”

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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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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Darlene Herrick

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Age: 45

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

How you identify: “Try-sexual”

What’s your sign: Libra

“I’m very passionate about my work,” Darlene Herrick says. “I love cooking. I love being a chef. I love creating.”

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Joey Arrigo leads Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA to Tampa

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Out aerialist, dancer and choreographer Joey Arrigo portrays the lead in VOLTA, Cirque du Soleil’s 41st original production, but his story with the largest theatrical producer in the world actually began at age 5 with a VHS tape.

He says he watched his parents’ VHS tape, which featured one of the company’s first shows, “so many times, not even really comprehending what it was and what it even took to get there.” More importantly, he asserts, it “sparked something in me.”

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Watermark Wednesday – January Social

By : Danny Garcia
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Come out to the first Watermark Wednesday of 2018 as we meet and mingle at Hamburger Mary’s Pub House in Ybor City. As always, light bites will be provided and your first drink is on the house. Bring cash for raffle prizes. Proceeds benefit Tampa Pride. See you there!

Anti-LGBTQ group files suit against Tampa’s conversion therapy ban

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | An anti-LGBTQ group known as Liberty Counsel has filed a suit against the city of Tampa for banning the practice of conversion therapy on minors, citing a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The ban was first proposed by Councilman Guido Maniscalco in early 2017, and Tampa’s City Council voted unanimously on April 6 to ban the practice of attempting to psychologically change an individual’s sexual orientation.

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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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