Issue 23.02: Weed the People

By : Jake Stevens
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Weed the People: Melissa Etheridge on medical marijuana, music and politics, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!

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Gay Iranian poet flees to Israel

By : Wire Report
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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Payam Feili, a gay poet, fled his native Iran last year because of the persecution he faced over his sexuality. Now, he has made a years-long dream come true – he is visiting Israel, Iran’s archenemy and a country known for its tolerance toward gays.

But the 30-year-old Feili stands out not only because of his arrival in a country so at odds with his own, but because of his professed adoration for the state some Iranian leaders have dubbed a cancer and have called to be wiped off the map.

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: I want a parade!

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

Michael Wanzie

The official Program for this year’s COME OUT WITH PRIDE celebration has already been widely distributed. And so the chorus begins.

Not the Orlando Gay Chorus, but the chorus of voices that annually rise up in our community (and I imagine in communities across the nation where similar events are staged) bemoaning the aspects of Pride that are not to their liking. Not in reference to the itinerary of Orlando COME OUT WITH PRIDE events, which span several days; I understand that not every event suits every one’s taste or budget. But if anyone would like to see different events or different takes on existing events, they have only but to volunteer their time and talent and time and energy and time and money and time to the presenting organization and become part of the event in an influential and meaningful way rather than simply criticize it. But I digress.

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Taste of Gay Days got the taste buds rocking

By : Jeremy Williams
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A Taste of Gay Days kept the party goers at DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World well fed with food from all over the orlando area.

Along with the eats the guests on the adult treats with wine, beer and alcohol in heavy supply.

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Gay Days 2015: 25 Magical Weekends

By : Watermark Staff
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Gay Days 2015 is here! The parties, the pools and the bodies are everywhere and Watermark is taking up the task, as we do every year, to get you all the V.I.P. action.

Make sure to stay with WatermarkOnline.com and Watermark’s social media the entire week to catch all the gossip and photos from every event in Orlando.

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Taste of Pride comes back to St. Pete

By : Steve Blanchard
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A sold out Taste of Pride returned to the Salvador Dali Museum on March 21 and once again offered samples of food from a variety of area restaurants.

Organizers said more than 600 tickets were sold to the annual event, which serves as a fundraiser for St. Pete Pride, the state’s largest LGBT Pride celebration.

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Screened Out – Fifty Shades of Grey

By : Stephen Miller
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Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Marcia Gay-Harden

Do you know what’s shocking about Fifty Shades of Grey? It’s dull. This film about a virgin who dips her pinky toe into a BDSM relationship is about as titillating as buying cat litter. There’s hardly enough plot to call this a story.

Not that the source material promised much. I barely got through the bad grammar and simple sentences of the first book, which started as pornographic fan fiction for the Twilight books. According to snarky legend, enough bored housewives loved it that E.L. James removed the copyrighted stuff and made it a bodice ripper replete with semi-kinky sex and glamorous living. Not being one for understatement, James gave her characters the grandiloquent names Anastasia Steel and Christian Grey.

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Screened Out – The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

By : Stephen Miller
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Antonio Banderas, Voices of Tom Kenny, Clancy Brown, Bill Fagerbakke, Mr. Lawrence

SpongeBob’s legions of fans (many of them adults) are going to be overjoyed to see this sunshiny yellow weirdo and his underwater friends in their first full-length animated movie in over ten years. The rest of us might or might not enjoy the hyper absurdity, depending on our taste for craziness. I personally like my childish humor served this way – manic, wide-eyed, a little gross, and without a trace of malice.

If you don’t know SpongeBob…well, have you been living under some undersea rock somewhere? SpongeBob is a very square, very optimistic sponge – he looks more like the kitchen variety than the natural type – and he’s the most positive resident of the underwater town Bikini Bottom. His show on Nickelodeon is for kids, but the level of Monty Python absurdity and twitchy humor draw all sorts of fans. He’s the station’s most popular show nine seasons running.

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Screened Out – Blackhat

By : Stephen Miller
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Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, Lehom Wang, Wei Tang

At one point, director Michael Mann seemed unstoppable, with Thief, Heat, Collateral, and The Insider. Miami Vice and this film are doing major damage to his reputation, especially his ability to pick engaging projects. Blackhat is a paranoid techno-babble thriller – purposefully confusing and full of nonsense and dread – barely made better by Mann’s directing.

Some moments – like digital animation of a virus spreading through a computer system – are beyond cheesy. Plot points are ridiculous; if the cyber-terrorists’ overarching plan is correct, they’d never call attention to themselves by first blowing up a Chinese nuclear reactor.

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The Wonderful World of Wanzie: The importance of the Chicken & Biscuit

By : Michael Wanzie
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Michael Wanzie

Michael Wanzie

I was discussing New Years plans with George Wallace, The Executive Director of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, who shared that his mother, “a hot mess in the kitchen” cooked only one dish that anyone thought to be of any quality. That dish was a secret recipe meat pie which he intended to make for his own New Year’s celebration this year.

This topic brought to mind a story from my youth revolving around a chicken potpie of sorts and the part it would play in a New Year’s gathering hosted by none other than Katherine Hepburn. After regaling George with this tale, he insisted people would be willing to buy a book of my short stories. Of that, I am surely not convinced. But since I was just about to sit down to write this column with nothing in mind as a topic, I decided to relate the incident herein to the readers of Watermark to test viability of short story-telling skills.

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OUT & About at K Restaurant

By : Patrick O'Connor
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With Come Out With Pride events well underway, one of the events that helped jump start a week of celebrating 10 years of pride was OUT & About at K Restaurant. Owner Chef Kevin Fonzo prepared a four-course meal for an evening of fine dining at the award-winning K Restaurant.

With wine pairing — selections provided by Rex Goliath — and entertainment for the event, it was definitely a fun-filled evening to toast to.

Follow the jump for more photos from this event.

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A Taste of GayDayS 2014

By : Jamie Hyman
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There’s no doubt about it – A Taste of GayDayS is a really good deal.

For a mere thirty bucks, attendees get four hours of food, drink and entertainment.

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