Central Florida Overheard: A Powerful Community

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

It’s always good to have friends in high places, and based on Orlando Magazine’s 2018 list, the LGBTQ community not only has some good friends, they also have some pretty powerful ones too.

Orlando Magazine’s “50 Most Powerful of 2018” issue was released recently and it was no surprise one of the community’s best buds, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer topped the list in Government and Politics.

Continue Reading >>

PHOTOS: Mayors Dyer and Jacobs declare June 12 Orlando United Day at Pulse ceremony

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Hundreds gathered at the Pulse memorial June 12 to honor and remember the 49 lives lost just two years ago within the nightclub at the memorial’s location.

The crowd watched performances from the Orlando Gay Chorus, Blue Star, the Orlando Philharmonic and more.

Continue Reading >>

Orange County Regional History Center opens Pulse exhibit

By : Kathy Ruiz
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | In honor and remembrance of the Pulse victims, The Orange County Regional History Center is presenting a special, limited-time exhibit titled “Another Year Passes: Orlando After the Pulse Nightclub Massacre.” The exhibit opened at the start of Pride Month June 2 and will run through Oct. 14, the weekend of Come Out With Pride.

“Another Year Passes” includes more than 200 images and items collected at Pulse memorial sites throughout Orlando as well as community artwork and international messages and tributes. The exhibit will also feature the iconic 49 statue tribute crosses created to honor those who died through June 16.

Continue Reading >>

Community leaders take to social media to remember the victims after Pulse gunman’s wife found not guilty

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Noor Salmon, the wife of the Pulse gunman, was acquitted March 30 of charges that linked her to the nightclub shooting.

Salmon was charged with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization.

Continue Reading >>

Widow of Pulse gunman acquitted

By : MICHAEL K. LAVERS of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
Comments: 0

A jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman of charges that she helped her husband carry out the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla.

Federal prosecutors charged Salman with obstruction of justice and providing material support to a foreign terrorism organization in connection with the June 12, 2016, shooting that left 49 people dead and 53 others injured. Salman’s trial began earlier this month at a federal courthouse in downtown Orlando that is roughly two miles from the Pulse nightclub.

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Most Remarkable People 2017: Pamela Schwartz, Orange County Regional History Center’s Chief Curator

By : Teresa Jacobs, Orange County Mayor
Comments: 1

Teresa Jacobs

It’s an honor and privilege to celebrate Pamela Schwartz as a 2017 “Remarkable Person.”

In the early hours after the Pulse Nightclub massacre, when we were reeling with anguish and disbelief from the brutal attack on our LGBTQ, Latinx and Hispanic communities and the unimaginable loss of 49 innocent souls, one person was already thinking about how we could help memorialize the staggering loss and remember the innocent victims. That was Pam Schwartz, who by the next day, had already outlined a plan for the collection and preservation of the tribute items that she knew would come.

Continue Reading >>

Finding Our Pulse: Words matter, actions matter more

By : Teresa Jacobs
Comments: 0

Until June 12, 2016, although I knew of Pulse, I had not realized its significance within our community, the sense of home and family that it provided for so many in the LGBTQ community, or how it served as an anchor for others – especially our LGBTQ young people.

Pulse – a place of love and acceptance, where once our LGBTQ brothers and sisters gathered with laughter and joy. Pulse – a place named to honor the enduring spirit of one woman’s beloved brother, and Pulse – a place that was to become an instant shrine for 49 innocent victims who will forever live within our hearts. But in the early morning hours of June 12, I knew none of that. I knew only the shattering pain and the surreal disbelief we all felt. I knew from the start – literally on that morning – that this was a hate crime, occurring during Pride Month and aimed squarely at the LGBTQ community, as well as the Latinx and Hispanic communities. And above all, I knew that people would need help.

Continue Reading >>

Editor’s Desk 6.1.17

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

For most of us, it’s been the year of our discontent: a slack-jawed reckoning with a grief that stretches city and countywide, a mourning that, for 12 months, confounded and consumed the entire world.

Even the uncomfortable cultural things that swarm in after the bomb drops – helicopters and newscasters and national media hovering around each tear we’ve been able to drop, each one of those drying our wells of stamina and breaking our private slouches – have served as difficult oil clouding our water. But never once have they cracked our resolve. Orlando strong? Yes. Orlando hurt? More than you can even imagine.

Continue Reading >>

This morning’s announcement of the Pulse memorial was short on information, full of emotion

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

This morning, May 4, 2017, a pall fell over the inside of the tribute gates of the oft-visited Pulse Orlando nightclub, where thousands have paid their respects to the 49 killed on June 12, 2016. The event was announced nearly a week before, but the details of what was going on were amorphous at best. The Pulse site would become a permanent memorial, the original April 25 press release read, leaving out any finite details.

“Pulse has always been a part of me, but after this tragedy which took 49 lives, it became a part of this community and the world,’’ Poma explained in the press release. “When this event happened, I had no clue how expansive the love for Pulse was. It’s important that we as a community be mindful and take great care to preserve, honor and help heal.”

Continue Reading >>

Orlando’s Overheard: A review of Orange County and a preview of Orlando Fringe

By : Anonymous
Comments: 0

Hand in Hand

On April 7, Orange County Mayor, Teresa Jacobs hosted the State of the County address at the Orlando Eye on International Drive.

During her address, Mayor Jacobs paid tribute to the Pulse tragedy by addressing the massacre and sharing a video. In her own words, Mayor Jacobs said, “The world watched as we mourned and rallied with the common goal of supporting our LGBTQ and Latinx communities and all of those affected. Through our response to the greatest attack we’ve ever withstood, the greatest loss we’ve ever suffered, we learned something incredible about ourselves: We know that our culture of collaboration has allowed us to accomplish so much – but we [also] discovered that it is our culture of compassion that makes Orlando such an incredible place to live.”

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

A Change of Heart: Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and her new advocacy

By : Billy Manes
Comments: 0

It’s hard to remember the Teresa Jacobs of yore. The mayor of Orange County (and former commissioner with a “regular people” angle on governance) has seen her share of public turmoil in recent years. She was, of course, partially responsible for “textgate,” in which commissioners and the mayor were caught discussing earned sick time with lobbyists on their electronic devices during a public meeting. That’s not really legal. There was litigation. It got pretty ugly.

But sitting down with her today, she’s believably a changed woman from the one we confronted about LGBTQ rights in 2012. She’s genuine. She’s crying. Pulse happened under her watch.

Continue Reading >>