PHOTOS: COWP and QLatinx screen international short film ‘MAR’ at Reel Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | A week of Pride continued on Oct. 10 when Come Out With Pride, in partnership with QLatinx, presented the inaugural Reel Pride at The Venue in Orlando.

Reel Pride screened the international LGBTQ short film “MAR (The Sea),” directed by Portuguese-Canadian filmmaker William Vitoria. Vitoria was on hand for the event and held a Q&A session after the audience watched his film.

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William Vitoria’s “MAR (The Sea)” to make US film debut at Come Out With Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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“MAR” director William Vitoria

Come Out With Pride’s expansion to a full week of events partners Pride with QLatinx to present Reel Pride, an international film screening of the LGBTQ-themed short film, “MAR .”

“MAR” is directed by Portuguese-Canadian filmmaker William Vitoria.

“I was born in Toronto where I lived until I was seven years old, then my parents moved me to Portugal,” says Vitoria, 28. “I lived there for 14 years and moved back to Toronto.”

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Central Florida Overheard: Who run the world?

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ABOVE: President of the Barber Fund and owner of The Venue, Blue Star.

Orlando Magazine has named its Women of the Year in Central Florida and a couple of familiar names popped up on that list. “They are educators, mentors, counselors, fund-raisers, business owners and managers of organizations that help those in need. But most of all they are leaders, who step forward to help keep our community strong,” says Orlando Magazine of its 23 individual selections.

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Blue Star puts gender fluidity in the spotlight with The Lady Boys of the Peek-A-Boo Lounge

By : Jeremy Williams
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Orlando performer Blue Star is one person who embodies empowerment and being comfortable in your own skin. Blue came to Orlando in 2000 to attend Full Sail University after a successful dancing career in Atlanta and New York. She planned to stay for just 13 months; she never left. In 2012, Blue opened the theater The Venue.

“I just wanted a place to put on my shows,” Blue says. “But as I say now it’s not my Venue anymore, it’s Orlando’s Venue. It’s a safe place for performers to try out new things and new shows and take risks and really grow themselves.”

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3.22.18 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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The first person I ever came out to was a complete stranger. It was surprisingly easy. The journey to get to that moment was not easy, nor the mountains I would have to climb after; but coming out to a stranger wasn’t difficult. It was freeing and desperate.

It was the early 1990s and he was a mentor with the Delta Youth Alliance, now the Orlando Youth Alliance. At the time, it was the only resource for gay youth to meet and support each other and it remains a vital component of the community today. My involvement with the group gave me the courage to come out to my high school best friend. That was difficult because it was someone close to me. It was a bigger gamble as there was more riding on her reaction than that of the stranger.

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2018 WAVE AWARD WINNERS – CENTRAL FLORIDA

By : Watermark Staff
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FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN/ACTIVIST

First: Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Commissioner – District 4

Second: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Third: Carlos Guillermo Smith, Florida House Representative – District 49

GREATEST STRAIGHT ALLY TO THE LOCAL LGBTQ COMMUNITY

First: Buddy Dyer, Orlando Mayor

Second: Anna Eskamani, Florida House candidate – District 47

Third: Darren Soto, U.S. House of Representatives – Florida’s 9th District

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Orlando’s Overheard: Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

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Terry’s new title

A press release was sent out by the GLBT Center of Central Florida July 3 announcing Terry DeCarlo, who was the executive director, is stepping down but will by remaining with the agency as their Chief Communications Officer, a position created for him.

The change in position, which was immediate, will now consist of DeCarlo handling the demands of media relations, communication and events. 

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Watermark Giveaway: “Showgirls in Drag” at The Venue

By : Jeremy Williams
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Showgirls in Drag is coming to The Venue in Orlando April 18 and Watermark wants to send you and a friend to see it!

Showgirls in Drag is parody based on the 1995 cult film Showgirls that starred “I’m so excited, I’m so excited, I’m so… so scared! Saved By The Bell’s Jessie Spano” Elizabeth Berkley and “I’m in everything on TV, mayor of Portlandia, make sure to use a lot of chlorine in your pool when he is done” Kyle MacLachlan. Written by Emmy-nominated producer Beth Wheatley and Stephen Guarino from ABC’s Dr. Ken, this show will be the best worst thing you will ever see.

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2017 WAVE Awards Spotlight: Blue Star with Pride Radio and The Venue

By : Billy Manes
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If you’re in Orlando and you haven’t fallen into a trail of Blue Star’s sparkles, then you really haven’t left your house. For nearly 17 years, the Atlanta transplant has been shaking and making Orlando’s dance and arts scene flourish. Her venue, fittingly called The Venue, has given her even more room to grow, as has her newfound presence on Pride Radio. She’s everywhere, all the time. Why?

“The arts community, really; the growth of the arts community,” she says. “I know that it wasn’t nonexistent before I was here, so I want to choose my words carefully. But I feel like people became unafraid to express themselves in the art that they knew that they were meant to create.”

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Model call! The Venue is casting runway types for “Pose for Pride” show

By : Billy Manes
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Our friends at Pride Radio – you might have read about them here – are putting on a fashion show on Church Street at the old Orchid Garden (gorgeous, darling) Tuesday, Dec. 13.

Tomorrow, a sort of casting call will be held at the Venue in the evening. We would go into all of the details littering our pretty little heads – sometimes Jane Fonda in Klute just pops up there like she’s really happening – but, instead, allow us to allow you to visit the website and plan accordingly. Don’t fall in those heels. This is in the name of pride.

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Overheard in Orlando: MegaCon2014 rolls into Orlando

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Dance teacher given new lease on life offers same-sex salsa lessons
Lorraine Vasquez, 50, remembers the day two years ago when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer. She was given a year to live. “I had two young daughters and my doctor told me I should get my affairs in order because I was going to die,” Vasquez recalls. “I just said ‘No, you are wrong’.” Vasquez closed her successful dance studio in Puerto Rico, packed her things and moved to Orlando. She checked into MD Anderson Cancer Center and was shocked to learn she was cancer-free. She had been misdiagnosed. Other good things happened. Vasquez met her partner, Lelis Pagan, while working at the airport. On March 8, she opened Lorraine’s Dance Studio at 1720 N Goldenrod Blvd in Orlando. There are now two generations of lesbians working in the dance business. Her daughter Nita Bravo, 20, and partner Francesca Colon, are helping out. To celebrate, Vasquez has introduced same-sex salsa classes for adults from 7 to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays. Vasquez said she is grateful to be given another chance at life. For pricing and to sign up for salsa, call 321-400-0953.

Blue Starr leaves Revolution
After 14 years belting out late night tunes on Bumby, the multi-talented Blue Starr has parted ways with Revolution Nightclub. Starr announced, on Facebook, she will perform exclusively at The Venue, the entertainment place she opened in Ivanhoe Village last fall. The Venue, now home to babybluestar Productions, has been providing affordable rental to the arts community. In addition, a number of fundraisers have used the locale for events. Starr plans drag burlesque, drag king shows, improv, coffee house-esque and more. “Pretty sure there will be a girlie show at The Venue on a Saturday every now and again! That fucking rocks my world! Dreams come true,” she wrote on her post, which had more than 200 likes and dozens of congratulatory comments at press time. For a schedule, visit TheVenueOrlando.com or call 407-412-6895.

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