Cait Brennan delivers on classic-sounding new album

By : Chris Gerard OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL GAY MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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If you’re gonna record at the legendary Argent Studios in Memphis and call the resulting album “Third” (an homage to the 1978 classic of the same name by power-pop heroes Big Star), you better have the goods to back it up.

Fortunately, up-and-coming singer/songwriter/musician Cait Brennan has delivered an album worthy of its historic birthplace. It has not been an easy road for Brennan, who’s transgender, and her life experience has provided rich material for compelling songwriting, although she certainly knows how to tell a story as well. “Third” is consistently entertaining from start to finish, a well-crafted retro-leaning collection of rockers and ballads that will never leave you bored.

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2.25.16 Editor’s Desk

By : Billy Manes
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

I pull my shirt off and pray.

It’s a bit of a conundrum, this political primary. Though Florida’s presidential-preference primary parade won’t hit the pavement until March 15, so-called Super Tuesday is blowing up in our faces on March 1, meaning, of course, that we have to sound our golden horns, decorate our cars and reach for the sky, or engage in something else that screams “occasion.”

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Will Gulfport elect an openly gay mayor or a straight, gay-friendly mayor?

By : Greg Stemm
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In an election year fraught with unusual circumstances and candidates, one local Tampa Bay area election has put a difficult decision to the voters of Gulfport on whom to elect as their new mayor. One candidate, the incumbent, is a well-liked progressive straight mayor with undeniably strong support for LGBT issues and the challenger who is an openly gay woman and a respected business owner in the community.

According to the latest census about a third of the residents of this small Tampa Bay area city of about 12,500 residents identify themselves as LGBT. Gulfport has long prided itself in taking lead roles in the fight for LGBT rights and equality. It was the fourth and smallest city in the state to pass a Human Rights Ordinance, the first in Pinellas County to do so, and it is to date the most comprehensive in the state. It was the first city in Pinellas County to pass a domestic partner registry and it has taken strong official positions in support of marriage equality and ending workplace discrimination. The city’s library hosts the state’s only publically supported LGBT resource center. Many Gulfport residents take pride in being a role model to other communities on how gays and straights can work effectively and even joyfully together.

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Italian Prime Minister ready to push civil union legislation

By : Wire Report
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ROME (AP) – Italian Premier Matteo Renzi is considering resorting to a risky confidence vote in the Senate to ensure the passage of a bill allowing civil unions, but not marriage, for gay couples.

He told his Democratic Party members he is `’ready” to use the tactic on the bill if needed.

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Pacquiao apologizes for homophobic statements after being dropped from Nike deal

By : Wire Report
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Manila, Philippines (AP) – Boxing star and Philippine Senate candidate Manny Pacquiao apologized for denouncing people in gay relationships as “worse than animals” but said he stood by his opposition to same-sex marriage.

Fellow Filipino celebrities were among those criticizing his remarks, made when a TV network asked candidates about their views on same-sex marriage.

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Screened Out – Steve Jobs

By : Stephen Miller
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Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

Steve Jobs is available on DVD and some streaming services Feb. 16.

Like many Steve Jobs inventions, this excellent movie flopped. Why? How?

It isn’t the subject; Steve Jobs is one of the most intriguing persons of the last century. The film’s production team includes writer Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing), director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, Trainspotting), and Oscar nominees Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet. When this brilliant three-act movie opened in early October last year, the critical praise was high, and there was a lot of Awards buzz.

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Parents join the conversation at 2016 Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Adam Manno
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From Tumblr to transgender trends, the leaders, teachers and students who attended the third annual Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit tackled a wide range of topics of interest to modern LGBT youth.

Co-sponsored by the City of Orlando in partnership with GLSEN, the Orlando Youth Alliance, and Zebra Coalition, O-YES is a collaborative workshop and panel-based conference aimed at empowering Orlando’s LGBTQIA+ community through dialogue and discourse.

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Meet the Intern: Adam Manno

By : Adam Manno
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Hey there! I’m Adam and I’m Watermark’s Spring 2016 intern.

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I ran the InternPursuit event at UCF (found: a picture of me with said event, not found: a retoucher with a soul), where Watermark interviewed journalism students hoping to find The Best Intern in the World. I sat down with Rick (Claggett, publisher) and Jamie (Hyman, Digital Media Director) last minute as an unscheduled interviewee. They loved me and I loved them. Now here I am typing into a computer screen between a “Hate Free Zone” sticker and a series of Best Website WAVE awards.

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City of Orlando to host 3rd annual Youth Empowerment Summit

By : Adam Manno
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Orlando – For the third year in a row, community mentors will team up to empower Orlando’s LGBT youth at the Orlando Youth Empowerment Summit Feb. 6.

The City of Orlando, in partnership with the Orlando Youth Alliance, GLSEN, Darden Restaurants and other local organizations, will host O-YES from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Orlando City Hall first floor rotunda.

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If Australians vote for same-sex marriage, the government will make it happen

By : Wire Report
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Melbourne, Australia (AP) – Australia’s prime minister is giving personal assurance that his government would legalize gay marriage if a majority of Australians choose marriage equality in a popular vote.

The center-right government has promised to hold a plebiscite on the gay marriage question if the government is re-elected in a vote due this year.

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Radio City Music Hall attorneys send Wanzie cease and desist over “Christmas Spectacular”

By : Jamie Hyman
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When one sits in Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre and watches The Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular, featuring Blue Star’s naughty angel, a drag Joan Collins and three wise men pulled from the audience, usually still clutching their cocktails on stage… well. It is almost exactly being in New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, watching their annual Christmas Spectacular.

Except not at all. Too bad Radio City’s attorneys don’t agree, as they’ve sent Watermark columnist and Orange Blossom Trail Living Nativity Christmas Spectacular creator Michael Wanzie a cease and desist letter. 

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The Other Side of Life: Hold, Fold, Walk Away

By : Jason Leclerc
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Jason Leclerc

Jason Leclerc

It was only recently, quite honestly, that I restored my membership in the Grand Old Party. I had defected in the late ‘90s in favor of Libertarianism which I, in my wiser thirties, decided was too radicaland un-nuanced an answer to our nation’s ills. I’ve always considered myself a Jeffersonian and agree that his brand of liberal democracy is best suited for a small insular, wealthy, homogeneous, market-directed nation. His theories and writings, quite aside from his biting politics, form the basis for an ideal, academic thought experiment.

Alas, that is not our America; while I think this was potentially Jefferson’s America—an America made, in many ways, rich on the backs of slaves—it is an America that can’t—without a severe and painful social, economic and cultural restructuring—be recaptured. Besides the dark past of Libertarianism’s (then called Democratic-Republicans) first true experiment in America, pure modern Libertarianism, informed most famously by the objectivist theories of Ayn Rand, devolves into selfishness, arrogance and self-absorption (and awful prose).

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