Queerly Beloved: Reclaiming the Culture of Love

By : Rev. Jakob Hero Shaw
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Valentine’s Day? Nope. I am not a fan. I came to a stern critique of Valentine’s Day despite having my own ridiculously sweet Valentine’s Day story. My husband accidentally proposed to me on Valentine’s Day a few years ago.

How do you accidentally propose to someone on Valentine’s Day? He claims it was not a planned proposal and had nothing to do with the holiday. To this day, I remain skeptical about that, but I digress.

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The season of love is back, and so are we with 10 of Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s Most Eligible Singles

By : Watermark Staff
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“I’m in the mood for love simply because you’re near me. Funny, but when you’re near me, I’m in the mood for love.”  Those opening lyrics to “I’m in the Mood for Love” were written by lyricist Dorothy Fields more than 80 years ago, but they are arguably the best description of love’s holiday, Valentine’s Day.

Like joy with Christmas and food with Thanksgiving, love is elevated during Valentine’s Day. That is why we here at Watermark started last year what has now become an annual tradition: presenting Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s 10 most eligible singles for the year.

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PHOTOS: Watermark’s Swipe Right Party Tampa Bay 2019

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Watermark celebrated love and the release of our second annual Most Eligible Singles issue with our latest Tampa Bay Swipe Right Party held at G St Pete Feb. 7.

The LGBTQ singles mixer featured several of Tampa Bay’s most eligible singles with light bites provided by Iberian Rooster. Attendees were given bracelets representing if they were looking or taken, with blue indicating they were looking for individuals who identify as male, purple for individuals who identify as female and yellow for individuals who identify as non-binary. Orange represented those who were taken and celebrants were free to wear as many as they felt appropriately expressed themselves. Check out some of our photos below.

Photos by Dylan Todd, Russ Martin.

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Gay Illinois teacher sparks debate with tolerance talk

By : wire report
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ELGIN, Ill. (AP) — A gay Illinois teacher has sparked debate after explaining to his students he received flowers from his husband and encouraging them to be respectful and tolerant.

Prairie View Grade School music teacher Nathan Etter, 30, received the flowers on Valentine’s Day, the Daily Herald reported . He said he spent about 30 seconds on the topic of acceptance after some of his first-grade students negatively reacted to him having a husband.

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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence looks to the November mid-terms for answers

By : Jeremy Williams
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Pride Fund To End Gun Violence founder and executive director Jason Lindsay remembers in detail the moment he decided to start the organization.

“It all began the day of Pulse,” Lindsay recalls. “I was watching the news like so many other people and saw the tragedy unfold and a pivotal moment was seeing a mom, Christine Leinonen, who was waiting to find out whether her son had survived or not, and she pleaded in a clip that’s been played over and over again asking for somebody to please do something about the assault weapons.”

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PHOTOS: Swipe Right Party Orlando

By : Jake Stevens
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For Valentine’s Day, Watermark hosted an LGBTQ+ singles mixer on February 8 at The Hammered Lamb, where any and all were encouraged to come out to try and find that special someone. Central Florida’s most eligible LGBTQ+ bachelors and bachelorettes, as featured in the current issue of Watermark, mingled with singles to try and find their love match. To make things easier for everyone, attendees were encouraged to wear colored bracelets to indicate interest in men, women, or any combination they wished.

More photos of the night’s fesitivities, and hot singles, after the jump.

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PHOTOS: Swipe Right Party Tampa Bay

By : Jake Stevens
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Watermark celebrated love in honor of Valentine’s Day by hosting a “Swipe Right” party at Enigma St. Pete on February 8. Attendees looking for their love match were encouraged to wear colored bracelets to indicate their availability and interest. To help get the ball rolling, some of Tampa Bay’s most eligible LGBTQ+ bachelors and bachelorettes, as featured in the current issue of Watermark, were in attendance.

More photos of the night’s fesitivities, and hot singles, after the jump.

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Watermark selects 10 of the most eligible bachelors and bachelorettes in the Central Florida and Tampa Bay areas

By : Watermark Staff
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Here we are, approaching that love-filled holiday known as Valentine’s Day: a day that brings butterflies to our stomach as we wonder what romantic surprises our significant other, or others, have prepared for us.

Will it be a fancy dinner, expensive gifts or a beautiful bouquet of long-stem roses? Will it be a night out on the town or a quiet evening at home together? Or, for you singles out there, will it be another terrible, not so good, horrible day that’s full of reminders that you still don’t have someone?

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Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley are expecting their first child

By : MARIAH COOPER OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley are expecting their first child.

The couple posted a photo on Instagram of themselves holding a sonogram picture to announce the big news.

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02.08.18 Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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Love is in the air. Even the most cynical of us who publicly curse the day of St. Valentine, I’m sure feel a bit of warmth when no one is looking. Valentine’s Day was always a happy day in our family, a day of celebration. After all, it was the day Daddy proposed to Mama, and every year since then he brings her flowers and a box of chocolates.

Mama always said life is like a box of chocolates. No, wait. She didn’t. That was Forrest Gump’s Mama. My Mama had some good advice, though. Never go to bed angry, never be afraid to say I love you and if you ever want to meet a good man always start at the gay bar. After all, that is where she met Daddy.

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02.08.18 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I don’t know which genius opted to name a size of children’s blue jeans “husky,” but I do know that in the fourth grade I had to wear them. It does wonders for a kid’s self-esteem.

It was the year that my parents and I moved, resulting in a new elementary school mid-year for my husky-clad self. In hindsight, it was the best move my parents could’ve made for our family. At the time, however, I drowned my sorrows in Snapple—likely resulting in an even huskier pair of jeans by the end of the year.

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Watermark Giveaway: Tickets to see the Orlando Magic on Valentine’s Day

By : Maia Monet
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Looking for something special to do with your sweetie on Valentine’s Day? Watermark is giving away two pairs of ticket to see the Orlando Magic on Pride Night, Feb. 14 at 7pm at the Amway Center! Enjoy the game vs the Charlotte Hornets from Ultimate Seats inside the first seven rows of the court. Show your LGBTQ pride as you listen to the Orlando Gay Chorus at halftime. When you and your date get hungry, order from the available in-seat waiter service or head to the Fields Ultimate Lounge. The exclusive lounge has free beverage service including beer, wine, and soda as well as complimentary meat carving stations and a grab-and-go candy wall.

To enter, comment on this post and tell us the name of your favorite Magic player. More details after the jump.

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