10.5.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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On June 11, 2016, I was out celebrating the birthday of a co-worker and friend. We had plans to have dinner, see a movie and possibly hit a local hot spot to end the festivities. We had a friend with us who spent every Saturday night at Pulse and we were prepared for him to drag us older fellows out there.

The restaurant was crowded so the wait for the table was over an hour. This changed the course of the evening. We missed our movie and had to settle for a later, more obscure film called The Lobster. The birthday boy was ecstatic because we ended up seeing the movie he wanted to see anyway.

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7.27.17 Founder’s Forum: Remembering Billy Manes

By : Tom Dyer
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Billy Manes wore sweaters on the hottest summer days, often with a scarf and beret. He was quirky in that and so many other ways.

With his gangly body and loose-limbed walk, and that shock of peroxide blonde hair, he was like an elfin Muppet. Strange in a stylish and wonderfully appealing way. Disarmingly honest. Transparently vulnerable. Self-effacing to a fault. But also passionate and courageous when moved by injustice.

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Orlando LGBTQ icon and former Watermark editor, Billy Manes, dies at 45

By : Staff Report
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Billy Manes

Billy Manes

ORLANDO | Billy Manes, iconic Orlando LGBTQ activist, former longtime columnist for Orlando Weekly and former editor-in-chief of Watermark, died July 21 just after 4 p.m. from a sudden onset of pneumonia. He was 45. He is survived by his husband, Anthony Mauss.

Manes was from Boca Raton and moved to Orlando in 1997. He began his career in journalism in the sales department at Orlando Weekly and eventually became a staple in the paper, writing the “B-List,” “Blister” and “Happytown” columns. He also attended Orlando city council meetings and recapped them in the column “Council Watch.”

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Allan Hero-Shaw and Rev. Jakob Hero-Shaw

By : Samantha Rosenthal
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“Jakob is the kindest and most compassionate person I have ever met in my life,” Allan says. “He’s such a wonderful person.

“I’ve never seen anyone who can relate to other people and give them spiritual support and emotional support. He’s always there for his friends. They look to him for that kind of role. He’s just willing to just drop everything and help someone who needs some help.”

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Tampa Bay celebrates Watermark’s 2017 WAVE Awards at Flamingo Resort

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark celebrated with the Tampa Bay winners of the 2017 WAVE Awards at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg March 9.

The Flamingo Resort hosted the event in their new Blu Room Theatre with flowers designed by The Flower Centre of St. Petersburg. First place winners took home awards in beautiful frames courtesy of Tyrone’s Frame and Mirror.

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Jake Stevens defines a decade at Watermark

By : Rick Claggett
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img_9450-2016headshots_ppOrlando – February 8 marked the 10-year anniversary for Watermark’s art director, Jake Stevens.

Tom Dyer, Watermark’s founder and guiding light, remembers the day he met Stevens. “I’ll never forget Jake’s job interview. He radiated New England, down to the brown corduroy jacket. And he had this wonderful, ornery self-confidence. He wanted the job, and I could tell he would give it his all. That’s exactly what he’s done these past ten years, under four very different editors and two publishers,” said Dyer.

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2017 Watermark WAVE Awards – WAVES FINALIST ROUND

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark spent the last week sorting through and counting every ballot, and here it is – the FINAL round for the 2017 Watermark WAVE Awards!

Below are links to the FINALISTS for Central Florida and Tampa Bay/Sarasota.

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Watermark kicks off 2017 Third Thursdays at Winter Park’s Capen House

By : Staff Report
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Watermark kicked off its monthly networking mixers for 2017, Third Thurdays, at the beautiful historic Capen House located on the ground of the Albin Polasek Museum and Sculpture Gardens. The crowd was not only able to make new business connections but was also able to participate in a raffle that raised money for the museum. Prizes included show tickets for Leslie Jordan, the Enchanted Jungle Party, the coveted City Oasis Orchid, a weekend getaway from Plantation on Crystal River and many more.

Watermark’s Third Thursday Networking mixers are part of the Watermark Gives Back program. Watermark partners up with a current advertiser that will host the mixer and together they raise money for the host’s charity of their choice, often benefitting LGBT organizations or the arts.

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2017 Watermark WAVE Awards – Tampa Bay/Sarasota

By : Watermark Staff
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This is the FINAL round for the 2017 Watermark WAVE Awards – Tampa Bay/Sarasota.

For your ballot to count, please take a moment to vote for your favorites in a minimum of 15 categories.

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A toast and a stumble through 2016, the year we will never forget

By : Billy Manes and Jeremy Williams
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We could go on and on about our gripes with the letter “P” this year, generally circulating around two terms: “Pulse” and “Politics.” So, indeed, that’s what we’ll do. Though we may have seen some wonderful developments in the year that God forgot, for the most part, many of us are grabbing at straws, trying to make sense of how it is that we descended so deeply, that we became the eye of the target of absolute terror.

Some may say that 2016 was the backlash for all of the gifts we were given by 2015, most notably marriage equality in both state and nation. Others might opine that there is something else going on here with the media, with conspiracies, with a new Cold War. We can’t be certain, but we certainly have each other’s backs, as has been proven by the many acts of kindness that rose up to meet the beast of an election year gone awry and a local community cut to its core. We are not a weak people; we have seen trouble before. But this year owns a special place in our hearts, one we hope that heals over without forgetting those who suffered and those who commandeered offenses that none of us could have been prepared for.

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Watermark Giveaway: ‘Sordid Lives’ at the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House

By : Jeremy Williams
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Win a pair of tickets to see Sordid Lives at the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House Friday, September 2 at 7:00 P.M.

The Friday performance will also feature a Talkback after the show with playwright and Sordid Lives creator Del Shores.

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