Tampa Pride kicks off 2020 fundraising, names grand marshals

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: Tampa Pride President Carrie West, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, her longtime partner Ana Cruz and Tampa Pride Vice President Mark Eary enjoy Pride Zoo-La Nov. 2 at ZooTampa. Photo by Ryan Williams-Jent.

TAMPA | Tampa Pride kicked off its 2020 fundraising Nov. 2 at ZooTampa at Lowry Park, welcoming supporters and unveiling next year’s grand marshals.

More than 350 attended Tampa Pride’s “Wild Carnavale,” the organization’s second annual Pride Zoo-La. Guests enjoyed a silent auction, special performances and interactions with zoo animals, including a giraffe feeding.

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Watermark celebrates its silver anniversary with a look back at the LGBTQ headlines of the past 25 years

By : Jeremy Williams
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For 25 years, in nearly 700 issues, Watermark has been telling the stories of Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s LGBTQ communities.

First premiering in Orlando in 1994, and then expanding into Tampa Bay in 1995, Watermark now covers more than a dozen counties across the state. We can be found in many Florida cities including Daytona Beach, Orlando, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Sarasota—and thanks to WatermarkOnline.com, we have developed an international audience which relies on us for news, politics, sports, arts and entertainment as it pertains to the LGBTQ community.

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Fit for Print: Times change, but Watermark’s mission remains the same

By : Steve Blanchard
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As a child of the 1980s and 90s, I struggled to understand what it meant to be gay. I had heard the perspective of my church, of course, but that message was not exactly positive.

There was no Google search and there weren’t any websites for me to turn to for advice, opinions or factual information about who gay people were. So like many of those from my generation, I relied on the books on my parents’ shelves and the resources at the local library. And when I would read those I felt as though I was in a spy novel, sneaking out whatever information I could in short bursts before my curiosity was discovered.

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Issue: 26.17 25th Anniversary

By : Dylan Todd
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Watermark celebrates its 25th Anniversary in this commemorative issue, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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Watermark 25: Central Florida Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Jeremy Williams
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I moved back to Orlando in 2008. It was my first time living in Central Florida as an adult. I was born in Colorado and, as a kid, the family moved to Florida where we lived up and down I-4—settling in Orlando then St. Petersburg and eventually Plant City where I attended high school. Sometime after graduation, life led the family to southern Georgia and from there I joined the Air Force and traveled all over the world.

I tell you that quick trek through my past because in my 40 years I have lived in many places, but no place has ever felt more like home to me than living in Orlando right now, and a good part of that feeling is due to Watermark.

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Watermark 25: Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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With this issue Watermark celebrates 25 years of publishing, 25 years of sharing information and helping to build a community. I am beyond proud to be a part of this organization.

As I sat down to write this column, I visited the words of Founder and Guiding Light Tom Dyer as he shared his thoughts on the 20th Anniversary of Watermark. It’s funny to see how much has changed, and how little has changed. We still operate with a small, dedicated staff who are as passionate about their work as they are talented. Watermark still focuses on local community news in its pages, offering a voice to stories other publications will not; and at times we still walk the fine line between financial gain and commitment to community partnerships.

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07.25.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Watermark is in the midst of celebrating 25 years in publication. It’s a huge milestone for many reasons that I will get into in my next column, so stay tuned. However, I bring that up now because—in preparation for the celebration—I am going back through the years and highlighting some of the stories we’ve covered.

You may have noticed these pages popping up toward the end of the past two issues, covering 2014 and 2015. Tom Dyer had done a similar retrospective for the 20th anniversary, so I wanted to carry on the tradition leading up to our 25th anniversary issue slated for late August. In this issue we reflect on 2016, a devastating year in so many respects.

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Issue 26.14: Reading Rainbows

By : Dylan Todd
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Reading Rainbows – Drag Queen Story Hours enchant Central Florida and Tampa Bay, “Newsies” comes to Osceola Arts, and Tampa hosts statewide LGBTA Caucus, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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#RED Guide 2019

By : Dylan Todd
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Watermark’s Complete Guide to Orlando’s Big Gay Weekend.

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Watermark among Tampa Bay Business Journal’s 2019 Business of Pride honorees

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | The Tampa Bay Business Journal has announced the honorees for the 2019 Business of Pride awards, including Watermark Publishing Group Inc. which will be honored as an LGBTQ-owned company.

The annual awards, presented in partnership with the Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce, were created to recognize individuals and companies who work to advance LGBTQ equality in the workplace. Honorees were chosen by members of the Tampa Bay Business Journal editorial team and a panel of outside advisers.

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Jane Castor poised to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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As Tampa highlights its diversity with the fifth annual Tampa Pride March 30, Jane Castor—the celebration’s two-time grand marshal and arguably one of the city’s most stalwart servants—will continue her journey to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Castor, who will face retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in Tampa’s runoff election April 23, is familiar with firsts. Ahead of her 31 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, which she began as a beat cop patrolling the city in 1983, she was elected the first female president of a Tampa Police Academy class.

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The Last Page with Senior Account Manager Russ Martin

By : Rick Claggett
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“I have newspaper in my blood and have worked in the industry for nearly 20 years,” says Russ Martin.

Russ began working for Watermark as a part time account manager in March of 2018. Within a few months Russ, and Watermark, realized the demands of managing marketing accounts were not conducive with a part-time schedule. Russ informed Watermark that his then current schedule would not allow him the time he needed to perform his tasks to the best of his ability, and he tendered his resignation.

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