Tampa Bay Pride Band holds inaugural arts festival

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Tampa Bay Pride Band will hold their inaugural Pride Music and Art Festival March 3 from 5:00-9:00 p.m., a celebration combining the best in Tampa Bay’s visual and musical arts.

“The Pride Music and Arts Festival serves as the kick-off to a month of Tampa Pride events,” the organization shared via social media. “It allows us as an arts community to stand together and celebrate diversity through music and art!”

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Mama Bearings: Why I am here

By : Sylvie Griffiths
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“Why are you guys even here?” This was the very direct and rude question my husband was asked in March during this year’s Tampa Pride. We were sitting at a crowded table shared with friends, old and new, at Hamburger Mary’s Ybor. Our eight-year-old son Jake was with us.

My husband, being the kind and patient human being he is, answered in great detail. He explained to his interrogator that we were attending Tampa Pride in support of our youngest child, who identifies as transgender. Jake was even on a float and gave out beads in the parade. It was an important and magical day for us as parents seeing our little dude being himself. Celebrating diversity is one of my fondest memories with Jake so far.

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G St Pete announces grand opening in St. Petersburg

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | The Florida Entertainment Group has announced that G St Pete will open its doors in downtown St. Petersburg Aug. 4.

“We’ve wanted to be a part of the St. Pete community for a long time and the opportunity finally presented itself with the right venue and location,” co-owner Ernie Webb tells Watermark. “We’re really excited to be a part of the community there.”

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Tampa Bay Overheard: G, I Wonder…

By : Anonymous
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Tampa Bay’s social media sphere was all abuzz July 3 with a cryptic tease of “G St. Pete,” a new bar heading to St. Petersburg.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s reminiscent of Ybor’s G. Bar, which closed and reopened as Southern Nights Tampa just over three years ago. Several of the Ybor bar scene’s mainstays have also shared the tease personally, prompting further speculation about the similarities to the now-defunct Ybor hotspot.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Jody and Kevin Summey

By : AARON DRAKE
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Jody Summey first met Kevin Turner at former G Bar in Ybor in May 2010.

“I drove my Rolls Royce into the parking lot and Kevin was sitting in his little Toyota,” Jody shares. “He was the most handsome man I had ever seen. I pulled up next to him and rolled my window down and said hi. It turns out he was just out of a bad relationship and was trying to build up the courage to walk into the bar. We talked for hours that first night.”

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Jane Castor officially kicks off mayoral campaign

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Tampa | Tampa’s former chief of police and out LGBTQ advocate Jane Castor officially launched her campaign for Tampa mayor on May 17 to outline her vision for the city’s future.

“The message for the campaign kick-off is Tampa Strong,” Castor told Watermark ahead of the event, held at Columbia Restaurant in Ybor. Castor’s campaign will focus on a strong foundation for the city, including building stronger neighborhoods and a stronger economy.

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: Hey, bidder, bidder…

By : anonymous
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Local community advocates will come together to raise funds for Metro Wellness & Community Centers’ “Auction for a Night Out with a Community Leader” on April 27.

Participants can bid on the auctionee of their choice and the “night out” experience, which may include dinner or tickets to a local show or museum.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible – Tampa Bay: Darlene Herrick

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Age: 45

Hometown: Tampa, Florida

How you identify: “Try-sexual”

What’s your sign: Libra

“I’m very passionate about my work,” Darlene Herrick says. “I love cooking. I love being a chef. I love creating.”

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Man brutally attacked after leaving Ybor’s Bradley’s on 7th: “Always have someone with you”

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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(Image from ABC Action News’ YouTube page.)

Tampa | Peter Reeber was brutally ambushed after leaving Bradley’s on 7th on June 30, leaving him with a concussion, broken nose and a loss of hearing—and now he’s speaking out, urging others to use caution in the area.

According to Reeber, a pharmacist who lives in South Tampa, he was ambushed and robbed following a night out with his friends at the Ybor hotspot. He had left the venue by himself. “No wallet, no phone, no watch, no necklace and no shoes,” Reeber told his local ABC affiliate, still recovering from bruises, scrapes and blackened eyes.“They took everything.”

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Watermark’s 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has chosen those who stood out from the LGBTQ community – 16 remarkable individuals who made a mark in 2016; whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.

It has been a difficult year for all of us, both politically and personally, and those we have selected have made the most change, been the most inspiring and helped to make our LGBTQ community that much stronger in the face of adversity.

Below, our 16 Most Remarkable People of ’16.

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Walking Tall: Mathieu Stanoch wants only good times to be had in Ybor

By : Jeremy Williams
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Ybor City is a grand place. Part historical artifact from a more romanticized time, part party destination and all holiday spirit complete with street parades and fantastic festivals. The man behind the holiday magic of Ybor is Mathieu Stanoch.

“We got started seven years ago with the Historic Holiday Spirit by decorating the streets of Ybor,” Stanoch recalls. “Now, with the support of GaYbor District, Centro Ybor and the Ybor City Development Corporation, we have the parade and the snow, it’s beautiful.”

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Tampa Bay’s Overheard: SMART Ride, the Pink Triangle and Ybor shows the love

By : Anonymous
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RIDE FOR A CAUSE

After a two day track full of blood, sweat and tears, across a 165-mile stretch from Miami to Key West, the 2016 SMART Ride is done. At the end of the ride, which was held Nov. 17-18, organizers raised $1,037,140, about $45,000 of which came from right here from Tampa Bay area cyclists.

SMART Ride got started in 2003 with less than 100 riders and raised $169,000, all of which went to HIV/AIDS organizations in Florida. Fast forward 13 years, and with SMART Ride now raising more than $8 million in total, all going back to HIV/AIDS groups in the state, they are the second-largest AIDS bicycle ride in the country.

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