Breaking free: Florida ranks third for sex trafficking cases and transgender and gay male youth are especially at risk. Survivors turned advocates share their stories, Tampa Gala brings $350,000 to Equality Florida, Carver Middle’s GSA gets its day in court, local news, celebrity interviews, and much, much more!
Watermark Issue 22.05 // Feb. 26-March 11 2015
On the Cover | Page 25
Torri Ramos is a Central Florida transgender survivor of commercial sexual exploitation, and she says her story began during her teenage years when she realized she wasn’t accepted by her family. Photo by Jake Stevens
Orlando News | Page 10
New development in the Ivanhoe Village area means LGBT businesses need to rethink their plans; Carver Middle School is headed to court because it still refuses to support a Gay-Straight Alliance; more.
Tampa Bay | Page 12
Equality Florida celebrates successes at its Tampa Gala, but reminds attendees that there is still more work to be done; MC Film Fest is closing its popular store in Ybor City, but owners Mark Bias and Carrie West say it could rise again.
Nation & World | Page 17
A judge rules that a florist in Washington State who refused flowers to a gay couple violated state law; gay Catholics are welcomed by the Vatican but don’t get an official mention; Idaho lawmakers discuss impeaching gay-supportive judges.
Talking Points | Page 23
Fans of AMC’s popular show, The Walking Dead finally met the show’s first main gay couple during a recent episode; WWE’s only openly gay performer questions a gig in Abu Abu Dhabi; Laverne Cox lands a new role on a CBS Legal drama set to air this fall; more.
Watch the Man | Page 31
For decades Ray Boltz made a career out of writing and performing Christian music. But when he came out in 2008, his fans turned his back on him. He tells us about his new found fans and how he plans to celebrate Venice MCC’s 20th anniversary.