What a remarkable year 2019 has been for the LGBTQ communities in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.
Whether it was in the field of politics, philanthropy, activism, entertainment or pageantry; there was no shortage of remarkable people for us to choose for Watermark’s annual list of the Most Remarkable People in Central Florida and Tampa Bay.
In honor of the year 2019, we choose 19 people across our readership area who were breaking records and blazing trails for the LGBTQ community. Once we selected our 19 Remarkables, we asked members of the community work know, work and admire each of them to write why they thought they were remarkable.
Below are each of the remarkables, followed by the community admirer who wrote their profile.
Jazell Barbie Royale, Miss International Queen 2019 by Darcel Stevens, Parliament House Entertainment Director
Barbara Poma, CEO and Executive Director, onePULSE Foundation by Mark Cady-Archilla, Corporate Sponsorship Officer, onePULSE Foundation
MSgt. Grace Peek-Harris, Orlando Police Department by Capt. Jim Young, Orlando Police Department
Ashley Figueroa, Project Manager, Bliss CARES by Maggie L. King, Director of Development and Community Relations, Bliss CARES
Yasmin Flasterstein, Co-founder Executive Director, Peer Support Space by Dani Hill, Co-founder and Director of Peer Services, Peer Support Space
Eric Rollings, CFL realtor/activist/enviormentalist by State Sen. Linda Stewart, District 13
Kristian Cosme, AT&T Community Impact Award winner by Ayme Rodriguez Smith
Marc Espeso, LGBTQ Liaison, Orange County by Mayor Jerry L. Demings, Orange County
Billy Looper and Tom Christ, Founders of KindRED Pride Foundation and owners of One Magical Weekend by Roxy Santiago, Board President, The LGBT+ Center Orlando/Kissimmee
Cole Foust, Metro Inclusive Health LGBTQ+ Division Manager by Hannah Powell, Metro Inclusive Health LGBTQ+ Program Specialist
Lorenzo Gilbert, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader by Elizabeth Lentz, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Cheerleader
Jane Castor, Tampa’s 59th Mayor by the City of Tampa Staff
Justice Gennari, Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber of Commerce President/CEO by Bob Sanders, Manager at Regions, Tampa Bay Diversity Chamber Corporate Partner
Alex Jones, ProjectAlchemy Dance Artistic Director by Fernando Chonqui, Dance Artist and St Pete Pride Development Director
Shannon Fortner, Harvey Milk Festival Executive Director/Founder by Grace Korley, Harvey Milk Festival Internship Supervisor/Grant Writer
Nina Borders, Pasco Pride President by Diana Shanks, Pasco Pride Director of Marketing and Social Media
Gina Driscoll, St. Petersburg City Council Woman by Jim Nixon, City of St. Petersburg Mayor’s Office LGBTQ Liaison
Susan Gore, LGBTQ Resource Center and Circle of Friends Chair Susan Gore by Greg Stemm, LGBTQ Resource Center Board Member