Eugene Hernandez named director of New York Film Festival

By : Wire Report
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ABOVE: Eugene Hernandez. (Photo from the New York Film Festival’s website)

NEW YORK (AP) | Eugene Hernandez will succeed Kent Jones as the director of the New York Film Festival, becoming only the fifth person to lead the esteemed Lincoln Center showcase for cinema in its 57-year history.

Lesli Klainberg, executive director of Film at Lincoln Center, announced the appointment Feb. 19, naming Hernandez to the top position at arguably the most revered film festival in the country. Hernandez will oversee the New York Film Festival, along with Dennis Lim, the festival’s new director of programming. Lim already presides over year-round programming for Film at Lincoln Center.

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Marvel actor reveals ‘The Eternals’ will feature married gay superhero

By : John Paul King of the washington blade, courtesy of the national LGBT media association
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ABOVE: Actor Haaz Sleiman. (Photo from Twitter)

It looks like Marvel is finally going to deliver on its promise to provide substantive LGBTQ representation in its “cinematic universe.”

Actor Haaz Sleiman, who is openly gay, was speaking to LGBTQ media outlet NewNowNext for a profile story when he revealed that he will be portraying the husband of a gay superhero in the studio’s upcoming film, “The Eternals,” slated for a November 2020 release.

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Bloomberg pummeled, lackluster in response in bloody Democratic debate

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Michael Bloomberg faced the wrath of Democratic candidates in a bloody Democratic debate. (Photo by NBC News; used with permission)

With Michael Bloomberg ascending in the polls, fellow candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination pummeled during him — and in some cases each other — in a bloody debate Feb. 19.

Across the stage in Las Vegas, candidates seeking to thwart Bloomberg hammered him on the “stop-and-frisk” policy, allegations of sexual misconduct and discrimination and being a billionaire seeking to buy the presidency. In response, Bloomberg delivered responses that were cerebral at best, but largely seemed disengaged and lacked a presence on stage.

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Donald Rupe expands his Pulse-inspired, Fringe musical ‘From Here’ for the Orlando stage

By : Samantha Neely
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The Pulse tragedy in 2016 had an effect on every aspect of life in Orlando — socially, politically, spiritually — and for many, including Donald Rupe, it had a profound effect artistically.

Rupe, who is the Director of Theatre at Central Florida Community Arts, couldn’t get the idea of a musical surrounding Orlando, this tragedy that impacted the entire community and the way that community responded out of his head. That is how the award-winning show “From Here” was born.

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The Last Page: Chad Mize, Artist and Gallery Owner

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The Last Page is dedicated to individuals who are making a positive impact on the LGBTQ community in Tampa Bay and Central Florida.

This issue, we check in with St. Petersburg’s Chad Mize, MIZE Gallery owner, multimedia designer and the artist who drew the cover for this issue of Watermark. Keep an eye on this space to learn more about the movers and shakers of your community.

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Watermark’s Wedding Bells: Erik Neinstedt and Stuart Whitfield

By : Lora Korpar
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Erik Neinstedt described his wedding to Stuart Whitfield as an amazing day and a whirlwind, with everyone from their friends and family to coworkers and even a high school teacher to support the couple and give them a sparkler sendoff.

“Our officiant, Jim, told us at the beginning of the ceremony to look around and take in the moment,” Erik said. “I can clearly remember looking around to see all our family and friends’ faces and just feeling so appreciative they were there supporting us.”

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Parents sue Madison schools over transgender policy

By : Wire Report
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MADISON, Wis. (AP) | A group of parents filed a lawsuit Feb. 11 alleging the Madison school district’s transgender policy is unconstitutional because it prohibits teachers and staff from informing parents that their children are transgender.

Conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed the lawsuit on the parents’ behalf in Dane County Circuit Court.

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Boy Scouts of America files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

By : Lou Chibbaro Jr. of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Photo via the Boy Scouts of America Facebook page.

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Feb. 18 that its national organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to enable it to restructure its finances and keep the 110-year-old organization going and “equitably” pay hundreds of claims by former scouts seeking compensation for alleged sexual abused by scout leaders.

The Washington Post reports that the bankruptcy filing comes after several states and D.C. changed their statute-of-limitations laws related to child sexual abuse, clearing the way for “scores of potential lawsuits” against the Boy Scouts of America for alleged sexual abuse that took place years ago.

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‘The Cher Show,’ ‘The Prom’ among 2020-21 Broadway season at Dr. Phillips Center

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: “The Cher Show.” (Photo by Joan Marcus)

ORLANDO | After teasing the season with “Hamilton” and “Wicked,” the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts announced the rest of the shows for its 2020-21 FAIRWINDS Broadway season Feb. 18.

The nine shows coming for the new season boast an impressive 88 Tony Award nominations and 44 wins, including four Best Musical winners. The season features “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Tootsie,” “Hadestown,” “The Band’s Visit,” “The Prom,” “Wicked,” “CATS,” “Hamilton” and “The Cher Show.”

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Va. Senate approves bill to ban conversion therapy for minors

By : Philip Van Slooten of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: The Virginia Capitol. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The Virginia Senate on Monday passed a bill that would prohibit health care providers from engaging in so-called conversion therapy for minors.

The American Psychological Association has for years condemned the practice for the harm caused to patients as well as for promoting the unsupported “notion that sexual orientation can be changed.”

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French town uncouples with its Polish twin over LGBTQ rights

By : Wire Report
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WARSAW, Poland (AP) | A Polish mayor deplored the decision Feb. 17 by a sister town in France to suspend 25-year official ties with her town because it declared itself an area “free of LGBT ideology.”

The mayor of the south-eastern town of Tuchow, Magdalena Marszalek, blamed the rare decision by the French community it had been twinned with, Saint-Jean-de-Braye, on campaigning ahead of local elections there.

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Sarasota unveils ‘welcoming, inclusive’ crosswalk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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The City of Sarasota unveiled a multi-colored crosswalk some residents see as LGBTQ affirming on Feb. 14.

“COLORFUL CROSSWALK,” the city shared via social media along with a video. “Our Public Works crew painted this vibrant crosswalk overnight in the 1500 block of Main Street. It’s part of our ongoing effort to enliven downtown and make it more pedestrian friendly. What do you think?”

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