Watermark’s LGBTQ-friendly restaurant listings – Tampa Bay/Sarasota

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay for more than 25 years. We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world.

As Florida has suspended on-premises dining and alcohol consumption statewide in response to COVID-19, limiting establishments to takeout and delivery orders only, we have compiled a list of Central Florida locations offering these services.

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Watermark’s LGBTQ-friendly restaurant listings – Central Florida

By : Jeremy Williams
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Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay for more than 25 years. We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world.

As Florida has suspended on-premises dining and alcohol consumption statewide in response to COVID-19, limiting establishments to takeout and delivery orders only, we have compiled a list of Central Florida locations offering these services.

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Metro Inclusive Health hosts virtual ‘Coping through COVID-19’ event

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Metro Inclusive Health will host “Coping through COVID-19” on Facebook March 27 from 6-7 p.m., a virtual event featuring Director of Behavioral Health Laura Rosenbluth.

The organization, which offers more than 100 health, wellness and pharmacy services throughout Tampa Bay, has implemented a number of precautions to protect the community it serves. Its LGBTQ programming went virtual beginning March 18.

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MrMs Adrian celebrates birthday by streaming ‘Dragsical’ shows

By : Jeremy Williams
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ABOVE: “Mean Girls: The Dragsical” is one of three shows streaming on Facebook Live. (Photo from Cassandra Riccione’s Facebook)

ORLANDO | Central Florida drag performer and entertainer MrMs Adrian is celebrating a birthday today and — just as the rest of Orange County and many across the state are doing — she is doing so in quarantine.

“Today is my 26th birthday,” Adrian wrote on Facebook. “I haven’t worked in two weeks, and all that I’ve seen from my friends have been FaceTime calls talking about how badly we miss working, and how badly we miss performing for you. And just like that, I decided how I wanted to celebrate this less-than-conventional birthday.”

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Dr. Birx faces call to affirm LGBTQ people won’t face bias in coronavirus relief

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Dr. Deborah Birx, center. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

Amid concerns a lack of federal protections leaves LGBTQ people open to discrimination, a group of 87 House Democrats are calling on Dr. Deborah Birx to affirm anti-LGBTQ discrimination will be prohibited in coronavirus relief efforts.

The March 26 letter, coordinated by Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kansas) and the LGBTQ Equality Caucus, draws on the assertion LGBTQ people are disproportionately vulnerable to the coronavirus.

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US Justice Department: Don’t treat trans athletes as girls

By : wire report
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) | The U.S. Justice Department is getting involved in a federal civil rights lawsuit that seeks to block transgender athletes in Connecticut from competing as girls in interscholastic sports.

Attorney General William Barr signed what is known as a statement of interest March 24, arguing against the policy of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the board that oversees the state’s high school athletic competitions.

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Senators renew call to lift ban on gay blood donations amid coronavirus crisis

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A cadre of 17 senators — including six former presidential hopefuls and one current candidate — are calling on the Food & Drug Administration to take another look at the ban prohibiting gay and bisexual men from donating blood amid the coronavirus crisis.

In a letter dated March 26, the senators take note Trump administration health officials, including U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, have made urgent pleas for blood donations to address a shortage in the blood supply during the pandemic.

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Subscribe to Watermark today for home delivery

By : Watermark Staff
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Watermark has been the leading source of LGBTQ news in Central Florida and Tampa Bay for more than 25 years.

We intend to continue our service to our community in this rapidly changing world, offering local, state and national news and more. In addition to our distribution throughout Florida, we can also deliver to your home.

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Tampa Bay performers announce unofficial, digital Tampa Pride weekend

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ABOVE: (L-R) Francis Queerbot 9000, Mr. Tampa Pride 2020 Kirk DaVinci and Juno Vibranz, photos via Kirk DaVinci/Tampa Pride.

TAMPA | Tampa Pride 2020 entertainers have planned a weekend of digital performances March 27-29 following the event’s postponement.

The sixth annual gathering was originally scheduled for the same weekend. It was moved to May 30 in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  

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Tony Awards postponed as global pandemic forces Broadway theaters to remain dark

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) | With Broadway shuttered amid the coronavirus pandemic, producers of the annual Tony Awards have postponed this year’s celebration of American theater.

The show was originally scheduled for June 7 but the virus forced all 41 Broadway theaters to go dark and caused turmoil in the Tony schedule. The awards show will be “rescheduled at a later date,” according to producers.

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Fit to Print: Life is Change

By : Steve Blanchard
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Change, they say, is good. I can think of no better or more timely example than the changes that unfolded right before our eyes in Tampa and Hillsborough County, ultimately giving rise to today’s version of Tampa Pride.

In the not-too-distant past, Hillsborough County was seen as backwards and frustrating to most of the LGBTQ community and a large portion of the country. While Tampa has had a long history of LGBTQ-friendly mayors, they were sometimes overshadowed by the hateful rhetoric of county officials who couldn’t bring themselves to respect every individual in their area, especially those with sexual orientations or gender identities that they considered foreign.

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Coronavirus concerns impact Central Florida and Tampa Bay

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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An estimated 60,000 people filled the streets of Ybor City for Tampa Pride last year, celebrating Tampa Bay’s growing LGBTQ community. It’s a record that organizers were expecting to break this year until March 12, when they postponed their sixth annual outing originally scheduled for March 28.

Since Tampa Pride’s return to Hillsborough County in 2015, attendees, vendors, parade participants and community sponsors have grown year after year. Its expansion is made possible by its supporters, Tampa Pride President Carrie West says.

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