NEW ORLEANS (AP) | Actress, singer and producer Sheryl Lee Ralph is a triple threat in the entertainment industry but was honored during this weekend’s Essence Festival for something entirely different — her activism.
Ralph was honored Sunday as part of McDonald’s 365Black Awards, receiving the program’s advocacy award for her work fighting against HIV and AIDS.
New Come Out With Pride board president Jeff Prystajko.
ORLANDO | Come Out With Pride (COWP) announced the appointment of Jeff Prystajko as the board’s new president March 19 after Brian Riha completed his two-year term in the same position.
Prystajko has been with COWP for several years, most recently serving as director of marketing and communications. He has also held leadership positions with both the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA Orlando) and the Human Rights Campaign in Orlando.
The Liberty Counsel filed a complaint against a Riverview High School math teacher April 19.
The letter to Jeff Eakins, Hillsborough schools superintendent, stated that Lora Jane Riedas “has prohibited at least three children from wearing Christian cross necklaces in her classroom, claiming on occasion that they are ‘gang symbols.'”
MOSCOW (AP) — Police in the former Soviet republic of Georgia say they have detained 10 gay rights activists who were painting graffiti on the fence of the Georgian Orthodox Patriarch’s office.
Despite its political and economic rapprochement with the West, Georgia remains a deeply conservative country when it comes to family and gender. The capital, Tbilisi, this year is hosting the conservative World Congress of Families.
By virtue of political plate tectonics and the mahogany-and-starched-shirt drudgery of a state legislative cycle in full swing during a presidential election year, you wouldn’t be wrong to suggest that the earth is actually moving under your feet right now. Nope, not vertigo. Nah, you aren’t drunk (maybe?). High? Hopefully!
Some say there’s hardly a need for LGBT activism in a post- marriage equality world, and while we can’t deny that a sense of urgency and injustice has been deflated, we’re not quite ready to give up on fostering, nurturing and reporting about a tight-knit, active LGBT community.
Yes, there is still political work to do. Activists are – and should continue – fighting for workplace protections, against bullying, to ensure young LGBTs can come out safely and to add gender identity and sexual orientation to existing anti-discrimination policies where LGBT-specific protections are far too frequently excluded.
“And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack. And you may find yourself in another part of the world. And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile. And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife. And you may ask yourself, “Well … How did I get here?” the Talking Heads once rattled over a thumping bassline. “Once in a Lifetime,” indeed.
2015 was certainly a big year for the LGBT community, seemingly allowing decency to coast atop the terrible notions of people like Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi into a panacea of hopefulness. In our coverage area, so much change happened: new leadership, new businesses, a new outlook, and, gasp, a new editor.
Mary’s loves sports
You may have noticed that if you now head to Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor City Monday through Friday afternoons that the restaurant’s doors are locked up tighter than the Krusty Krab formula. Don’t worry though, everyone’s favorite burger joint has not been closed down, but it will only be opened in the evenings as weekday lunch time is moving next door to the all-new Hamburger Mary’s Pub House. HM Pub House opened their doors last month and since then is becoming THE place to catch the latest Bucs or Lightning game while enjoying a variety of beers and wing flavors. Monday Night Football won’t be the same when you’re watching the game on the big screen with tons of Ybor friends and unlimited chicken wings. They also got you set with a late night breakfast menu, full bar and delicious eye candy. See ya on game day!
Award winning activism
Anyone who has met Ashley Brundage knows that she is absolutely remarkable. Not to brag but we have known it for some time, naming her one of Watermark’s Most Remarkable People in 2014 and it seems like the city of Tampa realizes how amazing she is as well. On November 19, the Tampa City Council unanimously voted to award Brundage a commendation from the city of Tampa. The motion was made by Councilman Guido Maniscalco of District 6 and seconded by Councilwoman Lisa J. Montelione of District 7. The honor is in recognition of Brundage’s community volunteerism and her being presented with the 2015 Performance Award PNC Bank this past November. Brundage not only is a community activist for transgender rights but she is also the president of the Tampa Bay Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, on the board of directors for the TampaBay International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and by large one of the nicest people you will ever meet. A ceremony will be held at Tampa City Hall Dec. 17. Congratulations Ashley!
Every year, Watermark chooses stand-outs from the LGBT community – remarkable individuals who made a mark in the past year, whether through activism, generosity or beating the odds.
For 2015, we took nominations from readers and selected the 15 Most Remarkable People of 2015: seven from the Central Florida area, and eight from Tampa Bay. See our selections and read their exceptional stories:
Amidst the transgender community’s tragedies and struggles in 2015, local hero Tristan Byrnes has been fighting to raise awareness and celebrate the community’s victories.
Byrnes, licensed mental health counselor, provides assistance in gender issues through his private practice, New Transition Therapy. But he feels his advocacy for the transgender community should extend beyond one-on-one work in order to make a real difference.
Watermark is a multi-faceted media company using opportunities and innovations to communicate and advance LGBT interests, with a corporate emphasis on professionalism while building strong relationships with our readers, customers and community.
Watermark Media was founded by Tom Dyer in Orlando in 1994, and expanded to Tampa Bay in 1995. Dyer is an attorney, former board member of the Metropolitan Business Association and Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and current advisory board member of the Harvey Milk Foundation.
Watermark prints up to 20,000 copies every other Thursday, and distributes them in more than 500 locations throughout Orlando, Tampa Bay, Sarasota and throughout the state. The newspaper donates more than $200,000 annually in free and sponsor advertising to worthy local and national LGBT non-profits.
Watermarkonline.com was launched in 1999. The award-winning newspaper currently maintains offices in Tampa Bay and Orlando and employs a full-time staff of 12, along with several part-time and freelance contributors.
Watermark Publishing Group, founded by publisher Rick Claggett, purchased Watermark in January of 2016. Rick Claggett is a long-time employee of Watermark Media and former board member of both the Metropolitan Business Association and Come Out With Pride.Read More...
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