10 Central Florida and Tampa Bay eligible singles too sweet for words

By : Jeremy Williams
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The sugary taste of love is flowing through the air as the soft nougat-filled center of our hearts long to spend Valentine’s Day with the one who we hope to be our Turkish Delight. If V-Day is approaching that means it is that time of year for Watermark to present our annual list of the 10 most eligible singles.

We have searched the Candy Cane Forest and Gumdrop Mountain, as well as consulted with Queen Frostine and Gramma Nutt, to compile a list of the sweetest singles — five in Central Florida and five in Tampa Bay — who are ready to grab a drink with you at the candy bar. And trust us, you won’t find any artificial sweeteners in this batch.

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Watermark’s Most Eligible Singles 2020: Brandon Wolf

By : Jeremy Williams
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AGE: 31

BORN IN: Portland, Oregon

IDENTIFIES AS: Gay male

PRONOUNS: He/ him/ his

SIGN: Leo

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2019 was a year for the LGBTQ record books

By : Jeremy Williams & Ryan Williams-Jent
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Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Of course not! That’s why after a historical 365 days, Watermark has assembled our annual year in review.

2019 was a landmark year for us here at Watermark. In August, we proudly celebrated 25 years of serving Central Florida and Tampa Bay’s ever-expanding LGBTQ communities.

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Pulse survivor Brandon Wolf releases gun violence speech ahead of meeting with Congress

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida’s media relations manager and survivor of the Pulse shooting, will meet with the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means to address the need for common sense gun legislation.

Wolf released the speech he intends to give to Congress to Out magazine ahead of the Sept. 19 hearing. In it he talks about the night of the shooting which left 49 killed and dozens more injured, losing his friends Drew Leinonen and Juan Guerrero that night to the shooter, and how his story is not a unique one in the U.S.

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Pulse survivors slam Madonna’s graphic music video for ‘God Control’

By : Mariah Cooper OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Two Pulse nightclub shooting survivors took issue with Madonna’s graphic new music video for “God Control.”

The video depicts a mass shooting at a disco nightclub in what appears to be a nod to the Pulse nightclub shooting in 2016 which claimed 49 lives. Madonna arrives at the club and while everyone is dancing a gunman starts shooting into the crowd and bloody bodies fall to the ground.

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Metro Inclusive Health, The Dru Project to present ‘Stonewall to Pulse’

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | Metro Inclusive Health and The Dru Project will present “Stonewall to Pulse: A Community Discussion” June 26, an inter-generational event featuring panelists who have experienced LGBTQ milestones firsthand.

The presentation “brings together individuals who experienced some of the most significant events, movements and moments in LGBTQ+ history,” the organizations announced June 1, “including the Stonewall Riots, Pulse Massacre, participation in ACT UP AIDS activism and the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard.”

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The Dru Project awards 2019 LGBTQ youth scholarships

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | The Dru Project announced the five recipients of the 2019 Spirit of Drew Scholarship ahead of the organization’s third year anniversary, which will be on June 14.

Drew Adams, who will attend the University of Central Florida; Emily Silverio-Williams, who will attend Florida International University; Dean Rooney, who will attend Florida State University; Evan Malzberg, who will attend Columbia University; and Dalton Vanderford, who will attend the University of South Florida, will each receive $5,000 toward their education.

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Florida House Rep. Mike Hill caught on audio recording making homophobic remarks

By : Jeremy Williams
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In an audio recording release by Equality Florida May 31, Republican State Rep. Mike Hill can be heard laughing along during a public meeting at a constituent who suggested Hill file legislation requiring LGBTQ people be put to death.

The recording begins with Hill answering a question from a different constituent than the one who suggested killing LGBTQ people who asks why fellow Republican Rep. Alexander Andrade co-sponsored the Florida Competitive Workforce Act. Hill responds saying he cannot speak for Andrade but that “thank goodness that legislation didn’t go no where.”

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Equality Florida’s Brandon Wolf named a grand marshal for Capital Pride

By : Jeremy Williams
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Capital Pride, a nonprofit organization located in Washington, D.C. that produces a Trans Pride and Pride Celebration in the nation’s capital each year, named Central Florida activist Brandon Wolf among its list of grand marshals for this year’s Pride parade.

Wolf is currently the media relations manager for Equality Florida and is a co-founder of The Dru Project, a nonprofit LGBTQ advocacy organization dedicated to promoting Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) nationwide by providing curricula and scholarships to LGBTQ youth.

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Pulse survivor accepts position at Equality Florida

By : Abigail Brashear
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ORLANDO | Brandon Wolf, a 30-year-old Pulse survivor and LGBTQ activist, recently accepted a full-time position at Equality Florida as the Central Florida development officer and the statewide media relations manager. He says he is happy to pursue his interest on a scale larger than “weekend activism.”

“Equality Florida and I have always had a really strong relationship,” Wolf says. “There’s so much I want to be able to do to help my community and the state of Florida.”

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PHOTOS: Voting is the message of the night at Equality Florida’s Greater Orlando Gala

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | Equality Florida had a huge turnout for its Greater Orlando Gala at the Orlando Museum of Art Nov. 2, and its message to everyone in attendance: “Get out and vote this Tuesday!”

The event was a who’s who of Central Florida’s LGBTQ, Democrat and progressive communities. The crowd watched as Pulse survivor and gun safety advocate Brandon Wolf was awarded the Voice For Equality Award and Michael Thomas of John Michael Exquisite Weddings and Events accepted the Equality Means Business Award.

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Hurricane Michael devastates Fla. Panhandle’s LGBT community

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Members of the Florida Panhandle’s LGBT community are trying to pick up the pieces from Hurricane Michael that devastated the region earlier this month.

The LGBTQ Center of Bay County, which board secretary Cherie Crim described to the Washington Blade on Oct. 22 during a telephone interview as Bay County’s “first safe space” for LGBT youth, rented a room at an Episcopal church in Panama City.

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