Watermark’s 2020 WAVE Award Winners – Central Florida

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

FAVORITE LOCAL POLITICIAN

First: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

Second: Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan

Third: State Rep. Anna Eskamani

FAVORITE LOCAL ACTIVIST

First: George Wallace, LGBT+ Center

Second: Eric Rollings, Foundation for the Florida Environmental Protection

Third: Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida

Continue Reading >>

Watermark’s Most Remarkable People of 2019

By : Watermark Staff
Comments: 0

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.

Continue Reading >>

Eric Rollings, Central Florida Realtor, Activist, Environmentalist

By : State Sen. Linda Stewart, District 13
Comments: 0

I want to congratulate Eric Rollings on being selected for Watermark’s “Most Remarkable People”! I have known Eric for almost a decade and I am so proud of all he has accomplished. He is a close friend, and for as long as I have known him he has been fighting for just causes and been dedicated to issues such as climate change and LGBTQ rights. He has been at the forefront of the Central Florida community serving as a representative for our area locally and at the national level.

Eric has served as a delegate of the first ever delegation from Orlando to the United Nations General Assembly this year, advocating for the city’s place on the international stage at the forefront of fighting climate change and progressing the rights of the LGBTQ community. He has been a leader on the team effort to ban the practice of conversion therapy in Orange County with ConvertToLove.org. because of his advocacy, Congressman Darren Soto entered Eric into the Congressional Record as a “Distinguished LGBTQ Leader for Pride Month.”

Continue Reading >>

Come Out With Pride to go eco-friendly for festival and parade

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

Come Out With Pride will have a lot of the same things that you have come to expect over the last 15 years since the parade and festival have been held in and around Lake Eola. Food vendors, parade floats, live entertainment, fireworks and thousands upon thousands of attendees.

Some things you won’t see this year—or any upcoming years—will be single-use plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene foam single-use food containers. This is because the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban these items from all city properties back in June.

Continue Reading >>

2 Pulse survivors to hold ‘ex-gay’ march in Orlando same week leaders look to ban conversion therapy in Orange County

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | As LGBTQ leaders and community supporters gathered Aug. 15 at Stonewall Bar in Orlando to hold a rally to ban conversion therapy in Orange County, two Pulse shooting survivors appeared on a Christian podcast to discuss an ex-gay march they plan to hold at Lake Eola next month.

Luis J. Ruiz and Angel Colon—both survivors of the June 12, 2016 mass shooting at Pulse— are claiming they are no longer gay and want to spread their message of “ex-gay” conversion by holding a march at Lake Eola Park in Orlando, less than two miles from Pulse, on Sept. 14.

Continue Reading >>

Support builds as LGBTQ groups call on Orange County to ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0
ABOVE: (L-R) Heather Wilkie, Andrew Chang and Eric Rollings are among the community leaders helping to ban conversion therapy in Orange County. (Photo by Jeremy Williams)

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA), One Orlando Alliance, The Trevor Project and the Zebra Coalition.

Continue Reading >>

Petition launched in Central Florida demands Orange County ban conversion therapy

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | A petition calling for the ban of so-called gay conversion therapy for minors in Orange County, Florida has been launched on the website Change.org.

The petition, which can be found at ConvertToLove.org, has the support of local, state and national LGBTQ organizations including Equality Florida, The Trevor Project, Zebra Coalition, Orlando Youth Alliance (OYA) and One Orlando Alliance.

Continue Reading >>

Orlando bans single-use plastics, foam on city properties

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Former Orange County Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisor and environmental activist Eric Rollings says he was beside himself with joy when the Orlando City Commission voted unanimously to ban plastic straws, plastic bags and polystyrene single-use containers in the city of Orlando on all its properties.

“I was just one giant goosebump seeing it actually happen,” Rollings says with a smile.

Continue Reading >>

Orange County has largest primary voter turnout for 2018 midterms

By : Jeremy Williams
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | Voters in Orange County turned out in record numbers for the 2018 midterm primary elections Aug. 28.

More than 170,000 Orange County voters went to the polls to vote for their party’s nominees in state races for governor, Congress, attorney general and the Florida Legislature, as well as local races including Orange County mayor, Orange County Commissioners and Orange County School Board Chair.

Continue Reading >>

LGBTQ and ally candidates talk Florida’s Aug. 28 vote

By : Samuel Johnson
Comments: 0

The midterm election primaries are right around the corner on Aug. 28. The LGBTQ community numbers nearly 900,000 Floridians, comprising 4.1 percent of the adult population of Florida. Of that adult LGBTQ population, more than a quarter of them are raising children. Based on these numbers, the LBGTQ vote can impact elections, especially in the primaries.

In Florida there are candidates throughout the state who are advocates for the LGBTQ community. They are vowing to protect and promote equality for LGBTQ—and all—Floridians. The midterm primaries in Florida are boasting at least eight openly gay candidates, plus a slew of advocates and allies who are running.

Continue Reading >>

Central Florida candidates describe differing enthusiasm levels among young volunteers

By : Layla Ferris
Comments: 0

ORLANDO | A push for stricter gun laws, among other prominent issues, has politically mobilized Florida’s youth; however, Central Florida candidates say they have conflicting experiences with the enthusiasm levels of young volunteers and voters.

Three Central Florida candidates — Eric Rollings, Susan Makowski and Anna Eskamani — discussed how national enthusiasm has translated at the local level during a June 27 Pride & Allies Meeting held at the Orange County Administration Building in downtown Orlando.

Continue Reading >>

Phone Bank for Eric Rollings with the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of FL

By : Maia Monet
Comments: 0

Share this story:

Join the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida phone-bank for Eric! 

Coffee and Pastries will be served in the morning and pizza, snacks and soft drinks in the afternoon (vegan/vegetarian options too).