KindRED Pride, One Magical Weekend, GayDayS still moving forward with June celebration

By : Jeremy Williams
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Don’t pack up your red shirts just yet. As the world scrambles to get a handle of the COVID-19 pandemic and businesses and schools are closing up and theaters and productions are postponing shows, Orlando’s Gay Day at Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday of June is still set to continue as planned, albeit cautiously.

“Gay Days, Inc. is more than ever concerned with the safety and well-being of those who plan on attending our Gay Days 2020 event,” said Chris Manley, President of GayDayS.com. “We will continue to monitor the situation in our country as closely as possible and will work with national, state and local city agencies to stay updated on what changes are suggested. As of right now, we are planning on celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Gay Days with you June 2-8.”

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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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PHOTOS: Taste of GayDayS

By : Kathleen Sadler
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Taste of GayDayS brought local restaurants together for an evening of delicious food and beverage samples at the host hotel, Wyndham Orlando Resort on Aug. 15.

The speakers roared throughout the ballroom with vibes by DJ Lu-S.

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Trans of Thought: GayDayS and Inclusivity

By : Maia Monet
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I hope all of you have had a chance to recover from the marches and celebrations that marked Pride month. My feet and liver barely survived intact and may yet give out because, for those of us in Central Florida, the party isn’t quite over yet. Even as corporate-backed, rainbow merchandise-palooza 2019 has faded into the rearview mirror of June, we now have upon us the queer calendar outlier that is GayDayS after its move to mid-August.

Full disclosure: as a transgender woman and lesbian, I have never considered going to GayDayS because it has the reputation of being heavily gay male focused. In most other years, during the first weekend in June, I can be found around the pool at Girls in Wonderland. However, since there are no competing LGBTQ+ events on the social calendar, I have found myself wondering if I should attend.

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PHOTOS: GayDayS holds kick-off at Parliament House, announces new host hotel for 2020

By : Jeremy Williams
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ORLANDO | GayDayS held the kick-off party to its 2019 weekend of events at the Parliament House in Orlando Aug. 13.

GayDayS weekend begins at the Wyndham Orlando Resort on Aug. 15 and runs through Aug. 18 with pool parties, expos and an array of other events.

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While setting the stage for its August 2019 outing, GayDayS paves way for June 2020 return

By : Jeremy Williams
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In the story “The Wizard Of Oz,” a young girl named Dorothy—with dog Toto in hand—is taken over the rainbow by a tornado to the magical land of Oz. While there, she encounters a cast of characters that help her on her journey to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard of Oz who she says can get her back to her home in Kansas because, as she realizes by the end of the story, “there’s no place like home.”

Some similarities between that classic story and the events of GayDayS makes it even more fitting that next year’s theme for GayDayS, which will also be the 30th Anniversary of the original Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom, will be “Emerald City” as the organization returns its events back to its traditional dates in June.

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Two Spirit to host GayDayS events with focus on families, trans community

By : Jeremy Williams
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Two Spirit Health Services—a nonprofit that provides mental health, behavioral, substance abuse, primary care, transgender health and related services to Central Florida’s LGBTQ community—is stepping up its involvement with GayDayS by hosting a series of events focused on the transgender and LGBTQ family communities at the host hotel.

“I think a lot of times the LGBTQ community can be pigeon-holed into we are all single and here for the pool parties, and I think that people know nowadays that’s not the case,” says Brittani Acuff, Two Spirit Community Relations and Events Manager. “This year [Two Spirit co-founder and COO] Robert Baker-Hargrove was really the one behind wanting to get involved because GayDayS has such a vast variety of great people, and that’s what Two Spirit is about.”

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Watermark’s event guide to your GayDayS weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
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GayDayS is keeping you busy with nearly a full week of pool parties, expos and events Aug. 13-18, and with so much going on it can be easy to miss out on an event—but have no fear, Watermark is here!

We have gathered all of the official GayDayS events—single day, recurring and pool-related—on this page. As well, we listed the suggested theme parks each day so you can be sure that you do not miss a single moment of fun in and out of the sun.

Times, locations and prices are subject to change. To purchase tickets, visit GayDayS.com.

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‘Drag Race’ muscle queen Kameron Michaels takes Parliament House stage for GayDayS

By : Jeremy Williams
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Even within a profession built on marching to the beat of your own drum, Kameron Michaels isn’t your typical drag performer. Michaels has many tattoos and puts a lot of focus on weight training and physical fitness, earning the nickname “muscle queen,” which has helped her develop a unique drag appearance.

Along with muscle queen and drag superstar, Michaels is adding the title of recording artist to the mix with the release of “Freedom,” her new single. Michaels is bringing the muscles, the tats and the new single to the Parliament House Aug. 16 for Orlando’s GayDayS weekend.

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Orlando LGBTQ clubs bring the queens for GayDayS weekend

By : Jeremy Williams
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GayDayS weekend will not only be popping at the host hotel. Orlando’s clubs and bars are having parties of their own and they are certain to be lit!

Below we have gathered information on some of the hottest queens taking Orlando’s GayDayS weekend by storm.

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Issue: 26.16 There’s No Place Like Home

By : Dylan Todd
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While setting the stage for its August 2019 outing, GayDayS paves way for June 2020 return, petition launched demanding Orange County ban conversion therapy, Tampa hosts National LGBT Chamber of Commerce conference, local news, celebrity interviews, photos, events and much, much more!

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08.08.19 Tampa Bay Bureau Chief’s Desk

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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I was young, probably around 12 or 13, but I vividly remember the first death I helped cause. They say you never forget your first.

I was in middle school and likely clad in a pair of husky jeans, the free whale necklace that came with the “Free Willy 2” VHS and a “Batman and Robin” tee beneath my Starter Jacket. Clutched against my side was the thickest Trapper Keeper a family like mine could afford, something I rarely let out of my sight during school hours because it protected two of my dearest possessions.

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