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YOUR LGBT LIFE. Issue 17.01 | Jan. 7-20, 2010 WatermarkOnline.com

Jesse LeNoir Orlando

Ben Chmura Tampa Bay

Mind, Body+Soul Focus on:

Runway Ready

Functional fitness fads Hypnotism in the New Year Plastic surgery and gay men

Local designers ‘make it work’ on Project Runway Season 7

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watermark | preview

| January 7-20, 2010

issue 17.01

4

COLTON FORD 26

PG.

Porn star turned singer Colton Ford will bring his up-beat dance mixes to The Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg on Jan. 15 and 17. Ford speaks with us about his new career as a dance floor staple, the business that is “Colton Ford” and his plans to participate in an upcoming reality television series.

6 | Orlando News

(L-R) Designers Jesse LeNoir of Orlando and Ben Chmura of Tampa are both featured in Season 7 of Lifetime’s Project Runway, which premiers on Thursday, Jan. 14. Photo courtesy Lifetime Television

LGBTs scramble for Lady Gaga tickets after the entertainer changes venues at the last minute; Orlando is a key in the ACLU’s gay

ORLANDO NEWS

6

adoption campaign; more.

11 / STATE NEWS

8 | Tampa Bay News

13 / NATION + WORLD NEWS

St. Petersburg officially swore in its first openly gay City Councilman when Steve Kornell took the oath of office Jan. 2; LGBT advocate

14 / TAMPA BAY MARKETPLACE

and Tampa council member Linda Saul-Sena announces her bid for Hillsborough County Commission.

11 | State

8

26 / ORLANDO MARKETPLACE 20 / MAIL

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon joins Florida’s adoption fight; Florida mourns the loss of two activists; more.

TAMPA BAY NEWS

13 | Nation+World

30 / EVENT PLANNER 32 / TAMPA BAY OUT+ABOUT

New Hampshire’s gay and lesbian residents say “I do” as the New

SCENE+HEARD

23

Year begins; U.S. lawmakers condemn Ugandan anti-gay law; more.

33 / ORLANDO OUT+ABOUT

23 | Viewpoint

42 / TRANSITIONS

Brian Feist discusses the trials and tribulations of New Year’s resolutions and tackles the deep-rooted behavior issues we all battle

43 / ADVICE

come Jan. 1.

23 | Mind, Body and Soul Fitness trends come and go, but the Boot Camp-style boon of

44 / CLASSIFIEDS 45 / SPORTS

exercise has created the Suspension training fad of today; Gay men

36

seem to be keeping plastic surgeons in business; Holistic living could

KNOW+TELL

be a natural alternative to obtaining a healthy lifestyle.

46 / GOSSIP

Nat'l A


watermark | preview

January 7-20, 2010 |

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editor’sdesk A

The logic behind this voting tactic is that by voting for the new folks, s with the beginning of every new year, I’m filled with optimism we will get new blood in our government. New governing officials and hope. Last year was rough but we made some amazing gains means lobbyists won’t have the strong grip they have now and the new in LGBT politics. True, marriage equality took a beating overall, representation of the people will not be enticed to make decisions based on but shortly after midnight on Jan. 1, 2010, gay and lesbian couples in New influences that line their own pockets or serve their own purposes. Hampshire began legally tying the knot. For those of us who pay attention to politics and who get frustrated at Today we have more LGBTs in positions of power than ever before, ongoing party-line votes, this might seem like a great way to finally stop the thanks in part to the Obama administration. The president’s appointment of stupid decisions made by our representatives. It would also prevent cable several members of our community to high-ranking positions was unheard news networks from brain-washing viewers based solely on a conservative of just two short years ago; and gay, lesbian and transgender individuals or liberal agenda or by party affiliation. won elections across the country in 2009. For once I could say I wouldn’t have to correct an e-mail forwarded by I saw 2009 as the “year of change,” but many don’t think we’ve changed my mother. enough. Even the more socially conservative Since no “facts” were reported in the e-mail, among us are wanting something different—not a I didn’t respond in any way. But upon closer reversion back to the way things were, but a change examination, I’m not so sure this is the solution to our for a better future. “I saw 2009 as the country’s problems. I received an interesting e-mail from my mother Voting for a person simply because he or she is a few days before Christmas. At first glance I "year of change," but the new candidate isn’t smart voting. If a candidate thought it was just another of her forwarded many don’t think we’ve promises to use puppies as piñatas, ban St. Patrick’s chain mails detailing the atrocities of the Obama Day and require a limitation on how many children I administration, the anti-Christian actions of some changed enough. can father, I’m probably not going to vote for him or television network, or the claims by a radio host her. I don’t care if the incumbent is “old blood.” that some senator from who-knows-where has I use the same line of thinking when it comes to started a movement to ban the use of English in voting by party lines. I don’t simply look for a D or an R after a candidate’s public places. name on the ballot. I want to know what that candidate stands for and what In other words, I thought it was another ridiculous, forwarded letter to he or she will do to improve life for me, my family and my neighborhood. which I would painstakingly respond after researching it to inform every I’m not against getting new blood into our political arena. I just want to recipient about the plethora of misinformation contained within. make sure that new blood knows what it’s doing. But this one was different. You may have seen it too. In this one, the So, as the political ads begin flooding our televisions, newspapers and author, who is not identified, suggests that to “reclaim” our country and to internet searches, keep in mind that in order to make 2010 a positive year truly put it back in the hands of “We the People,” we must vote out every single incumbent up for re-election. So, if you normally vote Democrat and for LGBTs, we must elect the right people, not just the new people. Happy New Year. | l | a Democrat is up for his or her seat in the Senate, vote for the Republican newcomer. Same goes if you usually vote Republican and a new Democrat is challenging the incumbent’s seat.

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SteveB@WatermarkOnline.com

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watermark | orlando news

| January 7-20, 2010

Lady Gaga tour leaves some fans gagging kirk hartlage Orlando | Thanks to issues surrounding her current Monster Ball tour, which stopped in Orlando on Jan. 3, Lady Gaga has created a “Bad Romance” with many of her newfound fans. Less than two weeks before her soldout performance at Hard Rock Live, it was announced the concert would be relocated to the New Arena at the University of Central Florida. Hard Rock marketing manger Jeff Jones said the last-minute change was made because the production’s set was too large for the Hard Rock stage, adding that similar staging issues forced the tour to relocate three shows in Chicago and two shows in Detroit this month. Still, many fans speculated the swaps were done to sell more tickets, considering Lady Gaga had described the tour’s set several months ago. In an October interview with Rolling Stone, the performer called the Monster Ball stage “a frame with forced perspective…it’s this giant box that fits into every show. So no matter where I go, my fans get the same experience.” For some, that experience was a bad one, particularly with their tickets. Fans who had seats for the original venue were notified

briefs

by email that they would have only a few days—during a busy holiday week—to return their tickets with an option to participate in a second pre-sale for the new location. “It took me two days and about four hours of phone time to finally get Ticketmaster to allow me to purchase tickets for the rescheduled show,” said James Jackson. “Every time I talked to someone I got a different reason why they couldn’t sell me tickets.” With the relocation some concert-goers, like Rick Merrifield, found themselves in less-than-desirable seats. “Because her stage was boxed in, seats on the side of the stage—like ours—had a limited view,” said Merrifield, who initially had “great seats in the balcony” at Hard Rock. “We had to watch more than a third of the concert on the screens. Every time she stepped back, we couldn’t see her.” Merrifield said many people in his section filled the aisles in hopes of getting a better view and that UCF staff attempted to clear the potential safety hazard only once. Merrifield was among many concert-goers who also expressed frustration at obtaining adult beverages at the show. With only four liquor bars and two draft beer stations, waits to obtain alcohol often ran past 30 minutes.

Orlando man makes debut on HGTV

While many LGBTs enjoyed Lady Gaga’s performance at the UCF Arena Jan. 3, many were disappointed in the way ticket sales were handled. | Photo courtesy Streamline Records

One fan in line wondered why UCF, with twice the capacity of Hard Rock, would have only half as many bars available. This is not the first time issues have surrounded a Lady Gaga tour. A 34-date co-headlining trek with Kanye West was cancelled in early October only two weeks after it had been announced. Rapper 50 Cent called the proposed “Fame Kills” tour “the gay tour.” Lady Gaga responded, saying, “I think it’s sad—and I think that nobody in any genre of music should accommodate homophobia.” A spokesperson for Lady Gaga did not respond to e-mails seeking comment. | l |

P l a z a

C i n e m a

An Orlando man will get a televised shot at interior design this month. John McClain is appearing as the amateur designer on HGTV’s new series, First Time Design. McClain will get some help from HGTV designer Vern Yip as he addresses client demands, budget restrictions and time limits, but he’ll be responsible for the final result of his design. McClain’s episode is currently scheduled to air on Jan. 16, and he redid a master bedroom for a husband and wife living in Los Angeles. He and his partner, Peter Courtney, live in Orlando. McClain’s HGTV audition video can be seen at WatermarkOnline.com.

Mini-series focuses on HIV/AIDS issues An Orlando-based mini-series is in the works, with 15 episodes planned, all centered around three men diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. La Fleur De Mai (translation: “The Flower of May”) is produced by Presage Entertainment and will shoot during spring 2010 with the full series online release planned for spring 2011, according to marketing director Richard Russell. Russell says they are seeking a number of sponsors at several levels. A teaser of La Fleur De Mai can be viewed at WatermarkOnline.com.

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watermark | orlando news

Orlando key in ACLU gay adoption campaign jamie hyman Orlando | The attorney representing a man challenging Florida’s ban on gay adoption calls the Magic City “crucial grounds” in securing a win. Robert Rosenwald, Jr. is the Director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Florida LGBT Project and counsel to Martin Gill, a Miami man who is fighting to adopt the two foster children he’s raised for the past four years. The ACLU is kicking off this month a three-year campaign to teach citizens how to advocate against Florida’s gay adoption ban. One of the campaign’s first stops is in Orlando and Rosenwald says that’s no

Joy MCC serves 8,000 staff report Orlando | This holiday season, the Joy Metropolitan Community Church served more people than in the years 2007 and 2008 combined. According to Rev. John Middleton, Joy MCC Senior Pastor, more than 8,000 people were given enough food to feed them for about four days, largely thanks to donations by Central Florida’s LGBT community. “I can’t begin to tell you how deeply moved I am by the generosity,” said Middleton. “The results of the food drive sponsored by One Orlando and The Center are just amazing.” Those groups—with the help of several other donors—have been collecting food and toys for about a month. The donations were delivered on Jan. 4. | l |

coincidence, calling the city “a kind of purplish area” where the conservative north meets the progressive south. “Orlando and the entire I-4 corridor is where those sides collide,” he said. “Any campaign you hope to win in the State of Florida has to include a victory in the I-4 corridor with Orlando at its heart, so we consider that crucial grounds in order for us to sustain a win.” He said the project wants to educate straight people about gay families and train gay people on how to talk about gay families in public.

“Our goals are to create a public opinion climate that would allow the Florida Supreme Court to affirm our trial court decision ruling that the ban on gay people adopting is unconstitutional and also to head off a new constitutional amendment by our opponents in the event that we do win at the Florida Supreme Court,” Rosenwald said. Although the Orlando town meeting is a relatively early stop in a campaign scheduled to last three years, Rosenwald said he wouldn’t be surprised if it returns to Orlando and the trainings are designed to last beyond the one-day meeting. “The purpose of this meeting is to create a local group that will continue to work

January 7-20, 2010 |



with what people are trained to do at town hall meetings,” he said. “They’ll continue to train speakers while getting people ready to fight a [potential] conditional amendment, so the work will continue.” Orlando’s town hall meeting runs from 7 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 22 at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando. The adoption training session is Saturday, Jan. 23 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the Marriott Orlando Downtown. Pre-registration is required online at ACLUFL.org/Training but both events are free of charge. The training session is for all ages. GLAAD is leading the session for adults 18 and up, while the Family Equality Council will run a concurrent session for youth ages 3 to 17. | l |




watermark | tampa bay news

| January 7-20, 2010

Kornell takes St. Pete Council seat staff report

2500 Dr. M.L. King Street N. St. Petersburg, FL 33704 (727)823-3432 (800)771-3336 Fax: (727)822-3599

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St. Petersburg | The City of St. Petersburg started out the New Year with a historic swearing in ceremony. District 5 City Councilman Steve Kornell was sworn into office as the city’s first openly gay elected official. Kornell defeated Angela Rouson in the November election for the seat. Kornell told voters he was gay toward the beginning of his campaign, when a reporter asked him during a debate. Kornell told the audience he was gay, and then took the next question. “I think the citizens would rightfully get angry with me for talking about [being the city’s first openly gay politician] before I even take office,” Kornell told Watermark. “I’m truly focused on getting in there and doing the best job I can do and make the citizens of the city proud that they elected me to the position.” While Kornell recognizes the historic significance of his swearing in, he says there are many other issues to focus on instead of his orientation. “I’m thinking about how I’m going to get in there and figure out the budget and the best way to save money so we don’t have to lay people off,” Kornell said. “That sounds like a line a political consultant would tell me to say, but it’s true.” Throughout his nearly two-year campaign, Kornell focused on economic diversity, high tech jobs, fighting crime and his long-time involvement with the city’s Parks and Recreation department. “Children’s issues are very important to me,” Kornell said. “I’ve worked across the board to make sure we’re taking advantage of every resource out there to help us and to make sure all children are successful, including using the education we have in place in our city already. I want to make sure we take the resources we have and use them to leverage other dollars, grants and large corporations. The more resources we bring in and use to serve our children and families, the better city we can have.” Kornell was sworn in along with new mayor Bill Foster and returning council members Jeff Danner, Jim Kennedy and Leslie Curran on Jan. 2. Foster, who has said he would not sign a proclamation honoring St. Pete Pride, was often criticized for inserting religious rhetoric into secular debates during his campaign. As a council member from 1998 to 2008, Foster opposed allowing alcohol sales to start at 11 a.m. Sundays and asked city attorneys to research a ban on allnight dance parties called raves. After he had left office, Foster wrote a letter to the Pinellas County School Board regarding

Steve Kornell stands with his mother while he takes the oath of office in St. Petersburg Jan. 2.

the teaching of evolution. It said, in part, that Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution helped Adolf Hitler rise to power in Nazi Germany. Foster insisted his religious beliefs haven’t and won’t overlap with his governing. As a candidate, he promised to continue many of Baker’s successful policies, relentlessly pursue crime and streamline City Hall. During his swearing in, Foster’s wife Wendy was at his side. Kornell’s mother stood by his side as he took the oath of office. Kornell’s aunt and brother, Gabe, were also in attendance. With a New Year looming ahead, Kornell, the rest of the city council and the city’s new mayor have several issues to address in the immediate future. The struggling business district of downtown, high crime rates and a growing homeless population have been issues most talked about in the news. Kornell wants the council to meet with resource providers as soon as possible to see what impact government can have on the pressing problems. “I want us to make the biggest impact we can with the limited money we have,” Kornell said. “I recognize the budget crunch, but it’s an opportunity. When things are really good you don’t always have that incentive. You always have to be the most efficient or effective. “You can get by on a little bit when you have plenty of money to spend, but when you don’t have that money it forces you to re-evaluate things and do things in a much better way. This is an opportunity to reinvent government and its role in the community.” | l |


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Tampa | Linda Saul-Sena is eyeing the Hillsborough County Commission seat now held by Jim Norman. Norman can not run again due to term limits and plans to run for the Florida Senate. The LGBT-supportive Tampa City Councilwoman will face Republican Commissioner Ken Hagan for the seat. Hagan plans to resign his District 2 seat to pursue the countywide position. “I’ve had a lot of legislative experience,” Saul-Sena said in a press conference Jan. 5. “For all these years, I’ve worked on growth management and transportation issues. I just see this as an opportunity to serve more folks and move our community forward.” Saul-Sena, a Democrat, has served on the City Council for five terms and is ever-present at LGBT functions. She made an appearance at the short-lived Winter Pride Tampa Bay in 2008 and spoke at a Prop 8 rally in downtown Tampa last May. The gathering was to protest the California Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the voter-initiated ban on gay marriage in 2008. “I am pleased to be here with such a positive group,” Saul-Sena said at the 2009 rally. “I think that 2010 has a positive ring to it and we have time to change this state and this country. I think if Iowa can figure things

out, California can figure things out and so can we here in Florida.” Saul-Sena has vowed to fight for LGBT equality in the state and has expressed support for the equality Five-time Tampa City initiatives of Councilwoman and LGBT advocate Linda Saul-Sena Tampa May Pam has announced her candidacy Iorio since she for Hillsborough County took office in 2004. Commission. While Saul-Sena expressed hope, she said a lot of work needs to be done. “Like any public struggle, it takes a ridiculous amount of work to make change happen,” Saul-Sena said. “Equality is the next step and we work together as a community.” Hagan has one Republican challenger, Don Kruse. Brandon Newton, a Libertarian, is also seeking the seat eyed by Saul Sena. Mitch Kates, who handled Kevin Beckner’s successful campaign for County Commissioner in 2008, will manage SaulSena in her campaign. According to the Tampa Tribune, Saul-Sena faces a challenging race. Hagan has served on the commission since 2002 and has already raised more than $200,000 for the 2010 race. | l |

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steve blanchard

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Saul-Sena announces Commission run

January 7-20, 2010 |


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| January 7-20, 2010

watermark | sarasota news

Step Out Sarasota nears 1,000 members staff report Sarasota | The new social networking site for gay, bisexual and questioning men in Sarasota has neared the 1,000 mark, according to founder Stephen Warne. StepOutSarasota. com launched in the middle of 2009 to provide a way for men in the Sarasota area to connect and organize. “Throughout our network, members are expressing their hopes, aspirations and well wishes for our community here on the Suncoast,” Warne said. “But they are also expressing their many frustrations and concerns. That’s why I created SOS. I’m very glad to see members offering advice and solutions to problems.” The Facebook-style web site requires members to register before they can use it and set up a profile. Upon doing so, members can find friends, facilitate groups or discuss initiatives. “It is my hope that our members begin working more closely together, and that SOS becomes a catalyst for positive change in our area, within the LGBTQ community, and in the community at large,” Warne said. Several statements on the SOS home page make it clear that the site is not intended as a “hook up site” for gay men. It is a tool for

resources and collaboration. However, it does say photo sharing is okay as long as it is done privately. The free site has been well worth the hard work involved, according to Warne. “When I started this social network, my goal was simple,” Warne said. “I wanted to connect people and bring together the community in a meaningful way. Within two weeks my efforts [were] rewarded many times over. SOS went from an idea to an obsession within less than a month.” Since moving to Sarasota in 2007, Warne has become involved in many aspects of the community. His SOS creation, he said, is an effort to provide locals with an easily accessible network to find other local gay and bisexual men for companionship. “Social networking starts locally, but most of our experiences with social networking web sites are national trends and international press hype,” Warne said. “SOS can act as a primary network or as an addition to a current network.” Warne said that several “apps” are opensource, which means anyone can add their own features without suffering compatibility issues. For more information on Step Out Sarasota visit StepOutSarasota.com or search for it on Facebook.com. | l |

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watermark | state news

ACLU’s adoption campaign gets celebrity boost staff report Miami Beach | Openly gay Sex and the City star and LGBT rights advocate Cynthia Nixon will be on hand to help the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) kick off a three-year campaign to end Florida’s ban on adoption by gay people. The event will be held Jan. 9 at the Shore Club in Miami Beach starting at 7:30 p.m. Nixon will be joined by U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; Florida Senator Nan Rich; Florida Representative Mary Brandenburg; Howard Simon, ACLU of Florida Executive Director; Robert Rosenwald, ACLU-FL LGBT Advocacy Project Director; and Martin Gill, an ACLU plaintiff. The ACLU of Florida’s LGBT Advocacy Project and the national ACLU LGBT Project sued the state on behalf of Gill and two brothers who he had been fostering at the state’s request for four years—the only stable home the children had ever known. In a landmark November 2008 decision, a Miami judge ruled that the two boys, now ages five and nine, could remain with the adoptive father, who is gay. The state appealed to the Third District Court of Appeals, where the case has been argued. Gill is still waiting for a decision from the Third District Court of Appeals regarding his lawsuit.

Sex and the City star Cynthia Nixon will take part in a threeyear campaign to overturn Florida’s gay adoption ban.

ACLU’s campaign is getting financial support from the Tides Foundation’s State Equality Fund, the John C. Graves Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward, the GLBT Community Projects Fund at Dade Community Foundation, and the Scott Opler Foundation. In addition to supporting the ACLU lawsuit, the campaign will provide training to coach people on how to talk about the adoption ban. Florida is the only state that specifically outlaws adoptions by homosexuals.| l |

Florida mourns two LGBT activists staff report Miami | South Florida LGBTs are mourning the loss of two LGBT activists. Henry Woods was a leader in the Florida LGBT Democratic Caucus, the Key West Lambda Democrats and an adjunct political science professor at Florida Keys Community College. Woods, 58, slipped into a coma on Christmas Eve after suffering a severe aneurysm. According to the Key West Keynoter, Woods was a 10year Key West resident who also ran Woods

Consulting, which takes on public relations, grant writing and other responsibilities for local groups including AIDS Help. Denise King, mother of murdered gay teenager Simmie Williams, Jr., died suddenly on New Years Eve after collapsing in her Fort Lauderdale apartment two hours before midnight. King’s17-year old openly gay African-American son was murdered on Sistrunk Blvd. on Feb. 22, 2008. Following his death, King became a spokeswoman against intolerance. Police are still looking for her son’s killer. | l |

Equality groups protesting church staff report Gainesville | Stand Up Florida and the Queer Activist Coalition are teaming up for a “Silent Protest” at Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville on Jan. 10. According to Dove World’s web site, the church’s philosophy includes getting people to “stand up,” because “Christians must return to the truth and stop hiding. We need to speak up against sin and call the people to repentance. Abortion is murder.

Homosexuality is sin… Any religion which would profess anything other than this truth is of the devil.” Stand Up Florida calls the church an “enemy of diversity and equality.” The demonstrators plan to meet at 9 a.m. in the parking lot of the Red Roof Inn and then head over to the church from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. to spread a message of hope and tolerance. For more information visit StandUpFlorida.org. | l |

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N.H. couples celebrate New Year with ‘I do’ wire report Concord N.H. | Jubilant gay couples rang in the New Year in New Hampshire with wedding vows to celebrate the state’s new law legalizing same-sex marriage Jan. 1. At midnight, New Hampshire joined Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Iowa in allowing gay marriage. About 15 couples braved the cold to exchange vows outside the New Hampshire Statehouse in Concord. Others planned private ceremonies around the state, despite having exchanged vows before. Canterbury residents Beth McGuinn and Ruth Smith spent thousands of dollars on a commitment ceremony in 1993, then exchanged civil union vows right after midnight Jan. 1, 2008, wearing mittens and caps around a campfire. They plan to get married, but not until Oct. 2, the date of their original commitment ceremony.

“This is big. It may not give us anything more, but we have fought almost two decades for this,” said McGuinn, 48. “The word marriage means a lot. It’s universally recognized. It’s not about rights. It’s about being accepted. It’s about being part of the community and part of society.” The law grants no new rights to gays but eliminates the separate status for civil unions. Democratic Gov. John Lynch, who personally opposes gay marriage, signed the legislation after lawmakers passed key language affirming religious rights. The law spells out that churches and religious groups can’t be forced to officiate at gay marriages or provide other services. Couples already in civil unions have three options to convert their statuses to marriages. They can have marriage ceremonies, file marriage paperwork with their town clerks to convert their statuses during 2010 or wait until the unions are automatically converted in 2011. | l |

U.S. lawmakers condemn anti-gay Uganda legislation wire report Washington, D.C. | Five Republican U.S. congressmen are urging the president of Uganda to oppose a proposed law that would invoke the death penalty for some gay Ugandans. The lawmakers say they are all men of faith, and the bill is antithetical to the Christian belief of “inherent dignity and worth” of all people. In a letter, the congressmen urge President Yoweri

Museveni to do everything he can to stop the bill from becoming law. The bill would mandate a death sentence for active homosexuals living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. Anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment. The letter was signed by Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia, Chris Smith of New Jersey, Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, Trent Franks of Arizona and Anh “Joseph” Cao of Louisiana. | l |

briefs Mexico City enacts gay marriage law Mexico City enacted Latin America’s first law recognizing gay marriage and said it hopes to attract same-sex couples from around the world to wed. The law, approved by city legislators on Dec. 21, was published in Mexico City’s official register and will take effect in March. It will allow same-sex couples to adopt children and municipal officials say it will make Mexico’s capital a “vanguard city’’—and attract extra tourism revenues.

Obama makes first transgender presidential appointment Amanda Simpson, a Raytheon employee, former test pilot, and onetime Congressional candidate, has

made history by becoming the firstever presidential appointee who is transgender. Simpson, who underwent her transition while employed at Raytheon, will serve as a Senior Technical Adviser at the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security. Simpson’s most recent job was as the Deputy Director in Advanced Technology Development at Raytheon Missile Systems in Arizona.

Malawi police arrest 2 men for engagement ceremony Officials in Malawi say they have arrested two men for celebrating their engagement to each other in the conservative southern African country. Attorney General Jane Ansah says the men were charged with indecency. Those convicted under the law can get five to 14 years in jail.

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I’m spending more than last year.

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On Scottie Saves the World’s book review of Three Cups of Tea: “I think if we LGBTQI people engaged in more direct action/civil disobedience to liberate ourselves we would have more of an impact helping out others. Throughout history LGBTQI people have led the charge on so many fronts—Susan B. Anthony, Bayard Rustin, Harvey milk. We can continue to do good things for others as we always have done, but that I don’t believe will lead to our liberation as a people. The only way for us to get what we deserve as tax paying citizens of this country is to add civil disobedience to our tactics.” —AlanBounville “I talk about public service as an important key; I’m not insisting that it is the only element we need. However, in light of the subject matter of the book, the use of the terms “direct action” and “civil disobedience” make me wonder how terrorists view what they do. I’m reluctant— If not unwilling—to listen to any message they have because of the manner in which they choose to deliver it.” —CampScottie Don’t be left out of the community conversation! Head over to WatermarkOnline.com, register and start telling us what YOU think!

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mail A president, not a superhero It’s a new year. Time for commentators everywhere to air their complaints about our Failed-Superhero President: Obama caved in on health care, or went too far. The stimulus package was too ambitious, or not ambitious enough. He broke his promise to be bipartisan, or tried too hard to court any Republican who’d listen. His Afghan policy is too harsh, or maybe soft. He brokered a bad deal in Copenhagen. He didn’t do enough to create jobs. No, scratch that. His attempts at creating jobs made matters worse. Here’s one thing the president did: face up to issues that, if ignored any longer, would —RAnd render America a second-rate power within a decade. The president’s attempts at revamping health care, climate, and economic policies are flawed, but they are essential starting points. At least he got some balls rolling. That’s more than his predecessors were able to accomplish. Earnest Gardner Via E-mail

something specific, that does not make it true. After years of EQFL’s failed lobbying on state schools, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression were left out of the law. As a result, less than a dozen of the state’s 67 school districts even address the issue in their antibullying policies. It took a lot of work for those of us in these counties to get SO and GI/E into our local policies—and that work was orchestrated by ACLU of Florida’s LGBT Advocacy Project. I have read that EQFL recalls somewhere along the line when the bill was discussed in committee, SO and GI/E categories were discussed and some legislator said they would be covered. While I don’t have that reference, I doubt HocH that will help prevent bullying or encourage teachers to report it as otherwise required by the law. I’m not even sure it would hold up in court if some teacher “overlooked” kids beating the crap our of a student based on his/her SO or GI/E. Rand Hoch West Palm Beach

“After years of EQFL’s failed lobbying on state schools, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression were left out of the law.”

Not-So-Safe Schools Why does Watermark continue to write that Florida has a Safe Schools law that “specifically” cites sexual orientation and gender identity/expression when our state does not? Just because Equality Florida reports to the Haas Fund—or to Watermark—that Florida law mentions

Editor’s note: Rand Hoch is the president and founder of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. During the most recent legislative session, the Safe Schools bill achieved strong bi-partisan support in the legislature and received a first ever hearing in the Florida Senate Education Committee. Mr. Hoch is correct, however, that the law did not pass. EQFL says it will continue to pursue the protections statewide.

Send all correspondence to Editor@WatermarkOnline.com. Letters may be edited for space or clarity. Opinions expressed in reader mail do not reflect those of Watermark’s staff.


watermark | viewpoint

andone

morething...

over the past year. Jan. 1 is a new beginning, a chance to start with a clean slate. What better time to rid ourselves of undesirable habits or behaviors? Maybe so many of us fail because we attempt to change some of the most deeply-rooted behaviors we possess when we make a New Year’s Resolution. I’d venture a guess that the two most popular choices are quitting smoking and losing weight. And we don’t prepare ourselves for the real work involved in modifying those behaviors. If you ask someone who has kicked a drug or alcohol problem, he or she may tell you that one of the most important parts of a successful substance abuse 2010: treatment program is to learn to recognize avoid situations that trigger old habits. The Year We and Sometimes that even means cutting off old Make Contact friends and finding new people with whom to associate. If we took quitting smoking or losing weight that seriously, maybe we’d be more Brian Feist successful. And of the two, food addiction is probably the harder to break. If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, you can avoid your enemy. You can dump the booze down the drain and flush the drugs down the toilet and stay away from places where you may be tempted to imbibe. But if you are fat and want to lose weight, you can’t throw out all of your food and avoid grocery stores and restaurants. You still have to eat. Also, there’s no immediate gratification in dieting. If you decide to quit smoking, you can quit. You wake up the next day appy New Year, everyone. and, voila! You’re a non-smoker. And Yes, just as we did with 1984, every day you don’t smoke or don’t use 1999 and 2001, we’ve reached a drugs or alcohol adds strength to your milestone that was once only conceivable resolve. But if you’re obese and you in the realm of science fiction (or in the commit to losing weight, you wake up case of 1999, pop music). Can you believe the next day and you’re still fat—and the Y2K was ten years ago! day after that, and the day after that. In So how many of you made at least fact, it may take weeks before you see any one New Year’s tangible signs of Resolution? Go success. It takes a ahead—raise your lot of will-power to hands high. Now, keep up that resolve! “It’s really ironic: how many of you And your friends they wouldn’t offer a have already broken and co-workers— your New Year’s even family highball to someone in Resolution? members—may AA, but if you’re trying I don’t like to undermine you. think of myself as It’s really ironic: to lose weight people a negative kind of they wouldn’t will push food at you guy, but my guess is offer a highball to most of those hands someone in AA; left and right.” are still up, right? they wouldn’t wave Ah, the New a line of cocaine Year’s Resolution, under the nose of that annual rite of pounding yet another someone trying to kick a drug habit, but nail of failure into the coffin of our selfif you’re trying to lose weight people will esteem. push food at you left and right. “Oh come What is it with New Year’s Resolutions on. You can have a taste.” “One cookie that makes them so hard to keep? After won’t hurt.” “Here, eat the rest of my all, it’s a good idea, in theory. As the year French fries. I’m full and I don’t want to comes to a close we naturally reflect on waste them.” Even strangers can make it what we have or have not accomplished difficult. Waiters and waitresses will push

H

January 7-20, 2010 |

desserts on fat people much more than on thin people. A Weight Watchers™ ad I saw on TV had a poignant message. We eat socially but diet privately. That makes a lot of sense. If you want to be successful in losing weight—or quitting smoking— don’t keep it a secret. Enlist the support of your friends and family. And call them out if they unwittingly (or deliberately!) try to sabotage your efforts. One more thing to consider: How do you reward yourself when you succeed? If you’ve always used food as a reward or celebration for a job well done, you may need to find an alternative. You can take the money you’ve saved by not smoking

and treat yourself to something special or go on a trip. But when you succeed in losing weight, what is your reward? So you’ve lost those 20 pounds—how are you going to celebrate? With a whole cheesecake? We’ll probably never get away from making difficult New Year's resolutions, but if we plan well, we can give ourselves a fighting chance to succeed. Happy 2010! Best wishes to you in all your endeavors! | l | Brian Feist lives and works in St. Petersburg. He is the former publisher of The Gazette.

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January 7-20, 2010 |

Ben Chmura of Tampa is the first male contestant on Project Runway to be legally married to a man. | Photo courtesy Lifetime Television

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Jesse LeNoir of Orlando is a straight ally to the local community and will appear in Season 7 of Project Runway. Photo courtesy Lifetime Television

designed to

Thrill

stephen miller

TAMPA BAY AND ORLANDO HAVE LOCALS TO CHEER FOR IN SEASON 7 OF PROJECT RUNWAY.

T

he wildly popular Project Runway returns to Lifetime Television on Jan. 14. This time the fashion competition boasts two Central Florida hopefuls: Ben Chmura of Tampa and Jesse LeNoir of Orlando. Either young man—one gay and the other an outspoken straight ally—could win a prize package that includes a photo shoot for Elle, the ability to sell their clothes at BlueFly.com, and $100,000. We recently caught up with the two contenders.

WATERMARK: So, Ben, tell us a little about yourself, your background. Ben Chmura: I went to high school in Dunedin and then graduated Savannah College of Art and Design in Fashion Design, the four-year program there. I lived up to New York for about two years. I did various freelance jobs, for Ralph Lauren, Club Monaco, American Eagle. I had a couple of full-time jobs doing assistant designer work with Club Jeans and Sean John. After that, I wanted to go back to school for the grad program, so I called my mom, and asked, “Hey, do you mind if I move back home and live for a little bit, before I go overseas for school.”

And of course she welcomed me home with open arms. I then decided I didn’t want to go back to school, and I’ve been in Tampa ever since. That’s was 2003. I live in Seminole Heights now. I’ve always been in love with the area, especially since people have been coming in and refurbishing the houses. I just can't get past the wood floors; I love them. My other half Bobbie and I have lived here for almost two years. You know the Lifetime web site lists your hometown as Connecticut, and yet you’ve lived most of your life in Florida. Continued on page 29 | uu |

WATERMARK: So, what can you tell us about your background? Jesse LeNoir: I am the third of six kids. I was born in Painesville, Ohio. My dad was a nuclear engineer, so we traveled around to different power plants about every three years. Eventually we found our way to Florida. I graduated from a boarding school in Jacksonville, and then I got an acting degree from University of Central Florida. I started making clothes as a hobby, and then it sort of evolved into a business. Where did you get your fashion education?

I had to put in hours in the costume shop when I was getting my degree. I learned how to use a sewing machine, did some little hand-stitches, things like that. I took a class that taught me design skills. I also did independent studies that went into tailoring and fabric. A lot of it, though, was going into thrift stores, finding pieces for myself, pulling them apart, using pieces for patterns, and putting them back together. I read books on technique, but much of it was trial and error. Tell us about your evolution as a designer. Continued on page 29 | uu |


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watermark | film

January 7-20, 2010 |

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screened out GENIUS, PURE GENIUS!

stephen miller

Stephen@WatermarkOnline.com

you’re making a film about filmmaking. Nine is a middling musical based on (Starring Sam Worthington, CCH Pounder, Federico Fellini’s wonderful classic flick 8 ½. Sigourney Weaver) When the Italian master made the original ★★★★★ in 1963, he was artistically stuck, cobbling here are films that are so jaw-dropping together a messy story about a writer/director that you just have to give them their who had writer’s block. We experience proper credit, even if they have a Fellini’s obvious visual genius, even in the couple small flaws. Avatar is a multi-million midst of his self-referential bumbling. dollar cinematic onslaught by mega-director So why make a musical about this? James Cameron (Aliens, Terminator 2, I’ve never figured that out. It seems the Titanic). uniqueness of 8 ½ was Fellini’s fearless In the future, humans have found a distant revelation about his own life, combined with moon that contains a precious mineral. The his willingness to try anything. problem is that the sexy, ten-foot-tall, blueHere, Day-Lewis plays the addled, skinned natives are in the way of mining self-aggrandizing director. The actor is operations. So, the humans have made appropriately brooding and tortured, but emissaries—biological avatars—that are Nine never even attempts to show his talent; run by people put into comas. They look we never see his work. Also, the director’s exactly like the natives. By a twist of luck, alleged sexiness is buried under a disheveled a handicapped man (Worthington) gets the depression. The women—Dench, Kidman, chance to walk again as one of these alien Cruz, and especially Cotillard (Ma Vie En diplomats. He just needs to help convince the Rose)—resurrect this mess. Otherwise, we’d natives to move on. have a meandering musical filled with It’s an elaborate plot with a forgettable songs about an overdecidedly eco-friendly theme. indulged, sex-addicted artiste. The alien tribes look like a It’s not that I’m just breeding experiment between comparing Nine to the housecats, Smurfs and Native Fellini film. Even director Americans. The entire moon Rob Marshall was more is filled with music and adept when he made the light, dragons and fireflies. Oscar-winning musical With a big sugary coating, Chicago with nifty segues, Cameron’s heavy-handed memorable images and lively theme tells us that Mother Jude Law and Robert Downey performances. The director’s Nature is good, and war is Jr. are gay-ish crime fighters in artistry exhibited in Nine is Sherlock Holmes. bad. This preachy tone is the overwhelmingly average. only problem with the flick. However, the achievements of Avatar— Sherlock Holmes the seamless mix of computer graphics (Starring Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law, and human actors, the completeness of this Mark Strong) foreign world—make it easy to forgive ★★★★★ Cameron for his simplistic soap-boxing. Fact: Sherlock Holmes was very sharp. It’s nearly three hours of aural miracles and What we didn’t know was that he and his consummate mythology. affectionate buddy Watson possessed superhuman powers and a mastery of martial Nine arts. Quirky director Guy Ritchie (Snatch) (Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Marion presents the flirty, bantering crime-solvers Cotillard, Penelope Cruz, Judi Dench, in a silly thrill-ride that totally reinvents the Sophia Loren, Kate Hudson, Fergie, Arthur Conan Doyle characters. Nicole Kidman) Holmes (Downey) and his faithful ★★★★★ assistant Watson (Law, in a somewhat A movie about a genius director better codependent and very lovely interpretation) have moments of cinematic brilliance and are on the trail of a cult-like madman (Strong) surprising and beautiful images. The best who seems able to cheat death. On top of that, production team won’t save a lack of creative after years of living together as confirmed imagination, especially noticeable when bachelors, Holmes’ once-faithful “friend” Dr.

Avatar

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Oddly sexy aliens captivate in James Cameron’s Avatar.

Watson is taking their shared dog moving out to be with—gasp—a woman. The lightning-fast film takes a decidedly comic approach, tossing in Victorian sociology, gay-friendly references, criminal malfeasance, and Hong-Kong style fighting. The explanation of the central mystery is merely a distraction. However, director Ritchie has a gift with off-kilter fun. He also has two very entertaining lead actors. Their unusual relationship—which only needed one good hug to be considered completely gay—is

really the key to re-energizing the Holmes film franchise. | l |

★★★★★

Overflowing uncontrollably with glittery fabulousness

★★★★★

Pretty damn good, but it’s no Sunset Boulevard

★★★★★

An entertaining enough flick with perhaps a few gaping holes

★★★★★

Ever so slightly watchable, even if it is just because of that hot actor

★★★★★

Two hours of your life you’ll never get back


26

watermark | music

| January 7-20, 2010

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COLTON FORD’S MUSIC CAREER BRINGS HIM TO THE FLAMINGO steve blanchard

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R.E.M.’s Losing My Religion. hen you look at Colton Ford’s “For a song like that, which isn’t R&B life, it’s like reading chapters of based, it’s more about something you a book. The New York resident feel,” Ford says. “It’s great to go in [the grew a huge fan base in the 1990s and early studio] and put my interpretation into play. 2000s with his adult film career. Today It certainly goes for the other songs on the music is his passion and it has transformed album as well.” the one-time corporate business man For his first album, Tug of War, Ford and model into a staple at clubs around co-wrote all of the tracks. His newest CD the world. On Jan. 15 and 17, Ford will contains covers from R.E.M. to Fleetwood perform live at The Flamingo Resort in St. Mac. Surprisingly, however, the track list on Petersburg. the CD isn’t necessarily a reflection of the “I don’t get tired of talking about [my star’s ultimate playlist. adult film career] because it is part of my “I grew up listening to Chaka Kahn, story and it enabled me at 40, to create this Marvin Gaye—I really gravitated to music thing "Colton Ford" that I’ve been able that I felt and artists that really kind of to use to draw attention to the music I’ve conveyed emotion and feeling,” Ford says. enjoyed and created my whole life,” Ford “That’s kind of where I live musically. So said from his New York home. “There’s a taking these songs and reworking them is a contingent of people out there who won’t fun challenge.” be able to see past the film career or resent Michael Stipes of R.E.M. has let Ford me for doing that and singing now. But know he likes the the larger audience reworked version seems to see me as of his song, and multifaceted.” “I don’t get tired of record sales seem to It was seven years support that. ago that Ford left the talking about [my adult Since leaving adult film industry to film career] because it his last career focus on his singing seven years ago, career. In 2004, the is part of my story and Ford has relocated documentary Naked it enabled me to create to New York and Fame followed his now focuses on his career-changing this thing Colton Ford music full time. He decision and he’s that I’ve been able to and his partner of never looked back. use to draw attention a year and a half He’s starred as travel together when the sheriff in three to the music I’ve they can and Ford seasons of the Here! enjoyed and created plans on bringing his television series The partner with him to Lair and he’s toured my whole life.” St. Petersburg. to promote his new —COLTON FORD “I travel often but album Under the there’s an ebb and Covers for more than flow to it,” Ford says. a year. “I’ve been off lately “I’ve always for the holidays, which has been nice, but I gravitated to R&B, soul, funk and jazz,” obviously welcome the work and the travel Ford says. “I like all kinds of music but that comes with it. Often, when I do a gig, I I’m not really into heavy metal. My first come in the day of the event, perform later inclination is to go with R&B and soul that night and then fly out the next day. I’m music and I’d say that’s where my roots looking forward to hanging out for a minute are.” Defining his music is difficult, Ford says. in St. Petersburg.” Ford’s two shows are at 11 p.m. and he’ll It’s dance music, for sure, but it’s not pop. follow them up with a meet and greet with He prefers to call it adult contemporary. fans. He’s also going to take an opportunity to One of his biggest hits is the remake of


watermark | music

January 7-20, 2010 |

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407.894.8644 | FramingOfCentralFlorida.com Singer Colton Ford left the porn industry seven years ago to pursue his music career. | Photos courtesy Centaur Music.

catch up with friends and family in the Tampa Bay area. “My stepfather lives in Tampa so I have a connection there,” Ford says. “And I was there a few years ago when Naked Fame was at the film festival. So I know Tampa Bay and I love it down there.” While Ford plans to continue recording music, fans will see him in a different media genre in 2010. Ford is one of five out gay professional men to be profiled in an upcoming reality show called Velvet Mafia. Ford couldn’t give specifics about the show, but he said it would be carried on a major network later in the year. “I can’t give too many details because we’re finalizing the deal, but that should happen in like two weeks,” Ford says. “Essentially it’s a reality show that follows five gay men who make an impact in their vocation. We have a celebrity photographer, fashion designer, video director, party promoter and me, the singer. It’s the first show of its kind where you have five lead characters who are all gay, but its really driven as a lifestyle program.” Ford compared it to the Housewives series on Bravo, but said in this instance, the five characters have something to market during the show, rather than marketing things because of the show. “Let’s be honest, reality shows are the new marketing and PR tools of our era,” Ford says. “I have a diverse fan base of all

ages. There really isn’t one age group or socio-economic class that likes my music. It seems really open, which I dig. I’ve also been surprised at the number of female fans, which is great. But I think this will open me up even more and introduce all of us to a wider, accepting audience.” Ford has accomplished a lot in his life—from the adult film screen to music to a recurring role on the small screen. He says the experiences have helped shape who he is and he’s not ashamed of anything in his past. In fact, he believes every step he has taken has helped him find his dream. “I’m not in my 20s, I’m not in my 30s and I’m not 40,” Ford says. “So certainly for those people who are over 30, I would say hopefully artists like myself and those over 30 and following their dream prove that dreams don’t stop and the ability to realize them don’t stop at a certain age.” For more information on Colton Ford or to listen to sample tracks, visit ColtonFordMusic. com. For more details on his show at The Flamingo, visit FlamingoFla.com. | l |

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watermark | television | uu | Ben Chmura from p.23

And you’re a straight man in a business surrounded by women and gay men. [Laughs] Yeah, my fiancé’s family has this sort of joke that it’s easier to get into a woman’s pants if you’re the one who made them.

Does New England affect your design style any? [Laughs] Umm, not at all. My New England mom jokes that if she doesn’t like one of my pieces, it must be a great design! How about Tampa and Florida shaping your style? Yes, actually, for a while there, I was doing collections that were geared toward the Tampa Bay consumer: weatherconscious and attentive to color. At the same time, I sometimes felt like I was straying away from some of the elements I am interested in. So, for the last couple of collections I’ve done, I put out some of my better work by paying attention to who I am rather than catering to a clientele.

You’ve made dresses based on poisonous snakes. How many have you made? I’ve started off with eight dresses, and then I added three more. It’s a total of 11 right now. And you used them for your audition for Project Runway? I’d actually auditioned a couple times before this, and each time I’d come back stronger. We’d been following the show as it transitioned over to Lifetime Television [last season—Season 6.] I thought I’d take a hiatus from the process to see how it went with the new network. But the more that Bobbie and I talked about it, we just figured, “What have I got to lose?” Then, one of my friends from Lakeland said he found the Project Runway page on Facebook, and he nominated me. I thought, “Well, it doesn’t quite work that way.” [Laughs] But I also got the clear picture that a lot of people were supporting me, so I decided to go for it. During the audition, judges Tim Gunn and Zoe Glassner commented on your attention to detail on those snake dresses. It was incredible! I’ve gotten great feedback in Tampa, but I’ve never had the

29

designing the wedding dress. I don’t want to stand at the altar with Brittany [Berkowitz, a local actress] and look at the dress as something I could’ve done this with or that with. I want to concentrate on my bride. However, all the bridesmaids’ dresses will be my design. [Laughs.]

I grew up in South Meriden, Conn. Most of my family had moved to Florida already, so my parents decided to relocate to be closer to the rest of the family, especially my grandparents. So we moved to Dunedin in 1990, when I was 10. I still feel my upbringing is definitely a New England upbringing. I say “aunt” [with a long A] instead of “ant.” I think it’s embedded in you, where you’re from originally.

So, you’re a gay man in the fashion industry… Yeah. [Laughs] Every gay male I’ve known has always had some sort of female icon. I actually started out doing men’s wear. When I settled down in Tampa, women were always so responsive to my work. They’d always say, “When are you going to start doing women’s stuff?”

January 7-20, 2010 |

The 7th season of Lifetime’s Project Runway premieres on Thursday, Jan. 14 and features two Florida designers.

opportunity to show them to professionals in the industry. The judges noticed the detail and the construction. I especially loved that Tim Gunn said this venomous snake idea didn’t look contrived or costume-y, that it was thoughtful. I was extremely flattered. I couldn’t ask for a better audition with them. What makes you nervous about being on the show? How I’ll be perceived by the viewers. I think you always know your worst qualities, but most of us don’t see that broadcast on national television. Even with the online pictures and videos leading up to the premiere, people had a lot to say, and not all of it is about your work. If they’re going to make a comment on the clothes, that’s open game, that’s fine. Because it’s not always going to appeal to everybody. Everyone’s looking for an individual sense of style, and if I can do a one-of-kind piece that will help that, that’s great. But it’s not going to be everybody’s taste level, and that’s fine. How do you keep yourself sane then? Well, I’ve made a conscious effort not to read blogs or commentary. I know this sort of criticism comes with the territory. But I don’t want to jeopardize the opportunity or the experience. I just want to enjoy it. | l |

| uu | Jesse LeNoir from p.23

It was actually in high school—I started with graphic t-shirts. My brothers and I wanted to try it, so we hand-stenciled and did screen printing for ourselves and friends. A lot of our creativity stemmed from personal want, and we just got good at it. I moved from there to men’s fashions. But then I realized that much of the forward-thinking is done on the women’s side of things. I think a lot of my designs have that Orlando element; they’re bright and sunshine-y. That’s also evolved, though, in that I am really inspired by World War II, the uniforms, and the careful men’s tailoring that I started from. I really love the structure. Tell us a little about how you combine your love of uniforms and structure with your graphic t-shirt business. Well, when I think of one of my strengths, and the thing that I’ve been inspired by, bringing together that military tailoring with that Rosie the Riveter style. Its part structure and part blue-collar, for getting your hands dirty. However, if I am designing an evening dress for a woman, the purpose is different than just grabbing a t-shirt and being comfortable. You’re getting married soon? Yeah, the wedding is March 13. I am not

Now, like Ben, did you audition for Project Runway a few times? Yeah, there was an audition I did a long time ago that I don’t even really count. I think my fiancé Brittany was going up to New York City to try out for something. And I thought I’d just tag along, kind of waltz in and audition for Project Runway. [Laughs]. I just grabbed the three or four things I ever made. One judge said there was a hem on one of my dresses that was just killing him. Tim Gunn said my designs were all too simple, just sort of thrown together. So, I went away, and when I heard they were going to be in Miami [for Season 6], I knew my work was much better. So I thought, “Let me try again.” I made it really far, but I didn’t make it all the way. I think it was my acting training that made me want to keep trying, keep plugging at it. I just kept building on my work, doing stuff I wanted to do, and growing. I went this third time and made it. A lot of the Central Florida LGBT community will be rooting for you on the show. [Laughs] Yeah, Brittany and I were in the play The Little Dog Laughed at the Parliament House. I’m in the arts community, I have lots of friends, and obviously I’m somebody very much for equal rights. I want us to get past all the crap. I always feel way more comfortable with gay people than I do with a bunch of macho straight guys. Most of the straight baseball players I know have no fashion sense to speak of. Was it helpful to get some feedback at the audition? Being in Orlando, the height of style can be seen as Brazilian tourists in bright neon spandex. It was great to get professional critique, and understand what the judges saying about my work. It definitely helps me refine what I do, and let me know that I can compete. Anything you’re nervous about? You know with my acting background, I think there will be those cringe moments, when I see myself on TV and think, “Oh, what am I doing?” But mostly it’s just excitement at the opportunity. | l |


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watermark | event planner

| January 7-20, 2010

Lily Tomlin The timeless Lily Tomlin will bring her comedy—and her cast of characters— to the Lakeland Center Jan. 13-14.

comedy [LAKELAND] Lily Tomlin

Comedy legend and out performer Lily Tomlin will bring her zany characters to the Lakeland Center on Wednesday and Thursday, Jan. 13 and 14. The creator of “Ernestine” and six-time Emmy Winner offers social commentary on growing up in the Mid-West and coming out in the 2000s during her newest tour. For details and tickets visit TheLakelandCenter.com or call 863-834-8111.

[SARASOTA] Jennie McNulty

Lesbian cruise staple and funny gal Jennie McNulty will bring her comedy show to the Church of the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church on Saturday, Jan. 9. McNulty has entertained on SWEET and Olivia Cruises, has had long runs in Provincetown and at the Harrah’s Casino in Las Vegas. Most recently she appeared on Logo’s One Night Stand Up. For tickets and information, call the church at 941355-0847.

music [ST. PETERSBURG] Colton Ford

The former gay porn star will no doubt be as sexy as ever when he belts out his latest dance hits at The Flamingo Resort on Friday, Jan. 15 and Sunday, Jan. 17. The star will be selling his latest album and will hang out for a meet-and-greet after the 11 p.m. shows. For details visit FlamingoFla.com or read our interview with him in this issue.

Village People The Village People will perform their signature LGBT anthems on Jan. 10 at the Sunrise Theatre in Fort Pierce.

[FORT PIERCE] The Village People

The year 2010 marks 33 years on the stage for The Village People, the iconic disco-era band with the hunky blue-collar costumes. The group is touring again and makes a one-night stop at the Sunrise Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 10. The 7 p.m. show is sure to include the LGBT anthems In The Navy, Macho Man and, of course, YMCA. For more information or to win tickets to the show, visit WatermarkOnline.com.

theater [GULFPORT] Gulfport: The Musical

It’s not often that cities get their own soundtrack. But thanks to a creative team in Gulfport, the city neighboring St. Petersburg will get its own musical that opens Saturday, Jan. 9 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 24. Gulfport: The Musical showcases more than 100 years of local history. No word yet as to whether a song that explains the influx of lesbians is included in the soundtrack. Local gay actor Daniel Harris directs the musical at the Catherine Hickman Theater. For more information and tickets call 727-322-0316.

[ORLANDO] Blue Lagoon: A Musical

The classic tale of shipwrecked cousins in lust gets a subversively funny spin at Parliament House’s Footlight Theatre. Blue Lagoon: A Musical stars Shayna Albertson and Anthony Johnson, is directed by Kenny Howard with adaptation, music and lyrics by Jonathan Padgett. The musical takes the stage at 8 p.m. for two nights only: Jan. 9 and 16. Comedian Jeff Jones provides the opening act both nights. Tickets are $12 at Wanzie.com/BoxOffice.

[TAMPA] What the Butler Saw

Gay playwright Joe Orton didn’t know that when he wrote his final play, he’d never see it performed. But two years after his death, What the Butler Saw premiered and sent shockwaves through London audiences for its scandalous lewd humor and sex-themed plot. Now, the risqué 1960s British sex farce is in the capable hands of the Jobsite Theater, which will present the comedy through Jan. 24 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. For details and tickets visit JobsiteTheater.org.

An Evening with Lucille Ball

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts will host An Evening With Lucille Ball through 17 in its Jaeb Theater. The onewoman show, performed by Suzanne LaRusch and directed by Lucie Arnaz, brings the iconic comedienne to life as she talks about her television career and her tempestuous marriage to Dezi Arnaz. LGBTs have idolized the funny redhead and have impersonated her for years. Now, we get to see the “official” impersonator at her best. For information and tickets, visit TBPAC.org or call 813-229-7827.

[MELBOURNE] South Pacific

Critic John Simon called it “the greatest musical of all,” and it’s coming to Melbourne. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s classic musical South Pacific takes the stage at King Center for the Performing Arts Jan. 19-24. The award-winning show starts at 8 p.m. most days, plus several 2 p.m. matinee performances. Tickets range from $35 - $58 and are available at TicketMaster.com.

What the Butler Saw Jobsite Theater presents the queer-penned What the Butler Saw at the David Straz Center for Performing Arts in Tampa through Jan. 24.

special events [ORLANDO] Cushies for Tushies

Celebrate Watermark blogger Scottie Campbell’s 43rd birthday and support the arts at the same time on Saturday, Jan. 16. In addition to lots of fun, there will be a silent auction with awesome items benefiting The Fred Stone Seating Project, a fund to put new chairs and risers in the Fred Stone Theatre at Rollins College. The event is hosted by Sip, which will provide hors d’ouvres. There is a cash bar and no cover, but donations to the project are gladly accepted. The party starts at 5 p.m.

Light Up UCF 2009

Time is running out to catch winter in Florida. University of Central Florida’s annual chilly tradition, Light Up UCF, comes to an end on Jan. 10. Parking, the Holiday Film Festival and the Holiday Light Show are all free, but winter fans can pay extra to ice skate or ride some snowythemed attractions including Santa’s Village, the Arctic Glide Ice Slide and Kris Kringle’s Carousel. Light Up UCF is held outside the UCF Arena and is open 5-11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and 11 a.m. to midnight on Saturdays. A full film schedule and more information can be found at LightUpUCF.com.

Got an event you’d like to see listed in Watermark? At least two to four weeks in advance, send all pertinent info—date, time, place, cost, contact information for readers to get more details, and what the event is about—to Editor@WatermarkOnline.com, and we will feature it in the paper on a space-available basis.


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watermark | tampa bay out+about

| January 7-20, 2010

shot on site Photography | Suzanne Noe, Byron Schaerr and Carrie West

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1- Employees at Joffrey’s Coffee in Ybor City smile between serving customers during the holidays. 2- Friends ring in 2010 at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg. 3- Attorney David Schauer celebrates his 50th Birthday in St. Petersburg in December. 4- Friends celebrate a night out at G. Bar in Ybor City during New Year’s celebrations. 5- Dancers recruit a new member at Chelsea Night Club in Tampa. 6- Diversity: The Voices of Sarasota celebrate the holidays with their annual holiday concert in December.

tampa bay overheard Project Runway viewing party Jan. 14 Gays love Project Runway, that’s no secret. Just check out our cover story in this issue! But rarely do fans get to chum with the celeb designers while the show is airing on the tube. Locals will get a chance to chat up and celebrate with Season 7 designer Ben Chmura at Rawbar Sushi during the Thursday, Jan. 14 premiere of the Lifetime show. Ben and his adorable husband Bobbie are throwing the posh party on the N. Ashley Drive restaurant in Tampa at 8:30 p.m. On top of taking photo ops with the reality star and local designer, attendees can partake in drink and food specials and win several raffle prizes donated by such luminary fashionistas as Andrew Ashton of LaPosh Salon, Fashion Week Tampa Bay and New Identities. Grab your posh outfit and head out for a night to remember and cheer on our local contestant.

HOPE Is Alive. For More Information Go To Our Website www.GeoVax.com

Gypsy closer to finding a home The ongoing hunt for a new home for Gypsy Productions seems to be neverending. The professional alternative theater company began at the Suncoast Resort

and has drifted from place to place since the resort closed in 2007. After years of frustration and several potential new homes vanishing, Trevor Keller, artistic director, is hopeful that his company will have a permanent home sometime this year. Keller said that he has toured a theater on Central Avenue that would not only house the theater company permanently, but incorporate two bars as well. While Keller has several themes in mind for the club, he doesn’t want to unveil too much too soon. What he did say, however, was that an artistic theme would flow throughout the large building and a dance club could be a part of the package. Here’s to hoping that the gay theater company finally lands on solid footing in 2010—it definitely deserves it.

Turnon’s time to party Nikki Turnon has become an LGBT advocate since taking over the Chelsea Night Club in Tampa last year. Now, the straight owner of the neighborhood gay club wants to celebrate her birthday with patrons and friends alike. Special entertainment is promised for the Jan. 14 shindig and Turnon promises to announce details soon.

Got juicy gossip or amazing event photos? E-mail the dish or your photos (with full names of everyone pictured and event details) to Overheard@WatermarkOnline.com


watermark | orlando out+about

shot on site Photography | Chris Guy, DJ Brianna, Mark Cady, Wes Hodges, Randy Stephens and Margo Dixon 1- Margo Dixon and Tony Ward enjoyed good tidings at Michael Wanzie's soiree on Christmas Eve.

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2- Anthony Maddox rings in New Year’s Eve and celebrates his birthday at Tastings with a little help from Kim Ellis, property manager for Realty Partners. 3- Armani Miss Continental brings it for Parliament House’s Goo Goo for Gaga party Dec. 28, hypnotizing a crowd anxious to win sold-out Lady Gaga concert tickets. 4- Shawna Hodge-Beckwith (sister of Central Florida Softball’s Wes Hodges) and new husband Cody Beckwith celebrate their wedding with a meal at Hamburger Mary’s. They were married at the Tampa Airport after Beckwith’s flights home had been cancelled due to snowstorms. 5- (L-R) Watermark and Dechoes Resale Clothing teamed up to drop off a donation of $500 and a truck full of toys at Toys for Tots. Sgt Jean Blanc, Mike Collangelo, Dechoes; Mark Cady, and Sgt Paul Jakobsen organized the donation. 6- Local actress and singer Becky Fisher celebrates with her mother, Helen Fisher, at Michael Wanzie’s Christmas Eve party.

orlando overheard Local enters Drag Race Orlando has produced some notable reality television contestants of late. Who can forget UCF graduate and former Miss America Erika Dunlap’s spoiled rotten rages on the most recent edition of The Amazing Race? And next week, local actor and designer Jesse Lenoir (and Tampa’s Ben Chmura) debuts on the much-anticipated seventh season of Project Runway. But Tyra Sanchez may end up stealing the spotlight. The regular performer at Pulse and other Orlando area nightspots will compete for the title of “Top Drag Queen of the Land” on the second season of Rupaul’s Drag Race. The battle among “the nation’s most outrageous, cutting-edge, talented and stunningly gorgeous drag queens” premiers on Logo in February. And even amongst contestants with names like Jujubee, Sonique, Pandora Boxx and Shangela Laquifa Wadley, our fiercely beautiful local representative may stand out. Here’s how Logo describes her: “Tyra swears she’s ‘America’s Sweetheart’ but you better watch your back, ‘cuz Miss Thing’s objective is clear: obliterate and annihilate. This crafty queen knows how to work a runway and her competitors’ nerves, and she’ll stop at nothing to

win.” Watch for a profile of Sanchez and a preview of Season 2 of Rupaul’s Drag Race in our upcoming Winter Arts Issue, available Jan. 21.

Radio day Radio may seem retro these days, but one local show is building a small but loyal following. And if you’re at work on Friday afternoon, it may be the perfect bridge to get you to your gay weekend. According to its Facebook page, Outloud Orlando: The Homo Happy Hour is two hours of “lighthearted talk about real life, real people and real events, with news and information for the GLBT community.” Hosted by local personality ‘Justice’ and his crew, the talk focuses mostly on, well, Justice. Guests are often introduced and then ignored while Justice and friends are distracted by stream-of-consciousness banter. When two Watermark staffers appeared recently, the only question Justice asked them was: “Why didn’t your newspaper give me a WAVE Award?” But that’s his charm, and part of why the two hours from 2 to 4 p.m. on Friday pass so quickly. Tune into The Homo Happy Hour on the Rollins College radio station, WPRK 19.5 FM, or at WPRKFM.com.

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Suspension Training follows the boot camp mindset and uses gravity to increase strength and flexibility.

Functional Fitness Fads                                 kirk hartlage

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ew year, new you—right? Many health-seekers are looking for new—and often economical—approaches to becoming and staying fit. For some it may involve taking their in-home tread mills and stationary bikes and converting them from expensive clothes-hangers back to their intended form. For others it may be cancelling gym memberships and designing in-home workout plans with equipment purchased from the MegaLow Mart. Many people may just need a new challenge to accomplish their fitness goals. Local fitness instructors and personal trainers say several new trends are emerging that can help spark any workout routine. The buzz words among personal trainers these days include “functional fitness”: training that prepares the body to perform real-life functions and activities, rather than isolating

one particular body part in a solitary mechanical method. Instead of doing as many free weight bench presses or repetitions on the Nautilus pec deck as possible, trainers have clients perform exercises that utilize the entire body’s weight against itself. The approach trains muscles to work with other muscle groups in the body while still creating a sculpted form. Master trainer Rebecca Wyatt Meyer, founder of Rebecca Wyatt Meyer Fitness Training and Multisport Coaching in Bradenton, says gravity is often the key in functional fitness. For some clients she’s designed a “super legs workout” that typically includes 20 front lunges, 20 side-to-side squats, 20 bilateral rotational squats, 20 reverse lunges and 20 jumping squats—not just once, but several times through the circuit. “You keep repeating that, it’s very fatiguing for the legs!” says Wyatt Meyer, who’s been involved in fitness

training for over 25 years. Functional fitness puts the body through real-life motions, and Wyatt Meyer says the one-on-one approach best helps her identify where an individual’s strengths and weaknesses are. “The body is going to take the path of least resistance always,” she says. “Injuries quickly become apparent.” If a client has a shoulder injury, for example, Wyatt-Myers can provide alternate exercises that still strengthen the affected area without causing further damage. Wyatt Meyer says it takes a knowledgeable instructor to provide adjustments and modifications for students’ various fitness levels. “There are things people should and should not be doing based on their physiology, and it varies from person to person,” she says. “Every body is different.” Continued on page 38 | uu |


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watermark | mind body+soul

a minute with...

Debbie Lane

January 7-20, 2010 |

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CERTIFIED HYPNOTHERAPIST

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alm Harbor | Are you having trouble finding and maintaining meaningful relationships? Overwhelmed by everyday tasks? Do you want to become a better golfer? Hypnotherapist Debbie Lane knows how you feel. After learning and observing human development while running a chain of child care centers, Lane took a course in hypnosis at the NatureLife Institute just to quell her curiosity. She became certified in hypnosis, integrative hypnosis and medical hypnosis. Lane is hailed by many doctors who refer their patients for a variety of issues, including such chronic illnesses as Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In 2007, she was acclaimed for her work with the “Hiccup Chick,” the 15-year old girl who couldn’t stop hiccupping for nearly six weeks. We caught up with Lane between trances and learned that hypnosis isn’t just for curing stress or quitting smoking. For more information on Lane and her clinic, visit WisdomHypnosis.com. Is hypnotism really an effective means of changing behavior? For the person who desires change, absolutely. I say that with the caveat that I cannot force anyone to change against their will. What happens in the mind to make hypnotism work? During the hypnotic trance, a person becomes hyper-focused. This allows him or her to eliminate other stimuli and distracting thoughts. Brain waves slow down from the normal, conscious active brainwaves and the person accesses the subconscious part of their mind. It is then that the subconscious mind is able to make changes that will benefit the individual. What is your method to put somebody in a hypnotic state? I do not use any form of watch, pendulum or spinning wheels. That is more theatrical than necessary in my humble opinion. With many of my clients, I use a relaxation-type of induction. This is because most people enjoy the sensations of the relaxation. My office is cozy and quiet. However, for more analytical people I use what is called a confusion induction, where the mind defaults to hypnosis when overwhelmed. Do the methods vary depending on symptoms? The methods vary more on the individual than on the issue. Different people respond to different approaches based on their personality. For example, if I have a person who is more visual, I am going to focus on what they see in life. If they’re more auditory, perhaps ring a bell for them. A big part of what any good hypnotherapist does is to learn all they can about their client’s desired outcome and goals. Understand that, and then utilize whatever tools are

available to guide them towards success. For what reasons do LGBTs come to you? I have worked with the usual assortment of medical reasons, overcoming fears, and self-esteem issues. I have worked with both gay and straight on sexually-related issues such as erectile dysfunction. I am the best at what I do. I am non-judgmental towards any issue. Judgment only interferes with getting the job done! What is the most common use of hypnotism? Stress reduction. But I do get many calls for a variety of reasons, from weight management to insomnia. But just about everything is exacerbated by stress. Is hypnotism as simple as “positive thinking?” If only it was, we would all be better. Actually, while thinking positive is important, I feel as though all too often it is used as a whip to keep us in line. We are told to improve our attitudes, think positive and not let things get to us. Meanwhile, we are “hardwired” to go to the negative, trained from an early age to expect the worst and made to feel guilty if we react to negative circumstances in a human manner. I do my best to allow a person the freedom of understanding their reactions, then reframe the situation and help develop new neural pathways that allow a more constructive response. Keep in mind, thinking is done at the conscious level, I am working with the subconscious level of mind where emotions, memories and habits are stored. You also deal with matters of the heart, so with Valentine’s Day approaching, what advice could you give to the

Photo by Steve Blanchard

lovelorn? I offer a class at the end of January called “Love Potion Number 9,” that helps people attract love into their lives. One of the most important parts of that class is helping people learn just how lovable they are, then loving and honoring themselves. When you tell people you are a hypnotist, do they take that at face value or do you have to defend your profession? I get a variety of reactions. Some people are instantly fascinated, others want me to defend my profession and some really tickle

me because they assume I am all powerful. What have been some of your more memorable cases? I worked with a gentleman who hiccupped for four years until he came to see me. There was another case of chronic burping and a case involving chronic coughing. I told my husband that I had worked with burping and chirping, but if a call came in for the other end, I was quitting. Well, the call came, we were successful and no, I did not quit. I do consider myself the body emissions expert, however. | l |


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| January 7-20, 2010

watermark | mind body+soul

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Going to Camp Though they've been around for several years, boot camp classes have gained popularity among fitness seekers. With many of the facets of functional fitness in mind, boot camp classes typically include cardiovascular, speed, endurance, resistance and strength training. The workouts are patterned after military training but rarely involve a wanna-be drill sergeant barking commands. “I provide plenty of motivation in my classes, but in a positive light,” says Orlando personal trainer Jacob Dickson. “The only thing it has in common with military boot camp is that it’s fast-paced and provides a full body workout with minimal equipment.” A personal trainer for the past 12 years, Dickson started his boot camp classes two years ago. He liked the idea of using minimal equipment, of having the body work multiple joints at the same time, and using the body’s weight against itself to burn calories—all components of function fitness. “It leads to a better balanced body,” says Dickson. “It helps you have a more athletic look as opposed to just having a gym body.” His boot camp classes include a smorgasbord of exercises, such as agility drills, jogging, knee lifts, side stepping, skipping, abdominal crunches, squats, side bends, and bunny hops—anything to keep the body moving in novel ways. “I also have an infinite number of evil push up variations that I like to do,” he adds. “If you start doing this class, and you hate a particular exercise, we’ll be on to something else in about a minute and that exercise will be a distant memory. But what’s important is that everyone goes at his or her own pace.” Tampa Bay trainer Chris Alberts has plenty of personal experience to draw on when designing his boot camp classes. He simply recalls his days of basic training in the U.S. Army and incorporates many of those same drills. He’s a big fan of crab crawls and bear walks, with students’ torsos facing skyward or downward respectively, each done at a distance

of roughly 25 feet and at a fast pace. “They’re pretty basic movements that tire the body out pretty quickly,” he says. Hanging out Another military-inspired training method is also becoming the latest fitness fad. Suspension training, partly developed by a former Navy Seal, uses straps attached to a sturdy ceiling beam. One set of training involves placing the feet in handles attached to the straps, suspending the legs off the ground, and then performing exercises such as knee tucks or pushups. Other workouts call for grasping the straps by hand and leaning over to perform various movements. Suspension training has gained popularity because it improves balance and flexibility while working multiple muscles and joints simultaneously. Depending on the exercises performed, classes incorporating the straps can be a cardiovascular workout or focus on stretching and flexibility. In either case, suspension training is gaining ground thanks to its emphasis on core stabilization and functional fitness. If the New Year isn’t incentive enough to perk up your workout routine, the Winter Olympics in Vancouver are just around the corner, ready to provide yet another spark to get you up off that couch and exercising. | l |

LOOKING TO JUMP-START YOUR 2010 FITNESS GOALS? Working with a personal trainer may be your best approach. Thanks to modern technology not wanting to leave your house is no longer an excuse. Bradenton’s Rebecca Wyatt Meyer even utilizes Skype to train clients in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Chris Alberts TotalResultsFitness.com Jacob Dickson JacobDickson.com Rebecca Wyatt Meyer RebeccaWyattMeyer.com


watermark | mind body+soul

January 7-20, 2010 |

healing through holistic health

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Murdoch says. “That pet knows it needs ith today’s high stress world and to listen to its body and focus on healing. numerous electronics, many of us may forget the basic laws of nature Humans don’t always approach an illness or an injury in such a way.” when it comes to our health. Holistic living One advantage we have over our pets takes into account the interaction between is our ability to seek wellness through our the body and the mind. Too many people, minds, Murdoch says. By focusing on what according to John Hopkins’ Heath and we’re thinking about—as in “Is the glass Wellness Center’s Bryant Murdoch, focus half-empty or half-full,”—we can determine on the ailments of the body rather than those if we’re obsessive or worried about things we ailments’ effects on the mind and soul. can’t change. “If someone hurts their back, for example, “It also allows you to see if you get they typically rush to their doctor, look for enough mental stimulation and challenges, some prescription drugs and lay around the like reading, problem solving and allowing house until they feel better,” Murdoch says. yourself creative outlets,” he says. “But holistically, there is a different way to Expressing oneself is another area where treat such an injury. Sure, the doctor visit is holistic living can improve the link between important, but through natural supplements, mind and body, Murdoch says. Wellness warming and massage therapy, better, in Emotion is especially difficult for me, healthier solutions can be found.” Murdoch says, According to because at a young Murdoch, the growth age many men are in patients turning trained to not show to holistic living to “One of the most emotion. improve and maintain difficult areas for the “From grade health is growing. LGBT community to school on we’re He says the LGBT called little girls if we community has been find wellness within— shed a tear,” Murdoch a big supporter of is within the spirit.” says. “We’re primed the lifestyle since to hide our emotions the 1970s in Western —BryanT MurdOch and to avoid showing cities like San any vulnerability. Francisco. That is actually very “It’s only in the traumatic to the psyche. It’s natural for us to last decade or so that you’ve really seen want to cry, to laugh or to seek comfort.” the holistic lifestyle take off throughout the A good way to begin emotional healing, country,” he says. “It’s hard to find any major Murdoch says, is to begin a journal or another city without a gay massage therapist.” way to create an emotional outlet. One ideal, when it comes to health and “All of these things are very important in wellness, he says, is to look at the big picture, finding full bodily health,” Murdoch says. and how all of the different parts of you “But I think one of the most important—and interact. A holistic approach includes your most difficult areas for the LGBT community body, mind, emotions, and spirit. “Ask yourself, ‘What does your body need to find wellness within—is within the spirit.” Too often finding wellness with spirit to be healthy?’” Murdoch says. “Some of the is confused with religion, Murdoch says. ways you can look after your body include: Finding wellness within the spirit, however, good nutrition, natural medicines, comfort, is not linked to organized religion and is more physical activity, sleep, relaxation and selfabout staying in and enjoying the moment. care.” “Do you spend time alone in quiet Listening to your body, according to reflection?” Murdock says. “Do you enjoy Murdoch, is an animalistic instinct that many nature? Believing in a higher power or humans suppress. He believes that too many simply being in awe of every day wonders of us “work through the pain” rather than can help to nurture your spirit. Enjoy your allowing ourselves time to heal. surroundings and you will connect with “If you have a pet, and that pet is sick the deepest part of your spirit and find or injures its paw, you don’t see it trying to happiness.” | l | go out for a morning run to chase a rabbit,”

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watermark | mind body+soul

| January 7-20, 2010

leading the plastic pack Gay men keep plaStic SurGeonS in buSineSS deSpite receSSion

steve blanchard

S

omething changed in the first decade of the new millennium. In the late 20th century, men undergoing reconstructive surgery was only acceptable when it came to nose reconstruction after a sports injury. But today, men—especially gay men—are the largest growing segment of patients signing up for elective reconstructive surgery. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a growing percentage of gay men have had some type of surgical procedure performed on their body or face. An even larger percentage of men said that they would like to have some work done. “I’ve thought about it, especially

lipo[suction],” says Lance, a Tampa Bay resident who didn’t want to give his last name. “I’m always working out and I watch what I eat, but it’s almost impossible to get a six pack. It would be so much easier to just get it sucked out.” Nearly 250,000 Americans underwent some sort of liposuction last year, skyrocketing the surgery as one of the topfive cosmetic procedures of 2009. “In the last 15 years, the proportion of men pursuing liposuction surgery has jumped from 10% to 15%,” says Dakota Calloway, a spokeswoman with the ASPS. “Last January, male patients started outnumbering women in the practice.” Calloway says that sexual orientation isn’t a typical question on a patient

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questionnaire, so specific numbers relating to gay men undergoing elective cosmetic surgery aren’t available. However, it seems that men with no children and disposable incomes are typical patients. “We have to go based on what we observe,” says Calloway. “We don’t ask if someone is gay or straight, but we’re an open-minded profession, so patients usually don’t hesitate to share their personal stories with us.” Botox injections are still the number one non-invasive procedure performed on men and women, according to the ASPS. Nearly 5 million women underwent the procedure last year compared to 314,000 men. The number of men who elect for the procedure is growing more rapidly than in women, Calloway says. “Often, a man is judged by his outward appearance—just as much, if not more than a woman,” Calloway says. “If he is obese, he may be perceived as lazy or incompetent at his job, because he is unable to take care of himself properly. An overly aged man may not seem appropriate for some jobs and he may have difficulty meeting single people. The point is that men seek plastic surgery for the same reasons that women do—to boost their self-esteem and allow them to appear on the outside as whom they are on the inside.” Calloway adds that those who do undergo a procedure like liposuction should expect to change their lifestyle if he or she wants to maintain the trimmer waist line. “The bottom line is,” she says, “if you get lipo and you still lie around the house and eat bad foods, your weight will come back. We encourage patients to become active before and after a procedure so they

can maintain the new figure.” Hair transplantations are also gaining momentum among men, as are skin procedures like microderm abrasion and chemical peels. For Lance, who is 34 and has a full head of hair, a hair transplant isn’t even on his radar. But he says in the future, he wouldn’t be opposed to different procedures that could help him retain his youth. “I know several men who have had face lifts or some other procedure, and they look great,” Lance says. “It’s something that generations before us didn’t have available, so why shouldn’t we take advantage of it?” | l |

top five male cosmetic surgical procedures in 2009 Nose reshaping—50,000 Eyelid surgery—31,000 Liposuction—27,000 Breast reduction—18,000 Hair transplantation—13,000 —American Society of Plastic Surgeons

top 5 female cosmetic surgical procedures 2009 Breast augmentation—307,000 Liposuction—218,000 Nose reshaping—204,000 Eyelid surgery—190,000 Tummy tuck—117,000 —American Society of Plastic Surgeons


January 7-20, 2010 |

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watermark | transitions

| January 7-20, 2010

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Sarasota improv actress and “ally” Christine Alexander celebrates her birthday Jan. 12.

transitions congratulations St. Petersburg resident David Lee has accepted a position as an Academic Advisor at the St. Pete College Gibbs Campus. Lee will leave his position with CitiGroup and begin his new career on Jan. 11. Walt Disney World cast member Joel Strack celebrates 28 years with The Mouse on Jan. 10. Mark Cady of Orlando has accepted a position with NET Marketing Group heading up their social and new media sales division. Attorney Jeff Buak has joined the law firm of Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, P.A., in its Orlando office. Metropolitan Business Association held its first informal meeting Jan. 15, 1992.

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founder of women’s web site ProSuzy.com Suzanne Noe (Jan. 10); St. Petersburg instructor and massage therapist Jeremy Couture, Lakeland massage therapist David Lesnett, and Gay Internet Radio Live (GIRL) promoter Donnie Mullin (Jan. 11); Sarasota actress and improv genius Christine Alexander (Jan. 12); Watermark CFO and resident society maven Rick Claggett and St. Pete Pride board member, marketing guru and City Side bar back Nick Capezza (Jan 13); Orlando realtor Trina Gregory-Hodge (Jan 14); Watermark ad sales genius Don Williams, and EO Inn and Urban Spa host Jeff Boudreaux (Jan. 15); Watermark graphics guru Jake Stevens, and multitalented writer/actor/director Scottie Campbell (Jan. 17); Tampa’s The Knights of Krewe of Cavaliers’ Robert Victor, Orlando Gay Chorus vocalist Edd “Peaches” Sinnett, Sarasota native and A League of Our Own member Jerry Rivera and TIGLIFF board member, former Pride Tampa Bay Chair and JP Morgan Chase honcho Kris R. Johnson (Jan. 18); event coordinator for Intercontinental hotels, co-owner of E.M. & Voss Solutions Event & Wedding Services Sascha Voss (Jan. 20)

Send news about birthdays, passings, anniversaries, promotions, commitment ceremonies—and whatever you commemorate—to Editor@WatermarkOnline.com.


watermark | advice

dothis!

the holidays. You would have to be thick as a brick to think that Kim’s desires for you to live your life openly was somehow heightened or influenced by some sort of seasonal malaise. Secondly, you ask why she’s acting so weird. She’s not. She’s acting concerned about the future of your relationship, and I think she’s right to. It’s true that no one can force someone to come out before they are ready, but it is perfectly acceptable to have a baseline expectation of only being with someone who is out. There are always reasons to stay in the closet, and you have yours. But her Dare to share questions about how you feel about her and about yourself are perfectly legitimate ones. You’ve only been dating a year, and as things get more serious, the gravity of your personal ADVICE FROM choices on her become heavier. She’s The Truth learning that you aren’t in transition into an Truth@WatermarkOnline.com out person at this point; you’re stuck, you seem to be okay being stuck and she’s simply saying she’s not okay sitting there in the mud with you. For some people, being able to be proud of their primary love, and to want that reciprocated from their partner, is table stakes. It seems Kim is one of those people. If she spoke to your parents or ‘outed’ you in some other way, I would agree that she is overstepping boundaries. But she’s done none of that. She’s put it on you, where it should be. What you do with it is up to you. Here comes the Truth, baby: your decision to come out is yours and yours alone to make. But by agreeing to date this person in the first place, you took responsibility for some Dear Truth, corner of that person’s heart. They are going hat is it about the holidays that to be affected by the decisions you make and makes people act so weird? the values you have, and they have the right My girlfriend, Kim, flipped to evaluate your worldview and determine if out on me because I didn’t come out to it works for them. That’s called dating; it’s my parents when they came to visit me in why we don’t get married on the first date. Kissimmee over Christmas. I’m sure they We’re not talking about a simple difference of know I’m a lesbian, but I’m just not ready opinion here. There can be no question what to have that conversation with them (I the right thing to do is in this situation. It’s come from a conservative Baptist family). obvious. You know coming out is a healthier After they left, Kim kept asking me if I decision than not. You simply haven’t grown was embarrassed the set you need to be with her or yet to seal the deal. ashamed of who I You want to have a “It’s true that no one am. Then she said relationship with this can force someone she wasn’t sure if person? Well, she she could be with certainly has let you to come out before someone who was know what you have they are ready, but it living a lie. Kim and to do. If you can’t or I have been together won’t, that will be is perfectly acceptable a year and I really sad, but it will have to have a baseline like her. But this is been your decision— so out of character and your loss. expectation of only for her (she’s being with someone usually really loving Dear Truth, and supportive), I just got back who is out.” and I think she is from visiting my overstepping her parents and family boundaries when it comes to my family. Do in Michigan and I realized we have a you agree? problem. I am a single gay man in my 30s —Post-Holiday Letdown and I have two brothers and a sister, all of whom I love dearly. I am out to my family Dear Emily Post, and they are very supportive. My concern I don’t think you’re actually asking me is that my family avoids all discussion of a question about the emotional effect of my personal life, as if I am some kind of

W

eunuch who exists in a sexual vacuum. We talk about my siblings’ relationships all the time, but no one ever asks whether I’m seeing anyone or how my last break up went, or even if I’m happy being single (which they ask my brother all the time). When I try to bring it up, it’s awkward and I feel like I’m forcing the issue. Invariable, someone just changes the subject. I know my family loves me, but I’m beginning to wonder if they truly accept me. Any suggestions? —Left Out Dear Lefty, Well, of course I have a suggestion. The next time you are at a family function, take

January 7-20, 2010 |

43

your natural turn in the conversation when it turns to love and relationships. Talk normally about what’s going on with you, but in a family appropriate way. If what you describe happens again, it’s time for a family meeting and I’d waste no time in doing so. I’d gather everyone around and directly describe to them what you’ve described to me, and tell them how it makes you feel. Let them know that you appreciate that topics of gay sex can make people uncomfortable and that you promise to not make it any more intimate than any of your siblings. If they see that you are genuinely hurt by their actions, I bet your loving and supportive family will rise to the occasion. | l |

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watermark | classifieds

| January 7-20, 2010

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watermark | sports

January 7-20, 2010 |

45

FEBRUARY 13-14, 2010

Participants in the 2009 Orlando Meltdown Tournament try to stay warm between games. | Photo by Tom Dyer

Players gear up for 11th annual Orlando Meltdown steve blanchard Orlando | Registration for the 11th Annual Orlando Meltdown Softball Tournament is now closed since the maximum number of teams allotted has been reached. According to organizers, the Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend (Jan 15-17) tournament has 70 confirmed teams in four divisions. The tournament will be held in two complexes again this year—the Seminole County Softball Complex in Altamonte Springs and the Lake Fairview Softball Complex in Orlando. There is no A-division this year and seven teams have confirmed for the B-division. Interestingly, only one of those seven teams is from out of state. The C-division boasts 19

teams in the 2010 tournament and the largest division, the D-division, has 24 teams. The Women’s division has 17 registered teams. The charity softball tournament is one of only a few in the country that gives the first, second and third place teams a check for a charity of that team’s choice. The two teams with the most runs during the tournament’s round robin play also receive a check payable to the charity of their choice. Since January of 2000, the tournament, organized by the Central Florida Softball League, has donated nearly $6,000 each year to charities. For full brackets and schedules, visit OrlandoMeltdown.com. | l |

It Takes A Team could fold at the end of January staff report Since 1996, the Women’s Sports Foundation has funded the It Takes A Team Project, which worked at various levels to provide equal athletic opportunities for LGBTs in the United States. Founder and president, Pat Griffin, who is openly gay, announced in December that the foundation was folding because of the economy. “I have a boundless commitment and passion for addressing LGBT issues in sport and will take time to figure out how to best move forward with this work,” Griffin told OutSports.com. “I am not ready to hang up the spikes yet and will take some time to decide how to get back in the game.” The Women’s Sports Foundation worked toward creating an athletic climate that is respectful and safe for all people and eliminating barriers to all girls being active and healthy. It Takes A Team! Education Campaign for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Issues in Sport is an education project focused on eliminating homophobia as a barrier to all women and men participating in sport. The organization’s primary goals are to develop and disseminate practical educational information and resources to athletic administrators, coaches, parents and athletes at the high school and college levels to make sport safe and welcoming for all.

Prejudice against lesbian and bisexual women in sports discourages girls and women from participating in sport out of fear of being called “lesbian,” according to Griffin. Homophobic attitudes and policies that target lesbian and bisexual athletes, coaches and administrators perpetuate this prejudice, she says, and the practical effects of such discrimination and prejudice are that all female athletes are denied a healthy and fulfilling sport experience and environment. “The project is intended to help coaches and school administrators educate student-athletes about the harmful effects of homophobia and asks the question, ‘How can we make sure that people in athletics are evaluated, not based on their sexual orientation or gender expression, but on their individual character and accomplishments?’” Griffin said. The resources for high school and college athletes collected over the years will remain online at ItTakesATeam.com, according to Griffin. “We have also developed collaborative relationships with 18 national educational, advocacy and athletic organizations and produced a successful monthly e-letter with more than 3,000 subscribers,” Griffin said. “I have lots of energy and commitment to continue my work on LGBT issues in sport. It Takes A Team will end, but my work on LGBT issues in sport will continue.” | l |

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watermark | gossip

| January 7-20, 2010

billymasters

46

“I have to say tonight is a dream come true for me. But I feel very, very well prepared because I have been singing for queens my entire life. At last, I’m in front of a real one!” —Bette Midler kicks off her performance in front of Queen Elizabeth II at the Royal Variety Show in Blackpool, England.

N New year, new career paths Billy Masters Billy@BillyMasters.com

othing gets me in the holiday spirit more than my annual trip to the UK for a week of theatre. To kick things off, my first story is about Pamela Anderson. Huh? It’s true—when the annals (or anals) of British theatre are compiled, a tiny footnote will be about the Baywatch beauty’s debut on the legitimate stage in a production of Aladdin. And Billy was there. I was scheduled to attend Anderson’s third day, but some curious cancellations meant I was there for what became her debut. Pam’s role as the genie was brief but memorable. Her entrance was precipitated by “Aladdin” rubbing his lamp. At least, I think it was his lamp. He was rubbing something and then he had a huge smile on his face. And then Pamela made her entrance—descending as if from the heavens aboard a silver sequined surfboard in a costume reminiscent of her iconic red swimsuit. She then knelt before “Aladdin” and intoned, “I am here to serve you.” Excuse me? Did I stumble into a stage adaptation of the Monica Lewinsky story? At least the script played to Pam’s strengths, and it must be noted that she most definitely did not make a fool of herself—even when she sang Christina Aguilera’s “Genie In A Bottle.” In the second half, she had more to do—a group song, some more dialogue, and a number

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of in-jokes that I think went over the Brits’ heads. She sang, she danced, and she recycled some lines from Barb Wire. She seemed to have a blast and so did the audience. Kellan Lutz was almost involved in yet another gay scandal—this time at the hands of his own brother. It all happened while Lutz was filming in Portland, Ore. His brother Randy was staying at the house (on Buffalo Street, according to Kellan) and wanted to find some housemates—which in itself makes no sense to me, but what do I know? The ad on Craigslist said, “We are the Buffalo boys. We are looking for very athletic guys for new blood. We are alcohol friendly; we have a pool and a hot tub.” Ironically enough, I have an ad that is eerily similar. Once Kellan started getting several provocative phone messages, he figured out what was going on and had the ad pulled. But he did end up with three male roommates, including one deepvoiced guy named Lance. By the way, Kellan has just been signed to model for Calvin Klein underwear—and allegedly, the campaign will be reminiscent of the Mark Wahlberg shots we remember oh-so-fondly. Of course, this is not such a departure for Kellan, who got started as an A&F boy. Well, who didn’t? Returning to modeling may be a good move for the buff Lutz. After all, he only had about three lines in the latest Twilight flick. You know how straight men always fantasize about lesbians, but you never hear straight women say that watching two guys is hot? Well, now we have. On Cougar Town,, Courteney Cox’s character is kinda on a double date with a hot shirtless jeans model (played by a very sexy Aaron Blake). ). After leaving the club early, she asks her friend how the rest of the evening went. “I went back to his apartment with him and his friend, and they spent most of the time making out with each other.” Courteney’s response? “Aww, I would have liked to have seen that.” To which the friend said, “It was pretty hot!” Sounds like Courteney would enjoy watching the Buffalo boys! Rupert Everett claims that Madonna has not forgiven him for some things he wrote about her in his autobiography. “Elephants don’t forget. She doesn’t trust me any more.” It might have

Baywatch star Pamela Anderson plays Aladdin’s genie in a brand new production in England.

something to do with that elephant crack. Or it could have to do with that God-awful film The Next Best Thing that the pair starred in. Rupert has choice words about that flick. “It blew my new career out of the water and turned my pubic hair white overnight.” OUCH! While presenting at the Gotham Independent Film Awards, Rosie Perez noticed Willem Dafoe in the audience. Referring to his nude scene in the indy film Antichrist, she asked “Was that the real thing?” Dafoe sheepishly nodded, prompting Perez to say, “Well, hello Willem Dafoe.” This prompted me to do some investigating. No surprise, we got a hold of Dafoe’s penis and it is indeed something to behold. But it ain’t the prettiest scene in the world. The female lead crushes Willem’s testicles with a large piece of wood rendering him unconscious. Later, she cuts off her clitoris with a pair of scissors. Ah, so it’s a comedy! On the positive side, John Waters has called the flick one of the 10 best movies of 2009. Going back to that unconscious penis— you can see it on BillyMasters.com. When Dafoe getting wood is a bad thing, it’s time to end yet another column. | l | Fans will get to see more of Twilight stud Kellan Lutz when he begins modeling Calvin Klein underwear this year.


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