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yOuR LGBT LIFE. ISSuE 18.11 | MAy 26 - JuNE 8, 2011 WATERMARkONLINE.COM

FOCUS ON

orlanDo’S

BiG Gay weekenD

Pride & Passion Smashes records

Gay Days’ technological evolution What’s new and different in 2011 Universal’s LGBT outreach

in Tampa

Still SHininG D AY T O N A B E A C H

ORLANDO

• TA M PA

Deborah Cox steps back into the limelight with a new album and an appearance just for her Orlando LGBT fans

S T. P E T E R S B u R G

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MACY’S IS PROUD TO JOIN THE PARADE ACROSS AMERICA IN HONOR OF NATIONAL PRIDE MONTH. WE THINK IT’S REALLY SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE. FOR MORE INFO, GO TO MACYS.COM/PRIDE

Proudly recognized by The Trevor Project for our commitment to the LGBT community and by the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index with a 100% rating

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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

issue 18.11

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8 MINuTE 52 MOvIES

PG.

The L-Train Lounge in downtown St. Petersburg has issued a challenge to aspiring filmmakers—submit an 8-minute movie and win some prizes and a chance to be showcased at TIGLFF in October. Lounge owner Laura Cipriani tells us how she came up with the idea and what’s involved.

Dance floor diva Deborah Cox returns to Orlando for a one-night performance at Mr. Sisters on June 4.

6 | Orlando News Volusia County passes an anti-discrimination ordinance with a 6-1 vote; The City of Orlando recognizes Harvey Milk Day for the first time ever; Organizers gear up for what they hope is the largest Orlando Black Pride celebration in its history; more.

ORLANDO NEWS

6

14 / STATE NEWS

10 | Tampa News

17 / NATION + WORLD NEWS

The annual Pride & Passion fundraising event at the Tampa Museum of Art breaks attendance records and ups the ante with living art; A town hall meeting focuses on the transgender community and how organizations can improve outreach practices; Streetcar closes its doors for good in Ybor; more.

18 / TAMPA BAy MARkETPLACE

20 / ORLANDO MARkETPLACE

29 | Scene+Heard

10

TAMPA BAy NEWS

SCENE+HEARD

51

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kNOW+TELL

Deborah Cox is coming to Orlando to help raise money for Come Out With Pride when she performs at Mr. Sisters June 4. The dance floor darling talks to us about her new album, why she loves her gay fans and how she juggles her career with being a wife and mother. The L-Train Lounge in St. Petersburg has undergone many evolutions, but its returning to its roots as a movie theater. Owner Laura Cipriati tells us about “8-Minute Movies” and how locals can win some prizes for their creativity. Accordion goddess Judy Tenuda preps for a show in Orlando by telling us about what it takes to reach “goddess” status and why the gays love her so much. GLAAD recently recognized Kim Cattrall for her support of LGBT causes and the actress talks to us about her “un-Samantha” role in her new film, due out this month.

51 | Gay Days The annual celebration of all things gay in Orlando returns for its 21st year the first weekend of June, and there is no shortage of ways to participate. We talk to GayDays.com about the role social media—from bulletin boards in the 1990s to Facebook today—has played in promoting the ever-growing event. We also chat with Universal’s Keven Callahan about how that company has grown to be a huge LGBT advocate and participant in the annual hoopla. We also explore what’s new on the scene this year and we take a look at whether or not the crowds are thinning at the Magic Kingdom these days.

24 / MAIL

44 / EvENT PLANNER

47 / TAMPA BAy OvERHEARD

49 / ORLANDO OvERHEARD

64 / TRANSITIONS

66 / CLASSIFIEDS

67 / SPORTS

68 / GOSSIP


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May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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editor’sdesk L

But secretly I was scared to death that one day my entire family and all ike most of the country, I was watching the news to see if one of two those I loved would disappear and I’d be left all alone because I was different. predicted scenarios played out the weekend of May 21. Those films had such an impact on me that I swore I saw the villains outside The first was that the Second Coming of Christ would occur at 6 p.m. the windows of my school bus. on that Saturday as predicted by whacko evangelist Harold Camping, and we, Sure, movies had scared me before. Halloween creeped me out and I was unfortunately, would be left behind in a less-crowded but somehow more evil sure that Michael Myers was lurking in my closet some nights. But this was world. Or two, absolutely nothing out of the ordinary would happen on May different. This was real fear. There was no “It’s-just-a-Hollywood-story” voice 21 and we would go about our regularly scheduled plans—which probably in my head telling me it would be okay. include celebrating Gay Days the first weekend of June. I recall being home alone as a preteen thinking that my parents weren’t We all know—and few were surprised—that the second scenario is the one coming back because God was upset with my crush on that unfolded. Camping has since said he was “off” the boy sitting next to me in class. I thought I deserved by a few months (and factored in some emergency to be left to my own devices. prayers), adding that “Rapture Redux” is coming Oct. The complicated After viewing Thief and its three sequels, I really 21 this year. wanted to be scared straight! The complicated and confusing mathematical mathematical code On the morning of May 22, you could see code Camping “found” in the Bible was apparently Camping “found” newscasters struggling to contain their smiles as Steve Blanchard incorrect this time around—or he forgot to carry the they reported there were no vacated piles of clothes one or something. But he was sure the end was here in the Bible was EDITOR SteveB@WatermarkOnline.com and like many right-wing religious leaders, he blamed or empty shoes left on sidewalks and no vehicular apparently incorrect tragedies occurred because a driver suddenly us. this time around—or disappeared from behind the wheel. Those reports I was raised in a religious family. My parents taught also meant there was no post-Rapture looting party as me right from wrong, good from bad and warned he forgot to carry the promised by a disturbingly popular Facebook group. me about the Rapture and the dangers of living one or something. Following that Saturday, I spoke with several through Armageddon on a Godless Earth. What great friends and acquaintances in the religious childhood memories! community—both gay and straight—and not one of Being a child of the 1980s meant that hearing them was surprised by the delay of the spiritual event. the horrors of the events unfolding after the Rapture Most quoted a Bible verse explaining that no one will know when the end will weren’t enough. No, I had to go to church on weekend evenings for special come for humanity on Earth. screenings of the Thief in the Night series of films to scare the living daylights Camping and his predictions will no-doubt make it into every year-end out of me. wrap-up come December and then disappear from our thoughts. But in the end I remember being no more than eight or 10 years old while watching the characters in the movie face the guillotine because of their refusal to accept the the elderly Californian received plenty of mainstream air-time to blame the LGBT community for the “end of days” and in the meantime, made an insane “Mark of the Beast.” I light-heartedly told my church friends that I knew I’d amount of money. be okay since I was a good Christian boy. I would even pray for the Rapture to Predictably, we’ll be blamed for future catastrophic events just as we’ve come before that next big math test on Friday. I figured if God was good, as I been blamed for past ones. And that’s a prediction guaranteed to come true.| l | was taught, he’d spare me the agony of those pesky fractions.

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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

watermark | orlando news

Anti-discrimination ordinance passes 6-1 jamie hyman Deland | Volusia County has become the latest Florida county to make it illegal to discriminate against people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, or places of public accommodation like restaurants or bars. The anti-discrimination ordinance passed 6-1 on May 19. The group heard about a dozen speakers on the issue and about three dozen supporters wore red shirts. None of the speakers were opposed to the measure, although the council did receive a letter opposing it. Councilwoman Joie Alexander was the “no” vote, saying she doesn’t support discrimination but the ordinance is unnecessary. Councilman Josh Wagner originally proposed the measure about two and half years ago, during his campaign. “I had assumed that something like

this was already in place,” Wagner said. “I didn’t know someone could go to rent an apartment, show up with their partner and get turned down, or get kicked out of a restaurant because they might be gay or lesbian. You just don’t think stuff like that still happens today, but it does.” Wagner also proposed a domestic partner registry which is on hold. “It hasn’t been brought back up yet but I would love to see it and would be all for it,” he said. Wagner said he has his eye on future discrimination-fighting ordinances. “I’m going to… start thinking of anything else we can do, and for other [minority] groups as well,” he said. “I want to expand protections for any [minority] groups from discrimination.” Wagner said the anti-discrimination ordinance just passed will pave the way, making future protections easier to obtain “now that the formula is set up.” The measure takes effect July 1. | l |

Orlando Black Pride celebrates 8 years erik caban Orlando | May 31 marks the kick-off to the 8th annual Orlando Black Pride, hosted at the Orlando Vista Hotel. Since 2003, Orlando Black Pride’s mission has been to provide empowerment through the promotion of unity and pride while promoting community health and wellness, and social justice to the AfricanAmerican LGBT community of Central Florida and beyond. The official OBP opening party is at the Parliament House on Tuesday, May 31, and features R&B singer Khia live in concert. The week will offer nonstop partying in the name of Pride with entertainers such as BSlade, Jasmine Bonet and Stasha Sanchez. The six-day event will combine revelry with education. Because of barriers that sometime prohibit faith communities from addressing HIV/AIDS, including issues related to stigma, sexuality and/ or condom use, OBP and the Church of Healing & Prosperity will host the forum, “Is It Time for All of Us to Come Out of the Closet?” on Friday, June 3, at 7 p.m. at the Sheraton Safari Hotel. Orlando Black Pride and the Church of Healing and Prosperity will host a second forum to address the issue of gays and the black church. “The African-American church plays a pivotal part, not only in the AfricanAmerican LGBT community, but in

the African-American community as a whole,” said Trish Duncan, Orlando Black Pride Coordinator. “The vast majority of us were brought up in the church and understand the impact that the church has on our families.” Duncan said the African-American LGBT community has struggled with religion because the church has ostracized gay people for their sexuality. “With all of the media attention on the African-American church and its leaders coming out of the closet, the call for the church to adjust their negative rhetoric towards the LGBT community is critical,” she said. “Doing so could ultimately reinforce our faith in the church and at minimum, would positively impact the African-American LGBT community.” Special guest panelists will include two-time Grammy Award nominee and seven-time Stellar Award winner B. Slade, Rev. Horace Griffin and from Atlanta, Ga., and Dr. David Malebranche, Assistant Professor at Emory University’s School of Medicine who has conducted research exploring the racial, gender, age and cultural factors that influence black men’s health. The moderator for the forum will be Star 94 FM radio personality Monica May. More than 4,200 were in attendance last year and more than 6,000 are expected this year, according to Duncan. For a complete schedule and ticket information, visit OrlandoBlackPride.com. | l |


watermark | orlando news

Musician Tom Goss, Randy Stephens, Patty Sheehan and Linda Stewart show off the proclamation designating Harvey Milk Day in Orlando at Goss’ concert at Mr. Sisters. | Photo courtesy The Center

Harvey Milk Day proclamation Issued jamie hyman Orlando | For the first time ever, the Orlando City mayor’s office recognized Harvey Milk Day with a proclamation recognizing the activist’s contributions to LGBT rights.

“Harvey Milk exemplified how one person, standing up loudly and visibly against a fierce societal fear and prejudice, can change the world,” the proclamation said, which designated May 22 as Harvey Milk Day in the City of Orlando. City commissioner Patty Sheehan presented the proclamation at a Tom Goss

concert at Mr. Sisters on that day, which would have been Milk’s 82nd birthday. Sheehan said in issuing the proclamation she learned more about Milk’s life and contributions. “What struck me was that he was only in office for a year,” she said. “I knew he was assassinated in his first term but didn’t realize it was during his first year.” Sheehan issued the proclamation at the request of Randy Stephens, executive director of The Center. “Harvey Milk’s message of relationship building was a vital part in the recent revision of the Human Rights Ordinance by the Orange County Commission to include sexual orientation and gender identity,” Stephens said in a media release. “Such message includes persistency, but also requires respect for opposing viewpoints, leading to finding common ground, much like we did in the expansion of domestic partner benefits last month.” Sheehan said she hopes Milk’s legacy leads to more open involvement by LGBTs in politics. “It’s important for LGBTs to be involved in politics and it’s important for them to be out,” she said. She added that the proclamation is slated to hang at The Center, but the Harvey Milk Foundation has requested a second one which she will submit for Mayor Buddy Dyer’s signature. | l |

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briefs GLBT History Museum incorporates The GLBT History Museum of Central Florida is now a legally constituted organization. Now, the board will apply for 501(c)3 status, which would allow the museum to expand its funding and operations. The museum started in 2005 as a joint project of Metropolitan Business Association and the University of Central Florida’s Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Union. It is mainly supported with funds raised by Orlando’s Come Out With Pride celebrations. For the past few years, contributions from the Darden Corporation have covered the cost of “bigtent” history exhibits at Pride celebrations.

Prime Timers elect new leaders The Prime Timers of Central Florida have a new president. The group’s board of directors voted Jim Moore into the president’s position. It also elected Patrick Caraher to be vice president, Ron Bush to be secretary, George Sepso as membership chairman, Edwin Barnes as events chairman and Claude Aube to the position of publicity chairman. Outgoing president Jerry Danese will fill a vacancy created by a board member’s resignation and will step up as treasurer next year. The elections were held at the Prime Timer’s general meeting, May 10 at Parliament House.

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Celebrating pride When you look back at the efforts and achievements of LGBT men and women over the years, there’s every reason to be proud. Not just once a year, but every day. Wells Fargo takes great pride in the diversity of the communities we serve. That’s why we continue to make financial contributions to LGBT nonprofits, provide services specific to the needs of our LGBT customers and foster a work environment that doesn’t just accept differences, but celebrates them. Happy Pride. All year round.

wellsfargo.com/lgbt © 2011 Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. All rights reserved. Member FDIC.

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5/19/11 7:16 AM


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| May 26 - June 8, 2011


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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watermark | tampa bay news

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

Forum talks strategy for trans community steve blanchard

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St. Petersburg | Nearly two dozen people participated in a town hall-style meeting at The L Train May 19 to discuss ways the transgender community can be more visible and utilize services provided by organizations in the area. A panel from several organizations answered questions and promoted dialogue among participants for nearly two hours. The panel consisted of St. Pete Pride executive director Chris Rudisill, gender therapist Dr. Kathleen Farrell, Metro Wellness Centers’ director of behavioral health Andrew Schmidt, and Triangle Interweave facilitator Robyn Kelly. Also attending was Elaine McArthur, an outreach and training manager with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “I want us to figure out how these organizations can help us,” said Michael Keeffe, the executive director of the Florida Organization Regarding Gender Equality (FORGE). “And we want to learn how we can be more accessible to them.” Discussions ranged from inclusiveness, employment discrimination and what it means to be transgender. Several in the audience felt the transgender community was different than the gay community, meaning LGBT groups couldn’t fulfill a need. Others believed that gay and lesbian organizations reaching out to transgender individuals were an improvement over options in the past. A theme among the group, however, seemed to be one of independence or exclusiveness. One man who did not want to be identified

North Pinellas Pride eyes October staff report Dunedin | North Pinellas Pride will return for its second year in 2011—but it’ll happen a bit later in the year. Organizers decided to set the second annual North Pinellas Pride celebration for Oct. 16-23 in order to avoid conflict with St. Pete Pride in June. “This date was pushed back from last year’s in order to maximize our potential

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said that celebrating in an event like St. Pete Pride didn’t make sense because gender identity disorder is a mental illness. “Why would I want to celebrate that?” he asked. Others, however, disagreed, saying that many transgender and transsexual people started their adult lives in the gay and lesbian community before transitioning. “Since so many of us start there,” Keeffe stated, “I think we’re expected to remain in the gay and lesbian community.” Another member of the audience said that too many people confuse transgender people with female or male impersonators and performers—which is an art, not a way of living. A consensus seemed to be that programs are needed for the transgender community and safe places—other than bars—are necessary for transgender people to feel comfortable and welcomed. That could be a starting point for growing a network in Tampa Bay. “The transgender community has difficulty reaching itself,” said Ricki Liff, who at one time worked for Westcare and helped educate Pinellas County organizations on transgender issues. “There is education needed all around.” Toward the end of the meeting St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell made an appearance and spoke briefly to those gathered in the theater after apologizing for being late due to a city council meeting. “I support you,” he said. “My goal is to get gender identity and gender expression into the city’s human rights ordinance and to make St. Petersburg an even more welcoming place.” |  |

audience with both year-long residents and vacationers,” the organization said on its website. The website is still under construction but events mentioned include a gay bowling event, a club event at Blur Nightclub, a teen social and dance and the actual outdoor Pride festival in Pioneer Park. More information concerning the schedule will be posted online as it becomes available at NorthPinellasPride.com. |  |

briefs Streetcar shutters its doors After months of speculation, the once popular Streetcar restaurant in Ybor City shut its doors for good on Monday, May 23. Once known as “Streetcar Charlie’s,” the restaurant was one of the first LGBT-centric dining establishments to open in the GaYbor District of the historic area. Issues surrounding bankruptcy and alleged issues with paying staff plagued the eatery until its final closure. Calls seeking comment from a spokesperson were unsuccessful.

Inaugural Polk Pride begins June 3 The first-ever Polk Pride celebration begins June 3 with 10 days of parties and events in Lakeland. According to organizers, events taking place throughout the city will benefit the organization in growing the event into an annual celebration for LGBTs throughout the region. For more information and a full schedule, visit JustFierceProductionsInc.com.


watermark | tampa bay news

Jorge Alvarez, right, reacts to live art doubling as a dessert table at the Pride & Passion held inside the Tampa Museum of Art May 21. | Photo by Nick Cardello

A successful Pride & Passion breaks attendance record steve blanchard Tampa | When the roaming dessert table entered the museum, the crowd was amazed. And that was just one of the epic events that shocked the crowd at the 6th Annual Pride & Passion Fundraiser at the Tampa Museum of Art May 21. More than 685 people turned out for the event, which is the official kick off to St. Pete

Pride season in Tampa Bay, and most stayed throughout the event, which ended at midnight. “The Steering Committee should be wildly proud and is well deserving of a tremendous thanks from me and a self-pat on everyone’s back,” event chair Rob Iles said after the event. “Saturday was as close to perfect as it could have been.” More than 100 people purchased tickets the night of the event and money raised benefits the museum. The crowds were huge, meaning

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

the money raised should be impressive. Total numbers weren’t available at press time. “On behalf of the museum, we are truly humbled and honored by [Pride & Passion volunteer’s and staff’s] commitment to this year’s Pride & Passion,” said Molly James, director of development for the museum. “It has been really amazing to watch what became an avalanche of support in every arena— attendance, sponsorship and in-kind sponsors.” Throughout the evening, Museum galleries were open to the attendees and several “live art” productions appeared in the lobby at specific intervals. One of the biggest hits was the entrance of a woman dressed as a chandelier—which was a creation by Ybor City artist and LGBT everyman Mattieu Stanoch. “I’m so excited,” Stanoch said before his creation made her entrance down the grand staircase. “I think it will go over really well.” And it definitely did. Things literally came to a standstill when the living art made an entrance, and Iles was pleasantly surprised. “Who knew a chandelier would stop the crowd in their tracks?” he laughed. While many familiar faces were in the crowd—including Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner and St. Petersburg City Councilman Steve Kornell— there were several newcomers to the huge social event. “I wasn’t sure what to expect,” said Joie Violet, who was accompanied by her girlfriend, Chloe. “I absolutely love art and

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I’ve been to the Tampa Museum of Art a few times. But I’ve never come here for an event. The atmosphere is just amazing and it’s for such a great cause. I hate that I’ve missed previous years’ events, but I know now I’ll be back next year.” According to Iles, there were very few— if any—glitches in the production of the mammoth event. There was only one minor security issue when a woman was quietly escorted away, and plenty of food and drinks were available throughout the night. “The crowd was very well behaved and we only one small incident—and she was whisked away immediately,” Iles said. “We ran out of white wine, which was a first, but people happily accepted Cava instead and we did not run out of liquor or food.” Several sponsors were overheard complimenting Pride & Passion staff and making plans for next year—which may seem like a long way away, but not to those directly involved. Even while organizers finalize numbers to be released within the coming week, plans are already underway for next year’s big Pride & Passion event. The fundraiser could very well become the largest event at the museum in 2012. “Please save Saturday, May 19, 2012 for Pride & Passion,” James said. “It will be our 7th year.” For more photos from the Pride & Passion event, visit our online gallery at WatermarkOnline.com. | l |


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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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Sarasota | During one of the hottest days of the year, the Rosemary District near downtown stayed packed throughout the day while hundreds gathered to celebrate the life and legacy of Harvey Milk on May 21. The eight-hour festival was just part of a weekend of events honoring the first openly gay elected official who was gunned down in San Francisco. “It’s hot, but I’d rather it be like this than raining,” said organizer Shannon Fortner, who was busy throughout the day making sure the entertainment lineup and vendor booths ran like clockwork.” I’m thankful for all of the support.” Temperatures reached the mid-90s by midafternoon but streams of supporters continued to arrive at the fenced of area dedicated to the festival. This is the second year for Sarasota to celebrate Harvey Milk Day and also the second year that Harvey Milk was officially honored by government officials. Before leaving office, California Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger proclaimed May 22 Harvey Milk Day. That is the date of the late city councilman’s birthday. “I think that seeing such a diverse group of people out here says a lot about what Harvey Milk was all about,” said Cassandra Diaz, an 18-year old who spent part of the day listening to music with her high school friends. “If you look around you see every age and every race. You even see every sexuality.” Diaz, who is straight, said she’s hopeful for a future where rights are given to everyone, regardless of race or orientation. “It’s going to be up to my generation to make same-sex marriage legal and to get politicians past all of the lame arguments they have against respecting gay people,” she said. “Things are slowly changing and I think that Harvey Milk would be proud of the progress

we’ve made.” Speakers and bands occupied throughout the day and attendees heard from Equality Florida as well as Todd Kachinski Kottmeier, an author who was a speaker at the inaugural event last year. “I’m excited to be back here to speak,” he said. “This is a great event that means a lot to us and, hopefully, to the people who are here today.” The festival began on Friday, May 20, with an art exhibit showcasing themes of equality. The art is still available at The Red Panty Press where Ciera Galbraith will serves as curator. Galbraith has worked for more than two years as Gallery Director of The University of Florida Reitz Union Art Gallery. “We’d like support from the American community as a whole,” Fortner said said. “We need everyone to be part of the movement, not just the gay population.” For five years, Fortner has been in a relationship with her partner, Kelly, but the two have been forced to live apart due to immigration laws. Kelly is from the United Kingdom and current marriage laws in the United States prevent Fortner from sponsoring her so they can live as a couple. Fortner does have some hope, however, that the Uniting American Families Act currently in Congress will pass and change the laws. “Harvey Milk focused on the community as a whole, while creating a safe place for the queer community to be themselves,” Fortner said, when asked about what people should take from the festival. “He cleaned up his district. He was a sounding board for equality and justice. He was a tremendous advocate of a world where people, gay or straight, would no longer need to live in fear.” That message was conveyed by speakers and by bands on the stage. The street festival ended around 10 p.m. after headlining group Ha Ha Tonka wrapped its set. | l |


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Pompano Beach | The Broward County School District will investigate a high school principal accused of outing a student after threatening her and her girlfriend with suspension for holding hands on campus. The incident happened in early May at Blanche Ely High School. According to the South Florida Times, the couple was walking to class, holding hands, when Principal Karlton Johnson took them into his office and called their parents—one of whom did not know her daughter was

gay. One of the students told a reporter that Johnston had threatened them with disciplinary action before but they kept holding hands because straight couples were allowed to do so without any problems. One of the girls emailed a complaint to the school board and other district officials. At least one community activist is calling for Johnson to be suspended from his position and investigated. Broward Schools Superintendent James Notter has announced there would be a thorough investigation of the students’ claims. Johnson would not comment. | l |

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All over the nation states are considering reducing the eligibility threshold for many AIDS programs— and Florida is no exception. The current income eligibility requirement in the state is 400% of the Federal Poverty Level. The state may reduce that to 200%, but opponents of any reduction say it would cut Floridians living with HIV/AIDS off from lifesaving HIV/AIDS medication, care and services. Currently there are 9,600 patients using AIDS Drug Assistance Programs in Florida and 3,700 on waiting lists. Tom Liberti, Chief of the Bureau of HIV/ AIDS at the Florida Department of Health, said if the state lowers the eligibility to 300% it would affect around 300 people, while at 200% it would affect about 1,600 people. But Liberti said even if his department ends up recommending a reduction, he would also recommend those patients currently receiving assistance be grandfathered in. Liberti added the problem isn’t that the state or federal government is slashing their budgets. In fact, the funding has stayed relatively the same over the last few years. But it turns out that is the problem. With the collapse of the economy and high unemployment rates, additional people are seeking assistance. “We have massive unemployment and 4 million people in Florida are without health insurance. But we haven’t received any increases in federal or state appropriations,” he said. Liberti’s department is looking at other options as well. Normally by this time, Liberti knows how much money he’ll receive from the federal government, but because of budget delays in Congress those numbers haven’t become available yet. He’s still hoping

for an increase. There’s also an ADAP supplemental fund Florida hasn’t been eligible for in the past, because the state never had patients on waiting lists. The waiting started last June when the state decided to close the program to new enrollees. Now with 3,700 patients on the list, he’s hopeful Florida will receive some additional funds. “We were not eligible for it in the past because we didn’t have a wait list,” he said. “That could be a multi-million dollar award.” No recommendations will be made until late summer or early fall. After that the public will have another opportunity to discuss the changes. Liberti said other states have or are considering reducing eligibility requirements. In Illinois, for instance, eligibility was reduced from 500% to 300%. AIDS Health Care Foundation advocates are adamantly opposed to any eligibility reductions and are urging residents to contact local representatives to voice their concerns. AHF leadership argues the move would increase medical costs to the state in the long run as AIDS patients would naturally end up seeking more expensive emergency care at hospitals around the state. “If this continues to move forward we will take our fight all the way to Tallahassee,” said Jason King, Patient Advocate for AHF. King understands times are tough and so his organization has come up with several suggestions of its own that do not include reducing the eligibility percentage. Those include more funds from the state, dispensing generic drugs in lieu of brand names, and making sure medication isn’t being dispensed after the patient is no longer taking it. Editor’s note: Jason Parsley is a reporter with the South Florida Gay News and this article is used with permission. | l |


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am sometimes asked why someone injured in an accident should hire an attorney. There are important reasons to consider hiring a competent personal injury attorney as soon as possible if you or a loved one are injured as a result of someone else’s negligence. Being involved in an accident is a difficult and traumatic experience. A personal injury attorney should have the knowledge and experience necessary to help you deal with all of the issues that you will face in the aftermath of the accident. Many times injured persons are not aware of the full extent of their injuries or their rights immediately after an accident takes place. Insurance adjusters or other company representatives may try to settle your claim quickly even before you have a chance to hire an attorney because they know that injured people are often in financial distress and may settle for less than they are entitled to under the law. If you are injured in an accident and settle your case before hiring an attorney you may forfeit important benefits available to you. An important part of your attorney’s job is to make sure that you do not compromise your rights and that you get full compensation for the injuries that you suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence.

An attorney should also work to make sure that you receive all of the medical treatment for the injuries that you suffered in the accident. The process of getting better following an accident can take months, and it is important that your attorney help you receive all of the medical treatment that you need to get you back up on your feet and in the game. Perhaps most importantly, an attorney can work hard to make sure that you are fully compensated by the insurance company for the person or company at fault for all economic and non-economic damages that you suffer as a result of the accident. Under Florida law you may be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering that you have had to deal with following the accident. It is to your benefit to hire a competent personal injury attorney as soon as possible following an accident in order to make sure that you receive all of the benefits and compensation to which you may be entitled. Don’t let a big company or an insurance adjuster take advantage of you by trying to convince you to settle your case without hiring a lawyer. And one final point to keep in mind, in a personal injury case your attorney will not be paid unless he or she makes a recovery for you. So, there are no out-of-pocket or up-front costs to you. You really do have nothing to lose and, hopefully, a lot to gain when you decide to hire a lawyer. • For more information contact Ron Conte at THE LAW OFFICE OF RONALD J. CONTE 407-425-4222 or by visiting our website at

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Majority of Americans support gay marriage in poll wire report Princeton, N.J. | Fifty-three percent of Americans support making gay marriage legal, a Gallup poll showed on May 20, a marked reversal from just a year ago when an equal majority opposed same-sex matrimony. The latest Gallup findings are in line with two earlier national polls this spring that show support for legally recognized gay marriage has gained a newfound majority among Americans. Gallup said Democrats and political independents accounted for the entire shift in its survey compared to last year, when only 44% of all respondents favored gay marriage, while 53% were opposed. Sixty-nine percent of Democrats favored same-sex marriage, up 13% from last year. Fifty-nine percent of independents also favored gay marriage, up 10% from last year. The percentage of Republicans favoring same-sex matrimony held steady at 28%. The growing support for gay marriage comes after President Barack Obama signed into law legislation in December to repeal the ban on openly gay men and women serving in the military under a 17-year-old law known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Gallup noted the policy change, but said it was unclear if that influenced

Americans’ attitudes about same-sex unions. “The trend toward marriage equality is undeniable—and irreversible,” Joe Solmonese, president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, said in a statement. Maggie Gallagher, chairman of the National Organization for Marriage, said the poll shows her fellow opponents of gay matrimony have been “shamed” into silence. “Polls are becoming very sensitive to wording, and the wording being used in the media is not predicting accurately what happens at the actual polls when people vote,” she said. In a sign of a generation gap, Gallup found 70% of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34 support gay marriage, compared to only 39% among those 55 and older. A Washington Post/ABC News poll in March showed 53% of Americans said same-sex marriage should be legal, and 51% said the same thing in a CNN Poll released in April. By comparison, a 1996 Gallup found that 68% of Americans were opposed to same-sex marriage, a figure that has trended downward ever since. Twenty-nine states have adopted constitutional amendments restricting marriage as between a man and a woman, and 12 other states have passed laws to that effect. | l |

briefs Presbyterians clear way for gay clergy

Delaware governor signs civil unions bill into law

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has struck down a requirement that unmarried clergy remain celibate, removing a key barrier for gays and lesbians who want to be ordained. Differences over the Bible and homosexuality have divided mainline Protestant groups nationwide and around the world. The new policy takes effect July 10.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has signed a bill into law that gives same-sex couples legal protections and recognition beginning in 2012. The Democratic governor signed the civil unions bill on May 11 before a cheering crowd of more than 600 in Wilmington. The law takes effect Jan. 1, 2012.

Polish police arrest 14 during gay march Police in southern Poland have detained 14 people trying to prevent an annual gay parade. Officers fired tear gas to disperse a group of some 150 right wing youths attempting to block the annual gay march in Krakow on May 21. Gay rights activist Robert Biedron said the situation in Krakow has improved since 2004, when the marchers were pelted with stones and bottles.

Hate crime charges in McDonald’s beating A Baltimore Count, Md., grand jury has indicted two teens on hate crime charges in the beating of a transgender woman at a McDonald’s restaurant that was caught on video. The indictment returned May 16 charges Teonna Brown with assault and a hate crime in the attack on Chrissy Lee Polis; a 14-year-old girl is facing the same charges in juvenile court. A videotape of the April 18 beating posted online shows a woman being attacked repeatedly while an employee and customer try to stop them.

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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Tenn. Senate OKs “don't say gay” bill wire report Nashville, Tenn. | A bill passed May 20 by the Tennessee Senate would forbid public school teachers and students in grades kindergarten through eight from discussing the fact that some people are gay. Opponents deride the measure as the “don’t say gay bill.’’ They say it’s unfair to the children of gay parents and could lead to more bullying. Supporters say it is intended to give teachers clear guidance for dealing with

younger children on a potentially explosive topic. The bill is likely to be taken up by the House in 2012 when the General Assembly comes back for the second year of the session. Passage would make Tennessee the first state to enact such legislation. Under the proposal, any instruction or materials at a public elementary or middle school would be limited to age-appropriate lessons about the science of human reproduction. | l |

Minn. voters will decide on gay marriage ban wire report St. Paul, Minn. | Late in the night on May 21, the Minnesota House signed off on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, clearing the way for voters to decide the issue in 2012. After nearly six hours of emotional debate, mostly from ban opponents, the House voted 70-62 to approve putting the question on the statewide ballot next year. A handful of Republicans joined all but one Democrat in voting against it. State law already prohibits gay marriage, but supporters of the proposed amendment

said it’s necessary to prevent judges or future lawmakers from making it legal in Minnesota. The amendment would define marriage as only between a man and a woman. Rep. Steve Gottwalt, the bill’s sponsor, said voters should have the final word on the issue. ``This is not about hatred. It is not about discrimination or intolerance,’’ said Gottwalt. But another Republican, Rep. John Kriesel, described how losing his legs in Iraq began a personal transformation of his views on the issue. He said he would have supported the amendment five years ago, but has since realized that the country for which he fought should not deny the right of two people who love each other to marry. | l |


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or the third Gay Days weekend in a row (oh my goodness, can it really have been three already?) Watermark Online will feature live updates, gossip, photos and a schedule, all in one handy location at WatermarkOnline.com. Because we here at your favorite LGBT newspaper we do not want you to miss a moment of Orlando’s biggest gay weekend, this issue I shall use this space to provide a handy, comprehensive guide to what will be available at Watermark Online May 31–June 5. What’s there now? So, my impatient friend, you don’t want to wait until Gay Days officially kicks off May 31 to start checking out the goods online? I have magnificent news! The GD2011 Guide, tucked into this very edition of Watermark, is also available in virtual form. Go to WatermarkOnline.com and look for the GD2011 button in the upper right of the home page and click.

The virtual GD2011 guide can also be found under “Resources” on the page’s title bar with drop down menus across the top. Pro tip: hover your mouse arrow over the bottom right and bottom left corners to flip the pages of the online guide. But you want to play now? If you can’t wait until coverage officially starts, share what GD2011 party has you most excited. Log onto WatermarkOnline.com and comment on any of our Gay Days preview stories. If you or your group are hosting an event, you’re probably already listed in the guide, but you are welcome to visit WatermarkOnline.com and click on “Add Your Event” to get your soiree listed in our online calendar—not a bad idea to cover all the bases, eh? Let us know what you’ll be doing, who you’ll be doing it with and what you’ll be wearing while you do whatever it is to do. (Hey, we just want to hear about it. We’re not here to judge.)

videos from GD2011 for your viewing pleasure. But you wanna play? Absolutely! Email gossip, photos, news tips to Watermark@WatermarkOnline. com any time from any place, all weekend long. We want to hear about it all! Not a fan of email? Images can also be uploaded to Watermark’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/WatermarkFL—we’ll pull them from there to feature at Watermark Online.

What will be there for the aftermath? As anyone who has attended a Gay Days weekend knows, the party doesn’t end when the sun sets on June 5. WatermarkOnline. com will be your place to be Monday morning as we rehash all the dirt form Orlando’s biggest gay weekend. Photos will continue to trickle in, gossip will continue to buzz and of course, we’ll be working on our huge annual-wrap up article. What will be there during Look for our writers to continue GD2011? to weigh in and stories to keep Gay Days coverage will be all breaking. You might get to rest after over the site, but there are two key Orlando’s biggest gay weekend but places which are best to look. The the Watermark staff keeps gathering first one is in the big box of featured and filtering to ensure we present a stories at the top of the page. (We full, fun and interesting picture of call it “the headline box.” Don’t you Gay Days 2011 for our readers and feel like an insider website visitors. now?) One of But you want to those stories will play? Comment, be depicted with comment, comment. a big graphic that Comment on The GD2011 will be similar in articles, photo Guide, tucked appearance to the albums and anything into this very GD2011 Guide: else. We love red background, hearing about the edition of white block best and worst of the Watermark, is letters and hard to weekend and after a miss. That article sound, well-deserved also available will compile and nights’ sleep, in virtual form. link to every everyone always piece of Gay wakes up with Days coverage by opinions, ideas and Watermark, your renewed enthusiasm one-stop shop for for the next Gay everything GD2011. There will also Days. Disagree with our assessment be another button at the top right of of a party? See something the home page that leads to the same spectacular that we missed? Did a story linked in the headline box, DJ or a performer truly kick ass? Let where you’ll find links to photos, us know. party reports, gossip and news about Every two week cycle, top Gay Days weekend, all weekend web comments are selected for long. Watermark’s print edition. Not only Just interested in photos? Scroll do you get to say your piece online, down to the bottom of the home but your comment could be featured page and look to the right for our in print. “Shot on Site” section, which links How cool is that? See you at GD directly to galleries. Pro tip: the 2011! | l | Featured Videos section is also at the bottom right, and there should be at least one (but probably more)

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watermark | orlando marketplace

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

Yes, it’s where it all started and it’s my favorite part. I never miss it. It’s not my top priority for the weekend, but I always make a point to go because it’s tradition.

I never bother with the Magic Kingdom—there are too many other things to do.

40% 30%

AT WATERMARKONLiNE.COM, WE ASKED YOu:

Is a visit to the Magic kingdom still a key part of Gay Days for you? A new poll will be posted to the homepage this week. Be sure to visit WatermarkOnline.com and let us know what YOU think!

I was surprised to see that Polk County is getting its own Pride celebration (Issue 18.10). I’ve never really paid much attention to Polk County and Lakeland other than noticing the signs as I passed between Tampa and Orlando. I also noticed that in the article it was mentioned that there was no parade or actual street festival, which I found odd. I wish them luck and hopefully by 2012 they can be more visible to the Lakeland community.

“This was an incredible history making event for LGBT Veterans and for the VA. We encourage everyone to come out and support the program taking place at the VA on Friday, June 3rd at 11:30 a.m.”

Marriage equality gaining support

—campscottie

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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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The old thought was that the more regularly people attended church, the less supportive they were of LGBT equality. But those of us working directly with faith communities have known there was another story to tell. A recent poll found a majority of Christians support LGBT equality and that 52% oppose the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). We still have much work to do, but as this new poll testifies, people of faith are leading the charge for fairness.

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I don’t like visiting the Magic Kingdom during Gay Days and make it a point to be doing something else.

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26

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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watermark | viewpoint

abundant

blessings

there was no ‘out.’ No one was out. It was not a matter of choice; it was not even in our consciousness.” This is a concept foreign to many of us who merely choose when we will come out with little to no knowledge of our pioneers who made this option possible. The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) was a year old when the Stonewall riots broke-out. Rev. Troy Perry, founder of MCC and this year’s grand marshal We make the St. Pete Pride Promenade, knew change happen of this reality in the earliest years of MCC. His dream started following a humiliating experience of being defrocked as a minister from the church he loved. Following an attempted suicide, he came Rev. Phyllis Hunt to the realization that God made him and as a gay man he could have a personal Pastor@MCCTampa.com loving relationship with God and help others to know this love as well. It was 1968 Los Angeles, a time when it was against the law to be gay. But reality did not dissuade Rev. Perry. He took out a personal ad in the local gay paper listing his address, phone number and a time and invited the gay community to a welcoming church that offered an inclusive message of God’s unconditional love. The dream of a fully inclusive church for the gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, transgendered and straight alliance communities was born. The birth of this church movement also coincided with Rev. Perry’s willingness to become a gay rights activist. Each time the doors of MCC Tampa and MCC’s an you feel the season changing? around the globe open, we are embodying Birds sing their spring songs. The Rev. Perry’s courage and vision as we sun peeks through the morning share the good news of God’s all-inclusive dawn and rests later in the day. Instead love and work toward the dream of what is of covering our bodies with sweaters and yet to come. coats, we are wrapped with a light blanket Inspired by the transformation of a of warm breezes and prepare to coat our butterfly, Heather Reneé Adamkiewicz skin with UV protection. These are sure wrote this poem: “As love falls down from signs that spring is here and summer is the sky, it lands on the wings of a butterfly. around the corner. Oh, and there is one The butterfly sings its songs and rhymes, more sign that winter has closed it’s and flies through the air, no concept of doors: the weeds are growing faster than time. It is the messenger of patience and the grass. change, from flower to flower, it’s odd and I did not notice the weeds until I looked it’s strange. The butterfly can transform down at my pants its world. And and they were full of give way to the little burrs. My new beginnings, focus was myopic unfurled, it is They saw a possibility as I painstakingly the keeper of and worked to make removed them one transformation, by one. I could and flies on faith it a reality—and only see one thing, and imagination. therein lies the lesson unwanted burrs on The butterfly as for each of us. my clothes. no fear of change, George de Mestral it bravely escapes met up with these its homemade weeds; however, his cage. To change, annoyance with burrs led to the invention it knows is necessary, for all the burdens of Velcro and in a small way he changed we need not carry. The butterfly soars, and the world. merrily sings, for, without change, it could Just recently I had the opportunity never grow wings.” to watch the documentary, Stonewall Across the United States in varying Uprising. There was a line in this degrees the LGTBQQISA community has documentary that continues to haunt me. grown wings. Through the painstaking One man interviewed said, “In those days process of activism and a vision for what

C

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

is possible, we continue to work for justice and equality. Like the butterfly, we do not fear change, we merely invite the fear that might keep us paralyzed to join us as we break out of the homemade cages others made for us. We spread our beautiful wings of diversity and valued contributions across the world that we touch. We must never doubt or dismiss the enormous contributions our fight, our voices and our vision can be for ourselves and the world beyond our community. George de Mestral and Troy Perry took notice of their situation and saw something that could change the world as they worked past the obstacles of fear and doubt and made a difference. I am not

27

comparing the creation of Velcro to that of human rights. I am simply noting that they saw a possibility and worked to make it a reality—and therein lies the lesson for each of us. May love fall down from the sky and land on the wings of all that is possible as you join all those who worked to transform our world. May we be willing to offer the gifts that lie within each of us and give way to new beginnings, unfurling the keeper of transformation, as we fly with the wings of faith and imagination. “The butterfly soars, and merrily sings, for, without change, it could never grow wings.” As Gandhi said, “May we be the change we want to see!” | l |

HIV and High Cholesterol

Are you being treated for HIV and have high cholesterol? If so, please contact Orlando Immunology Center about our research study for adults age 18-70. Q  : • Be on stable HIV medications for 6 months • Have high cholesterol (with or without treatment) • Agree to follow a fat and cholesterol restrictive diet Q  : • All study related evaluations and investigational medication at no cost • Compensation for time and travel No insurance is needed to participate in this research study.


28

| May 26 - June 8, 2011


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

Absolutely, Yes! D

Deborah Cox returns to Orlando for GayDays erik r. caban

Photo courtesy of Spectrum Talent Agency.

®

ance-club diva Deborah Cox is comfortable performing in just about any environment, from huge concert halls, sweaty underground clubs to Broadway. From her mega-hit “Nobody’s Supposed to be Here” to the equally empowering “Absolutely Not,” Deborah Cox has always embraced dance music and club life, even performing on a number of gay cruises. Between 1998 and 2006, Cox held the record for the longest-running number one single on the Billboard charts for “Nobody’s Supposed to Be Here.” To date, she has garnered 10 number one singles, firmly

established herself as a key pioneer in contemporary dance music and cementing the Canadian singer into R&B and Dance music history. In 2008, Cox and her husband, Lascelles Stephens, created the Deco Recording Group, an independent label that is distributed through Image Entertainment. The venture’s first release was The Promise, Cox’s fifth studio album. Cox is currently preparing to return to Broadway, playing iconic American performer Josephine Baker, who became famous in 1930s France as a singer, dancer and actor who later

Continued on page 42 |  |

29


30

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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watermark | film

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

31

screened out TWO kINDS OF SAvAGE

stephen miller

Stephen@WatermarkOnline.com

Bridesmaids (Starring Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolph, Rose Byrne, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Ellie Kemper, Melissa McCarthy, Jon Hamm)

R

Mumolo is a jewel, following Apatow’s better examples but injecting some real soul. Wiig and the rest of the stellar cast are brilliant at comedy, but there’s more that just that. Bridesmaids is truly a dress you’d want to wear again, because of its humanity—messy, disgusting and childish but always well meaning.

eally great, heartfelt comedies are about as rare as pretty bridesmaid dresses. This movie is gross, funny and honest. It even had audiences leaving Pirates of the Caribbean: On the pre-screener saying, “I wanna see that again!” That’s like announcing that you Stranger Tides want to wear a bridesmaid dress again: (Starring Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, amazing! Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Sam Claflin, Wiig is a lovable loser. She has lousy sex Astrid Berges-Frisbey) with Hamm, who is a blatant pig. She’s also impoverished, her job sucks, her car is on This fourth installment of the franchise its last legs, and her roommates are creepy. feels like it was planned out by hyperactive The only shining star is her friendship with 11-year-olds. There is a lot of “wouldn’t Rudolph, who wants Wiig to be her maid it be cool if” stuff—neat-o special effects of honor. However, Wiig has competition galore. What PotC4 totally lacks is a in Rudolph’s new friend, Byrne, who is coherent, sensible, forward-moving story. rich, pretty, and suave at planning overIt’s frustrating to sit through a 138-minute the-top events. Thus begins some girl-onblockbuster and feel like you’re just girl rivalry for Rudolph’s friendship. treading water, being distracted by Along for the bumpy ride are nonsense, pandered to, dragged three other misfit bridesmaids along for a not entirely (McLendon-Covey, Kemper enjoyable boat trip. and McCarthy.) This time Johnny Depp’s McCarthy particularly is Captain Jack Sparrow and so adorably inappropriate Geoffrey Rush’s Captain that she almost steals the Barbossa have been movie. When asked for a commandeered by the bachelorette party theme, King of England to find the she suggests, “Female Fight mystical Fountain of Youth. Club: we grease up and Drunken scalawag Johnny They have to get to it before beat the crap out of her. Depp is back in Pirates of the the Spanish do, but they Surprise!” Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. also have to beat the evil, You will laugh out loud as magical Captain Blackbeard you wince. We’ve all fought for someone’s (McShane) and his daughter Cruz. Along affection like this, though maybe not to the way—whenever it’s convenient—we this extreme. Wiig tries to impress with discover that these slurring pirates also her hipness, taking the girls to a downscale need to battle mermaids, find some silver restaurant. Then the scene is elevated to challises, and climb up to a ship that (for gross-out hilarity when combined with an no reason) is teetering on a cliff and booby upscale bridal shop. trapped a’la Indiana Jones. There seems to be a Hollywood PotC4 leaves all sense behind—it’s philosophy that comedies either have to be almost absurdist cinema. stupid and loud (Anchorman) or quiet and Take McShane’s Blackbeard. He can sweet (Little Miss Sunshine). Bridesmaids control the ropes and rigging on his own producer Judd Apatow has done much to ship. Then why does he need a crew? bridge those two extremes in films like Why are half of his crew zombies? Why Knocked Up and Superbad (though he’s not all of them? Did Blackbeard make the slipped a bit lately: Funny People, Get Him to the Greek). Here, Apatow rediscovers his zombies? Where did he get his magical power? Apparently we don’t need to know. mojo by letting women be as disgusting as Apparently, if the effects are dazzling his men. enough—and they are—your brain quits The script by Wiig and her pal Annie

The amazingly funny cast of Bridesmaids.

working. Take a stupid subplot with a priest (Claflin) and a mermaid (Berges-Frisbey). Why are these characters even here? They do almost nothing for the movie. Would audiences miss Orlando Bloom and Kiera Knightly so much that filmmakers had to shoehorn in another couple? That’s not to say that Depp, Rush, McShane and Cruz don’t commit, and it’s fun to watch the swaggering and swashbuckling. Plus there are a couple nifty cameos. However, after over two hours of

this egregiously stupid plot, you’ll feel like you were raped, pillaged and plundered. | 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

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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

watermark | film favorite. Winners of the “award-winning film” get a bar tab or other prizes given by other organizations. The next big event is scheduled for Saturday, June 17 in conjunction with St. Pete Pride. That night, a panel of judges from St. Pete Pride and the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will be on hand to pick the best of the best. “And that night the winning film will be taken on to TIGLFF in the fall to be shown during the 11-day festival,” Cipriani says. “That’s a pretty big deal. You never know what can happen after that.”

Know the rules Making a movie may sound easy—or difficult—depending on your relationship with technology. But there are a few guidelines aspiring filmmakers must follow in order to participate in “8-Minute Movies.” “Anyone can participate as long as they don’t do pornography and don’t show anything illegal,” Cipriani says. “I don’t want people throwing puppies off a roof and filming it. Film is a wide open canvas and it’s yours to paint on. That’s where creativity thrives.” So far Cipriani has been impressed by the films she’s seen. Filmmakers have ranged from chefs and bartenders (L-R) Brianna Kole and Laura Cipriani thought up the idea of “8-Minute Movies” as a way to showcase the L-Train Theater and local talent. | Photo courtesy Laura Cipriani to photographers. Each time a film is shown the crowd seems enthusiastic in its response. The space at 25b Martin Luther King Jr. “It’s not always easy to express Blvd. used to be a law office, but was yourself in a social setting,” she says. converted into a bar and theater in 2009. “This gives a chance for the shy, “Brianna has her finger on the pulse boisterous, talented and those who think of things and suddenly I thought, ‘Let’s they’re talented make a movie!’” to show us what Cipriani laughs. they’ve got. It’s “Then that evolved also a chance “This gives a into creating a for aspiring mini-film festival chance for the filmmakers and encouraging our and every day shy, boisterous, customers to make people—or them.” talented and those everyday people ‘8-Minute Movies’ gives locals The L-Train who try their hand who think they’re a chance at filmmaking has been home to at a film—to meet talented to show us several styles of and talk with one steve blanchard entertainment. It another.” what they’ve got.” originally opened as Films must be of existence, the films have been t. Petersburg | Sitting with —Laura Cipriani, a movie theater and submitted at least Laura Cipriani for several minutes, “amateurish,” but that’s kind of the point, owner of The L Train bar. It went through a two days before Cipriani says. With the help of today’s one thing becomes evident: the phase for drag shows the showing date technology, anyone can make a movie and and then live theater. owner of The L-Train loves the movies. and they must be with a little bit of editing, creating a small Now, Cipriani is “I’m an avid movie watcher,” she says. downloaded onto a “I’m constantly quoting lines from movies masterpiece can be done in no time. excited to return back to the building’s DVD-R format for easy play. “When you get bit by the film bug it and I’m a huge fan. I always have been.” roots. The number of filmmakers participating That’s why the New York City native is never leaves you,” says Cipriani, who “There’s no other space like this in St. each month is unlimited as of now. landed at The L-Train when it first opened Petersburg—or in Tampa Bay that I am excited about her newest project called “8 More information and guidelines are as Pink Pelicans 18 months ago. “This is Minute Movies,” which invites locals to aware of,” she says. available online at TheLTrain.com. | l | a fun event and I have the facility to bring use their creativity in a whole new way. Anyone can submit a film and they something original to the area. We’ve had “It’s a chance for people to express don’t have to be eight minutes in length. some fun films already.” themselves in a way they may not have In fact, Cipriani says she has yet to see a The idea for “8-Minute Movies” sprang film submitted that ran for more than five tried before,” Cipriani says. “They can WHAT: 8-Minute Movies to mind when Cipriani talked with local do a comedy, a drama, some farce— minutes. The key is to keep them short so WHEN: June 17 artist and fashion designer Brianna Kole filmmakers can run the gamut.” that an audience or judges can vote on a INFO: TheLTrain.com about ways to utilize the 43-seat theater. Admittedly, in its three months

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watermark | comedy

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

35

converting to judyism Comedienne Judy Tenuta brings her unique wit and accordion to Orlando

erik r. caban

J

udy Tenuta, the self-described “Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion” is appropriately considered “outrageous and mind blowing.” She recently became an ordained minister, and has been a strong advocate for gays and issues related to children and woman. The high-spirited feminist preaches that we should all be worshipped. She has made over a hundred guest appearances on TV shows such as The View, Late Night With David Letterman, Larry King Live and Dr. Katz. Some of Judy’s more recent performing roles include that of an ex show girl turned wedding chaplain on General Hospital, and a featured role in the teen comedy hit Material Girls starring Hillary and Haley Duff.She also produced and starred in Desperation Boulevard, a film about a former child star who stops at nothing to make a comeback. Judy will soon appear in the indie film, Sister Mary alongside Bruce Villanche she has just completed filming Going Down in La-La Land, a candid comedy about what it takes to be an aspiring actor in Hollywood, based on the novel by Andy Zeffer. Before performing a one-night-only show, “Love Bites,” Saturday, May 28 at Parliament House in Orlando, Watermark chatted with the unconventional and unparalleled comedienne from her Hollywood home.

WATERMARK: Tell me about the show you’re doing here Memorial Day Weekend. JUDY TENUDA: It’s going to be a big, fat celebration of Judyism! I’m Judy and I have my own religion. I just want everyone to come out, forget about their problems and think about mine for a change. It’s going to be a lot of fun. How far away is this special place where I’m performing from Disney World? Probably only 20 minutes. Nice. I love it there! I can’t wait. To be honest with you, I love being with gay men because we go shopping and have fun. I fly in Friday and that’s the day I want to go to Disney with my gays! It’s been a while since I was in Orlando. I have an accordion at the House of Blues there. As far as the show, can I venture to say that most of the audience will be gay men?

Oh, yes. I love that! Well, of course we’re going to have to have a fashion show! I just did a big show here in L.A. I invited all my gays. I expected them to be all dressed up and they showed up in t-shirts! Speaking of, let’s talk about that ugly, crappy, simple cloth Kate Middleton was wearing. It was actually Alexander McQueen. There’s not a gay man alive with any sense of fashion that would’ve said, “Oh, yea. You look great!” No! True. And it was actually a woman from the Haus of McQueen that designed it. I would’ve told her, “Excuse me. You’re marrying the richest most influential Will in the world. So, why would you get your Readyto-Wear at Goodwill?” She needed a gay man! Big mistake.

Comedienne Judy Tenuda will perform at Parliament House for one night only on Saturday, May 28. Photos courtesy Scott Stander & Associates, Inc.

not even famous anymore.

Maybe she’ll try lesbianism next, like your character in the movie? Well, the media did try to portray her and Nicole Richie like that when they were doing that reality show. It seems like women in the straight world are encouraged to Are you sure that was the Queen and not sleep together and touch each other’s boobs. Sir Elton John? There’s a saying here in L.A. that there’s a [Laughs] They’re one and the same. But two-silicone minimum. I have girlfriends Elton John wasn’t that are always saying, wearing a Big Bird “Look at my new outfit. boobs. Look at my “You have to act like girls. Touch ‘em.” I No, he was wearing a ‘love goddess’ look at them and go, a big purple one “Do I have to?” to be treated like a like Grimace. ‘love goddess.’” Going back to He looked sweet weddings, are you with his partner. — Judy Tenuta going to be officiating He was actually any while you’re inconspicuous. He’s here? definitely tapered down his look in the last 10 years or so. We Thank you for asking that. Yes, I’m still love him. definitely planning on it. I’d especially love to perform a gay wedding. Speaking of celebrity gossip, who’s your latest guilty pleasure celebrity trainwreck? Are you single? I’m over Charlie Sheen. He’s a nut job. I do have a fudgesicle. The Goddess needs Another one that bugs me is Lindsey Blowto be, you know, served. There has to be han. That bitch is making the residents here someone there to massage my feet. in L.A. pay for every time she’s arrested or in court. We’re paying for that bitch’s reality As a “love goddess,” what is the best show! I’m a little bit concerned for Paris relationship advice you can offer? Hilton. She keeps getting stalkers and she’s My relationship advice? You have to act

like a love goddess to be treated like a love goddess. That doesn’t mean acting like a diva... but that could be fun. [Laughs] Like I always say, if you want your man to worship you like a love goddess, you better act like a Ferrari. Make a lot of noise and only start when he pumps a lot of money into you! You’re very vocal about your politics. You’ve even done a skit where you’re a dead-ringer for Sarah Palin. Good for those Navy Seals. Good for our men and women in uniform. I’m glad we got bin Laden and all but there’s a lot more pigs out there. I’m glad we dropped “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” That was ridiculous. Anybody that puts their life up for others and is out there on the front lines, it shouldn’t matter who you’re having sex with. The next thing is legalizing gay marriage. A lot of my gay guy friends want to get married. It’s so funny because my straight friends and I are like, “Oh, my God. Don’t do it.” I mean, what if you get divorced? Then, you’re stuck paying alimony. [Laughs] I understand that there are rights that come along with that. I believe as long you love each other, you should be able to marry whoever you want. | l |

see+hear WHO: Judy Tenuta WHERE: Parliament House WHEN: Saturday, May 28, 8pm TICKETS: Wanzie.com/BoxOffice


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watermark | film

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

go deeper than that. Gaining the weight was, again, like looking at porn. It was something that was a dedication in the sense of continuously being aware of it and doing it and not exercising, which was a blessing, and not being on diet, which was an even bigger blessing. (Laughs) What did you eat? Oh, god. Definitely pasta, butter, desserts, lots of pork. Anything and everything that was either salty or sweet. It was really a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, because my whole life I’ve been on a diet or on an exercise routine. But I do love to eat. Before the shoot, you were spotted at Kmart. Oh, yeah. I was there. I did a lot of the costumes myself, and every weekend I would go to Kmart because that’s where Monica would shop. That’s the kind of authenticity that was going on in the sense of this is real; it’s not Hollywood real, it’s real. No special lighting, no special treatment.

Sex in the City star Kim Cattrall plays opposite of her “Samantha” persona to bring ex-porn star “Monica” to life in Meet Monica Velour.

sex and the seedy Kim Cattrall on her very unSamantha role, love of gay men, and Britney Spears

chris azzopardi

T

here’s not much city in Meet Monica Velour, but there’s sex—and a trailer park and a very haggard-looking Kim Cattrall. The Sex and the City actress plays the title character, a washed-up porn star who meets a young fan of hers when the boy travels to rural Indiana to see her at a strip club. After six seasons of glam in her iconic role as super-slut Samantha Jones on the hit TV series (and two movie spinoffs), Monica Velour is nothing like the femme fatale Cattrall once played. The week before she was honored by GLAAD for her contributions to equality, we caught up with Cattrall, who discussed

how the part parallels her own career, why she shops at Kmart and whether she’d be up for another Sex and the City. WATERMARK: What about this role was so different for you? KIM CATTRALL: I usually play characters who are very strong, forceful and successful dynamos, and this woman is someone who’s been marginalized and is very much an outcast. I thought, “What will it be like to inhabit that, and do I have that in me?” In some ways it’s a story that’s not too far from what has happened in Hollywood for decades. And I thought, “I can relate

to that. That’s a great handle for me to go on, because I’m in my 50s and suddenly you become, ‘You look good for your age,’ instead of, ‘You look good.’” It was a physical, emotional and intellectual challenge. You really threw yourself into this part. I had a tremendous amount of support—I really did. To be handed a role like this at any time in your career, but especially at this time, I said to Keith Bearden, the director: “You’ve written a feminist film. It’s really incredible that you cast a woman in her 50s who’s overweight, and that you wrote that role.” This is a guy who’s rewriting a Hollywood movie and what he’s done is make a wonderful American movie. And I don’t think we have a lot of those around anymore, sadly. What kind of research went into this role? I heard some of it involved you going to strip clubs. That was the least of it, really. I mean, that kind of reality is very easy to access on the Internet. For me and Keith, it was really an investigation on multiple levels. I decided to go with a deeper register in my voice. I felt that my voice as Kim was too hopeful, too lyrical, and I wanted to

You mention Monica being an outcast, and early test screenings for the movie showed a strong interest among gay men. Do you think that has something to do with it? Well, not being a gay man, I can’t really comment on that. But I can understand how it would—yes, definitely. Especially in Middle America. Did you tend to buddy-up with the gay people on set? Our scenic designer, who did a brilliant job, is gay and he absolutely loved working on this movie. He came in at the last minute, and he did a phenomenal job. That trailer park doesn’t exist. A lot of those places didn’t exist. We actually shot in the trailer, and with such detail. I remember saying to him, “This really feels real.” The bedroom felt real; the living room and everything in the kitchen, he built that all out and he did a phenomenal job. Do you appreciate porn stars more now? It gave me an appreciation for women of a certain age—which I am one of them. Whether you’re an actress or a teacher or a porn star, after a certain age you are marginalized—and then, in the case of a porn star, you’re an outcast. So where do these people go? And where do aging actresses go? I like to think that they go to the theater and they continue to be involved with great stories. So there are a lot of women that I’ve surrounded myself with, like Janet Suzman, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep; they are really inspiring, but most people get so downtrodden, like this character—where do they go, what


watermark | film

Will there be a Sex and the City 3? I have no idea. I really don’t know.

I

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(407) 982-7733 Dr. Andrew Merrill

What’s your relationship been like with the Sex and the City women? Do you stay in touch? You know, we do don’t know where I’d in the sense of, “Hi, This may come as be. I love gay men.” I’m over here,” and a shock to you, but —Kim Cattrall “Congratulations you have a massive on that.” Two of the gay following. four us of have kids, Where would I be so that’s a whole without gay men? I other world, and Kristin (Davis) travels don’t know where I’d be. I love gay men. extensively, as do I. But when we see each other, it’s so nice. It’s really lovely. But Do most gay men recognize you as we all live in different universes. Samantha? Some do, and some know Mannequin How did you react when Cynthia Nixon and some know Big Trouble in Little came out? China. Some know me just from my I was very happy for her. I saw the theater work. I have a couple of gentlemen pictures of her, and also just from being who traveled all the way from New York around her, and she just seemed so to Liverpool to see me in Antony and fulfilled. Christine (Marinoni) is just Cleopatra over the fall, and that is just so wonderful. They’re a terrific couple. And incredible. I’m overwhelmed that someone I’m very pleased about the baby. cares enough to follow me where my career goes. What do you think when you go back and watch yourself in Star Trek VI or Did you realize how much gay men Mannequin? loved you before Sex and the City? I never do it. (Laughs) The most I see I didn’t. I really didn’t. But now I do! | l | of that is from fans. But I look back at my career so fondly. I had so much fun and I worked with such terrific people.

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Would you be onboard? To me, it always depends on the script, because I always felt the writing was so good on the show and I know that for the writers and producers—Sarah (Jessica Parker) being one of them—that would be a real priority. But I’ve heard nothing. I also haven’t been around too much. I’ve been busy working. You’ll probably know before I do.

On your episode of Who Do You Think You Are, you found out that your grandfather was married to two women at the same time. How did discovering that affect you personally? It’s affected my whole family. It was very wounding and hurtful to find out the truth, but ultimately it brought the family that I do have closer together. It also started to envelope other people who neither of us knew existed, and that has been a wonderful experience – to have new family and “Where would I be really respect and value the family you without gay men? I do have.

T

What do you think Samantha would say about Monica? Would they be friends? I don’t think they would be friends. I think they live in different universes. Samantha is a dynamo and in some ways she’s kind of stuck in her own way, meaning that she doesn’t want to change, she doesn’t want to age. A character like Monica Velour doesn’t have a choice.

T

You played Britney Spears’ mom in Crossroads, and her life as changed so much since then. But did you ever feel maternal, like you wanted to protect her from all she’d gone through? When I met Britney she was in top form, but what I really liked about her was that she had a real desire—acting in this film meant a lot to her. She had a coach on the set, and she took it very seriously. I have a lot of empathy for her. The road that she’s chosen is a really tough one, and to be in the public eye is tough already—but to be at that level at such an early age, she has handled it the best she knew how. My hat’s off to her that she has found her way through that really tough time, and I wish her the very best. I really do.

H

If you were a porn star, what would your porn star name be? Mine would be Fluffy Dawn, because my cat was Fluffy, and I lived on Dawn Road.

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watermark | television

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

41

morgan fairchild: her gay love story Actress on new film, Meryl stealing movies and her latest role as fairy godmother

chris azzopardi

I

t’s no stretch really that Morgan Fairchild’s latest role as a wise waitress in the queerthemed romantic-comedy eCupid has her trying to connect two gay men. She’s been connecting with gay people her whole life, even before the bombshell-with-brains went lesbian for Sandra Bernhard on Roseanne. Recently, Fairchild talked about her eCupid and Roseanne roles, and how much progress we’ve made with LGBT characters. The 61-year-old also chatted about breaking the AIDS stigma in the ‘80s, and why actresses over 40 can’t find work (hint: Meryl Streep). WATERMARK: Essentially you play the fairy godmother of the gays in eCupid. MORGAN FAIRCHILD: Yeah, that’s my role in life. (Laughs) How did you get involved in the movie? They offered it to me, and so I read the script and I thought it was really cute. It’s a traditional romantic comedy with two guys instead of a guy and a girl, and I’m just a big supporter of the LGBT community being treated equally—that they have real lives, that they can be cute, that it all doesn’t have to be strange and dark stories, or even sexy stories. This one is just a light romantic comedy that could’ve been done in the ’30s. You make a good point. So many gay films, especially in the ’80s and ’90s, were about AIDS and, well, AIDS. Yeah, AIDS—or bathhouses, guys in leather and a lot of S&M. (Laughs) I have so many gay friends and relatives, and I’ve been involved in the theater since I was 10—all my friends were always gay. There are a lot of different kinds of people, so I was just happy to see a cute movie that just happens to be gay. Are you doing any other gay-themed projects? I’m getting ready to do one right now called A Perfect Endin_, and it’s not exactly gay-

themed, but it’s sort of. I don’t even know if I’m allowed to talk about it yet, but I’ll just say it’s an interesting story about a woman who comes to terms with her life and has an affair with another woman who isn’t gay—ostensibly they’re both straight but end up having an affair that becomes very meaningful and changes both of their lives.

In eCupid, Morgan Fairchild plays a waitress set on setting up two handsome gay men who frequent her diner.

In eCupid, you play a wise waitress who dishes relationship tips to two gay men. Do just fewer parts for women over 40. people come to you for advice often? You never tell anyone how to run their life, Well, look at Meryl Streep. and I don’t feel called upon to jump in and tell Well, look at Meryl Streep—she takes every people how to do it either unless I’m asked. good part for any woman over 40. When was But even if asked, I think you can only make the last time you saw Goldie Hawn or Bette suggestions and offer your own experience: Midler or Barbra Streisand or Susan Sarandon “You know, when I was younger I got into as a lead in a movie? Other than Meryl, there’s something like this and here’s how I handled nobody. If there’s a it for better or for good script, she takes worse—and it worked it. out well, or it didn’t.” “”A lot of my fan base If it didn’t, I’d advise In the ’90s you you not to do it that has always been gay, played Sandra way! (Laughs) Bernhard’s bisexual and I just grew up girlfriend on around everybody For the last few Roseanne. How far years, you’ve been being gay.” have we come with switching back and gay characters on —Morgan Fairchild forth between doing TV? indies and TV shows. We’ve come a Which do you prefer, long way since then. film or TV? That was very breakthrough when I did that, Oh, you know, I just like acting. I grew which I wanted it to be. When they offered it up in the theater and started doing film and to me, I knew that the last person in the world television a little later on, so I just go back that anybody would see walking through that and forth between all mediums. To survive in door after the big buildup of “Sandra has a new this business these days—don’t forget I’m on girlfriend” would be Morgan Fairchild. That’s the board of two unions, and you see all the the last person they’d expect. But I think we’ve numbers—every actor I know is having to do come a long way, and we’re getting away from a lot of different mediums just to stay relevant, stereotyping and just seeing people as people. especially if you’re over 40 and you’re not a kid breaking into the business. What made you passionate about AIDS? I’m a virus nut. I was following AIDS Is it harder for you to find work now? since ’79 or ’80 when it was 13 cluster Oh yeah—especially for women. There are cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma in New York and

didn’t have a name, and it was just these odd anomalies. Then there were 11 cluster cases of Pneumocystis pneumonia in San Francisco and I thought that was odd. These were just little paragraphs in the newspapers, and then it came out that they were all in gay men—and I knew something new was out there. Did you lose a lot of your friends to the virus? Oh yeah. I lost a ton of people, and a lot of them I tried to warn that there was something new out there. I had warned one friend of mine who was an actor and sort of closeted. At an AIDS fundraiser I was sponsoring in Beverly Hills, he came over to me and he said, “You were the first person I ever heard say the word AIDS, and I wish I had listened.” You’ve played many roles on TV, in film and in commercials. What gets you recognized the most? It depends on the generation. Older people tend to remember the series that I did—the three series I did in the ’80s—and some people still remember me from Search for Tomorrow from the ’70s. Certain generations love the first TV movie I did called The Initiation of Sarah, and then Flamingo Road. Younger people tend to love the Friends or Old Navy stuff, or even right now with Chuck. People who go to a lot of theater are big fans of some of the theater work I’ve done. It just depends on what generation they are from. | l |


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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

watermark | music

Keep it Going

“I love to perform and the energy in the clubs and at the pride festivals cannot be matched!”

ENTERTAINMENT ABOUNDS FOR GAY DAYS 2011

T

he first weekend in June provides plenty of opportunities for entertainment as several

—DEBORAH COX ON HER COUNTLESS GAY FANS

entertainers descend upon Orlando in various clubs and formats. Also performing at Mr. Sisters will be Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child fame, who takes the stage on June 3. and popular DJ Escape from New York City will be spinning throughout the weekend at the club. Over at the Parliament House, Khia will start things off on Tuesday, May 31 with a stage performance and the Oops Guys’ Bitches of the Kingdom starts at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 3 in the Footlight Theater. Also performing at the P-House throughout GayDays is American Idol beatboxer Blake Lewis and Pussycat Doll Jessica Sutta. Both are slated for June 3. On June 4, Salt-n-Pepa take over the P-House and cameos by adult entertainers like Matthew Rush, Brent Corrigan and Diesel Washington are expected throughout the weekend-long party. If you’re looking for some femalepowered entertainment, visit Kitty O’Shea’s Irish Pub on Sunday, June 7, at 6 p.m. Halcyon—from Tampa—will headline an official Girls in Wonderland party and will follow up with some karaoke. For a full listing of entertainment surrounding Orlando’s biggest Gay Weekend of the Year, look for Watermark’s GD2011 Guide inside this issue of Watermark or on display throughout Orlando’s many Gay Days venues.

|  | Deborah Cox from p.29

became a civil rights activist in the U.S. Cox made her Broadway debut as the lead role in the musical Aida, which was written by Elton John. The cultivated chanteuse now resides in Miami with her husband and three children, where she managed to squeeze some time out of her busy rehearsal and tour schedule for an interview with Watermark. Cox will appear Saturday, June 4, as one of the premiere performers for Evolve, a fundraiser by and for Come Out With Pride during GayDays®. This incredible three night event also features Kelly Rowland, DJ Eddie Baez, DJ Escape and the girls from Ru Paul’s Drag Race at Mr. Sisters in Orlando. WATERMARK: This won’t be your first time in Orlando. You performed at Orlando’s Parliament House during GayDays® in 2007 and 2009. What should your fans expect this time around? DEBORAH COX: Glad to be back in Orlando! As usual, they should expect a high energy show full of all the favorites. You’re obviously well aware of your legions of gay fans. What do you attribute your “gay icon” status to? [I have] nothing but love for all of my gay fans! I’ve never considered myself to be an “icon” per se, but I am blessed that my music has touched people in such a powerful way. I love to perform and the energy in the clubs and at the LGBT Pride festivals cannot be matched! Who are some your favorite “gay icons” in the music world? I grew up listening to Madonna and she is definitely one of my favorites. I respect her

artistic approach and I have many memories through her music. You’ve reached out to the LGBT community by performing on an Atlantis Cruise. How was that and was there any gay drama? Gay? Drama? [Laughs] I love performing on the Atlantis Cruises! That particular performance was memorable because the cruise ship was gigantic! There is always positive energy with the Atlantis folks. [It was] a great party!

husband. But over the years I have had many close friends and family members go through some difficult times and it often inspires me to create music to express what they are going through. It’s been three years since your last solo album. Do you have plans to put out a new record in the near future? Yes! Between appearances and performances I am constantly in the studio creating new music. You will be hearing new music very soon!

You’ve done both Broadway and studio recording. Did you find it difficult to go from being a recording artist to a Broadway performer? I have always had a passion for live performance and grew up performing in front of all types of crowds and singing all types of music. For me, the difficulty is more balancing the two and switching focus from my personal creative process to that of becoming a character. I enjoy both processes for different reasons but they each are a big part of who I am as an artist.

Back in 2009, you were part of the super group, The Queen Project. What has happened since? It was great to bring together three amazingly talented women and have an opportunity to perform and create together. Unfortunately, when you have such talent it gets difficult with personal careers and commitments and family, etc., to keep everyone’s schedule open to accommodate the project. We’re hoping there will be a chance to perform together again, but we are each focusing on our own careers right now.

Any plans to return to the Great White Way? [I’m] in workshop now developing the role of Josephine Baker for a debut most likely in the fall.

Besides an obviously busy tour schedule, what projects are you working on now? Besides staying committed to the workshop for “Josephine,” I continue to partner with several charities. I’m also putting a new album together and finding time to be a wife and a mother as well! | l |

You’ve been happily married to your highschool sweetheart for years now. However, you’re known for your heartbreak and empowerment songs. It’s as if you’ve gone or are going through it yourself. Where does your inspiration come from? It’s funny because I get asked this question often. Yes, I am very happily married and blessed to have an amazing, supportive

see+hear

WHO: Deborah Cox WHERE: Mr. Sisters, Orlando WHEN: June 4, 9 p.m. TICkETS: ComeOutWithPride.com/ PrideInConcert


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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watermark | event planner

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

Kelly Rowland Kelly Rowland will perform at a COWP fundraiser at Mr. Sisters June 3.

Annie Leibovitz: Women

Hair

The Polk Museum of Art in Lakeland hosts “Annie Leibovitz: Women,” a touring exhibit of more than 60 photos, through the end of June.

music Evolve: Kelly Rowland & Deborah Cox Come Out With Pride will host a fundraising event at Mr. Sisters Friday and Saturday, June 3 and 4, featuring Kelly Rowland and Deborah Cox. Advance tickets are $29 per night in advance and $35 at the door, with VIP and weekend package options available. They are on sale now at PrideInConcert.com.

art [LAKELAND] Annie Leibovitz: Women Lakeland’s Polk Museum of Art hosts “Annie Leibovitz: Women,” a touring exhibit of more than 60 photographs that originated as a book project, through the end of June. The book, Women, published by Random House in 1999, inspired the exhibit, which has toured nationally. Powerful women photographed for the exhibit include Betty Ford, Elizabeth Taylor, Oprah Winfrey, and Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor (the judges appear in the photograph together, but were shot separately, apparently refusing to sit together). For more information on the exhibit, visit PolkMuseumOfArt.org or call 863-6887743.

[DEBARY] Men Painting Men If you appreciate the male form—and who doesn’t?—make sure you don’t miss “Men Painting Men.” The exhibit is for men by men and includes painting, sculpture, photography and mixed media of the male form, created by male artists. The “Men Painting Men” exhibit opens at the Gateway Center for the Arts June 5, with a free reception from 2–4 p.m. The exhibit runs through July 14.

[ORLANDO] Whose Line Is It? Thor’s Mennello Museum Mural Sketch artist Thomas Thorspecken has been

commissioned to do a mural on a 7-foot-high and 48-foot-wide wall next to the Mennello Museum. The subject is people waiting in line, and he would like to sketch area residents doing just that—waiting in line. The final open sketch sessions are May 26, 3–5 p.m., May 27, 3–5 p.m. and May 28, 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the museum. Groups are welcome, and sketching should take a couple of hours.

comedy [ORLANDO] Judy Tenuta For one night only, the “Aphrodite of the Accordion,” Judy Tenuta, will appear at the Footlight Theatre at Parliament House. Her show is called “Love Bits” and it kicks off at 8 p.m. on May 28. Tickets are $25, now on sale at Wanzie.com/BoxOffice.

[TAMPA] Tracy Morgan Stand-up comedian, cast member on the hit series 30 Rock with former SNL cast member Tina Fey, past Saturday Night Live cast member and all around funny dude Tracy Morgan comes to Tampa’s Straz Center on Saturday, June 4. The Comic turned movie star will no doubt unleash some of his funny characters from the sketch comedy show and tell tales from the road. For tickets and information visit StrazCenter.org.

The revival of Hair plays at the Straz Center in Tampa through May 29.

Aquarius are sure to bring the audience to their feet. For more information or tickets, visit StrazCenter.org or call 813-229-7827.

Squabbles Tampa’s Carrollwood Players present the comedy Squabbles, about a successful advertising jingles man who must put up with his divorced in-laws sharing his roof. The cast features a few LGBT actors and has a heartwarming finale that should make everyone feel warm and tingly. The show runs through June 18. For tickets and information, visit CarrolwoodPlayers.org or call 813-2654000.

[ORLANDO] 2011 Fringe Festival The 2011 Orlando Fringe Festival continues through May 30. The festival is held in various theaters at The Lowndes Shakespeare Center, The Orlando REP, and some outdoor or ad hoc sites. Fringe show attendees must purchase an $8 button to attend any show and then pay admission prices set by each individual show, usually ranging from $5-$10. There are also arts activities for children, a beer garden, food vendors and art displays. To purchase tickets or get more information, visit OrlandoFringe.org. The festival celebrates its 20th year in Orlando this year.

special events

theater

[TAMPA] Go Eat! Tampa Bay

[TAMPA] Hair

The Francis House has asked hosts to hold dinners and encourage fundraising to help expand the building for the HIV/AIDS organization in Tampa. Dinner hosts can receive the appropriate materials to host a dinner and are also asked to participate in a post dinner dessert party at the Glazer Children’s Museum. June 4. For details, visit FrancisHouse.org.

It was a big hit when it debuted in the 1960s and it’s a bigger hit now—Hair’s revival show runs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts through May 29. The rock musical overflows with the spirit of progress and hope for a better world by following a group of young Americans searching for love and peace during the Vietnam era. This musical brought LGBT issues to the forefront when it was still very taboo and songs like Let the Sunshine In and

[LAKELAND] Polk Pride For the first time, Polk County will celebrate

LGBT Pride when Polk Pride kicks off on Friday, June 3. A list of events, including parties, art exhibits and more, runs for 11 days throughout the city of Lakeland. Polk Pride has a Facebook page where details on events will be revealed.

[SARASOTA] Fort Lauderdale Gay Men's Chorus The Church of the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church will hold a special picnic on Sunday, May 29, where the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus is scheduled to perform. Tickets are $15 at the church and the admission includes food t the picnic. For more information visit TrinityMCC.com.

[ORLANDO] Gay Days Weekend Orlando’s biggest gay weekend—and all the parties and events that come along with it—runs June 2–5 in various locations all over Orlando. A complete listing of events can be found in Watermark’s GD2011 Guide, inserted in this issue of the paper, or online at WatermarkOnline.com.

Flamingo Auto Group CruiseIn The Flamingo Auto Group of Central Florida, a chapter of Lambda Car Club International, holds a monthly Cruise In at Steak and Salad Restaurant the last Sunday of each month. They are a multimark club that does not discriminate year make or model of your favorite ride, and participants don’t even have to own a car—they are invited to just come hang out. For more information, call Keith at 407-587-9869.

MBA Networking Mixer The team behind Gay Days is hosting the Metropolitan Business Association’s networking mixer for June. The MBA will meet up Wednesday, June 1 from 6:30–9 p.m. at Doubletree Resort. Hors d’ouvres, a cash bar and raffles are provided. Entry is free for MBA members, $10 for everyone else.

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.


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

watermark | tampa bay out+about

shot on site

1- (L-R) Amy DiMilo and David Bauer call numbers during Drag Queen Bingo at Hamburger Mary’s in Ybor City May 18.

Photography | Steve Blanchard, Nick Cardello, James McCracken and Carrie West

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2- (L-R) Scott Turner, Chris Rudisill and Jacob Hamm of St. Pete Pride stand with friends during the Pride & Passion fundraiser at the Tampa Museum of Art May 21. 3- A chandelier as living art brought the crowd to a standstill at the Tampa Museum of Art’s Pride & Passion May 21. 4- Members of the new Manatee LGBTA Democrats were on hand during the 2nd Annual Harvey Milk Festival in Sarasota May 21. 5- Participants of Bear Soup at the Flamingo Resort participated in a pool race where they couldn’t lose their inflatable, uh, member, the weekend of May 14. 6- A drum circle sprang up during WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave event in Ybor City, where more than 56 bands performed.

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watermark | tampa bay out+about

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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tampa bay overheard Drag does TV time Local female impersonators and LGBT club owners were featured on a three minute segment on local CBS affiliate channel 10 to talk about the influx of drag pageants in the area. Stephen Moss, who owns The Honey Pot and G. Bar, and Melody Lynn were both featured prominently. Performers Kori Stevens and Joey Brooks were also featured in the segment, which claimed more than 800 drag pageants were held in Ybor City last year alone. To see the full segment, visit WTSP.com and search “Drag Queen.”

Bear Soup stews at Flamingo The bears came from all over Florida and beyond to participate in the annual Bear Soup event at the Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg the weekend of May 14. According to management, the Flamingo was full to capacity and had to utilize a neighboring hotel to help with the overflow. The bears took advantage of some rainy weather to hibernate before a jam-packed dinner on that Saturday night. Several bears returned to the pool after the passing storms. On Sunday, the hirsute seemed content in the Florida sun and were spotted playing

games in the pool under the direction of T-dance host Alexis De La Mer. One of the most popular games involved swimming laps and drinking shots—all while holding onto an inflatable, well, member! The winner of the race caused a minor stir when the crowd was unsure if he completed the task at hand—namely the shot at the edge of the pool. So in the spirit of athleticism and good sportsmanship, he downed another, just to be on the safe side.

Sarasota Pride shifts setup It may seem like it’s a long way off, but preparations are already underway for Sarasota Pride in October. This year’s outdoor festival is expected to be bigger than ever and organizer Cindy Barnes has already tackled last year’s biggest complaint—vendors staying separated from the entertainment. This year, Sarasota Pride will all be on the same side of the street, meaning festival goers can browse vendor booths, listen to music and participate in the dunking booth that will again feature LGBT celebs. The date of the celebration has also been moved so as not to conflict with Halloween plans or with the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Sarasota Pride 2011 is Saturday, Oct. 22.

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

PRIDEFEST KEYWEST 2011:

SHOW US YOUR

KEYWEST PRIDE!

Join us for Key West Pride and enjoy dance parties, drag shows, bike tours, water excursions, a street fair and even a parade through town.

JUNE 8 – 12


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watermark | orlando out+about

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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Everyone’s favorite Glee teacher is coming to Orlando. Not only that but he’ll be joining nine other dreamy beloved crooners. Matthew Morrison announced that he will join The New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys(NKOTBSB), this summer’s hottest tour as a special guest. The tour move means canceling his July 11 show at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre but gives Morrison a larger platform, performing in arenas across the U.S. “This was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” said Morrison in a statement. “I am so appreciative of my fans and I’m planning to give them a great show.” Matthew Morrison’s self-titled debut album is available now. 

Supportive sister In the competitive world of gay night-life, one bar owner has realized the importance of community. Last week, Mr. Sisters owner Don White posted a blog post on the nightclub’s website revealing his “Change of Heart.” In it, he admits “we at Mr. Sisters first thought we needed to be the end all of clubs—the one club that would outshine them all.” He then goes on to recognize a number of gay establishments that paved

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Pretty gay There’s never been a census of the gay and lesbian population but thanks to The Advocate, now there is. And for second year in a row, Orlando has made the top 15 gayest cities, coming in at number four. This is, of course, based on a highly scientific equation which includes the number of Gay. com profiles, elected openly gay officials, gay-friendly religious congregations, listed officiants for gay weddings and entries on YellowPages.com with “gay” in the business name or description. The Advocate hailed Orlando for the passing of sexual orientation protections to the private-sector antidiscrimination law and the annual Fringe Festival, stating that, “it continues to be one of the gayest in the country.” Miami came in at number 15.

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

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the way, like Parliament House, Pulse, Savoy, Graze, Paradise and Revolution. “We at Mr. Sisters want you to know how important it is that you support all of the gay establishments in town,” he wrote. “Together, all of the clubs in town will shed a new light on the faces of the gays in Orlando and together we will change the hearts of all people.”

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watermark | orlando out+about

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May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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1– (L to R) Jerry Craft, Dawn Hall, Jackie Peters, Eric Landrum and Jodee Landrum enjoyed food, fun and entertainment at Watermark’s Third Thursday Social. 2– The Green Lawn of Fabulousness is the place to be at the 2011 Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, running through May 30 at The Lowndes Shakespeare Center. 3– David Schiller won the “Member Minute” award May 11 at the MBA Referral Exchange Development (RED) Group South. 4- Shelley Scott Nelson and Marsha Stokes of French Nest networked at Watermark’s Third Thursday Social, held May 19 at Dubsdread Country Club. 5– All was fair in the kiddie pool at the Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls Jell-O Wrestling Fundraiser May 21 at 57 West. 6– Prime Timers of Central Florida’s new officers: (seated L–R) are Claude Aube, Jim Moore, Jerry Danese, Edwin Barnes, (standing, L-R) George Sepso, Ron Bush and Patrick Caraher.

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watermark | orlando's big gay weekend

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

Gay DayS & Social-iSM

Whether it’s year one or year 21, Gay Days Weekend promoters rely heavily on social media to get the word out kirk hartlage

O

rlando | The more things change, the more they stay the same…or so the adage goes. Even after 21 years, Gay Days Weekend is no exception, at least when it comes to getting the word out. The initial gathering of LGBTs at the Magic Kingdom on the first Saturday of June is often credited to Doug Swallow, who—in an effort to design a non-political and fun Pride month event—put a posting on Compu-Serve, a precursor to today’s online chat rooms. If Swallow is the weekend’s baby daddy, then its surrogate mother is most certainly the Internet. Today that proud mother the web rivals the Octomom for the number of first-weekendof-June events created through it. Companies such as GayDayS.com, Girls In Wonderland, Wonderworld, Tidal Wave, and more are

taking a page from Swallow’s playbook in utilizing technological advances in communication to spread the message about their events. “Using the web is how we started,” says Chris Alexander-Manley, president of GayDayS.com Inc., the first established business dedicated to marketing the weekend as a whole. Launched in April 1998, GayDayS.com has over the years served as both an information portal and a ticket hub for many of the weekend’s auxiliary parties and activities. These days the company offers guests a host hotel with a business expo and a full schedule of pool parties, dances, and more, including separate events specifically designed for men, women, and bears. “When we bought the domain name, Tommy (Chris’ partner in both life and

business) had an Internet developing company, so it was very easy to put our time and resources into developing a website, create e-blasts and more,” says AlexanderManley. He calls the company’s creation the turning point in making the event locally based to the international LGBT destination weekend that it is today. In recent years, the company has added a Facebook page as well as a Twitter account to its marketing arsenal. Alexander-Manley says those two social media outlets in particular have helped his company better reach younger demographics. But staying active on Facebook and Twitter hasn’t come without its challenges for the majority of the GayDayS. com-ers, a staff consisting primarily of people from—how shall we say—other generations Continued on page 62 |  |

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May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

a Minute witH...

KEVEN CALLAHAN Universal’s Director of Merchandising kirk hartlage

T

hough Orlando’s Gay Days Weekend celebration began at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, the celebration has expanded throughout all of the area’s theme parks. Though the economy is still suffering—and this year’s first-weekend-of-June events will likely not see the same numbers that past years have provided—Universal Orlando Resort has been posting increases in both attendance and sales. According to Universal officials, the resort drew 11.2 million visitors in 2010, an increase of nearly 2 million from the previous year. In the first three months of this year, attendance increased 68% over the same period last year. Per-capita guest spending jumped 17% during the quarter, food-and-beverage sales rose 104%, and merchandise sales leapt 156% . The person primarily responsible for those increases is Harry Potter, whose Wizarding World land opened late last June at Universal’s Islands of Adventure.

Helping Harry peddle his magic wands and mugs of Butterbeer is another interesting character, Keven Callahan, Universal’s Director of Merchandising. Though he’s worked with Universal for 11 years, Callahan’s resume reads like a who’s who of retailing. He has served as a corporate creative director for Crabtree & Evelyn and a national merchandising manager for both Bath & Body Works and Giorgio Beverly Hills. Callahan also currently manages visual merchandising for Gucci in Orlando, Tampa and Miami. But Callahan’s work isn’t just about making cash registers ring. He also heads up StudiOut, the largest LGBT employee group under the worldwide NBC/Universal umbrella. The group recently participated in a short film in support of the “It Gets Better” campaign, which can be viewed on YouTube. WATERMARK: What does being a Director of Merchandising for Universal

Parks & Resorts entail? Describe a typical workday. kEvEN CALLAHAN: I am responsible for the creative design content that supports all retail and food sales here. I also offer support for our parks in Hollywood, Osaka and Singapore. I get involved in the store/ restaurant design and development as well as manage the creative direction for our in-store programs and all in-park seasonal décor. I’m not sure we have anything typical here; Universal is unlike any place I’ve ever worked. What has been some of your biggest successes with Universal so far? The first is the opportunity to build and train my amazingly talented staff without outside influences. We may disagree at times but I’d put them up against any other team in this business. I have seen the growth each of them has achieved and they know I’m a total perfectionist so it keeps them on their toes 24/7. Finally, working internationally with the Universal teams in both Osaka and Singapore was fantastic. It’s so interesting working with other cultures and implementing what we think is an easy task here. I have lifelong friends in those countries now as a result. What type of resources do you utilize for creativity? Where do you find inspiration? I am a big believer that creativity is everywhere. I get ideas seeing buildings go up, from construction sites, museums, walking the streets of a city, or maybe Continued on page 60 |  |

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watermark | orlando's big gay weekend

Gay Day

Gravity

Once a sellout, crowds at Disney’s Magic Kingdom are down tom dyer

O

rlando | This year marks the 21st anniversary of Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom. More than a half-dozen host hotels are booked to capacity, and big crowds are expected at ticketed parties and local nightclubs. But one venue has experienced a significant drop in attendance— the Magic Kingdom itself. Back in 1991, organizers were thrilled when a few hundred gays and lesbians wearing red t-shirts converged on Cinderella’s Castle on the first Saturday in June. After that, growth was exponential and surprising. By 2000, Disney was forced to exercise the rarely used option of closing the Magic Kingdom for a few hours because the park had reached capacity— somewhere north of 80,000 people. Observers estimated that at least half were wearing red t-shirts. Huge crowds, packed monorails and long lines were the Gay Day norm for years. But regulars have noticed a recent drop in attendance. Last year, the first Saturday in June was not a particularly crowded day at the Magic Kingdom. Although the LGBT presence was obvious, it was also not overwhelming. “It used to be that you had to line up an hour in advance just to catch a glimpse of the Main Street character parade,” says Jerry Kraft, an Orlando resident who is part of a large group that attends Gay Day every year. “Last year you could walk up and get a front row seat while the parade was in progress.” Disney does not release attendance figures, and it adopts a calculated “the Magic Kingdom is open to everyone” neutrality when discussing Gay Day. But at more than $70 per ticket, simple math places the economic impact of this fall-off in the millions. Insiders are unwilling to go on the record, but they indicate that Disney management is well aware of the costly trend. To date, Disney has been unwilling to target market the first weekend in June to the LGBT community. Instead, they work with private promoters to book ticketed events like Riptide, which is expected to draw more than 4,000 to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park on

Friday night. This year, the same promoters are producing a “drink around the world” Retro T-Dance at Epcot on Sunday. And under the radar, those same insiders indicate that Gay Days Weekend is much-anticipated throughout the Disney organization. There are rumors that the LGBT employee group is planning a flash mob at Riptide this year, with company approval. Other major local attractions adopt a similar approach. Universal Studios Orlando, which also has a huge LGBT employee group, will play host to Mark Baker’s Matinee: Ibiza Rising party on Saturday night. And thousands of bears will converge on Wet ‘n Wild for the Tidal Wave party on Friday. But aside from these private ticketed events, no local attraction has attempted to boost tourism during Gay Days Weekend with marketing or promotions. This leaves an open playing field for local nightclubs and private promoters. And as a result, the focus has shifted to a dazzling lineup of private parties and hotel and nightclub events. There’s a Girls in Wonderland hotel and a Bear Daze hotel, all booked to capacity and featuring a full-lineup of events. Inside the city limits, the iconic Parliament House expects its busiest weekend of the year. And GayDayS.com, which trademarked the Gay Days label years ago, has booked more than 1,000 rooms and will host dozens of events at the 28-acre Doubletree Resort near Sea World. They range from pool parties to a business expo and a literary festival. “Back in the beginning, the Magic Kingdom was the only identified event,” says GayDayS.com’s Chris Manley. “People who’ve been there, done that may prefer to pass, or to take in some of the other events.” Could Gay Days Weekend exist without Gay Day at the Magic Kingdom? It’s not likely we’ll have to find out. For many thousands, that afternoon of open cavorting in one of the most magical places on the planet remains the highlight. “We’ll definitely be back this year,” says Kraft. “I’ve already set out my costume.” | l |

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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GREAT EVENTS AT GAY DAYS!

KICKOFF PARTY Join us in Kicking Off Gay Days the right way...benefiting The Center with DJ JB and performances by Alisha Markstone. Included with the purchase of your ticket is the After Party featuring Grammy Nominated Vernessa Mitchell, performing her #1 Dance Hits: Issues, This Joy & Rise. Dance the night away on the exclusive Mr. Sister’s lakeside deck. Cash bar featuring Bud Light and Stella Artois with specialty cocktails by VeeV Acai Spirit. Buy 1, Get 1 FREE drink and 25% off food menu during theKick Off Party!

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May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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watermark | orlando's big gay weekend

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Game Changers

Will any new events in the GD 2011 lineup impact things going for ward? tom dyer

I

n many ways, Gay Days Weekend is a miracle. The plan—to meet at the Magic Kingdom wearing red—could’ve fallen apart in any number of ways back in 1991. Instead it grew, fueled in 1995 by publicity created by protestors attempting to stop it. “The whole thing started as just a way to collectively go to the theme parks and have fun,” said originator Doug Swallow. Over the years, inspired ideas and impeccable timing have contributed to the success of what has for years been the largest annual gathering of LGBTs in the nation. In 1997 Watermark and Jeffrey Sanker both hit on the idea that the weekend could support a big nighttime theme park party. A year later, GayDayS.com guessed correctly that visitors would want to stay in resort hotels where they could be gay, and that the burgeoning Internet would be ideal for promoting the event

throughout the globe. Both notions changed the event dramatically. In 1999, Mark Baker added a Sunday night event at Hard Rock Live and bet that an after hours component would succeed. And in 2001 Baker surmised that other attractions would want a piece of the action and expanded the party outside Disney. His Starz Party at Universal Studios remains the biggest single Gay Days Weekend party to date. In 2002, new owners at the Parliament House brought RuPaul in for a Gay Days concert and attracted 6,000, proving that the weekend is a gold mine for local business. In 2005, Johnny Chisholm booked the huge Buena Vista Palace and established Gay Days as a beachhead for the national and international party circuit. Four years later Chisholm imploded, leaving a trail of ill will. But new promoters stepped up, aided by theme

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parks that had grown fond of the lucrative weekend. In 2007, Alison Burgos bet that Girls in Wonderland could support two parties at major Downtown Disney venues. And that same year, the Bears staked a claim to their own water park event at Wet ‘n Wild. And so now hear we are in 2011, year 21 of Gay Days Weekend. Will any new events or developments scheduled for this year change things going forward? Let’s take a look.

Mr. Sisters Signs In

The popular and much-talked-about dance club and restaurant on E. Colonial Dr. jumps into Gay Days Weekend this year with a series of high profile events. Sisters teams with GayDayS.com to host the Gay Days Kickoff Party on Wednesday night. Then they bring in recording artists Kelly Rowland on Friday and Deborah Cox on Saturday for concerts benefitting Come Out With Pride.

Hard Rock Takes a Break

In recent years, Hard Rock Live has booked comedians like Kathy Griffin, Margaret Cho and Joan Rivers during Gay Days Weekend. Citing “scheduling and artist availability,” the high-profile venue at Universal Studios Orlando chose to sit this year out. Will that continue?

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According to Chris Manley, national and international guests are arriving earlier each year… and they’re ready to party. This year, pool parties at the 23-acre Doubletree Resort start on Wednesday, and the huge GayDayS Expo continues through Sunday. Manley also hopes a Taste of Gay Days benefitting The Center of Central Florida will be a classy annual event.

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The organizers of Tidal Wave at Wet ‘n Wild have booked their own bear-tel for the first time this year. The beautiful Royal Plaza

Hotel—former host hotel for GayDayS.com— will be filled with big, furry guys. We call it a pool party; they call it ‘bear soup.’ There’s also a Booty Call Underwear Party after hours on Saturday night at Pirates Dinner Theater. And there’s a full bear lineup at the GayDayS.com hotel, too.

Downtown Girl Jam

Alison Burgos proved that Gay Days girls just want to have fun. Pandora Events and Phish-Phest Entertainment have something for locals and early arrivals with their Traffic Jam party on Thursday night at the huge Beacham Theater on Orange Ave. Ladies can control amorous advances with red, yellow and green glow sticks.

Mark Baker Moves In

… to the Buena Vista Palace, former headquarters for Johnny Chisholm. The huge resort hotel has played host to some of the best pool parties in history. Baker’s after hours parties will be right at BVP, in a hotel convention hall staged to look and feel like a permanently installed nightclub. With DJs and dancers from around the globe, Saturday night’s Matinee: Ibiza Rising at Universal Studios Orlando is billed as an “international gay dance music event.” Is the circuit officially back? Baker promises to raise the bar with his Wonderland Weekend.

Cirque Salute

Cirque du Soleil is offering a meet-andgreet with the gorgeous cast of La Nouba for any Gay Days patrons attending their Friday 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. shows.

Retro T-Dance

The producers of Riptide at Typhoon Lagoon invite you to “drink around the world” on Sunday at EPCOT before diving into a T-Dance and ending the day with the famous Illuminations fireworks display. Could this become another signature event for the weekend? | l |

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|  | Keven Callahan from p.53

after a good night of drinking champagne! Adapting the creativity is the hard part. You have to find a way to make a creative idea work. So many people give up on a great idea. I’ll carry mine to my death if I need to. I talk about my ideas with friends all the time. I’m sure they really want me to shut up—sorry Barbara and Peter! They get the worst of it. You’re also the head of Universal’s LGBT employee networking group. How did the formation of the group come about? Our Employee Resource Group is called

StudiOut and we are just celebrating our third year. I have been on the board as the Executive Champion since the beginning. It started based on the success that NBC was having with Out @ NBC in NYC & LA. I was asked to take part in several LGBT meetings with those groups prior to us starting. It was great way to meet the leaders there and understand the dynamics of how ours needed to run and operate. What function do you think an LGBT employee networking group should serve within a company and how does StudiOut accomplish that? I am all about community service and making the StudiOut brand visible

in the community. We take part in many events, including Headdress Ball—where we are a two time winner—AIDS Walk Orlando, decorating at the Give Kids The World villa, the local Pride parade, the ZEBRA Coalition, Babes in Bonnets for the Orlando Youth Alliance and others. StudiOut’s 582 team members participate when they can, all at different levels. And that’s perfectly okay with me! They each have lives outside of work and I totally appreciate that. I am proud to say that collectively we track some amazing community volunteer hours. Some large companies, including at least one large theme park resort, do not

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offer their employees a LGBT employee networking group. What advice would you offer someone who wanted to start just such a group? I recommend going into the Human Resources department and setting up an appointment to speak openly and honestly about the benefits it can have and possibly showcase other companies’ success stories. I’d be happy to give anyone our vision and mission statement and a clear plan on how to start. If their company will not listen, come and work here! When not at work, what are some of your outside interests? I love to travel and be with my friends. It can be at a big party or sitting by a pool, in a hotel room or beach as long as we can talk and laugh. I have to say I have some of the best trans friends who totally entertain me, so in return I love supporting their craft/talent, their drag careers and pageants. Many are now National & International title holders. Through supporting them I was recently appointed a new judge for the Miss Continental Pageant system. I am still working towards opening my own club. There’s no official date, but when the time is right, watch out! On top of that I am really getting back into fragrance development again and I’m still selling diamonds & precious stones. Do you have any particular Gay Days Weekend traditions? I actually have worked for Mark Baker for the past 10 years hosting the after hours parties and helping him manage the pool parties. It’s the best way to see all my friends and get paid at the same time! Other than that I always help my close friend Barbara Poma, owner of Pulse, prep for their weekend events. If I have time I stop by the Parliament House to see the girls and hang out in the dressing room! Sassy, Darcel, Armani and “V” are the best! Your work takes you to various locales around the world. In comparison to gay life and culture in other places, what does Orlando’s LGBT community have going for it, and what work do we still have to do? Throughout my entire career I have been to some truly beautiful and amazing parts of the world and attended LGBT parties and events in several. I’ll say this about Orlando: at the end of the day Orlando is a small city with a huge heart. The LGBT Community has grown and continues to grow each year. We have a wide age and talent demographic within the LGBT community and an even mix of both men and women. But we don’t make use of it and mix well like many larger cities. My biggest hope and wish for Orlando is that the community realizes this and we start to really come together. Don’t just say it but really act on it. | l |


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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

watermark | orlando's big gay weekend

“SOCIAL MEDIA BROADENS WHO YOU CAN CONNECT TO ON A MUCH MORE GLOBAL SCALE” —Mark Baker oF Mark Baker eventS

|  | GD Social Media from p.51

not necessarily adept in the ways and means of social media. “Last year we had a 27-year-old who was handling our social media,” says AlexanderManley. “He was raised with it, he knew it all, and he did a great job.” But when that staff person left, there was a six month window the company’s social media projects lay somewhat dormant, in part over fear of embracing the new online world order. “Now, I’m loving it,” admits AlexanderManley, who has slowly been getting involved with participating in the new technologies since taking over those responsibilities this past January. “But I’m still learning all the terminology.” Alexander-Manley is also encouraged to expand his social media outreach by many of the weekend’s sponsors—be it insurance, beer, or media outlets—who are using social media more and more for their own products. While GayDayS markets itself to the entire LGBT community, other promoters are targeting more specific groups. The namesake of Mark Baker Events says social media is one of the major aspects of his marketing campaign. “It’s always nice to see your ad in national magazines,” says Baker, “But a lot of the people you’re showing your ad to aren’t going to be interested in your event. Social media gives you the ability to target an audience, a specific audience that will be interested in your event.” For Baker’s Wonderworld of circuit parties that take place over the first weekend of June,

that audience is primarily gay males, ages 25 to 40. “The main way they communicate, especially the younger you go, is on Facebook,” says Baker. As part of his promotional efforts, Baker has created Facebook pages in Spain, Germany, Italy and Mexico. It’s a cost-effective method Baker hopes will bring back some of the international market he says the weekend has lost in recent years. “Social media broadens who you can connect to on a much more global scale,” he says. Baker particularly likes utilizing social media for its immediacy. “As recently as 2000, most of our ads were in national magazines,” Baker says. “We’d have deadlines for ads in January or February, and they’d finally appear in March or April.” While he’s spending far less on print advertising than he once did, Baker doesn’t foresee a time when he’d completely pull away from print advertising. GayDayS.com is also not looking to abandon traditional methods of getting information out. Still popular is their annual magazine-style guide, a printed publication Alexander-Manley says can be particularly useful for those who might drop, break, lose, or shatter the screen on their handheld electronic devices. “It wouldn’t be the smartest thing to solely run a Facebook campaign,” Baker says. But one of the newest event planning groups has nearly done just that. Tidal Wave, the water park party for the bear community now in its fifth year, has been marketed nearly 100% through online methods. With the exception of several kick-off parties held each year in various bear bars and clubs

across the country, Tidal Wave has used only social media to advertise. The approach has apparently worked; last year’s event saw more than 1,000 in attendance and ticket sales are on track this year to surpass that. The event has become so popular—and partnering with GayDayS. com last year on several of its bear events was equally successful—that the group’s organizers are launching their own weekend of events. Interestingly enough, the group is also utilizing the Royal Plaza Hotel as its host hotel, the same hotel once used by GayDayS. com as the base of its operations. “The bear community was born online 20, 25 years ago,” says David Biehl, co-organizer of Tidal Wave. “This is where we socialize, where we network.” While Biehl has utilized Facebook to advertise the event, he credits Bear411.com, a social media site that allows members to post information about events for the ursine crowd, for the foundation of his marketing. On the TidalWaveParty.com Web site, Biehl also posts where the signature party’s attendees will be coming from. “It started as an interesting hobby, seeing where everyone was coming from,” says Biehl. “I thought it would be an interesting thing for other people to see. Since then it’s become a useful tool to plan where to have kickoff parties and where our major markets are. We have a huge contingency this year coming from New Jersey, but I couldn’t tell you why.” Interpreting user data is but one struggle that still faces event promoters when using social media, especially when limited to a mere 140 characters on Twitter.

“You’ve got to have something to say, something entertaining, something new,” says Baker. “Just sending post after post or message after message saying please, please, please come to my event—people will get tired of that. Attention spans are a lot shorter, too. Making a Facebook post is really easy. Making it entertaining for the three or four months leading up to your event is a lot more challenging.” Also challenging—keeping up with the onslaught of changes in technology, particularly with the increased use of iPhones and SmartPhones. While Baker hasn’t gone so far as to create an app for that, he and his team did take the iPhone’s limitations into consideration when re-designing the MarkBakerEvents.com site for this year’s slate of parties. The biggest change? Getting rid of Flash—a software program used by many Web designers—in order to make the site more easily viewed on iPhones. While utilizing social media certainly presents a wealth of positives, many of those are double-edged swords, particularly when it comes to the immediacy the media brings. “Everyone at the party has a camera, it seems, and pictures and video are being uploaded as the party is going on,” says Baker. “It something wonderful happens, it works in your favor. If someone falls off the stage, that’s going to be on there too.” Admitting that he—like most promoters— would like to keep as much control over their events as possible, Baker recognizes that pictures and videos also help to sell the event. And as long as the message is a good one, what company wouldn’t want its customers to become its own marketing team? | l |


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

63

Freelance Writers Wanted

Are you interested in the news around you? Do you have experience in writing news?

Send writing samples and contact info to editor@watermarkonline.com and you could see your byline in Watermark.

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64

watermark | transitions

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

“Longtime residents are lining up for a chance to taste the food of George Vogelbacher again.” Scott Joseph – Orlando Sentinel Robin Tracy, who performed as “Veronica Eden,” passed away May 3 after a long bout with cancer.

transitions

Passings

Robin Tracy, 57, passed away on Tuesday, May 3, after a long battle with cancer. Tracy was a long-time performer and used the stage name “Veronica Eden” at various clubs and events throughout Tampa Bay. She performed at St. Pete Pride in 2010 and was a regular at venues throughout Gulfport where she joked she was a “one-girl band.” Her rock-n-roll style was influenced by The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Credence Clearwater Revival. A celebration of her life was held on May 21. She is survived by her fans and a circle of close friends.

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Watermark columnist, local activist and attorney Mary Meeks has started her own firm in downtown Orlando. Meeks will practice in commercial/business litigation, business and personal tort litigation, contracts and consultations regarding employment law and protective documentation and documents for LGBT individuals. She has also launched a new website, MaryMeeksLaw.com.

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May marks the two month anniversary of the radio show Outloud Orlando: Homo Happy Hour, broadcast Tuesdays at 4 p.m. on 91.5 FM WPRK, hosted by Justice.

Former Watermark sales representative Josh Evans married Roberto Faller May 16 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Local Birthdays Tampa Drag Queen Bingo maven Amy DeMilo, Sarasota country line dancer David Russell (May 27); Orlando student and master fencer Alex Wall (May 28); St. Pete theater supporter Jon Hughes and Dunedin stylist Corey Judge (May 29); World traveler, pilot and Orlandobased photographer Jim Barrett (May 30); St. Petersburg Target specialist and social butterfly Joe White, (May 31); Ranger’s Pet Outpost founder Rick Merrifield, American Stage marketing wizard and tri-athlete Andy Orrell, and City of Gulfport employee and furniture specialist Jon K. Ziegler (June 1); physical therapist Rob Ryan and St. Pete Twirling Project hottie Harry Correa (June 2); Equality Florida public policy director Mallory Wells, Ronda Storms nemesis and Brandon Pride founder Mark Ferguson and OMG Magazine marketing director Timothy Evans (June 3); Tampa catering genious Dan Denoyer, Orange County Sheriff’s Department law enforcer Tom Woodard, German-born bear and current Riverview resident Robert Paquette, USF professor Bo Clements (June 4); handsome Tampa Coldwell Banker realtor Steve Wessels (June 5); Revolution drinkmeister and aspiring filmmaker Nick Smith, New Port Richey songbird Theresa Ward, Tampa DJ Tommy Scott and Hamburger Mary’s Orlando co-owner Michael Carpenter (June 7); St. Pete studmuffin and medical expert Alvin Conchas and Lakeland-based business owner Ron Hankey (June 8).

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


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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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Text “Watermark” to 90210if you are planning to buy or sell a home. David Dorman, CENTURY 21 - 321-293-2240 *Standard Text rates may apply, please check with your carrier.

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Watermark does not knowingly print advertisements for sexual services. Beyond printed content, Watermark does not inquire into the nature of personal or professional services advertising. Payment for sexual services is illegal in the State of Florida, and respondents to classified advertising should govern themselves accordingly. As required by law (Florida Statute 480.0465), Licensed Massage Therapists include their license number in all advertising.


watermark | sports

wire report Phoneix, Ariz. | Phoenix Suns president and CEO Rick Welts, in an effort to breach what he sees as the tiptoed-around topic of homosexuality in men’s team sports, recently met with friends, associates and a newspaper reporter to reveal he is gay. Welts, believed to be the first man in a prominent position in men’s sports who has declared his homosexuality, says he wants to now mentor other gay people who seek to pursue a career in sports, according to The New York Times. “This is one of the last industries where the subject is off limits,” Welts told the newspaper. “Nobody’s comfortable in engaging in a conversation.” According to the report, Welts talked separately to NBA commissioner David Stern, Suns guard Steve Nash, Hall of Famer Bill Russell and founding WNBA president Val Ackerman to discuss the message he wished to convey in making his sexual orientation public. The 58-year-old Welts, who began his career as a ball boy for the Seattle SuperSonics, spent several years with Stern in the league office. He was the architect of the All-Star Weekend and helped raise the NBA’s profile before leaving for the Suns’ front office. Stern was not taken aback or even surprised by the conversation, though he did assume beforehand that Welts had wanted to meet to discuss career advice, according to The Times.

“What I didn’t say at the time was: I think there’s a good chance the world will find this unremarkable,” Stern told The Times. “I don’t know if I was confusing my thoughts with my Phoenix Suns CEO hopes.” Rick Welts came out to Nash held a encourage young LGBTs to similar perspective. pursue careers in sports. “Anyone who’s not ready for this needs to catch up,” Nash said. “He’s doing anyone who’s not ready for this a favor.” Alvin Gentry, who has been the Suns’ head coach for 2½ seasons after joining the team in 2004 as an assistant coach, complimented Welts, saying the fact he is gay is beside the point. “I had a feeling about it,” Gentry told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard when asked if he knew Welts was gay. “To me, what does it matter? I know he’s great at his job; he’s very organized and he does a brilliant job. To me, [his sexuality] is irrelevant. “I’m happy for Rick because I think it takes a ton of weight off his shoulders,” Gentry added. “I’m glad for him because it puts him in a more relaxed state. Do I look at him any differently or judge him any differently? Not in a million years. I’ve dealt with Rick for the last seven years and he’s a great CEO and a great person.’’ | l |

Canadian sportscaster fired for anti-marriage equality tweets wire report Canadian Sportscaster Damian Goddard is out of work after tweeting about his personal opposition to gay marriage. Goddard, a TV sportscaster for Canada’s Rogers Sportsnet, let his feelings be known about the “liberal left” and “same gender marriage” on May 10. His Catholicdriven criticisms seem to be rooted in two unrelated sports headlines that occurred earlier in the week. First, Goddard squawked about the resignation of Peter Vidmar, a U.S. Olympic representative, who allegedly donated his money and support to California’s infamous anti-gay marriage referendum, Proposition 8. Vidmar stepped down shortly after accepting the prestigious Olympic position because he felt his Mormon beliefs shouldn’t take away from the U.S. athletes. Sportscaster Goddard wrote this on his Twitter account: “What a load of b-s. And

the thing about Vidmar is that he’s such a wonderful human being. The left is truly lost.” Following that, Goddard dove headfirst into another sports- and gay-marriagerelated controversy, throwing his support behind hockey agent Todd Reynolds. Reynolds publicly criticized  hockey player Sean Avery, who proudly supports gay marriage in New York. His tweets supporting Reynolds included: “I completely and whole-heartedly support Todd Reynolds and his support for the traditional and TRUE meaning of marriage.To those who have been...well...critical of my stance, God bless you. You are all in my prayers, and I am so sad for the pain in your lives.” In a prepared statement Sportsnet said that Goddard “was a freelance contractor and in recent weeks it had become clear that he is not the right fit for our organization.” Same-sex marriages have been legally recognized across Canada for nearly six year. | l |

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continued from page 66

[classifieds]

Suns CEO comes out of the closet

May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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67


watermark | gossip

| May 26 - June 8, 2011

billymasters

68

“Studio questions the appeal of Jodie Foster’s Beaver.” —Headline in a trade magazine regarding the upcoming Mel Gibson flick, The Beaver. I’m surprised it’s a question.

L Florida’s crotch affliction Billy Masters Billy@BillyMasters.com

ately I’ve been in some dental distress. Now, I have a high threshold for pain—just ask anyone who’s dated me. But if there’s anything worse than being in pain at home, it’s being in pain away from home. I had no idea what to do or who to go to. While some fans had some extremely helpful advice, I faced the very real possibility of blindly picking a dentist off the internet. That’s when my colleague Lynn Samuels (on Sirius Stars 107) recommended her own dentist who had relocated to Fort Lauderdale. And within a couple of days, I was in the trusty hands of an adorable Nova Southeastern University Dental resident. I was literally in a waiting room when I heard the bizarre story about a woman arrested in neighboring Pompano Beach. Ann Marie Hernandez was taken into custody after police learned that she was concealing a fraudulent credit card and driver’s license in her vagina. Yes, in her vagina! You’d think this was an isolated incident, but some cursory research revealed that women use their vaginas to carry a variety of things. Why, just last month, Gloria Esther Perez of Fort Myers ended up in the big house after police discovered a bottle of prescription medication and a knife up there! Well, I suppose it’s easier than carrying a purse.

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It also means that the dentist who tended to my cavity had absolutely nothing to complain about! But it’s not just ladies with gifted crotches. Sexy actor Alex Pettyfer (from that movie I Am Number Four, which nobody saw) admits that he got a tattoo above his penis that says “Thank you.” Why? “In case I forget to say it.” He’s a giver. Strike that—a receiver! Elsewhere in the VMan magazine interview, Alex talks about life in Hollywood: “LA is growing on me a little bit, but it’s still a shit hole. Geographically it’s fantastic; in a half hour, you can be on the beach in one direction, go snowboarding in another, or go out into the desert. But socially it’s disgusting. I wish they’d run all the cunts out.” And this is how my columns develop a theme... It’s been oft reported that Pettyfer’s family was best friends with the family of Channing Tatum—a detail Alex admits is completely untrue. Before becoming a film star, Tatum was a lithe male model who used to take off his clothes at the drop of a hat—although in the full-frontal shot we have on BillyMasters.com, he leaves his hat on. At the same time, he was also working as a male stripper in Florida. Yet another crotchal connection to the Sunshine State. Now Chan is parlaying his past into a film. He’s teamed up with Steven Soderbergh to produce and act in Magic Mike. Since his weight has fluctuated considerably upon entering his 30s (alas, that’s life), Tatum will not be playing the young hunky stripper. Instead, he’ll be the older stripper who mentors the young hunky dancer. Either way, someone’s taking something off. “This was a wild and pivotal time in my life and I couldn’t be more thrilled to go down the rabbit hole with Steven.” Soderbergh called Channing’s pitch “one of the best ideas I’d ever heard for a movie.” So, move over Erin Brockovich and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Here comes Magic Mike! Staying in shape in your 30s doesn’t seem to be a problem for Lane Garrison, formerly of Prison Break and, more recently, an actual prison! Seeing recent photos of the soon to be 31-year-old strolling shirtless on the beach, I can understand why the warden placed him in protective custody “for his own safety.” Did you know that Jacob Lusk,, the recent cast-off from American Idol, has some experience in prison? Back in 2009, Jacob was cited for riding the LA subway Film star Alex Pettyfer admitted he has a, well, cordial tattoo placed very low on his abdomen.

Former underwear models Trevor Donovan and Alan Ritchson had a hook-up on the CW’s 90210 recently.

without a ticket. A minor offense, but he skipped his court date. About a year later, he’s pulled over for going through a stop sign, the officer sees the outstanding arrest warrant, and suddenly Lusk is in the hoosegow! He only had to serve three days in jail. Is anyone out there watching 90210? No? Then you missed mega-hot Trevor Donovan hooking up with the equally sexy Alan Ritchson. Yes, two gorgeous guys who have modeled underwear got together on network TV (well, TheCW). Ritchson played a former classmate who Donovan always had a crush on. They reunite, Trev comes out, and Alan...well, he takes the bull by the horns, as it were. Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible. |  |


May 26 - June 8, 2011 |

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| May 26 - June 8, 2011

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galleryw Photography | Steve Blanchard

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Watermark Issue 18.11: Gay Days Weekend 2011