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yOuR LGBT LIFE. ISSuE 18.13 | JuNE 23 - JuLy 6, 2011 WATERMARKONLINE.COM

OUT LOUD AND PROUD d aY T O N a B E a C H

ORLaNdO

• Ta M Pa

GaYbor Days

PROCLAMATION STIRS CONTROVERSY

Domestic Partnership Registry IN SIGHTS OF ORANGE COUNTY ACTIVISTS

k.d. lang on her rebellious butch factor, new album and upcoming tour

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

S a R a S O Ta


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| June 23 - July 6, 2011


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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watermark | preview

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

issue 18.13

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PRINCE POPPyCOCK 29

PG.

The flamboyant Prince Poppycock of America’s Got Talent fame will bring his take on opera and baroque styling to the Parliament House on July 2. Poppycock talks about his rise to fame, his inspiration and what fans can expect on his upcoming album.

k.d. lang has a new album, a new look and a brand new sound to share on her upcoming tour, which stops in Sarasota and Clearwater.

6 | Orlando News Orlando-area activists are turning up the heat on Orange County leadership to follow the city of Orlando in implementing a domestic partner registry; Lush in the Florida Mall holds a Kiss-in to support marriage equality; Stork

12 / NATION + WORLD NEWS

Club event raises money for Hope and Help.

ORLANDO NEWS

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8 | Tampa News

13 / TAMPA BAy MARKETPLACE

The GaYbor District Coalition wants to know why only two of the seven Hillsborough County Commissioners have signed a proclamation

15 / ORLANDO MARKETPLACE

celebrating GaYbor Days 2011; GLBT Democratic Caucus puts plans in motion for a successful 2012 election year; The long-running Womyn’s

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Words publication bids farewell; more.

20 / MAIL

23 | Scene+Heard

34 / EVENT PLANNER

Country crooner and lesbian icon k.d. lang has a new album out with a

TAMPA BAy NEWS

new sound and promotional photos showing her even more butch look. The superstar talks about why she wanted to feature her band more, her

37 / TAMPA BAy OVERHEARD

upcoming tour and why it doesn’t matter that she doesn’t now who Chely Wright is. Playwright Joseph Alan Johnson shares his inspiration behind Cellmate Confessions, a dramatic and comedic play telling the stories

38 / ORLANDO OVERHEARD

behind the mug shots on the cover of those infamous magazines. And the personality behind Prince Poppycock shares insight on his inspiration in

SCENE+HEARD

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music, how he came up with his catchy name and what the future holds for

50 / TRANSITIONS

the performer, who will be at the Parliament House July 2. 51 / ADVICE

41 | Real Estate Real estate isn’t always a pleasant subject—especially in a down economy. So more LGBTs are turning to time shares and using disposable income

52 / CLASSIFIEDS

for getaways across the state and around the country. We look at a few nearby timeshares and learn why its so hard to find LGBT-specific

53 / SPORTS

properties online. The new, flashy Fusion complex in St. Petersburg is open

41

KNOW+TELL

for business—and hoping for a strong LGBT contingent of residents. And we take a closer look at Mills Park, which promises uptown urban living in Orlando—and plenty to attract members of our community.

54 / GOSSIP


watermark | preview

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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editor’sdesk C

violence against gays—whether intentionally or not—and a simple “I’m elebrity gossip news has never really done much for me. Charlie sorry” tweet is enough? Sheen’s meltdown? Didn’t really care. Lindsay Lohan’s 70th arrest? I may be overreacting, but I haven’t watched The Voice since. I know my Phhhht! Anthony Weiner’s Twitter scandal? Okay, I admit I Googled refusal to tune in hasn’t hurt the show’s ratings, but until he’s gone, you can the images related to that one. bet I’ll stay away. But 99% of the time, the day-to-day trials and tribulations of celebrities I’m a little more confident that the Tracy Morgan fiasco will have a better is a total afterthought. So I surprised my friends—and myself—when I took chance of turning a negative into a positive. As almost everyone on the a few recent celebrity news items personally. planet knows, the former Saturday Night Live comedian went on an anti-gay It takes a lot to piss me off. I’m laid back and really good at brushing tirade on a Nashville stage earlier this month, saying he would stab his son controversy and drama aside. The uneducated among us are entitled if he spoke in a “gay” voice and that same-sex attraction between women is to opinions, I usually think to myself, before moving on to whatever a myth. distraction is piled on my desk. We’ve covered the story extensively on Watermark Online and it’s been But recent, specific instances really got under my skin, and I think they all over social media sites. Since his “comedic experiment,” Morgan has broke the proverbial camel’s back when it comes to anti-LGBT bullying in apologized and even went as far as to meet with the media. parents of LGBT children who have either survived Case in point: When it started earlier this year, I anti-LGBT violence or lost their lives to it. It looks Steve Blanchard was glued to The Voice on NBC every week. As a like a step in the right direction and hopefully music fan and American Idol watcher, I was happy EDITOR The country star I SteveB@WatermarkOnline.com to see a show that could rival the FOX staple. The Morgan—and his fans—have learned that antihad never heard of LGBT speech is unacceptable. anticipation accompanying the spin of the massive Many have said they will no longer watch swivel thrones of Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, soon turned me off. Morgan’s NBC show 30 Rock. I am among them— Ce-Lo Green and Blake Shelton was addictive. although I have to admit I’ve never seen an episode, But the country star I had never heard of soon so avoiding it won’t be too difficult. turned me off. It’s hard to keep up with who’s with us and who’s against us these days, When Shelton tweeted his rewrite to the Shania Twain hit, “Any Man of but it’s important for us to do our best to sort it out. Mine,” he typed “Any man that tries Touching my behind He’s gonna be As we celebrate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots at St. Pete a beaten, bleedin,’ heaving kind of guy” (sic). When confronted about the statements he tweeted back, “If only people knew even a little about me, my Pride and at celebrations across the nation, we should be reminded of what we can accomplish if we stick together as one voice. family and friends. Dumb asses.” Social media makes it easy for our voices to be heard. So when a I shrugged, realized that country music hadn’t had come as far as I had celebrity threatens violence toward LGBTs, stand your ground. Tell your hoped and I stopped watching the hit music show. family members their gay joke offended you or that their “separate but Since the debacle, Shelton has come to “understand” the concerns so equal” stance on marriage equality just doesn’t cut it. many had over the tweet and has gone on to apologize, saying he loves Maybe then we can get back to focusing on that 1% of celebrity gossip “everybody.” That appeared to be enough calm GLAAD and fellow coach news that’s worthy of our search engines. | l | and LGBT advocate Adam Levine. But how is that enough? A star with millions of fans can advocate

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

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watermark | orlando news

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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Orlando | Orlando-area activists are turning up the heat on Orange County leadership to follow the city of Orlando in implementing a domestic partner registry. In a May 22 letter to Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer got the domestic partner registry ball rolling by announcing he plans to move forward on the issue as soon as possible and encouraging Jacobs to join the city, noting that working together would avoid duplication. On June 14, Mayor Jacobs responded via letter: “Having devoted several months and many resources to establishing domestic partner benefits early on in my administration, we are now focused on tightening our ethics ordinance, economic development and undertaking a benchmarking study. . . These matters will require much of my staff’s time and attention in the coming months.” Jacobs added that their evaluation of the registry will be considered “at a future point in time,” but revealed no more details about a potential timeline. Still, LGBT activists are continuing to encourage Jacobs to take up the issue sooner rather than later. Former city commissioner Linda Stewart sent a letter requesting that Jacobs and her staff start the process now, recommending the mayor “appoint a member of your staff and perhaps a member of the community affected to work with this same committee and bring a recommendation to you after its conclusion.” Steward emphasized that further study is always an option, but “but at the

minimum you will see the direction of the recommendation and have a better idea of when and where you wish to proceed.” Stewart added that she is hopeful the ordinance can be completed by this coming fall. Three Orlando Anti-Discrimination Ordinance Committee (OADO) members attended the June 21 County Commission meeting to urge the commissioners to support Mayor Dyer’s forward movement on the issue. According to local activist and filmmaker Vicki Nantz, ”John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council and co-father of Florida’s anti-gay Amendment 2, spoke to the commission and disingenuously stated that gay couples can simply execute documents to secure rights like visitation and funerals—an outright lie.” Stemberger also claimed the registry would be limited to same-sex couples, but Nantz clarified that OADO is in favor of a domestic partner registry that is inclusive of all couples. In the meantime, City of Orlando Public Information Officer Cassandra Lafser said the city is organizing a group to get the ordinance established. She did not provide any details as to who would make up the working group. When asked about a timeline for the registry, Lafser said it will be “more months than weeks because an ordinance is a legal document and legal documents must be drafted by attorneys.” Although Jacobs’ letter to Dyer indicated the county would not pursue the issue at this time, Lafser said the city is still “very hopeful” the county will eventually adopt the registry, noting that the county adopted domestic partner benefits for employees a few years after the city did so. | l |

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Orlando | Ten couples puckered up for a purpose at the Florida Mall June 17 as participants in a "Kiss and Tell" event supporting same sex marriage. The event was held at 81 Lush stores across the country with more than 1,130 participants nationwide kissing at 11:38 a.m. “There are currently 1,138 rights denied to same-sex couples under the Defense of Marriage Act,” said campaign spokeswoman Mia Gralla. In addition, the Florida Mall location provided postcards encouraging senators to support marriage equality, signed by people who stopped by the store. This portion of the campaign is ongoing. At press time, the

Couples gathered at the Lush shop in Florida Mall June 18, smooching to support freedom to marry. | Photo courtesy LUSH

store had more than 400 cards signed with a goal to reach 1,138. | l |


watermark | orlando news

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

Ballroom dancers Jennifer Toot and James Williard dazzled the audience June 12 during “An Evening at the Stork Club.” | Photo by Erik Caban

“Stork Club” razmatazz raises $6900 erik caban Orlando | On Sunday June 12, Jack and Margo Dixon, David Dorman and Wanzie Presents played host to more than 140 nattily dressed guests and volunteers for “An Evening at the Stork Club.” The iconic New York nightclub was the backdrop for a benefit that raised $6,900 for Hope and Help of Central Florida. The concept was the brainchild of Rob Domenico and the Dixons. “During an early brainstorming session, we discussed replicating previously successful cabaret events, which formed the

basis for this event but it quickly morphed into a supper club with an orchestra, singers, and dancing,” said Margo Dixon. The evening was complete with 1930s flair, including a cigarette girl, photographers, a live orchestra, cabaret singers—including Dorman himself—an intimate dinner, dancing and a floorshow. Organizers may recreate the evening annually, but not necessarily in the summer. The timing this year was predicated on the need for funds for September’s “Headdress Ball.” If the event does return, the challenge would be scheduling it away from other large events like the Fringe Festival and Gay Days. | l |

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watermark | tampa bay news

GLBT Democratic Caucus already planning for 2012 steve blanchard

KEY WEST

FIREWORKS Celebrate the 4th of July in Key West, plan on seeing the Independence Day Fireworks display. Fireworks in Key West will be launched off the White Street Pier.

Tampa | To many, the 2012 election seems like a world away—especially since it feels like the 2010 mid-term elections just ended. But for Sally Phillips and the GLBT Democratic Caucus, now is the time to mobilize voters and prepare for what could be a contentious election in our swing state. “I think it matters so clearly, the people we elect,” Phillips said. “It terrifies me that we have people in our LGBT community who don’t think it’s important to get involved or at least get out there and vote.” So far in 2011, the LGBT Caucus has already added a new chapter to its fold in Manatee County. The overall goal is to get an active LGBT group started in every one of Florida’s 67 counties. That’s ambitious, considering how conservative Florida’s northern and central regions can be. Phillips is motivated by lessons learned during the 2008 battle over Amendment 2, which passed with 63% of the vote and banned same-sex marriage in Florida. LGBT leaders didn’t effectively get a message of tolerance out, she said, because smaller counties and rural areas were overlooked. “It was by a very small percentage that we

didn’t defeat it, she said. “In Hillsborough, Pinellas, Miami-Dade—places where we had a huge presence and worked hard we defeated it. But in smaller areas where there was no LGBT organization at all, we fell down in our efforts. We can’t do that in 2012, especially with a governor who is so anti-equality.” The GLBT Democratic Caucus—which hopes to officially incorporate an “A” for “Allies” soon, was on hand at the Harvey Milk Festival in Sarasota in May and will host a booth at St. Pete Pride this weekend. There, the caucus will share results of the 2010 census, which for the first time tracked same-sex households. “We finally have a president who believes in equality and to achieve full equality, we need to know how many of us are out there,” Phillips said. The census puts same-sex households at about 10% of the population. Phillips estimates it's at least 20%—and growing. “My overall motivation is full equality in my lifetime,” Phillips said. “Florida’s current political climate is both a challenge and a motivator because we have to change the landscape in Tallahassee.” For more information, visit FloridaGLBTDemocrats.org | l |

USF begins HIV youth study staff report

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Tampa | The University of South Florida Department of Pediatrics is conducting an innovative study for youth, ages 13-24, who may be HIV infected but are undiagnosed and not showing symptoms. Researchers will target Latino men who have sex with men and heterosexual Latina women to receive HIV testing and recruit others who are at-risk for HIV. The program is unique because it employs social networks to recruit additional study participants and send HIV risk reduction messages. Venues will also be set up to provide location-based testing to reach youth where

they gather. USF is conducting the only study in the Tampa Bay area to reach this particular population as part of the national Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions. “These youth are increasingly at risk for HIV, especially given the considerable stigma surrounding the disease,” said Karina Pineda, a community liaison and researcher for the study. “Many also have the disease but don’t know it yet, so we’ll be making a vital connection with them through this study.” More than 250 study participants are needed. To enroll, call 813-417-5095 or search “Hablemos del VIH” on Facebook for more information. | l |

Womyn’s Words shuts operations staff report

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St. Petersburg | After 28 years in the publishing business, Womyn’s Words has ceased operations. The newspaper, edited by Pat Ditto and published by the not-profit Womyn’s Energy Bank, produced its last issue this month and announced its closure on its cover. Over the years, the publication’s editorial content covered news pertinent to the lesbian

community and also helped raise funds for the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund, among other charities. When contacted for reflections on Womyn’s Words’ impact on the community over nearly three decades, Ditto declined to comment. However, she did confirm that the publication’s current issue is its last. Womyn’s Words was started by Anne Miller in 1983 and at its peak boasted 44 pages of news, ads and event listings. | l |


watermark | tampa bay news

GaYbor Days takes on commission over proclamation steve blanchard Tampa | The GaYbor District Coalition wants to know why only two of the seven Hillsborough County Commissioners have signed a proclamation celebrating GaYbor Days June 30-July 5. As of press time, only democrats Kevin Beckner and Les Miller have signed the proclamation, celebrating GaYbor’s impact on the struggling economy of the region. “The area has changed in a positive direction,” said GaYbor District Coalition president Carrie West. “This area of Ybor has shown the best economic growth for Tampa and suddenly we’re getting recognized by the city. But now the county is playing a game of, ‘Hey, you have to follow us.’” The flap over the proclamation came on the heels of an e-mail campaign by newly appointed Hillsborough Human Rights Board member Terry Kemple, who is known for his anti-gay attacks. According to a spokesperson at Beckner’s office, the e-mail asked for constituents to e-mail commissioners and ask that they not recognize GaYbor Days. “About 25-30 e-mails came in on [June 13] upset about it,” she said, adding that a few more had trickled in since then. The concern of some seems to be a policy passed by the Hillsborough County Commission in 2005 preventing the county from “recognizing or promoting” LGBT Pride events. Many in the LGBT community consider the policy a ban on Gay Pride, especially since then-commissioner Ronda Storms was adamant that the policy read “Gay Pride—with a little ‘g’, little ‘p.’” Storms pushed for the policy after she and her daughter encountered an LGBT book display at a county library. West believes that Kemple’s e-mail campaign is a way to stir up a conservative base to unseat Beckner in next year’s countywide election. “That’s what it’s about,” West said. “It’s not about a gay issue, it’s about getting a conservative Republican in that seat. But Kevin has done so many wonderful things and I hope voters will recognize that.” The irony of having such an anti-gay person on a human rights board isn’t lost on West. “How do you logically get to a mission of hate when you’re on a board based on human rights?” West said. “This is bullying.” Kemple has allegedly threatened legal action because of the county charter that says the county cannot “promote, acknowledge or financially support a Gay Pride event.” Kemple has opposed equal protection laws for LGBT citizens several times in his career and actively campaigned for the passage of Florida’s Amendment 2, which banned same-sex marriage in the state. For years he

tried to block anti-bullying and nondiscrimination protections in local schools and the creation of Gay-Straight Alliances in Hillsborough Schools. He also led a failed boycott of Pepsico for Terry Kemple launched an the beverage e-mail campaign asking maker’s conservative constituents domestic to voice opposition to partnership commissioners supporting policies for gay GaYbor Days. and lesbian employees. While running for the Hillsborough County School Board, Kemple required donors to check a box declaring that they do not support LGBT initiatives. The week before Kemple’s e-mail campaign, Beckner had approached the County Commission asking members to sign the proclamation for GaYbor days, something he has done the past three years. According to GaYbor District Coalition president Carrie West, three commissioners signed it in 2010. West said that while the so-called Gay Pride Ban is still in affect in Hillsborough County, it doesn’t have anything to do with GaYbor Days, which is not a Pride event. “We are not a Gay Pride event,” West said. “GaYbor Days is showcasing the diverse district in Historic Ybor City.” More than two-thirds of the businesses in Ybor City are straight-owned, West said, and he expressed frustration that an area showing a positive economic impact in the midst of a historically difficult recession is targeted by a “holy roller.” “The Hillsborough County commissioners are asking for new supportive ways and ideas to get our economy going again, yet they shoot down the fact that we have spurred economic growth to an area that was dying,” West said, emphasizing that more than 50 new businesses have opened in Ybor City since the GaYbor District Coalition began. Along with Beckner and Miller, other politicians have showed support of the Fourth Annual GaYbor Days with proclamations— including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the Tampa City Council and even President Barack Obama, who mentions the event in a plaque declaring June Gay Pride Month. GaYbor Days is a weekend of special events, ranging from a film showcasing the life of Harvey Milk to a bar crawl. An e-mail campaign in support of the GaYbor District Coalition and GaYbor Days is underway. | l |

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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watermark | sarasota news

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

Sting on Venice beach continues staff report

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Venice | An ongoing sting on a southwest Florida beach continues to net arrests for the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. Numerous complaints about inappropriate behavior at Caspersen Beach prompted the undercover sting, which has been ongoing for nearly a year. A similar sting was conducted in late 2010, which resulted in the arrest of five men. “We do monitor actions on that beach and have found that citizens’ concerns were valid,” said a spokeswoman with the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office. “No one part of the community is being targeted. We’re just preventing inappropriate behavior.” According to a report in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, concerns were heightened in November 2010 when a woman fishing with her family complained about nudists on the beach. Others see the secluded beach as an area to enjoy nature and escape the eyes of friends, family and coworkers. However, with the increased law enforcement crackdown on Caspersen, the area is getting a different kind of reputation. Caspersen is technically within the city limits of Venice, but Venice Police and the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office have deliberated

over which agency is technically responsible for patrolling the area. Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said the agency has an agreement with Venice to monitor the area, while the Venice police refer calls to the Sheriff’s Office. According to reports, a man was arrested earlier this month after he approached an officer in plainclothes and grabbed the officer “inappropriately” and exposed himself while offering oral sex. The person was charged with exposing his sexual organs and battery. After Watermark covered the late 2010 sting, the paper adjusted its policy is not to publish names of those arrested in victimless crimes. Several media outlets throughout the west coast of Florida identified the man arrested and included his profession along with his mug shot. In that instance, investigators say the men, most of whom were over the age of 60, were charged with various offenses ranging from exposure of sexual organs to simple battery. Investigators say some of the men were caught having oral sex with other men. Other suspects reportedly propositioned an undercover Sheriff’s deputy for oral sex. Reports state that one suspect repeatedly touched the undercover officer’s genitals and after his arrest told the deputy “I didn’t touch you, I fell.” |  |

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watermark | state news

Gay newspaper challenges FTL photo ban jamie hyman Fort Lauderdale | The South Florida Gay News (SFGN) is engaging in a different type of civil activism. Along with the South Florida chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the SFGN has received an agreed order from the city of Fort Lauderdale and Chief of Police Frank Adderley after filing a lawsuit challenging a ban on all amateur or professional photography within several hundred yards of the filming of the Hollywood movie Rock of Ages. According to SFGN managing editor Jason Parsley, “the city is agreeing not to stop photographers from taking pictures in public places.” South Florida attorneys Norm Kent (who is also the publisher of SFGN) and Russell Cormican of Kent & Cormican PA filed the lawsuit June 14. “What we’re asking for is a declaratory judgment that for the city to restrict access on a public street is illegal. The police have posted a sign that says it is illegal to trespass on public property,” said Kent. “I’m asking for a judge to answer an order saying that’s just not so. I’m asking the

judge to rule that the police have acted illegally.” According to an SFGN media release, Fort Lauderdale police told at least two professional photographers they cannot shoot from a public area, and the policy precludes anyone from taking pictures, even as they dine at restaurants that are within a city block of Revolution, the nightclub movie producers have rented for the past few weeks. On June 17, SFGN staffers protested by going to the location, eating lunch at area restaurants then breaking the rules. “No one got arrested,” said Parsley. “The signs had already been taken down so there was a police officer out there just shouting orders, telling people not to cross an invisible line that she appeared to just arbitrarily make up and continued to change throughout the afternoon.” He said on June 20, Kent was able to get an emergency hearing moved from June 22 to June 20. “The production company stops shooting Friday, so we felt it was imperative go before a judge as soon as possible,” Parsley said. “We got what we asked for.” | l |

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

11

Thousands attend Stonewall Street Festival and Parade staff report Wilton Manors | An estimated 25,000 people attended the 12th Annual Stonewall Street Festival and Parade along the popular LGBT strip on June 19. The event lasted from 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and featured a parade, exhibits, a cook’s tent, wine tasting and main stage entertainment. This year’s grand marshal was Thomas Roberts, MSNBC’s openly gay 11 a.m. news anchor. Roberts “came out” professionally in 2006 and later served on a panel titled “Off Camera: The Challenges for LGBT TV Anchors.”

Authorities estimated 25,000 attendees on the streets of Wilton Manners for the annual Stonewall Festival and Parade June 19. | Photo courtesy John Fama

The Stonewall Street Festival and Parade is Fort Lauderdale’s and Wilton Manors’ largest single-day LGBT event. | l |

briefs GLAAD president resigns Fort Lauderdale-born Jarrett Barrios has stepped down from his position as president of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). Barrios contacted the FCC urging them to approve the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile, then resigned under pressure after it was revealed that AT&T is a major financial supporter of GLAAD’s mission. The letter was sent May 31 and Barrios resigned over the June 18 weekend.

South Florida activist a “Woman We Love” A Miami lesbian activist has been named to GO Magazine’s annual list of “100 Women We Love: Class of 2011.” Vanessa Brito of MYami Marketing, Unity Coalition and Miami Voice led a recent, successful drive to recall Miami-Dade County Commissioner Natacha Seijas. MYami Marketing donates resources toward mitigating challenges faced by the LGBT community.

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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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watermark | nation+world news

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

NY Senate stuck on gay marriage wire report Albany, N.Y. | The legalization of gay marriage in New York remains squarely on the shoulders of Republican state senators under intense political pressure from the important Conservative Party and internal polling that shows growing, but not necessarily majority, support for same-sex marriage. Republicans know that not just the national gay marriage movement, but their own careers, may hinge on their vote. At press time, two Republican state senators said no decision on the fate of gay marriage had been made after a three-hour closed-door

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meeting. The senators, speaking on condition of anonymity, said gay marriage is tied up in negotiations with other issues including rent control in New York City and a statewide property tax cap. A vote by the majority Republican conference—to send the marriage bill to the Senate floor or kill it—could still be days away. A Senate vote in New York is viewed as a critical point in the national gay marriage debate. The State Assembly has already passed the measure. Negotiations are expected to extend the legislative session through June 24. | l |

UN body votes for protection of gay rights wire report Geneva, Switzerland | The United Nations issued its first condemnation of discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people on June 17 in a cautiously worded declaration hailed by supporters as a historic moment. Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council narrowly voted in favor of the resolution put forward by South Africa, against strong opposition from African and Islamic countries.

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Couched in delicate diplomatic language, the resolution commissions a study of discrimination against gays and lesbians around the world, the findings of which will be discussed by the Geneva-based council at a later meeting. The proposal went too far for many of the council’s 47-member states, including Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria and Pakistan. The resolution passed with 23 votes in favor and 19 against, with three abstentions, including that of China. Backers included the United States, the European Union, Brazil and other Latin American countries. | l |

Gay judge’s same-sex marriage ruling upheld wire report San Francisco, Calif. | A federal judge on June 14 upheld a gay judge’s ruling that struck down California’s same-sex marriage ban, noting that his fellow jurist could not be presumed to have a personal stake in the case just because he was in a long-term relationship with another man. In a 19-page ruling, Chief U.S. District Judge James Ware said former Chief Judge Vaughn Walker had no obligation to divulge whether he wanted to marry his own gay partner before he declared last year that voter-

approved Proposition 8 was unconstitutional. Ware called it the first case in which a judge’s same-sex relationship had led to calls for disqualification. He said there probably were similar struggles when race and gender were the issues. The ruling does not settle the legal fight over Proposition 8. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is considering whether Walker properly concluded that denying gays and lesbians the right to marry violates their rights to due process and equal protection. Lawyers for backers of the ban plan to appeal the decision. | l |

briefs Bankruptcy court rules against gay-marriage ban

Extremists disrupt Gay Pride march in Croatia

The country’s largest consumer bankruptcy court in Los Angeles ruled on June 13 that the federal law prohibiting same-sex marriages is unconstitutional. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Donovan wrote that the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection laws in the case of a gay couple seeking to file a joint bankruptcy petition. The couple wed during the 2008 window when same-sex marriage was briefly legal in California.

Stone-throwing extremists disrupted a June 11 gay pride march in Croatia, and organizers have accused the police of not doing enough to secure the event. Around 200 people participated in the pride march, while thousands of opponents lined the streets in protest. At least 100 people were detained and many others were injured after extremists threw rocks, bottles and firecrackers at the participants.


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T

he elusive definition of the word freedom escapes us with the same evasiveness as love. We may not know what it means be free; however, on some level we all want freedom. But as age creeps me ever forward to the increasingly inevitable, I realize more and more that freedom is not a

place we arrive at and hold to permanently. I see freedom as phases, periods and points. I’ve also discovered these places of freedom are so different for so many. What is freedom for one is not freedom for another. Freedom from an abusive relationship means nothing to the one who seeks freedom from mountains of financial debt. Freedom from a narcissistic employer means nothing to one who seeks freedom from religious bondage. I’ve also discovered the transitioning into freedom can be as painful as the death of a loved one, because letting go the familiar (healthy or not) can plunge one into the stages of mourning. On the night June 27, 1969, did the drag queens in New York set out to fight for freedom? Did they sit at their make-up mirrors and brainstorm the makings of a rebellion? Did they stare into the closet and say aloud, “What does one wear to a riot?” Was there a countdown to the rumble as they were loaded into the paddy wagons? Was there a militant planning committee at the Stonewall Inn, or maneuvers to plan the offensive? More often than not an uprising takes place suddenly—when the person and/or group just can’t take anymore. Some take years to plan the path to freedom. And sometimes we resign ourselves to the plan and never go past the planning stages. Some retreat into reclusiveness, while others take to the streets and burst out into violence. Whatever the path, the goal is the same. What we can find is comparable to the al Qaeda: once one oppressor is cut out, three more emerge. So then we discover the pursuit of freedom is a never-ending quest. In our community, the quest for freedom takes on new twists, turns or faces with every new generation, every newly elected

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politician and every openly LGBT celebrity. those on the journey with us and those to The traditions must be instilled and the come. It is our responsibility to keep waving responsibility grows with each new person. the banner, keep marching, fighting, lobbying, The Pride marches, rallies, lobbyist, and every asking the questions, and questioning the LGBT organization know that the road to answers. freedom is a constant and costly effort. We For only if we continue, will we find the are constantly paying the costly price of lives exquisite joy in the journey. that slip through the cracks of the onslaught We honor those who fought for freedom: of the Religious Right, and ignorant citizens song writers, speech writers, movie writers that depend only on the pundit’s opinions to and musicians, singers and song writers, inform them. Education and celebration is the documentary writers and networks, and key. the producers of all of the aforementioned; As a kid growing up in stringent pastors, preachers, and teachers who dared Pentecostal churches, there were 10 "don’ts" to take a stand. Men, women, and children for every "do." I really didn’t mind; if who stood in the face of oppressors of each anything, it taught me discipline. When I movement in history should be remembered began to stretch my wings, the first thing I this Pride season as well as the ones who laid wanted to do is try every "don’t." The prison down their lives under the hands of those who doors were opened and I began to fly—or so tried to stamp out the messages. From the I thought. But crashing and burning became greatest to the small, from the loudest to the lessons well learned. quiet, the struggle And now I see it for doesn’t end with what it was. In tasting them; it continues in We discover the what the world had to and with us. offer I was actually The freedom pursuit of freedom is a stepping into a prison you enjoy, from never-ending quest. of my own design. the slightest to the What I thought was most, was fought freedom was just for and achieved by moments of pleasure that had consequence. someone who came before you. We cannot It taught me quickly that freedom was doing be content to let their struggle be forgotten or what I wanted, because what I wanted was taken advantage of. We must appreciate the detrimental to my health and to my spirit. freedom if we are ever to gain more ground. Continuing in a facade of simulated freedom Please remember it’s the phases, would cost me my liberty. periods, and points that matter. Because Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With freedom accumulatively these moments will take you comes responsibility.” The responsibility to more levels of freedom you didn’t even lies within each of us to continue the journey know existed. Not only will you live a life of toward freedom. Though the journey may be freedom, but so will all those you touch, and painful at times we must know, remember, all those who come after. | l | and be willing to acknowledge that we Rev. Scott Manning is the founder of Last Child Ministries journey not only for ourselves, but for all

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| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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Yes. If there’s an arrest and an LGBT is involved, it’s LGBT news, period. Maybe, if there’s a potentially newsworthy twist or angle to the story, e.g., the person arrested is a repeat offender, a priest, etc. No. Reporting on victimless crimes by LGBTs just furthers negative stereotypes about the LGBT community.

42%

On Steve Blanchard’s Editor’s Desk discussing issues regarding Gender Identity Disorder:

37%

21%

At WatermarkOnline.com, we asked you: Sometimes, Watermark faces a decision about whether to run stories about LGBTs busted for cruising, public nudity or other similar, victimless crimes.

Do you want to read those crime stories? A new poll will be posted to the homepage this week. Be sure to visit WatermarkOnline.com and let us know what YOU think!

Thank you, Steve, for addressing this. As a leader in the trans community, I can attest that it is difficult to get participation from and win the trust of this community. They have been hurt, abused and betrayed on many levels. There has a been a movement in a positive direction the past year, nationally and here locally in the trans community. More transgender folks are speaking out constructively, participating in events—both socially and educationally. Let me be the first to say that it is due in part to the willingness of those like you, St Pete Pride, Metro Centers, the local faith communities and some social service agencies such as CASA, the DadeBroward Health Departments (and so many more), to hear us, work with us and attempt to understand our perspectives. Thank you again.

—Michael Keeffe, Executive Director Transgender FORGE

On Argentina’s first gay divorce filing: Another reason the Bar Associations across the U.S. should be supportive of gay marriage. Some of their lawyers stand to make a lot of money off of gay divorce in this country.

—markc

Don’t be left out of the community conversation! Head over to WatermarkOnline.com, register and start telling us what YOU think!

mail NAGAAA too heterophobic

covers sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, federal law prohibits hate crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Community Relations Service of the Department of Justice entered an agreement with the Puerto Rico Civil Rights Commission, the Puerto Rico Police Department and the Colegio Universitario de Justicia Criminal in 2010 to create a cooperative effort to develop and implement hate crime training initiatives and civil rights curriculum for the Puerto Rico Police Academy and Puerto Rico Police Department.  Despite such legal protection and ongoing efforts to address hate violence, the murders of LGBT individuals have continued. 

I continue to find it fascinating that so many in our community will participate in an organization that blatantly discriminates against others. I was happy to see that Watermark continues to cover the lawsuit against NAGAAA (Issue 18.12) and its heterophobic actions. As a community that constantly faces discrimination on almost every level of government and in a majority of religious cultures, it doesn’t make sense for us to turn our backs on our allies. Until NAGAAA revamps its archaic “two straight players” rule, I hope that players in our region will Joe Solmonese find other ways HRC president to fulfill their need for sports. To paraphrase a —Jared Gold popular phrase, if we don’t practice non-discrimination, how can we As a fellow comedian and actor, I applaud preach non-discrimination? Tracy Morgan for his efforts in speaking out Jared Gold against anti-gay rhetoric, which unfortunately Via e-mail is still regularly expressed in some standup comedy acts. The Screen Actors Guild National LGBT Actors Committee appreciates Tracy’s efforts to both learn from this experience and use this as a teachable The alarming rate of violence against moment. LGBT Puerto Rican’s cannot be tolerated. We fully support Tracy’s message that Puerto Rican government officials and law discrimination has no place in today’s society enforcement, as well as the U.S. Department regardless of where it is practiced.” of Justice, must ensure that LGBT people Jason Stuart have the protection they need to survive. Co-chair, Screen Actors Guild When a community has to live in constant National LGBT Actors Committee fear of violence and even death for who they are, everyone suffers. Puerto Rico has a hate crime law that

“If we don’t practice non-discrimination, how can we preach non-discrimination?”

Applause for Tracy Morgan

LGBT violence must end in Puerto Rico

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

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watermark | viewpoint Both questions were raised by the St. Pete Pride board, and my answer was the same: I’m certain it won’t. Georgie’s is the hub of St. Pete Pride: an upbeat and well-run institution with a proven ability to handle big crowds. It will be packed, and it will be fun, all weekend long. The Flamingo has invested millions to make their property a sexy, multi-faceted destination retreat. It has a large and devoted following, and deservedly so. It is booked to overflowing for St. Pete Pride, and I’m confident that will be the case in the future. It will be packed, and it will be fun, all weekend long. Gay Days in Orlando demonstrates that

publisher’s

perspective

St. Pete Pride organizers know this. They do everything they can—tents, fans, misters, free ice water—and it helps. They’ve even considered moving the event to a shadier location or cooler month, like Orlando’s Come Out With Pride in October.  Defiantly, like the protestors at Stonewall, St. Pete Pride should remain in June. Attendance each year supports this decision. Nonetheless, most attendees succumb to the heat by mid-afternoon. Hot or cold Many duck into Detours or Queenshead, on Fire & Ice? or head for the invitingly cool confines at Georgie’s, or to the festive pool area at the Flamingo Resort just a few miles south. But Tom Dyer most take their pride and head home, a lost Tom@WatermarkOnline.com opportunity for St. Petersburg and Pinellas County. After St. Pete Pride last year I jumped in a Roser Park neighbors’ pool, then went to the beach with friends. Walking along the Gulf with a refreshing breeze at my back, I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great if Pride could just end here.” I dismissed the idea as wholly unrealistic until months later, when I discovered the Postcard Inn. The “retro-fabulous” 200-room hotel is beautiful, relaxed and funky, with a huge grassy courtyard and the biggest swimming pool on St. Pete Beach. The marketing director used to work at the host hotel for Telluride Gay Ski Week, so she embraced the idea of bringing Pride back to the beach. Postcard’s management and staff he ninth St. Pete Pride Promenade matched her enthusiasm. steps off in just a couple days. Like For years, Watermark produced many, I’ve been in every one. We’ve Beach Ball during Gay Days. But we’ve watched this wonderfully relaxed and never done a hotel event before, so I inclusive event grow into the biggest Pride was reassured when Al Ferguson at celebration in Florida.  ALandCHUCK.travel offered to partner For the first time this year, Watermark is with us. Al dubbed the event “Fire & Ice co-producing a major event during St. Pete Weekend.” Pride. There has been confusion—and even We had a good idea and a great venue. concern—about how that came about, so But we couldn’t proceed without the I want to set the record straight. But first I blessing—and input—of the St. Pete Pride want to set the scene. board. I was relieved when they welcomed The Promenade starts at Georgie’s the concept, recognizing that Fire & Ice Alibi—a bedrock of LGBT life in St. Weekend will grow St. Pete Pride and Petersburg—then winds through Historic attract coveted Kenwood, where overnight and outsmiling children of-town visitors sit on blankets and from across the bay Defiantly, wave at their colorful and region. neighbors. By the like the protestors  Since then, time the endless at Stonewall, respected local procession makes it LGBT businesses St. Pete Pride should to the Grand Central and organizations District, a throng remain in June. have become of cheering faces involved or offered creates an explosion support. They of joyful pride.  include MyQmunity.com, Outings & The Promenade doesn’t really end; it Adventures, Urban Body, Manny Alvarez morphs into the huge Street Festival… and Presents, Twirl Girl Productions, TIGLFF, some of the best people-watching south of the Krewe of Cavaliers, What’s Happening Ptown. But as morning turns to afternoon, magazine and GayDayS.com. pride begins to wilt in the 90-degree heat. But others have expressed understandable Children get fussy. Dogs get plucked off concern. Will Fire & Ice Weekend redirect the steaming street. Umbrellas are opened business from valued St. Pete Pride as shields against the sun, and everybody sponsors like Georgie’s and the Flamingo? prays for just one dark cloudful of rain.   Will it change the tone of St. Pete Pride It’s the hottest many of us will be all from community to circuit event? year. 

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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major LGBT events tend either to evolve or stagnate. Fire & Ice will fill a void, taking advantage of the nearby beach—among the best in the nation—to offer a different experience for some of the 80,000 who attend St. Pete Pride each year. You may laugh, but I have a fantasy. In a year or two shuttles running throughout St. Pete Pride weekend will connect tens of thousands to downtown St. Pete, the Grand Central District, Georgie’s, Gulfport, the Flamingo and the beach. And at the beach, different hotels will appeal to men, women, families, bears and beyond. Everyone, including locals out for a gay day at the beach, will share a beautiful white strip of sand… and their pride. | l | { PA I D A D V E R T I S E M E N T }

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| June 23 - July 6, 2011


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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k.d. lang: chris azzopardi

‘LOUD’ AND PROUD The singer talks being butch, out and the first gay country star (before Chely Wright)

k

.d. lang is manning up, and here’s why: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and all the other sexpots of pop who shoot whipped cream from their chests and ride disco sticks. In our recent interview with lang, a longtime gay activist and singer of the purest form who turns 50 later this year, she told us how her decision to boost her longtime butchness was a rebellious choice. The look is evident in “I Confess,” the lead single from the recently released Sing it Loud. k.d.’s first record made entirely with a band in over 20 years, the new album features her sublime voice in all its glory. Although it will be a while before lang comes to our neck of the woods—she’s booked at the Van Wezel in Sarasota Oct. 5 and at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Oct. 7—her new album already has fans abuzz. The singer chatted about the album’s evolution, how being the first out country star doesn’t matter (she doesn’t even know who Chely Wright is), and why she’s proud to be part of Glee.

spontaneous and kind of rock. We put the band together and it was beyond my wildest dreams what transpired. We recorded eight songs in three days and the love in the room was palpable, and the communication and the magic was just extraordinarily creative.

WateRmaRK: Why did you approach Sing it Loud with a fuller sound and, for the first time in a while, a band? K.D. LANG: It just seemed to be the right thing to do. It was just what I was feeling. I was working with Joe (Pisapia), writing songs, and it came time to record them and I just felt like the band was the right way to approach it—very live and

Definitely, but how did it come about? Was it your line? We were just sitting around and I said to Josh (Grange) and Daniel (Clarke), who I wrote the song with, “I want to write a Roy Orbison song.” It just started coming out of us, and I was just kind of riffing on lyrics and fooling around—“I love you madly,” and I just went, “I’ll be your daddy”—and Josh said, “Oh my god, that’s so cool. You have to keep it.”

There’s lots of love on the album. What inspired all of it? We wanted to write something that was unpretentious and uplifting and made the listener feel good and [it] felt good while we were playing it. It’s not really an autobiographical record because it’s highly collaborative. How will the new songs translate to a live venue? I really believe that the energy that we feel for each other and for the music will translate to the audience— at least I’m hoping, but I’m pretty sure it will. Explain the line “I’ll be your daddy” on “I Confess.” Well, it’s pretty self-explanatory, isn’t it? (Laughs)

Continued on page 32 | uu |


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| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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watermark | film

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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screened out REPRESENT!

stephen miller

Stephen@WatermarkOnline.com

Beginners (Starring Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer, Mélanie Laurent, Goran Visnjic)

G

WikiLeaks dump tons of unsorted data on the public. Reporter scandal has rocked reputations. Finally, papers have had to embrace technology, hiring staff to report on the changing media that affects themselves, most of all. Page One covers all this messiness by devoting a year to the New York Times as it reports on the WikiLeaks scandal, the Tribune buyout, the Middle East wars, and layoffs at every major paper. It’s tumultuous stuff, hard to get a grasp on. That’s in part a fault of a documentary that decides to follow too many strands, never completing any single story. There is a shining example of what Page One could’ve focused on. Reporter David Carr roguishly talks about everything from his drug-addicted past to his current role in changing media. He’s a survivor. In this year, Carr learns to tweet, begrudgingly accepting other technology and tech experts to the paper. He defends the societal role of his in-depth news staff. He covers the Tribune fiasco (which directly affected the Orlando Sentinel). Page One should’ve just followed lively, mouthy Carr. It would’ve encompassed a more engaging story, one with immense character, still including every nuance without the scattershot approach.

ay-themed Beginners is a poetic, meandering dramedy about an artist (McGregor) who slowly struggles through grief to a new lease on life. Even with its artsy, self-conscious narrative style, it boasts Oscar-worthy performances from McGregor and Plummer. Five years earlier, when McGregor’s mom dies, his 75-year-old dad (Plummer) announces that he’s gay, always has been, and wants to experience life. If this revelation shocks oddball, quiet McGregor, he doesn’t let on. Instead he bolsters his dad as the old man makes bonds with other men, creating friendships that father and son never shared. Soon Plummer develops stage four cancer; McGregor loses his dad just as they were getting to know each other. McGregor’s lack of parental bonding—with mom or dad— affects his own relationships, especially with the luminous French actress Laurent (Inglorious Basterds). There is no real drive to Beginners, because grief is indeterminable. The film slides from the distant past to recent past with a melodic fluidity. The careful tone allows us to revel in the glorious acting. The only super 8 sticking points are that the (Starring Kyle Chandler, Joel Joel Courtney leads a gaggle of narration and artwork seem a Courtney, Elle Fanning) young stars in Super 8. bit contrived. Writer/director Mike Mills Discovering the secrets of bases this on his own story with his dad; it’s a Super 8 is a large portion of the fun. So, it’s tale obviously culled from a still aching heart. just safe to say this is J.J. Abrams' big-budget Beginners also elegantly encompasses gay homage to Steven Spielberg’s super summer rights and what that means to a straight man flicks of the 1980s, purposely calling to mind deeply transformed by a father brave enough Close Encounters, ET, and The Goonies. to start over so late in life. We’re not talking complex here. We’re talking heartfelt, showy, goofy and pretty enjoyable. Spielberg must’ve felt honored, because he Page one: inside the new produced it. York Times Courtney is a teenage boy grieving the (Documentary directed by Andrew Rossi) recent loss of his mom. His deputy dad (Chandler of Friday Night Lights) is distant, The events of this past decade have officious. So Courtney and his friends turn pummeled print news. At bastions like the to filming a Super 8 zombie film during their LA Times, Washington Post, and New York summer break. While shooting a late-night Times, advertising sales and subscriptions scene, the kids catch a horrific, stunning plummeted. Internet sources are providing train wreck and become embroiled in a giant real-time news (although without a lot military cover-up. of professional integrity). Activists like Even though it’s lovely to see a well-made

Christopher Plummer and Ewan McGregor are captivating in the gay dad dramedy Beginners.

teenaged adventure film, writer/director Abrams (Lost, the Star Trek reboot) takes a very long time—with lots of cute tangents— to get to the meat of the story. The train wreck doesn’t come until 30 minutes in. Then the film darts and ambles for another hour before, finally, a big reveal. Furthermore, the idiocy of the military is a massive plot hole, and the characters are a bit cliché. Are these quibbles going to matter? No, because Super 8 is visually magnificent, adorable and funny, with its heart in the right place. It’s a fitting tribute to Spielberg,

a man who changed many of our childhood summers. | 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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watermark | theater

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

behind the mug shots Cellmate Confessions looks beyond booking photos to learn the stories behind the arrests

steve blanchard

T

ampa | It’s a guilty pleasure of which we’re all guilty. The eyes on the front of the magazines at the checkout counter in the gas station call out to us when we see line after line of mug shots showcasing the latest jailhouse recruits of our neighborhoods. We may laugh at the smiling faces or the beat-up appearance of some of the arrestees. But we rarely get a glimpse into the psyche of the comical, intriguing and sometimes sad portraits of the not-yet-proven-guilty faces on the covers of those tabloids. That is, until now. St. Petersburg playwright Joseph Alan Johnson’s Cellmate Confessions gives audiences a new look beyond those mug shots in a sometimes comical, disturbing and often

fact-based way. The show, presented by Zazu Productions, opens June 30 and runs through July 10 at the Shimberg Playhouse within the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. “The truth is crime is provocative and people like it,” Johnson says. “Look at the frenzy around Casey Anthony—OJ Simpson. It’s a guilty pleasure.” In Cellmate Confessions, 10 actors portray four characters each. Some are comical—like the drug-addicted poetess who offers the audience a glimpse into her mind—while others are dark—a child molester who explains why it feels natural to follow girls in pretty dresses. “There really is no subject we won’t touch,” says Johnson, who has been involved in local

Tampa Bay playwright and actor Joseph Alan Johnson hopes to have his play Cellmate Confessions published by the end of the year. | Photo courtesy Joseph Alan Johnson

Johnson has seen entertainment pages added LGBT theater for years. into the mix as well. Cellmate Confessions originally premiered “Now there are advice columns and lists of at Studio@620 in the summer of 2010 to sold where to go for bail bonds and cash advances,” out audiences. This time around, there are a Johnson says. “I would love it if one of those couple of new actors and the script has been publishers came to the show and based on the updated to include a few high-profile, local feedback we’ve gotten, someone featured in crimes. those papers will eventually see their story on One in particular caught Johnson’s the stage.” attention—the case of Julie Schenecker, who One character stands out for Johnson— shot and killed both of her children earlier this the case of the transvestite prostitute. That year because they “talked back.” Although character, played by popular local actor Daniel the names of the characters are changed in Harris, provides a few laughs because of its the script, Johnson says audience members absurdity. will recognize the stories that played out in “Daniel plays a transvestite who winds up the headlines, and he admits that the story having sex in a man’s convertible along the lines are only about the crimes of which the characters are accused and not about their guilt Gandy Bridge,” Johnson says. “When his heel tears through the rag top, the John gets upset, a or innocence. fight ensues and the police show up. We get to “I’ve had audience members say they were hear the transvestite’s take on the events which frustrated because they wanted to know what happened to the character after trials,” Johnson is tragic and funny.” Some audience members may be offended laughs. “That’s not what this play is about. by the stories in This is about that Cellmate Confessions instant when people and Johnson admits the are in the holding cell “The truth is, crime language is graphic— and get that mug shot is provocative and but not vulgar. But with taken.” a number of F-bombs Each character is people like it.” in the script, you can given a monologue— —Cellmate Confessions bet leaving the little some are very playwright Joseph ones at home is a good short while others Alan Johnson idea. are much more While searching for involved—and there a publisher and playing are also a couple of several roles in Cellmate Confessions, Johnson original songs that help lighten the mood. An opening tango introduces the mug shot process is also busily working on two upcoming Tampa Bay productions. The Carrollwood Players to the audience, and other favorite songs are scheduled to present his Gay/Sex/Life include "Bail Boy" and "Bail Bond Betty." There is no denying that it was the mug shot this fall and he hopes to premiere his newest work, Green Card Wedding Bridesmaid, at the magazines that inspired Johnson to write the L-Train in St. Petersburg in early 2012. | l | play. In fact, he wanted to credit the original magazine of the genre—Cellmates—in the title. “I originally titled the piece Cellmates— Live on Stage, but I could never track down the WHAT: Cellmate Confessions publisher of the tabloid,” Johnson says. “So I WHEN: June 30-July 10 tweaked the title to Cellmate Confessions and WHERE: Shimberg Playhouse at the ran with it.” Straz Center for the Performing Arts In a genre that used to just list the names, TICKETS: StrazCenter.org addresses and crimes related to each mug shot,

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June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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Macy’s salutes Gay Pride St. Petersburg with Johnny Weir and Ru Paul Drag Race finalist Alexis Mateo! Macy’s Tyrone Square Men’s Department, Main Level Friday, June 24 at 6pm

Show Your Pride! You’re invited to a Pride celebration of fashion, fun and surprises hosted by two-time Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir and Ru Paul Drag Race finalist Alexis Mateo. See our male models strut down the runway sporting this Summer’s musthave styles, while you enjoy bubbly sips and treats courtesy of Georgie’s Alibi. While you’re here, get a complimentary makeover and skin care analysis from our Lab series experts. Plus, with any purchase of $50 or more in Papi underwear, receive a free matching t-shirt or hat*. And, with any purchase of $75 or more, take home an autographed copy of Johnny Weir’s new autobiography*, Welcome to My World!

Events subject to change or cancellation.*While supplies last.

6/8/11 10:49:27 PM


28

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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watermark | performance

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

29

as “The male Lady Gaga.” But what is your ultimate vision for your career as a performer? Ultimately, I would love to fully realize the world that lives inside my mind. Given the opportunity, I have an epic rock opera waiting to come alive. It’s somewhere between Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil, Baron Munchausen, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. I would love to show people that Poppycock is not simply a Marie Antoinette and Louis XIV reference but a full-fledged fantastical world!

Prince Poppycock performs at the Parliament House in Orlando on July 2. | Photos courtesy Shawn Smith Photo

not just poppycock Prince Poppycock brings his stars and stripes to Parliament House

erik r. caban

W

ith his pancake-thick mime makeup, satin pantaloons, harlequin leotards and towering powdered wigs, Prince Poppycock is a dashing yet bizarre figure. John Andrew Quale, who is actually quite ruggedly handsome without his kabuki cosmetics, is the creator of the Prince Poppycock character, an ostentatious alter-ego that has allowed him to combine his love of opera with his many other musical favorites. The troubadour has been performing since he was 11, when he sang with the Washington Opera children’s choir at the Kennedy Center, but leapt to fame when he made the finals of America’s Got Talent in 2010. He will return to Florida on Saturday, July 2, for a concert at the Parliament House in Orlando. From his home in Los Angeles, Quale talked with Watermark about gay rights, French philosophy and the extraordinary world of Prince Poppycock. WATERMARK: Last year, you performed in Tampa for the America’s Got Talent

tour.  What can we expect this time around? PRINCE POPPYCOCK: I love Florida and I’m very much looking forward to returning. I’m excited to revisit my “America” number in honor of the 4th of July, which lands very close to my performance. I can’t wait to don that sparkly blue top hat again! One of your more memorable performances on America’s Got Talent featured your passion for civil rights. Are you still as passionate today? I have been working with the organization Rise Up and Shout since 2006 and I recently was Master of Ceremonies for their last concert here in Los Angeles in May. I was honored to be asked by Perez Hilton to create an ‘It Gets Better’ video this last fall when the epidemic of teen suicides was brought to our national attention. I also had the opportunity (thanks to TV host Jerry Springer) to give a speech to teens considering suicide in every city across America during the AGT tour.   I care passionately about LGBT issues,

Where did the name “Prince Poppycock” come from? I was very taken by the philosophy of the French existentialists in my early 20s, especially “The Myth of Sisyphus” by Albert Camus.  [In it,] he discusses the absurd nature of life as the main problem that we, as humans, face in life. As a result, I embraced absurdity and came to the realization that instead of bemoaning our fate, the only logical conclusion was to celebrate and enjoy the nonsensical nature of reality.   In 2005, I was seriously considering starting a nightclub called Poppycock. As fate would have it, a friend asked me to perform especially teen mental health and marriage at her club. I performed “Largo al Factotum” equality, and will do my best to contribute in as John Quale dressed as a baroque dandy. any way I can to the cause. Unexpectedly, it was a runaway hit. I was then asked to repeat the performance at clubs and Back in 2009, you produced your first solo venues all over town and began performing album. Are there plans for another? under the name “Prince Poppycock.” The rest My first album Worldview, as John Quale, is history. was a self-produced   labor of love. I am You were bullied and currently selfschool and eventually producing for John dropped out—earning “I embraced absurdity Quale, as well as your GED later. What and instead of collaborating on words of wisdom the debut Prince bemoaning our fate, would you give Poppycock album.   someone who is being [I] celebrate and The lead single, bullied? “My Favorite Song enjoy the nonsensical While high school to Dance To,” is a wasn’t right for me, I nature of reality.” dance extravaganza continued on to college —John Quale, Poppycock-style! and got my BA. A who portrays Prince I have also been thirst for learning is a Poppycock writing several life-long pursuit and songs by myself. an important trait for I know that I only everyone to cultivate! have one chance at a Life in and of itself debut and I want it to be perfect, so I am taking is an absolute miracle. It is and will always be my time. the greatest, most magical thing you will ever   experience. Think about the infinite possibility Any other projects on the horizon? of lives that could have come into existence My manager and agent are working that will never get a chance to be. That’s pretty very hard at putting together a theatrical mind-boggling to me. It’s fairly humbling and extravaganza entitled Prince Poppycock: His it makes me grateful for every moment and Royal Nonsense—a short history of royalty every breath of my life. | l | which will take the audience around the world and throughout history in song and dance. From Egypt to America, we will see that Poppycock has always been with us in many WHAT: Prince Poppycock guises. The story will also show that royalty is WHEN: July 2, 10pm and 12am not something to be worshipped but something WHERE: Parliament House to be cultivated within oneself.

see+hear

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Prince Poppycock has been described


30

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watermark | music

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

| uu | k.d. lang from p.23

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How do you think that line would’ve been received had you recorded this song 20 years ago when you first came out of the closet? Probably the same as now. I think there’s always going to be people who feel uncomfortable with it and there’s always going to be people who are titillated by it. You just have to know that’s going to be the case for a long time. Would you say you’re embracing your butchness more than you used to? Yeah—this music really asks for it. I also think that the aesthetic nature of today’s music, with people like Lady Gaga and Katy Perry— not that it’s new, it certainly isn’t; I know better than that—being very exaggerated, I thought, I can exaggerate too. (Laughs.)

people who don’t? I don’t know. I wouldn’t say less likely. You get what you get; it’s fate. You either have a huge amount of success at the beginning and then your career kind of dwindles, or you have something kind of consistent like me and it goes for years and years, or you work really hard and nothing happens and then you explode later on in life. I don’t really think that one is better than the other. If you hadn’t come out publicly at 30 and you were still closeted, how do you imagine your life and career now? I can’t imagine, because I was always out and coming out wasn’t really a big deal for me just because I was living out to my family, and in the world, for a long time. But it certainly made things easier. I can’t imagine what it would be like, but at the same time it’s definitely made my life easier just because it kind of stripped away the question marks in the audience’s minds or the business mind—the sort of public understanding of who I was. It took away any pretense or any question. So even though in some circumstances it’s more difficult, it’s definitely open and honest, so in that respect it makes it so much easier.

“I was always out and coming out wasn’t really a big deal for me.”

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You mention the aesthetic of performers today, which seems to be more important than vocal talent these days. But you’ve always been about the voice. What do you make of the way the music business has shifted in the way it sells music? It’s kind of the direction it’s been going. If you’re really a historian you can probably go back to television, to video, to multimedia and see how it sort of extracted it from its purist form, which is making music. Now you’re on camera every single time you open your mouth. I’m surprised someone isn’t video taping this interview for the web. (Laughs.) I actually think it’s boring because everything is so overexposed. But it’s fine; it is what it is. I’m not going to be one of those people going, “Oh, it’s gotta be like it used to be.” I think it’s relative and it’s the evolution of the way things are. In terms of music, there is always going to be a place for someone who can sing and someone who can communicate with an audience. I don’t think that will ever be in danger, because that’s what separates the cream from the crop. If you can walk on stage and really deliver, yeah—you can’t fake that.

There was this big hoopla when Chely Wright came out last year as the first gay country star, because there was the argument that you beat her to it. How did you feel about all that? I don’t know who Chely Wright is. But I don’t care. I mean, to a whole generation of people who know Chely Wright, they probably don’t know who I am, so to them it is the first country star to come out. (Laughs.) I don’t really care who’s the first, who’s the last, because before me there were a lot of people that helped get me to a place to feel confident and comfortable with coming out.

—k.d. lang

Did you ever feel pressure to conform in your career? That would depend on what I wanted to reap from my music. I’ve always been quite sure that I wanted to have a more artistic career and a career of longevity, so in that respect, no. I’ve made decisions that have nurtured my art rather than my public awareness or my celebrity. That’s been self-determined, so no, I never felt the pressure. So do you think people who nurture their celebrity status are less likely to endure than

When you look back at the films that you’ve done in the past, like Eye of the Beholder or Salmonberries, what do you think? Do you watch them? No, I don’t watch them. (Laughs.) I don’t watch a lot of movies, and if I were to watch a movie, I certainly wouldn’t pick one of mine. Last year you lent your voice to a song on a Glee soundtrack. Would you ever do the show? I don’t know. I don’t really watch Glee, but I know it’s very popular and very gay friendly, which is great. And Jane Lynch is hilarious. So I guess if they asked me I would consider it, but I’m really happy that I could be a part of something that’s supportive and promotes alternative and varying lifestyles. | l |


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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watermark | event planner

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

ice party

wet nurse After the St. Pete Pride Street Festival on June 25, keep the party rolling at the ICE Party at The Postcard Inn on St. Pete Beach.

theater [SARASOTA] Our Son’s Wedding Florida Studio Theatre is the home of the regional premier of Our Son’s Wedding, which follows an young Italian-American man’s marriage to another man while his family juggles years of tradition with being as accepting as possible. The show opens Friday, July 8, and runs through Aug. 7. For information and details, visit FloridaStudioTheatre. org or call 941-366-9000.

[ORLANDO] Rashomon Based on the Japanese tale of the samurai, Tony Award-nominated Rashomon is now playing at Mad Cow Theatre. Showtimes are Thursdays through Sundays, through July 10. Tickets are $24 and $22 for seniors and students with ID at MadCowTheatre.com or by calling 407-297-8788, ext. 1.

[TAMPA] Cellmate Confessions Local gay playwright Joseph Alan Johnson was inspired by the mug shot tabloids and internet sites to pen Cellmate Confessions, a kaleidoscope of stories behind those photos. The play appears at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts June 30-July 10. Ten Tampa Bay actors—several of which are LGBT—portray an array of characters at the time of their arrest. Some are funny, some are disturbing and some will have you talking well after the house lights come back on. For details, tickets and a video about the play, visit StrazCenter.org.

music [SARASOTA] Justin Ryan LGBT Christian recording artist Justin Ryan will include a stop at the Trinity Metropolitan Community Church on Sunday, July 3, as part of his “I’ve Been There” concert tour. The tour

The girls of Wet Nurse will join Suede Dudes and Kid Taco at Hoops Tavern in Orlando on July 2.

was inspired by the overwhelming number of LGBT youth suicides in 2010 and the media’s new focus on bullying in schools. Ryan will share his own story of struggling with his sexuality and his Christian faith. The free concert starts at 11 a.m. and a love offering will be taken afterward. For more information, visit TrinityMCC.com.

MeteorEYES Popular local band MeteorEYES, fronted by Shannon Fortner, will appear with bands Igor and Blood Bats at Mr. Beery’s on Friday, July 1. The free concert begins at 8 p.m. at the popular pub at 2645 Mall Dr.

[ORLANDO] Prince Poppycock

Christian recording artist Justin Ryan will share his story and music at Trinity MCC in Sarasota July 3.

special events

[TAMPA] GaYbor Days 2011

[ST. PETERSBURG] St. Pete Pride 2011

The annual GaYbor Days celebration returns to Historic Ybor City June 30-July 4 with events ranging from films and vendor booths to a bar crawl. Things get started on Thursday, June 30, with a free community health and wellness fair at Metro Wellness and Community Center from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. On Friday, July 1, a screening of the documentary The Times of Harvey Milk will show at Muvico Ybor at 8 p.m. On Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3, events are scheduled throughout the bars in Ybor City including the popular bar crawl at 5 p.m. on July 3. The celebration closes on Independence Day with the GaYbor Music Festival at Crowbar and Gaspar’s Grotto at 5 p.m. For information and more details, visit GaYbor. com.

The ninth annual St. Pete Pride street festival and promenade will return to the Grand Central District on Saturday, June 25. This year’s promenade (aka parade) begins at 9 a.m. across from Georgie’s Alibi and will wind through the Kenwood and down Central Avenue at 28th Street. The Street Festival runs until 3 p.m. For a full schedule of events, visit StPetePride.com.

Fire and Ice Weekend

The flamboyant Prince Poppycock will bring his singing and stage show to Parliament House July 2 at 1 a.m. Poppycock came to national attention in 2010 when he competed on the fifth season of America’s Got Talent. Tickets are $10 at the door, which includes all access to clubs including Footlight Players shows at 10 p.m. and midnight.

After the St. Pete Pride Street Festival join the staff of Watermark Media and AlAndChuck.Travel for the ICE Party at the Postcard Inn on Saturday, June 25. The official St. Pete Pride pool party is a great way to cool off and continue the festive party atmosphere of the state’s largest pride event. For tickets and room reservations, visit WatermarkOnline.com and click on the Fire & Ice logo.

Wet Nurse, Suede Dudes and Kid Taco

[DUNEDIN] Craft Festival

See three great bands in one night, Saturday, July 2, at Hoops Tavern in Orlando. Wet Nurse, Suede Dudes and Kid Taco will take the stage from 9 p.m.–2 a.m.

The 9th Annual Dunedin Craft Festival will run Saturday and Sunday, June 25-26, along Main Street in downtown Dunedin. The free festival is open to the public and helps support the local arts community. Both local and national crafters will be on display. For more information visit ArtFestival. com.

film

justin ryan

[ORLANDO] Movies Out Loud: Glitter

[CLEARWATER] Deadliest Catch—Live

After a June break, Movies Out Loud is back! All that glitters will be mocked on Thursday, July 14 when Miss Sammy and Jeff Jones bring their signature, hilarious commentary to Glitter, Mariah Carey’s regrettable starring film role. Tickets are only $10 at WatermarkOnline.com. Showtime is at 8 p.m. at the Plaza Cinema Café, but the Café’s bar opens at 7 p.m. allowing attendees a chance to have a happy hour before the start of the film.

Meet cable’s highest-rated personalities when the captains of the popular show Deadliest Catch share their experiences with audience members at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday, June 25. Captain Sig and the Hillstrand Brothers will share stories from the popular show, which debuted on Discovery Channel in 2005. Tickets are $75 and include a meet-and-greet with the captains afterward. For details, visit RuthEckerdHall.com.

[ORLANDO] Do-Gooder’s Coffee Klatch Watermark’s Scottie Saves the World blogger Scottie Campbell is bringing a first-of-its-kind resource-sharing and networking gathering to Orlando. The Do-Gooder’s Coffee Klatch is a resource-sharing event where each month, six participants are given the opportunity to share three specific needs with the others in the group, in the hopes of finding new resources and collaboration for all participants. It will be a monthly event, and Scottie is now soliciting applications at his Scottie Saves the World blog at WatermarkOnline.com. Six will be chosen to participate in the first gathering at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, June 29, at The Coffee House at Downtown Credo. Future gatherings will take place on the last Wednesday of each month.

OPCDG Recruitment Night Do you have what it takes to be an Orlando Psycho City Derby Girl? Find out at the OPCDG recruitment event Thursday, June 30 from 8:15–10:30 p.m. at Universal Skate Center. Recruitment Night is primarily an information session. For more information, e-mail recruitment@orlandoderby.com.

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


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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36

watermark | tampa bay out+about

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

1- An entertainer with Event Show Productions strikes a pose outside Nova 535 during the disco-themed fundraiser for ASAP on June 11.

shot on site

Photography | Steve Blanchard, Jeff Klein, Ed Leonhard and Carrie West

1

2

3

4 5 6

2- The Gay St. Pete Renegades, now christened the “Housewives” and also sponsored by the Queens Head Pub, were voted as the most spirited team in the Suncoast Softball League this past season. 3- (L-R) St. Pete Pride co-president Stanley Solomons and executive director Chris Rudisill were dolled up for the Tampa Bay Business Guild meeting on June 14—which was held at the Holiday Inn Select in Clearwater just hours before the annual Turnabout fundraiser at Georgie’s Alibi. 4- The St. Pete Twirling Project performed in the Los Angeles, Calif., Gay Pride parade on June 12. 5- Emcee Jeff Klein introduces St. Pete Pride president Scott Turner before he performs at a turnabout fundraiser at Georgie’s Alibi June 14. 6- (L-R) Joseph Allen Johnson and William Bryant were out in Ybor promoting Johnson’s upcoming play, Cellmate Confessions, opening June 30.

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watermark | tampa bay out+about

tampa bay overheard Cops on Bikes When the GaYbor District Coalition learned that police officers patrolling the historic Ybor City area were literally without wheels, it decided to help. According to Carrie West, the coalition’s president, police officers spoke at a recent GaYbor meeting and shared that to patrol Ybor City effectively, officers have had to borrow bicycles from other areas of the Tampa Police Department because the Ybor contingent’s rides were falling apart. The board immediately voted to start collecting money for the men and women of the Tampa Police force and also issued a challenge to the Ybor Chamber of Commerce and Development Corporation to help get bikes in the name of public safety. The plan worked, and on Tuesday, July 5, the coalition will present two brandspanking new bicycles to police officers at an event slated for the Hampton Inn Ybor— and rumor has it that Mayor Bob Buckhorn is scheduled to attend.

New Pride, new crowns St. Pete Pride has new royalty this year after two successful drag pageants in St. Petersburg. Jaeda Fuentes took the Miss St. Pete Pride crown at a pageant on

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

37

You Oughta be in Pictures...

Sunday, June 19, and Aiden Taylor was crowned Mr. St. Pete Pride on June 6. Both pageants were held at Push Ultra Lounge in downtown St. Petersburg—a new venue for pageants. If you missed the pageants, don’t worry. Both Fuentes and Taylor will perform at the St. Pete Pride Street Festival on June 25 on the Main Stage and will no doubt show why judges thought they had the stuff to represent Florida’s largest LGBT Pride event.

Now you caN! Make a winning bid in our online auction, and be filmed delivering your favorite classic movie quote in the 2011 festival trailer.

Hallback gym to open in Tampa

Quotes like:

Several years back, Watermark introduced its readers to Chevelle Hallback, a lesbian boxer who has made some impressive rounds on the pro circuit. Now Hallback is returning to her roots and opening her Fists of Steel Boxing Academy near downtown Tampa. The gym, located at 3020 W. Kennedy, Suite B, officially opens on July 5. Hallback gave us a glimpse into her personal and professional life back in 2008, and from the looks of her, she’s still ready to kick a butt or two if clients don’t listen to her instructions—something many boxers in training look for. For more information call 813-270-4375.

“Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis in All About eve “Frankly, my dear, i don’t give a damn.” Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind “ted Casablanca is not a fag! And i’m the dame who can prove it!” Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls

Go to www.tiglff.com/auction to bid on a quote or add your favorite.

Bidding ends on July 31st at midnight.

the 20 highest bidders will be filmed in a studio on August 13th.

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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watermark | orlando out+about

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

orlando overheard

LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS? ARE YOU HAPPY WITH YOUR SERVICES? We need your ideas. Get involved! Help decide how federal funds are used in your community. You have the POWER to make a difference. CALL NICOLE AT 727-217-7070 TODAY!

Robyn Was Robbed

LUSH-ious Lips

On June 9, Christian-pop-good-girl-turnedpop-megastar Katy Perry brought her Teenage Dream tour to Orlando’s UCF Arena. What you may have missed was her opening act, platinum-hued Swede Robyn. Though she was only mentioned in 8-point font beneath most advertisements for the concert, if at all, Robyn played a strong set, ranging from the electric infused “Fembot,” to the mainstream hit, “Call Your Girlfriend.” To the dismay of one Watermark reporter, the crowd (consisting mainly of scantily clad 12 year old girls) simply thumbed through their iPhones throughout the set, donning blank faces. “This isn’t a good arena for her,” said Watermark’s Erik Caban. “I only know of like, three gay people here.”

On Saturday, June 18, at 11:38 a.m. gay and straight couples lip-locked at LUSH Cosmetics in Florida Mall as part of a nationwide protest for same-sex marriage. LUSH stores across North America invited the public and their pouts to LUSH stores to kiss in support of marriage equality. The ‘Kiss and Tell’ took place at exactly 11:38 a.m. to signify the number of protections, responsibilities and rights that are currently denied to same-sex couples and their families under the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). LUSH, in partnership with Freedom to Marry, is calling on the U.S. federal government to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, which would allow same-sex couples and their families access to the 1,138 civil rights that come with federal marriage recognition and ultimately their right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.In addition, for two weeks prior starting on June 13, LUSH turned its shops across North America into campaign centers where people can drop in to learn about the 1,138 rights denied to same-sex couples and sign a postcard petition asking the federal government to take action and overturn DOMA. To further efforts, LUSH created a new limited edition Freedom Foamer Bubble Bar with 100% of the proceeds going to Freedom to Marry’s campaign to end marriage discrimination. 

Power Gays Every year Orlando Magazine publishes its list of “Most Powerful People.” Even though the list doesn’t actually appear until the July edition, a little birdy told Watermark that interior designer Ted Maines and his partner, Jeff Miller, have secured second place. Maines, along with Steve Kodsi, owns stéted Interiors in Orlando. In third place on this year’s list is Mayor Buddy Dyer and his wife, dropping from their 1st place position in 2010. Topping off the list is Orange County Appraiser Bill Donegan and his wife, Helen.

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shot on site Photography | Erik Caban, Scott McCauley, Randy Stephens and Jake Stevens. Katy Perry photo courtesy of EMI Records.

1 6

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1- Katy Perry showed off her Peacock during her June 9 concert at the UCF Arena. 2- (L to R) Roxy Santiago, Sue-Bee Laginess and Thearon Scurlock checked out new club Steel during Watermark’s Third Thursday Social June 16. 3- Realtor David Dorman and his partner Scott Penyak where among the producers of the Stork Club Supper Club event, a benefit for Help and Hope of Central Florida June 12 at The Mezz. 4- The talented performers from An Evening on Broadway sang at a concert benefiting The Center on June 18. 5- (L-R) Michael Fargnoli, Kyle Bodshaug and Ryan Graham of Hadley’s Hope performed their CD release show for their new self-titled album at Backbooth on June 19. 6- (L- R) Steve Marsh, Craig Lenon, Ian Adamson and Norm Gentry dined and danced at the Stork Club benefit on June 12.

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watermark | real estate

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

41

Time for a

Gay-cation With some effort, you can find gay-friendly timeshares in Florida erik r. caban

F

or a quiet vacation at the beach or an exhilarating getaway with friends, timeshare resorts offer a unique way to experience exciting destinations while surrounded by all the comforts of home. Cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas are notorious for legendary nightlife and extravagant “alternative lifestyle” timeshares. But right here in the Sunshine State you can find a number of gay and gay-friendly timeshares—if you know where to look. Marketed as “alternative lifestyle” resorts by most timeshare websites, these properties offer exclusive accommodations to many vacationers looking for a vacation unlike anything else. From adults-only retreats to clothing-optional and nudist resorts, a wide range of alternative-lifestyle vacation properties are available. By labeling themselves as such, these properties take pride in providing a safe, pleasant and unique vacation for the alternative lifestyle. While there are specific cities and resorts that are frequented more often by gays and those with alternativelifestyles, vacationers are all-welcome at any timeshare and are not limited to certain areas or resorts.

Orlando

In 2005, Parliament House owners Don Granatstein and Susan Unger began construction on The Gardens, the first-ever LGBT-friendly timeshare in Central Florida. This lakefront resort offers spacious South Beach-style

accommodations and is next door to the world-renowned nightclub, featuring five bars, a disco, a theater, multiple shops and dining along with a pool and beach. Although it was planned to encompass the 10-acre land it sits on, The Gardens currently consists of one structure. Owners say this is only temporary due to renovations currently underway on Parliament House. “We’ve got a renovation plan for the Parliament House, a major renovation for both the club and the hotel and we’re all funded on it,” Granatstein told Watermark in December 2010. “We’ve made a deal with the investors from next door, The Gardens, to start building all the amenities so we’re going to build The Parliament Club, basically a country club for the gay community.” The Gardens offers one- and two-bedroom suites ranging from 900-1,400-square-feet. Each unit is luxuriously equipped with contemporary furniture, eclectic art work and warm textured fabrics. Each condo has a furnished kitchen featuring granite countertops. Both the one- and two-bedroom units

have private balconies and complimentary housecleaning service, room service, and 24 hour security. According to timeshare exchange company RCI, owners enjoy both their deluxe accommodations and the openminded environment and have awarded the resort it’s Gold Crown rating, the highest available. Results of a survey conducted by timeshare marketing firm Bay Tree Solutions show owners at The Gardens, are overwhelmingly satisfied, with 97% stating they are happy with their purchase. The survey found owners enjoy the resort’s deluxe accommodations, and look forward to returning. The long-range plan is to duplicate the concept in Palm Springs and Fort Lauderdale. Fore more information, visit Continued on page 49 | uu |

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Timeshare Resort doesn’t directly market to the LGBT community, but does recognize the niche. Photo courtesy DisneyVacationClub. com


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June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

You’re sensitive to the impact of architecture on mood. How would you handle a commission to design a prison? I’ve worked on juvenile correction centers. Aside from security, the buildings were designed to support the rehabilitation of the youths assigned to them. That meant creating an environment that balances physical needs, spiritual needs and aesthetics. The approach is no different than the design of a person’s house. What are some of the buildings, spaces and neighborhoods in Tampa Bay that give you joy or drain your spirit? Tampa Bay is rich in architecture and has wonderful neighborhoods. An example is Roser Park in downtown St. Petersburg with its winding brick road and classic bungalows perched high above. Another is the way the shotgun-style workers’ housing in North Ybor rub shoulders side-by-side. The historic Ruskin Women’s Club is a great old building. And there are some wonderful modern buildings that demonstrate the creative spirit of our region. Many are on the different USF campuses. When I see buildings and neighborhoods that have been disrespected I feel empty and hurt. Some examples are the intrusion of out-of-scale buildings in old neighborhoods, or the tattering of a neighborhood’s fabric by surface parking lots.

43

that can be a high-rise, a suburban townhouse cluster or a collection of detached houses. When you choose the people with whom you wish to interact, it develops strong relationships. People are more willing to give and receive from one another, and they are often more respectful of privacy and personal space. In today’s real estate market, there’s a tremendous advantage to co-operative housing because it removes the speculative aspect of development. Every unit is sold before it is even designed. Is co-operative living suited to gays and lesbians? Gay, straight or whatever… people have always needed other people. The so-called “blue zone” villages, where people commonly live for more than a century, are examples of the benefits of cooperative living. Isolation is the number one hardship associated with aging, especially for singles. In cooperative living you don’t have to seek companionship; you design it into your community. Why should we wait until we grow old to live in a community of our own making, our own design? People of all ages—especially those in the LGBT community—would benefit immeasurably from co-operative living.

a building should help people live

A minute with…

Roger Grunke ARCHITECT, YBOR CITY tom dyer

R

oger Grunke is an architect living and working in Tampa’s Ybor City. He’s also a man on a mission. Grunke is an advocate of “co-operative living,” where people join together to create a small community of housing units sharing communal space and functions. This type of living is most commonly associated with eldercare, but Grunke believes it suits many more people—particularly gays and lesbians. A registered architect and state certified building contractor, Grunke obtained his degree from the University of Florida. But he acquired his unique approach to design and building after extensive travels and

study abroad. Grunke is a community activist, preservationist and urban theorist. He is currently working on a book about Tampa’s unique contribution to Craftsman architecture. Grunke will be available to discuss his ideas about co-operative living during Fire & Ice Weekend at the Postcard Inn. Learn more about his work at GRUNKEdesign. com. WateRmaRK: As an architect, how do you define a successful building? ROGER GRuNKE: A successful building helps catapult the owner over the top. It helps them achieve personal and social goals at a level never imagined. Today, a successful building must also minimize any negative impact on the environment. Bottom line: a building should help people live the kind of lives they want. The way it looks is far less important.

the kind of lives they want.

–Roger Grunke

Can you explain co-operative living and how it benefits people? Co-operative living is like a condominium in reverse. A condominium is a speculative venture, conceived by a developer to appeal to a market niche. In co-operative living, a group of mutually respectful people decides that they want live in close proximity—either by sharing a building or a housing development. They form their group, define their interests and then hire a facilitator and architect. Each household has its own apartment or home, but the group as a whole builds facilities to support their common or special interests. That might be a glorious common kitchen and dining room for a group of foodies, or a private theater for movie buffs. Co-operative developments exist in progressive areas, and they have proven benefits. They foster strong neighborhoods

Has being gay affected your approach to architecture? Being different taught me at an early age to question the norm—and my own feelings and motivations. It helped me develop the capacity to understand ideas and lifestyles that are not my own, and also imagine the ideal circumstances for my own happiness. This has been a great tool in working with different people. We all want to live and work in an environment that supports our unique values. | l |


44

watermark | real estate

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

The pool area of Fusion 1560 will no doubt be a social epicenter of the new complex across from Tropicana Field.

Fusion 1560’s highlydesigned courtyards feature outdoor grilling areas, covered cabanas and other amenities. Photo courtesy Fusion 1560

Photo courtesy Fusion 1560

no one is in the room. Young said the building

Fusing luxury with affordability The new Fusion 1560 continues the downtown St. Pete renaissance S

|

greg stemm

t. Petersburg | There was once a day when St. Petersburg was known as the home of the “newly wed and nearly dead.” The only people living downtown were homeless or transients in decaying old flop house hotels. Those days have faded into the past as the remarkable renaissance of downtown St. Pete continues as a dynamic (and LGBT friendly) place to work, play and live. Fusion 1560, a new upscale creatively designed apartment complex, is helping to change the face of what life looks and feels like in the Sunshine City. “We are definitely the kind of community for someone looking for someplace unique and interesting to live,” says Jonathan Young, community manager. “And what really sets us apart is the quality and quantity of our amenities. We offer more of those than any other apartment development in St. Petersburg. “

Lots of Unique Amenities

The amenities are indeed impressive. The property has more the look and feel of a luxury hotel than an apartment complex. There’s even a concierge and a WiFi Cafe

that resembles the business center of a major metropolitan hotel in cities far bigger than St. Petersburg. Residents can even use a professional looking boardroom for meetings with clients or guests. In addition to a beautiful pool with lush tropical landscaping, there’s a spa area and the property has hired four massage therapists that are at residents’ disposal. If its activity you crave, Fusion 1560 is a dream come true. It’s well-equipped fitness center features angled floor-to-ceiling front window glass, so you’ll overlook the hustle of Central Avenue as you enjoy a workout. Other amenities include a video game area, an outdoor amenity deck facing Central Ave (2nd Floor), a highly designed courtyard with a grilling area, gathering areas and sculpture garden, a rooftop amenity deck with outdoor kitchen, covered cabana area, turf and sunning areas. The secured buildings feature upgraded finishes throughout and storage units are available for lease. There is also significant parking within the complex’s garage. “We’re also trying to be a greener building,” says Young. There are automatic lights in the common areas hooked to sensors which shut off automatically when

is well insulated and has an energy efficient heating and cooling system. He noted that the complex is sound-proofed so that you won’t be hearing that neighbor’s loud music upstairs.

It’s All About Lifestyle and Location

“Our chic collection of 325 luxury apartment homes has distinctively styled interiors and club quality amenities, says Young. “It’s a place that’s on the edge for those who want to live on the edge.” That style is especially reflected in the stylish post-modern architecture and color schemes of red, black and silver. “We’ve tried to create a look like this was a restored old industrial style building instead of a brand new building with no character,” he added. Each apartment home at Fusion 1560 is designed to exceed expectations. Created in a contemporary loft style, each home is a rich combination of the most sought-after features and amenities. Its ideal location in the heart of St. Petersburg allows a short convenient drive to world-renowned shopping, exquisite dining and endless entertainment opportunities. The facility is right next door to Tropicana Field and its range of activities from live professional baseball to concerts and expos. The roof top terrace affords stellar views of downtown St. Petersburg and the wide range of things to do and see including events like the annual Grand Prix. The

complex is within a few blocks walking distance to the annual St. Pete Pride celebration. Fusion 1560 apartment homes boast high end finishes, solid wood cabinetry and oversized closets.  Accent brick walls, Quartz kitchen counter tops and polished concrete flooring further adds to the character of these luxurious modern homes. 

The Bottom Line

There are seven different layouts available, from a studio to a two bedroom with a balcony overlooking the pool or a courtyard. Prices range from $985 to $1885 a month. Applicants must show they make at least three times the monthly rent to qualify in addition to the standard background and credit checks. The complex allows up to two pets less than 35 pounds for a one-time pet fee. Most amenities are included, but there is a parking fee to use the garage. Young says for applicants to ask about parking specials. While rental nondiscrimination laws don’t allow Young to specifically say Fusion 1560 is “gay friendly,” both Fusion 1560 and its sister property Tortoga Point (in north St. Petersburg) will join together at a booth at St. Pete Pride. He said they welcome gay applicants (or those of any kind) as long as they meet the financial requirements. The complex offers threeor six-month leases in addition to yearly ones. The $65 million property was developed by Zaremba Company out of Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to the Tampa Bay area the company also has rental properties in Ohio and Arizona. For more information, visit the Fusion 1560 office at 1560 Central Ave. in downtown St. Petersburg, call 727-5025700 or visit Fusion1560.com. | l |

“It’s a place that’s on the edge for

those who want to live on the edge.”

—Jonathan Young, Fusion 1560 community manager


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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watermark | real estate

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

Plans for Mills Park call for an urban park fronting busy Mills Ave.

Craving for construction

Mills Park brings development back to Orlando’s gayborhood O |

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.

rlando | Real estate was fun a few years back. As developers sought to take advantage of easy credit and rapidly appreciating values, skylines and neighborhoods changed almost overnight. Anything seemed possible. But then came the crash of 2008. A few projects were finished; many more were abandoned. And everything looks the same as it did the year before and the year before. Right now, very little seems possible. But in Orlando, a game-changing project has just been resurrected—right in the heart of the Mills 50 gayborhood. Mills Park will be built on 15 acres at the northwest corner of Mills Ave. and Virginia Dr. The huge property—former home to the iconic Mills Nebraska lumber yard—was cleared four years ago and has been dormant since. Before the real estate bust it was to be the site of an ambitious $350 million mixed use project by Pelloni Development Corp. Now DeBartolo Development, best known for building some of the biggest malls in the country, and Tampabased Forge Capital Partners, have acquired the project with plans to fast track construction. Mills Park will feature a one-acre park fronting Mills Ave. and surrounded by threeto-six story buildings containing office, retail and restaurant space as well as 425 apartments ranging from 700 to 2,200 sq. ft. Plans call for the urban park to include a coffee shop and wine bar, seating areas and water features, and an open-air performance venue. Mills Park will connect with walking and bike paths that lead to Lake Ivanhoe to the west and the Loch Haven Park cultural center to the north. But the imposing mid-rise development

tom dyer

may change the texture of funky Mills 50. Stretching from Robinson St. north to Princeton St., the gay-friendly commercial district just announced itself with colorful new “Mills 50” lamppost banners. It is home to several gay and gay-friendly bars, restaurants and businesses. With its conspicuous urban green space and open-air dining options, Mills Park could provide a transition between diverse and unpolished commercial spaces to the south and medical and other offices to the north. But some may question the wisdom behind adding hundreds of apartments to an overbuilt residential market. Experts believe the downtown area can absorb new development; particularly Mills Park, which is in a highly desirable location just blocks from the growing Florida Hospital medical community. Eddie Nickell and partner Nicholas Olivieri have opened two restaurants and a wine shop in Mills 50 in recent years. “It was always our intention to revitalize the area,” Nickell said. Streetscaping would increase foot traffic along pedestrian unfriendly Mills Ave., but city plans are currently on hold due to funding shortfalls. The new development will forever change a commercial area that has been a heavily traveled but unsightly bridge between Winter Park and downtown Orlando. And it will create more prized residential and commercial space for gays and lesbians to covet. New ownership of Mills Park was announced in April. Surveyors can be seen on the property, and ground is expected to be broken soon. | l |


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watermark | real estate

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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Not too far away from Orlando is the Disney Vacation Club. While Disney doesn’t openly market itself to the LGBT community, many flock to its properties. “I have many gay members,” says one Disney Vacation Club guide, who asked that his name not be used. Disney’s timeshare resorts pride welcomes singles, couples or just a group of friends looking to vacation somewhere beautiful. “Most timeshares won’t let people tour unless the couple is married and both are present,” says the guide. “They typically won’t let singles tour either because they need to meet a net household income. Disney, however, doesn’t.” Among their Florida properties is Bay Lake Tower at Disney’s Contemporary Resort, within walking distance of the Magic Kingdom. Most villas offer scenic views of the courtyard, pool, Magic Kingdom or Bay Lake. Guests also enjoy convenient access to nearby restaurants, a health club, tennis courts and other recreational facilities. If you’d rather take a walk on the wild side, visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, which is located in Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park area and is set amidst four African-style wildlife savannas. Most rooms feature views that let you observe the animals from your own balcony. Recreational options include themed pools, relaxing spas and fitness centers. Another popular locale is Disney’s Beach Club Villas. Inspired by the grandeur of early 20th century Mid-Atlantic homes, this resort is located within walking distance of Epcot and Disney’s Boardwalk area and is just a short boat ride away from Disney’s Hollywood

In 2009, the City of Wilton Manors unanimously approved a plan to build an allmale luxury hotel. The 172-unit hotel and timeshare complex was being developed by G-Resorts, which touted the facility as a “luxury destination for the gay community.” “I’ve said it for 12 years that we need a hotel property in the city,” Wilton Manors Mayor Gary Resnick told the South Florida Blade back in 2009. “It’s a great amenity for any city. I really like the idea. Timeshares can be a real plus for the community.” But as of December of last year, G-Resort canceled its application to build, telling the South Florida Sun-Sentinel that it has “soured” on Wilton Manors after protests. A quick read establishes that the objections were about traffic/congestion and noise. The leader of the protests is an openly gay former mayor, John Fiore. Plans for the hotel would have included a spa, wellness and fitness center, private sunbathing area, swimming pool, hot tubs, secluded nature trail and a lazy river lagoon. The facility—estimated to be worth $50-100 million—would have also boasted up to 19,000-squarefeet of retail space. Developers have announced they will now look for a new location. Developer Michael Haley of Long Island, N.Y., is also behind Dolce Vita, a 35-unit oceanfront condominium resort on Singer Island. When looking to enjoy a gay vacation, a gay-friendly timeshare resort may just be the ticket. These are great places to vacation for those who want to be surrounded by other gays. Don’t be deterred if a property doesn’t outwardly market itself as such, but guides suggest you ask about LGBT-friendly locations. | l |

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49


50

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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watermark | transitions

(L-R) Congratulations to St. Petersburg King of Peace MCC pastor Candace R. Shultis and Barbara M. Tyner, who were legally married in Washington D.C., on June 8. | Photo courtesy Candace R. Shultis

transitions Congratulations

The Francis House, Tampa’s HIV/AIDS respite center for those infected or affected by the disease celebrates its 21st anniversary on July 1. Orlando couple Richard Egan, VP of retail planning and design for Colorvision International, and Steve Yacovelli, owner of TopDog Learning Group, LLC, celebrate their 13th anniversary on June 27. Orlando and Orange County is the new home for the law offices of Restivo & Reilly, LLC, which has its primary office in the Florida Keys. The law firm focuses on delivering efficient and affordable legal services primarily in the areas of family and criminal law. The Orlando office may be reached at 407-558-1283. Congratulations to Watermark’s own Scottie Campbell, who has been named Marketing and Sales Manager for the Orlando Ballet.

Local Birthdays Tampa Keller Realty star Bill Knecht and Treasure Island politico Gail Caldwell (June 23); Tampa U.b.U. Salon artist Jeremy Beauchamp, St. Pete WAVE-Award winning drag performer Jeremy Fetters, St. Petersburg realtor and Watermark contributing photographer Todd Fixler and blond Largo hottie and Mega Gaga fan Paul Kinchen (June 24); Tampa Bay community activist Guadalupe Vargas, St. Pete twirler and Tampa Bay Leather Boy 2010 Dan Radwanski andTampa outdoor enthusiast Scott

Buttelwerth (June 25); Tampa Stageworks Theatre Artistic Director Anna Brennan (June 27); Gulfport RV enthusiast Terry Cook and Bradenton’s Temple Beth El Rabbi Harold Caminker (June 28); O-Town DJ and aspiring MD Chris “Cub” Mendez (June 29); St. Petersburg leather community mover and shaker Matt Wolf, Italian ice queen/former Watermark sales diva Erica Franco and fab photog Dixie Lee Todd (July 1); Tampa philanthropist and sometime model Matt Bachman, Mons Venus strip club owner and conveniently-gay-for-alawsuit Joe Redner, Tampa Bay Metro Charities director Lorraine Langlois, Orlando resident and Sawmill performer Sofonda Cox, St. Pete graphic guru Michael O’Connell, sometime St. Petersburg resident Martin Cooper (aka Coco Montrese), softball stud and Southern gentleman Russ Spears and frequent Orlando thespian Tommy Wooten (July 2); Keep Orlando Beautiful environmental scientist Ronnie Long, keeping-sandwiches-wonderful Orlando restaurateur Pom Moongauklang, Tampa Bay WAVE-Award-winning massage therapist Cory Jeffries and Tampa-based color-guard-loving bear Brad Kuehl (July 3); guffaw-inducing Orlando Fringe entertainer Rob “Pepe” Ward, community ally/DJ Nigel John and Equality Florida Deputy Director Stratton Pollitzer (July 4); Orlando printress extraordinaire and former MBA prez Debbie Simmons and St. Petersburg entertainer Kori Stevens (July 5); fellow MBA man and co-owner of John Michael Weddings & Events Michael Thomas, Sarasota and Provincetown diva David “Scarbie” Mitchell, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan and St. Petersburg leather man Randall Isgrigg (July 6).

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


watermark | advice

ADVICE FROM

The Truth

Truth@WatermarkOnline.com

Dear Truth, My boyfriend Cliff and I broke up about a year ago after being together for five years. Towards the end of our relationship we fought constantly, but Dear Truth, prior to that we had years of really good, am a 35-year-olf gay man living in fun times. We’ve just started hanging Orlando. My partner and I have out together again, and I’m reminded of been together for seven years and why I fell in love with him: He’s kind, we are very happy. We both have good generous, and sexy as hell. I’d like to be jobs and we live quite comfortably, and friends with Cliff, but every time he gets we often contribute to charities because cocktailed he wants to argue about all we feel it’s important to “give back.” the negative shit from our past. I know Now that same-sex adoption is legal he still cares for me—and I definitely (or almost legal) in Florida, I want to feel connected to him—but I don’t adopt and raise an see how we can unwanted child. be friends if he Unfortunately, won’t let bygones my partner does be bygones. Is Put the idea of the not. I think a child it possible to be two of you together would enhance friends with an our relationship, ex, or does a bad out of your collective and I believe it is break-up signal the heads and allow incumbent upon end? yourselves to heal. those who have the —Torn in Tampa means (like us) to help out the needy Dear TiT (sorry, had and less fortunate to), in society. He says he didn’t come into Every situation is unique, so I wouldn’t our relationship expecting a family and say that a bad break-up necessarily always adopting would end our social lives. means the end. Sometimes passion is what Who’s right? drove the beginning and the end, and that’s —Daddy Wannabee the way it breaks. Words said in anger can be recanted and bonds can be restored. Dear Spicy Wannabee, Clearly, he’s fixated on the bad stuff that First of all, no one’s right. Let’s just start happened, at least when he’s with you. there. This is a case of differing points of That indicates that he’s still licking some view, not a case of a binary right/wrong wounds. It also indicates that you’re still call. Unfortunately, you didn’t talk about very present in his thoughts. While it’s this at the top of your relationship. That’s bittersweet to let go of the feelings (and

I

51

with it the drama), I think that some real separation is necessary. You might have been out of each other’s company for a certain time before you started to see each other again, but clearly not enough time has passed for either of you. You still have feelings for him and he has feelings (at least of profound ambivalence, if that isn’t an oxymoron) for you. I would recommend that you put the idea of the two of you together out of your collective heads and allow yourselves to heal. If the wounds you’ve laid upon each other can heal, well, time will tell. Here comes the Truth: While there are still so many scabs to pick at, neither of you can heal properly. | l |

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understandable. As gay men, I think a lot of us have simply concluded that our lifestyle situation will most probably result in no kids. That said, more and more gay men are challenging that notion. In fact, recent statistics indicate that gay men are the large ‘growth’ demographic for adoption, which is all kinds of lovely in my book. You don’t give your partner’s age so I’m left to only guess that the two of you are of roughly the same age. Here’s the good news: Since neither of you have a biological clock that ticks, this isn’t a decision you need to make today. While I don’t necessarily agree that it’s ‘incumbent’ on anyone to adopt children, I get you. At the moment your lover doesn’t really feel the same and your co-joined social life is of the upmost importance to him. Okay, but if he’s a thoughtful person, chances are that he will evolve and adopting children might be something he warms to over time. But direct communication is necessary. If he is someone who will never want children, and you’re someone who feels your life would be incomplete without them, then you might have a hurdle you can’t cross. Here comes the Truth: You won’t know until you ask. So ask.

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watermark | classifieds

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

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Director of Finance and Administration - The Director

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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

Tyree warns of ‘anarchy’ if gay marriage is legalized in U.S. staff report New York, N.Y. | As the battle for marriage equality heated up in New York this month, former New York Giants receiver David Tyree expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage, saying allowing it would cause “anarchy.” Appearing in a video produced for the National Organization for Marriage, the former Super Bowl star remembered for his famous “helmet catch” spoke candidly on his stance against same-sex marriage. “If they pass this gay marriage bill, what I know will happen is this will be the beginning of our country sliding toward … it’s a strong word, but, anarchy,” Tyree said. “That will be the moment itself where our country loses its grip with what’s right. Marriage is one of those things that is the backbone of society. So if you redefine it, it changes the way we educate our children, it changes the perception of what is good, what is right, what is just.” The comments were first reported in the New York Daily News.

Tyree earned a place in sports history with the helmet catch that helped the Giants shock the previously undefeated New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. It turned out to be his final catch, as injuries curtailed his seven-year career. He was elected to the Pro Bowl for his special teams efforts in 2005. He re-signed with the team for one day in 2010 so he could retire a Giant. Tyree’s feelings stand in sharp contrast to recent statements by Giants co-owner Steve Tisch and former All-Pro defensive end Michael Strahan in support of gay marriage legislation. A devout Christian, Tyree was inspired to release a video containing his opinion after learning of Strahan’s public support of New York’s same-sex marriage bill. “How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all of a sudden because a minority—an influential minority—has a push or an agenda and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country?” he asked. “It’s something that’s holy and sacred and I think there’s nothing more honorable than fighting for it.” | l |

NOW SHOWING:

June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

NYC gay running club holds its 30th Pride Run wire report New York, N.Y. | Good times, on the race course and off, are the essence of Front Runners New York, a club representing hundreds of gay and lesbian runners in the nation’s biggest city. Yet that’s only part of its story. Over three decades, the club has served as a comfort zone and support group for many of its members as they coped with personal challenges. It embraces a publicservice mission forged in the 1980s when many members and their friends died from AIDS. “No one knew what it was, how it was transmitted—there was a lot of fear out there,’’ recalled Steve Gerben, who began a four-year stint as club president in 1981 just before the first AIDS cases in the U.S. were reported. Front Runners New York had about 35 members when Gerben took the helm. It held its first Pride Run in 1982, attracting about 400 entrants. On June 25, the scene in Central Park will be very different for the 30th Pride Run. A record field of more than 5,000 was expected for the 5-mile race, with entertainment, a raffle and an after-party on tap.

Proceeds from the event will go to the It Gets Better Project, launched last year in response to some highly publicized suicides by gay teenagers. Several club members appeared in a video for the national project, which seeks to convey messages of hope to counter the despair of bullied or rejected teens. Front Runners’ current president, Megan Jenkins, said the choice of beneficiary was fitting because many club members “ran the Pride Run as their first step out of the closet.’’ The New York club was founded in 1979, the second-oldest—after San Francisco—of what is now an international network of Front Runners clubs. There are about 70 clubs in the U.S., and more than 40 abroad, mostly in Western Europe, but also in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Uruguay. The name adopted by the San Francisco club founders came from a groundbreaking 1974 novel by Patricia Nell Warren titled The Front Runner—a gay love story about a track coach’s relationship with an Olympics-bound distance runner. | l |

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watermark | gossip

| June 23 - July 6, 2011

billymasters

54

“At the end of the day, of course I’m gonna have a gay son. I’m not gonna have a straight son, am I? That doesn’t make sense.” —Belinda Carlisle talks about her son, James Duke Mason, coming out.

O Oh, those fond memories

Billy Masters Billy@BillyMasters.com

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ver the last year or so, I’ve gone on a little trip down memory lane. I’ve looked up some old friends. I now regularly get together with my grade school classmates. I’ve even mused some “what ifs” by reconsidering old relationships. I’ve revisited many old beaus and tried to learn what worked and what didn’t. I’ve developed my own little time machine. I’ve always wondered what I’d do if I could return to my earlier self. Would I make some different decisions? I bring this up apropos of Bob Smith’s new book, Remembrance of Things I Forgot. Certainly no one would expect a sci-fi novel from one of the founding members of Funny Gay Males. But in a way, that’s what he’s written. The boyfriend of Bob’s central character has developed this time machine and the hero inadvertently travels back 20 years and meets up with—and flirts with—his former self. There’s so much more to this book— it’s a science fiction adventure, a political thriller, a road trip saga, and a gay love story. Take out the sci-fi angle and I could be describing Oprah and Gayle! I was recently in Las Vegas to celebrate the opening night of The Go-Go’s national tour celebrating the 30th anniversary

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of Beauty and the Beat. I was also able to check out my buddy Jeff Timmons (formerly of 98 Degrees) in his appearance with the world-famous Chippendales. Even though I’ve known Jeff for over a decade, I was absolutely shocked by how incredible he looks. At 38, he looks better than ever— and that’s saying something. We caught up in his dressing room and did a fun little interview where he talks about his gay fans and that his first solo gig was performing at Chicago Gay Pride. You can see photos and the interview on BillyMasters.com. In these days of political correctness, many people take issue with Lisa Lampanelli and her brand of nondiscriminatory insult humor. I am not one of those people—I adore Lisa. And she just gave the gay community another reason to love her. When comedy’s loveable Queen of Mean heard that Fred Phelps and his cronies from the Westboro Baptist Church planned to picket her show in Topeka, Kan., because of her pro-gay stance, she encouraged them to come out in droves. In fact, she promised to personally donate $1,000 to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis for every picketer. Her motives were simple—the more people from Westboro who showed up spewing hate, the more money they’d raise for the very people they purport to hate. That’s kind of clever. There seemed to be some discrepancy over the number of picketers. Lisa said, “My driver counted 44 people, but the next day, someone from those assholes said they had 48. I’m not going to quibble, so I said, ‘Let’s make it an even 50 grand. And if they don’t like that, they can suck my dick.’” Transsexual and former prostitute Toni Newman is making quite a splash with her autobiography I Rise— The Transformation of Toni Newman (which I bet has more laughs than that Chaz Bono memoir). In the book, Toni talks about some former clients, and one of the biggest is rapper LL Cool J. In an interview with Hip Hop Weekly (which I’m sure you all read), she talks openly about the encounter: “I had sex with LL Cool J. At that point, he had been one of the top five dates I ever had. I made over $500.

When Queen of Mean Lisa Lampanelli learned the Westboro Baptist Church was picketing her show, she decided to donate $1,000 per picketer to the Gay Men’s Health Crisis—which totaled $50,000.

… I wasn’t aware until we got into the encounter and the glasses came off that he was in fact LL Cool J. We were a versatile group, and when I say versatile, that means the other person gives and receives.” LL’s manager calls the book “pure comedy.” In our “Ask Billy” question, Randy in Maine asks, “Have you seen the new show Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition? The personal trainer is HOT! Who is he?” That would be the lovely Chris Powell, who eschews the term personal trainer—he calls himself a “transformation professional.” I call him yummy! I’ve known of him for a few years—ever since he turned up on Saint Oprah’s show and helped that guy who was morbidly obese lose over 300 pounds—and his virginity. Honey, now that’s a transformation I’d pay to be a part of! Although Powell has a slight accent that would identify him as gay, he’s described in press material as a “married father of two.” I presume that means he’s straight, but that won’t stop me from running some scorchingly hot photos of him on BillyMasters.com. When I’m showing off my advanced vocabulary with words like “eschews,” it’s definitely time to end yet another column.Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible. | l | Former 98 degrees star Jeff Timmons has beefed up for his new role in the Chippendales.


June 23 - July 6, 2011 |

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Watermark Issue 18.13: Real Estate