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neW look

for lola


aidS Walk St. PeterSBurG

sets record with $155,000

Come Out With Pride takes on fashion and a Saturday for this year’s explosive celebration

D aY T O N a B E a C H


• Ta M Pa

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

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| September 15-28, 2011

September 15-28, 2011 |


watermark | preview

| September 15-28, 2011

issue 18.19




The lesbian comedienne will bring her wit and political observations to St. Petersburg’s King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church later this month. We talk to her about the wealth of comedy material provided by GOP candidates and her reflections on the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11.

Lola the Swan, Come Out With Pride’s mascot, dons a fashionable dress to reflect this year’s fashion themed event. Illustration by Jake Stevens

8 | Orlando News An Orlando radio host was attacked outside of the Parliament House, resulting in beefed up security measures at the iconic resort; The annual Headdress Ball is rapidly approaching, and early numbers indicate that


records could be broken this year; more.



10 | Tampa News


AIDS Walk St. Petersburg shatters records by raising $155,000, and some new fundraising techniques are credited to its success; Womyn’s Words


is resurrected, thanks to Crescendo: The Womyn’s Chorus; St. Pete City Councilman Steve Kornell will run unopposed this November;more.

26 / MAIL

31 | Scene+Heard


Funny girl Kate Clinton brings her Glee Party to St. Petersburg Sept 23, so


we asked her what we can expect and why the popular Fox show Glee was


such an inspiration to her.


For the 2nd Annual Monkey Suit Ball, the Tampa Bay Bears brought in an entertainer unlike any other—a counter-tenor singing muscle bear. We talk to Jacques Snyman about his training—both vocally and physically.


For gay theater fans everywhere, Kristin Chenoweth will forever be "Glinda." But now she’s returning to her country roots with a new album and an




undying love of the gays.

47 | Come Out With Pride Come Out With Pride has some major changes this year, including a Saturday Parade and a flashy, fireworks ending. We get into the nitty gritty details.



Grand Marshal Jonathan Lovitz talks to us about his love of fashion, his experience on reality television and what it means to represent COWP in 2011.

60 / gOSSIP

The Orlando Chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence know a few



things about fashion—at least from the flashy standpoint, so it makes sense that their Project NUNway will kick of COWP 2011.

62 / gALLERY W

watermark | preview

September 15-28, 2011 |


editor’sdesk I

or Buddha or Mohammad) is punishing the planet for the actions of LGBTs—or f you want to experience pure frustration, visit for just a few the support of us. But if God does have his destructive sights set on planet Earth minutes. because of LGBT acceptance, how do we explain the other disasters across the The website and its Facebook page are both full of anti-gay writings from country and the world? so-called preachers and pastors demonizing LGBTs—gay men in particular— Was the tornado outbreak this spring in the southeastern United States—where with writings so outlandish they almost read like submissions to The Onion. same-sex rights aren’t exactly exceeding expectations—God’s vengeance for The reason for that is simple—it’s a satirical website meant to show the Alabama’s House vote to ban text messaging? And what about those wildfires absurdity of the Christian Right. in Texas, where constitutional amendments outlawing same-sex marriage were I have to admit, the ramblings of its writers had me fooled for some time. I easily passed? Is God upset with the rewriting of those history textbooks that took the writings as serious pieces of work penned by religious leaders of the received so much attention earlier this year? Christian faith, like the hateful diatribes of Pat Robertson and the late Jerry And now that we know that North Carolina’s senate has approved a proposed Falwell, who blamed gays, lesbians and feminists, among others, for the terror constitutional banning same-sex marriage in that state, can we assume that Irene attacks of Sept. 11 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. was really aiming for that state because God is in favor of gay marriage? Today, we have politicians and religious leaders claiming that Hurricane It makes me wonder what the Japanese did to rile up Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and a surprising East Coast the Almighty so much that he felt it was time to unleash earthquake are a result of the country’s growing an earthquake and a tsunami back in March! Steve Blanchard acceptance of the LGBT community. And on a personal note, an acquaintance of mine The superstition of ridiculous religious and political EDITOR They view God as a pundits who point the finger of blame at us is almost shared that some recent medical issues I faced were the junkyard dog they can result of him praying that Jesus punish me for some laughable, if only it wasn’t so irritating, dangerous and perceived indiscretion. Yeah, I don’t see him on the real. sic on anyone with a invitation list to this year’s Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not a surprising move, and it’s one I’ve talked different point of view. God is not a weapon, yet religious leaders and too about in this space before. many others continue to preach that He or She is an The hateful people who follow Fred Phelps at entity that will punish us rather than love us. They view Westboro Baptist Church constantly blame the country’s God as a junkyard dog they can sic on anyone with a different point of view. growing acceptance of gay men and lesbians for the death of our soldiers. GOP History has shown that religion is at the root of most wars and that hindsight is presidential candidate Michele Bachman said that Irene was God’s way of more than 20/20—it’s terrifying. Religious leaders caused the Salem witch trials. getting the attention of the American people. She later said she was speaking They were also behind the Crusades, which kept Europe in a death trap of turmoil metaphorically in an attempt to appear “scientific.” for more than two centuries. It’s no secret that we are a multimedia world. With the explosion of I am a religious person and was raised to respect the religious beliefs of others. Facebook, news travels fast. Anti-gay groups sprout up constantly, claiming to be But with each new crop of so-called leaders using hate as its principal message, spokespeople for God. more LGBT people turn their back on religion. Their attempts to be a modern-day Moses are frightening and honestly, a bit That’s sad, because it’s not religion that is the problem, it’s the people who unbalanced. claim to represent it. | l | If you believe in a higher power, it’s impossible to believe that God (or Jesus


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ISSUE 18.17 | AUG. 18 - AUG. 31, 2011 WATERMARKONlINE.COM



Behind the scenes of the

TB Rays’ ‘IT GeTs BeTTeR’ VIdeO



Plus: The survival of gay theater Comprehensive fall arts listings don’t miss shows

Our fabu fashion spread Media’s fashion influence Project Runway’s Bert Keeter’s return to design

TB Rays to say


for Orlando’s Love-in Lesbians— in N.Y.

D AY T O N A B e A c H

ISSUE 18.16



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

ISSUE 18.17


Out of the

MUsIC BOx D Ay t O n A B e A c H


• tA m PA

For orlando Ballet’s robert hill, modern ballet eludes its stuffy stereotypes

S t. P e t e r S B u r G

ISSUE 18.18

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subscribe Watermark is published every second Thursday. Subscription rate is $55 (1st class) and $26 (standard mail). To subscribe or order back issues, call Erik Caban at 407-481-2243, Ext. 10.

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September 15-28, 2011 |


Participants in The Body Electric workshops combine elements of massage, yoga, Taoism and tantric touch to allow participants to gain comfort with their sexuality. | Photo courtesy The Body Electric

It’s Electric Physical and spiritual intimacy are the focus of The Body Electric daniel hodge


early six years ago, Orlando resident Mahan-Kalpa Khalsa felt transformed by his experience at a Body Electric School workshop in Fort Lauderdale. So much so that he stepped into the role of Local Coordinator for Florida last year at the organization’s new home in Orlando. “There was a shortage of activity in Florida that we had once known,” explains Khalsa. “I had experienced such growth and change through The Body Electric School that I wanted to share this work with others. I felt it was important that the broader community had the opportunity.” The Body Electric School offers a handson experience in which people literally reveal themselves. Participants shed their clothing during the course of the workshop, and in the

process that unfolds, engage in physically and spiritually intimate activities individually and in small and large groups. Sex doesn’t happen here. Instead, a guided exploration of one’s erotic energy and its transformative power is the goal. Following his first Body Electric workshop, Khalsa, also a yoga teacher, continued to take about two workshops each year in other locations and facilitated a workshop himself for the first time three years ago. He describes his own personal enrichment from The Body Electric School as “a very heart-felt acknowledgement and appreciation of who I am as a man. And from that center, I can better relate to other individuals through the integrity of their own being.” Continued on page 18 | uu |


watermark | orlando news

| September 15-28, 2011

Headdress Ball may set records under new leader tony ward



“It’s about finding everyone a place to call home, regardless of how big or small!”


DAVID 321.218.9100 DORMAN


Professional Group, Inc.

Starting 9/24,

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Orlando | For the first time in several years, Hope and Help of Central Florida’s annual fundraising event, Headdress Ball, is effectively sold out weeks before the big night. According to director of development Maggie King, 980 out of 990 seats are sold, leaving just a $5,000 table and single seats scattered over a few tables available. “I can’t remember the last time we sold out before the event,” she said. “It’s certainly an unprecedented feat in this economy.” King said their new event chairperson, Rob Domenico, has helped to attract a different crowd. “Approximately 40% of the audience will be first time attendees,” she said. Domenico has been a volunteer fundraiser for just two years. “Even though I am only 35 years old, in middle management, not filthy rich nor connected to those who are, I am simple guy with a big heart and a big mouth with a lot of friends who allow me to stalk them for a greater good,” he said. By “stalking,” Domenico is referring to his use of social networking to advance his volunteer causes. “Facebook has changed my life in so many ways,” he said. “It has reconnected me with friends and family members I was certain to never again hear from, provided me an avenue to come out of the closet with confidence to several people who knew me when I dated women and allowed me to give people a glimpse into my life in hopes of seeing we are all the same.” Three years ago, Domenico had no connection to Hope and Help until he was asked, via Facebook, to join a friend’s team for the organization’s Orlando AIDS Walk. Domenico made emotional, educational posts requesting donations and found success beyond his imagination. The team went on to raise $18,000 for the event. “When I started, I knew absolutely no one personally affected by HIV/AIDS, or so I thought,” he said. “Sadly, through becoming

known as an advocate, many of my close friends have confided in me about their positive HIV status.” Domenico said this made him “even more determined” to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS. He moved up the ranks of Hope and Help when King asked him to serve as volunteer cochairman for the organization’s “2011 Seminole Stroll,” where he helped raise $66,000, more than doubling the event’s goal of $30,000. That event’s success led to his role as Headdress Ball chairperson. “[Domenico’s] a natural, totally gets it, and volunteers for all the right reasons,” King said. “It’s obvious he genuinely cares and is very passionate about the cause.” This year’s Headdress Ball theme is “Under the Big Top.” Domenico said there is a partnership with Ringling Brothers, which is making a $650,000 in-kind donation resulting in a visual spectacle of more than 150 costume changes. Also fresh to this year’s event is a new technology called Bid Pal, which will allow guests to be interactive throughout the event from bidding on silent auctions to voting for their favorite Headdress in the all new “People’s Choice” category. On the volunteer side, Domenico put together a team of 10 handpicked “Super Volunteers” chosen for their competitive personality and commitment to the cause. At a wine and cheese mixer at his home, he and King challenged them to collectively raise $30,000 by hosting their own fundraiser and soliciting private donations. So far, they’ve raised $32,000. Domenico’s goal is to make the event the most financially successful to date, which would mean surpassing the $301,000 raised by the event in 2006. This year is the 22nd Headdress Ball, held Saturday, Sept. 17 at the Hilton Orlando. More information is available at Cap: Kissimmee City Commissioner Cheryl Grieb and Equality Florida Field Director Joe Saunders celebrate the passing of domestic partner benefits for city employees in front of St. Cloud City Hall. Photo courtesy Equality Florida. | l |


Saturdays 3–4 PM

Hosted by: Paul Karle, Randy Stephens and new co-host, Tom Dyer.

Call your Watermark Media Account Manager today to get on-the-air.

(407) 481-2243

Gay radio show gets new identity

Anti-gay Facebook teacher “inappropriate”

Starting Sept. 24, Out N About Radio on Big 810 will be known as The Qiew. There are some personality changes, as well. Original co-host Whitney Hayes is moving out of state. She will be replaced by Watermark publisher Tom Dyer, who joins co-hosts Paul Karle and Randy Stephens. Also starting that date, the show will switch from two hours to one hour, running from 3–4 p.m. every Saturday.

The Lake County Schools superintendent Susan Moxley’s directive to Mt. Dora high school teacher Jerry Buell is now public record. Buell was suspended in late August after posting messages on his Facebook wall saying he was disgusted by the decision to legalize gay marriage in New York, calling it a “cesspool.” The investigation uncovered religious content on Buell’s class syllabus and school website profile, which Moxley called a breach of the separation of church and state. He was directed to maintain neutrality from now on.

watermark | orlando news

Attacks put spotlight on gay bar safety jamie hyman Orlando | There’s a new energy focused on keeping Orlando’s gay bar patrons safe after two separate robberies were reported at the parking lots near the Parliament House. Out N About Radio host Paul Karle said he was getting into to his car, parked in the annex parking lot behind the resort, early in the morning on Aug. 27 when a man approached the drivers’ side door and tazed Karle in the shoulder. “The second guy jumped in backseat behind me and tazed me in the neck,” Karle said. “They said ‘Get out of the car or we’re going to kill you’.” They also took his wallet and cell phone. According to the Orlando Police Department’s report, two undercover officers approached Karle as the men were driving off in his silver Nissan Rogue. Police chased the car for several blocks before the driver lost control and hit a pedestrian walkway sign. The men got out and ran but police—with the help of a K9—were able to capture and arrest both suspects, identified as Jason Isaac and Merlyn Ayers. Ayers is a convicted felon. Karle’s cell phone and wallet were returned to him, but his car was totaled and he suffered minor burns from the tazer. Both men face a number of charges, including armed robbery, carjacking and possession of an electronic device by a convicted felon. On Aug. 31, three people left the Parliament House and walked across

the street to where their car was parked when they were robbed by three men who took cash, cell phones, jewelry and other property, according to another Orlando Police report. Those suspects have not been arrested. Karle became determined to keep these crimes from happening to anyone else, and turned to his radio show to get the word out. “I have a voice, being on the radio, and I thought I had a responsibility to use that voice,” he said. He invited Stg. Vincent Ogburn as a guest, where he advised bar patrons to be aware of their surroundings, use valet parking and avoid unsecured and unlit parking lots. “The parking lots at the Parliament House and other bars are usually pretty safe... it’s the side lots or off site lots that create the biggest problem,” Ogburn said. “Many times people park at sides streets because it’s free, might be better to spend 5 bucks because it’s safe,” Karle said in an interview after the show. Parliament House spokesman Drew Sizemore also appeared on the radio show, where he said that given the number of people who come to the resort every weekend, the number of incidents is low. Ogburn agreed with him. “But we want that number to be zero,” Sizemore said. “We are totally willing to talk about this and to work with our customers and the police department to improve the situation.” In an interview after the radio show, Sizemore said several improvements have already been made. “We’re beefing up security, and you

September 15-28, 2011 |

can no longer park in the lot where [Karle’s incident] occurred,” he said. “We want to keep all of our guests central.” Sizemore said they’ve also moved around security guards’ schedules so there are more on property during peak business times, and they’ve added guard patrols between the Gardens and Parliament House every 15 minutes. Parliament House owner Don Granatstein said they’ve fenced off the annex parking so people can’t park there any longer. “It’s not the right place to park,” he said. “We have a lot of security, we have off-duty policeman, we don’t’ think we have a crazy amount of incidents. We try to keep everybody safe here and as long as they park in our lots, they’ll find they’re pretty safe.” Sizemore said Parliament House employ about 13 security guards and that number increases during special events. Patrons area also welcome to request that security guards walk them to their cars if they feel unsafe. “We kind of feel like what we have right now is adequate security, it just needs to be tweaked to get more guards there at peak times,” he said. “We had a very, very busy Labor Day weekend. Sunday night was record crowd for us and we had no instances that night.” Inspired by what happened to him, Karle, along with co-host Randy

Stephens, is working to create a summit for bars to exchange ideas and work together to promote safety. “I don’t want to be a victim. I want to turn it into something that can help others,” Karle said. “I think that this is a step not only for PH but other bars, gay and straight, to get people aware about bar safety in general.” As of press time, the summit had not been scheduled but Sizemore said when it’s set up, he plans to attend. “We’re trying to make the bar owners aware of what’s going on and how to protect their patrons,” Karle said. “We want to go to these bars, we love Parliament House, but bars have a responsibility to make bars safe for patrons.” Karle and Granatstein agree: the incidents are not hate crimes. “I don’t think this is a gay issue, it’s a safety issue,” Granatstein said. “Whenever you have thousands of people, it doesn’t matter what kind of club they’re near, things will happen.” Karle said, “They were looking for a car and I happened to be the lucky one.” In the meantime, Karle’s burns have healed and he said he got emotional about the crime about a week after it happened, but he’s trying to use “that energy and emotion hopefully for something positive.” | l |


St. Cloud employees getting domestic partner benefits staff report St. Cloud | St. Cloud is the first small rural town in Central Florida to adopt domestic partner benefits for city employees, according to Equality Florida. On Sept. 9, the St. Cloud mayor and city commissioners approved the benefits in a 3-2 vote. “These benefits are becoming standard for local governments,” said Equality Florida field director Joe Saunders. Kissimmee City Commissioner Cheryl Grieb, who led the charge to pass domestic partner benefits for city employees in St. Cloud’s sister city,

attended the St. Cloud meeting. “Today the St. Cloud City Commission made a bold step toward valuing all of their employees,” said Grieb in a press release. “I’m so proud of our sister city for taking action to stay a competitive government employer and for respecting all families.” St. Cloud is the fourth Central Florida municipality in the last three years to add domestic partner benefits for city employees, joining Kissimmee, Orlando, and Orange County. “I think that’s significant as well,” Saunders said. | l |

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| September 15-28, 2011

watermark | tampa bay news

Womyn’s Words resurrected by Crescendo steve blanchard Tampa | The long-time lesbian publication Womyn’s Words is back—with a new look and a new editorial team and publisher. The 28-year-old newsmagazine covering women’s issues and lesbian events throughout Tampa Bay got a reprieve from fading into history when Crescendo: The Tampa Bay Womyn’s Chorus took over the name and produced its first issue on Sept. 1. At a Tampa Bay Business Guild dinner in July, former editor Pat Ditto announced the July issue would be the publication’s last. “Women’s Energy Bank, who published it before, assigned the trademark to Crescendo,” explained Kathie Michael, who leads the new editorial team at the revamped publication. “We didn’t want to see Womyn’s Words disappear and helping the publication was something we’d talked about doing in the past.” With its debut issue, Crescendo has revamped Womyn’s Words by adding color to the inside and outside covers as well as redesigning its logo, featuring a goddess, crescent moon and star. Right now the publication has a team of five women writers. She plans on keeping Womyn’s Words as a monthly publication. “The Crescendo board decided to do this,”

Michael explained. “A few years ago we started thinking about doing collaborative things with other organizations in the community. As far as lesbian organizations go, Crescendo, the Women’s Energy Bank / Womyn’s Words and the Sonia Plotnick fund were the three oldest ones around. We decided we wanted to keep it going.” While color is new to the publication, its size will remain the same, Michael said. Its content will also be familiar, but updated with new contributors and submissions. Michael also added that those who had already committed to ongoing advertising before the old publication shut down will be added back into the revamped publication, as will former subscribers. “And we’re also online,” Michael added. “I think the paper tried to be online before but it didn’t pan out. We have fresh energy and we’ve developed a new website for those who want to see it. But we will continue publishing a physical copy because I think a majority of people want to sit down and feel it and read it.” The paper’s new website is As new issues are produced, PDF versions will be available online and old issues will be added to its new online archive. “This is Crescendo doing business as Womyn’s Words,” Michael explained. “We want the paper to pay for itself. It’s not a way for the chorus to make money. We run it, but it’s a unique entity.” | l |



St. Pete Metro Center moves across the street Oct. 1 steve blanchard St. Petersburg | Clients utilizing the St. Petersburg Metro Wellness and Community Center will have a new, larger facility at their disposal come Oct. 1. The HIV services and wellness center will move from its current location next door to Georgie’s Alibi to a location across the street at 3251 3rd Ave. N. The new location is larger and is easy to find, according to Lynne Mullen, Director of Grants and Development. “It’s the building with the carports,” Mullen said, adding that the new location can be seen from the front door of Metro’s current home. “The new location has so much more space and will allow us to do so much more.” While Mullen didn’t have an exact square footage of the new one-story location, she said it was comparable to Metro’s new Tampa location in Ybor City, which is nearly 15,000 square feet. The St. Petersburg location will now be able to offer a community center and more space for clients and client services. “We had community space before but that space kept getting smaller and smaller,” said Mullen, who has been with the organization for almost three years. “Now we’ll have a huge community room and we expect it will be available for all types of community events.” Metro Wellness and Community Centers will lease the new building, just as it did at its old location. Mullen was not sure what the future holds for Metro’s former home. “This has been a great building and we love this location and neighborhood,”

Mullen said. “That’s why we wanted to stay as close as possible. The new location has the space we need and keep us in familiar territory. We’re also still close to the bus and trolley line.” Mullen said that clients will be notified of the new location through different means— in person and with mailed postcards. There will also be plenty of signage on the new location to direct people. Entry into the new location is on 33rd Street near the corner of 3rd Avenue North between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. “All of our phone numbers will stay the same and our services will remain intact,” Mullen said. “Metro has just grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years and we have truly outgrown our current location.” Metro’s first official day of operations at its new home is Saturday, Oct. 1. Sometime later in that month, the center will hold a grand opening reception for the community. The staff wants to make sure it has time to get settled, however. “We learned a lot when we moved our Tampa location,” Mullen said. “There are always bugs and surprises in those first few days. But once we get our feet under us we’ll be excited to invite the community in to see this amazing building.” Metro Wellness and Community Center began at the King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church in 1984 and has continuously serviced the HIV/AIDS population of Tampa Bay ever since. Metro’s Tampa and New Port Richey offices will remain in their current locations and are unaffected by the changes in St. Petersburg. For more information on the new St. Petersburg Metro Wellness and Community Center, call 727-321-3854 or visit | l |

Stonewall Dems to celebrate repeal of DADT staff report


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St. Petersburg | The Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County will celebrate the official repeal of the military’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy on Sept. 20 with a dinner at Queenshead Eurobar and Restaurant at 6 p.m. The controversial policy has been in place since the 1990s, when former President Bill Clinton signed it into law and made it illegal for LGBT service members to serve openly in the armed forces. “As the LGBT-arm of the Pinellas Democratic Party, and a leader in the LGBT community, we felt it was important to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment,” said Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County President Rick Boylan “this is a giant step toward full equality.”

According to the Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County website, this is just one of many accomplishments the LGBT Community can celebrate under the Obama Administration, but to thousands of American Heroes, it’s one of the most important.  “Our members felt it was important to use this as an opportunity to honor local LGBT Veterans who bravely served their country while suppressing such an important part of who they are” said Stonewall Democrats of Pinellas County Vice President Susan McGrath “after all, we have the right to celebrate this milestone because they fought for that right.” Queenshead Eurobar & Restaurant is at 2501 Central Ave. Local elected officials and Party leaders are invited to attend, along with other members and friends of the community. | l |

watermark | tampa bay news

September 15-28, 2011 |


AIDS Walk shatters records with $155,000 Enjoy LifE, LibErty and thE Pursuit of haPPinEss

steve blanchard St. Petersburg | AIDS Walk St. Petersburg shattered goals on Sept. 11 by raising more than $155,000 at the eighth annual fundraiser for the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas. According Jay Aller, the resource development manager with ASAP and one of the organizers of the 5K (3.1 mile) walk, more than 800 people participated in the fundraiser. “That includes walkers, volunteers, staff— everyone,” Aller said. “I believe this was the biggest one yet.” Several factors contributed to the growth of the Walk this year, and pinpointing one specifically isn’t easy, Aller said. This is the first year a major radio station—Play 98.7 FM—participated in the walk. It’s also the first time social media played a major role. “And bringing in a headliner was a first for us,” Aller said. “Frenchie Davis opened doors for us, brought out people and put more attention on the AIDS Walk. So to say one specific thing helped more than another is difficult.” Other media sponsors like Bright House Networks, ClearChannel and Watermark also helped spread the word, Aller said. “Our grand marshal, [Bay News 9 Traffic reporter] Chuck Henson, was also invaluable,” Aller added. “I want to thank him for his support on Facebook and his support of our community and being such a champion for the fight against HIV and AIDS.” Aller wasn’t the only person involved with organizing the successful AIDS Walk St. Petersburg this year. Committee Chair Dale Kitt, along with a full planning committee were also part of the success, Aller added.

in PhiLadELPhia Former American Idol and The Voice contestant Frenchie Davis performed after the AIDS Walk St. Petersburg on Sept. 11. | Photo by Steve Blanchard

Committee members included Tim Beams, Mike Bell, Chris Gardner, Greg Henchar, Victor Lopez, Dennis Lyons, Matt Moss, Christopher Ramos, Steven Rodriquez, Barry Rothstein, Chris Schombs and Bryn Warner. Plans are already underway for the 2012 run, which will be Sept. 8 of next year. Aller said another headliner will be in the mix and some changes in the post-walk entertainment may keep people from having to stay in the park for so long. In the meantime, ASAP and Aller are focused on a December fundraising event—the Santa Speedo Run. The Dec. 17 one-mile fun run raises money for the Brighter Seasons for Children Program, which focuses on pediatric HIV/AIDS clients. For more information, visit SantaSpeedoRun. For more information on ASAP, visit | l |

Kornell to run unopposed for City Council seat steve blanchard St. Petersburg | City Councilman Steve Kornell appears to be destined for a second term. His only challenger, Bill Protz, dropped out of the race just a day before ballots were to be printed for the Nov. 8 election. While it was unclear why Protz cancelled his bid for a city council seat, speculation is that his decision was related him suspending his campaign in June. He did so just days after he entered the race in June when he took his wife to the hospital to combat E. coli poisoning. “I’m doing what I have to do,” Protz told Watermark in early July. “E. coli is a deadly disease.” At that time, his wife had already received 18 weeks of chemotherapy, he said. Protz dropping out means that Kornell will run unopposed for his second term as the representative for District 5. The city’s first

openly gay councilman expressed relief that he’s running unopposed but still suggested he hopes voters will go to the polls and show their support. Although Kornell is an openly gay councilman, St. Petersburg’s first, he said the bulk of his energy focuses on the health, safety and prosperity of all St. Petersburg. “A significant issue for me is preventing juvenile crime,” said Kornell, who is also a Pinellas County schools social worker. Kids need guidance from preschool to high school, he said, and later, help finding their first job. “Some people may say government shouldn’t be doing these things, and I respectfully disagree.” He’s also worked hard, he said, to provide more opportunities to midtown St. Petersburg. “There are not many jobs there to provide opportunities and all the things that go with that sense of pride.” | l |

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watermark | sarasota news

| September 15-28, 2011


Step Out preps for cleanup staff report



Sarasota | The popular networking group Step Out Sarasota is taking part in a county-wide coastal cleanup initiative on Saturday, Sept. 24, beginning at 8 a.m. The group has volunteered to clean Lido Beach, a stretch of sand along Venice Beach,


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ALSO to honor Planned Parenthood

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

at 400 Ben Franklin Drive on Lido Key. The group is also tackling the cleanup of Caspersen Beach at 4100 Harbor Drive in Venice, as part of the “A Day in Hand” event. Participants will receive free T-shirts while supplies last, and Sarasota County will provide trash bags and other supplies. For more information or to participate, e-mail | l |

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

staff report Sarasota | ALSO Out Youth will hold its 11th Annual fundraising Brunch at Michael’s On East on Sunday, Sept. 18. The annual event honors different organizations and individuals each year who have a positive impact on the LGBT community and the area as a whole. This

year ALSO honors Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. Tickets to the brunch are $65 and patron tickets are $100. Groups or individuals may sponsor a table of 10 for $1,000. ALSO Out Youth is the leading organization in Sarasota that supports LGBT and questioning youth. The brunch begins at 11:45 a.m. For more information visit ALSOYouth. org or call 941-951-2576. | l |

Pride fundraiser scheduled at The Loft staff report Sarasota | Sarasota Pride organizers are holding an event to raise funds for the annual outdoor street festival. Beginning at 3 p.m. on

Sunday, Sept. 25, the Loft will host a mixed dance with extended hours and a special menu. Tickets to the dance are $5 at the door and benefit Sarasota Pride. The second annual Pride festival is Saturday, Oct. 22. For information, visit |l|

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watermark | state news

September 15-28, 2011 |


Domestic Partnership Registry bill filed staff report Florida | State Senator Eleanor Sobel (D-Hollywood) has filed a bill which would create a statewide domestic partnership registry. This would eliminate the need for localized propositions and would add “partnership” as a relationship status option on state forms. The registry idea is geared to offer more legal tools for same- and opposite-sex domestic partners who have to deal with medical emergency, end-of-life, school and other relationship issues that arise. “A majority of Americans and Floridians support recognition for samesex relationships,” said Senator Sobel in a statement. “So many other Floridians are in long-term, unmarried relationships it no longer makes sense for the state to have just one category—married and everyone else.”

The Bill (Senate Bill 166) is slated to be heard in the 2012 Legislative Session which will begin in January due to the redistricting process. “I look forward to working with my colleagues and great advocates like Florida Together to help Florida take this needed step forward.” Sobel said in a statement. “All Floridians deserve to be recognized and counted.” Domestic partnership recognition already exists in many communities throughout Florida. Currently, Orlando attorney and civil rights advocate Mary Meeks is working on a countywide Domestic Partner registry bill, which she states would apply to all couples, gay and straight. “I applaud anybody who has the drive to take on this initiative,” she said. “We need to engage the entire community—gay and straight—and educate them on the value and necessity of this bill,” she said. | l |

Fort Lauderdale city employees getting domestic partner benefits denise royal Fort Lauderdale | The City of Fort Lauderdale unanimously passed health insurance for domestic partners of its employees Sept. 7. Miriam Richter, a local trademark attorney, spearheaded the campaign to get the benefits extended. “I needed a group [insurance] plan. I can’t buy a group plan because there’s no such thing as a group of one,” she said. Richter is a self-employed attorney whose medical insurance coverage ended in November. Her partner of 17 years is a city employee. Richter met with Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, who requested a report detailing the costs associated with adding domestic partners to the current health plan. Once the data was collected, the item was put on the city’s agenda for its July meeting. At that meeting, City Manager Lee

Feldman advised the commission that adding domestic partners to the City’s self-insured employee health insurance plan could be done with minimal impact. And while there were some commissioners who spoke out against the idea, in the end, the commission agreed to draft a resolution, which passed. Benefits will go in to effect January 1. “I’m very happy. I’m in a state of disbelief,” Richter said. “I grew up in New York City, where you can’t just call the mayor’s office. I’m very reassured that we have a system of government that lets us have an impact.” Now Richter is ready to take advantage of the new benefits. “As soon as open enrollment comes around my partner said ‘whatever they offer you’re on it,’” Richter said. | l | Editor’s note: Denise Royal is a reporter with South Florida Gay News and this article is used with permission.

Fired Florida teacher plans return to porn industry wire report Miami | A Florida man who lost his job as a substitute teacher when officials saw his nude pictures online said he plans to return to pornography as a profession. Shawn Loftis, 36, who has a master’s degree in public administration, said he enjoyed substitute teaching for the MiamiDade school district so much that he earned the credentials to become a full-time teacher, The Miami Herald reported Thursday.

However, administrators fired him in March after learning he had nude pictures on the Internet, Loftis said. Loftis said officials told him he violated a School Board policy requiring employees to “conduct themselves, both in their employment and in the community, in a manner that will reflect credit upon themselves and the school system.” Loftis, who created the “World of Men” film series as Collin O’Neal, said he does not believe he should have been fired. He plans to return to the adult film industry. | l |

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| September 15-28, 2011

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watermark | nation+world news

DA to seek new trial in CA gay teen killing wire report Los Angeles, Calif. | The trial of a middle school student who shot and killed a gay classmate during a morning computer lab ended in a mistrial Sept. 1 when jurors said that after 17 hours of deliberations they could not agree whether to convict Brandon McInerney of murder or manslaughter. A first-degree murder conviction carries a maximum sentence of more than 50 years in prison, while voluntary manslaughter has a 21-year maximum prison term. There was no question that McInerney, who had just turned 14, shot 15-yearold Larry King at their middle school, but finding the appropriate degree of punishment proved to be troublesome for a jury that was inundated with factors to consider. They heard testimony that McInerney was beaten by his father; was a budding white supremacist who doodled swastikas in his notebook; and a bright student who became unmotivated and couldn’t control his emotions when King made unwanted sexual advances toward him. Most notably in the jury’s inability to reach a unanimous decision on a first-degree murder charge sought by prosecutors was McInerney’s age at the time of the shooting in February 2008. Some legal observers say while most people approve of stiff penalties for

minors who commit violent crimes, they aren’t as inclined to support a lifelong prison sentence if they discover the child was abused or had other problems growing up. “I think it’s about what the just punishment is,’’ said Aaron Kupchik, a sociology professor at the University of Delaware, of the deadlocked jury. ``They still look at someone who was barely 14 when he did this. Though he may deserve a harsh punishment, it would be senseless to treat this child if he was as fully blameworthy as an adult.’’ Prosecutors say they plan to ask Ventura County Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell for a new trial during a hearing scheduled for Oct. 5. Over the next month, prosecutors will decide whether to pursue the same set of charges or drop some of them, said James Ellison, the chief assistant district attorney. “We don’t know at this point if we will modify the charges,’’ Ellison said. “The jury’s inability to reach a verdict in this case will be a factor. We’ll consider everything.’’ An option could be punting the case back to juvenile court if prosecutors are willing to drop the special allegation of lying in wait, which could carry a more severe penalty. If convicted in juvenile court of murder, McInerney would likely be released no later than his 25th birthday. |l|

NC gay marriage ban makes 2012 ballot wire report Raleigh, N.C. | North Carolina voters will get to vote next May on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state. The Senate voted 30-16 on Tuesday in favor of putting the question on the statewide primary ballot. The number of yes votes was just enough to approve the constitutional amendment. The House approved the measure Monday. Although 30 states have gay marriage bans in their constitutions, North Carolina is the only state in the Southeast without such a marriage limit there. State law already defines marriage between a man and a woman, but amendment supporters argue traditional marriage would be better protected against potential legal challenges by same-sex couples married in six other states and the District of

Columbia. “The question is, are we going to let the people decide, or judicial decisions based on the Supreme Court decisions of a half-dozen other states?” said House Majority Leader Paul Stam, a Republican, during a floor debate that lasted more than three hours. Opponents in the House who spoke— nearly all of them Democrats—said it was an awful idea that would discourage businesses from coming to North Carolina because executives would view the state as unwelcoming to gay and lesbian employees. Others likened the question to instituting previous constitutional restrictions in North Carolina that once barred interracial marriage. “Once again we seek to marginalize a group of individuals who only want equality and the same basic human rights afforded to every citizen of this state,” said Rep. Susan Fisher. “Why do we insist on repeating history?” | l |

September 15-28, 2011 |


Medical schools teaching little about gay health wire report Chicago, Ill. | Future doctors aren’t learning much about the unique health needs of gays and lesbians, a survey of medical school deans suggests. On average, the schools devoted five hours in the entire curriculum to teaching content related to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patients, according to the survey results appearing in the Sept. 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association. A third of the schools had none during the years students work with patients. More than a quarter of the medical school deans said their school’s coverage of 16 related topics was ``poor’’ or “very poor.’’ The topics included sex change surgery, mental health issues and HIV/AIDS. While nearly all medical schools taught students to ask patients if they ``have sex with men, women or both’’ while obtaining a sexual history, the overall curriculum lacked deeper instruction to help “students carry that conversation as far as it needs to go,’’ said lead author Dr. Juno Obedin-Maliver of the University of California, San Francisco. Without such education, doctors are left guessing and can make faulty assumptions, Obedin-Maliver said. For instance, lesbians need Pap tests, which screens for the sexually spread virus that causes most cervical cancer, as often as heterosexual women do. But some doctors assume they don’t need them. “I’m an ob-gyn and I have had lesbian

patients come to me and say I haven’t had a Pap test in 20 years because my doctors said I didn’t need one,’’ Obedin-Maliver said. Earlier this year, the Institute of Medicine reported that there’s little research to guide doctors in the treatment of lesbians and gays. But some things are known: There are increased risks of depression, suicide attempts, homelessness and being victims of violence for lesbians, gay men and bisexuals. Lesbians and bisexual women may get less preventive care to stay healthy, and have higher rates of obesity and breast cancer. The Association of American Medical Colleges recommends that medical schools ensure students master “the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to provide excellent comprehensive care’’ for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender patients. The new findings are based on a Web-based survey that drew responses from 85% of U.S. and Canadian medical schools. That’s a remarkably high response rate, which shows the deans believe it’s an important issue, said Dr. Raymond Curry, vice dean for education at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. In an accompanying editorial, Curry wrote that the researchers missed the opportunity to find out how many medical schools have gay and lesbian faculty and how many have student groups for gays and lesbians. “Trying to assess the adequacy of a curriculum in addressing these issues is perhaps not best approached in counting hours of instruction,’’ Curry said. | l |

briefs Britain to lift ban on gay men donating blood

W.V. woman sues over lesbian perception dismissal

British health officials say they will lift the ban on gay men donating blood—as long as their last sexual contact with another man was more than one year ago. The U.K. health department said Sept. 8 that the change would be implemented in November after a new review found no evidence to support the ban. The decision reverses a policy first adopted in the 1980s when officials feared AIDS could be spread in the blood supply.

A West Virginia woman is suing a youth center, alleging board members fired her after looking at her Facebook profile and determining that she is a lesbian. Jessica A. Hudson’s lawsuit alleges the Bob Burdette Center board held an emergency meeting June 19 about Hudson’s ``perceived sexual orientation’’ after they’d offered her a job as the center’s executive director, then dismissed her. Hudson is suing for unspecified punitive damages, compensatory damages and an order barring the center from discriminating.

Out US Rep. Baldwin joins Wis. Senate race Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has entered the race for Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Herb Kohl. Baldwin made her announcement Sept. 6 in an email and video message to supporters, saying she would fight for middle-class voters. If elected, Baldwin would become the first openly gay member of the Senate. She was first elected to Congress in 1998.

Ariz. same-sex partners entitled to benefits The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sept 6 upheld the blocking of a state law that would have terminated health-insurance eligibility for same-sex partners of Arizona state government workers, ensuring that same-sex partners are entitled to the same health care benefits provided to opposite-sex couples. A three-judge appeals court panel agreed with a lower court’s decision to block the law, ruling that denying same-sex partners the benefits would violate equal protection provisions of the Constitution.


watermark | tampa bay marketplace

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resist asking, “Can I bring you anything, your highness?” The sarcasm was apparently lost on me because she said I only glanced up for a second and replied with perfect seriousness, “Yes. I would like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” It wasn’t just the way the stories captured my imagination. It was—is—the books themselves. I love the way they smell, the texture of the pages and the faint crackling Is the internet sound the spine makes when you ease a book open for the first time. killing books? As a result, I have no desire to own a Kindle, a Nook or any other e-Reader. Reading a book on my iPhone sounds like squinty torture. When it comes to books, I Jamie Hyman choose to stay firmly planted in the dark ages, online media dir. thank you very much. I’m still my nerdy self, though, so naturally I’ve found a way for technology to increase and enhance my reading of books. The Orange County Library System is awesome. I talk about it all the time and still can’t believe how many people don’t realize how awesome it is. They will deliver books to your house. Seriously. You just log onto the site, search the catalog and click “Request.” About a week later, you will come home from work to find a bright blue (recycled) plastic package propped against your front door, containing a new book for your bedside. It’s like ordering books online except you have to remember to return the books to the library (made very convenient via drive-throughs and automated drop-off stations) and it’s totally and few days ago, I spent my lunch break completely free. pleasantly chatting with a Finnish On Sept. 10, The Economist reported that guy I met while participating in the Swedish furniture retailer Ikea is redesigning La Tomatina Festival in Bunol, Spain, last its classic “Billy” bookcase with wider, month. deeper shelves. The Economist took this as an I present this fact as a point of evidence omen heralding the end of books, which got in the case of me being madly in love with me thinking that as a dedicated book-lover, I the internet. My chat with Olli is just a single example of the dozens of times each week I have a responsibility to fight their extinction. That gave me think to myself, “Oh the idea for The 35 my God, I really, really Books Project. adore the internet.” When it comes to And I do. I have The cup books, I choose to containing my no idea how anyone love for books is covered news before, stay firmly planted in brimming over and even though I was once the dark ages, thank one of those people. I’m approaching a you very much. landmark birthday, I can Skype with my so I have decided to 2-year-old nephew share my enduring in Ohio, rekindle connections on a book love with Central Florida. weekly basis via social networking and find a This year, I don’t want presents. I’ve great recipe that helps me use up the surplus created a list of 35 great books and am asking of bell peppers in my crisper. There is a pretty big chink in my hooray my pals to choose one to have shipped to my house. Each book will get a bookplate for technology armor. explaining the project and directing the reader I still love books. toward a place online where they can give I learned to read at a very young age, fell hard and fast for books and haven’t strayed feedback about the book. On the birthday, I’ll wrap each book in a pretty package then head since. Once, when I was about five years to a to-be-determined location where I’ll give old, my mom walked into the living room 35 great books to 35 strangers. to find me propped up on a corner of the Are you a book lover who would like to sofa, reading, surrounded by my bookish help? Just search for “The 35 Books Project” treasures. She said I looked so much like a on Facebook. It’s an open event, so click that princess basking in royal riches she couldn’t


you’re attending and you’ll find a link to a list of books. Choose one and send it along and that is it—I’ll take care of everything else. Used books are okay—I’m all about recycling. And if I do say so myself, it’s a pretty great list of books. The authors span from Dr. Seuss to Judy Blume to J.D. Salinger to Rebecca Skloot. Twilight is not on the list. Better hurry, though. As of press time, half of the list was already purchased. (That is because I am blessed with outstanding friends.) With any luck, on Sept. 26, I’ll head out with the full list of 35 books in tow, raring to share my favorite stories with strangers. I can’t wait. | l |

September 15-28, 2011 |



watermark | the big story

| September 15-28, 2011

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experiencing about 15% of what is erotically possible. We develop habits and patterns that put our erotic selves to sleep. This two-day workshop is a major wake-up experience that attracts men of all ages and erotic backgrounds. Most of our erotic education has taken place under that strangest of conditions… Imagine an erotic environment designed to be playful, safe, honoring, educational, comfortable, and hot.” Other workshops offered to participants who have first experienced the CBE include: “Fusion: Melding the Body and Heart,” “The Erotic Temple,” and “Creating Sacred Intimacy,” among others.

Electric beginnings Begun in 1984 primarily as a massage school, The Body Electric School evolved during the AIDS crisis into a format for gay men to gain more comfort with sexuality, beyond simply “performing” sex. Combining elements of massage, yoga, Taoism and tantric touch, the program is a form of continuing education in the way sexuality, erotic energy, body consciousness, spirituality and awareness are perceived by the individual. Sexuality is valued as an enrichment of one’s Finding comfort physical and spiritual health, individually and in Orlando resident Ralph interaction with others. Recht has participated in The School began in Body Electric experiences California and has since for 10 years. As Recht grown to several locations recalls, “I still remember throughout the U.S. and that first experience as if it Canada. In its current form, was yesterday. I went with a The Body Electric School friend who told me I should offers workshops to people try this. It was life-changing. of all ages, shapes and It helped me overcome my sizes. The atmosphere is shyness; it helped me feel intended to be inclusive comfortable in my own skin; and safe, without fear it revamped my whole way of rejection. Though the of thinking of myself and schedule predominantly others.” includes men’s groups, As The Body Electric workshops are also School moves beyond its available in some locations 25th year, organizers say to women, couples and their plans include more mixed genders. outreach to incorporate The Body Electric newer forms of media and School offers workshops social media. Additionally, in a series of levels from a broadening of focus is —Ralph Recht, introductory to advanced, as envisioned to include more a student of well as specialized sessions. courses for women and The Body Electric For all participants, the mixed genders, as well basic “Celebrating the Body as transgendered groups. Erotic” (CBE) two-day A national gathering of workshop is a prerequisite Coordinators and Facilitators before enrolling in others. is scheduled for December (Tantra workshops are offered through The in which future plans and strategies will be Body Electric School, but are considered discussed. a “parallel” offering, not requiring a Though no two participants will prerequisite.) experience the same forms of growth The CBE experience is described as from the Body Electric experience, most “exploring your erotic potential.” Elements participants say they have achieved a deeper of conscious breathing, meditation, sense of self-love, trust in others and selfmovement and massage are employed to empowerment from their own erotic and learn more deeply satisfying ways to give spiritual energy. Florida organizers who have and receive erotic pleasure. An awareness of experience with The Body Electric School the spiritual aspects of sexuality is intended, are energized to see its return to Florida. as well as playfulness. Participants describe The CBE workshop is currently offered feelings of self-empowerment and a greater only once per year in Orlando. The next CBE ability and willingness to be sensitive to is Saturday and Sunday, Sept 24 and 25. others. Couples are welcome to participate in For more information and to register, visit the CBE workshop and may choose, if they or call Khalsa wish, to work only with each other during at 407-505-0318 or email centralfloridaBE@ the erotic portions of the experience, or with The CBE workshop is also other participants. People of any sexual offered at all other Body Electric locations orientation are welcome, since the program throughout the year. A Tantra workshop in emphasizes erotic energy, not sexual Orlando will return in the spring, and other attraction or activity. Body Electric gatherings may be added to As one of the facilitator introduces the schedule as more participants become the first CBE, “Most men live their lives aware of the offerings. | l |

“It was lifechanging. It revamped my whole way of thinking of myself and others.”

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watermark | viewpoint Back in the old days, MRSA infection was exclusively considered an infection related to being hospitalized. The first cases of MRSA in the community were reported in the 1980s, but these occurred in patients who had contact with the healthcare environment. Over the past decade, MRSA infections have occurred in healthy patients without a recent hospitalization.

Know your Superbugs Dr. Federico Hinestrosa M.D.

My partner was recently diagnosed with MRSA “boils.” How do I know if I am infected? Before discussing infections in detail, it is very important to distinguish between infection and colonization. Colonization is the state of being a carrier of MRSA and does not mean that you are infected. Bacteria normally live on everyone’s skin without causing any symptoms. When MRSA happens to be one of those bacteria living on your skin, you are colonized. Your skin itself serves as a barrier, not allowing for bacteria to enter your body. If the skin is cut or broken, the bacteria are given the opportunity to contaminate and may cause an infection. Infection is the state of being ill or having signs and symptoms from MRSA. Signs and symptoms may vary depending on the type of infection or the body area that is involved. It is important to remember that just because you are colonized with MRSA doesn’t always mean you are at risk for infection.

What type of infections does MRSA or staph cause? ou have probably heard of “MRSA “Staph” bacteria as a family are one of infections” or “staph infections” from the most common causes of skin infections the news, a friend, or perhaps a relative in the United States. The majority of MRSA that was discharged from the hospital.There infections occur in patients in the hospital, have been outbreaks of skin infections caused but it is becoming more common in the by bacteria called MRSA in athletes, military community. This concept is important because and childcare personnel, men who have sex MRSA infections can behave somewhat with men and HIV-positive individuals. MRSA different depending on where you acquire them can cause a wide variety of infections ranging (hospital vs. community). Hospital-acquired from mild skin infections to serious infections MRSA causes surgical wound infections, blood such as pneumonia or blood stream infections. stream infections, pneumonia and even urinary tract infections. When MRSA is acquired from What is MRSA? the community, it most commonly causes a MRSA stands for “methicillin-resistant skin infection that may look like a pimple or Staphylococcus aureus.” Staphylococcus boil. The skin can be red, swollen, and painful aureus (Staph) is a bacteria commonly carried and can have pus in it. You often say, “It looks on the skin or in the like a spider bite.” noses of healthy When common staph people. Because it infections found The top 10 carriers is part of what is in the community normally found on are not cared for of superbugs can the skin, staph is appropriately, they be your fingers. not considered an can cause more infection unless it serious illnesses like causes symptoms. hospital-acquired MRSA is a type of staph bacteria that is MRSA infections. resistant to a class of antibiotics related to penicillin and cephalosporin. A smaller number How are these infections treated? of people carry MRSA in their nose and skin Skin infections caused by MRSA, such as than those carrying Staphylococcus aureus. boils and abscesses, may be treated by incision You might be wondering which is worse, and drainage of the wound by your healthcare MRSA or staph? There is no clear answer to provider. Some recent studies have shown this. They both come from the same family that adequate drainage of a boil or abscess and cause the same type of infections. The can be enough to get rid of the infection difference comes when treatment is considered.

September 15-28, 2011 |

even in the absence of antibiotics. There are several antibiotics that are effective against community-acquired MRSA. Sulfas and tetracyclines are some of the most commonly used antibiotics to treat MRSA. What can be done to prevent MRSA infections? The number one, two and three measures to prevent any infectious disease is to wash your hands with soap and water. Other simple measures are: Keeping cuts and scrapes clean and covered until they are fully healed. Avoiding contact with other people’s wounds. Avoiding sharing personal items like towels,

razors and sports equipment. MRSA in the community is spread from person to person via contaminated hands, and sharing of hygiene items. Other factors contributing to transmission include skin-toskin contact (e.g., contact sports), crowded living conditions, and poor hygiene. Although some of the facts about MRSA infections seem scary, it is important to follow the basic prevention steps mentioned above and contact your doctor if you think you may have an infection. Always remember the top 10 carriers of superbugs can be your fingers, so wash your hands and clean the “staph”! | l | Dr. Hinestrosa is a board certified member of the American Board of Internal Medicine at the Orlando Immunology Center.




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watermark | viewpoint

| September 15-28, 2011

100% liable. If a crime happens against a gay bar patron, the bar is just as liable as the criminal. Somewhat liable. Bars have an obligation to provide reasonable security measures but that’s where it ends.

top web comments On the filing of a statewide domestic partner registry bill: “This is good news, and anyone helping to push this bill deserves the community’s thanks” —Jim Harper

Bars not only should provide security, but they also have a duty to increase that security in response to crimes committed. Not liable at all. Bar patrons party at their own risk.


On domestic partner benefits for Fort Lauderdale employees: “This is a beginning. Slow, but a beginning… Some day, after we have exhausted the fight there will be people in the LGBT community who can live a life and not a lifestyle.” —Kat Longworthy



On Erik Caban’s Fire Down Below entry outlining 21 bad dates: “I do require clarification on reason # 20, ‘You’re the same age as my father. That’s just uncomfortable. It’s not that I’m an ageist, it was more because he had an issue in the boudoir.’ If it was your date who had the problem, might I be so bold as to suggest you are indeed being ageist if you now simply write off all of us who are of a fatherly age simply because one old guy couldn’t perform.” —Michael Wanzie

10% At, we asked you:

How liable should gay bars be for crimes committed on their property?

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A new poll will be posted to the homepage this week. Be sure to visit and let us know what YOU think!

Aesthetic Treatments that

Make a Difference.

mail Disappointing WAVE change I am very disappointed in your decision to change “spiritual” to “clergy” in the WAVE awards ballot. There are a lot of us who think “Clergy” are the scourge of the earth, but are still looking for “spiritual” leaders. Wusses.

Shaun McLain Via e-mail

A proper thank you

I can’t thank you enough. I will treasure it always.

Staci Backauskas Tampa

Thought provoking perspective Tom Dyer wrote a really great Publisher’s Perspective [Issue 18.18] on the teacher/free speech issue. It was extremely well balanced and thoughtfully written (as well as thought provoking). I imagine it will provide the impetus for many an argument.

When I came out of Urban Body in Tampa with the Fall Arts Issue of Watermark [Issue Michael Wanzie 18.18] and got back in my friend’s car, I didn’t Orlando know what to expect, I thought perhaps a listing—a few lines with some details about the date and time of my workshop. I opened to the article and I sat stunned, tears in my eyes. The Thanks so much for reverse print, the the in-depth coverage photo, my name of the Tampa Bay Rays’ across the top of making of their “It Gets the piece. I was in Better” video. [Issue shock. 18.18] I was unable to We were headed —Staci Backauskas attend the game but I to dinner so I tucked was excited to read that it away to read the players and Coach later. We ended up Maddon himself were at Daily Eats and after we ordered, my friend so accommodating to the film crew. It says a lot asked me to read her the article. I wasn’t even when your hometown team expresses support four paragraphs in when I burst into tears right for the LGBT community. in the middle of the diner. I was amazed to see Keep up the great work! an article that really depicted me and what I’m Samuel Ranee doing. Via e-mail

“I wasn’t even four paragraphs in when I burst into tears right in the middle of the diner.”

Thanks for the sneak peak

Send all correspondence to 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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September 15-28, 2011 |


than their straight counterparts: warriors who exemplify masculinity, strength, utility, and durability. As the ban is lifted, gays will finally have a path to claim these adjectives that have thus far been kept from them. It is this change of how gay men are seen and see themselves that is potentially dramatic. What could happen is not just a transformation of gay men into soldiers, but a chance for gay men to be perceived as real men. And gays will likely play a role in changing what that real man looks like by integrating the traits of empathy and intelligence with the The Gay qualities of valor and efficacy. Warrior Image As military service becomes a viable option for gays, more will find a home in the service and be visible in the Brett Edward community. Aside from escaping the Stout isolation of small town life, it is easy to see why gays might find the military appealing. Gay men often feel an overactive need to prove themselves. For this reason many gay men are ideally suited for military service and vice versa. The military is the perfect habitat for a gay warrior ready to validate his courage, zeal, and place in popular culture. The military gives these warriors exactly what they need: the picture of a refined gentleman who isn’t afraid to break down an engine. This is not to say that gays must change. No one will be required to trade in their handbags for hand grenades. This is not to say that rugged gays don’t already opular culture often portrays gay exist. And, this is not to claim that the men as effeminate, frivolous, and impact of repeal will be isolated to gays. elitist. Media images of gays have The acceptance of gay culture will in largely been relegated to florist, dancer, many ways pull straight culture towards or choir boy. Gays have been thoroughly it, resulting in a homogenization of gay sold to the public (and themselves) as and straight cultures or at least promoting weak creatures of beauty and impulse, as apathy towards differences in orientation. overwhelmed by impractical distractions, One of the greatest needs of an and demonized as individual is the sodomites, rapists, mirror. We yearn and pacifists. to see images of In reality, the ourselves in the Now that the repeal of gay community world around “Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell” contains an infinite us. Until now, has cut the padlock variation of diverse examples of people. But popular successful gay men off the military closet, stereotypes are so have largely been gay men in uniform pervasive that they famous, notorious, can come to define or infamous. But will soon start coming how many gays see the very idea out of the footlocker. themselves. that gays need to However, the change is wrong. image of what it Gays have always means to be gay in American will now been an integral part of both military change. Now that the repeal of “Don’t and masculine culture. What does need Ask; Don’t Tell” has cut the padlock to change is what the face in the mirror off the military closet, gay men in means to us. While it isn’t required that uniform will soon start coming out of the this image looks any specific way, you footlocker. Integration of open gays into have to admit, it would be nice if the face our military will have effects that ripple staring back was a hero.| l | through gay culture. So, what does this Writer, filmmaker, and photographer Brett Edward gay warrior look like? How specifically Stout is a Cedar Rapids native and graduate of the does the presence of out warriors change University of Iowa. He spent five years in the US the image of the modern gay man? Marine Corps as a Russian linguist. His first novel Gay warriors will likely be no different Sugar-Baby Bridge was published in 2008.



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watermark | comedy

September 15-28, 2011 |


here’s a reason Kate Clinton named her new comedy tour “The Glee Party.” The out comedienne is a fan of the popular FOX television musical series and her material is constantly inspired by the acts of the political Tea Party. “They say Glee solves things in 46 minutes and characters break out into song for no reason,” Clinton says from New York City. “Tea Partiers think they can fix 30-year-old government problems in two minutes and they’re constantly breaking into some crazy-ass song.” Clinton, a 30-year comedy veteran, brings her wit to King of Peace Metropolitan Community Church in St. Petersburg on Friday, Sept. 23. She spent most of the summer in Provincetown, Mass., and was enjoying some wet downtime in New York City when we called her to get her take on the 10th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, the irresponsible usage of social media and the large amount of comedic material provided by the growing list of GOP presidential hopefuls.


GIRL Kate Clinton brings her ‘Glee Party’ to St. Pete Sept. 2

steve blanchard

WATERMARK: You describe yourself as a “faithbased political humorist,” so what do you have to say about the religious right blaming New York’s passage of same-sex marriage for Hurricane Irene and the recent east coast earthquake? KATE CLINTON: Well, first off, I’d point out to those people that in the 2010 census, Provincetown was named the gayest town in America, per capita. P-town was spared during Irene. We had some rains and some win, but then the sun came out. I’d like to tell Pat Robertson, and his religious meteorological predictions, that I only wish we were that powerful. We’d find much better ways to use our power, like to get rid of Proposition 8 once and for all. As a New Yorker, are you excited about your state’s recent legalization of gay marriage? I am getting tons of invitations to come celebrate weddings in New York, or glorified civil unions. It’s very exciting to have such a wild victory. Andrew Cuomo was amazing. We’re all happy to call ourselves Cuomosexuals. Do you have plans to marry your long time partner? We talk about it, but we’re not there. Frankly, we could elope tomorrow. Our lawyer has said it would be a good idea financially for us to do so. Isn’t that romantic? “Honey, do you want to save some money?” “Oh dear, are you asking me to marry you?” A lot has changed in New York, especially since the terrorist attacks of 9-11. We’re leaving town during the anniversary. Living through it once was enough. I was here on Sept. 11, sitting at my desk. My girlfriend was at the U.N. and she called and told me to turn on the TV. Our neighbor across the hall was a fireman and he never came back. Continued on page 38 | uu |


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watermark | film

September 15-28, 2011 |


screened out SuMMER FARE TO MIDDLINg

stephen miller

Warrior (Starring Joel Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte)


1997 Tel Aviv. Young actors play the older Mossad agents to varying effect. Chastain (The Tree of Life, The Help) is gripping as the young Mirren. The other two—Worthington and Csokas—are a little duller. Director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) is not above little tricks to keep the audience nervous and confused, sometimes to the point of annoyance. It’s a good thing Mirren and Chastain are here. The older spy sports an ugly scar on her face and we anticipate finding out how she was injured. The younger spy goes in for a gynecology examination…delivered by the Nazi surgeon. We know early on that something went awry with the “brilliant” kidnapping. The movie is not so much a whodunit as it is a “how it went wrong.” The earlier action sequences are fun and intricate, but the ending stumbles in some pretty silly, major ways. Yes, it’s a serious nail-biter, but only because The Debt doesn’t quite add up.

t’s a modern Cain and Abel set in the violent world of mixed martial arts. IrishAmerican brothers attempt to pummel and kick each other to death, intent on winning the prize. The weird thing is that each brother possesses good and bad qualities, making it hard to pick someone to root for. Warrior is a strange blend—one that takes its sweet time getting started, so that we know the back-story going into the final battles. There’s the typical sports underdog tale. There’s the high melodrama of an old trainer, a recovering alcoholic (Nolte in his best performance in a while) seeking forgiveness from his unyielding sons. One son (Hardy of Inception) is a frigid ex-soldier hardened by the war, hiding a painful brutalism. The other (Edgerton of the wonderful Animal Kingdom) is a schoolteacher trying to keep his own family above water, aiming to be a better father than his dad was. Contagion Some of this is hard to buy. (Starring Matt Damon, Gwyneth Physics teacher Edgerton Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Laurence almost miraculously trains for Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, Jude Law) and becomes ready to be a contender. It seems a little too convenient that both brothers If you see this film, take would reach the championship. plenty of hand sanitizer and Finally, all three parts are filled pick a matinee, where you with dialogue that rings like can sit far, far away from any a gravitas-filled staccato— disease-carrying pariah. The Matt Damon fights to find “Oscar speech-ifying,” I call it. whole world’s a Petri dish, I a cure in Contagion. But Warrior is filmed tell you! beautifully and viciously. And Director Steven Soderberg there’s something about these beefy, ripped has created another layered look at a modern siblings settling their scores in the ring—in a problem, as he did in Traffic with the War on bloody, relatively unknown sport–that makes it Drugs. This time, he explores a plague that hard to turn away. could decimate the world population, the science and politics behind it, and the capitalist battle between selling a cure and giving it out The Debt freely. (Starring Helen Mirren, Jessica Chastain, Tom But Contagion tells too many stories, and Wilkinson, Marton Csokas, Ciarán Hinds, Sam not well; most of them feel underdeveloped. Worthington) This technological tale never raises a fever; it’s This remake of a 2007 Israeli film possesses an intellectual exercise on pathogens, politics, science and gossip, when it should have such promise. In the 90s, three elder spies focused on just a few emotional, human stories from the Israeli Mossad are being honored for at its core. their 1960s capture of an evil Nazi surgeon, Everything starts out promising. After bringing him into Israel for trial. Agent visiting Hong Kong, one of our major stars Mirren’s daughter has even published a book. coughs and then dies. Then Soderberg slyly Then some truths emerge, causing everything films each and every way humans could to unravel. become infected. It’s giddy, paranoid fun, and The movie jumps between 1965 Berlin and

Beefy brothers Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton face off in Warrior.

Contagion has the possibility of being sickly entertaining. Soderberg also darts around the globe, giving the disease a real pandemic effect. Then this flick goes all scientific and sociological, eschewing characters for a cold, logical lecture. Big action sequences seem dead, and cathartic moments are given a flatline delivery. The facts behind Contagion may cause audiences to talk, but a well-written Time article would’ve achieved the same. | 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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issue basis under Florida Small Group Reform underwriting rules. This basically means that they would not have to worry about pre-existing conditions. That’s a real plus for anyone who has unfortunate events in their medical history. Additionally, when a couple is considered “married,” the entire family unit can share a “family deductible,” as opposed to having to meet individual deductibles. This is a huge benefit for anyone who is concerned about their finances. That would include nearly everyone I know. One of my basic political tenets is that rights and privileges are like muscles. If you want to keep them, you had better use them. One of my basic economic tenets is that you need to vote with your dollars. If employers were to move their coverage to policies like this, pressure would come to bare on the companies that did not offer domestic partner coverage. Additionally, as coverage like this became more the norm, insurance company and public policy would fall in line.  IF you woulD lIkE To lEARN MoRE AbouT ThIS, PlEASE CoNTACT ME.


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watermark | music

It’s no surprise that Jacques Snyman is a rugby star, which may explain why so many people are surprised by his counter-tenor singing voice. | Photo courtesy Vim Kruger

counter balance Athlete and trainer Jacques Snyman shares his counter-tenor voice at Tampa’s Monkey Suit Masquerade Ball Oct. 1

steve blanchard


hen speaking to Jacques Snyman, two things are immediately noticeable: his masculine, sexy British accent and his amazing, muscled physique. But it’s what you can’t see or hear immediately that brings the sexy former rugby player to Tampa for the Tampa Bay Bears’ Monkey Suit Ball on Oct. 1—his counter tenor voice and his operatic abilities. “A reaction from a lot of people is that they find it strange,” Snyman says from his home in Fort Lauderdale. “First they’re surprised that I can sing, second they’re surprised I sing opera, and last they’re surprised I can sing this high. They say I’m different, and I quite like that. I don’t fit the norm.” The handsome performer is a certified personal trainer—or in England, a Master Trainer—which means he teaches

personal trainers. It wasn’t until 2009 that the 38-year-old discovered his talent for high notes when he returned to his native South Africa and joined a choir. There, the conductor of that choir suggested he reach for the stars, musically. “His words were, ‘How bloody high can you sing?’” Snyman recalls. “I told him, ‘I don’t know.’ There was this guy on the piano and he’d hit a note and then I’d hit it. I kept going higher and higher. That’s when the conductor said, ‘My God, that’s what you’re supposed to be doing.’” Soon after that first experience, Snyman found himself singing a solo in a concert that was originally written for a soprano. After his video was seen in London, he relocated to study under Brian Parsons of the Conservatory de Lyon in 2010. He studied, but since many opera classes have an age cap of 32, Snyman decided to relocate to Fort Lauderdale,

where he is currently studying the fundamentals of music and other core curriculum. While Snyman has always been a fan of music and opera—his grandmother was an opera singer—he has many interests. “I’ve got the new Lady Gaga album—I love her,” says the single musclebear. “She’s one of those people who doesn’t care what people think and that’s what it’s supposed to be about. We worry too much about others’ opinions of us.” He’s also a seasoned athlete who began training as a gymnast at the age of 6. He also excelled in cricket, rugby, soccer, track and field and swimming. Eventually, his size limited his gymnastics performances so he focused on rugby, where his size and speed were an advantage. He then discovered track and field, where he was a long-jumper and, eventually, a decathlete. “One day, for the first time, I hurled the javelin,” he recalls. “It just went far— really far.” Snyman was chosen to represent the South African national team in gymnastics, rugby and track and field, but was sometimes prevented from competing internationally because of the isolation of South Africa due to Apartheid. He competed in the Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 and won four gold medals. Most of Snyman’s athletic

September 15-28, 2011 |


accomplishments are listed in his bio, provided on his website. The highly competitive and successful athlete is surprisingly humble, but very determined. “I don’t like talking about myself,” Snyman says over the phone. “It’s difficult. I enjoy sports and I enjoyed the long jump, until I broke my back.” Snyman says that he broke part of a vertebrae during a jumping accident and for awhile, he wasn’t sure if he’d walk again. “My coach visited me in the hospital and asked me what I was going to do if I was paralyzed,” Snyman says. “I told him that I’d go to the Paralympic Games and win a medal. You can’t let things get you down; life is about coming back from disappointment.” That’s could explain the singer’s passion for anti-bullying programs. He says his YouTube singing performances receive feedback from young LGBT teens who thank him for showing his successes as an out, gay man. It’s an opportunity, he says, to make a difference in the lives of people he’ll never get to meet in person. With his arrival in the United States, Snyman sees his performance career as a new beginning. He continues to train— hard—in the gym, but he’s also focused on making quite a name for himself on the performance circuit. He plans to sing for 30 minutes or more at the Monkey Suit Masquerade Charity Ball at the Westshore Wyndham Hotel in downtown Tampa. After his performance here, he’ll travel to San Francisco to perform with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. “I’m not saying I’m the next big opera star or anything like that,” Snyman says. “It’s nothing to do with that. But I do know I have this ability to sing and make people sit up because of how I look and what I sound like. I want to use this as an opportunity to make a difference—to make my mark. I think everyone wants the opportunity to do that in their life.” Tickets to the Monkey Suit Masquerade Charity Ball are $60 and available online at For more information on Snyman, visit his website at | l |

see+hear WHO: Jacques Snyman WHAT: Monkey Suit Masquerade Charity Ball WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 1 WHERE: Westshore Wyndham Hotel, Downtown Tampa TICKETS:


watermark | entertainment

| September 15-28, 2011

I don’t know! Nobody’s mentioning it, so I’m hoping it happens. I certainly love her. She’s so fun to play. You grew up in Oklahoma, so country music is your roots. How is this album a reflection of that? It’s so funny, because I get asked, “Why a country album now?” But that’s how it all began for me—and, of course, why would anyone know that? It’s not something I’ve been talking about a lot, but it’s the music I grew up listening to. One of my biggest influences is Dolly Parton, and when you look at the history of songs in musical theater and in country, they’re both usually great storytellers. I know just how lucky I am to do this kind of music. Getting to go to Nashville and sing this music that feels like home to me was a real gift, and one that I don’t take lightly.

Kristin Chenoweth’s new sitcom, Good Christian Belles, premieres on ABC as a mid-season replacement sometime this winter.

the gospel according to kristin chenoweth Singer talks country music, queers and Christians

chris azzopardi


ne of the most happy-go-lucky ladies in showbiz, Kristin Chenoweth doesn’t get miffed very easily. But when she does, she does. And last year she did, after Newsweek published a commentary on the inability of gay actors to play straight roles. It upset the 43-year-old actress/singer so much she wrote an extensive letter to the magazine, calling the article “horrendously homophobic,” which was published shortly after the debacle—and which she spoke about during this interview. Chenoweth’s allegiance to the gay community goes way back to being a child and

growing up in the South—a place she returned to for her latest album, Some Lessons Learned, her first of four to fully embrace her country roots. But her success hasn’t been confined to just the music business; Chenoweth broke out on Broadway, where she originated the role of Glinda in Wicked and most recently starred alongside Will & Grace star Sean Hayes in Promises, Promises. There’s also been a book (2009’s A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love and Faith in Stages), and several TV spots: Pushing Daisies, Glee and, coming soon to ABC, Good Christian Belles. So we had lots to talk about when we

recently caught up with Chenoweth, who was on a dinner break from shooting her upcoming sitcom. During our chat, she discussed her history of dating gay men, her opinion on Michele Bachmann’s support of gay conversion clinics and being a little bit wicked. WATERMARK: I can’t get over your character’s last name on Good Christian Belles: Cockburn. Carlene Cockburn. KRISTIN CHENOWETH: (Laughs.) You can’t?! I can’t wait for my family to hear that one. I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s thought this. Oh no. Are you kidding? I was like, “Wait a minute!” But I just think the most important thing for me as an actress, because of the lines that come out of my mouth, is to just have to speak them and keep going, because they’re so funny and her name is so funny and the whole thing is just so great. I love it. Does your character have anything in common with April Rhodes, who you play on Glee? (Laughs.) Probably not on paper, but they’re both pretty outlandish people. Carlene, though, is the antithesis of April. Speaking of April, when do you think we’ll see her on Glee again, considering the ban on guest stars for the third season of the show?

“What Would Dolly Do?” reminds me a lot of Dolly herself. I co-wrote that, and (producer) Bob Ezrin asked, “Who’s had the biggest influence on you, country music-wise?” I said, “Dolly, without question.” And he said, “How would she approach it? Let’s think: What would Dolly do?” I said, “Bob, why aren’t we writing that song?” There’s something about her that I feel very attuned to. There’s only one Dolly. I’m not comparing myself, but I’m just saying her spirit and the way she looks at life is pretty similar to me. And the cover I did of hers (“Change”) is actually a very emotional thing and it reminded me—of course, how could I ever forget?—what an amazing songwriter she is. You know, I didn’t do a lot of covers. I did two covers, one of Carrie (Underwood’s) and one of Dolly’s, and I just love both of them. I love their music, I love their spirit; everything they stand for. It makes total sense, because, to me, both you and Dolly epitomize happiness. Oh my god, thank you. That’s the biggest compliment you could give me. It’s true. You are two of the happiest people I know of. So, tell me… what pisses you off? (Laughs.) Oh gosh. I don’t really get mad that often. But I’m not going to lie, when I do, there’s a quiet that comes over me that is a little like, whoa, and that happens when I don’t feel other people are prepared or doing their job or pulling their weight. I come from a family where my dad came from nothing and worked hard to get where he is, and he said, “Work hard, play hard, Kris,” and I guess that’s kind of been my motto in life. So when I see people squandering opportunities or having a sense of entitlement, that really makes me crazy. Because I don’t understand it. It’s not a world I get. You’re driving, so how about something that ticks you off about other drivers? You know what, I don’t get road rage! I just

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Was he one of the first gay people you knew in Oklahoma? Your letter in response to that Newsweek Yeah. I want to tell you something I know column said it all. Why was it important about myself: When I was in the second or to address your feelings on that issue? third grade, I first heard the word “dyke,” and it was in reference to a girl in our school who To be honest with you, I wasn’t prepared was very, very tomboyish—and I didn’t really for what was going to happen. I was on understand what the word was. But I knew I Broadway doing Promises, Promises, and I didn’t like the way it was said. And for some read the article and I actually thought it was pretty irresponsible. I’m not even talking about reason I’ve always been drawn to the person that was alone, and I don’t mean to make me whether a person agrees with sound like I’m Mother Teresa, because being gay or not, I’m talking I’m not. I’ve always been drawn to about artistry and gay actors people who felt left out or different, trying to play straight. It and maybe it’s because I too just made me mad, because felt different and unique. I thought, “Well, I’ve People would not think this played a prostitute, does of me, because there’s this that mean I am one? No.” “One of my perception of me that, “Oh, I just thought it was a little life’s been perfect and things bit of a bullying thing, and I honestly prayed about it—no purposes in this have come so easily.” But let’s face it, my kidding, I prayed about it. speaking voice is very I wrote that letter in one life is to help interesting. Yes, I was fell swoop and I gave it to a cheerleader but I also a good friend of mine to wanted to do all the plays, proofread, because the last people realize I was in renaissance choir, thing I wanted to do was and I too felt a little bit like sound like an idiot, which I that not every an outsider. I was always can do as well. So we sent it drawn to people who felt on and the next thing I know, that way too. And sure, they printed it. Christian thinks some of them were gay and And by the way, I’m a big I never did understand—I fan of the magazine, which guess the word is fear. is why I was so bummed. that being God made us all equal. But I think that they felt bad He made me short, he made and hopefully there’s been gay is a sin.” someone gay, he made some discussion about it and someone tall—whatever some learning, because that’s it is, it’s not a sin; it’s how what we’re here to do on this —Kristin Chenoweth we’re made. And that’s the Earth, to learn our purpose. way I feel about it. It flies Well, one of my purposes in the face of what a lot of in this life—since I’m a Christians believe, but as believer and a Christian—is I’m finding out there’s a lot of Christian people to help people realize that not every Christian who think the same as me. So that’s my deal, thinks that being gay is a sin. and I think we should not be careful of the unknown but rather accepting and loving of it. To reinforce your stance that gay actors can indeed act straight, you made out with your Promises, Promises co-star As someone who’s Christian and Sean Hayes at the Tonys last year. supports the gay community, how do you feel about the pray-away-theIt might’ve been a little gibe. It might’ve gay program that Michele Bachmann been a little one. (Laughs.) supports? What was it like to make out with a gay (Long pause) Um, you know what—you man, and was that your first time making can have your opinion. One of the great out with one? things about being in this country is we get to freely say what we believe. I just don’t Well, let’s face it, my high school boyfriend happen to agree with that. I like the pray is gay, so I don’t think it’s my first time part! (Laughs.) | l | making out with gay men—and I bet a lot of women don’t even know they’ve done it! And Sean Hayes is just a darn good kisser, what can



I know one thing that makes you upset, and that’s homophobic people. I don’t like that, you’re right.

I say?


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September 15-28, 2011 |




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watermark | comedy

| September 15-28, 2011

“Obama said he has to raise a billion bucks to beat them. I’m thinking, ‘Geez, $20 should do it.’” —Kate Clinton on GOP

presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry

| uu | Kate Clinton from p.31

I don’t think people knew what to do. All we did was make food because it gave us something to do—it got us through. Was it hard to think about comedy after that? It was hard to laugh. The past 10 years or so as a whole have been a challenge. I remember being in West Palm Beach during the 2000 election recount. I came and did material about that and people were silent. I did gay stuff and people roared. I was amazed that they loved the gay stuff but didn’t enjoy the politics. We’ve come a long way. I also remember talking about the invasion of Iraq, of which I wasn’t in favor. People left during that part and I just pretended they were going to the bathroom. What do you think about the growing field of GOP presidential contenders? I think they’re bad for us but good for me, that is, if I were able to listen to [Michele] Bachmann. Her voice is like fingernails on a blackboard, or something worse. I want to say, “Will someone talk to her and have her bring it down a notch?” She gets so cranked. Bachman, [Rick] Perry…I certainly talk about them but I take them seriously. What’s amazing to me is that President Obama has said he has to raise a billion

bucks to beat them. I’m thinking, “Geez, $20 should do it.” Yet they have a lot of support. They have so much money behind them for a singular focus—trying to bring down a duly elected official. If I remember my American History, that’s treason. They should be put in blocks out in front of the White House. Do you think technology and social media have influenced that way of thinking? There’s very little responsibility for what is said online. It’s anonymous and it’s so niche that everyone reads only the people who think like them. I’ll say that for myself too. My girlfriend makes me watch FOX news. That’s not easy. A friend of mine was looking into senior care facilities recently and she said every one she went into was playing FOX news. I think Roger Ailes, the head of FOX, has put a tone or note into the broadcast to cause people to stay tuned. That’s the only logical explanation. And FOX is the home of Glee, which inspired the title of your tour. You always look for something that has a common cultural language. People know Glee and I think it’s so wonderful. Kids watch it and people watch Modern Family. Both do so much to normalize gay people and our situations. I don’t think kids need those shows as much as the adults, though. Kids look at you

like, “You’re upset about that?” As a lesbian comedienne, do you find it hard to attract a male audience? I always tell the boys that they won’t be hurt or picked on if they come. It’s very interesting actually. The past few summers I’ve performed in Provincetown I’ve had a lot of men in my audience. I love men because they just laugh out loud. It’s been fun. My act is absolutely for everyone— lesbians, gay men, straight people. I don’t play in bars with mechanical bulls, but that’s just a safety issue and some self-selecting. (Laughs.) I’ve done a lot of dinners, conferences and other emceeing and men will come up to me and say, “Where have you been?” I just say, “Hello!?!” You’ve done films, documentaries, television specials... The only thing you haven’t really done is a reality show. Would you do one? I read something today actually about how reality television shows are as formulaic as pro wrestling used to be. I love that. I don’t watch them and I can’t imagine doing one unless the money was really good. I’m amazed how frequently, like at dinners, people have this dirty little secret of following some show like Big Brother or something. It’s a whole new language and I’m always clueless. I take notes so I can act like I watch it. But life’s to short for that kind of stuff.

What can your audience expect from your act when you’re in St. Petersburg? There are some basic themes. It’s my job to keep spirits up and I’ve been doing that for 30 years. In the face of a depression, people ask why I’m so gleeful. It’s really our only choice, and that’s the frame of the show. And who knows what will happen by then. Football will be started, new movies will be out and who knows what Gov. Rick Scott will be doing. Here’s a guy with the lowest poll rating and he doesn’t care. He talks about how he doesn’t like government. Well if you don’t like government, go golfing. Is there anything else you would like to say to our readers? I’m happy to be coming back to Florida. And they can keep up with me online at That way they’ll know my whereabouts. So you want online stalkers? Yeah, I didn’t think about that. I kind of set myself up for that, didn’t I? | l |


WHO: Kate Clinton’s The Glee Party tour WHERE: King of Peace MCC, St. Petersburg WHEN: Friday, Sept. 23 at 8 p.m. TICKETS:

September 15-28, 2011 |



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watermark | event planner

| September 15-28, 2011

Lark Eden Jeni Bond, Roxanne Fay and Natalie Symons star in Lark Eden through Oct. 9 at New American Theater at Baywalk

art [ST. PETERSBURG] The Evolution of Pedro Jermaine Pedro J. Perry was born in 1979 to a single mother. As he learned to speak he developed a stutter and he had difficulty reading. But at age 6 he discovered his gift for art and eventually graduated with a BA in Visual Arts Studies from the University of Florida. Perry’s works illustrate his struggles with acceptance— because of his speech, his sexuality, and other issues—and his successes. His artwork is on display at Studio 620 beginning Tuesday, Sept. 20, with an artist reception on Saturday, Sept. 24. For more information visit

[ORLANDO] Spellbound Art Show The Milk District is getting spooky with a group of local artists displaying their wares as part of the Spellbound Art Show, through Oct. 2. Opening night is 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, at Social Chameleon, Milk Bar, and Spooky’s Black Cat Café.

film [ORLANDO] The Rocky Horror Picture Show The Rich Weirdoes present their special brand of off-beat humor in a shadowcast version of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at AMC Universal Cineplex every second and fourth Friday and Saturday of the month. Tickets available at the AMC Cineplex boxoffice or on, with a full schedule of performances at Tickets prices range up to $10.

Blondie The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Blondie’s newest tour makes a stop at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Sept. 24.

It’s fall, so the Rich Weirdos will present The Rocky Horror Picture Show throughout the months of September and October at the AMC Orlando.




[SARASOTA] The Sound of Music

The popular 1980s band Blondie— complete with Debbie Harry—will bring its Panic of Girls tour to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Saturday, Sept. 24, at 8 p.m. The Rock and Role Hall of Fame-inducted group is known for their pop anthems “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture,” among many, many others. For tickets and more information, visit or call 727-791-7400.

[TAMPA] Blink 182 Several of the men who make up Blink 182 have supported the repeal of Proposition 8 and the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. We can’t think of any better reasons to go support this band when they perform at the 1-800-Ask-Gary Amphitheatre on Saturday, Sept. 24— except for their amazing musical talents. The group will perform with My Chemical Romance at the iconic outdoor venue. For tickets, visit or call 877-870-3674.

[ORLANDO] Cocktails for Two Kevin Kelly and Kate O’Neal present Cocktails for Two! a cabaret coming for two nights only to the Winter Park Playhouse. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 22–23. Tickets are $20, $15 for industry professionals, and include a drink at the bar. They can be purchased online at

Nothing has garnered quite the campy following as The Sound of Music, thanks to the iconic film. Now is your chance to see it on the stage when the Manatee Players present the musical beginning Thursday, Sept. 22 through Oct. 9. No doubt several well known LGBT actors and actresses will grace the stage to share the story of the Von Trapps prior to World War II. For details and tickets, visit

[ST. PETERSBURG] Grey Gardens Gather the cat litter and prepare for the live, musical version of Grey Gardens, presented by the popular Freefall Theatre on Central Avenue Sept. 15-Oct. 2. The story of two sisters who become recluses in their massive, historic home has been adapted for the silver screen several times. Now, the young theater is taking a crack at the warm, yet heartbreaking tale of the two women at its core. For details and tickets, visit or call 727-498-5205.

[TAMPA] Lark Eden New American Theater will open its second season with Lark Eden, a story of three Southern woman beginning in the Great Depression. The play, written by Natalie Symons, is directed by Karla Kartley and has plenty of lesbian undertones, the director tells us. The story of Thelma, Mary and Emily begins in the 1930s and ends with them as grandmothers. The play stars Jeni

tickets to the Orlando Ballet’s Vampires Ball, a live orchid and a full color quarter page ad in Watermark. Bond, Roxanne Fay and Symons and the show opens on Thursday, Sept. 22. For tickets and more information, visit or call 813-5759241.

[ORLANDO] Savage in Limbo John Patrick Stanley’s Savage in Limbo, the story of feisty young folks from the Bronx trying to connect, comes to UCF’s Black Box Theatre Sept. 29–30, with additional shows Oct. 1, 2, 6 and 8. Tickets are $17, $15 for seniors and $10 for students. For more information, call 407-823-1500, visit or email

Next Fall Part romance, part family drama, part coming-of-age story, Next Fall tells the story of a gay couple and takes the stage at Mad Cow Theatre Sept. 23–Oct. 26. Tickets range from $9-$25 and are available at On Oct. 9, there will be an MBA-sponsored performance which is an official allied event of Come Out With Pride.

special events [ORLANDO] Third Thursday Social Watermark’s Third Thursday Social is headed to SoDo for September. The free networking event starts at 5 p.m. in the OLV Café on Sept. 15. Haven of Hope AIDS Outreach is the featured charity for the month, and executive director Roxanne Nordquist will be on hand to talk about the work her organization does. Door prizes include tickets to God of Carnage at Orlando Shakespeare Theatre,

Repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell celebration Out and Proud Veterans of America will host an event to mark and celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy that bars gay and lesbian soldiers from serving openly in the military. The event is Tuesday, Sept. 20, at 11:30 a.m. in the Orlando VA Medical Center’s multipurpose room. Visit Facebook. com/OutAndProudVeterans for more information.

gMHAAD Bar-B-que The Gathering Center will sponsor a Bar-B-Que in celebration of Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Sunday, Sept. 25. It runs from noon–7 p.m. and will feature HIV testing, kickball, a spades tournament, music raffles and more. The event is at Eagle’s Nest Park.

School Yard Brawl The Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls’ season opener is a fight to see who is queen of the playground. School Yard Brawl is Sunday, Sept. 25 and doors open at 4:30 p.m. All three teams will be playing so come see who gets schooled! Tickets are $10 in advance at or from your favorite derby girl, $13 at the door. A donation of school supplies for A Gift for Teaching knocks $3 off of the door price. For more information, email For sponsorship info, email sponsorship@

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, and we will feature it in the paper on a space-available basis.

September 15-28, 2011 |



watermark | tampa bay out+about

| September 15-28, 2011

1- andy Bell of erasure wowed the crowd of The Ritz Ybor with some outlandish outfits during a concert Aug. 31. 2- (L-R) Jacob Hamm, Carl Lovgren and Brian Longstreth enjoyed some pool time at the St. Pete Pride volunteer reception celebration at Gay St. Pete House Sept. 3.

shot on site

Photography | Steve Blanchard and Carrie West




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3- (L-R)Steve Wessells and Jeff Baker, voluneered their time to host the Tampa International Gay and Lesbain Film Festival program launch party at Mise en Place in Tampa on Sept. 8. 4- (L-R) Suncoast Hospice’s Sheryl Hoolsema and William Harper were at the Flamingo Resort Sept. 10 for a VIP reception with Frenchie Davis, who performed at AIDS Walk St. Petersburg the following day. 5- L-R) L-Train owner Laura Cipriani and Rick Harmon stand in front of a piece of Harmon’s award-winning artworks during the closing reception of Harmon’s show at the L-Train in St. Petersburg Sept. 11. 6- FORGE executive director Michael Keeffe stays in the shade with a friend during a St. Pete Pride volunteer reception in St. Petersburg Sept. 3.

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watermark | tampa bay out+about

tampa bay overheard Trifecta of Taste In a perfect example of LGBT organizations working together, the Tampa Bay Business Guild, St. Pete Pride and the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are combining efforts to bring back the popular “Taste of Pride” event. This time around it’s called the Taste of TIGLFF and Street Fair and will coincide with the 22nd year of the film festival on Saturday, Oct. 15. Several restaurants are already on board and the special even twill close down the streets of downtown Tampa around the historic Tampa Theatre and the TECO Plaza. Vendor space is still available and Taste of TIGLFF replaces the former Tampa Bay Business Guild Expo. For details visit

PLAy no more The live music venue created and nurtured by popular lesbian duo Halcyon is no longer around. PLAY, which opened to much fanfare more than a year ago in the former home of the Spurs country bar, closed its doors over the summer with little more than an announcement on Facebook. But, as they say, life goes on, and it’s rare that a building remains vacant for long in Ybor City. So now, in the former home of Spurs and the former home of PLAY is now called Collage and

features art exhibits, performance art and dance music. A VIP reception brought out the who’s who of Ybor on Sept. 10 and rumor has it that the outdoor patio with the large stage will be enclosed so the amazing space can be enjoyed come rain or shine. Collage is on the corner of 8th Avenue and 17th Street.

It’s up in the air…really! LGBTs around Tampa Bay—and the state— received their invitations to the 35th annual All Hallows Ball recently and learned this year’s theme: “Up In The Air.” The annual Halloween masquerade ball is Saturday, Oct. 29, at the Tampa Convention Center. Any number of costume ideas come to mind with the theme, but invitations explicitly say that no helium filled balloons are allowed at this year’s festivities. Balloons filled with regular lung air, however, are fine. You can bet that the convention center will be packed with creative LGBTs and that camera phones will be flashing wildly. So if you can’t make it or didn’t receive an invitation, stay tuned to Facebook for a bevy of offerings from the celebration.

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

September 15-28, 2011 |



watermark | orlando out+about

| September 15-28, 2011

orlando overheard

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Mills 50/50 Split During a recent redistricting hearing, it has been proposed that the Mills/50 District be divided. Randy Stephens, who was in attendance, said that the issue arose after a number of noise complaints by neighbors who live adjacent to a few North Mills bars. The issue: City Commissioner Robert Stewart represents the neighborhood east of North Mills Avenue while City Commissioner Patty Sheehan represents the neighboring area, including the uber gay mecca Mills Avenue. So, neither commissioner wants to impede on the other’s district. The hearing brought out a few options; one of which is to split the districts in half so that both commissioners would handle a part of Mills Avenue. “The problem with that is,” Stephens explains, “is that it’s just not logical. What makes good business sense is for one commissioner to represent us all.”


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Outlandishly Ordained Parliament producer Michael Wanzie has officially become ordained. According to an email he sent out, he was duly ordained on Sept. 11. Rumor has it that he was asked to officiate the nuptials of former

Watermark contributing writer John Sullivan and his longtime partner Greg McGuigan this October in New York. However, based on the tone of his email announcement, it sounds like he’s more worried about losing his three year reign as “Favorite Spiritual Leader” in Watermark’s WAVE Awards. “I was ordained as an official member of the “Clergy.” I am now a Minister, duly ordained by the Universal Life Church Monastery,” he states in the email. This year, based on feedback from readers, Watermark reworded a number of categories, including “Favorite Spiritual Leader” to read “Favorite Clergy Member.”

NBA Gay The Center is in talks with the Orlando Magic in order to help get them more involved with the local LGBT community. According to The Center’s director Randy Stephens, he’s had a meeting with management regarding making the team more visible to the LGBT community, including marketing in LGBT publications and events at LGBT bars. “They’ve been very receptive,” says Stephens. “Currently, they’re working on a public service announcement about anti-gay bullying.”


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


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watermark | orlando out+about

shot on site Photography | Erik Caban, Kim Doll, David Moran, Don Williams and courtesy of Universal Studios and Stonewall Bar.

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1- Watermark contributing writers, Tony Ward and Erik Caban and Orlando Weekly staff writer Billy Manes enjoyed the Erasure concert at House of Blues, Sept. 2. 2- Tyra Banks came face-to-face with Lady Luck, the blood-thirsty seductress and force behind Halloween Horror Nights 21, while visiting Universal Studios with her family over Labor Day weekend. 3- Metropolitan Business Association president Gina Duncan got down to business at the MBA Monthly Networking meeting, Sept. 7 at Prickly Pear. 4- Lacie Browning showed a little leg at “Turnabout Trash Night” Sept. 3 at Stonewall Bar. 5- Tiffany Chen and Katherine Ferstadt-Pellizzeri discussed Medical School LGBT Curriculum research at Q Lab UCF, a new monthly program sponsored by Student Development and Enrollment Services and LGBTQ Services. 6- Erasure shows the audience “A Little Respect” at House of Blues on Sept. 2.




September 15-28, 2011 |



| September 15-28, 2011

watermark | come out with pride


Pride 2011 brings changes and growth to Come Out With Pride scottie campbell //


rlando | There was a time in Orlando when we had a short Pride parade. The procession would start by Firestone, trundle for a few blocks, then sort of end on Robinson alongside Lake Eola. In fact, the most fascinating part of the day was wondering if anyone had actually thought through how the parade would end. The most challenging part of our day: to figure out what to do with the other 23 hours and 45 minutes of left in it. Thanks to Come Out With Pride, those lackluster parades are becoming a foggy memory or, for the young, the tall tale of the 40-something on the next barstool. Eighteen years ago, the Metropolitan Business Association (MBA)—originally in collaboration with the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Student Union up to 2009—began producing the event. Through organization, constant reevaluation, and more than a little political savvy, they have seen the event grow to one of the largest of its kind in the country. Striving to make COWP bigger and better each year is a constant process of questioning, surveying and tweaking, leading to changes each year—some more obvious to attendees than others. Saturday in the Park One of the primary reasons those parades of yore languished had to do with a determination to hold the event in the

traditional Pride Month of June in honor of the Stonewall Uprising. Some pointed to June’s heat as a factor for low participation, but the success of this year’s St. Pete Pride (attendance: 85,000), pretty much squelches that theory. Moving Orlando’s Pride to October more than likely proved successful because it put distance between itself and the activities surrounding the first weekend in June, Gay Days. It might surprise some then that the biggest change for the 2011 COWP— moving it from Sunday to Saturday—was suggested by Chris Manley, one of the founders of and a driving force in making it what is considered the largest convention of the year. Manley’s suggestion was a bit of an epiphany for COWP organizers and the benefits began to add up as they considered the idea. “By doing it on Saturday we’re bringing people from all over Florida because now they don’t have to be worried about being at work the next day,” says Mikael F. Audebert, COWP Executive Director and Senior Executive Producer. History turns out to be the reason Sunday has traditionally been the event day. City Continued on page 54 | uu |

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| September 15-28, 2011

watermark | come out with pride

A minute with...

September 15-28, 2011 |

stephen miller

jonathan d. lovitZ

Come Ou t Wi th Pri d e Grand Marshall


rlando | Florida boy Jonathan D. Lovitz is flying home to lead his family and friends in Come Out With Pride, the Orlando celebration that’s slated to draw more than 70,000 people to downtown Lake Eola Park on Saturday, Oct. 8. “I am so honored,” beams 27-year-old actor/singer/model Lovitz, who has a spot on LOGO Television’s The Setup Squad, doling out dating advice. When Lovitz graduated from the University of Florida in 2006, he immediately went on a national Broadway tour. However, it was just a short time before he landed in the Big Apple. Soon after, Renee Lee, who owns Wings Inc, hired him as a dating expert. A reality series seemed the natural progression: “When LOGO pitched the idea to Renee, she said, ‘I’ve got just the right team for you!’” In his short life, Lovitz has traveled to all 50 states and garnered national attention for his romance tips and his LGBT advocacy. We caught up with him to ask him questions both profound and silly: WATERMARK: How’d you become a professional wingman for The Setup Squad? JONATHAN LOVITZ: Our boss, Renee, who owns Wings Inc., realized that she was just this one lonely, little, yenta Jew on our big island of diversity. She wanted a team of different backgrounds to respond to the huge demand she was getting from her customer population. So they were looking for just the right man to balance it out; you notice the team is pretty woman-heavy. She heard I do a pretty good job of setting my own friends up. We hit it off very well, and I love the job!

How’s the petition to get the second season going? It’s going well. We really hope to be back. Our fans love it. People want you to be there and show the best of our community. Fans write me all the time and say, “Thank you for being just a regular Joe.” Your boyfriend helps spread the news. Yes, he’s always posting on Facebook for me! (Laughs.) In March, a NYC judge let you out of jury duty because you said you didn’t think you could be impartial, being a gay man who was treated like a secondclass citizen. What’s been so incredible is that the story is still going. I still get emails asking me what happened since the CNN interview and Out article. I tell people that the event really connected me to groups like GLAAD, Marriage Equality and Human Rights Council. It really made me an advocate. You’ve also got a very strong Orlando connection. While I was in college, my parents moved from Coral Springs to Clermont to be full-time grandparents. They love every minute of it! Both of my sisters are teachers in the Orlando area. They’re raising beautiful grandkids for my parents. I now have four beautiful nieces and nephews. (One was just born!). I’m also a Disney nut through and through. I have a lot of friends who are performers. Every year, I try to arrange my vacation around Orlando Fringe. Yes, the connection is very strong.

I also know a lot of your Orlando friends, so I know you’re a huge junk food fan. (Laughs.) I never met a bag of Doritos I didn’t like. But I’m also my father’s son, and pizza is my kryptonite. How do you balance your love of junk food with keeping in shape? I’m never going to say no to pizza. I just go to the gym five days a week for about an hour and a half. I say you need to do it smarter, not harder. And you’re a secret sci-fi geek? The garage at my parents’ house is full of Star Trek stuff. But I also have a fondness for cheesy, failed sci-fi like seaQuest, because I’m pretty sure that Jonathan Brandis helped make me gay when I was a teenager. These are really deep questions, right?

Absolutely, Barbara Walters better watch out! Besides Come Out With Pride, what are you going to do in Orlando? I don’t go home without stopping at the Ale House. I love hanging out at that place; don’t ask me why! I go to Pulse, but now I’ve seen Mr. Sisters, that’s another place I’ll visit a lot. Also, when I’m home, I have a tight-knit network of people I like to see. Do you have any big plans for COWP? I’m just going up on that stage and tell Orlando what an honor it is to get to represent them. More of this interview is included in the official Come Out With Pride 2011 Guide, included in this issue. Jonathan’s web site is JonathanDLovitz. com. Come out With Pride posts info on | l |



| September 15-28, 2011


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watermark | come out with pride

September 15-28, 2011 |



rlando | In their whiteface makeup and bejeweled habits, the Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are hard to miss—and equally hard to ignore. The Orlando-based chapter of The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been doing fundraising, charity and service work in the city beautiful for more than two years. “The Sisters are an incredible organization,” says co-founder Sr. Majyna Burns. “I can honestly say I have dedicated my life to being in this group.” On Friday, Oct. 7, the Orlando Sisters, along with members from two other states, will break the habit when they work the runway at Parliament House for a fundraiser benefitting Hope and Help. They will don fashion by more than a dozen designers. “Project NUNway will be an amazing night of raising money and awareness in our community,” says Sr. Burns. After this kick-off to Come Out With Pride event, you can see the Sisters strut their stuff in the parade the following day. This fundraiser marks just one of the many charitable endeavors The Sisters pride themselves on. Besides Hope and Help, they have raised money for The Arts by Homeless Coalition and The Center. According to Sr. Burns, these post modern nuns are “dedicated to the promulgation of omniversal joy and the Expiation of stigmatic guilt.” In addition to their work with charitable organizations, the mission statement of The Sisters is to fight for queer rights and visibility, do safer sex outreach, bring joy and unity to the community, and strive diligently to keep their sense of humor. “You have never seen a group that works so hard, puts in tireless hours and never complain about it,” says Sr. Burns. “We never take ourselves so seriously that we forget to have fun.” The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are a worldwide organization. There are fully professed Sister and missionary houses in 15 states. There are also 19 Sister houses in other countries, including Uruguay, England, Scotland, Germany, Australia, Canada and France. How did this unique and prosperous organization come to be? According to Sr. Burns it all started a long, long time ago, let’s say 1976, in a place very far away, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. There, a convent of Roman Catholic nuns loaned some retired habits to a group of men performing their version of The Sound of Music. Three years later, those habits resurfaced in the streets of San Francisco’s Castro District. “One Easter weekend in 1979, during the time of the ‘Castro Clone,’ three men went into the streets to challenge the world,” says Sr. Burns. “They went in full, traditional habits through the streets of the city and down to the nude beach. One even carried a machine gun and smoked a cigar. They were met with shock and amazement

Sr. T’Keela Mockingbird, Sr. Ima Lush and Sr. Ivanna Manda Lei are all expected to be on hand for Project NUNway Oct. 7.

A Sister Act

The Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence offer up activism and a little nunsense / / erik r. caban but captured everyone’s interest. Thirty two years later, here we are!” The impetuous start to the Orlando sect came about in November of 2009. Three complete strangers were introduced to each other by the United Nuns Privy Council. One was a missionary Sister moving to Orlando from The Abbey of St. Joan, in Seattle, Wash. One had a calling and was a previous member of the Tampa Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The third, a native of Florida, had heard of the Sisters existing elsewhere for many years, and desperately wanted Orlando to have a chapter of its own. Today, those founding members are fully professed sisters; Sr. Majyna Burns, Sr. Isabella Ringing and Sr. Ambrosia Discordia. The Sisters choose their own names based on life experiences and their personalities, and some are entertaining. “Becoming a Sister is a process that takes close to a year to complete,” says Sr. Burns. “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the community.” Even though it seems there’s a large

conglomeration of “bears” and “cubs” in the Sisterhood, Sr. Burns explains that in actuality, they are as diverse as the community they serve. “We gladly welcome all races, creeds, genders and sexual orientations,” says Sr. Burns. “Even though it may look like we are connected the bear and leather community, there are also twinks—they are quite tasty—and muscle men and straight

The ability to attract attention, stir up controversy and change minds is part of what make The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence so powerful. But behind the makeup are just ordinary—and in many cases, surprisingly shy—people just trying to make a difference in the community. Their Sister alter-egos, with the outsized personalities, are what make the group successful.

“You have never seen a group that works so hard, puts in tireless hours and never complains about it.” —Sister Majyna Burns of her convent.

men. We currently have two females in our group, one of which is straight. Most recently, we’ve acquired three MTF transgender members. We are very excited to have members of the trans community joining us.”

For more information on Project NUNway and The Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, visit | l |


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| September 15-28, 2011

| uu | COWP from p.54

Commissioner Patty Sheehan, one of COWP’s founders, said the day was selected because Saturday wasn’t available the first year. After a survey of VIP attendees proved positive, as did a survey of the general public on Facebook, and after consulting organizers of St. Pete Pride and Miami Beach Pride (both hold their events on Saturdays), the change was made. COWP anticipates the move will attract more than 100,000 people, increase bar sales at the event, and make the event more profitable for area nightclubs. Less is More “We listened to what the community wanted this year, which has never been done before. The pride committee always did whatever it wanted to do,” states Audebert. “This year we decided to put a few questions out there and see what people wanted to do, what they wanted to see.” In terms of entertainment, survey results showed people cared less about having a “name” act than they did about enjoying a fun show. Bringing acts such as Martha Wash or Kristine W for a 30 minute set costs in the neighborhood of $30,000 when all is said and done. Meanwhile bar sales averaged around $25,000. Bypassing such acts provides COWP with the opportunity to make the show more community-based. Look for performances by Orlando Gay Chorus and more local

watermark | come out with pride comedians and singers, as well as an encore performance Break Through: Bringing Down the Barriers, a show created by UCF students about LGBT life in America, recently presented at The Abbey. As hunky as he may be, many may view having Jonathan D. Lovitz, host of Logo’s Setup Squad, as a step down from having Olympian Greg Louganis, 2010 grand marshal. The cost connected with securing a grand marshal—the fact that the celebrity charges a

decided to explore the possibility of having a fireworks display, discovering to their surprise that he cost was significantly lower than they anticipated. The event now offers Orlandoans one of only two times in the year to see fireworks at Lake Eola, the other being July 4. One reason bar sales are not higher, according to the surveys, is the length of the lines, so COWP organizers are adding additional beer tents to the expo. (Moving to Saturday should also boost these sales.) The

“We listened to what the community wanted this year, which has never been done before.” —Mikael F. Audebert, COWP Executive Director

fee at all—is surprising. “We approached Tim Gunn,” relates Audebart. “He came back with a five figure number, that five figure close to six figures.” Early on, Lovitz contacted COWP and it felt like a good fit, particularly since he is from Florida. His participation led to help from Logo in getting the word out about COWP, their sponsorship lending a welcome prestige. Shaving the entertainment budget has also allowed COWP to add a bang to the proceedings with fireworks. Striving to offer things all audiences would enjoy, organizers

surveys also revealed that people prefer the parade to start a little later in the day, and the schedule has been adapted. Balancing Politics In addition to the wrong time of the year, earlier parades were no doubt plagued by the same political waters the MBA navigates today. Pleasing all the people all the time is the unenviable task of the COWP as it tries to offer an event that entertains all ages and types of people. Politics, Audebart says, usually come into play when an individual or entity tries to

assert some control over planning of the event, only to be reminded that it belongs to the community as a whole. Such conflicts have led to the loss of sponsorship money. Adapting to that fiduciary loss brought about another change for this year’s event. In June, COWP held a fundraiser at Mister Sister’s during Gay Days, upsetting rival nightclubs, and causing Audebart to get creative to maintain the support of Parliament House, Revolution, and Pulse. Nicknamed “the Big 3,” the clubs will be “United in Pride” and will share the recognition as the official after party for COWP. Looking Back, Moving Forward In many ways, it’s unfair to compare this Pride event to those of yesteryear. Come Out With Pride is now a year-round operation requiring 15-20 weekly man hours during the year, plus many more hours as the event nears, with Audebart on board as a full-time staff member. “It needs structure,” states Audebart, considering the growth of the event. “Dr. Dave [former MBA president, David BakerHargrove], before leaving, put into place an instruction manual. It has all the details when certain things need to be done, directions on what each position of the production team does. It is better organized and this is why it’s able to grow and get bigger. It does require discipline and a lot of work.” | l |

September 15-28, 2011 |



| September 15-28, 2011

watermark | transitions

Orlando’s Michael Slaymaker, the vice president of development for Easter Seals of Florida, will receive the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Outstanding Fundraising Professional Award Nov. 18 at the Ritz Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes. He was nominated by the Orlando Youth Alliance.



Former St. Pete Pride board member and performer Charles Sutton, also known as Moeisha, passed away the morning of Aug. 31. According to friends, Sutton was found inside his apartment when responders were called to investigate a fire in the kitchen. A preliminary investigation indicated he died following a seizure. Womyn’s Words staff volunteer and animal lover Ann McKaig passed away on Aug. 18 at Hospice Woodside. The St. Petersburg resident was 72. Before retiring, McKaig was the Director of Nuclear Medicine at Metropolitan General Hospital before it closed and later worked as a lab tech at Roadrunner Labs and R.P. Scherer. She is survived by several family members and a close circle of friends.

Congratulations Sarasota RV enthusiasts Alice D’Souza and Irene Mirkovic celebrate 15 years together and four years of Canadian marriage bliss on Sept. 20. St. Pete-based 6S Boutique owners Andrew and Sasha Citino celebrated three years of marriage on Sept. 2. The Center Board President Jay Lovell and his partner Scott Stowell celebrate 11 years together on Sept. 16.

Watermark editor Steve Blanchard and his partner, Phil Garris, celebrate three years of legal California marriage and 13 years together on Sept. 18. Watermark Director of Online Media Jamie Hyman and her husband, Matt Huertas, celebrate two years of marriage Sept. 19.

Local Birthdays St. Pete artist Barry Rothstein (Sept. 17); “It Gets Better” filmmaker and Beak’s Old Florida bartender Jeff Klein and Orlando Do-Gooder Bob Kodzis (Sept. 19) Gabe Medina, also known as “DJ Trypsin,” (Sept. 20); Florida Mall director of marketing Thearon Scurlock and Walt Disney Port Orleans Resort lobby concierge Gerry D. Evans (Sept. 21); Former Watermark art director Charlie Carballo (Sept. 23); fabulous fashion designer Ivanka Ska and Pulse Nightclub co-owner and Broadway Across America Orlando President Ron Legler (Sept. 24); The Club at the Firestone’s Brian “Lucky” Smith, white trash party event coordinator Nathan Schifflett, Showboyz lead male dancer Skyler Cross and copywriter and former Watermark Orlando ad sales rep Kevin Thornton (Sept. 25); EO Inn & Urban Spa’s general manager Eddie Cooper, derby girl Nikki Naser, gay bar star Janine Klein, Keep Orlando Beautiful Coordinator Jody Goostree and Watermark Director of Online Media and straight ally Jamie Hyman (Sept. 26); Sarasota Massage Therapist and Holistic Harmony owner Richard Bell (Sept. 27); Tampa Progressive Insurance recruiter Mason Bonner (Sept. 28).

Send news about birthdays, passings, anniversaries, promotions, commitment ceremonies—and whatever you commemorate—to

watermark | advice


Reassure new boyfriend that intimacy is okay ADVICE FROM

The Truth

up and allowing the other person to see the whole, unvarnished you. He clearly has some insecurities or at least isn’t as experienced sexually as you are. As the more experienced party, it’s up to you to reassure Mike that whatever the two of you do in bed should be fun, not scary; that you won’t ever make him do anything he isn’t comfortable with. I understand people harbor their hurt feelings from previous relationships but relationships aren’t like a gym membership. You’re either all in or all out. Sex is a wonderful, healthy way for two people to become more intimate. If he’s dating you, he’s already made the leap. Trying to protect his heart now is a bit like closing the barn after all the cows got out. Here comes the Truth: a 30-something man in a new relationship should be looking forward to sex with his boyfriend. If he isn’t, there’s an issue. As a couple you have to find out what the issue is. It is most probably entirely fixable. And I’d almost guarantee it’s not because he isn’t that into you. Dear Truth, My friends and I just got back from a disastrous vacation in South Florida and I need your help to solve a dispute. We are two couples and two singles—I’m one of the singles—and we hang out all the time in Orlando. At the urging of one of the couples— Justin and Tony—we decided as a group that we needed some “bonding time,” so we drove to Fort Lauderdale for a long weekend and got three rooms by the beach to share. On the way down, Justin and Tony went online without telling anyone and planned a hook up at a party with a couple they know in Lauderdale. Right after we got there, they secretly asked the other single guy to join them. The three of them went out without us and we barely saw them the whole weekend except when they came to the hotel to change clothes. I’m upset that Justin and Tony dragged me down there just so I could be a third wheel, but they say I’m overreacting. Do I have a right to be pissed? —All Mad in Altamonte

Dear Truth, ’ve been seeing a guy, Mike, for about nine months and things seem to be going really well. We are both in our 30s and have been burned in long-term relationships in the past, so we have a mutual agreement to take things slow this time. The problem is that Mike has almost no libido and I’m always the one to initiate sex. Even when we do fool around, Mike is reluctant to try new things or vary from our established routine (which is becoming a little boring). Mike says he’s just being cautious Trying to protect his about becoming too attached Dear Alma – heart now is a bit like because of his past This is an easy closing the barn after relationships, but one. Yes! Yes, you I haven’t seen any have every right to be all the cows got out. progression over pissed. Your ‘bonding’ time. I worried time turned into their that he’s just not a ‘boning’ time. Their sexual person (which I am) or that he just behavior was tacky, juvenile and thoughtless. isn’t into me. What should I do? And even more galling is that the entire —Unsatisfied in Seminole weekend was at their urging. Fortunately you had your other couple friends to spend the Dear US, weekend with, so I don’t really see you as a A great many things can cause a diminished third wheel, unless there was an issue with libido. Low testosterone, insecurities about the couple that wasn’t Justin and Tony. Here sexual performance, fears of intimacy, dietary comes the Truth: going forward, you should or lifestyle factors. And as you correctly focus your attention on the people who acted imply, some people just have more ants like friends, instead of those who acted like in their pants than other people. Part of an horny adolescents on Spring Break. | l | intimate relationship is opening yourself


September 15-28, 2011 |





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watermark | classifieds

| September 15-28, 2011

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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

Florida teams strike out at Gay World Series staff report Chicago, Ill. | The dozen or so teams from Florida who participated in the Gay Softball World Series over Labor Day Weekend fell short in their bid for championship trophies. None of them placed in the top two in any of the divisions. According to the Chicago Series website, the A-division title went to the Atlanta Venom, who defeated the second place San Francisco Hitmen in the finals. In B-Division play, the Boston Alley Gators took the first place trophy and the Knoxville Cyclones came in second. The Las Vegas Rat Pack won the C-division while the Boston 5-Star Diablos came up short to place second. And the D-Division saw the Boston Club Café Good Time beat the LA Swingers for the title in the championship game. In the Masters Division, the Chicago Sidetrack Classics won first after defeating second-place Los Angeles Silver Streaks. The City of Chicago welcomed the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Association players with parties, parades and even a Pride Day at Wrigley Field on

September 15-28, 2011 |


Hartford athlete dismissed from private school after coming out wire report Hartford, Conn. | Popular student athlete Rachel Aviles has been expelled from The Master’s School, a K-12 Christian school in West Simsbury because she’s a lesbian. According to the Hartford Courant, Aviles was scheduled to be a senior at the private school this fall and was expected to receive several awards at her graduation However, after a school trip last spring

where Aviles pretended to be married to another female student and held hands with a female friend, Master’s administrators asked her and other students about their sexual orientation. When it was her turn, Aviles told administrators that she is a lesbian. Her friends knew; her teachers didn’t. Aviles was then encouraged to withdraw, rather than be expelled. Aviles is now enrolled at Watkinson High School and is still scheduled to graduate in the spring of 2012. | l |

briefs Ben Cohen and Pandora Boxx were both on hand for the opening day of the Gay World Series in Chicago this year.

Sept. 4. The series opened the previous Monday with special appearances by former rugby star and gay advocate Ben Cohen and RuPaul’s Drag Race alum Pandora Boxx. For details on the World Series and to see final scores, visit ChicagoSeries2011. com. | l |

Pride Bowling League returns to Ten Pin Lanes

Phillies release ‘It Gets Better’ video

Tampa Bay LGBT bowlers have a new but familiar option for Sunday night league play. The Pride Bowling League has reinvented the league that has run for years in South Pasadena in Pinellas County. This time, however, the league is shorter. It began on Sept. 11 and runs through Dec. 4. All skill levels are welcome. For details, find the league on Facebook or call the bowling alley at 727-381-1010. Bowling begins at 6:30 p.m. each Sunday.

The Philadelphia Phillies are the latest Major League Baseball team, along with the Tampa Bay rays, to release a video in the “It Gets Better” campaign. The Phillies’ video features Chase Utley, Roy Halladay, Hunter Pence, John Mayberry, Jr. and Michael Stutes. The campaign is an ongoing effort to combat anti-gay bulling in schools and has featured sports celebrities, television celebrities and President Barack Obama. To see it, search for “Phillies” on the It Gets Better YouTube channel.

watermark | gossip

| September 15-28, 2011



“He plays a kid who refuses to go down.” —Allison Janney describes the role played by Chris Colfer in the just-wrapped flick, Struck by Lightning. He won’t go down? I think I dated him!

J Splitsville and photographs Billy Masters

ust when you think you’ve heard it all comes the story of Roberto Arango from Puerto Rico. The Republican senator (who has voted to ban same-sex marriage) apparently had nude photos on the gay cruising app, Grindr. When asked about the pics, the good senator said, “You know I’ve been losing weight. As I shed that weight, I’ve been taking pictures. I don’t remember taking this particular picture but I’m not going to say I didn’t take it. I’d tell you if I remembered taking the picture but I don’t.” Shades of Anthony Weiner, right? Except one of the photos finds him on all fours holding up his phone to take the photo of his behind in a strategically placed mirror. You’d kind of think he’d remember that! When you see the pics on, you won’t be able to forget them. Prior to this, the big news of the week was confirmation of something I reported months ago—that George Michael is a single man. Yes, after 15 years, his relationship with Kenny Goss has come to an end. In fact, GM admits that it’s been over for even longer than I knew. “In truth, Kenny and I haven’t been together for two and a half years,” Michael told the audience at the State Opera House in Prague where he kicked off his Symphonica tour. In domestic gay splits, Sara Gilbert and

partner Allison Adler have split up after 10 years and two children. Their reps say it was “amicable.” Of course, they also say that Leah Rimini and Holly Robinson Peete are leaving The Talk of their own accord and are welcomed back anytime. Adam Levine is enjoying quite a bit of attention given the success of The Voice. And with his penchant for posing sans clothing, it’s no surprise that much of that attention is coming from gay men— something he’s actually happy about, as he recently told Out magazine: “There’s no way to hide my straightness, but if people didn’t think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn’t be doing my job very well. Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned. Bowie. Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn’t be the front man of a band if that question hadn’t come up at some point.” Of course, all of these men did have relationships with men. Since I’m currently in Florida, I’m reminded that this state is home to oodles of drag and strip shows. In fact, this is where Channing Tatum got his start as a male stripper. As you all know, Chan is turning his past into his next film project—Magic Mike will recount his days as a teenage stripper. The flick is being helmed by Steven Soderbergh and begins filming next month in Tampa. We already knew that the adorable Alex Pettyfer will play the role based on Channing, Riley Keough (daughter of Lisa Marie Presley) will play his girlfriend, and Demi Moore will play a customer who gets a little too close. In addition to writing the script, Tatum will play the leader of the troupe (who has perhaps seen better days). Other hunks who have signed onto the project include Matthew McConaughey (who plays the club owner and veteran stripper himself), Matt Bomer (a fellow stripper) and Joe Manganiello (yet another stripper, known as “Big Dick Richie,” which I suspect is selfexplanatory). There’s been much speculation that Soderbergh will include some full-frontal male nudity, but that’s unlikely since male strip shows in Florida only go down to a G-string (says your humble scribe who has more

Puerto Rican senator Roberto arango is yet another example of an anti-gay politician getting caught with his pants down—literally—on a gay website.

than a passing acquaintance with the male strip show circuit). Our “Ask Billy” question actually comes from a good friend. Larry in Hollywood writes, “I’m sending you a screener of our film, Hollywood to Dollywood. Sorry you missed it at Outfest, but I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Again, we’re still bummed you were out of town when we were filming—we would have loved you to be in it!” Larry and Gary Lane, known as the Lane Twins, have carved out a little niche for themselves. They’ve been in movies, TV shows, commercials, and even won two reality programs—Winter WipeOut and programs— Fear Factor. Their documentary chronicles their cross-country journey in an RV named Jolene to personally hand their idol, Dolly Parton, a film script they wrote for her. But it’s much more than that. It’s about these nice, wholesome, and hot twins who grew up in a very repressed Southern environment and had to basically move as far away as they could to pursue their dreams and be themselves. If you’ve got a thought you want to share with me, drop a note to Billy@ and I promise to get back to you before Senator Arango asks “Do these chaps make my ass look fat?” Until next time, remember, one man’s filth is another man’s bible. | l |

True Blood werewolf Joe Manganiello is set to play a stripper in a film based on Channing Tatum’s life—and it’ll be filmed in Tampa.

September 15-28, 2011 |

OctOber 6-16, 2011


Get your full TIGLFF Schedule in the next issue of Watermark.



| September 15-28, 2011

watermark | photography

galleryw Photography | Steve Blanchard

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Watermark's annual Come Out with Pride issue.featuring articles: The Body Electric, Kate Clinton, Kristin Chenoweth, John Lovitz, The Sister...

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