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Issue 18.21 | Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011



Storms postpone Come Out With Pride; rescheduled for Nov. 13

Pride arrives

in North Pinellas and Sarasota D AY T O N A B E A C H


The Addams Family Brings Halloween humor to Tampa & Orlando • TA M PA

Tampa Mayor Helps launch TIGLFF 22

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



| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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watermark | preview

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

issue 18.21


the addams famly 29

The kooky clan from the Addams Family arrives musical-style at Tampa’s Straz Center and the Bob Carr in Orlando. Out actors Douglas Sills and Blake Hammond share their own experiences with family and why the Addams’ abnormalities are really quite normal.


Orlando’s Come Out With Pride was postponed due to high winds and heavy rain on Oct. 8. Illustration by Jake Stevens

8 | Orlando News The wildly popular Bear Bust has been officially purchased by the Parliament House. The Lake County teacher who made headlines for his anti-gay rant on Facebook is raising more eyebrows with his contributions to a National Organization for Marriage video; more.

the big story


10 | Tampa News Michael Smith hopes to become the first-ever openly gay elected official on

15 / Nation + World News

16 / Tampa Bay Marketplace

the Largo City Commission following this November’s election. The Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival opens its 22nd year with plenty

19 / Orlando Marketplace

of fanfare and a personal greeting from Tampa’s new mayor, Bob Buckhorn; more.

29 | Scene+Heard


Out actors Doug Sills and Blake Hammond play Gomez and Fester,

orlando news

24 / Mail

38 / Event Planner

respectively in The Addams Family: The Musical when it arrives in Tampa on Oct. 18 and then moves to Orlando Nov. 1. The two share their take on what makes a “normal” family.

41 / Tampa Bay Overheard

The girls of UhHuh Her made headlines this month when they were booted off a Southwest flight for supposedly too much kissing, creating a perfect

42 / Orlando Overheard

media frenzy for their new album. Lake County will get a first-hand look at the early AIDS epidemic when From a Burning House debuts later this month.

tampa bay news


45 | Family

56 / Transitions

58 / Classifieds

Marcia Gilliam and Keith Baber, who are both gay, decided their sexuality wouldn’t prevent them from having a child. They raised their son, Thomas,

59 / Sports

who is now 16, together in Orlando Two men in St. Petersburg adopted newborn Addison four years ago—and are both listed on the child’s birth certificate as her parents. The couple

60 / Gossip

shares their story to parenthood. Judy and Phil Wood are the new leaders of Orlando’s Chapter of PFLAG.


The couple tell us about the importance of the organization and how their


two gay sons influenced their participation in the organization.

62 / Gallery W

watermark | preview

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


editor’sdesk I

Since those early days following the attack, we have become more n October 1998, the world first learned the story of a young college-aged complacent than we should. So much so, that there are online commentaries man who was brutally attacked, tied to a fence post and left to die on about the relevance of Shepard’s attack compared to, say, the Stonewall riots the cold Wyoming prarie. The bicyclist who found Matthew Shepard or the 1987 fight in the LGBT rights movement. It’s like debating whether the clinging to life nearly 18 hours later was quoted as saying the bloodied chicken or the egg is more important in the poultry industry—it’s a waste of time 21-year-old appeared so lifeless that he thought the young gay man was a and energy. It’s the combined effects of each milestone that creates the whole scarecrow. spirit of equality that is finally gaining momentum in our country. The story horrified the nation, inspired a dramatic play and spawned the The year Shepard died, I was in the first semester of my senior year at the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act that finally saw a presidential pen to paper 11 University of Missouri. Like most college students, I thought the world revolved years later. Time has a way of easing pain, diluting shock and erasing memories. It’s easy around me, my studies and the inner turmoil surrounding my own sexuality. Sharing the secrets of my same-sex attractions, especially with my family, tied to forget about the violent crime perpetrated against the man so many people my stomach in knots, distracted me from school work described as intelligent, inspiring and sweet. Countless and led to a substantial number of sleepless nights. young LGBTs born since that October night have More fear was injected into my life when I heard reached their teen years, not knowing the overwhleming Through his death, about Shepard’s murder. If such a horrific end could sorrow and rage that accompanied the news of befall a man who was only four months older than I was Steve Blanchard Shepard’s murder. They are no different than those Matthew Shepard and had the support of his parents, what horrors could children who have been born since the terrorist attacks EDITOR not only proved the of Sept. 11, 2001. We forget there are those among us my own future hold? existence of anti-gay Like everyone else on the planet, I’ve fantasized who did not experience the tragedy firsthand. about going back in time, sharing a drink with the The crime against Shepard was pointless and tragic, hate, but gave us a much-younger-me and telling him about the successes yet it galvanized the nation—specifically the LGBT weapon to combat it. in my life. I’d share that although my parents would community and our allies—to stand up and demand never fully embrace me as a gay man, but they’d learn protections from those who target us specifically to respect me. I’d offer that religion is a practice used because of our sexual orientation or gender identity. by too many to condemn others, when it’s really our Shepard died from his wounds on Oct. 12, 1998, spirituality with which we should concern ourselves. five days after he was lured to that barren, deserted area of Wyoming. The news And I’d let my much-younger-self know that I would be more involved media covered the story in detail, including the trial and conviction of his two in LGBT issues than I ever imagined, thanks to my involvement with this attackers. newspaper. But that hate crime against the college student was not the first attack on a As we continue to reach milestones in our march toward equality, we can’t gay man in the country—and it certainly wasn’t the last. Ryan Keith Skipper was forget the struggles we’ve seen and those we’ve lost along the way. beaten and murdered in an eerily similar way right here in Florida in 2007. Matthew Shepard was an advocate for equality who would have turned 35 on Shepard’s murder, however, was the crime that we would not let anti-gay crusaders push behind closed doors. Through his death, Shepard not only proved Dec. 1, 2011. If only he were around to celebrate our milestones with us. | l | the existence of anti-gay hate, but gave us a weapon to combat it.


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D aY T O N a B e a C H • O R l a N D O • Ta M Pa • S T. P e T e R S B U R G • S a R a S O Ta

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watermark | the big story

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

on .com! s e at line d p u kon r e r th fur erma t wa

Don’t Rain on

Our Parade! Postponed due to inclement weather, Come Out With Pride is rescheduled for Sunday, Nov. 13 stephen miller


rlando | With heavy rain and winds buffeting Central Florida for 19 hours, Come Out with Pride organizers postponed most of the Oct. 8 Orlando Pride celebration. But revelers won’t have long to wait to celebrate. The COWP committee met with City of Orlando officials and declared Sunday, Nov. 13, as the new date for Come Out With Pride 2011. In a statement emailed to Watermark Oct. 11, COWP Executive Director Mikael Audebert confirmed the new date. “This was the first date that Lake Eola Park was available for us,” the statement said. “We would like to thank the City of Orlando, and especially the Parks Department and OPD for being so supportive.” Reorganizing the massive annual event is no small undertaking, and doing so within just three days of its postponement is nothing short of amazing. “Reorganizing everything takes a lot of work,” admits Audebert. “We

had to see what other days the city had available, and we have to reapply for permits. In fact, we have to coordinate much of this the same way we did for the Saturday event. We had a year to plan, and now we want to get back on track in days.” “We’ve tried to include the community every step of the way, but as we move forward, we’re absolutely dependant on them,” to make the rescheduled event a success, says Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) President Gina Duncan. It’s a major disappointment to coordinators that Saturday’s plans were at the mercy of Mother Nature. “In the process of setting up, we kept running into logistics that we could see were just going to get worse and worse,” states Duncan. As originally planned, this year’s event was moved from Sunday to Saturday for the first time since the Orlando LGBT commerce organization MBA took over the event in 2005. The festival was expected to draw around 100,000 people, 30,000

more than last year’s event. COWP activities include a vendor area that stretches through half of Orlando’s Lake Eola Park. There is also a Kidszone supplied by Walt Disney World, a VIP area, a parade, and speeches and entertainment at the Walt Disney World Amphitheatre. This year's additions included a fashion show and fireworks. “We try every year to make it different, better!” enthused Audebert back in August. In the end, COWP was not the only Central Florida event that was affected by the ongoing storm. Large-scale public events in Celebration, Cocoa Beach and Daytona Beach were also postponed or forced to move indoors. By 11 a.m, on Oct. 8, Lake Eola had received 5.56 inches of rain in 18 hours. Wind gusts were reported blowing more than 30 miles per hour. “We’d been in the park since 3 a.m., watching the whole thing deteriorate,” confirms Audebert. “The flooding continued. We were concerned about people being

electrocuted, we could see problems with many of the parade floats, the wind kept picking up and blowing tents over, and there were white caps on the waves on Lake Eola,” Duncan describes. “It all boiled down to safety.” “Whole sections of our vendor area were flooded by 4 a.m.,” says Audebert. Duncan and Audebert tried to set up for another seven hours. They were in constant contact with local weather sources. Finally, they had to admit that it was just too dangerous to continue. “We also had to consider the quality of the event we wanted to present,” Audebert acknowledges. At 11 a.m.—an hour before the festival was to open—the announcement went out through news sources and social media sites. Duncan stated: “Due to severe weather conditions and the concern for safety of our community, we cannot move forward with pride for today. We Continued on page 18 | uu |



watermark | orlando news

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Lake County teacher still beating anti-gay drum staff report



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Mt. Dora | Mount Dora High School teacher Jerry Buell, who was recently suspended for making anti-gay remarks on his Facebook page, is teaming up with notoriously anti-gay group the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). Buell and his wife Lynne created a video describing their experiences for the Marriage Anti-Defamation Alliance. In the video, Buell admitted that on July 25 he posted on Facebook that the legalization of same-sex marriage in New York made him want to “throw up,” but he did not mention the post that called gay marriage a “cesspool.” After the original Facebook remarks were brought to the superintendent’s attention, Buell was placed in an administrative position for a week while the district investigated. The investigation uncovered that Buell used his syllabus and district website profile to talk about his religion, calling himself a “man of God” and writing “I try to teach and lead my students as if Lake Co. Schools had hired Jesus Christ himself.” The superintendent’s directive included orders to refrain from religious statements in school. In the NOM video, Buell and his wife place much of the blame on the media, saying “five minutes” after Buell was suspended “the news crews were pounding

on our door,” as stated by Lynne Buell. “We were actually hiding in our kitchen,” she said. “I was hysterical. He can tell you I was actually wailing.” She added that the press “tore us apart,” but said once he had been reinstated, “we’ve been vindicated,” without acknowledging the district’s orders that Buell ease up on his religious language. Jerry Buell also blamed the press in the video, saying, “Because it’s unpopular or because somebody doesn’t like it, I’m in the press all over the place.” During the investigation, when media coverage was highest, Buell elected to talk to tabloid TMZ about the issue, restating his opposition to gay marriage. In the meantime, the executive director of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Florida is offering antibullying training in Lake County Schools, the district where Buell teaches. Pam Kancher offered the training via a letter to the superintendent. The program is for both teachers and students, using lessons from the Holocaust to prevent bullying. “I’m not sure which of his actions were more offensive to my sensitivities—his antigay Facebook posts that fostered disrespect and potential bullying or the divisive religious language that he regularly uses in the classroom,” Kancher said in the letter. She also urged the district to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their anti-bullying and non-discrimination protections. | l |

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staff report Orlando | Gay rights advocate Linda Stewart has announced her bid for Florida State Senate District 19. When Stewart served on the Orange County Board of County Commissioners for two terms, she frequently supported gay rights and anti-discrimination policies.

Orlando Utility Commission employees getting domestic partner benefits staff report

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In late 2010, the commissioners passed an anti-discrimination ordinance for the county after Stewart was vocal about the issue for most of the year. District 19 includes portions of Orange and Osceola Counties, but the boundaries may change once redistricting is determined. State Senator Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, currently represents the district. He is term-limited as of 2012. | l |

Orlando | On Oct. 11, all employees of the Orlando Utility Commission (OUC) received an email stating that health care benefits will now include domestic partners. The commission made the decision on the same day the email was sent. OUC provides electric and water to the vast majority of the residents of Orlando and St. Cloud. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer

sits on the board. Rachel Gardiner is an employee of OUC. She said she that a few years ago, when the City of Orlando passed domestic partner benefits, she requested via the mayor that OUC do the same for utility employees. Open enrollment ends in November, which will set up OUC employees to receive coverage for domestic partners beginning in 2012. | l |

watermark | orlando news

Parliament House buys rights to ‘Bear Bust’ jamie hyman Orlando | After 20 years in existence, Bear Bust has a new owner. The Parliament House has purchased the rights to the name “Bear Bust,” effectively shifting ownership of the event from the apparently-dissolved Bears of Central Florida, Inc. (BOCF) to the gay resort and nightclub. The transfer happened at the end of September, just ahead of the second weekend of October, the traditional timing of the annual Bear Bust social, fundraising and reunion event. “Since Full Moon Saloon’s inception, it’s always been a big weekend here for us,” said Parliament House spokesman Drew Sizemore. “We felt like we still owed it to the community to keep that weekend for the bears here in Orlando.” Full Moon Saloon was a downtown bar that was frequently the social center point for the Bear Bust event. It closed in 2007. In 2009, BOCF shifted the event from downtown to Kissimmee, which created conflict among the local bear community

Supreme court rejects gay couple’s birth certificate appeal staff report Orlando | An Orlando gay couple has lost an appeal requesting that the Supreme Court consider their case to have both parents’ names placed on their adopted son’s birth certificate. In doing so, the justices let stand that a Louisiana registrar’s decision to not list both Oren Adar and Mickey Ray Smith does not violate the child’s right to equal protection under the law. It also means that it doesn’t deny legal recognition of the New York adoption. The Supreme Court rejected the appeal without comment Oct. 11. Adopted children in Louisiana can get new birth certificates with their new parents’ names on them, but in that state, only married couples can adopt children. That’s why the registrar refused the couples’ request. The boy was born in Louisiana in 2005 and legally adopted in New York in 2006. The conflict began when Adar and Smith wanted the birth certificate changed, replacing the biological parents’ names with both of the child’s adopted parents. The gay couple’s attorney argued Louisiana’s decision to treat parents differently based on their marital status is unconstitutional, while the opposing attorney argued that the appeal did not merit review. | l |

resulting in the creation of a separate bear group called BC3, which ran a separate bear event downtown in partnership with Parliament House. In 2010, the groups reconciled after Rob Roberts took over BOCF’s presidency. Sizemore confirmed that Roberts has been the primary BOCF contact when they came to the agreement to purchase the rights to the event. When contacted for comment, Roberts was unable to comment except to say “[BOCF] is pretty much defunct.” Sizemore said Bear Bust will move

forward as planned Oct. 14–16, but because of the limited time frame, they’re saving big expansions to the event for 2012. “Next year we are going to revamp Bear Bust with all new events and parties, 100% of which will be held at the Parliament House,” Sizemore said. “2012, we hope, will be the rebirth of Bear Bust.” He said this year they’ll carry out BOCF’s original plans for events at Parliament House, adding that any outside excursions and organized restaurant dinners are cancelled. Those events include the Full Moon Reunion Oct. 14, the Mr. Bear Bust Contest Oct. 15 and the Farewell Party and T-Dance Oct. 16. Sizemore said Parliament House’s hotel is

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


fully booked for the weekend, with overflow guests booked at various downtown hotels. The Crowne Plaza was the planned host hotel and they are still booking guests for the weekend, but Sizemore said any events at that hotel have been cancelled. was the online home for the event and it currently points to an expired domain message. Sizemore said Parliament House will take over the website as well after this year’s event. At press time, he was unable to comment on the purchase price of the Bear Bust rights. 2011 will mark the event’s 21st year. | l |


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| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor listen to remarks during the first day of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival at the Tampa Theatre Oct. 6. Photo by Nick Cardello

Buckhorn, Castor welcome crowd to 22nd TIGLFF steve blanchard

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Tampa | If there was any doubt about Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn’s support of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, it was put to rest when the city’s new mayor took to the podium on opening night Oct. 6. “I couldn’t be more proud of what this festival has accomplished by making Tampa a place for distribution of important films and for amazing parties,” Buckhorn told those attending the opening night selection at the Tampa Theatre. “It’s a signal to the country that this community celebrates diversity as a strength.” Buckhorn has big shoes to fill in the eyes of LGBT citizens. His predecessor, Pam Iorio, attended every TIGLFF during her eight-year tenure and received standing ovations before and after every appearance. The crowd at the 22nd Annual TIGLFF opening did show their enthusiasm, applauding for nearly a minute before Buckhorn spoke. “I appreciate that but you can keep it,” Buckhorn joked. “It’s you who deserve it. Even when politicians felt differently about diversity you stood up and never stopped. You are part of what makes this community unique and I look forward to doing this every year.” Buckhorn was followed by Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor, who got a laugh when she paused before saying, “It’s my people!” The out police officer was a onetime liaison to the LGBT community before she became assistant police chief under Stephen Hogue. She was appointed to chief by Iorio

following Hogue’s retirement in 2009. “This is a great event and it showcases what’s so great about Tampa,” she said. “This shows that everyone in the city is valued.” She added that the return of the festival’s black tie gala was especially exciting to her, since she already had a black tie incorporated into her uniform. While the crowd at the opening night celebration seemed smaller than year’s past, TIGLFF Board President Ken Hodges was optimistic, sharing later in the week that ticket sales were picking up and that festival pass sales were equal to last year’s numbers. “It’s always a struggle and it’s a tough economy out there,” Hodges said. “But it is going smoothly and we have some extremely powerful and fun films to showcase over these 11 days.” Tampa secured those films thanks to the hard work of this year’s festival programmer, K.J. Moore, who also spoke on opening night. “Tampa is a festival I always heard of as awesome for hospitality,” she said. “I’m thrilled to be involved and it was extremely hard to pick films for this year’s festival because there were so many great ones to choose from. I think you’ll enjoy every one you’ll see.” The 22nd Annual TIGLFF runs through Oct. 16 and its annual Sugar and Surge parties will be at The Honey Pot and The Ritz Ybor, respectively, in Ybor City on Saturday, Oct. 15. For details, visit TIGLFF. com or pick up a festival guide at the Tampa Theatre. | l |

watermark | tampa bay news

Michael Smith eyes Largo Commission seat steve blanchard Largo | Mike Smith has a passion for politics. The 30-year-old first ran for a Florida Senate seat in 2004 when he was still in college. He admits he got his “butt whooped” by Leslie Waters, but the experience fed the Pinellas County native’s desire to serve his community. Now he’s eyeing Seat 1 on the Largo City Commission Nov. 8. “It was a learning experience and I’m running on a new voice and a new approach,” said Smith, who has been with his partner for just over a year. “A lot of people seem focused on that and they don’t care that I’m gay.” Smith said that he has had only one negative experience with a Largo resident regarding sexuality. That 80-plus year old man, Smith said, threw a clipboard back at him when he learned he was in a same-sex relationship. “The other concerns I hear are people worried about me pushing some sort of gay agenda,” Smith said. “I just explain that I’m running to improve the city and that I want what’s best for this community.” Smith was born in Largo and became politically active at 14, when he worked on several local campaigns. The former St. Petersburg College student body president later went on to serve a term on the Largo Historic Preservation and Advisory Committee, which was an appointed position. “Like with most cities, Largo’s biggest issue is its budget,” said Smith, who is a senior library assistant at the Pinellas Park Library. “I think right now people think you have to cut left and right. But I’m a big supporter of public safety and I think you have to take care of that because it branches out into so many areas. If we have fewer firefighters or police, insurance rates go up and crime goes up…and that leads to other issues.” It may be no surprise that the Largo Professional Firefighters have endorsed Smith, as have Equality Florida, The Victory Fund, Pinellas County School Board member Linda Lerner and State Representative Janet Long. “I think having a new fresh look at the budget and going at it with a scalpel rather than an ax is important,” Smith said.

Be Yourself

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

North Pinellas Pride preps for October full of events steve blanchard

Largo native Michael Smith hopes to become the first openly gay member of the Largo Commission. |

Photo provided by the Michael Smith campaign

Both St. Petersburg city councilman Steve Kornell and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner have backed Smith’s campaign with financial contributions. Smith said that raising money and name recognition is the most challenging aspect of his campaign to defeat incumbent Mary Black. But he says his young age and his enthusiasm seems to have influenced a lot of voters. The City of Largo that existed in 2004, when then City Manager Steve Stanton revealed his plans to undergo gender reassignment surgery brought out anti-gay and anti-transgender residents by the hundreds and resulted in Stanton’s firing, has evolved for 2011, Smith believes. “People have moved past that,” Smith said. “People don’t seem to care that I’m gay and they just ask about the issues.” His race against Black is the only race on the ballot this year, since Seat 2 Commissioner Robert Murray wasn’t challenged. “I feel like I can work better with Murray,” Smith said, when asked about why he chose to challenge Black rather than Murray. “He’s more receptive to ideas than Commissioner Black is.” For more information on Smith and his campaign, visit | l |

“We moved here five years ago and we already have a big group of close friends. With friendships and friendly people like these, we couldn’t have chosen a better town. There’s no place like Gulfport!” Michael and Jeff


Dunedin | The Second Annual North Pinellas Pride celebration is offering attendees a few changes this year—and organizers are hopeful they will be well received. “The goal of North Pinellas Pride is to be a year-long organization that can do a lot of good for different groups,” said Pride committee secretary and treasurer George Algozzina. That’s why this year’s North Pinellas Pride celebration covers several weeks—beginning with a Miss North Pinellas Pride Pageant at Blur Nightclub on Sunday, Oct. 9. Other events include a National Coming Out Day symposium on Oct. 11 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church and a street festival on Sunday, Oct. 23. “We’re expecting to have big events, and spreading it out gets us and the community ready for us to be a year-round organization, not just a one time celebration,” Algozzina said. The inaugural NPP in 2010 was held in June, just weeks before St. Pete Pride. The timing was difficult, Algozzina explained, and the committee didn’t want NPP to be seen as in competition with the larger event to its south. “The feedback we got from last year’s event was overwhelmingly positive,” said Randy Amiscaray, committee president. “The only gripe we heard was that our event was sandwiched between GayDays in Orlando and St. Pete Pride. With three weeks of Pride events in a row, people got burned out.” For this year’s celebration, NPP was careful to avoid conflicting with the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, which runs Oct. 6-16. “October works great because so many people are back in town and it’s excellent weather for an outdoor event,” Amiscaray said. “We’ve also moved the festival to

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downtown Dunedin.” The new location will give attendees a chance to explore the historic downtown area, visit shops and bring business into the progressive community. The merchant’s association and the mayor’s office have both endorsed NPP’s second year. The street festival in Pioneer Park is 11 a.m.-6 p.m. and a worship service will be held at noon. Several musical groups are scheduled to play throughout the afternoon, including the popular trio, Karmic Tattoo. Other events throughout the month of October include: Pride Gets Fat on Tuesday in Safety Harbor at 6 p.m. Oct. 18. A Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday celebration at Tapping the Vine in Safety Harbor will feature jazz entertainment and a special Cajun menu. Pig Out for Pride’s Sake at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 19, at Nauti-Nancy’s. A Kalua Pig Roast is on the menu and live entertainment will be provided by Paris and the Birds of Paradise. Also expect a limbo contest and other luauthemed events. Bowling Night OUT at 10 p.m., Oct. 20, at Dunedin Lanes. A $10 admission includes unlimited cosmic bowling and drink specials throughout the night. Performances by Natasha Richards and Jessica Fox are scheduled throughout the evening. The Finest in Female Impersonation, 8 pm., Oct. 21 at Blur Nightclub. Two shows are scheduled that night featuring several of Tampa Bay’s favorite local drag performers. Absolut Pool Party, 11 a.m., Oct. 22, at Beso del Sol. The popular event from last year is back and will feature a vendor expo, pool access, games and food. For a full list of events surrounding the second annual North Pinellas Pride, visit | l |

• Upcoming Events • Third Saturday Art Walk Saturday, October 15th, 6 pm - 10 pm

Fresh Market Tuesdays, October 18th & 25th, 9 am – 3 pm

Una Voce-The Florida Men’s Chorale In Concert at The Catherine Hickman Theater

Friday, October 28th, 7 pm


watermark | sarasota news

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Last year, Sarasota Pride drew more than 2,000 to J.B. Hamil Park. | Photo by Steve Blanchard

Sarasota gears up for outdoor festival steve blanchard

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Sarasota | As Oct. 22 approaches, Cindy Barnes is busy making last minute arrangements to ensure Sarasota Pride 2011 goes off without a hitch. This is the second year that Barnes has organized the celebration at J.B. Hamil Park in downtown Sarasota, and she’s using lessons learned from last year’s successful inaugural event to improve this year’s experience. This year, Barnes said festival attendees can expect to see even more vendors than last year since the entire celebration will be on the same side of Main Street. Last year, the vendor expo was on one side while the entertainment went on throughout the afternoon on the other. “Everyone will be in the park,” Barnes said. “There’s no more having to cross a street.” That will ensure the vendors are part of the action and it should make for a cooler day, since the entire vendor area is scheduled to be in the shade. It also means every entertainer will be within earshot of the entire festival. As of press time, the entertainment lineup included Stephanie Callahan and Deb Hunseder of Halcyon, the girls of Karmic Tattoo, Venice trio The Sugar Rockets, The Sons of Beaches rock band, and the Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps. Barnes said the popular dunking booth will return again this year to put area celebrities and politicians over the cold water, and face painting will be available for the kids. The Sarasota Pride Street Festival begins on Saturday, Oct. 22, at noon and runs until 6 p.m. Several local luminaries are expected to attend, including Mayor-At-Large Suzanne Atwell, who has volunteered to be in the popular dunking booth. “The City of Sarasota has been amazingly supportive,” Barnes said. “Each department has been extremely helpful in directing me to the next step of planning. The city wants events like this downtown. It’s good for the

city and it’s good for our community.” Barnes said she wouldn’t be surprised if the festival isn’t swarmed by local politicians, considering 2012 is a huge election year. “I think that says a lot for Sarasota and for the community here,” Barnes said. “It’s exciting.” Sarasota Pride has held several events already this month, including an Oct. 1 Walk for Equality and Unity, which stretched a large rainbow flag across the Ringling Bridge in downtown Sarasota to kick off Pride Month. On Sunday, Oct. 16, a Prelude to Pride Tea Dance is scheduled at The Loft Ristobar from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and the $5 entry fee benefits Sarasota Pride. The free festival is the following week on Oct. 22. Last year’s celebration brought an estimated 2,000 people to the downtown area of Sarasota. This year could see similar—if not larger—numbers. “There’s excitement about the festival again this year,” Barnes said. “For so long Sarasota wanted an outdoor gay pride event and now we finally have one. The community, the sponsors, the entertainers—everyone has just been incredibly supportive and we expect to see a lot of new and familiar faces this month.” Stretching Sarasota Pride events throughout the month has proved beneficial, especially since at last year’s street festival, the board and volunteers were exhausted from seven straight days of events. “Last year we held an event every night of the week leading up to the street festival,” Barnes said. “That was too much and we were exhausted the day of Pride. This year we’re stretching it out over every weekend of the month. That makes the events more accessible to everyone and easier on us.” For a full schedule of events leading up to Sarasota Pride 2011, visit The Oct. 22 festival is free. Those interested in becoming sponsors, volunteers or vendors can still sign up at the web site. | l |

watermark | state news

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

Rep. Randolph files anti-discrimination bill staff report Tallahassee | Representative Scott Randolph (D-Orlando) filed a bill Oct. 4 that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity or expression. The Competitive Workforce Act (H.B. 247) would extend those protections to public accommodations and housing. “It is unimaginable that in this day in age, Florida law still allows businesses to fire their employees simply for being who they are,” said Randolph in a media release. “Not only is it wrong, but it also sends a terrible message to a community that has made invaluable contributions to our society, our culture, and

our everyday lives.” According to Randolph, currently 87% of Fortune 500 companies already prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and more than 55% of Floridians live in municipalities where these workplace protections exist because of the actions taken by local governments. The bill would make non-discrimination in the workplace the rule statewide. “It’s even more important during these challenging economic times that we do not let the fear of discrimination prevent anyone from bringing their business, their family, or their talents to our state,” Randolph said. Senator Nan Rich (D-Weston) is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill, SB 340.


Pride Fest 2011 Saturday, October 22

Florida home to 6,800 gay couples staff report Tallahassee | Nearly 6,800 same sex couples call the Sunshine State home. That’s according to newly-released U.S. Census figures based on how many gay couples checked the “husband” or “wife” options—3,585 of those are same-sex female couples and 3,199 are same-sex male couples. The Census bureau also reported an

estimate of the number of same-sex couples in Florida, both married and unmarried, at 48,456. In all of the United States, 131,729 same-sex couples reported themselves as married. This is the third time the Census has counted gay couples but the first since samesex marriage has become legal in some states. Of course, Florida is not one of the states to recognize same-sex marriage. | l |

Gay men attacked by gang staff report Immokalee | In late September, two gay men were attacked by five males in a possible hate crime, according to a Collier County sheriff’s incident report. Manuel Galan and his friend Cirildo Soliz were walking down the street when the men

punched and kicked them while yelling gay slurs. Police said the attacking men may have been part of a gang, and Galan identified them as members of a gang called “Brown Pride.” The victims are both openly gay but are not a couple. Galan and Soliz were in the process of filing charges and no arrests had been made as of press time. | l |

briefs SW Fla. Pride draws 2,000 More than More than 2,000 people gathered in Fort Myers Oct. 9 for Southwest Florida’s Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival. The growing festival was moved from a small church to the Fort Myers Alliance for the Arts Center. In addition to the Pride festival, LGBTS in Fort Myers are getting an additional venue. In November, local non-profit organization Visuality will open a center to support LGBTs. The 2,200-squarefoot facility is designed to provide services to up to 200 gay youth each year.

Anti-Gay groups target Rep. Ros-Lehtenin Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtenin (R-Miami_) has become the focus of activism from anti-gay groups after she became the first Republican in Congress to co-sponsor a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). According to Equality Florida, the National Organization for Marriage and the Christian Family Coalition (CFC) are asking their supporters to bombard the Florida Congresswoman’s office with letters and phone calls. In the media, CFC executive director Anthony Verdugo called Ros-Lehtenin “an arrogant, anti-family, homosexualist extremist.”

Pride Fest 2011 Diversity-Voices of Sarasota ROTC - St. Pete Karmic Tattoo Halcyon Sugar Rockets JD Hamil Park Gulfstream and Main



watermark | nation+world news

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Prop. 8 backers press claims on gay trial judge wire report

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San Francisco, Calif. | The sponsors of Proposition 8, California’s voter-approved same-sex marriage ban, have asked a federal court to invalidate the ruling of U.S. Chief Judge Vaughn Walker, who struck it down, saying Walker should be disqualified because he did not divulge he was in a long-term relationship with another man. Lawyers for Prop 8’s backers filed on Oct. 3 their open brief on the issue with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. They claim that Walker’s successor, Chief Judge James Ware, erred when he concluded Walker’s relationship


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status was irrelevant to Walker’s ability to fairly preside over the trial on the measure’s constitutionality. In their brief, they argue that Walker’s impartiality can be questioned because he is “similarly situated’’ to the plaintiffs who sued to overturn Prop 8, two same-sex couples in established relationships. Ware rejected similar arguments in late August, saying that the presumption that Walker could not be unbiased was “as warrantless as the presumption that a female judge is incapable of being impartial in a case in which women seek legal relief.’’ The 9th Circuit already is reviewing whether Walker properly concluded the ban violates the rights of gay Californians. | l |

Obama tells HRC he is committed to equality wire report


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Washington, D.C. | President Barack Obama, speaking to a gathering of gay and lesbian activists at the National Dinner of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) on Oct.1, said that he is committed to equality, citing the repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy as an example. However, he acknowledged “we have more work to do,” including on the issue of bullying. The president supports same-sex civil unions, and has said his views on gay marriage are “evolving.” He has announced his support of the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, a 1996 law that defines marriage as between a man and a woman. The president chided participants in a Republican presidential debate last month for not rebuking members of the audience who booed a gay soldier who asked about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” “We don’t believe in standing silent when that happens,” Obama said of the debate

incident. “You want to be commander-inchief, you can start by standing up for the men and women who wear the uniform of the United States even when it is not politically convenient.” HRC President Joe Solmonese said after the speech that Obama reaffirmed commitment to LGBT Americans. “It was a remarkable experience to see openly gay and lesbian uniformed service members in the audience be able to salute their commander in chief,” he said about the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Obama’s remarks were delivered to a key constituency that hasn’t always been receptive to the president’s policies. “We applaud the administration’s progress, while we also encourage him to ‘evolve faster’ on supporting full marriage equality,” said Stuart Gaffney, media director for Marriage Equality USA. A CNN/ORC International poll taken Sept. 9-11 showed 53% of Americans believe marriages between gay and lesbian couples should be considered valid. That number has steadily been rising in CNN/ORC International polls since 2008. | l |

briefs House GOP triples budget to defend gay marriage ban






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House Republican leaders have agreed to triple the budget— up to $1.5 million—for defending the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in court. In March, House Speaker John Boehner appointed and led a committee that instructed House counsel to defend the law in court after the Obama administration announced it would no longer do so.

US Presbyterian church ordains openly gay minister On Oct. 8, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) officially ordained 56-year-old Scott Anderson of Madison, Wis., as its first openly gay minister.

Anderson served as a minister from 1983 to 1990, but resigned when a couple threatened to reveal he was gay to his congregation. Last year, the Presbyterian national assembly agreed to remove a ban on homosexuals serving as ministers, clearing the way for Anderson’s ordination. Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is the largest Presbyterian denomination in the U.S.

US military chaplains may perform same-sex unions The Pentagon announced Sept. 30 that U.S. military chaplains may now perform same-sex unions, whether on or off a military installation. The ruling follows the Sept. 20 repeal of DADT, the law that had prohibited gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

watermark | nation+world news

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

Study: Gay men offered fewer job interviews wire report Cambridge, Mass. | A new study suggests that openly gay men face substantial job discrimination in certain parts of the U.S. The study, which is the largest of its kind to look at job discrimination against gay men, found that employers in the South and Midwest were much less likely to offer an interview if an applicant’s resume indicates that he is openly gay. Overall, the study found that gay applicants were 40% less likely to be granted an interview than their heterosexual counterparts. “The results indicate that gay men encounter significant barriers in the hiring process because, at the initial point of contact, employers more readily disqualify openly gay applicants than equally qualified heterosexual applicants,” writes the study’s author, András Tilcsik of Harvard University. The research was published Oct. 4 in the American Journal of Sociology. For the study, Tilcsik sent two fictitious but realistic resumes to more than 1,700 entry-level, white collar job openings— positions such as managers, business and financial analysts, sales representatives,

customer service representatives, and administrative assistants. The two resumes were very similar in terms of the applicant’s qualifications, but one resume for each opening mentioned that the applicant had been part of a gay organization in college. The results showed that applicants without the gay signal had an 11.5% chance of being called for an interview. However, gay applicants had only a 7.2% chance. That difference amounts to a 40% higher chance of the heterosexual applicant getting a call. The callback gap varied widely according to the location of the job, Tilcsik found. In fact, most of the overall gap detected in the study was driven by the Southern and Midwestern states in the sample—Texas, Florida, and Ohio. The Western and Northeastern states in the sample—California, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New York—had only small and statistically insignificant callback gaps. The research also found that employers seeking stereotypically heterosexual male traits were more likely to discriminate against gay men. Gay applicants had lower callback rates when the employer described the ideal candidate for the job as “assertive,” “aggressive,” or “decisive.” | l |



Calif. teen to be retried in gay classmate killing wire report Ventura, Calif. | A teen accused of killing a gay classmate at a Ventura County junior high school will be retried on a murder charge after a first trial in which jurors could not decide on the degree of guilt. Prosecutors on Oct. 5 announced their intention to pursue a murder charge in adult court against 17-year-old Brandon McInerney. However, a hate crime charge will be dropped, Deputy District Attorney Maeve Fox said. Last month, a judge declared a mistrial after a nine-woman, three-man panel couldn’t reach a unanimous decision on the degree of McInerney’s guilt for killing 15-year-old Larry King. After a series of votes, seven jurors were in favor of a voluntary manslaughter conviction, while five others supported either first-degree or second-degree murder. Superior Court Judge Charles Campbell set a Nov. 21 trial date, according to Fox, but it’s unclear if it will be held in Ventura

County. The first trial was moved to Los Angeles County due to pretrial publicity. McInerney was 14 in February 2008, when he was accused of shooting King twice in the head at E.O. Green Junior High School during a computer lab class. Authorities maintained the shooting was premeditated and deserving of a murder conviction. During the trial, Fox noted at least six people heard McInerney make threats against King in the days leading to the shooting. Defense attorneys acknowledged that McInerney was the shooter but explained that he had reached an emotional breaking point after King made repeated, unwanted sexual advances. They also have argued that juvenile court would be the best venue to try their client. ‘‘Placing Brandon in jail is necessary, but will not fully address the problem,” said Eliza Byard, executive director of the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network. “There is much to be done to fix these broken systems and hold adults accountable for their part in avoiding future tragedy.” | l |

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posted a Facebook status canceling Pride. Just to make sure she wasn’t hacked, I find a few other key sources to corroborate, so that is enough to at least make the initial announcement. (Incidentally, someone once smartassed to me, “Since when is Facebook a valid way to do business?” and the answer to that is “Since 2009.” Facebook is the real How news deal, people. Get over it.) The second piece to any online story is breaks on art. Each story has an abstract attached and Watermark while I’m capable of opening Photoshop and throwing one together, it’s always Online better quality if one of our bona fide designers creates one. Fortunately for me, Jake is a rock star and has already created, Jamie Hyman uploaded and emailed me a beautiful piece online media dir. of original art that is both attention-getting and illustrates the story perfectly. Jackpot. Now it’s time for additional information and quotes from key sources. A promised press release turns out to be Gina’s Facebook status simply copied into an email, so I call our CFO Rick Claggett, who happens to be on the Pride board, to find out how I can get a hold of her. He gives me her number at the MBA office and she answers on the third ring. We have a difficult conversation for a few minutes—not because she’s cagey or anything, but difficult because this is a lousy situation in dreary weather and Gina has had to make an incredibly stressful decision. She tells me who made the call, when and why, plus how the City of Orlando is involved and where they’re t’s 5 a.m. on Oct. 8, 2011. I’ve been going from here. Exactly the information I asleep for about four hours and I’m need to round out the story. awakened by a strange noise—sort of While I’m adding Gina’s stuff to the wet but also the sound of distinct, crisp original announcement online, I wonder movement. whether Orlando’s Pride has ever been I turn on the lights and I climb out cancelled before and so I call Don of bed to investigate, sadly discovering Williams, Watermark’s sales rep who has that our roof has sprung a new leak, this time, in our bedroom. After rigging a been involved with the MBA the longest. He suggests I call Debbie Simmons, complicated absorption system of buckets MBA’s original president, and I leave her a and towels, I climb back into bed an hour voice mail. later and I distinctly remember thinking, “I could just get up now, but it’s Come The entire time I’m writing and having these conversations, various Watermark Out With Pride day and with that weather writers and outside, it’s going contributors are to be a really long, wet one. Better rest popping up on my chat screen, telling while I can.” No one likes to be me where they That explains the bearer of bad are, who they’ve why I sleep till news, but I’m happy 11 a.m., when contacted and what they’ve learned. Watermark’s art people are getting Now the updated director, Jake the information. story is online and Stevens, wakes me with a phone call. it’s time to send out an eNewsletter. I “Pride is should note that up canceled,” he says. to this point, I’ve been doing all this stuff “Oh, crap,” I (probably) say. A few pieces have to come into from my home, occasionally remotely logging into Watermark’s server if there’s place before a story can be published anything there I need. I try to grab the on Watermark Online. First is initial html code needed for the Breaking News verification. A quick search shows me eNewsletter template but am unable to get that Gina Duncan, president of the the file to open. I desperately ask Jake if he Metropolitan Business Association (MBA) can get to it, and he can! So he emails the and all-around trustworthy source, has


Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

code to me. Once I have the framework, it’s just a matter of filling in the copy and art, double-checking the hyperlinks and then clicking “send” to get the information into the inboxes of Watermark’s thousands of eNewsletter subscribers. By this time, our art/web assistant, Andres Duputel, checks in. I’m still dealing with contributors and trying to obtain more sources, but freelancer David Moran is at Lake Eola and has taken photos, so I’m able to ask Andres to create the album. While I’m doing this, Debbie calls me back, so I take notes while she tells me that no, Pride has never been cancelled before, but yes, Gina and the other organizers have


absolutely made the best call. Then the photo album is ready, so I crosslink the story to the photos and the photos to the story. I’m also keeping an eye on website comments, making sure no one is spamming the site or flaming the cancellation. While this is happening, Jake and I are tracking our story’s progress on Facebook, seeing who is and isn’t sharing it. A lot of people are sharing it. And it’s bittersweet, because no one likes to be the bearer of bad news, but I’m happy people are getting the information. It’s better than them wandering out into the terrible weather to let their Pride show despite the wind and rain. | l |

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| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

watermark | the big story

This rain-spattered sign outside the Swan Boats on Lake Eola was reflective of the cancellation of COWP Oct. 8.

marching band, newly organized this year with 30 locals and 30 people from other will reassess over the weekend and put out bands coming in to help out. They moved communication about pride on Monday. Thank their performance to The Parliament House you for your support of pride!” courtyard, playing for a capacity crowd of Word quickly spread, with people making resort and bar guests. phone calls and reposting information on Some people were surprised at 8 p.m. when Facebook and other websites. fireworks lit up the rainy Lake Eola sky. “That part was amazing. I came back to “The decision to set off the fireworks was the MBA offices to find a whole group of made by the Fire Marshall after 5:30 p.m.” volunteers ready to phone others, to get the says Audebert. word out,” says Duncan. As soon as the COWP committee got Debbie Simmons was MBA president the go-ahead, they posted updates on social when the MBA took over the event in 2005. networks and websites. Unfortunately, many This is the first time since then that the event Pride-goers were already celebrating at area has been postponed. Simmons agreed the bars. COWP organizers “absolutely” made the right “We wanted to send a message with the decision. fireworks that, even though the weather had “It’d be dangerous on so many levels, so ruined much of the weekend, we were still full I think they made a great decision,” she said. of pride,” says Duncan. “I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one.” “We are in the process of counting our losses from Saturday, as well as what we need Not a total wash to do to move forward,” admits Duncan. “Right now we are planning to have our Despite the setback, many other aspects Pride with the same of the Pride weekend day’s schedule, the same exceeded expectations. “This will be a people,” says Audebert. “Thursday night He says that Pride Grand was our best opening challenge for the Jonathan ceremony yet,” says MBA and Come Out Marshall D. Lovitz is willing, Audebert. “The place was schedule permitting. With Pride. But it’s jam-packed, and it went The entertainment has according to our plans.” also a challenge for tentatively said yes, and The event, held at the community.” many of the corporate The Abbey, a downtown and local sponsors have entertainment site, — Gina Duncan, promised their ongoing included a fashion MBA President help. competition, music and Many businesses are refreshments. Local already rallying: “We’re complete behind design student Russell Reynolds was awarded COWP committee; whatever they want to do, top prize in the fashion competition, and “our we’ll support them,” said restaurateur Nickell. silent auction was amazing,” says Audebert. “This will be a challenge for the MBA The event’s executive Director, Scott Lear, and COWP. But it’s also a challenge for the was also ecstatic: “I believe it’s because we community,” says Duncan. “We’ve received had the best talent in place.” so many messages and emails of support and Even Saturday was a success to many: encouragement. This is definitely a setback, “Restaurant owners and nightclub owners but we really believe this community will reported having one of their best days,” says come forward and show their pride, show their Duncan. “People were looking for a place to commitment for this event, and help us move celebrate.” forward.” | l | The Pride Brunch at the six-month-old Prickly Pear was full to capacity: “We had a Additional reporting by Jamie Hyman. record day,” stated co-owner Eddie Nickell. The Pride parade was to have a 60-person | uu | COWP from p.7

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watermark | viewpoint

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

No. I don’t think drinking is excessive at local Pride events at all.

COWP Learning Opportunity

No. Partying with the community is one of Pride’s main selling points. Maybe. I’ve attended some Florida Pride events with too much booze, but others have it under control.


Yes. Partying should not be the focus of Pride events—they should be about the community and that’s it. Yes. The level of drinking at local Pride events portrays the community in a negative light.



19% 14% 14%

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Should Florida’s Pride events follow suit? A new poll will be posted to the homepage this week. Be sure to visit and let us know what YOU think!

top web comments On the decision to postpone Come Out with Pride due to bad weather:

“Safety comes first, and I can tell you the wind has been very strong all day. When I was at the park this morning tents were flying and toppling over.”

—Christopher Tate

“That bites, but after the mess at the Indiana State Fair, I can understand it.”

—Cindy Barnes

On Wal-Mart adding gender identity protections to their employment discrimination policy:

“This makes it very hard to boycott them for underpaying workers and not providing benefits.”

—Bob Hentschel

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

The words cut like a knife. According to Come Out With Pride Grand Marshal Jonathan Lovitz, “A lot of negative pressure has been put on the amazing people organizing Orlando Pride 2011 by the local Jewish community about how we could possibly have such an event on Yom Kippur.” In his post on the COWP Facebook page, Lovitz said that he was “so hurt by some of the words used by my own people against those doing so much good for so many that I felt compelled to write.” And he explained why, as a “devout, active and proud member of the Jewish community,” he had decided to participate in Pride on Yom Kippur. The “comment” posts that followed were startlingly hurtful. One said, “These Jewish conservatives are becoming like the hateful, despicable religious right, trying to impose their religion, mores and lifestyle on everybody else. They should know better than to discriminate against others after the way the Nazis dealt with them.” I literally trembled as I read those words just before beginning my observance of Yom Kippur, traditionally spent in synagogue. Yom Kippur is the holiest day of the Jewish religion. It is a time of self-reflection and atonement for wrongs committed, personally and collectively, in the past year. Observant Jews do not work on this day and fast for 24 hours.  My partner Ted and I were critical of Pride leadership for scheduling COWP on this day. We wondered how, of all communities, the GLBT community could be insensitive to the issues of religious and cultural diversity. In private words with Pride organizers, I made our feelings known. After several messages back and forth, an apology was posted acknowledging that the scheduling was an oversight and not intentional, and that by the time it was discovered in April it was too late to change. Good enough.  So when Mr. Lovitz’s message appeared on the COWP Facebook page, I was confused and angry. By “negative pressure” was he referring to scheduling objections? Who was the “local Jewish community” he spoke of? I’m aware of no Jewish religious leader or organization that criticized the event. What were the “words used” against the Pride committee and volunteers that “hurt” him? And I thought, “How could someone who described himself as a ‘devout Jew’ choose to work on the holiest day of the year?” That is certainly his prerogative, but he seemed to imply that those objecting to the scheduling were divisive and non-inclusive. Yom Kippur is a time for reflection and atonement. We ask for forgiveness for malicious gossip, for narrow-mindedness, for arrogance and for passing judgment on



others. As I read those words in synagogue, I began to doubt our criticism and handling of the scheduling error. Had we overreacted? Been too harsh? Come Out With Pride is clearly an enormous, important and essential undertaking, involving countless hours of planning, logistics, contracts and the like. It can, as Mr. Lovitz said in his post, make a difference in the life of a questioning teenager. COWP is lead by well-respected community volunteers, with whom Ted and I have cordial relations. I would never ascribe callous indifference or questionable motives to anyone involved with Pride.

“We must respect our differences in a measure equal to the common bonds that unite us.” —Jeff Miller

Yet we remain uncomfortable with Mr. Lovitz’s posting and the resulting comments. Yes, everyone is invited to the table. Yes, we need to put aside our divisions and differences. And yes, everyone is entitled to celebrate according to his or her own choosing and conscience. Our community’s “free to be” mentality has nurtured and protected us, allowing us to establish our own identities, traditions and conventions. But as we seek greater legal integration and acceptance, greater responsibility attaches. Marriage equality means more significant spousal

commitment. Adoption requires a real commitment to parenting. In the end, we must respect our differences in a measure equal to the common bonds that unite us. The local Jewish community has been unwavering in its support for the Orlando GLBT community. I was honored to read into the record a resolution passed by the Greater Orlando Board of Rabbis when the Orlando City Commission was debating passage of its Human Rights Ordinance. The Holocaust Center issued a strong statement of support for the Domestic Partnership Registry currently under consideration by the city and county. The Holocaust Center has also advocated strongly on behalf of GLBT and questioning youth in its “Upstander” anti-bullying campaign, and recently spoke out forcefully against the teacher in Lake County who made inappropriate and offensive Facebook comments. We are grateful to COWP organizers and volunteers for all their hard work. It is my fervent hope this will be a learning opportunity for us all, and that we will go forward as a united community to celebrate the rescheduled Pride event very soon.     

Jeff Miller Orlando

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.

watermark | viewpoint



or who we choose to include, family involves people, and some of those people are very important to us. Relationships can be a great source of challenge and heartache from time to time, but they are our greatest gift. As a pastor I am privileged to witness many different family relationships.   In addition to my work at MCC Tampa, I also work as a hospital chaplain at Tampa General Hospital. This vocational program has offered me a very rich opportunity Take time to to not only grow in my understanding of define your pastoral care, but expand my understanding of what it means to protect our family and family our wishes.   Many of us have heard about samegender loving couples where one of the two Rev. Phyllis Hunt have suffered a traumatic injury or accident and ended up in a hospital. The hospital does not recognize the pair as family and the uninjured partner is excluded from the medical decisions and even visitation. In 2007, Janice Langbehn and Lisa Marie Pond and their children were on a cruise out of Miami to celebrate their 18 years together when Lisa Pond suffered an aneurysm and died about 18 hours after her hospital admission. Janice was prohibited from seeing her during her stay because she was not considered next-of-kin. Three years later, President Obama issued new rulings that required all hospitals receiving federal funds to permit visitation rights that included gay and lesbian relationships.   Our challenge is not to get complacent hen you hear the word “family” with this new ruling and think that we now what comes to mind? This have all the rights we need to be with our edition of Watermark is all loved ones. In fact, the only privilege that about family.  Merriam-Webster’s online has been extended is visitation rights and dictionary defines “family” to mean: “a only at medical facilities that receive federal group of individuals living under one roof funds.   and usually under one head or a group of In most states, our relationships are not persons of common ancestry or a people or protected. And even in the states that have group of peoples regarded as deriving from marriage equality, if you are not married, a common stock—race or a group of people you have little or no rights as next of kin united by certain convictions or a common unless the two of you have completed both affiliation.” Health Care Surrogate and Living Will For most, our documents known as first introduction to advance directives.   The Health the word came to Relationships can describe our family Care Surrogate of origin and the form allows you to be a great source identify one or two household of adults of challenge and people whom you who raised us. If you were raised in a trust to speak to the heartache from time household involved medical staff on to time, but they are in a religious your behalf if you our greatest gift. community, you are unable to grant may have heard that permission. This community called document supersedes a church family. In the privileges of the 1970s the term “family” became a code the family of origin, and if you are in a word for the LGBT community.   partnership, it gives you or your partner How many times are you out and about rights that married couples enjoy.   and your gaydar goes off and you say to To complete the advance directive you yourself or someone you're with, “Ah ha, I will need a Living Will which clearly states bet they’re family.” You may be a member what your dying wishes would be if you were in a persisted vegetative state and of your birth family, adopted family and/or family of choice.   could not give those directions. Most of us avoid this aspect of our health care needs No matter how we use the term “family”


Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

and put off completing legal documentation that serve to protect our wishes and our family rights to participate in our care if we cannot give said permission. While we may be able to visit our loved ones, the medical staff is bound by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. HIPPA laws legally prohibit employees from medical institutions to discuss or disseminate medical information about any patient without the expressed consent of that patient. And in the event the patient cannot give expressed consent, the advance directive serves as their expressed consent.   Most medical centers have advance


directives or you can use your search engine on the web to find them. It matters less where you get them and more that you and those closest to you complete them. I do hope that you will take advantage of this document and complete it, remembering to have a copy in your possession if you or your loved one is hospitalized. Hopefully you will never need this important document, but it is better to not need it and have it, than to need it and wish you had. This is one of the greatest gift exchanges you and those you love can share. | l | Phyllis Hunt is the senior pastor at the Metropolitan Community Church of Tampa.

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• We had a late lunch at the Bruckner Bar & Grill, nestled beneath gritty overpasses covered with graffiti. I became a Jet, snapping my fingers and chanting, “Boy, Boy, Crazy Boy.” Matt rolled his eyes. Inside, the restaurant was so atmospheric—so filled with urban characters—that I expected to find a gun taped inside the toilet.

New York stories Tom Dyer



watermark | viewpoint


hile they’re still fresh, I want to share some vignettes from my recent trip to New York:

• I’m a nervous flyer, even with a pocketful of Xanax. So it didn’t help that airport televisions were broadcasting “credible reports” of a terrorist attack as I prepared to board my flight…to New York City…on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

• The next morning I made my way to Central Park and ran around the reservoir a couple times, drinking in the familiar but still awe-inspiring skyline from every angle. Welcome to New York, Tom. • Subway, shower, subway, and I was on the other side of the park, at the Museum of Natural History. Filled with dinosaur bones and dioramas, the museum didn’t disappoint. At the magnificent Hayden Planetarium I watched the formation of the universe...narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. • Matt joined me for dinner and a walk on the High Line, a park built on abandoned above-ground rail lines in the trendy Meatpacking District. Models sipped espresso and posed silhouetted against the sunset. Media types with iPads looked busy and important. Gay boys in skinny jeans and fedoras gossiped as they watched Basia do a sound check for an outdoor concert. “We’d have to bathe in fabulousness to get in,” Matt said with a sigh. • The next day I took the subway to the Bronx, where I interviewed transgender actress Harmony Santana—star of the TIGLFF opening night film—at her fourth floor walkup. Her neighborhood is an explosion of languages, cultures, sounds and smells. Harmony was a delight, and her story—on last issue’s cover—was touching and inspiring.

• It ended up being a great flight. Instead • I made plans to meet up with someone of sitting next to a terrorist, I shared an on Bear411 that night and decided to head armrest with huge, down to Lincoln hunky and friendly Center to pass the Aaron Taylor, a time in between. It “We’d have to bathe former All-American was Fashion Week, in fabulousness to at Notre Dame and and I hoped I’d now CBS Sports see Heidi Klum or get in,” Matt said football broadcaster. Christian Siriano… with a sigh. He’d been in Orlando or at least Austin for the UCF-Boston Scarlet. Instead College game. there were lots of people in black acting like they weren’t • I stayed with my friends, Matt and looking at each other. But I noticed a line Greg, in their Harlem apartment, and as forming for War Horse, the 2011 Tony soon as I got settled Matt took me to his Award winner for Best Play. I knew it was huge artist’s loft just over the Harlem sold out, but I got in the cancelation line River in the Bronx. Matt’s a ceramic and soon I was in the eighth row—wearing sculptor and it was like a scene from Bermuda shorts and flip-flops. I fell in Basquiat or Pollock; a huge industrial love with the astonishing life-sized puppet space bursting with color and talent. horse like he was my own dog. When it was over I went into an ugly sob. Wearing flip-flops, it hardly mattered.

• I was still a wreck walking over to Hell’s Kitchen, but when “NYCNick” opened the door to his 250 sq. ft. claustrohabitat—“Just roll the clothes out of the way if you need to use the bathroom”—it was clear he didn’t want to cuddle. Nick took my mind off the play, but soon thereafter he was ready to reclaim his small slice of Manhattan. “At least tell me a little about yourself,” I said, looking for my flip-flops. Singing and tears followed, including an extended diatribe against an agent who “just doesn’t get that I’m a character actor now.” I tried to help by suggesting some roles, like Nicely Nicely in Guys and Dolls. “You think I’m Stubby Kaye!!!” he screamed. Date over. When I

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


described it to my friend, Ken, he summed it up for me: “Typical gay New Yorker. ‘I’m needy. Go away.’” • After that I walked over to Times Square, where a.60-something woman with osteoporosis approached me. “You look healthy. I bet you’re from out of town,” she said, invading my space. I told her I’m from Florida. “I should’ve guessed. I bet you’d be fun. You want to party?” When I told her I’m gay, she said, “I should’ve guessed that, too. Have a nice night, honey.” | l |


| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

watermark | theater

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


steve blanchard

Out stars of The Addams Family musical say an abnormal family is, well, normal


ouglas Sills and Blake Hammond know a thing or two about nontraditional families. The two out actors who star as Gomez and Fester, respectively, in the touring production of The Addams Family: The Musical, have brought boyfriends home to meet the parents and understand what it’s like to not be understood by a so-called “majority.” So the two have a unique understanding of the kooky Addams brothers they will portray at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Oct. 18-23, and Nov. 1-6 at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando. “It’s an interesting analogy with same-sex marriage,” says Sills over the telephone during a production stop in St.

Louis, Mo. “What looks like normal on the outside sometimes isn’t, and what looks abnormal is often more normal than you might think.” And in The Addams Family: The Musical, there are plenty of oddities to showcase, according to Hammond. “What I like so much about this show is that even the so-called ‘normal’ people have their oddities,” Hammond says. “Is there such a thing as a normal family? When I think about my travels around the world, I don’t think I’ve met a ‘normal’ family. A normal family is one with lots of abnormalities.” Which is the best way to describe the seven members of the Addams family. The musical production, which starred Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth on

Broadway, began touring in New Orleans earlier this year before moving to St. Louis. Both cities have been receptive to the musical comedy, the actors said, and its story, following the now adult Wednesday Addams’ engagement to a young man with a more traditional past. “I really do enjoy so much of this show,” says Sills, who has been with his partner for 18 years. “But I really enjoy the scene when the new family arrives at the Addams mansion and we’re meeting each other, all trying to be something we’re not for Wednesday’s sake. We’ve all agreed not to behave in a more expected fashion and it creates this tension between the two families that is just delicious.” It’s a scenario to which anyone who has ever brought home a significant other can

relate. Hammond says that when he has brought past partners home to meet his family, there is always some trepidation. “Will they like him? Will they accept him?” Hammond says. “I think that most families that do love each other want to like the person you bring home. But at the same time, I think we forget that they’re just as afraid as that new person.” Familiar, yet new territory The Addams Family is an American institution. The popular 1960s television series inspired by the 1930s drawings of Charles Addams spawned several animated series, two blockbuster films in the 1990s and now, the Broadway Continued on page 36 | uu |


| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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watermark | theater

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


Theater on Fire From a Burning House recounts early AIDS battle

greg stemm


men and women to remember the history of a ustis, Fla. | Bob Dumais wants to generation. Nowadays, many in the younger help younger people understand the generation think all you have to do is pop a dangers of HIV transmission. That’s few pills and you’ll be fine. That’s not always why the long-time supporter of the LGBT the case, even today. For gay people, the AIDS group, The Triangle Connection, wanted to epidemic has been a holocaust; it is a time we present excerpts of the book, From a Burning must never forget. ” House, on the local stage. And including Borger in the Eustis “The stories we’ll be doing reflect the production is a rare opportunity to get a close resilience of the human spirit, the funny up of the HIV/AIDS battle. moments as well as the tough truth that these During her tenure with the AIDS Project peoples’ lives had been quickened by the Los Angeles, Borger offered writing reality of AIDS,” says Dumais who is the workshops for dozens of people with HIV executive producer of the local production. or AIDS, as well as a workshop for their From a Burning House: The AIDS Project caregivers. Many of these people had been Los Angeles Workshop Collection will be diagnosed during the early years of the AIDS performed at the Bay Street Players’ Historic epidemic in the 1980s when it was little known State Theatre in Eustis on Saturday, Oct. 22 at and often referred to as a “plague.” 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. Dumais says he became aware of the work The program will feature staged readings through a book on tape. He later came up from approximately 20 of the nearly 90 stories with the brainchild of producing it as dramatic featured in the book by the same name, which theatrical performance. He contacted editor was edited by Irene Borger. Borger founded Borger, who agreed with and endorsed the the Writers Workshop at the AIDS Project Los idea. That was nearly Angeles in 1990 two years ago. Now he and is scheduled to is ready to produce the appear at both the “For gay people, the premiere production Saturday and Sunday AIDS epidemic has here in Central Florida. performances. Both performances Borger will take been a holocaust; will be fundraisers questions after the it is a time we must for the Hope & program, as well Help Center, Central never forget.” as attend a VIP Florida’s largest reception following —Bob Dumais, executive service organization Saturday evening’s producer of From for people with AIDS, premiere. a Burning House with all net proceeds Dumais said that going to the group to members of the expand its programs in LGBT community Lake County. The productions are sponsored and straight people can benefit from attending by The Triangle Connection, Inc., northern the show. He said the topic should be of Lake County’s nonprofit social and service interest to all ages, especially young people. organization for LGBT people, in cooperation “AIDS awareness is for everyone,” he with The Bay Street Players, who are says. “We’ve known for a long time that providing the venue and technical assistance. AIDS wasn’t just a gay disease. Yes, it hit our While a majority of the original writers community earliest and hardest here in North have died since publication of the book, one America, but that hasn’t been the case in the of the surviving writers, John D’Amico, now rest of the world.” mayor of West Hollywood, Fla., plans to Dumais says that one of the reasons he participate in some way in the Eustis shows. wanted to produce the show is to make Dumais said the emotional impact of the younger people “understand and appreciate the stories is dramatic. In its rave review, The dangers of HIV transmission.” Los Angeles Times described the stories as “You should never think you’re “humorous, sad, celebrator—the kind you invulnerable,” he says. “I also want younger

Activist and author Irene Borger is scheduled to be a part of the local production of From a Burning House, which is based on a book of personal accounts of the early AIDS epidemic that she edited.

never forget—about what it means to be human under great duress.” Local actors from community theaters will be featured in the Triangle Connection’s production, but the Grammy-nominated cast for the original theatrical recordings included Richard Thomas, Joel Gray, David Hyde Pierce, B.D. Wong, Steven Weber, Robert Foxworth, Megan Gallagher and Borger.

The production has one intermission and is about two hours long. Tickets are available ($20 reserved seating; $50 VIP seats with cast party) from the Bay Street Players’ Box Office and online through the theater at For more information, visit The Triangle Connection website at TriangleConnection. com. | l |

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| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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watermark | music

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


but the love we had for the record company. There’s a lot in the lyrics about parting ways with the record company and managers. A lot of the material is about being dumped and feeling at odds with the industry. After losing the backing of a major label, what was your thought in regard to keeping the band going? We weren’t ready to be done. We were just building a fan base. Common Reaction was starting to hit when we lost our manager and label so we weren’t about to give up or throw in the towel so I put my business savvy into it. Ownership is huge. Now, we own our label and music. So we are seeing the fruits of our labor more readily.

Camila Grey, left, and partner, Leisha Hailey, who make up UhHuh Her, have a new indie sound with their new album, Nocturnes.

Nocturnal Submission UhHuh Her kick it up a notch with Nocturnes

anthony paull


ecently, Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey were escorted off a Southwest Airlines flight for their displays of affection and their reaction when a flight attendant asked them to stop. What the press forgot to inform the public was the two women kick ass…musically. They make up the indie duo UhHuh Her. Returning with its second full-length album, Nocturnes, UHH has expanded on its shimmery musical soundscape by turning up the volume, creating a hard-hitting big rock album, inspired by the likes of Pink Floyd, Joy Division and 70s psychedelic electro. Recorded in the wee hours of night, Nocturnes is filled with a combination of dark synth anthems (‘Another Case’) and sultry, hammering dance tracks (‘Same High’). Produced by UHH’s Grey and Wendy Melvoin (of Wendy and Lisa), the album ultimately harvests a harmonic crop of hooks, seducing listeners into reliving the heights and depths

of unrequited love, making it a kiss worth waiting for. UHH’s Camila Grey took time to chat with Watermark about Nocturnes and the 21-city U.S. fall tour, promoting breast cancer awareness through a partnership with the Keep A Breast Foundation. WATERMARK: What Uh Huh Her song gets the biggest fan reaction? CAMILA GREY: First off, bring your friend to every show we ever have. (Laughs.) As for the song, I think the fans react best to the material they’re used to. They love ‘Not a Love Song,’ ‘Explode,’ and ‘Black and Blue’ is a crowd favorite as well. Common Reaction had a shimmery rock feel, whereas the Black and Blue EP had a grittier rock appeal. What kind of sound were you going for with your latest,

Nocturnes? You know, we had just been dropped from our label, and I was upset by the way the record industry was working. Therefore, I wanted to go off the map so I approached my vinyl collection to find bands that inspired me in the first place. I listened to Pink Floyd, Joy Division, and early Annie Lennox. We also had Wendy (Melvoin) producing, who worked with Prince, and it ended up being this big rock record. There are also some tracks that are electro and synthbased as well.

It’s interesting. Your fan base seems to have multiplied dramatically since you’ve taken the indie route. Other bands in the same position have seen greater success as well. Why do you think that is? Our fans are die-hards, thank God. People are rooting for us. Plus, I think the music is great. We are so grateful for our fans. Through Twitter, we are able to talk directly to them, so it’s really helped us as indie artists.

As a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, you were classically trained. At the time, did you know where you were you heading, musically? My parents got me a 24-track digital workstation, so I started recording early. I liked classic rock bands like Aerosmith. I also loved Joy Division and Depeche “A lot of life-changing Mode. I wanted to stuff happened to make a hybrid of that. I was like, “Why us so it takes on aren’t women doing a darker feel.” music like this?” I —Camile Grey, on the was like, “Where feel of UhHuh Her’s are the ABBAs and newest album, Nocturnes Cardigans?” I wanted to fill that gap.

As indicated by the title, Nocturnes was recorded mainly at night. How do you feel that affected the mood of the record? It’s definitely sinister, a little dark. It was a pretty rough year going through a big break-up, along with being dropped from the record label. A lot of life-changing stuff happened to us so it takes on a darker feel, but I think there’s a lot of hope to the songs too.

With many UHH songs, there seems to be an ongoing theme of reaching out to a lover that’s in hiding or unable to connect. What do you think has inspired that? I take it from my life and the lives of others, hearing stories. It’s not all about personal love. A lot of the songs aren’t about a lover per se,

UHH has teamed up with the Keep A Breast foundation to launch a fall tour to promote breast cancer prevention. What advice would you give women in regard to learning more about the disease? I think awareness and education are so important. My grandmothers are breast cancer survivors. Early detection is a key component to survival. Plus, a healthy lifestyle is super important. We’re truly excited to partner up for the cause and bring the fans the new music on tour. | l |


watermark | film

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

screened out The Morality Rate

stephen miller

The Ides of March (Starring Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Marisa Tomei, Paul Giamatti)


ome people want George Clooney to run for president. This tight, characterdriven political thriller makes it clear why he probably never will. In his co-writing, producing, acting and directing, Clooney shows that he is a consummate artist, willing to take a back seat for the better good. That selflessness is not very much like an American politician at all is it? Gosling portrays a wunderkind communications director, working with campaign manager Seymour Hoffman to get senator Clooney the Democratic nomination for president. Rival campaign manager Giamatti wants Gosling for his team. Times reporter Tomei wants the inside scoop.

Gosling wants to know that his candidate stands for what’s right. The process always teaches that politics is all image, lies and compromise. Ides is another chance for Gosling to shine with an understated, subtext-laden performance. Is he really as noble as he lets on? Is he corruptible, or is he already corrupted? In this film—more than his other two this year (Crazy Stupid Love and Drive)— Gosling proves why it’s only a matter of time before he wins an Oscar. But he’s not alone. The film’s imagery calls to mind All the President’s Men and Clooney’s own Good Night and Good Luck. The other actors are superb. The plot twists are palpably amazing, driven by ego and human need. All Clooney has to do is stand around and act charming…and lie…oh, and direct and co-write and produce this artfully shady film.

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Ryan Gosling and George Clooney captivate in The Ides of March.

Real Steel

naked for much of this dull romance. There is little other reason to watch. Hollywood (Starring Hugh Jackman, Hope Davis, keeps trying to find the right film for funny Dakota Goyo) Anna Faris to shine in; this ain’t it. Only a few weeks before her sister’s Some brilliant idiots tried to make a wedding, Faris gets fired and dumped, all boxing movie for kids! They found a 1950s in the same day. Then she finds a Cosmo story by Stuart Matheson (I am Legend) quiz that tells her she is a slut bound for and then destroyed it to make it safe for the spinsterhood. Instead of worrying about her youngsters. Real Steel is a futuristic Rock livelihood, she decides to go on an all-out ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and a wispy story quest to find her true love, convinced he’s about a distant father and his whiny son. Or one of her ex-loves and definitely not the it’s a nearly brainless, kiddie commercial hunky, helpful, man-whore Evans next door. that’s over two hours long and may just sell a What’s Your Number? has one major ton of boxing robot toys. flaw: an inconsistent lead character. Jackman plays a washed-up exFaris supposedly transforms for fighter who fights with his beat each man she’s dating. If he’s up robot to grift betting money a vegan, she’s a vegan. If from illegal matches. The he’s British, she is, too. If problem is his machine is he’s a Goth magician, she in such bad shape, he needs buys an all-black wardrobe cash to continue. Years ago, and dyes her hair. But he sold his son to his dead outspoken, creative Faris wife’s sister. Now he agrees doesn’t seem to be wimpy to babysit his estranged son or subservient enough. And (Goyo) for moolah, so the she also doesn’t seem to be sis-in-law (Davis) and her stupid enough to believe the Chris Evans’ perfect pecs almost antiquated idea that she’s a beau can tour Europe. save What’s Your Number? Do you think there’ll be slut, damaged goods, beyond reconciliation? Did I mention being marriageable. that Disney is one of the Despite a few funny distributors? gags, nothing about the plot is clever or Actually, the fights are fun—meaning that surprising. The basic premise is all-out Real Steel at least shows up Michael Bay sexist, and the film struggles too much to and his noisy, ridiculous Transformers. The overcome its own biases. But I tell you: film, however, also borrows from Rocky, Hollywood super-hottie Chris Evans is The Champ, and other much better flicks, naked and bare-chested a lot! So I couldn’t watering it all down for preteen consumption. quite give it one star. | l | That’s specifically where Real Steel makes me giggle. Do kids even need a boxing Overflowing uncontrollably movie? What’s next, a kid-friendly film about with glittery fabulousness the Spanish Inquisition? Hey, I hear they’re Pretty damn good, but making Texas Chainsaw Massacre into a it’s no Sunset Boulevard Saturday morning cartoon!

What’s Your Number? (Starring Anna Faris, Chris Evans)

Thank the gods Chris Evans is near

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

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |



| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

watermark | theater

Blake Hammond, before the shaven head, stars as Fester. | Photo courtesy the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

Douglas Sills, who is used to the ups and downs of married life with his partner of 18 years, stars as Gomez. | Photo courtesy the Straz Center for the Performing Arts

men have always enjoyed Halloween. So dressing up as the characters of a creepy musical. family bodes well for both experienced The continuing success with the iconic actors. characters is directly linked with society’s “I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love obsession with the macabre, according to Halloween, and it just keeps turning into Sills. more of a celebration each year,” Sills says. “Look at the incredible fascination with “Everyone loves dressing up, since the first the Twilight series and all of the offshoots caveperson stood up in front of his friends of that genre—True Blood, Walking Dead. and put a pair of antlers on his head from Back when I was a kid, Dark Shadows that day’s kill and told a story, we’ve loved was the big thing. Thanks to Bram Stoker, dress up.” the world is obsessed with all things Hammond, who bought a home outside Halloween.” of New York City about a decade ago, says Sills says he had that he is also a seen the 1960s sitcom Halloween fanatic, on which the musical although the past “What looks like is based, but that he few years he’s never saw the Raul stayed in to hand normal on the outside Julia films of the out candy to the sometimes isn’t, and 1990s. trick-or-treaters. “I saw the first “I like playing what looks abnormal Raul Julia film,” dress up, what can is often more normal Hammond says, “but I say?” Hammond I wasn’t familiar with laughs. “It’s neat than you might think.” the Charles Addams being a homeowner —Douglas Sills, who drawings at all. It was and seeing all plays ‘Gomez Addams’ interesting to discover these kids come them.” by for candy. But While the darkness I’ve been to my that embodies the Addams’ are what lures fair share of bars dressed up as things I most fans into the fictional world of the shouldn’t have. My favorite costume was odd family, it’s their familiarity that makes when I went out to the bars with three other Hammond feel most comfortable. guys as the Facts of Life girls. Of course, I “Of course not every family has an was Natalie because I was always the big odd, large, bald brother roaming around,” one.” Hammond laughs. “But it’s fun to see Sills isn’t as confident on what his something that’s not your family that has favorite Halloween costume of his past an eerie quality to it, but still deals with the is, but he has suggestions for his fellow same issues every family encounters.” Addams Family cast mates. “Maybe I can get them to all dress Halloween everyday up like the field of GOP presidential Fortunately for Sills and Hammond, both candidates,” Sills says. “I really can’t think of anything scarier.” | l | | uu | Addams Family from p.29

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |



watermark | event planner

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Dolly Parton

DJ Seth Cooper

Dolly Parton will bring her big…pipes… to Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Van Wezel Oct. 15 and 16.

Vampire's Ball The Orlando Ballet’s Vampire’s Ball arrives just in time for Halloween the weekend of Oct. 21-23

Sexy DJ Seth Cooper will spin at the annual TIGLFF SURGE party at The Ritz Ybor on Oct. 15.

music [CLEARWATER+SARASOTA] Dolly Parton The country girl with the, uh, heart, as big as gold is touring again and will no doubt have the glam, glitter and gowns to make every impersonator pay rapt attention. The diva—and LGBT rights advocate—is touring to promote her newest album, “Better Day.” But you can bet she’ll find a hit or two from the previous 80 or so albums to bring the fans to their feet when she stops at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater on Saturday, Oct. 15 and at Sarasota’s Van Wezel on Sunday, Oct. 16. For tickets, visit or

[ST. PETERSBURG] The Bette Set Bette Midler may not be touring anytime soon through Florida, but that doesn’t mean her fans have to do without. The New American Theater presents The Bette Set, a Musical Journey to Midler Earth, the weekend of Oct. 21-23 at its theater inside Baywalk. The show stars Sara DelBeato and Michael Raabe, and follows the icon’s rise to stardom from those early days in gay bathhouses to sold out Vegas shows. For tickets and more information, visit

film [ORLANDO] Movies Out Loud: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert On Thursday, Oct. 13, Movies Out Loud sets its sights on frocks in the desert with The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. This time legendary drag performer Miss Sammy is joined by special guest host Doug Ba’aser (filling in for Jeff Jones) to dish and delight in this iconic 1994 gay classic. Dancing in the aisles is encouraged, and don’t forget to bring your ping pong balls. Tickets are $10, available now at Showtime is 8 p.m. at Plaza Cinema Café, but happy hour starts at 7 p.m. There will be number of giveaways, but in honor of the first anniversary of Movies Out Loud, the top prize is a full year’s worth of admission tickets for all of the movies in the coming year.

[TAMPA] Rocky Horror Picture Show You know the words to the whole film and all year long you’ve awaited its arrival with great antici…pation! October means the Rocky Horror Picture Show is back, complete with a cast of characters to create a truly interactive experience at The Ritz Ybor on Friday, Oct. 21. The musical film will be accompanied by a party afterward. So come in your best Rocky Horror outfit and enjoy a night of fun debauchery. Doors open at 10 p.m. and tickets are available at TheRitzYbor. com or by calling 813-247-2555.

theater [TAMPA+ORLANDO] The Addams Family: The Musical The classic, creepy—and funny— family of television and Hollywood legend has a new tale to tell with The Addams Family: The Musical, stopping at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts Oct. 18-23 before traveling to the Bob Carr Performing Arts Center in Orlando Nov. 1-6. In this tale, young Wednesday is all grown up and has brought her fiancé and his straightlaced parents to a celebratory dinner at the Addams Mansion. For tickets and show times, visit or

[TAMPA] Quills Jobsite Theater takes on the dark and disturbing award-winning Quills Thursday, Oct 20-Nov. 6. The story follows Dr. Royer-Collard, the head of Charenton Asylum, who is visited by Renee Pelagie, wife of the asylum’s most notorious inmate. Furious that her husband’s sadomasochistic pornography has tarnished her reputation, she offers the Doctor any amount of money, if only her husband can be kept from writing. The play comes with a warning, explaining that the audience will see and hear sexual imagery that may not be suitable for everyone. That’s enough to get our attention! For tickets and details, visit

[ORLANDO] Vampire’s Ball Vampire lore—frightening, erotic, and campy—is explored in this premier production from the creative mind of Orlando Ballet artistic director Robert Hill. Vampire’s Ball is told through a series of vignettes and set to an eclectic array of music, from classical to pop. Show times are 8 p.m. on Oct. 21-22, with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 23. Tickets start at $15 and are available at

special events [ORLANDO] Gloria Steinem Feminist Icon Gloria Steinem makes a rare Central Florida appearance at Rollins College on Friday, Oct.28 at 7:30 p.m. to talk about the women’s movement and its priorities today. Ms. Steinem will be joined by former Congresswoman and activist Pat Schroeder on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. to talk about the early days of feminism, and the challenges that remain in reshaping the patriarchal landscape. Both free events are at the Tiedtke Concert Hall.

Third Thursday Social

bring your pooches and join us along with your host/emcee Gidget Galore for some light bites and conversation. Rev. Lisa Heilig will perform a blessing of the dogs. Raffle prizes include a 3-night stay at The Grand Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale, laser and spa treatments and more. As always, admission is free.

[CASSELBERRY] Zombies vs. Vampires The Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls will find out who bites harder at a special, midnight Halloween-themed game on Saturday, Oct. 29. This is an 18+ event, doors open at 11:30 p.m. at Semoran Skateway. Tickets are $10 in advance at BrownPaperTickets. com or from your favorite derby girl. Tickets are $13 at the door. Don’t miss this epic battle of the undead! More information is available at

[TAMPA] Surge/Sugar parties The 22nd Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival will celebrate its closing weekend with the popular Sugar and Surge Parties in Ybor City on Saturday, Oct. 15 at 9 p.m. Surge, dubbed the men’s party, is at The Ritz Ybor while attendees of Sugar, the women’s party, will dance all night at The Honey Pot. Expect both venues to be packed with the movers and shakers of Tampa Bay until 3 a.m. Tickets are $15 and available at

For October’s Third Thursday Social on Oct. 20 at 5 p.m., Watermark is checking out the new location for Ranger’s Pet Outpost & Retreat. This event will also serve as a fundraiser for the SPCA of Central Florida. So,

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.

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |



watermark | tampa bay out+about

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

1- Rugby player, personal trainer and counter-tenor opera singer Jacques Snyman, right, stands with his accompanist before performing at the Tampa Bay Bears’ Monkey Suit Ball on Oct. 1.

shot on site

Photography | Steve Blanchard, Nick Cardello, and Carrie West




4 5 6

2- A team of volunteers kept the drinks flowing in the second story lobby of the Tampa Theatre during the opening weekend of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. 3- (L-R) Keenan Rose and John Burchett donned masquerade masks during the Tampa Bay Bears’ Second Annual Monkey Suit Masquerade Charity Ball at the Wyndham Westshore Hotel on Oct. 1. 4- Desiree DeMornay, in red, was crowned the winner of the national Miss USofA At Large pageant held at The Honey Pot in Ybor City on Oct. 9. 5- (L-R) Nick Kouris, Don Kiceina and Marc Retzlaff, organizers of Pride & Passion, lend a hand to help out TIGLFF’s table at the Tampa Museum of Art during opening weekend of the film festival. 6- Chic was just one of several performers to participate at the ARToberfest at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Clearwater on Oct. 1.

Florida Craftsmen presents

Celebrating 24 years of Live Music in the Village! New this year: later start time and rain dates! Hyde Park Village, Swann & Dakota Avenues, Tampa

CraftArt 2011 Wednesday, October 26

FLORIDA c r a f t s m e n, inc. A statewide non-profit organization for fine craft art

6:30 - 9:30 PM

Band: Vodkanauts Benefiting: The Humane Society of Tampa Bay Rain Date: November 2

Florida’s 14th year celebrating American Crafts

November 19th-20th, 2011 Downtown St. Petersburg on Central Avenue & Fifth Street

Featuring the nation’s finest, newest and most exciting American craft artists Artists Demonstrations, Interactive Activities, Craft Beer Tastings and Delicious Food Visit our Website:

Last Concert of the Season!

Visit for information. New This Year: St. Petersburg ArtScapes, an adjacent fine art festival! Florida Craftsmen, Inc. 501 Central Ave. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (727) 821-7391

watermark | tampa bay out+about

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


tampa bay overheard The local X Factor Fans of FOX’s new hit reality talent show X Factor have watched a familiar Tampa Bay face during the show’s run so far this season. The adorably young and talented Jeremiah Pagan, who sings like Whitney Houston and performs as “Miah” when in face throughout Tampa Bay, wowed all four judges of the new Simon Cowell-created show and advanced to the “Boot Camp” segment of the competition. Pagan was emotional on the large stage after his initial audition, and has continued to build legions of fans from around the world thanks to his breathtaking and increasingly solid performances. Pagan now has an official fan page on Facebook and rumor has it he’ll be releasing some original music in the nottoo-distant future.

Liza Minnelli cancels Florida tour The diva herself, Miss Liza Minnelli, won’t be making that trek to the Sunshine State after all. The daughter of Judy Garland was scheduled to appear at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall and Sarasota’s Van Wezel in January but announced earlier this month that she won’t be making any appearances

in Florida during this tour. Details as to why she cancelled weren’t given, but Liza with a “Z” announced Oct. 6 that seven other shows have been canceled because of a battle with bronchial pneumonia. Fans that have already purchased tickets can get refunds by contacting the individual box offices directly.

Sarasota’s G2H2 sets high standard with new event Nearly 80 of Sarasota’s highest profile gay men attended the Gay Guy Happy Hour (G2H2) at Ivory Lounge on Oct. 6, impressing organizers and the local media. According to Arica Love of, the success of the event was so notable that the Sarasota Herald Tribune raved about it in its post-event coverage. The mixer, brought to the community by Josh Beadle of Beadle Media, was combined with an art show and hosted by Ms. Love herself. G2H2 will return the first Thursday of each month and is already living up to it’s tagline: “Sarasota just got scene!”

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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Wanzie Presents will launch a selfproduced production of Charles Ludlam’s cross-dressing classics comedy thriller, The Mystery of Irma Vep on Saturday Oct. 15 at 8 p.m. in the Footlight Theatre at the Parliament House Resort. The play is a satire of several theatrical and film genres, including Victorian melodrama, farce, and the 1940 Alfred Hitchcock film, Rebecca. This high-camp gothic spoof features two of Orlando’s infamous actors, Doug Ba’aser and Joshua Eads-Brown portraying all of the residents of the Mandacrest estate in this virtuoso quick-change horror story. Ba’aser and Eads-Brown are reprising the characters they played in an early 2010 production presented at Slueth’s Mystery Dinner Theatre. “This is Doug and Josh at their best. Their performances are just flat out hysterical,” says Michael Wanzie. The show will continue Saturdays through Oct. 29 with a special Halloween Industry Night performance on Monday, Oct. 31. For more info visit

You better work! Even the rain couldn’t keep the gays at bay. Ru Paul’s Drag Race finalist Carmen

Carrera dazzled the audience at Mr. Sisters Oct. 8. One fan in particular received an impromptu lap dance from the New Jersey native. Orlando resident brass-mouth Norm Gentry was silenced when Ms. Carrera singled him out, making him literally put his money where his mouth is. She definitely brought her confidence, uniqueness, nerve and talent.

Sisters are doing it for the community On Friday, Oct. 7, the Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, along with members from Tampa, South Florida and two other states worked the runway at Parliament House for a fundraiser benefitting Hope and Help’s food bank. The event, Project NUNway, raised over $1,400. They broke the habit donning fashion by local designers including Rich Kuntz aka Gidget Galore, Cory Austin and Bill Seablom aka Sr. Majyna Burns. “This event was their gift to our community so those affected by HIV/ AIDS won’t have to choose between taking their medications and eating the food vital to their survival,” said Rob Domenico, Hope and Help’s newly appointed Director of Community Relations. “The Sisters are truly angels on earth!”

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watermark | orlando out+about

shot on site Photography | by Erik Caban, Rick Claggett, Tom Dyer, MBA and Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls

1 6



Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

3 4

1- The Sounds of Freedom Marching Band gave an impromptu performance at Parliament House Oct. 8, after it was announced that Orlando Pride downtown was postponed. 2- Project NUNway, a benefit for the Orlando Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, made Parliament House a more fashionable place on Oct. 7. 3- RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant Carmen Carrera shook her thing at Mr. Sisters Oct. 8. 4- Actor Butch Patrick, best known for his role as Eddie Munster on The Munsters, hung out with some of the Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls at the Spooky Empire horror weekend event in Windham Orlando Resort. To his left is Bloch Ness Monster and Chainsaw Chelsea is to his right. 5- Proud gays and lesbians rained out of Come Out With Pride packed the Prickly Pear for brunch on Oct. 8. 6- (L to R) Orlando Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Watermark contributor Dr. Edwin DeJesus, food blogger Scott Joseph and Rick Schell celebrated at DeJesus’ housewarming party Sept. 30.

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201 1

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Orlando Gala Saturday, November 5th 7:00 to 9:00pm


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2011 Voice for Equality


Orlando Sentinel Columnist Scott Maxwell

As a reporter and columnist for the Orlando Sentinel, Scott has frequently and consistently advocated on behalf of the LGBT community. His efforts to educate the public about adoption by gay parents played a critical role in ending Florida’s adoption ban.

Jefferson Voss & Bryan Stevens

Kissimmee City Commissioner and Mayor Pro-Tem Cheryl Grieb

David Baldree Ted Bradford Larry Glinzman & Carlos Murphy Brad Grosberg & Phil Kean Kathryn Norsworthy & Deena Flamm Pat Padilla

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2011 Orlando Honorary Host Committee State Representative Scott Randolph State Representative Darren Soto State Representative Geraldine Thompson Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan Orange County Comptroller Martha Haynie

Orange County Commissioner Jennifer Thompson Orange County Commissioner Lui Damiani Orange School Board Member Darryl Flynn Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings Kissimmee City Commissioner Cheryl Grieb

Tom Dyer Michael Farmer Allie Garcia & Denise Gentry David Harrington & Scott Guthrie Dr. Scott Hewit & Sally Hewit Patrick Howell Kym Merrill Michael Slaymaker

Your 2011 Greater Orlando Host Committee David Baldree Jim Blumenfeld & Chris Cooney Ted Bradford Brian Braswell Lisa Coons Kenny Daniels Gina Duncan Tom Dyer Brian Fenn Jason Fox Holstein

Russell Glotfelty & James Sandidge Lisa Gray Brad Grosberg & Phil Kean David Harrington & Scott Guthrie Jason Holstein Patrick Howell Danny Humphress & Enrique de la Torre

Sue Idtensohn Nancy Jacobson Leah James & Judy Hines Margot Knight Martha Marinara Jose Marrerro Mary Meeks & Vicki Nantz Kathryn Norsworthy & Deena Flamm

Joe Royals & Kent Ouellette Richard Russell & Thomas Ouellette Joe Seagle & Phillip Richardson Michelle Stecker & Carol Bresnahan Mark Van Arnam

Vicki Nantz & Mary Meeks Joe Saunders & Donald Rupe Matina Saltsman Sam Sanabria & Andrew Lassiter Beth Tuura Diane Webb Drew Weinbrenner Judy & Phil Wood

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watermark | family

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

A carefully planned family

tony ward

Through diligent planning, a lesbian and a gay man raise a son together


rlando | Marcia Gilliam always knew she wanted to be a mother. Despite being in a lesbian relationship, she wanted to make sure her child had a father figure rather than just a sperm donor. “A male role model, that male influence,” she explains. “I think it’s important for a child to know the difference of a father and a mother to identify who they need to be.” It was in a graduate class at UCF that she would meet Keith Baber, a fellow licensed Mental Health Counselor, and strike up a uniquely close friendship. “We started gravitating toward each other, took several classes together and our friendship grew from there, said Gilliam. “It wasn’t until we were friends for awhile that I realized Keith was gay.” As their friendship grew, Marcia would learn that Keith shared her desire to be a parent. It became a more frequent topic of conversation and soon they decided to explore having a child together. While the

decision came quickly, the planning phase would be comprehensive and was equally important to both. The future parents began to get to know each other’s personalities likes and dislikes, values, health backgrounds, and family cultures. Keith’s Parents were bi-racial and met in 1950. They were young and liberal and lived in New York surrounded by artist friends.

completely supportive. A Planned Parenthood When it came time to move forward with their planned parenthood, Baber was excited and nervous. “Becoming a parent was something I had always dreamed of doing,” says Baber. “The entire process left me feeling a sense of completion.” The future parents secured a lawyer to draft a legal document covering things such as visitation rights and child support. They also needed to agree on the roles their partners would play in the raising of the child. It was determined those partners would serve as the child’s godparents. Even the type of conception was discussed and decided. While they would partner as parents, their child would not be conceived through an actual physical partnership. Fast-forward and Marcia Gilliam, now 53, works as a Project Manager for Orange

“Ask yourself what you see in terms of your family and then define it.” —Marcia Gilliam “I came out to parents in my late 20s and they were accepting,” Baber remembers. Marcia was one of seven siblings—five sisters and one brother. Sadly, her father passed away when she was just five years old. Marcia was raised by traditionally strict grandparents who were very uncomfortable when she finally revealed her sexuality. However, her mother and siblings were

Continued on page 54 | uu |




| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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watermark | family

A Minute With...

Judy &Phil Wood o f O r l a n d o ’ s P FLA G



rlando | Speaking with Phil and Judy Wood today, one would be surprised to learn that they weren’t always involved in the fight for LGBT equality. In fact, both say that they rarely directly interacted with the LGBT community and had no specific opinion about it, except for that it was an “oddity.” But things changed for the couple when not one, but both of their sons came out while they were in college. Today the young men are 26 and 24 and Judy is the president of the Orlando Chapter of the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Phil is an active board member. To find a local chapter of PFLAG, visit The married couple of 32 years shared their thoughts on how parents can handle the news when their child comes out, changing the minds of other parents of gay children and what their hopes and dreams are for the future of LGBT equality. WATERMARK: How did you become active in PFLAG? JUDY: The day our older son came out, he told us about PFLAG and also got on the computer and found the website for us. It was a few months before I actually went to a meeting. PHIL: When our sons came out they were both seniors in college. We were surprised and did not know what to do, except lovingly accept them as they are. Our oldest son suggested that we check out PFLAG. This was when we were still in Birmingham, Ala. We went to a PFLAG meeting and were very blessed to find other parents who were also experiencing the same feelings of shock, fear and uncertainty for their children. There were also gay PFLAG members there that helped us a great

deal to understand what was going on from their own experiences and wise perspective. Both of your sons came out to you at different times. Was your reaction different with each because of your preparedness? JUDY: The first one took me totally by surprise and shock. The second time around (about one year after the first), I was relieved that he chose to tell us. My antenna had been up so there was not the surprise factor. What do you consider is the role of a PFLAG member? JUDY: That can range from simply attending a meeting and not saying a word to advocating

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


Photo courtesy Judy Wood

for change through community, state and national leaders. It is important to feel comfortable enough in the group to be honest about our own thought processes—and it is a process. PHIL: 1—Family support by sharing our stories, as well as offer understanding, hope, and encouragement. It really does get better and eventually many of us can’t imagine how it could have been any different. We have met so many wonderful people through both PFLAG groups we have joined. 2—Advocacy for understanding, equality and eliminating bigotry toward LGBT folks. Have you always considered yourself an accepting person when it comes to LGBTs? JUDY: Not always. In college, it seemed an oddity. Probably about 10 years ago I realized that there were probably genetic factors involved—people didn’t just one day decide to be gay. When our older son came out five years ago, my heart broke for all the pain he went through. I think LGBTs, especially transgender, are some of the bravest people I’ve met! PHIL: Mostly I had no opinion either way. I did not at all understand about sexual orientation, or the personal struggle the individual has with it, let alone how those around them will deal with it. Many years ago I had a professional colleague who lives in Maine. Her son was gay and she would talk about him, and my reaction then was, “How in the world do you deal with this?” Bullying has gained a national spotlight thanks to the “It Gets Better” campaign, but what else can students and parents do to help prevent such awful treatment of LGBT teens? JUDY: Make sure that there are policies in place at schools for all students, including LGBT and those perceived to be LGBT. PFLAG has a program called “Safe Schools” that involves the whole school Continued on page 49 | uu |


watermark | xxxxxxxxxxxxx

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Today, METRO announces a recommitment to our GLBT community! Recently, Metro has had a shortage of space due to rapid growth. NOW WE’RE BACK with increased staff, bigger locations, and more programs. ADAM K. joined our staff as our new full-time GLBT Program Coordinator! Metro offers GLBT education programs and events, counseling services, and weekly youth group meetings. Learn more at

Hillsborough Over 15,000 sq. ft. in our new Ybor City location 1315 E 7th Ave., Suite 201 Tampa, FL 33605 (813) 232-3808

Pinellas Moving Oct. 1 to a new 15,500 sq. ft. location 3251 3rd Ave. N., Suite 125 St. Petersburg, FL 33713 (727) 321-3854

Pasco/Hernando Expanding our space to 2,700 sq. ft. Nov. 1 4747 US Hwy 19 New Port Richey, FL 34652 (727) 494-7625

Ask us about reserving meeting space for your non-profit group in our new, larger locations.

METRO provides vital services in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. About 8,000 people are enrolled in Metro’s 20+ HIV programs. To make it happen, Metro employees 82 people and welcomes the support of a dozen volunteers. METRO PROGRAMS INCLUDE:



HIV Counseling and Support Groups


Prevention for youth, minority & MSM


A prevention program for women with male partners in jails/prisons M.E.T.R.O.2

HIV and substance abuse prevention

HIV, REGISTERED NURSE Liaison and education program


Intervention program for youth in Pinellas County


To help with depression or anxiety, relationship issues, substance abuse Sliding fee scale, call for an appointment: Pinellas 727-321-3854 Hillsborough 813-232-3808


Watch for new programs! Please visit our website:

Case manager at Hillsborough and Pinellas jails


Provides merchandise certificates for those receiving HIV Case Management services, from any agency. Also provides women and children with household and personal care bags monthly.

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See for testing times and locations.

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watermark | family

“I think

From a parent’s perspective, what do you think is the best way for a child to come out to his or her guardians? JUDY: Family dynamics are so different. I don’t think there is a “one size fits all.” I did appreciate that both our sons came and sat down with us in person. PHIL: Sit down and listen to the child as he or she describes their own journey of first coming out to themselves. Most of the people I have heard from first struggle with their own acceptance of their orientation, even before they approach coming out to their parents. The biggest thing that the child should get across is that they did not choose this. This is not at all a lifestyle choice like smoking, tongue piercing or whatever. Their “hardwiring” is as it is.

LGBTs, especially transgender, are some of the bravest people I’ve met!”

It seems that the biggest foe of LGBT equality is people of religion. Do you consider yourself religious? JUDY: I consider myself spiritual. This —Judy Wood, has been one of the president of Orlando’s most difficult areas for me, because I chapter of PFLAG grew up in and have always been involved in church. Today, many churches are grappling with LGBT issues, and as in the political arena, I believe they are gradually understanding and Florida is notoriously anti-LGBT, yet more changing. This will take time. schools seem to be forming GSAs. Are you PHIL: I do not consider myself religious. hopeful for Florida’s future when it comes to Religion is about a bunch of rules made up by equality? people to hopefully appease God—an old white guy with a beard up in the sky—most of the JUDY: Very much so! Equality Florida time. I take a spiritual approach and find God has made many inroads and had tremendous simply wants peace for us all, no exceptions. It success in many local communities, which is more a matter of accepting that simple truth then filters to the state level! It’s when GSAs, rather than following the rules and believing PFLAG, Equality Florida, local accepting hard enough. I struggled with that later churches, etc., all do their part that changes are approach most of my life and it didn’t work for made. me. Judy and I are members at Christ Church PHIL: Coming here from Alabama three Unity on Holden here in Orlando. There we years ago, Orlando especially seems much find a welcoming community to all that thrives more progressive than what we were used to. with its diversity. | l | I am encouraged by many positive swings, especially in the Orlando metro area, toward a

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For most LGBTs, the battle right now is focused on marriage equality, but there are plenty of other areas where equality is nonexistent. If you could pick one milestone for the LGBT community to reach in the next year, what would it be? JUDY: Well, actually I would pick marriage equality, simply because there are so many areas in a person’s life that are affected by not having those legal rights. PHIL: Minimally, full domestic partner rights in Orlando and Orange County.

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Do you think the minds of anti-gay parents can be changed? JUDY: Absolutely. PFLAG can be a place to work through the fears, hear each other’s stories and offer tremendous support in this process. It also helps as our schools, communities and media openly discuss issues.  PHIL: That is a tough one. I think about all we can do is help them understand their child’s orientation was not a choice. We must be positive examples of embracing and supporting all our family members, including our children’s significant others. That has been a wonderful experience for us.

Have you ever been harassed for your acceptance of LGBT teens? If so, how do you handle those who oppose you? JUDY: It’s taken the form of “sin” implications. The only thing I know to do is to plant a seed of information and put the face of someone they personally know and love in their view.


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community—parents, teachers and students. PHIL: Promote understanding and be inclusive. It is surprising how much we are all alike in many ways once we get to know each other. Those doing the bullying need to “come out” of the closet from whatever their hidden truth is as well.

better understanding and acceptance of LGBT people and the struggles they face. I think the Orlando community could very well lead the way for a broader acceptance throughout Florida and in fact the conservative southeast U.S.

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


| uu | Minute With from p.47

One One One One


watermark | family

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Adoption in Florida: An Overview Traditional Adoption Gays and lesbians can now adopt in Florida. According to Tammi Driver, executive director of Tampa-based Heart of Adoptions, Inc., those interested should first complete a pre-placement home study that includes adoption education. This usually takes one to three months and costs approximately $1,000 and up. Then the individual or couple must consider the type of adoption they seek: newborn or older, domestic or international, etc. If working with an agency like Heart of Adoptions, which specializes in domestic newborns, the adoptive parent(s) are listed with the agency. The birth parent then chooses the adopting parent(s), not the other way around. Driver, who is gay, says some birth parents request gay adoptive parents. The time frame is largely determined by the adoptive parent’s flexibility. Those willing to adopt a newborn of any race or gender, or with a drug-addicted parent or unknown father, can expect a quicker result. Time: 6 months – 3 years Cost: $10,000 – $35,000

Second Parent Adoption When one partner is a sole legal parent, the second partner may now be able to adopt that child. This ensures guardianship rights, inheritance rights, access to insurance and a number of other important benefits. Most importantly, it creates a legal family that reflects the emotional family. Because gay couples cannot marry in Florida, this form of adoption is not as simple as a step-parent adoption, but it has been accomplished hundreds of times in the state since the ban on adoption by gays and lesbians was overturned last year. It is necessary to hire an attorney or adoption agency. And because it involves adoption by a socalled non-relative adult, a home study is required both before and after the adoption. Here are some basics: Time: 3 – 6 months Cost: $3,500 – $6,500

“Tom” and “Jim” of St. Petersburg moved to Florida from Pennsylvania and are both listed as the parents of Addison on her birth certificate. | Photo by Steve Blanchard

greg stemm

My Two Dads The birth certificate for one lucky St. Pete girl lists two fathers


t. Petersburg | After spending just a few minutes with the little girl living in St. Petersburg, it’s easy to tell she’s happy, well-adjusted and intelligent. Her bedroom is adorned with pink curtains, pink bed and piles of toys. Outside she says that her favorite toy is the Tonka dump truck she likes to play with in the dirt. And watching her blow bubbles with her parents inspires giggles and laughter on each breath. Addison is a happy four-year-old, and she has her two fathers to thank for that. Raising a child is as challenging as it is rewarding, and “Tom” and “Jim” are learning that first hand. The two 37-year-old professionals live in the northeastern section of St. Petersburg and both work good jobs. They have spent the past 14 years of their lives together and legally hypenated their last names so that everyone under their roof would share the same surname. Four years ago, they added a daughter to their family, and every day since has been a learning experience. While the names in this story are not real,

the facts of the story are. The men were wary of releasing too much personal information about their family. It was four years ago when baby Addison came into the couple’s lives. The two had spent countless hours and thousands of dollars actively working toward adopting a child through a private agency. The two took Addison home from the hospital just days after she was born. She has known no other parents than the two men. The inquisitive little girl understands that the two men are her parents, can plainly see that her skin color is darker than both of her dads’, and that she is incredibly special. That’s because, as she says, “…I have two daddies.” It’s a Boy! Then Disappointment The journey began for this family in 2004 when a sister of one of the men sister had a child and they saw first-hand what a joy parenthood was. Tom and Jim took stock of their own stable and loving relationship and decided that once they finished school and became established in their careers they would

pursue adopting a child of their own. “We chose adoption rather than bringing another life into the world,” said Tom. “We figured there were enough existing lives that might need our love.” The two began actively seeking adoption in 2006 while living in Cleveland, Ohio. Despite it being significantly more expensive, they began working with a private agency rather than the state adoption agency because they could be guaranteed a newborn. The two estimate the entire adoption process has cost more than $50,000, but are quick to say they believe that having Addison is worth every penny. Ohio has no obstacles when it comes to same-sex couples adopting. However, there were still challenges that required a move, substantial piles of paperwork and required classes in parenting. The two were under intensive scrutiny. “It wasn’t any different than what an opposite sex couple goes through, “said Jim. “But imagine the stress of having professionals visit your home several times and scrutinizing everything. That person has the power to derail

watermark | family

Moving, Decisions and Family Life Since Ohio law does not allow second parent adoptions, the two had to decide who would be the one legally adopting Addison. Ohio birth certificates list mother and father only. In Ohio, two unmarried people can’t adopt a child together, regardless of their genders. While the two were legally married by a San Francisco mayor’s order in California in 2004, Ohio did not recognize that relationship. Eventually, even the State of California rescinded that marriage. “We decided on me simply because my benefits at work were better,” said Jim. At the time he was working for one of the nation’s largest law firms. But the two wanted both of their names listed on Addison’s birth certificate so they made the decision to move to Pittsburg. Pennsylvania allows second-parent adoption, but only after a six-month residency requirement. Once they had achieved that they added Tom as the second parent on the birth certificate. There is no mother listed on the certificate. “We’ve never had any problems with that except for one time at a doctor’s office in Clearwater when the record-keeper was insistent that there had to be a mother listed,” said Tom. “But the understanding doctor intervened and we got it cleared up quickly.” Dealing with social security was not as easy, although the two eventually found a sympathetic ear at a regional office in Chicago and got both names listed as Addison’s legal


the whole process if they don’t like what they see.” Tom said the agency they worked with was delighted with them. Gay couples really stand out in the adoption process, and often, as was the case with Addison, the mother specifically requests the child be place in a same-sex household. The two had to prepare a full color glossy “promotional” piece about themselves… showing pictures of the two of them, their house and living environment. In March 2007 a “donor” mother was found. The two went to OBGYN appointments and were in the delivery room when the child…a boy…was born that May. The two named the newborn him and took him home from the hospital. Their families and friends were very excited for them and welcomed the new arrival. But the mother changed her mind. Ohio law allows a donor mother up to 72 hours to reconsider the adoption of her newborn and she took the boy back on May 14. The couple and their family were heartbroken, but coincidentally, a day later on May 15, Addison was born. “Actually we went back into the pool of available couples on a Friday and Addison was born on Saturday and was placed with us almost immediately” said Tom. “We took her home from the hospital so we had very little time to transition from boy stuff to girl stuff. We had to completely redecorate the room, and fast!”

“I absolutely love being called ‘daddy’ and seeing her grow, mature and change is such a gift for both of us.” —Tom, one of Addison’s fathers

parents on a federal level. Families on both sides are thrilled to have such a wonderful grandchild. Matt’s mother lives in their guest quarters and often looks after Addison. In fact, Addison says she loves it when her

daddies go on a “date night” because she gets to spend time with grandma. Psychologists told the pair that Addison would come up with her own way of identifying the two daddies in her life and so the two sat back and let her decide. She calls

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


Tom “daddy” and Jim “dear.” “Tom is always calling me “dear” and she just kind of picked up on it,” said Jim. Both men were raised Catholic, but are not practicing and don’t go to any particular church. They intend to let Addison make her own decisions about her spirituality. They did enroll her in a Bible study group at school because they wanted to expose her to that faith. Teachers at school tell the men that Addison is very bright and is excelling in her studies. They say that the teachers mention that she is more advance than others her age. “We feel very blessed to have Addison in our lives,” said Tom. “I absolutely love being called ‘daddy’ and seeing her grow, mature and change is such a gift for both of us.” | l |


| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |

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watermark | family

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

(L-R) Catherine and partner Marcia Gilliam, Thomas Gilliam-Baber, Keith Baber and his partner, Steven, make up a happy yet not-so-traditional family. | Photo courtesy Marcia Gilliam

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County School System Programs for at-risk kids, and is the proud mother of 16 year-old Thomas Gilliam-Baber. “Thomas is articulate, affectionate and friendly, and has a lot of his father’s personality,” she says. “He tells you what he thinks. We say I love you to each other several times a day.” Baber, now 58, has similar praise for his son. “Thomas is insightful, empathetic, sensitive, trusting and very considerate of people,” he says. The parents have never lived more than 10 minutes away from each other. Thomas spends every other weekend and every Tuesday with his father Keith and Godfather Steven. They vacation together at least once a year. Holidays and birthdays are jointly celebrated occasions. Throughout his childhood Gilliam and Baber would meet weekly to discuss everything pertaining to their child. Raising Thomas has been a complete partnership, As for Thomas, he figured out that his family was unique before it was openly discussed. “I started to realize it when I was around six years old,” he said. “Nothing was ever hidden from me but my parents waited until I was old enough to fully understand things before we discussed it. I can remember them taking me to Pride parades as a toddler.” Thomas has always had a good relationship with both parents and credits it to sticking to the same visitation schedule. Initially, Baber was nervous about the possibility of other kids picking on Thomas. However, the young man never encountered any problems, which Baber credits to the way Thomas chose to handle the situations. “I began telling my close friends in fifth grade and asked them not to tell anyone else,” Thomas explains. “I feel more comfortable telling people now. In middle school I was a little afraid it may cause problems but it never did.” Thomas has recently become more socially active upon entering Winter Park

High School, joining the Drama Club, Psychology Club, and the Gay Straight Alliance where he was recently elected as Vice President. “While my parents being gay obviously influenced me getting involved, Equality has always been an important issue to me,” he says. “If I can help bring equality into my school or any situation I’d like to be a part of that.” While Thomas was raised with his parent’s partners as godparents, he was very excited recently when his father and his partner Steven married in New York this summer. New he can officially call his godfather his stepdad. Secrets to success After being in a relationship with her partner, Cathleen, for 24 years and successfully raising Thomas, Gilliam shares the secret to their success. “Ask yourself what you see in terms of your family and then define it,” she says. “For us we defined it and then lived it. Planning and communication were also crucial. Talk about concerns as they arise.” Baber believes that the influences parents bring to their children are crucial in developing that’s child’s personality and disposition. “I believe the best way of raising a child is by example, surrounding the child with love, and helping them to believe they belong,” Baber says. “Friendships are important. You want to carefully choose who you bring around the child. You have to be selfless when you have a child and make the child a priority even when you don’t want to.” While Thomas is happy to have both a mother and a father, he doesn’t see two people of the same-sex raising a child as a problem. “I do see the importance of having both a male and female influence growing up, but I don’t necessarily think it has to come from both parents,” he says. “It could be an uncle or an aunt, or even a close family friend. I feel lucky to have two mothers and two fathers. Really, I enjoy it!” | l |

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |




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watermark | transitions

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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Tampa performer and GaYbor staple Joey Brooks celebrates her birthday Oct. 14.

transitions Congratulations

Phish Phest Entertainment celebrates 11 years in business on Oct. 15. Watermark Tampa Bay sales manager Anthony Barros and Macy’s fashionista Ed Leonard celebrated the first anniversary of their holy union Oct. 10. Watermark editor Steve Blanchard and partner Phil Garris celebrate the 11th anniversary of their holy union on Oct. 13. Grace Restoration Church in Lakeland celebrates its first anniversary on Oct. 16. Total Wine and More is opening a second location in Orlando. The 18,000-square-foot store opened Oct. 6 at the Millenia Plaza.

Local Birthdays GaYbor entertainer and Tampa institution Joey Brooks (Oct. 14); former gift shop owner and Tampa retiree Howard Hawk (Oct. 15); handsome Suncoast softballer Michael Monnich and Orlando attorney and contributing Watermark columnist Mary Meeks (Oct. 16); Tampa political campaign guru and LGBT ally Mitch Kates, Lakelandbased Geico expert Barry Stemle, Ybor City’s King Corona Cigar expert Willy Emerson and Florida State Representative and proud father-to-be Scott Randolph (Oct.

17); Watermark contributor and UCF LGBTQ advocate David Moran and South Florida Gay News publisher Norm Kent (Oct. 18); St. Pete’s Everest University admissions specialist Mike Callahan, St. Petersburg photographer and graphic artist Byron Schaerr, pec-licious alpaca rancher and new Orlandite Peter Brown and Orlando make-up artist Scott Juszczak (Oct. 19); EMBARQ Quality Analyst Chris Hamlett, Florida hospital intern and sexy Pulse dancer Louis Velasquez and Flamingo Car Club president Robert “Tiny” Nasworthy (Oct. 20); Orlando cosmetologist singing star Melisa Brown and New Port Richey CNA Anthony Menicola(Oct. 22); sexy Orlando maintenance specialist Joe Arlotta, Orlando Hamburger Mary’s drinkmeister Juan Torres and G. Bar and Honey Pot co-owner Steven Donahue (Oct. 23); founding president of the Hillsborough County GLBTA Democratic Caucus Sally Phillips, Securing our Children’s Rights spokeswoman and Tampa Bay LGBT activist Cathy James, St. Pete’s HSN hottie Eddie Tomanguilla, Savoy and Paradise Orlando co-owner George Butler and MBA president and Watermark covergirl Gina Duncan (Oct. 24); St. Pete Pride board member Chris Tate, Tampa author, volunteer and Kottmeier Foundation founder Todd Kottmeier and Universal Studios art designer Jamie Lee (Oct. 25); international traveler and author Paul Rubio, adorable St. Petersburg clothing designer Justin Sears and handsome Orlando yoga instructor Greg Duke (Oct. 26).

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watermark | advice


Think like an evolved adult ADVICE FROM

The Truth


Dear Truth, y boyfriend plays softball 3-5 times a week, year-round. I love that he is a total jock and he keeps himself in such good shape, but I’m tired of him always putting softball first. All of our vacations are planned around softball tournaments, and it’s almost impossible to schedule a night out together because he’s either playing ball or “too tired” to do anything. I knew he was into softball when we met three years ago, but I’m tired of sitting on the sidelines. What should I do? —Not-So-Cheery in Lakeland Dear Cheery, You don’t give your boyfriend’s age, but it almost doesn’t matter. If he is an adult and his life completely revolves around an enjoyable but ultimately meaningless ‘hit and giggle,’ there is something amiss. It’s selfish for him to so completely dominate your social life, your vacations even, with softball. What about what you want? What about what’s meaningful to you? Until you start to ask these questions (of him!), you won’t find relief. Here comes the Truth: a grown man taking part in athletic leagues should be about fun and socializing. The outcome doesn’t matter nor should this weekend warrioring take up so much space in your life and calendar. It’s time for him to bench himself a little more to give you some say in this relationship. And it’s time for you to step up to bat and say so.

Dear Truth, Last week I ran into my ex-boyfriend, Lucas. We broke up over three years ago and he moved to Atlanta shortly afterwards to be with his new boyfriend. Lucas told me that he has just moved back to Tampa and is single again. We talked for over an hour and he was totally hitting on me, and it felt really good. I know Lucas and I will never get back together (and that’s a good thing!), but I really miss having sex with him. Is it okay to sleep with an ex? —Older, Wiser and Horny Dear OWH, Is it “okay?” I wouldn’t want to moralize to you here, but technically, no one is being cheated on or misled. So I guess it is “okay.” But is it a good idea for an evolved adult? No, of course not. In fact, you already know this or you wouldn’t have asked in the first place. You may be sure you won’t get back together with him, but that you so freely admit that you “miss having sex with him” casts a long shadow on that assertion. Sex with someone with whom you have a history can change things in a hurry. Here comes the Truth: If it truly is sex that is driving your thought process here, go find a partner with fewer strings—seen or unseen—attached, and leave your ex be. | l |

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


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watermark | classifieds

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

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watermark | sports

Orlando boxer featured on ESPN staff report Orlando | A Central Florida woman whose boxing career caught the attention of the nation and former champion Mike Tyson is the subject of a special airing this month on ESPN. Christy Martin speaks with E:60 about her relationship with her husband, the attack that nearly killed her and her return to the boxing ring as a well-known lesbian. Also included in the interviews is her partner, Sherry Lusk. Martin first made headlines when she battled Deirdre Gagoarty in 1996 before the match pitting Tyson against Frank Bruno. The women’s six-round match was much more exciting than Tyson’s seven-minute knockout of Bruno, and women’s boxing was put on the map. “The arena was just jam-packed,” Martin, 43, recently recalled in an AP interview. “As you look around, it’s all the movie stars, Magic Johnson, all the superstar basketball players, football players. And here I am, Christy Martin, this little girl from southern West Virginia. So far out of my league.” After her win, Martin gained a slice of fame. Within weeks, she was on the cover of Sports Illustrated, tapped as “Boxing’s New Sensation.” Interview requests from Jay Leno to Katie Couric flooded in, and a cameo on Roseanne soon followed. Tyson was so

impressed with Martin, whose right hook seemed every bit as powerful as his, he bought her a BMW. As interest in women’s boxing fizzled in the mid-2000s, Martin’s personal life began to unravel, leading to a cocktail of blackmail, drug addiction and ultimately an alleged attempt on her life. In the E:60 feature, Martin candidly discusses her personal life, revealing many details the public has never known. She addresses a marriage to Jim Martin she characterizes as chronically abusive, the truth about her sexuality, a three-year cocaine binge, and allegations that, on the night of Nov. 23, 2010, her then-husband repeatedly stabbed her and shot her in the chest with a pink, 9mm gun she owned. “He always made threats that he would kill me if I ever left,” Christy Martin tells E:60 reporter Lisa Salters. “He would ruin my reputation with the boxing world, tell everyone I was a lesbian.” Martin said her husband became enraged when she told him she was leaving him for a woman. Jim Martin, 67, was charged with attempted first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. His trial is scheduled to begin in January in Orlando. Jim Martin is also interviewed in the special. For air dates and specific times of the E:60 broadcasts, visit | l |

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


Aussie Rugby star takes stance against same-sex marriage ban wire report Australian rugby star David Pocock has come out in support of same-sex marriage, telling The New Zealand Herald that he doesn’t understand the religious right’s opposition to marriage equality throughout the world. “I don’t see what the big deal is with the whole gay marriage debate in Australia,” he said to the paper. “Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys the family and all that kind of rubbish.” Making a stance again the view of some religions, and politicians, Pocock has vowed he won’t marry his girlfriend until the law is changed. Speaking before the World Cup finale against South Africa earlier this month, he continued, “They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalized,” referring to Christians. “If you talk to someone who doesn’t like gay people, you can almost guarantee that they don’t know too many.” Since 2001, 10 countries have allowed same-sex couples to marry nationwide:

Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, South Africa and Sweden. Samesex marriages are also performed and recognized in Mexico City and in six American states and in Washington DC. In Austalia, however, the idea of changing the law has met with resistance. Prime Minister Julia Gillard is openly opposed to gay and lesbians marrying, citing her religious beliefs. Recently, there has been some support toward the equality changes. The Australian Capital Territory was the first jurisdiction in Australia to legally recognize same-sex couples in 1994. It was the second to allow joint adoption petitions by same-sex couples in 2003, following Western Australia. Other states in the country to allow Civil Partnerships include New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Australian Marriage Equality National Convener, Alex Greenwich, is pleased with the high profile rugby player’s support “David Pocock’s strong support for equality will have a dramatic impact in a sports-mad nation like Australia,” Greenwich said. “David’s stance also sends out the message that marriage equality is a reform Christians can and should support.” | l |

watermark | gossip

| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011



“Kate Winslet has gone off the rails. Jesus, girl, it’s just an Emmy.” —Sandra Bernhard Tweets her reaction to Winslet’s Emmy win. While I echo her thoughts, I don’t believe Miss Sandi has ever been invited to the Emmys, let alone been nominated for one.

I Emmy afterthoughts

Billy Masters

’m in a little bit of a funk this week. Maybe it’s the inevitable letdown after all the Emmy revelry. Going to an award show is a lot of work. Which tux? Which shirt? What is the color scheme for the HBO party? What’s Jane Lynch wearing? Since everyone has pretty much said everything that needs to be said about the Emmys, here’s just a quick sum-up of my thoughts: Best moment—Mrs. Levitan’s reaction shots during hubby Steve’s win for Best Writing on Modern Family. Runner up—all of the Best Actress in a Comedy nominees running onstage and standing together, a la Miss America. A moment almost marred by Rob Lowe’s bland delivery. Best speech—Guy Pearce. Anyone who can get a laugh while talking about inserting anything into Kate Winslett is a winner in my book. Most annoying idea—those unbearable voice-overs when the winners walked to the stage. Again, bad writing, bad delivery, bad, bad, bad. Runner-up—The Emmytones. I love each of those people individually, but someone hand me a gun...quick. Pointless—the tribute to Andy Samberg songs. Huh?

Sunday, October 16, 7PM 4453 Edgewater Dr.





FREE BBQ starts at 5PM 50 –50 Silent auction All funds raised will go to Haven of Hope, an organization that has, for more than 22 years, distributed food & assistance to more than 800 HIV clients in Orlando.



Most welcomed surprise—A memorable encounter with Thomas Decker, who is growing into quite a handsome and charming young man, makeup and all. Strangest sighting— Charlie Sheen cozying up to Ashton Kutcher backstage. First Bathroom Encounter—finding myself standing next to Tom Sizemore at the Kathleen Turner stars with Evan Jonigkeit in the now-touring production of Emmy urinal. I believe High, which is complete with some full nudity by the young Jonigkeit. he was trying to score Our appropriate “Ask Billy” question some clean specimen comes from Len in New York: “I heard that for an upcoming test. P.S., He was arrested the there’s some gay porn scandal connected with next day. the soaps. What is that about?” Strangest conversation—I’m approached There are numerous connections between by a man in the lobby. “I know you,” he says. the porn and soap world. Many soap actors— “You’re with the FBI, right?” I just nod, and past and present—have turned up in both he says, “I get it. Undercover. No problem.” gay and straight porn. But the story you’re Am I in an all-gay version of Bridesmaids? likely talking about is a difficult one for me He continues, “I’m in medical distribution to write. I adore Katherine Kelly Lang, now and can hook you up with some rad the woefully under-appreciated Brooke on hyperbarics in case you or your buddies The Bold and the Beautiful. Her 21-year-old get shot.” Because, apparently, I look like son Jeremy Skott Snider has acted on the someone people would want to shoot! soap, worked as a production assistant, and Second Bathroom Encounter—talking to done some modeling—where he claims to be Ryan Murphy while we’re washing up. He says the film version of The Normal Heart will against shooting nudes. But that didn’t stop him from turning up on as be shot next summer. He then asked me for a “Nick” for a solo scene and an allegedly “first paper towel, gave me a tip, and left. time bottoming” scene (for the first time, I even had the good sense to he seemed to take to it like...well, like avoid Heidi Klum, who is a bottom). I am sure this is causing not known for being chatty, La Lang great pain—certainly more especially when with her pain than it seemed to cause Jeremy/ hubby. But she went one Nick! You can see exactly what I’m better this year—she brought talking about in the pics and video on her own security. Whenever anyone started to walk near When I’m spending most of the her, this goon would step out Emmys in the men’s room instead of and say, “She’s speaking!” my seat, it’s definitely time for me Remember when I told you to end yet another column. If you about Kathleen Turner playing need some personal attention, just a nun in the play High? If so, write me at Billy@BillyMasters. you may recall my gushing com. Until next time, remember, over her smolderingly one man’s filth is another man’s sexy co-star, Evan bible. | l | Jonigkeit, who in addition to showing off his considerable acting abilities has no problem producing his ponderous appendage nightly. You may have been sad to have missed out on that. Well, you’re in The Bold and the Beautiful’s luck—Kat and Evan handsome Jeremy Skott are headlining a national Snider has shown up on tour of the play. First, where he stop is Boston’s Cutler performed two scenes as “Nick.” Majestic Theatre Dec. 6-11.

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |



THE HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN IS COMING TO ORLANDO! Join the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization dedicated to equal rights, in Orlando this October.




| Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011

watermark | gallery w

The board of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival take to the stage of the Tampa Theater before heading to the black tie Gala on Oct. 8.

galleryw Photography | Nick Cardello

TIGLFF Opening Weekend

Oct. 6-9 Tampa Theater, Tampa

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Jane Castor and the Krewe of Cavaliers

Actress Harmony Santana

(L-R) Partners Mitchell and Jonathan Ryan

(L-R) Actress Jessica London-Shields and writer/director Wendyjo Carleton

Oct. 13 - Oct. 26, 2011 |


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