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PAGE (L-R) Thure Lindhardt

Zachary Booth star 35 and in Keep The Lights On, a

story of two men struggling with their relationship after meeting through a telephone hook-up. The film is part of the Tampa International Gay and Lesbain Film Festival lineup, which Read runs Oct. 5-13.




MATCH THIS!: What do you get when you cross the nostalgia of classic television game shows with the twisted mind of Michael Wanzie? You get Celebrity Match Game, an improvisational romp at the Footlight Theatre.

WATERMARK ISSUE 19.19 // SEPT . 13 - SEPT . 26, 2012



PAGE LGBT advocates were front

PAGE More than 1,000 walkers



it online!



In addition to a Web site with daily LGBT updates, a digital version of each issue of the publication is made available on


and center while Orange County commissioners discussed its role in workers rights; The Center in Orlando initiates a fundraiser to raise $350,000; more.


participated in AIDS Walk Tampa Bay, which raised nearly $200,000 on Sept. 8; St. Pete Pride’s new executive director starts his new job Sept. 17; more.

PAGE The Tampa International Gay


and Lesbian Film Festival shortens its run this year and will combine its two closing parties into one big celebration. We also recommend some don’t miss selections at this year’s festival.

PAGE The newly christened AIDS

Tampa Bay offered 54 Walk participants a new starting

point, a new route and new forms of entertainment. The annual event surpassed its fundraising goal and reached more of the overall community.


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HANK GOD THE RNC IS FINALLY OUT OF TAMPA BAY. While Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Police Chief Jane Castor did an amazing job keeping area residents safe, it felt more like a war zone than a political convention here. Not only was the RNC a major inconvenience to locals, the delegates I encountered were less than pleasant. They were rude and on more than one occasion I heard stories about how little—if any—they would tip their servers are bartenders in the area. I know Tampa Bay sold the convention as a means to boost recognition of our cities, but if another convention of that magnitude rolls into town again, I’m heading for the hills—

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HAT AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE TO WATCH THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION and see such a vast range of diversity in the audience. We are all aware of how important the presidential election is this year as we slowly but surely march toward full equality in the United States. Seeing so many LGBT delegates and Pride colors displayed throughout the convention literally brought tears to my eyes, because it wasn’t that long ago that LGBT people weren’t even an afterthought. The President has made his position on equality clear, and I hope that LGBT voters and our allies remember that in November. But I also hope that voters educate themselves on the candidates

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HAD A CHANCE TO WATCH THE EPISODES OF WHERE THE BEARS ARE after reading the story in Watermark [Issue. 19.18]. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I think the future of entertainment is online and I’m so excited that the LGBT community and the creative minds within it are leading the charge. Thank you, Watermark, for introducing me to my newest guilty pleasure.

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SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

at every level. A simple starting point? Look at the platforms created by both parties and see which one best represents you and your family. ROSS WHITLEY ORLANDO



HE GAY & LESBIAN ADVOCATES & DEFENDERS (GLAD) is gearing up for an historic year in which one of its two challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will likely be heard at the United States Supreme Court. Our legally married plaintiffs have been denied federal marriage-related rights and bene�its. They’ve shared the details of their lives and relationships with judges, the media, and total strangers. They’ve waited patiently and courageously. It’s time they were treated the same as their married friends and neighbors. LEE SWISLOW GLAD EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR


Steve Blanchard EDITOR




time packing my duf�le bag, no doubt packing way too many clothes, as my partner and I prepare for our annual vacation. We’re heading west and will reconnect with a lot friends we only see once a year.

Typically I would be excited to see them all, especially one young woman who I had the opportunity to spend a lot of one-on-one time with a couple of years ago when she and her mother visited Florida. During that visit I learned her sense of humor was right in line with mine and our shared likes and dislikes were strikingly similar. We bonded, and have remained in constant contact thanks to Facebook and text messaging. But things may be awkward on


this trip, and it’s all related to how I react when I see her face-to-face. You see, she adamantly supported Chick-�il-A Appreciation Day in August, which boosted sales of the chain’s food to record-breaking numbers. It’s a subject beaten to death on social media, blogs and cable news channels. When Chick-�il-A honcho Dan Church shared that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting anti-marriage equality movements, the fast food chain became a spotlight for social

Publisher: Tom Dyer • Ext. 305 • Chief Financial Officer: Rick Claggett • Ext. 108 • Administrative Assistant: Erik Caban • Ext. 100 • Editor-in-Chief: Steve Blanchard • 813-470-0899 • Online Media Director: Jamie Hyman • Ext. 106 • Proofreading: Ed Blaisdell Art Director: Jake Stevens • Ext. 109 • Production Assistant: Andrés Duputel • Ext. 107 • Sales Manager: Mark Cady • Ext. 102 [Orlando] •

inequality in the country. Many saw support of the restaurant as a direct assault to their personal rights, while others simply saw Church’s stance as a First Amendment issue. Like many in the LGBT community, I was appalled that anyone could support a business that not only donated to antimarriage equality battles, but supported an organization that gave money to groups that supported the execution of gay people in foreign countries. It was a direct, personal attack on the LGBT community. When I saw the pictures of long lines of people anxiously awaiting their chicken on Aug. 1, it was disheartening. The sting of those pictures has faded somewhat, mostly because they were a sea of unfamiliar faces. But nothing hurt quite as much as reading the posts and viewing the pictures from my friend, who I will see within just a few days of writing this Editor’s Desk. Unlike my partner, and many others, I did not make a big deal of my friends’ actions as they related to this issue through Facebook. If you supported Chick-�il-A, I quietly removed you from my list of friends and moved on. That was statement enough for me. If you can’t support my basic rights, why should I share the simplest of things like my Friday night movie selection or the funny joke I heard at work? But “de-friending” on Facebook

is much different than facing a disappointing friend in real life. And I have to decide if that’s the step I want to take with this woman and, by association, her mother, whom I also have always liked. Do I embrace them with the warm hugs we’ve shared in the past, or do I simply nod in their general direction, avoid contact and hope the awkward silence forces one of them to ask me what’s wrong? My response to the inquiry is ready and loaded in my brain. I’ve played it over in my mind countless times—whether I’m standing in the shower, sweating in the gym or playing with my dog. But is it a speech I’m prepared to deliver in the cold, crushing way I’ve imagined? Am I justi�ied in unleashing this torrent of disappointment I’ve held onto for more than a month? This is not a response to a Facebook post, this is a personal encounter that can rede�ine a relationship. The woman in question has shared with my partner via text that she now “understands” why the LGBT community was so hurt by Chick-�ilA’s stance. But she hasn’t said anything about it to me. And admittedly, I’m completely in the dark when it comes to her mother’s views on the issues. My gut tells me to show her warmth, and �ind a way to bring up the subject in a non-combative way. But I’m not certain I can do that. Being indirect is not one of my strengths. Time will tell how I share my feelings, and regardless of the method, all I can hope is that some form of education gets relayed in the process. |  |

De-friending on Facebook is much different than facing a disappointing friend in real life.

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is the senior pastor of Tampa Metropolitan Community Church and is an LGBT rights activist. She lives in Tampa with her partner. PAGE 19


is the administrative assistant for Watermark and also a freelance contributor. He specializes in arts and entertainment interviews. Pages 23, 26


is a musician and journalist from New Jersey who now lives in St. Petersburg. He has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and an MA in writing. Page 35

Greg Burton, Erik Caban, Scottie Campbell, Amy Dees, Kirk Hartlage, Rev. Phyllis Hunt, Joseph Kissel, Ken Kundis, Mary Meeks, Stephen Miller, David Moran, Anthony Paull, Greg Stemm, Brett Stout, Louanne Walters, Stephen Warne

PHOTOGRAPHY Nick Cardello, Angie Folks, Tom Eckert, Julie Milford, Travis Moore, Chris Stephenson, Lee Vandergrift

DISTRIBUTION Debbie Oliver, Phil Garris, Ken Caraway CONTENTS of WATERMARK are protected by federal copyright law and may not be reproduced in whole or part without the permission of the publisher. Unsolicited article submissions will not be returned unless accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Although WATERMARK is supported by many fine advertisers, we cannot accept responsibility for claims made by advertisers. Publication of the name or photograph of any person or organization in articles, advertising, or listing in WATERMARK is not to be construed as any indication of the sexual orientation of such persons or members of such organizations. WATERMARK is published every second Thursday. Subscription rate is $55 (1st class) and $26 (standard mail). The official views of WATERMARK are expressed only in editorials. Opinions offered in signed columns, letters and articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the newspaper’s owner or management. We reserve the right to edit or reject any material submitted for publication. WATERMARK is not responsible for damages due to typographical errors, except for the cost of replacing ads created by WATERMARK that have such errors.

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.


orlando NEWS 8

The Center launches capital campaign Jamie Hyman



RLANDO | Central Florida’s GLBT Center will launch a capital campaign in an attempt to pay off its headquarters building located on Mills Avenue. According to The Center’s executive director, Randy Stephens, if he and the board of directors can raise $350,000 by March of 2013, they’d pay off the rest of the mortgage on the building and be able to operate debt free. They’re launching the campaign in the face of a looming balloon payment on the property, $350,000 due February 2013. Stephens said he and the board are “looking at different options” to address this deadline but they know it will not be paid in full unless “someone shows up with an endless supply of money.” He said the board would like to pay it down some and re�inance, but “we’re not at the point of panicking.” As far as any rumors that The Center will lose the building, “that’s not going to happen.” He did say it’s not appropriate to discuss details of what the options are at this time, as the Board is still exploring solutions. Stephens said he hopes it’s handled quickly but it’s moving a little slower than he expected. Stephens said the capital campaign is an attempt to pay off the Center’s mortgage and it’s a way to celebrate the 35th anniversary as an LGBT organization. “Everyone talks about how important the Center is and how glad we are that we have it,” he said. “That’s wonderful to hear but now we need the community to come through and show us that we’re important to the community.” Stephens emphasized that it’s a dif�icult time to fundraise right now, in the midst of campaign season. “We’ve decided we need to take more initiative and try to get our fair share,” he said. “I hate to ask for money but in all reality, we have not asked for major contributions like this since I’ve been here.” He added that his goals for the past two years have been to bring in and support more women, transgendered persons and seniors, and “we’ve done all three things but unfortunately, the money to support these groups has remained stagnant.” Donors can contribute at In addition to the capital campaign, the Center is launching two other fundraising efforts: a casino cruise and its �irst annual Black and White Gala. The cruise includes a bus shuttle from The Center at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 and the ship departs from Port Canaveral at noon. A $35 ticket includes bus transportation, lunch and $10 in slots credit. The Black and White Gala is Nov. 16 at the Abbey and according to Stephens, is “the prom we never got to go to.” Organizers request guests wear black or white semiformal attire. Tickets are $60 a person, $100 per couple and includes food and live music. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

Dozens of speakers from all sides of the issue spoke about an earned sick leave ballot measure, and a competing measure created to block that initiative, at a BOCC public hearing Sept. 11. PHOTO BY JAMIE HYMAN

Is the HRO at risk? County discusses charter amendment Jamie Hyman



RLANDO | Orange County Commissioners discussed a pair of proposals on Sept. 11, one of which raised concerns about a negative effect on LGBT employee protections currently in place. In August, Citizens for a Greater Orange County collected more than 50,000 petition signatures for a referendum on Nov. 6 that, if approved, would require many employers to provide paid sick time. In response, Commissioner Jennifer Thompson presented a competing ballot question, a charter amendment that would block the sick-time measure and possibly bar all county laws that regulate employer/employee protections. Some local LGBT rights activists fear that would negate the existing Human Rights Ordinance, which protects against LGBT discrimination. The public hearing began at 4

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

p.m. Dozens spoke both in favor of and against the earned sick leave issue and whether it’s right for the competing ballot question to be considered. Those in favor of earned sick leave include state representative Scott Randolph and Organize Now! leader Stephanie Porta. Local attorney Mary Meeks spoke against the charter amendment, warning “it will have consequences” for LGBT protections. Speakers

arguing that a sick time ballot measure was too confusing and should not appear before voters. Kest ruled that the suit was �iled prematurely. “The Court concludes at the time the case was �iled it was not ripe for adjudication... It is, at this time, a matter of speculation whether the petition will ever become a ballot initiative. That depends on what course BOCC takes,” the ruling said. It was �iled by a number of business groups including the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, the Central Florida Hotel and Lodging Association and the Home Builders Association of Metro Orlando. During the public hearing, an attorney for the business groups told commissioners about the decision and said they have 20 days to bring the suit back to court so they will re-�ile. For the results of the public hearing and an update on where the ordinances currently stand, visit |  |

The Court concludes at the time the case was filed it was not ripe for adjudication.” —JUDGE JOHN KEST

against earned sick leave include Jacob Stuart with Central Florida Partnership, an umbrella for business groups that includes the Orlando Chamber of Commerce. While the commissioners heard public comment on the proposed ordinances, Orlando Circuit Judge John Kest dismissed a lawsuit

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.


orlando NEWS

IN OTHER NEWS MBA DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR TO ATTEND LGBT EMERGING LEADERS EVENT Jason Holstein, Corporate Development Director of MBA Orlando, will be recognized as an Emerging LGBT Leader at a White House briefing and reception on LGBT Policy at the home of Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Jill Biden on Sept. 19. The briefing acknowledges the next generation of LGBT leaders ages 18-30. Holstein, 30, joined the Metropolitan Business Association staff in March 2012. VP Biden is credited with urging President Obama to publicly state his support of marriage equality earlier this year.

COMMISSIONER SHEEHAN HONORARY CHAIR FOR UPSTANDERS DAY Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan is the honorary chair for The Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center’s UpStanders Family Day on Oct. 14. The event is part of the Center’s UpStanders: Stand Up To Bullying initiative. Sheehan, Orlando’s first out city commissioner, will read a proclamation designating Oct. 14 as “UpStander Day” in Orlando and lead participants in an anti-bullying pledge. The hope is the anti-bullying message will expand to other students throughout the area. Upstanders Day will be held at Lake Eola and is in its second year.

School district, unions negotiate domestic partner benefits Staff report


RLANDO | It appears the Orange County School District is taking steps toward offering bene�its to the domestic partners of district employees. Representatives from the District, the teachers’ union and the district staff union met Sept. 7 for an initial discussion of the proposal, which was proposed several months ago by the

Orange County Classroom Teachers’ Association. The representatives discussed how to de�ine a domestic partnership, how to prove a couple is in a domestic partnership and whether children would also receive bene�its under the plan. The bargaining team sent the proposal to the fringe bene�its committee to work out those details and then it will go back to bargaining, according to Howard Middle School art teacher Clinton McCracken.

McCracken told local media that when his partner lost his job as a teacher, McCracken couldn’t add him to his bene�its plan because they are unable to be legally married. The next discussion of the issue is set for a meeting on Sept. 18. McCracken says the school board will also meet Sept. 20 for a workshop on adding sexual orientation to the non-discrimination policy. He said the union is asking that they also include gender identity and expression. |  |

Joy MCC. Ninety-six percent of the congregation voted in favor of Steed. Her recommendation came after a search process and interviews following the departure of Rev. Lisa Helig, who relocated to Georgia. “I look forward to helping continue the spiritual growth of Joy

MCC and its outreach to those in need of the good news of Jesus Christ’s radically inclusive love” said Steed in a media release. Steed currently lives with her partner in Houston, Tex., and plans to participate in Orlando’s Come Out with Pride celebration Oct. 6. |  |

Joy MCC installs Terri Steed as its new pastor Staff report Joy Metropolitan Community Church has a new leader. On Sept. 9, at a special meeting, the congregation voted to call Reverend Terri Steed to become the next senior pastor at

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SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19


Johan and Brandon met at work and a whirlwind romance later, they made a lifetime commitment. Each wanted to start their new life in a new home. After an exhaustive search, they chose Savannah at Park Central. They can join friends for drinks at Blue Martini, find the most recent fashions at the Mall at Millenia or relax at home in one of several pools, one of two fitness centers, 4 tennis courts, 2 sand volleyball courts or in the comfort of their spectacularly large 2 bedroom apartment. They are also looking to add a four-legged friend to the family. This is Johan and Brandon’s life at Savannah at Park Central. What will yours be like?

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SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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tampa bay NEWS

St. Pete Pride hires new executive director Steve Blanchard EDITOR@WATERMARKONLINE.COM


T. PETERSBURG | After producing the largest St. Pete Pride celebration in its 10-year history in 2012, the organization is now preparing for next year’s celebration with a new person at the helm. The organization’s board of directors has hired Eric Skains of Houston, Texas, as its new St. Pete Pride Executive executive director. Director Eric Skains Former executive director Chris Rudisill stepped down over the summer to accept a new position with Metro Wellness and Community Centers. For the past three years, Skains has served as executive director of Pride Houston, and when the organization changed its format after last summer’s celebration, Skains began looking for other employment. “Pride Houston was expanding and it was my idea to expand it into two different areas while the board members redeveloped their roles in the organization,” Skains said. “Now it has two operation managers rather than one executive director. I worked my way out of a job, but I wanted to do some traveling and do some other things. So the timing was perfect.” Skains, who was born in Philadelphia, interviewed for the St. Pete Pride position this summer and will step into his new role as its executive director on Sept. 17. He admits that while he isn’t familiar with St. Petersburg or its surrounding areas, he is familiar with what it takes to grow a successful Pride organization. “I’m not coming in to reinvent any wheels,” Skains said. “But the board is looking to expand the organization and they are in line with a lot of the things we worked on in Houston, such as expanding healthcare initiatives, community outreach and other areas.” Of course, Pride organizations are most known for their street festivals and parades. And while that’s an important element, it’s not the sole purpose of these groups, Skains said. In 2012, St. Pete Pride’s street festival brought out an estimated 100,000 revelers—the largest numbers in its 10-year history. Pride Houston boasted approximately 300,000 at its night parade this year. “The outside perception is that a Pride organization is a one-day event,” Skains said. “In reality it’s a yearround endeavor and the street festival is just a large Continued on page 14 |  |


watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

AND THEY’RE OFF!: More than 1,000 people start the 5K AIDS Walk Tampa Bay from Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg on Sept. 8. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD

Grand Total: $197,500 AIDS Walk Tampa Bay breaks records Steve Blanchard



T. PETERSBURG | It proved to be a record-breaking year for AIDS Walk Tampa Bay—beyond the $197,000 grand total that it brought to AIDS Service Association of Pinellas on Sept. 8. More people participated in the annual walk this year than ever before and team and individual fundraising goals shattered records set in previous years. That’s proof to AIDS Walk Tampa Bay coordinator Jay Aller that the walk has come into its own. “People are recognizing it and coming out to support it,” Aller said. “If you look out at the crowd you see there are more younger people, more women, than in the past. People realize that this is not a gay event and that AIDS is not just a gay disease.” The grand total of $197,000 includes the in-kind gifts of sponsors like Clearchannel, Watermark, Creative Loa�ing and other businesses that donated ad space or equipment. Even discounting their

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

top individual fundraiser was Balance Tampa Bay team member Mike Hammond, who raised $6,095. generosity from the grand total, it “We’ve never had an individual still shows an impressive $127,000 raise more than $4,000 before,” Aller in cash donated by participants. said. “For someone to raise more “If we didn’t have the support of than that was totally unexpected. We those in-kind donations, we would were in awe.” have had to pay out of pocket for DJ Aller credits the larger donations rentals, equipment, advertising, etc.,” to the activism of companies willing Aller explained. “So there is a lot of to match participants donations value to those donations.” dollar-for-dollar. Groups also held In all, 107 teams participated their own fundraisers throughout in AIDS Walk Tampa Bay 2012 the year to help bolster each team’s overall donation. For many who have experienced the AIDS Walks of the past in the —JAY ALLER, AIDS WALK COORDINATOR area, there were a few very noticeable changes. and 1,030 people checked in the For one, the walk was renamed AIDS day of the walk. GTE Financial’s Walk Tampa Bay this year. Despite team raised the most money being held in St. Petersburg, the with $19,952. In second was money raised from the walk bene�its St. Petersburg High School, which ASAP clients throughout Tampa Bay, brought a younger contingent to hence the name change. Another change was the starting point of the the walk. walk. Walkers gathered in Vinoy “Seeing the walkers from St. Pete Park in downtown St. Pete, several High was just amazing,” Aller said. “It shows we’re reaching more of the blocks away from its previous home, and the 5K walk took participants community each year.” Individual records were set by Joe on a new route, which included a jaunt up the St. Petersburg Pier. Brancucci of GTE Financial’s team, who brought in $11,001. The second

“We’re reaching more of the community each year.”

Continued on page 14 |  |

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tampa bay NEWS 14

|  | St. Pete Pride’s New E.D. from pg.12 fundraiser for the other work we do. There’s a model I follow that educates people on what you do with Pride.” Skains said that by looking at Pride Houston as a fundraising event, the organization evolved and went from being $40,000 in the red to bringing it back well into the black. “We had to refocus and gear Pride differently, in Houston,” Skains said. “It just didn’t work the old way. I think utilizing and telling people why we do the big event—that it raises money—is an important aspect of the organization.” While he hadn’t moved to St. Petersburg at the time he spoke with Watermark, Skains did say that he had a place lined up and was prepared to make the journey to the Sunshine State. He and his dog, he said, are looking forward to the change of scenery. “I’ve been to Florida before—Miami—but I’m excited to learn more about the culture of St. Petersburg,” he said. “And I think I’m one of the only people in the country who hasn’t been to Disney World, so I admit I’m excited to be so close to that and I plan to check it out.” With the late summer season lull behind us, Tampa Bay’s other organizations are in full swing with their events—from the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival to Sarasota Pride—and Skains is excited to make connections at every event he can �ind. “I plan to be involved and to get out there,” he said. “I’ll also network with the board and following their direction on where we should be going.” |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

Tampa to extend DP protections Staff Report


AMPA | The City of Tampa was the �irst on Florida’s west coast to offer unmarried partners the opportunity to register as domestic partners, opening a �loodgate of copycat ordinances around the region. Now, the city wants to take those protections one step further. On Sept. 4, the Tampa City Council asked its legal department to research options for offering equal protections to couples with domestic |  | AIDS Walk Tampa Bay from pg.12

“I’ve not heard any bad remarks about the name change,” Aller said. “Everyone seems to appreciate it. At least half of the participants are from areas other than St. Petersburg. So we wanted to acknowledge that this is a regional event.” Aller credited a team of 130 volunteers and committee members

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

partnerships registered in other cities and counties. “We want to give the broadest possible protection we can,” Councilman Harry Cohen said. In short, the council wants to �ind a way to recognize a partnership registered in, say Orlando, if that couple were to encounter an emergency in Tampa. It could also help lure new residents to the city, especially if a couple is registered in another area and don’t want to pay a fee to register again. Tampa approved its Domestic Partnership Registry in March and

began registering couples on June 28, just days before the 10th St. Pete Pride Street Festival. As of Sept. 1, 230 couples have registered with Tampa and 90% of those couples are of the same-sex. Since Tampa’s approval of its ordinance, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Gulfport have all passed similar ordinances. The cities of Treasure Island and Largo are in talks to create their own domestic partnership registries and the Pinellas County Commission has �lirted with the idea, but only in workshops. |  |

for making the walk a success, speci�ically naming Dale and David Kitt, Candy Godwin, Christopher Ramos, Dennis Lyons, Sheryl Hoolsema, Matt Moss, Greg Henchar, Chris Tate and Tim Beams. Money raised from the AIDS walk directly bene�its the clients of ASAP, Aller explained. It will help fund programs for family counseling, mental health services, its food pantry and more.

Unfortunately, the need doesn’t stop just because a successful fundraiser breaks records. ASAP is already planning its annual Santa Speedo Run for December. Details on that fundraiser will be announced at a later date. But in the meantime, walkers can prepare for next year’s AIDS Walk Tampa Bay, already scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 14, at Vinoy Park. |  |


ARASOTA | It took just 10 minutes for Circuit Judge Lee E. Haworth to accept the eviction order requested by the owner of the building that houses the Golden Apple Dinner Theatre. And now, after 42 years of performances, the landmark company is not offering any performances—at least for now. According to a story published in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, theatre owner Robert Ennis Turoff isn’t giving up just yet. He said that despite late rent payments, he’s hopeful that Great Lakes Development Co., which owns the building, will make a deal with him to let the historic company remain in its home. Turoff said that in summer

2011, a typically slow time at the theater, the landlord allowed the Golden Apple to pay half of each month’s $15,000 rent with the rest taken out of that $250,000 mortgage. “They wouldn’t allow us to do the same thing this summer,” he said. “If we had been able to do that, we wouldn’t be in this situation.” An attorney for Great Lakes told the judge that the theater owed about $45,000. Haworth said that proper notices were issued beginning in August and that the Golden Apple had ample time to prepare to move. It was no secret that The Golden Apple faced struggles during the recession. But in recent months, additions to its lineup that included the likes of Drag Queen Bingo, which often

sold out and had brought much needed attention back to the longrunning theater. Unfortunately, that didn’t prove successful enough for the business. Until the Golden Apple resolves its current situation, Drag Queen Bingo will take up residence at the Ramada Waterfront at 7150 N. Tamiami. There doesn’t seem to be any immediate plans to sell the building or to lease the space to another tenant. Turoff is hopeful that will give him plenty of time to remove his belongings from the building. The Herald Tribune reported that earlier this year, in an effort to stabilize its operations, the Golden Apple led a move to create a new non-pro�it group called PLATO (Professional Learning and Theatre Organization), which would pay rent for use of the

LOCKED OUT: The Golden Apple Dinner Theatre at 25 N. Pineapple Ave. in downtown Sarasota was evicted earlier this month for failure to pay rent.

theater building, while producing a season of plays and musicals and conducting theater-related classes for children and adults. The company’s �irst two shows, Moonlight and Magnolias and All Shook Up, did not generate enough business to provide the rent money expected by the Golden Apple. PLATO planned to launch a full season of shows in October. “We might need to take a step back, breathe and �igure out what’s the best next step,” said Shirley Brown, president of the PLATO board of directors.

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Turoff said that the theater still expects a six-�igure settlement from the BP Oil spill that occurred in the gulf in 2010. “We put a claim in last September. That’s now morphed into a federal class action suit against BP, but we’re told we should get a settlement,” he said. Turoff said he was puzzled by why the owners were so eager to evict the dinner theater “if they don’t have plans to do something right away with the building. They can’t want the building to be empty.” |  |

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Staff Report


Deputies post eviction notices at Golden Apple



Ocala students start year with new GSA


Wire Report


CALA, FLA. | A consent decree will allow the formation of a club designed to promote understanding among gay and straight students at an Ocala high school. U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard signed the decree and an order requiring Marion County school of�icials to permit the Gay-Straight Alliance at Vanguard High School. The decree settles a lawsuit the American Civil Liberties Union �iled on behalf of the alliance after the school’s principal and School Superintendent Jim Yancey prohibited formation of the club. The ACLU accused the of�icials of violating the federal Equal Access Act and freedom of association rights under the First Amendment. It’s the third such case the ACLU has won in Florida on behalf of the Gay-Straight Alliance. The others were in Okeechobee and Nassau counties. |  |

ADAP gets another boost Gideon Grudo


ugust looked good— only 31 people were on Florida’s Ryan White AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP) waiting list, according to a monthly report from the state’s Department of Health. And things are only going to get better. In July, the Obama Administration announced almost $70 million in grants to ADAP programs around the country. Florida will get $11,555,956 in total, more than any other state. “We clearly need more—but this really takes us down to where we’re under a hundred on the waiting list statewide,” said Joey Winn, Broward House’s director of public policy. “It solves the problem for a while.” But it was as recent as September 2011 when Florida’s ADAP waiting list sat at an all-time high of 4,100 applicants. “It will slowly start to creep back up,” Winn said. “It wasn’t enough

money to make this go away.” Money is awarded to individuals who apply to it through the state, which has an ADAP department. The state, which buys the drugs with funding like this, then dispenses it as if it were a pharmacy. “It took a long time to get here,” Winn said. “HIV drugs are so expensive that working people can’t afford them.” He’s talking about the $900 to $2,500 bills that an HIV-positive person will pay for medication. If therapy is involved, the price only goes up. In Florida, Winn said, the average yearly cost of HIV medicine is $16,000. Florida receives more than an eighth of the funds awarded nationwide. Asked to hold Florida’s ADAP program against other states, Winn said that each state has a different way of doing things— there’s no rule book—so comparing wouldn’t work. To add to the funding from the federal government, Florida lawmakers in the 2012-13

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Eligibility and enrollment for ADAP isn’t the only step to receiving meds. The next part is waiting, like the people in the counties below have to do, according to Florida ADAP’s monthly report for August. While this list comprises 31 applicants, in Sept. 2011 this list would have shown 4,100 applicants, an all time high for the state.

County Waiting Broward ....... 7 Duval ........... 2 Escambia ..... 1 Hillsborough .. 7 Marion ......... 1 Miami-Dade . 2

Orange......... 1 Palm Beach . 2 Pinellas ........ 4 Polk .............. 1 Putnam ........ 1 St. John’s ..... 2

Total ................................31

Legislative Session gave the ADAP program an additional $2.5 million. “Even one person on the list isn’t a good number,” Winn said. “But a hundred is manageable.” |  |

Editor’s Note: Gideon Grudo is a reporter with the South Florida Gay News and this article is used with permission.


HARLOTTE, N.C. | The Democratic National Convention held in Charlotte Sept. 3-6 was a watershed event for America’s gay rights movement, which never before has been embraced by a major political party. There was a platform endorsing marriage equality, a roster of speakers that includes three gay members of Congress, and a record number of LGBT delegates hailing from all 50 states—486 in all, more than 8% of the total. “We’ve been an underrepresented demographic in politics for a long

time,’’ said Jerame Davis of National Stonewall Democrats, a gay-rights af�iliate of the party. “Finally seeing us appropriately represented is just a thrill.’’ Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado, who introduced himself as a gay father, was one of several speakers during the opening session to evoke the party’s newly formalized support for marriage equality. “The America that I believe in ... is one in which loving families of all forms are respected and celebrated as the backbone of society,’’ he said, “Diversity is America’s strength.’’ The large role for LGBTs was a striking contrast with the Republican convention, which rati�ied a platform

opposing gay-rights priorities and was attended by perhaps a few dozen openly gay delegates. The Democratic party is still evolving on LGBT issues. President Barack Obama took of�ice in 2009 as a self-described ``�ierce advocate’’ for gay rights, yet activists were frustrated that he wouldn’t endorse marriage equality and wanted him to move faster to enable gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. The military’s ``don’t ask, don’t tell’’ policy was repealed a year ago, and in May the president completed what he had called a personal “evolution’’ by endorsing marriage equality. |  |

provide the taxpayer-funded surgery because it is the only way to treat Kosilek’s “serious medical need.’’ Kosilek was born male but has received hormone treatments and now lives as a woman in an all-male prison. Kosilek was named Robert when married to Cheryl Kosilek and convicted of murdering her in 1990. While courts around the country have ordered hormone treatments and psychotherapy as a remedy to gender-identity disorder, Wolf is the �irst judge to actually order sex reassignment surgery. “It’s great to see a judge recognize that transition-related health care is medically necessary health care,’’ said

Kristina Wertz, director of policy and programs at the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco. Massachusetts lawmakers, however, say the state should not be forced to pay for a sexchange operation, which can cost up to $20,000. U.S. Senator Scott Brown insists that the sex-reassignment surgery would be ``an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.’’ “We have many big challenges facing us as a nation, but nowhere among those issues would I include providing sex change surgery to convicted murderers,’’ Brown said in a statement. |  |

academic study of the military’s new open-service policy has found there have been no negative consequences whatsoever. The study, published Aug. 27 by the Palm Center, a research branch of the Williams Institute at UCLA Law School, found that there has been no overall negative impact on military readiness, unit cohesion, recruitment, retention or morale. The authors of the study, who included professors from all four

military academies, arrived at this conclusion after soliciting the views of 553 generals and admirals who predicted that repeal would undermine the military. “For almost 20 years, experts predicted that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly would harm the military,” said Aaron Belkin, the lead author of the study. “Now the evidence is in, and the conclusion is clear: repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ did not harm the military, |  |

Mass. inmate sex-change ruling praised, condemned Wire Report BOSTON, MASS. | A ruling ordering Massachusetts prison of�icials to provide sex-reassignment surgery to an inmate is being praised by advocates as important recognition that the surgery is a legitimate treatment for gender-identity disorder, even as critics including Sen. Scott Brown call it “an outrageous abuse of taxpayer dollars.’’ U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf ruled Sept. 4 in the case of Michelle Kosilek, a transgender inmate serving life in prison for murder. Wolf said the Department of Correction must

Study: No negative effects from DADT repeal Wire Report WASHINGTON, D.C. | Prior to President Barack Obama’s repeal last September of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the 1993 law that banned gay and lesbian service members from serving openly in the military, supporters of the law warned that a repeal would have disastrous consequences for the armed forces. One year later, the �irst

A gay couple has sued the Roman Catholic Diocese of Worcester, Mass., for allegedly refusing to sell them a mansion because church of�icials were concerned they would host gay weddings at the site. James Fairbanks and Alain Beret �iled suit after inadvertently being copied on an email from the chancellor of the diocese to the church’s broker saying to cancel the deal because of the “potentiality of gay marriages’’ at the home.


A Detroit-area lesbian couple says they have expanded their legal �ight against Michigan’s ban on adoptions by unmarried couples. April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, who have three special-needs children, say the lawsuit �iled Sept. 7 in federal court seeks to change state laws that prevent same-sex couples from marrying and adopting children.


Chile’s government is criticizing one of its top generals, Army Commander Cristian Chateau, after he told recruiters to be “especially concerned’’ about �inding soldiers who are “morally and intellectually prepared’’ for military service, and should exclude homosexuals. Defense Minister Andres Allemand said Sept. 7 that such ideas are completely opposed to government policy.


Wire Report



Record presence for LGBTs at Democratic convention



Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has joined Connecticut and New York in asking the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to rule that the Defense of Marriage Act— the law de�ining marriage as between a man and a woman–is unconstitutional. ``These married couples—our friends and neighbors in Vermont—have every right to fair and equal treatment by the federal government,’’ Sorrell said.


An openly gay Indianapolis teenager expelled for bringing a stun gun to school to ward off bullies is suing Indianapolis Public Schools. Seventeen-year-old Darnell ``Dynasty’’ Young alleges school of�icials did nothing to stop the ``relentless, severe harassment’’ he faced in school. The suit claims that school administrators told Young that he was to blame for the harassment because of his appearance.


Billionaire businessman David Koch has directed millions to Republican candidates but he disagrees with the party on same-sex marriage. “I believe in gay marriage,” the 72-year-old Koch told when asked about the GOP’s stance on gay rights on Aug. 31 at the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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Remember to remember




about the earliest memory of your life. Why did you remember that event? How old were you? What helps us remember names, faces, walking, riding a bike, multiplication tables, birthdays, anniversaries, lines in a play, information for an examination, etc.?

There are books, organizations, websites and professionals who offer techniques to help us memorize what we long to remember and how to forget memories that haunt us. Maya Angelou said, “Life is not measured by the number of breathes we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” But there’s more to remembering certain events than we may realize. Scientists estimate that if a person lives to the age of 80, then on average they will take 672,768,000 breaths in a lifetime! That spans a lot of memories. Is it simply a decision to remember something or is there more to remembering than intention? Science and the �ield of neurology offer signi�icant information about human brain function and what part of our brain powers memory. While I took anatomy and physiology in college my memory of the detailed learning had to be refreshed by a web search for this column, which led me to The website offers

education regarding the effects and impact of Alzheimers. “Your brain is your most powerful organ, yet weighs only about three pounds. It has a texture similar to �irm jelly. It has three main parts: The cerebrum �ills up most of your skull. It is involved in remembering, problem solving, thinking, and feeling. It also controls movement. The cerebellum sits at the back of your head, under the cerebrum. It controls coordination and balance. The brain stem sits beneath your cerebrum in front of your cerebellum. It connects the brain to the spinal cord and controls automatic functions such as breathing, digestion, heart rate and blood pressure.” The hippocampus is located in the cerebrum and it is this part of the brain that allows us to remember. Consider everything you have done in the last 24 hours. That’s approximately 23,000 breathes. How much did you remember? Most of us have a fully functioning hippocampus, yet much of what we do in a day is so much a part of our routine it is dif�icult to recall. The 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks just passed. Much of the nation has both a personal and a shared memory of that day. Many people lost loved ones and our country experienced vulnerability and fear not felt for two generations. Yet how many of us remember what we did on Sept. 11 in the years following 2001? How many of us remember what we did this morning? And what about our history— our LGBT history? Edmund Burke modi�ied George Santayana’s The Life of Reason, Vol.1, to read , “Those who don’t know history are [condemned] destined to repeat it.” People throughout the 20th and into the 21st century have made signi�icant sacri�ices for freedom, inclusion and equality. How do we remember them, and, more so, how fragile are the freedoms gained and what work is left for us? Are we so insulated by the “few” freedoms that we have that we think our work is over? If we knew our history, would it change how we live our lives, how we �ight for our freedoms? Recently, I of�iciated a memorial service for an 82-year-old woman. The room was lined with pictures re�lecting a spirited life lived with family, friends, food and libations. There was a time in the service for those gathered to share memories of her as well as a toast complete with her favorite cocktail. She was described as a woman who loved life and the people in her life,

who usually became her family. When asked the common question, “How are you?” She would most often respond with, “I am blessed!” For this woman, it mattered less whether her cup was half empty or half full. She was grateful for the opportunity to quench her thirst. Even at her service, memories of her life were created as those of us who attended will never again eat hamburger sliders, coconut shrimp or drink Baileys and cream without thinking about this woman and her legacy of life, laughter and love. We have but scratched the surface about how our brain captures our experiences. For some of us, our

memories will be cherished gifts that journey with us until our last breath; for others, they will fade with each breath. How we live and love will be the memories we make for ourselves and those we touch. Think about your life in reverse. What do you think will really matter to you as you near the end of your life? Now live it! Be intentional. Take pictures, keep a journal or write your own personal memoirs. You are promised the breath you are taking and maybe the next. I hope for you that your life will be a life you can call “blessed” and that your cup is full enough to quench your thirst. |  |

How we live and love will be the memories we make for ourselves and those we touch.

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

TALKING POINTS If proud Americans can be who they are and boldly stand at the altar with who they love,

then surely, surely we can give everyone in this country a fair chance at that great American dream.


of LGBT students say they feel unsafe at school

80% of transgender students feel unsafe at school —A GLSEN school climate survey released Sept 5, based on 2011 interviews




EW ORLEANS POLICE ARRESTED NINE PREACHERS SEPT. 1 AFTER THEY YELLED ANTI-GAY SLURS over bullhorns during a demonstration at Southern Decadence. The nine men, aged 22-52, were arrested on suspicion of aggressive solicitation, a city law passed last October. The new ordinance prohibits “any person or group of persons to loiter or congregate on

Jimmy Kimmel on Sept. 4. The 10th season of her selftitled talk show Ellen premiered on Sept. 10. That talk show has earned her four Emmys for outstanding talk show host. |  |

“I think that this was a really creative event and a great way for the church to raise awareness about marriage equality. It is a shame how a company like Chick-fil-A preaches

about ‘Christian values,’ yet practices the opposite by discriminating against the LGBT community.” —LAMBRINI

ON GAY DAYS VEGAS: “While it’s great for our community to get together for any reason, I miss the







ELLEN LANDS ON WALK OF FAME LLEN DEGENERES IS NOW THE 2,477TH STAR ON THE HOLLYWOOD WALK OF FAME. The actress, comedian and talk show host who made history by publicly coming out on her sitcom in the 1990s—and in real life—celebrated the honor with her wife, Portia de Rossi, and friends Ryan Seacrest and

...AND 9 LA

original purpose of Gay Day here in Orlando. It gave the general public a chance to see us together with our friends and family at the Magic Kingdom enjoying the park. It was not about big parties, or corporate sponsorship.” —ROB MCCULLOUGH

Bourbon Street for the purpose of disseminating any social, political or religious message between the hours of sunset and sunrise.” Another Christian soldier was arrested on suspicion of battery, resisting an of�icer and interfering with a law enforcement investigation. Craft allegedly punched an of�icer when he attempted to con�iscate his bullhorn. |  |


N LOS ANGELES, NINE CITY OFFICIALS—FIVE OF THEM COUNCIL MEMBERS—stepped front and center this month to pose for the NOH8 Campaign. The popular anti-bullying, pro-LGBT campaign slapped its signature logo and silver duct tape on the nine of�icials, including mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Clerk June Lagmay, City Attorney Carmen Trutanic, City Administrative Of�icer Miguel Santan, and councilmembers Richard Alarcó, Jan Perry, Tony Cárdenas, Paul Koretz, and Joe Buscaino. |  |





N SEPT. 21, FORMER GAY PORN STAR RYAN IDOL, ALSO KNOWN AS MARC ANTHONY DONAIS, will be sentenced in the murder of a former girlfriend. Last September, the 46-year-old was convicted in the 2009 attempted murder of the woman in her California home. Investigators say he smashed a toilet tank lid over her head following an argument. Idol, who appeared in gay porn �licks in the early 1990s, has asked for a new trial, claiming “ineffective assistance of council.” |  |



more large scale gay events means more LGBT community exposure and that’s always a good thing. 43%

29% Maybe

if the Vegas event effectively cross-promotes Gay Days Orlando, both would benefit and that would be good.

28% No

Vegas is less family-friendly than Orlando and so Gay Days Vegas will only promote negative gay stereotypes.

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19




Wanzie’s Celebrity Match Game opens at Footlight Theatre




steroids! Take Michael Wanzie, add 14 of Orlando’s marvelous mad caps and you have Celebrity Match Game. This farce is based on the old TV game show in which celebrities and contestants �ill in the blank, sort of like a Mad Lib, in the host’s set-up story. This version demonstrates what would happen if notable personas—some real, some �iction—like Annie, Joan Crawford, Cruella DeVille, Dolly Levi, Bruce Vilanch and Eric Cartman shared the infamous Match Game stage. Wanzie and Douglas White, the twisted minds behind Celebrity Squares, one of the biggest hits at this year’s Orlando Fringe Festival, Squares, bring that concept to Parliament House’s Footlight Theater every Continued on page 30 |  |

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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Bradley Cooper plagiarizing in The Words.

WHITE TRASH BASH: Emile Hirsch and Matthew McConaughey before things get really ugly in Killer Joe.


Unsavory Characters



Killer Joe Starring Matthew McConaughey, Thomas Haden Church, Emile Hirsch, Gina Gershon, Juno Temple

movie based on the 1991 play. It’s a comment on glorifying white trash, those same people we saw (and sometimes still see) populating daytime and reality television.They revel in their ignorance. They scream their dysfunction, and then the host— Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, and Montel Williams in the day—would give a pat moral.

Stephen Miller


Killer Joe has no moral, except that sometime it’s best to let the idiots kill each other. Hirsch is up to his neck in drug debt. His dealers are going to murder him soon. Hirsch talks dad Haden Church and stepmom Gershon into killing Mom (a woman we barely see) so that they can claim the little sister Temple’s insurance money. To this end, they hire psychopathic Dallas detective McConaughey—he knows how to get away with it.

Since they don’t have the money up front, the family lets McConaughey take Temple’s virginity. (She might be 16 and she’s also a little mentally ill.) They live in a dirty trailer of violence, �ilth, depraved sex and imbecility. It’s going to get worse—boy howdy!—and everyone is looking for a way to screw others over. The performances are great, even if they sell the dark comedy more than the grittiness. Also, these actors are otherwise beautiful, so buying their trashiness is dif�icult. However, once the thing starts rolling downhill, it’s impossible to look away from this bottom-feeder disaster. |  |

Tom Hardy is mesmerizing in Lawless.

The Words


Starring Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, Jeremy Irons

Starring Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, Guy Pierce



HOUGH I OFTEN GET OONSHINING INVINCIBILITY: ACCUSED OF LIKING OVERLY THE THREE BONDURANT COMPLEX MOVIES, here is one BROTHERS OF FRANKLIN proof that too many complications COUNTY, VA., WERE FAMOUS for their kill a �ilm. When all is said and done, criminal distilleries during Prohibition. about half of these characters are This violent trio also fostered a completely unnecessary. mountain legend that they could not Quaid is an old-timey author be killed. The Wettest County in the who’s written a story about a �ictional World is the biographical bestseller by author who lost a manuscript. one of their grandsons. Lawless is the Don’t get attached, because Quaid is movie version. �ictional, too. He’s a character in a lost Forrest (a wonderfully taciturn novel Bradley Cooper �inds Hardy) turns out a hundred and publishes as his own. gallons of hooch each week Jeremy Irons is an old writer RATINGS GUIDE for the mobsters in Chicago who probably lost Cooper’s and other big cities. Brothers plagiarized story about the LaBeouf and Clarke assist author who wrote a story him. One day, a stripper and Overflowing about an author who lost what probable prostitute (Chastain) with glittery he wrote. shows up in Franklin County fabulousness That’s what I mean by looking to lie low, taking a job in having too much junk. the Bondurant brothers’ family Pretty damn Obviously, this whole restaurant. About the same good, but it’s no shebang links to Ernest time, Pierce arrives in town. Sunset Boulevard Hemmingway’s early work, He’s a crooked special misplaced by his wife in a deputy, taking grift to let the An entertaining briefcase on a train. If only moonshine pass over county enough flick this had been that interesting. lines, punishing those who with perhaps What did Hemmingway and don’t play along to his dirty a few holes his wife say to each other deeds. right after? Where is that What emerges is all-out Ever so slightly briefcase now? mountain war. Long stretches watchable, just Instead, we have beautiful of down-home hillbilly stoicism for that hot actor women standing around but and silliness are washed over serving no deeper purpose. with wincing moments of Other things nag; Bradley violence. Through it all, the Two hours of your life you’ll Cooper is supposed to be Bondurants work to maintain never get back struggling, but his NYC loft their legendary power. is huge. Again, all the writer The movie’s pace is about clichés come out to play. as lackadaisical as a Southern drawl. Finally, I caught the poster on the The plot often smacks of more myth way out. There’s Cooper and Saldana than fact. Actually, a little Paul Bunyan making us think it’s a love story. truth stretching might have livened up Why even pretend Quaid, who is the otherwise dullish camera work. wonderful—all the acting here is—has However, the acting is solid, the mood is anything to do in this whole confusing decidedly gritty, and the characters are mess in the �irst place? |  | worthy of being added to the pantheon of American antiheroes. |  |

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.



My professional comedy career didn’t happen until I was out in L.A. Basically, after researching standup, I realized there weren’t a lot of women doing it. So, I decided that there needed to be more women in the �ield. There were a lot of issues not being talked about from a woman’s point of view. WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR COMEDIC INFLUENCES?

FUNNY GIRL: Comedian Loni Love brings her tour “Loni and the Lovers” to the Orlando Improv September 27-30. PHOTO COURTESY BRIDGE AND TUNNEL COMMUNICATIONS.

She’s Got

the Love COMEDY

Stand-up comedian Loni Love gives meaning to her surname




prominence for her straight-up comic sensibility and her support for gay rights, including marriage equality. Love’s support for gay rights in particular increased over the years with increased exposure.

The 40-year-old Love didn’t set out to be a comic. After a stint working on a General Motors assembly line in Michigan, she decided to get a degree in electrical engineering from Texas’ Prairie View A&M University. Soon after moving to L.A., she was inspired to hang up her helmet and hit the stage. Love �irst came to national attention nearly a decade ago


offering commentary for VH1’s pop culture series I Love The…, each episode focusing on a different decade. These days, she’s working on a book and currently part of a daytime talk show with Real Housewife Betheny Frankel, which airs on Fox. She’s a regular on national television, from truTV’s The Smoking Gun presents: World’s Dumbest to various E! shows and

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

most signi�icantly Chelsea Lately, where she appears biweekly. Love is constantly touring, including a stint at the Orlando Improv Sept. 27–30. Watermark caught up with the observational humorist to talk about why Variety and Comedy Central have both named her among their “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” her in�luences, and of course, love.


LONI LOVE: It’s a show called “Loni and the Lovers.” I’ll be hosting. I bring on two guys with me that are very funny. I want everybody to come out because we’re just going have a real good time. It’s going to be one big party that weekend.

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When I was a feature act, I opened for a lot of people that in�luenced me. I really liked their work ethic and their style of comedy. Bill Maher, Eddie Grif�in and “Weird” Al Yankovic; they actually helped me to see that comedy can be entertaining and informative as well. Standup is one of the last true forms of entertainment that’s un�iltered. People like to say, “Oh, I can look you up on YouTube” but I tell them, “No, there’s nothing like seeing it live.” Just like when you go see a singer. You might hear them on the radio but seeing them live is a whole different energy.


It’s fabulous! I’m so happy to be a part of her group and her brand. Chelsea does a lot—not only for the gays—but she also does a lot for women and comedy in general. I feel that because of her, there’s a resurgence of stand-up comedy. I know a lot of people that had never been to a comedy club will come see me because they saw me on her show. I have to give her kudos for that because if it wasn’t for her, we wouldn’t be seeing the resurgence. That and she puts up with me. Right now, everybody’s into the reality shows but like I said, comedy is the oldest form of entertainment and if you get somebody that can do it and entertain people, you want that support.


It’s very cool. Chelsea is just like she is on TV. This is not an act for us. What we do on the show is try to make people laugh. She runs her business very ef�iciently. We’re always on time. There’s no drama or anything like that. That’s why it’s so easy to YOU TWEETED IN work on her show. FAVOR OF JAY-Z She doesn’t censor BACKING PRESIDENT you; no ‘you can’t OBAMA’S STANCE ON say this’ or ‘you MARRIAGE EQUALITY. can’t say that.’ She I thought that it was wants people to be really nice that after themselves. When the president “evolved” you’re yourself, on his stance on gay that’s when the marriage, for people —LONI LOVE true funny comes like Jay-Z, who have out. And that’s in�luence, to make important in a statement, like “Hey, I got you.” comedy. People should be able to love whoever they want to love. And it IS THERE ANYONE SPECIAL IN THE seems we can always talk about HOUSE OF LOVE? when a celebrity does something There’s always someone in the bad or negative but here’s a person House of Love. I’m never by myself that’s backing a stance that is about for long. [Laughs] not discriminating against people.

“People should be able to love whoever they want to love.”


It’s going; I’m on chapter 7. It’s a whole different animal when you say you’re going to write a book. You have deadlines—certain marks that you have hit. It’s a very exciting process for me because this will be my �irst book. It’s a comedy/love/ advice book. It’ll be out next year in Spring 2013. It’s all comedy and just another form of me branching out to show my style of comedy. HOW IS IT WORKING ALONGSIDE A FELLOW LGBT FAVORITE, CHELSEA


I have the book. I’m helping Betheny Frankel out with her new talk show. She’s very engaging and it’s been such a different experience. Chelsea’s on late-night and Betheny is on daytime so it’s a different kind of model. There’s a few other opportunities. I’m trying to move into the daytime arena. I have a few other surprises coming up. |  |


WHO: Loni Love WHERE: Orlando Improv, Sept. 27-30 TICKETS:

STOP KISS by DIANA SON SEPT. 27-29, 2012 OCT. 10, 12, 14, 2012 The relationship between two friends is irrevocably altered with one kiss.

407-823-1500 |

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by ROBERTO AGUIRRE-SACASA OCT. 4-7, 11, 13, 2012 A scandalous video tape threatens to unravel the lives of students at a prestigious prep school.



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f L O R i d a


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THE FOOTLIGHT THEATRE… Saturdays, Oct. 6-27

Liz Langley’s The Queen and I A quirky, spooky comedy about “The Magic Mirror on the Wall” and its relationship with an “Evil Queen” of fairytale fame. Perfect Halloween fare from the popular former Orlando Sentinel humor columnist and recent book publisher, Liz Langley.

There is no theme to the show;

we’re not trying to send a message or trying to teach anything. —DOUG BA’ASER, WHO STARS IN MATCH GAME

Saturdays, Nov. 3- 17 and Monday, Nov. 26

The Temperamentals This off-Broadway hit offers a glimpse into the secret society of homosexuals during the late 1950’s “Mad Men” era. It’s based on real life persons who essentially formed the first gay rights movement long before Stonewall.

Saturdays, Nov. 24-Dec. 18 and Monday Dec. 20

Wanzie’s Glittering Star-Studded: A Christmas Carol Far from traditional, Michael Wanzie’s cracked version of A Christmas Carol has become a holiday tradition for the past three years. Wanzie’s comic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ tale assembles an all-star cast to act the story, played by a veritable cast of comedic crazies. Twistedly funny and wildly inappropriate casting: Carol Lee as Carol Channing as Scrooge, Gidget Galore as Liza Minelli as Tiny Tim, Doug Ba’aser as Marlee Matlin as Bob Cratchit. And Miss Sammy as Cher, who as the Ghost of Christmas Past belts out “If I Could Turn Back Time.” Pure Christmas Cher!


|  | The Match Game from pg.23

Saturday night in September and Monday, Oct. 15. Don’t expect the same show as Fringe, says Wanzie. The main difference between Celebrity Squares and Celebrity Match Game is that in Match Game every celebrity gets to respond to every question posed. “At Fringe there were performances where certain celebrities never got called upon to answer a question while others were called on repeatedly,” he says. “Everyone on stage has equal time to shine and I think it actually makes for a faster paced and more entertaining show.” Celebrity Match Game features a rotating cast of six characters per show, ensuring that every show will be totally unique. Hosted by Wanzie—in his own version of Gene Rayburn—each performance features a themed roster of “celebrities,” including local comedic gems Doug Ba’aser and Rich Kuntz, ala “Gidget Galore.” “Rich needs to stay home and take care of the dogs,” says Gidget Galore of her alter ego. The self-proclaimed “goddess” Galore returns to the stage after playing Liza Minelli in the Fringe production. In this run, she will

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embody a number of characters, including Betsy Ross. “I make no attempt to direct them whatsoever,” says Wanzie of the cast. “We do not rehearse the show as a group; it’s entirely improv. The most I can do is rein them in from time to time as I keep my one good eye on the clock. We do have time restraints.” With such an array of characters and strong personalities among them, you’d think it wouldn’t make for a cohesive environment. “Not at all,” says Galore. “We all [play] bigger, more exaggerated versions of celebrities and we are having a great time cracking up each other—and the audience.” Ba’aser shared the same sentiments. Ba’aser, who wasn’t able to be a part of the original cast because of his own Fringe show, Joan Crawford’s House Party, reveals that [this cast] is on their “A” game and he’s thrilled to be working with “some of the funniest people on the planet.” “I love the craziness backstage and on stage,” he says. “With this group— all of whom I have worked with before—you have to bide your time and only come out with real zingers.” Both Kuntz and Ba’aser have an arsenal of acting credits. Kuntz created “Gidget Galore” seven

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years ago when she won the “Anything Goes” talent show at the Parliament House. “I have always been an entertainer,” says Galore. “I love to make people laugh.” Not an easy task, he explains. “It does require some training, experience and humor to be able to reply with a witty comment or funny remark quickly and on the spot.” Ba’aser has been performing in Orlando professionally for 32 years. “I come from a funny family,” Ba’aser explains. “My grandpa was a riot. I have four brothers so I had to �ight for attention. I was really bored in school and became class clown.” When asked what they hope audiences take away from this performance, both candidly agree they want people to be talking about the show and tell all their friends to come see it. But mainly, they want their audiences to have a good time. “I want people to hurt from laughing too hard,” adds Galore. “I want the audience to come and laugh for an hour; forget whatever may be going on in their life and just come and laugh,” says Ba’aser. “There is no theme to the show; we’re not trying to send a message or trying to

teach anything. This is good, oldfashioned, silly fun. Don’t get me wrong, we have all worked hard to make sure the show is right but at the end of the day, if the audience has half as much fun as we are having, we will have done our jobs!” Gidget Galore and Doug Ba’aser will work with Wanzie later this year in Wanzie’s Glittering Star-Studded: A Christmas Carol, beginning in November. “What a fun gig that is,” says Ba’aser. “[The show] has become such a tradition in Orlando and the audience gets bigger and more diverse every year we do it. It is nice looking out into a packed house and seeing not only our regular gay audience but corporate of�ice parties and lots of older people. That show truly appeals to everyone—people of all ages, straight, gay—it is just a great night out. There was even a Republican who came last year! I think she liked it, although who can tell with those people?” |  |


WHAT: Celebrity Match Game WHERE: The Footlight Theatre WHEN: Saturdays in September, 7:30 p.m. and Monday, Oct. 15, 8 p.m. TICKETS:

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Stevie Nicks




Mac star is on tour again promoting her 2011 album, In Your Dreams, and will stop at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg on Monday, Sept. 24.


The GoGo’s

SEPT. 18 Hard Rock Live 407-351-LIVE

Stevie Nicks’ life has changed a lot over the decades, but she’s still the same gay-loved goddess of earthy rock she built her legend on. In Your Dreams is exactly how the gypsy queen left us—with that uniform sense of mystical otherworldliness that’s made Nicks a go-her-own-way virtuoso since her days with Fleetwood Mac. White horses, vampire tales and ethereal love parables all seep into this set, which is a perfect way to enter into the cooler, fall months of the year. This tour and the album is the first for Nicks after reuniting with Fleetwood Mac for 2003’s Say You Will. For tickets, visit The or call 727-898-2100. |  |


The Full Monty

SEPT. 14-23 Eight O’Clock Theatre 727-587-6751

St. Petersburg Cabaret

THROUGH SEPT. 30 freeFall Theatre 727-498-5205

Sarasota Applause




Chris Isaak

Girls Out Loud Music Festival

WENTY-FIVE YEARS INTO HIS CAREER, Chris Isaak says he has �inally created the album he’s always wanted to make, and he’s touring to promote Beyond The Sun with stops at Orlando’s Hard Rock Live Sept. 15 and St. Petersburg’s Mahaffey Theater Sept. 16. Isaak has always kept his personal life very personal and, although he has been rumored to be gay, he has never come

out or acknowledged the rumor. He has, however, always been a supporter of LGBT rights and marriage equality. The Wicked Games superstar brings his love of the glory days of Memphis’ Sun Studios onto his new album, which won’t be released until Oct. 18, but we’re expecting a preview on both the Orlando and St. Pete stages. For tickets, visit HardRockLive. com or |  |


ESBIANS FROM ALL OVER THE STATE WILL GATHER at Progress Energy Park in downtown St. Pete on Saturday, Sept. 15, for the Girls Out Loud Music Festival. There, headliner Hunter Valentine will be joined by performers Geri X, All the Pretty Cars and local performer Kelly Neff. The live music will, of course, be accompanied by

SEPT. 20-30 The Players Theatre 941-365-2494

Winter Haven Annie

food and drink vendors and a marketplace with a wide range of merchandise. The festival was created by Girl2Girl Productions, which specializes in women’s music festivals and destination women’s events. For a full schedule, details and tickets, visit Girl2GirlProductions. com or search for the company on Facebook. |  |

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SEPT. 20-OCT. 14 Theatre Winter Haven 863-294-7469

MORE INFORMATION For more events or to submit your upcoming show, concert or performance, visit

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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BIG decisions

Choosing the fiFilms screened at TIGLFF is no small undertaking





TIGLFF’s opening night film is Elliott Loves, and director Gary Terracino is scheduled to be at the Tampa Theatre during the screening Oct. 6.

Gay and Lesbian Film Festival is fast approaching, and runs Oct. 5-13. And while the event is a mere weeks away, preparations—including the �ilm selection process—have been ongoing since last spring. “The process starts of�icially in April,” says program director KJ Mohr. “But I’m looking for stuff yearround. We’re always looking at �ilms from other festivals such as Orlando, San Francisco, Miami, The Sundance, Toronto International Film Festival, and then we also get hundreds of

submissions every year.” These submissions are an important part of the pool, says Mohr, as they are often projects that would go otherwise unseen. But because the TIGLFF comes later in the season, �ilms that are not yet �inished in time for other

festivals are given an opportunity to be screened here in Tampa Bay in October, and this means that the TIGLFF is actually, in a sense, ahead of other festivals. “Sometimes, because of the timeline, we get premiers here that won’t come around to other festivals in, say, New York or L.A. until next year,” says Mohr. But not every submission makes the cut, and competition is stiff. Mohr says that this year the organization chose from 400 �ilms, and when the selection process completed, audiences will see fewer than 100 �ilms during the nine-day event.

Continued on page 39 |  |

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It’s Party time




Lesbian Film Festival is about �ilms, sure. But there are also plenty of events surrounding the festival that gets the community out of the theater seats and in social gatherings throughout the October celebration. The parties range in theme, from the 2012 launch party at the Tampa Museum of Art to the closing WRAPture party, which is a new feature this year. Here’s a quick rundown of a few of the don’t miss events taking place outside of the theaters this TIGLFF season.


Launch Party at the Tampa Museum of Art


ELEBRATE THE LINEUP OF THIS YEAR’S FILMS WHEN TIGLFF SHOWS TRAILERS AND RELEASES MORE DETAILS ABOUT THIS YEAR’S SELECTIONS. The TIGLFF Launch Party always brings out the who’s who of the community and this year is no exception. Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner are scheduled to speak and local performer Katheryn Nevets will present her best “Bette Midler” to entertain the crowd. Also on tap to attend is the comic duo Homo and Coco, fresh out of Hollywood, and 2012 Mr. St. Pete Pride Vinnie Marconi. A photo booth will be available to help those celebrating capture some memories. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the door. The party is 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The inaugural rally bene�its the Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (formerly known as the Tampa Bay Business Guild) and is literally within steps of the opening night �ilms. For details and more information, visit or


WRAPture closing party, Club Czar


OR THE PAST SEVERAL YEARS, THE FILM FESTIVAL HAS ENDED WITH TWO LATE NIGHT PARTIES in Ybor City for men and women. Sugar and Surge, as they were called, were both open to men and women, but each one was themed to attract just one gender. Despite their successes, many in the community voiced concern over segregation, and this year, WRAPture was born. The 2012 closing night party at Czar on 7th Avenue in Ybor City kicks off at 9 p.m. and tickets are only $10 in advance and $15 at the door. The large venue, FRIDAY, OCT. 5 which has several rooms, will still have the male/female themes. For the men, expect to see DJ Jalil Z out of New York City and a slew of hot Miami Latin dancers provided by Beat Puppy Entertainment. There is plenty to attract the women OR THE FIRST TIME EVER, A as well. Hostess and emcee babyBlue FOOD TRUCK RALLY WILL HELP of Orlando will mingle with the crowd INITIATE THE 2012 TIGLFF outside the historic Tampa Theater in downtown and the ladies of Peekaboo Lounge will Tampa. The rally features food trucks of all put on some spectacular performances. varieties and plenty of live music, beer and Also, local favorite Halcyon will perform some live music before DJ Irene takes wine will help push the celebration well over with dance music well into the early into the night. morning hours. |  |

Food Truck Rally outside the Tampa Theater


For tickets, visit


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Don’t miss these FIlms! TIGLFF always offers an abundance of incredible films, but with work and life schedules, it can be impossible to see them all. Here are a few selections that should be on your “Don’t Miss” schedule this year.

Elliott Loves

PIQUED INTEREST: Choosing films isn’t easy, but program director KJ Mohr knows that Floridians will have a unique perspective when viewing Unfit: Ward Vs. Ward, a documentary on a custody case involving a Pensacola lesbian and her ex-husband who was convicted of murder.

|  | The Match Game from pg.23

“So that means less than a quarter of the �ilms we look at and consider actually get selected,” says Mohr. Choosing exactly which �ilms make it to screens in Tampa Bay is a daunting task. “The selection process is really tough,” she says. “Every story is interesting in some way, and I often think ‘Gosh, I wish I could just show them all.’” Mohr says the foundation of the selection process comes down to the story. “That’s �irst and foremost. Is the story interesting the way it’s being told, have we seen this story a million times before?” she asks. “Generally, the ones that are being screened all over in other festivals are ones that the Tampa audience will want to see, but you’re also looking for things that our people are especially going to want to see in Tampa.” One prime example of this is the documentary Un�it: Ward Vs. Ward. The �ilm tells the story of a 1995 custody case in Pensacola, Fla., which involved a lesbian woman and her former husband. Six years divorced, and with mounting bills, the single mother requested an increase in child support payments. The father, who had been absent nearly all of the child’s life, �iled for a complete modi�ication of custody. The complex story unfolds as the battle rages over a child being raised by a lesbian

The film chronicles the life of Elliott, a smart, irresistible Dominican kid who transforms into a handsome man. The story is told in flashbacks and tackles the issues of family loyalty, the quest for love and the heartbreak that accompanies coming of age. Director Terracino is scheduled to be in attendance. 7:30 P.M., FRIDAY, OCT. 5 AT TAMPA THEATRE


KJ Mohr, TIGLFF Program Director

mother, or being put in full custody of her father—a man who had murdered his �irst wife. “It’s a story that is very current with gay rights, and is especially important to the state of Florida,” says Mohr. Another �ilm that Mohr is excited to have as part of the festival is Keep The Lights On, which tells the story of two gay men and their journey through New York City. “It’s just an excellent �ilm, and one

festival is only weeks away, and Mohr says that this is the most exciting time for her. “I like to deceive myself into thinking the work is over, but really it’s not,” says Mohr with a laugh. “Because, yes we have this great product, but now we have to get the word out. Now we’re working on �inalizing the program book, getting everything on the web, and organizing all the �ilmmakers who are coming, and trying to make a connection with community groups.” And the community aspect of the event is just as exciting to Mohr as the �ilms themselves.“What’s really exciting to me about this event is how —KJ MOHR, TIGLFF PROGRAM DIRECTOR much it’s about the of the things that really strikes me community,” she says. “You wouldn’t about it is that there’s no tension at believe how many couples have met all about the characters being gay, at the festival. Last year we had a they just happen to be gay,” says wedding proposal on closing night. Mohr. “And I think that’s something So many of my favorite couples that we really wouldn’t have seen that I’ve met there have said ‘We even 10 years ago at a gay and met at the festival!’ so that’s pretty lesbian �ilm festival.” awesome.” Mohr says this trend has In the end, Mohr enjoys seeing all increased throughout the years. the hard work and preparation pay “For younger generations, it off in one big celebration. isn’t an issue like it was for their “When you come into the festival parents,” says Mohr. “But I think we you realize ‘Oh right, this is why they can talk more about what our lives call it a festival’, because it’s a big are like and not have to dwell on the party, it’s fun, and it’s us celebrating dif�iculty of it.” our lives with these stories,” she says. And after more than six months “There’s really something here for of planning and preparing, the everyone.” |  |

“Every story is interesting in some way, and I often think ‘Gosh, I wish I could just show them all.’”

Oscar winner Olympia Dukakis is Stella, a hardnosed, old school lesbian in this sweet, funny story. Her love of 31 years is Dot, portrayed by Oscar winner Brenda Fricker. The two women are in their 70s and have enjoyed cohabitation for 30-plus years. But when Dot’s meddling granddaughter tries to commit her grandmother in a nursing home, the two women plan an “escape” to Canada so they can get married. Along the way they meet a hot young man looking for a place in this world. 5 P.M. SUNDAY, OCT. 7, AT THE TAMPA THEATRE

I Stand Corrected This documentary follows the journey of jazz bassist John Leitham and his transition to Jennifer Leitham. The story is more about the music than the transition of the performer. As a young man, John Leitham played with Jazz grates Woody Herman and Mel Torme. His perfect timing landed him a gig with Doc Severinson’s touring orchestra. In 2002, Leitham finally came out to the world as Jennifer, who takes on a new fascinating journey into music with the excitement of a child. Jennifer Leitham is scheduled to attend

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and perform live for the audience! 7:30 P.M., MONDAY, OCT. 8 AT MUVICO BAYWALK

Gayby Best friends Jenn, a straight woman, and Matt, a gay man, decide to make a baby the old fashioned way. The pair laughably plan their pairing while continuing their busy dating lives. They seem to have things under control, but of course, nothing goes according to plan and an adorable ensemble cast makes the film a very fun ride. 9 P.M., THURSDAY, OCT. 11, AT THE TAMPA THEATRE

Stud Life In London, the “stud” club culture refers to the lesbian scene of hot butches and beautiful femmes. JJ, a lesbian, and her best friend Steb, a gay man, are constantly on the quest for love. But their friendship is tested when the butch JJ meets the feminine Elle, who Steb sees as “trouble.” The movie is filled with an amazing soundtrack while the story explores questions about lifestyles not typically presented on screen. 7 P.M. FRIDAY, OCT. 12, AT THE TAMPA THEATRE

Bear City 2: The Proposal The Bears are back and this time they’re headed to P-Town! Tyler and Roger, who finally made it work at the end of the first film, are getting married during Bear Week. Kathy Najimy of Sister Act fame plays a hilarious “mother bear” while Kevin Smith (Clerks) has a turn as a wanna-be-bear. On this trip, we meet Tyler’s parents, who learn way more about the Bear culture than they anticipated as they prepare to have a son-in-law. 8:45 P.M., FRIDAY, OCT. 12, AT THE TAMPA THEATRE

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1- GIRL POWER: The girls of Karmic Tattoo take the stage at Georgie’s Alibi in St. Petersburg on Sept. 8. PHOTO COURTESY PROSUZY.COM

2- SET UP: Thompson Davis Kellett, left, gets some help setting up his banner prior to AIDS Walk Tampa Bay on Sept. 9. PHOTO COURTESY PAUL KINCHEN 3- VOLUNTEER SQUAD: (L-R) AIDS Walk Tampa Bay volunteers Dave and Dale Kitt pause for a brief moment while ensuring registration tables are ready for 1,000plus participants Sept. 9. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD




4- SHARE A LAUGH: Suzanne Westenhoefer entertains the crowd at the Palladium Theater in downtown St. Petersburg Sept. 8. PHOTO COURTESY PROSUZY.COM 5- ROLE MODEL: Tampa Police Chief Jane Castor introduces Suzanne Westenhoefer at the Palladium Theater Sept. 8. PHOTO COURTESY PROSUZY.COM 6- NIGHT LIGHTS: The Honey Pot in Ybor City transformed on Sept. 8 to welcome a glow party, complete with iridescent necklaces, black lights and hot dancers. PHOTO COURTESY CARRIE WEST 7- PARTNERS: (L-R) Kathie Michael and Rene Cossette speak to the audience before comedienne Suzanne Westenhoefer takes the stage at the Palladium Theater Sept. 8. PHOTO COURTESY PROSUZY.COM 8- HOMOCON HOOPLA: Jim LaSalvia of the national LGBT Republican group GOProud speaks to attendees of ‘Homocon’ held at The Honey Pot on Aug. 28. PHOTO COURTESY NICK CARDELLO






HE NEWLY OUT, SILVERHAIRED HEART THROB OF CNN WON’T BE IN TAMPA—or anywhere in Florida—after all. Anderson Cooper, who �inally came out of the newsroom closet this summer, was scheduled to bring his 360 World View Live to the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa this month. He canceled, citing “unforeseen circumstances.” Cooper also canceled his upcoming appearance at The King Center in Melbourne.

While no of�icial reason for the cancelations was given, rumor had it that ticket sales were sluggish. Several media outlets, including Watermark, reached out to Cooper for an interview prior to his appearance, but we were told repeatedly that he wasn’t doing any press before his tour. Maybe that’s why sales were less than expected?



ANS OF THE POPULAR GOSSIP SHOW TMZ GOT A SURPRISE recently when the show interviewed

conservative Republican Congressman Aaron Schock in the GaYbor District of Ybor City during the RNC last month. Not only was he caught in the gay section of town, he was right outside MC Film Fest, possibly the gayest site in all of Tampa! The show ‘quizzed’ the congressman—who, by the way, voted against the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, hate crimes legislation protecting LGBT citizens and supports a constitutional amendment banning marriage equality— about the rockin’ physique of Republican VP candidate Paul

Ryan. The congressman played coy about the VP candidate’s �itness routine and low body fat, and never seemed to get the irony of near naked models wearing Pride colors or his close proximity to the Ybor Resort and Spa as he talked about Ryan’s physicality.



HE VERY HANDSOME CHRIS MARTINEZ HAS STEPPED AWAY FROM HIS GIG AS A REPORTER with ABC Action News in Tampa Bay. The out journalist spent nine

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years covering news items in Tampa Bay and announced he was leaving the station after his �inal story on Aug. 31. Martinez has been a staple on and off the air in Tampa Bay, attending several LGBT events, including the Pride & Passion fundraiser at the Tampa Museum of Art. He has yet to announce what the future holds for him postABC Action News, but he has promised on both his personal and professional Facebook accounts that he’ll share the next chapter of his life very soon. We wish him the best! |  |

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1- ART OUTREACH: Artist and photographer Brendan O’Connor (left), alongside Terry Olsen, Director of Orange County Arts and Cultural Affairs, launch the ArtReach Orlando Bithlo Project exhibition Sept. 5 at the Orange County Administration Office. PHOTO BY SCOTTIE CAMPBELL


2- ON THE ATTACK: Katie “Erin Go Brawl” Wagner goes in for a hit against Meagan “Mistress of Mayhem” Miles at the Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls Sept. 9 roller derby bout, The Straight Jackettes vs. The World. PHOTO BY PHANTOM PHOTOGRAPHICS 3- EYE CATCHING: The corner of Mills and Virginia got a lot gayer when local artists put up this “Walk On By” piece, one of several that were part of The Corridor Project, a recurring experiment to put art in public spaces. PHOTO BY BRENDAN O’CONNOR 4- TOM SAWYERS: Rollins College freshmen participate in a day of service in August by whitewashing the “graffiti wall” near The GLBT Center. PHOTO BY RANDY STEPHENS


5- NEW VENUE: Blue Starr (second from left) gathered with friends and fellow performers at the soft opening of The Venue, Starr’s new performing arts home base located in Ivanhoe Village. PHOTO COURTESY NICKI JAY

6- GAY DAYS WEST: Coco Montrese (left), Larry Edwards and Andrew Ryan strut their stuff at the Macy’s kickoff event during Gay Days Vegas Sept. 5. PHOTO COURTESY COCO MONTRESE 7- RALLY TIME: Margo and Jack Dixon, await the arrival of the President at an Obama campaign rally Sept. 8 at the Kissimmee Civic Center. PHOTO BY RANDY STEPHENS




8- NO GEEKS HERE: The Big Bang Theory actress Kaley Cuoco spent some time web slinging with Spider-Man near Stan Lee Boulevard at Universal’s Islands of Adventure on Sept. 2. PHOTO COURTESY OF UNIVERSAL ORLANDO



RLANDO MAYOR BUDDY DYER HAS JOINED WITH COMMUNITY LEADERS, including Florida Theatrical Association President/CEO, Ron Legler for the launch of See Art Orlando, a public sculpture community project designed to enhance the aesthetic experience and cultural image of Downtown Orlando through the installation of iconic works of art throughout the city. “This is the decade for the arts in Orlando - from the construction of the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts to this new

collaborative project, the arts are thriving in our community,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a press release. SEE ART ORLANDO is a non-pro�it organization comprised of members from United Arts, Downtown Arts District, Orange County Cultural Arts Advisory Board, City Arts Factory and Florida Theatrical Association. The �irst phase of sculptures is expected to be installed by the Summer of 2013. “Public Art enriches our quality of life and will engage both visitors and residents alike,” said See Art Orlando’s spokesperson, Jennifer Quigley. “Our vision is to have artists from across the globe and here

at home create contemporary sculpted art that re�lects our young, dynamic community’s spirit.” For more information,



N SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, MACY’S AT THE MALL AT MILLENIA WELCOMED FLORIDA NATIVE AND PROJECT RUNWAY ALLSTAR KENLEY COLLINS as she hosted an exclusive shopping party. Along with the International Academy of Design & Technology Orlando’s most star-studded students showed their favorite trends of the season and discussed how

to put it all together. Collins started an international trend with her feather fascinators after appearing on Bravo’s Project Runway in 2008. She has also appeared on E!’s Oscar 2011 pre-show, Live with Regis and Kelly, The Biography channel, and Project Runway All Stars on Lifetime.




SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

expert insight and answered résumé questions in this lighthearted and interactive presentation. He explained why “your résumé should be full of sh*#.” As a Fortune 100 recruiter, Vedder has conducted over 5,000 interviews. His book, Signs of a Great Résumé became the #1 best-selling résumé book on recently. Scott has presented at a number of universities, networking groups and chambers of commerce and has been interviewed on television and radio. Fore more info., |  |

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AMETHYST ANNIVERSARY: Jim Savarese, left, and Jim Payne of New Port Richey celebrated 33 years together on Sept. 5, 2012.



Local Birthdays

Sarasota RV enthusiasts Alice D’Souza and Irene Mirkovic celebrate 16 years together and four years of Canadian marriage bliss on Sept. 20.

Straight ally and mama bear Dee Richter (Sept. 14); derby girl and diehard Green Bay Packers fan Jill Powers (Sept. 15); St. Pete artist Barry Rothstein (Sept. 17); St. Pete filmmaker and bartender Jeff Klein and Orlando Do-Gooder Bob Kodzis (Sept. 19); Gabe Medina, also known as “DJ Trypsin” (Sept. 20); Florida Mall director of marketing Thearon Scurlock, Hogwarts student Heather Murphy and Walt Disney Port Orleans Resort lobby concierge Gerry D. Evans (Sept. 21); Former Watermark art director Charlie Carballo (Sept. 23); fabulous Tampa Bay fashion designer Ivanka Ska and Pulse Nightclub co-owner and Broadway Across America Orlando President Ron Legler (Sept. 24); The Club at Firestone’s Brian “Lucky” Smith, white trash party event coordinator Nathan Schifflett, Showboyz lead male dancer Skyler Cross and copywriter and former Watermark Orlando ad sales rep Kevin Thornton (Sept. 25); EO Inn & Urban Spa’s general manager Eddie Cooper, dirty bingo enthusiast Nikki Naser, gay bar star Janine Klein, Keep Orlando Beautiful Coordinator Jody Goostree and Watermark Director of Online Media and straight ally Jamie Hyman (Sept. 26).

St. Pete-based 6S Boutique owners Andrew and Sasha Citino celebrated four years of marriage on Sept. 2. The Center Board President Jay Lovell and his partner Scott Stowell celebrate 12 years together on Sept. 16. Watermark editor Steve Blanchard and his partner, Phil Garris, celebrate four years of legal California marriage on Sept. 18. Watermark Director of Online Media Jamie Hyman and her husband, Matt Huertas, celebrate three years of marriage Sept. 19.

Are you making a Transition? Having a birthday or anniversary? Did you get a new job or promotion? See your news in Watermark! Send your Transition to or go to - it’s that easy!

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.



Ask for compromise when cohabitating DEAR TRUTH,


Y GIRLFRIEND ELIZA AND I HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR ABOUT FOUR YEARS. She is the �irst person I’ve met that I’m truly comfortable with, and I love her very deeply. Eliza moved into my house about nine months ago, and we’ve managed to iron out most of issues without much discussion. There’s one thing that we can’t settle, however, and that is her habit of repeatedly hitting the snooze bar on her alarm clock every morning. Eliza has to leave for work an hour before me and she sets her alarm two hours before that, then hits the snooze over and over. It drives me crazy! I’ve asked her to change her routine, but she says it’s the only way she can wake up in the morning. I know this is a little thing, but it’s making me tired and cranky. What would you do? —Weary in DeBary Dear DeWeary, Moving in together and blending your lives is an expression of love and commitment, but it’s also a journey of how to navigate around each other’s idiosyncrasies. My �irst advice is to get some great earplugs. I’m not sure that will work, but it’s worth a try. That way, you can sleep through the constant ‘snoozing’ dance she plays with her alarm clock. It would then be on her to ensure that you get up before she leaves. Eliza, in essence, becomes your own personal alarm clock. If that doesn’t work, the onus is really on Eliza. Living with someone takes compromise and what she’s doing may be the ‘only way’ she can get up in the morning, but if it is robbing you of necessary sleep, she really needs to be more thoughtful. If the earplug route doesn’t work, I would sit her down and explain the impact her constant reaching for the ‘snooze’ is having on your life, your health, and your sleep patterns. Not getting enough sleep is not a trivial

matter. If she is a loving and caring partner, she’ll cool it and learn to get up when the alarm rings the �irst time (or maybe the second). Here comes the Truth: it doesn’t seem like too much to ask.



AM A 28-YEAR-OLD SINGLE GAY MAN WORKING FOR A LARGE COMPANY IN THE TAMPA AREA. One of the guys I work with, Brett, started a softball team and asked me to play. I played baseball in college and I work out regularly so I’m pretty athletic, and most of the guys on our team are really hot, especially Brett (he was a quarterback in college). After our games when we go out for beers, Brett always asks me questions about my personal life and he seems unusually preoccupied with my sex life and gay sex. I know Brett is married but it’s clear he’s �lirting with me and, quite frankly, I like it. He always �inds a way to grab my shoulder or rub against my leg, and he doesn’t look away when we make eye contact. I can’t stop thinking about this guy and I’m pretty sure he feels the same way and is just waiting for me to “open the door.” What should I do? —Out in Left Field

If his other half was a man, and not a woman, what would your reaction be?


watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

Dear Outie, What should you do? Well, let’s take an inventory. He’s straight, at least as he selfidenti�ies, and he’s married. Let me ask you a question: if his other half was a man, and not a woman, what would your reaction be? I would certainly hope it would be to say ‘thanks, but no thanks’ and to have some private thoughts about that person’s character. The fact that he is married to a woman complicates this even more. Frankly, this is not the sort of situation an intelligent, respectful person should get involved in. Here comes the Truth: keep that ‘door’ closed, do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. Just don’t. Move on and �ind a nice gay boy. |  |




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Staff Report

Staff Report



ALTIMORE, MD. | Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has some choice words for an anti-marriage equality Maryland delegate: “I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life. They won’t come into your house and steal your children. They won’t magically turn you into a lustful cockmonster.” The conversation began when linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo of the Baltimore Ravens spoke in favor of gay marriage being legalized in Maryland. In turn, Maryland state delegate Emmett C. Burns, Jr., wrote a letter to Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti to urge him to “inhibit such expressions from your employee.” “As a Delegate to the Maryland General Assembly and a Baltimore Ravens Football fan, I �ind it inconceivable that one of your players would publicly endorse Same-Sex [sic] marriage, speci�ically, as a Raven Football player,” wrote Burns, a Democrat and a Baptist pastor. He proceeded to argue that it was not Ayanbadejo’s place as a pro athlete to step into a controversial political issue. Ayanbadejo has written opinion pieces and appeared in television ads supporting marriage equality in Maryland, where the measure is on the ballot this November. Burns went on to say he was unaware of any other NFL player to endorse marriage equality and directed the team to “take the necessary action, as a National Football Franchise Owner [sic], to inhibit such expressions from your employee and that he be ordered to cease and desist such injurious actions.” Hundreds of miles away, in Minnesota, Kluwe wrote a letter of his own to Burns, admonishing him for his “vitriolic hatred and bigotry.” “[I am] ashamed and disgusted to think that you are in any way responsible for shaping policy at any level,” he wrote, stating that Burns violated the First Amendment by admonishing the Ravens. “It

Alabama school gets flap for ‘that’s gay’ banner

NFL ALLY: Vikings punter Chris Kluwe has had enough with politicians fighting marriage equality. baf�les me that a man such as yourself, a man who relies on that same First Amendment to pursue your own religious studies without fear of persecution from the state, could somehow justify sti�ling another person’s right to speech. To call that hypocritical would be to do a disservice to the word. [Amazingly] obscenely hypocritical starts to approach it a little bit.” The full letter is posted online at The brouhaha over Ayanbadejo has lit up the blogosphere while news organizations like the Associated Press have not yet touched the subject. Ayanbadejo took to Twitter to defend himself. “Football is just my job it’s not who I am,” he tweeted. “And just like every American I have the right to speak!!!” The Vikings’ Kluwe wasn’t so polite. In a long response, Kluwe said he was “disgusted” by the politician’s “vitrolic hatred and bigotry.”

“I can assure you that gay people getting married will have zero effect on your life,” writes Kluwe, adding that he wonders how Burns can be so “mind-bogglingly stupid.” The letter has brought even more national acclaim to Kluwe, who even got a mention by Ellen DeGeneres on the Sept. 11 airing of her daytime talk show. There, DeGeneres praised Kluwe, and called Kluwe’s response “a beautiful, amazing, brilliant letter,” before noting, “He has some interesting ways to curse.” Burns, who has received criticism from around the country, spoke to the Baltimore Sun on Sept. 9. “Upon re�lection, he has his First Amendment rights,” Del. Emmett C. Burns Jr., said in a telephone interview. “And I have my First Amendment rights. … Each of us has the right to speak our opinions. The football player and I have a right to speak our minds.” |  |

PANISH FORT, ALA. | Spanish Fort High School received some unwanted attention after its big football matchup against Daphne High School this month. The game was televised nationally on ESPN, and so was a controversial sign held by a group of students in the stands. The sign read, “Purple? Man, that’s GAY.” Purple is one of Daphne’s team colors. A screen shot of the banner made headlines Sept. 5 on Yahoo, NBC Sports and, among other websites. “It was a gimmick to get national attention, and they were successful at that,” said Baldwin County Schools Spokesman Terry Wilhite. “What they won’t be successful at is doing it again.” Wilhite says the school district isn’t taking the sign lightly, and wants to send a clear message that intolerant behavior is unacceptable. “After the game, the students were spoken to. And then back when school resumed the students were again spoken to by the principal and he, believe me, will carry out a disciplinary action,” Wilhite said. The problem with the sign, according to Cyd Zeigler, founder of, is that the use of the word “gay” as an insult does immeasurable harm to LGBT youth still struggling with their sexuality. “They’re not trying to pay the other team a compliment, they’re trying to insult them,” Zeigler says. “And to use the word ‘gay’ as an insult, it’s demeaning and incredibly offensive.” Wilhite did not give speci�ics on how the students who held the banner will be disciplined. The decision will be up to the Spanish Fort principal. |  |


Marriage Equality pits NFL players against Maryland politician

Trans high schooler joins football team Staff Report

GROSSE POINTE, MICH. | High school student Seth Knop became the �irst transgender student to join the school’s football team this month. And while that’s headline-inducing to begin with, the acceptance of his AIDS Walk Tampa Bay teammates and the community is even more so. “The kids in my grade respect me a lot for it,” Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012 Knop told the school’s newspaper. “They treat me Vinoy Park, St. Petersburg like everybody else, which is what I wanted. [A fellow Steve Blanchard player] came up to mePhotos the otherby day and told me he had a lot of respect for what I did. I just told him I was doing what I love.” Several teammates have called Knop a role model for “going against social norms” |  |

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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ORE THAN 100 TEAMS WALKED FOR AIDS WALK TAMPA BAY 2012 on Sept. 8 and raised $197,500 for AIDS Service Association of Pinellas. The annual walk was renamed this year to re�lect the entire Tampa Bay community and participants followed a new route, which included the Pier.

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

Photography by Steve Blanchard EDITOR@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

SEPT. 13 - SEPT. 26, 2012 // ISSUE 19.19

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Watermark Issue 19.19: Tampa Internation Gay and Lesbian Film Festival  

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