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DAYTONA BEACH • ORLANDO • TAMPA • ST. PETERSBURG • SARASOTA • ISSUE 20.01 • JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 • WATERMARKONLINE.COM

Re con struc tion Zone

Bill Bennett’s Orlando fitness program reflects his experience and medical know-how

YOUR LGBT LIFE. 3 months after violence took his friends,

a Kenwood man plans to rebuild Bette Midler:

Proud to be a gay icon


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Diversity means PAGE you’ve got to put up with some 16 right-wingers like me, too.

DEPARTMENTS 6 // MAIL 8 // ORLANDO NEWS 12 // TAMPA BAY NEWS 16 // STATE 17 // NATION & WORLD 25 // ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 29 // EVENT PLANNER 31 // TAMPA BAY OVERHEARD 33 // ORLANDO OVERHEARD 39 // TAMPA BAY MARKETPLACE 40 // TRANSITIONS 41 // ORLANDO MARKETPLACE 46 // CLASSIFIEDS 45 // ADVICE

— REP. DENNIS BAXLEY, R-OCALA, DISCUSSING FLORIDA’S TWO OUT LEGISLATORS

ON THE COVER

PAGE Bill Bennett’s journey to

the founder 35 becoming of his own, successful

boot camp in Orlando took him to nursing school, a DJ booth, a battle with addiction and finally, a positive outlook on physical fitness. Photo courtesy Lee Vandergrift

Preview

PAGE

25

ICONIC ROLE: Ever since she worked in the New York baths, Bette Midler has been a gay icon. Now, as she stars alongside Billy Crystal in a new film, the multiple award-

winning performer talks about her iconic status and her connection to the LGBT community.

WATERMARK ISSUE 20.01 // J AN. 3 - J AN. 16, 2013

ORLANDO NEWS

TAMPA BAY NEWS

PAGE The board of Dr. Phillips

PAGE After losing his home and

SCREENED OUT

HEALTH+FITNESS

Read it online!

SCAN QR CODE FOR

WATERMARKONLINE.COM

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

08

Center for the Performing Arts decided to self-produce Broadway touring shows, raising concerns with its supporters; Hope and Help heads into 2013 with new officers in place; more.

12

two friends to an act of violence in 2012, Kenwood Neighborhood resident Mitch Harrison looks to rebuild his home and life in 2013; after months of rumors, Quench Lounge is set to open its doors in Largo Jan. 18.

PAGE On the stage, Les Misérables

26

is a grand, sweeping spectacle. But unfortunately, it falters on screen. Critic Stephen Miller says the film showcases two-dimensional characters belting turgid opera while the camera sits three inches from their noses, for three hours.

PAGE It’s a new year, which

there are new fitness 35 means trends—and nothing is

trendier than themed runs. Whether athletes are outrunning a staged Zombie Apocalypse or getting dowsed with colored powder, these runs will no doubt continue growing in 2013.

THE HOLIDAYS ARE OVER, BUT THERE IS STILL PLENTY TO DO. SUBMIT YOUR EVENTS TO WATERMARKONLINE.COM. JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR IGNORED AND INSULTED

“To be totally ignored by Watermark is, well, frankly, insulting.”

I

JUST GOT DONE READING WATERMARK’S TOP 5 ORLANDO STORIES OF 2012. I am excited to see that the Domestic Partnership Registry and the OCPS policy amendments were two of those stories. However, I am surprised that you didn’t even mention the Orlando AntiDiscrimination Ordinance Committee. The volunteers of OADO worked tirelessly to make those protections a reality. We have never sought fame or applause for our work on the 14 ordinances and policies that we have updated to make our community a better place, but to be totally ignored by Watermark is, well, frankly, insulting.

W NOT O UP

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MICHAEL SLAYMAKER FOUNDER ORLANDO ANTI-DISCRIMINATION ORDINANCE COMMITTEE

AN UPLIFTING STORY

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HANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INSPIRING AND UPLIFTING STORY OF BILL KANOUFF in your year-end issue of Watermark [Issue 19.26]. From the dramatic cover photo to the last sentence of the story, I was mesmerized by the tale of this courageous

—MICHAEL SLAYMAKER

and inspirational man. To maintain such a positive outlook after facing such a tragedy is remarkable. For him to step forward and to not only remain a voice for the local LGBT community, but to show other amputees that life does indeed go on was an amazing story to share with friends for the holidays. JERRY LARSEN SARASOTA

KEEP UP MOMENTUM

2

012 WAS A TRANSFORMATIVE YEAR FOR THE FREEDOM TO MARRY. And 2013 may be even bigger. In 2012 we paved the pathway for President Obama’s support, led the campaign to secure a freedom to marry plank in the Democratic Party platform, and won the freedom to marry at the ballot in Maine, Maryland and Washington. We now must turn this irrefutable momentum into more wins in 2013.

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KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK

I

JUST READ STEVE BLANCHARD’S EDITOR’S DESK RECAPPING THE PAST 12 MONTHS AT WATERMARK [Issue 19.26]. I was thrilled to see the format evolve at the beginning (of 2012). I found myself looking forward to the news content in every issue. It’s nice to have a news source in the LGBT community that isn’t hung up on “pretty pictures” of dancers or adult stars or the so-called “news” from the bar culture. While bars are important in our community, we must remember that we are in every aspect of society—both nationally and internationally. Here’s to a successful 2013 for Watermark. I can’t wait to see what you do the next 12 months. EUGENE TYLER ORLANDO AND BOSTON


editor’s

Steve Blanchard EDITOR

SteveB@WatermarkOnline.com

I

Desk

’VE NEVER CONDUCTED A POLL, BUT I would bet that at least 90% of us are unhappy with the way we look.

We wish we had fewer wrinkles and scars and— probably most commonly— better bodies. The LGBT community is incredibly driven by visual stimuli. Ads promoting everything from spa services to beer feature beautiful men and women in the prime of their lives rocking bodies that rival those in Hollywood. And in the age of new technology, we’re �looded with photos and videos of our dream men or women in poses we would never imagine for ourselves. It’s easy to appreciate beauty—but it’s even easier to be intimidated by it.

WATERMARK STAFF

Like most, I knew what I found attractive at a young age. The well-de�ined, muscular and rugged men in my life held my attention. Not only did I desire to physically interact with that speci�ic body-type, I dreamed of one day having a body like that myself. Throughout high school and college I was very thin, a feature that was only accentuated by my tall stature. When I �inally peaked at six-foot-three-inches in college, I weighed approximately 150 pounds. Summers were awful. While my friends, baseball teammates and relatives would strip off their shirts to run toward the

pool or the creek during those hot months, I made sure I had an excuse for why my T-shirt stayed on. If I did have to go shirtless, I would rarely raise more than my chin above the waterline to conceal my thin frame. Even the cold winter months in Missouri didn’t bring total comfort. My basketball practices always placed me on the “skins” team. I was more concerned about how my body was perceived than guarding my opponents. My father, who was always in good shape, knew I was unhappy with my appearance and constantly tried to convince me to lift weights with him in our basement. But I wasn’t interested. When I was in high school, I avoided the weight room in “Jock Hall.” The equipment was intimidating, as was the gym coach, and I was convinced my lack of strength would catch the attention of those wellbuilt classmates I had secretly lusted after throughout my school career. It wasn’t until well after college that I �inally decided to approach �itness differently. Ten years ago this February I stepped into a small gym across the street from the daily newspaper where I served as news editor. After many—very many—invitations from the gym’s owner, I took my �irst serious step inside and made a commitment to spend my lunch

hour at the gym for three months. I’ve never regretted that decision. A decade later, I’m still chasing goals and challenging myself. But I have more con�idence now than in any other time of my life. But of course, I’ll never be satis�ied. That porn-star physique and the sexy bartender build with the broad chest and huge arms always seem just out of reach—no matter how well things go at the gym. There’s inborn body dysmorphia in all of us, and we sometimes fail to see our accomplishments. Instead, we focus on the image of our former selves. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. I always wonder if my arms compare to those of the man’s checking out in the next lane at the grocery store or if my chest stands out like that on the guy who just came out of the locker room. In 2012 I reached my goal weight of 220 pounds. While many work to drop pounds, I’ve worked hard to put on and maintain weight. While it’s true I’m no longer afraid of losing my shirt, I am still challenged by the images of �itness portrayed through advertisements and the media. But I remind myself that I’m not Mark Wahlberg and I’m certainly not a WWE wrestler. I am just like everyone else chasing an ideal physical image I constantly displayed before me. As we embark on a new year and a �istful of resolutions, we must remember to make changes for ourselves, not anyone else. And as we reach small goals, we �ind encouragement to go after the larger ones. Happy New Year! |  |

It’s easy to appreciate beauty—but it’s even easier to be intimidated by it.

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TAMPA BAY OFFICE TEL: 813-655-9890 FAX: 813-849-2986

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

CONTRIBUTORS STEPHEN MILLER

is a long-time Watermark contributor and author of Screened Out, our movie reviews column. He is also an Orlando playwright and business consultant. Pages 26

KIRK HARTLAGE

is an Orlandobased journalist an DJ and a former full time employee of Watermark. He specializes in celebrity interviews. 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 LEE VANDERGRIFT

is a graduate of the Ringling College of Art and Design, majoring in Illustration with a minor in Photography. He lives in Orlando with his partner. Contact him at LeeVandergrift.com. Cover, Page 35

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.

7


orlando NEWS

Hope and Help gets new leadership, location Jamie Hyman JAMIE@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

O

RLANDO | There are some new faces around the of�ices of Hope and Help of Central Florida, Inc. June Ings is the agency’s new development director, taking over the reins from Maggie King, who held that position for more than a decade. The organization has also hired a new events manager, Chris Hessler. “Chris has been a strong supporter of the agency for many years,” said Duane Hoyle, the organization’s volunteer manager. “June has a lot of experience working with Fortune 500 companies, so she brings a wealth of experience and information to the organization.” Hessler will run Hope and Help’s signature events such as the AIDS Walk and the Headdress Ball, while Ing will manage fundraising that is not events-related. The organization has also announced the date of the 2013 AIDS Walk—it will take place May 18 Hessler said his goal is to double the number of walkers and bring in 4,000 this year. He calls his new position “a lifelong dream,” and said the cause of the agency is something he really cares about. “When you’ve seen people you care about suffer through HIV and AIDS and die, it motivates you to do something really good,” he said. “I found it incredibly exciting and a huge privilege to dedicate 100% of my time to bringing in money and making sure patients are provided with care.” Additionally, Hope and Help is in the process of opening up a second location on Colonial Drive, next to Publix. Hoyle said that’s where their client services will be located. The grand opening party will be Feb. 11, Hessler said. “We’re in Winter Park, and it can be challenging for clients to reach us if they rely on public transportation. Now, we have a bus stop right down the street,” he said. “Our prevention department has already moved over there, and rest of client services will move over in January.” |  |

MyFlexRadio.com ceases Staff report

ORLANDO | Gay-owned and operated MyFlexRadio.com is no more. The internet radio station had been around since 2005. In a posting on their website, the staff announced the company’s shut down, blaming it on “unfair taxation and fees” targeted at the station. MyFlexRadio.com of�icially went off the air at midnight Dec. 30. |  |

8

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

ON TRACK: Construction of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts continues across the street from Orlando City Hall and should be completed in 2014.

Facing criticism DPAC decision to self-produce surprises, upsets supporters Tom Dyer

TOM@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

O

RLANDO | Anticipation is building as the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts takes shape across from City Hall. Scheduled to open in the fall of 2014, the striking new $386 million facility will replace the antiquated Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre and bring shows and concerts within walking distance of the downtown residential core. But supporters were taken aback by a Dec. 13 decision of the DPAC’s executive board to kick the Florida Theatrical Association to the curb and self-produce Broadway touring shows. For many, it raised concerns about the management and future viability of the ambitious but expensive facility. FTA has presented touring Broadway shows in Orlando for 24 years. It is af�iliated with Broadway Across America, a “powerhouse company that controls 70% of Broadway tours,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. That includes exclusive deals with major

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

Broadway producers. Rod Legler has been FTA’s president for 13 years. Legler and partner Andrew Springer are also active members of Orlando’s LGBT community. “[DPAC’s] board needs to reconsider this decision,” wrote Ted Maines, who along with partner

series’ have grown from 5,500 to 8,500. Many believe DPAC would not have been built without that base of support. “I don’t think [DPAC] should be in the business of hurting local arts groups,” Legler said. “It shouldn’t be the goal to take out a major local arts organization.” The executive board justi�ied the decision by saying they would save $700,000 annually by selfproducing. “Every dollar we save is a dollar we don’t have to raise,” said DPAC board chairman Jim Pugh. Ironically, unless an additional $75 million can be raised to build an all-important acoustic hall for the Orlando Philharmonic and Orlando Ballet, DPAC will be dependent on Broadway productions. There are indications that fundraising has grown dif�icult, and this controversy could alienate potential donors. Legler will meet with DPAC in January to see if a working relationship can be salvaged. If not, Legler says FTA will continue to produce Broadway touring shows at a different venue. |  |

I don’t think the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts should be in the business of hurting local arts groups.” —RON LEGLER, FTA PRESIDENT Jeff Miller was named the city’s top ‘Power Couple” by Orlando Magazine. “FTA has proven expertise in growing membership, creating community loyalty and handling the intricacies associated with presenting touring Broadway productions. Self-producing could prove disastrous.” Under Legler, season subscriptions for the Broadway

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The Zebra Coalition received a special holiday delivery from City of Orlando District 4 commissioner Patty Sheehan, who dropped off nine bicycles and helmets donated through her Wheels for Kids program. Sheehan, right, is pictured with Zebra Coaltion executive director Dexter Foxworth, left, and an Orlando youth.

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hazing. The report comes from the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the state university system. It ordered the investigation after the death of FAMU band drum major Robert Champion in Orlando 13 months ago. Champion, who was gay, died in November after being beaten by fellow band members during a hazing ritual

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Quench eyes mid-January opening Steve Blanchard EDITOR@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

L

ARGO | Residents of central and north Pinellas County will have a new bar in 2013 when Quench Lounge opens its doors the week of Jan. 18. The new bar, catering to an LGBT clientele, will open within the same complex as the now-closed Christopher Street Bar at the corner of Ulmerton Road and 66th Street. “We knew by Christopher Street and Z109 before that that there was a large contingency of LGBTs in that area,” said Steven Rodriquez, who is the bar’s VP of operations. “The plaza is a perfect location for a new bar and we’re using a larger space.” The new club will be open seven days a week from 2 p.m.-2 a.m. and will cater to a wide range of tastes—all while remaining welcoming within a modern and trendy atmosphere. “Quench is an all-welcoming gay bar,” Rodriquez said. “Men, women, allies, the transgender community—it will be comfortable for everyone. It’s casual but trendy.” Quench is supported by a team of �inancial backers, who Rodriquez said wish to remain as silent partners. But all of those involved in the creation of the bar have a background in business. “The partners have a background in development and building multi-million dollar complexes,” Rodriguez said. “They have development, administrative and construction experience. They are also bringing �inancial support.” Rodriguez is bringing his 30-plus years of marketing experience to the table, plus hospitality experience. He owned a bar in Port St. Lucie and is a former DJ and bartender. “We’re planning on live music as well as dance music,” Rodriguez said, adding that Quench has hired Bruce Devery as its resident DJ. Devery was the resident DJ at Christopher Street before it closed this summer and has also worked at The Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg. The 2,700 square-foot club features 12-foot ceilings, a dance �loor, nickel-plated hanging lamps and a VIP section, according to Rodriquez. “What we want to do with Quench is appreciate the community and show that we’re a part of it,” Rodriguez said. “We’re more than just a bar with good deals. We’ve already reached out to several local charities—Metro, ASAP and St. Pete Pride—to schedule different shows and bene�its for them.” To keep up with Quench Lounge, visit Facebook. com/QuenchLounge or call 727-754-5900. The club is located at 13284 66th St. N. in Largo. |  | For updates on this story, visit watermarkonline.com.

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

REBUILDING HOPE: Mitch Harrison overlooks the empty lot where his home once stood and where two friends were murdered in 2012. In 2013 he plans to rebuild his home and life in the Kenwood Neighborhood. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD

A new beginning Mitch Harrison lost his friends and his home to an act of violence; 3 months later he’s trying to move on Steve Blanchard

EDITOR@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

S

T. PETERSBURG | Mitch Harrison gave himself a very special and very speci�ic gift the day after Christmas. He watched as a bulldozer pushed down the remains of his Kenwood home, closing a painful chapter in his life as he embarks into 2013. The demolition was nearly three months to the day—Sept. 30—that Harrison’s friends, Bruce Johnson and Arthur Regula, were murdered in the bungalow. St. Petersburg police say Michael Norris, a felon with an extensive criminal record, escaped a work-release program and shot the two men before setting the home on �ire that sunny, Sunday afternoon. “Seeing the house get bulldozed was emotional,” Harrison told

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

Watermark in his �irst interview since the �ire. “But it’s over and done. Walking into that house (afterward) never bothered me, but I and my neighbors have had to look at it. They could see it. Smell it. So it going down was another step of healing for them and for me.” Johnson, 51, was Harrison’s best friend and was temporarily living in the bungalow while he helped renovate the kitchen. The two men were not romantically involved, but grew close ever since they met during happy hour at Georgie’s Alibi more than two years ago. “We spotted each other and thought, ‘Hmmm...,’” recalled Harrison, who is currently renting a house a block away from his former home. “Then we thought, ‘Nah, we’re better off as friends.’ He was an amazing guy to me. He was one of those people who always did everything for everybody. He moved

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into my house because he was redoing his own home. I told him to stay with me during the renovation and he helped me redo my kitchen. Interior decorating was his forte. “He was living there and helping me while I helped him. That’s what friends do.” Harrison didn’t know Regula as well, but had grown to like the 36-year-old, who he last saw tiling the laundry room before leaving for lunch with his then-boyfriend that day. “One of the last visuals I have of him is him sitting on the �loor with his legs crossed, smiling while Bruce and I hung blinds and cut up,” Harrison said. “He said, ‘I love working with gay people.’” Two hours later, Harrison received phone calls from his neighbors, telling him that his home was on �ire. “I hurried back to the house, calling and texting Arthur’s and Bruce’s phones,” Harrison said. “I was asking, ‘Where are you?’ and ‘What’s going on?’ They never answered. I still have those texts.”

Continued on page 14 |  |


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tampa bay NEWS

|  | Mitch Harrison from pg.12

TOTALLY RANDOM

The random act of violence that ended two lives and affected countless others in the quiet, historic neighborhood in St. Petersburg was unpredictable and falls into the realm of chance. However, Harrison is left wondering why his life was spared while his friends’ were not. “I’ve had meltdowns as I’ve wondered, ‘Why not me?’” an emotional Harrison said. “Why Bruce? Why Arthur? I’ve wondered over and over. I could have been there.” St. Petersburg Police investigators say the crime was random, and that Norris did not target the home. The murder and arson was not a hate crime and there is no evidence that Norris’ actions were motivated by homophobia. “I hated when people asked me if I thought it was a hate crime,” Harrison said. “That frustrates me. My sexuality had nothing to do with it.” And the tragedy is not about

admits that the recent tragedy him, Harrison said. It’s about has tested his faith. However, he Johnson and Regula, who lost hasn’t lost it. their lives in a senseless act “I’ve started leaning on my of violence. Harrison is still F-Cube—Faith, Family and frustrated with the whole chain Friends,” Harrison said. “Those of events and wants to know why three things get you through Norris chose his home as a target anything. that day. This is by far the most tragic “I’ve wondered, ‘Why me?,” event of Harrison’s life, but he’s Harrison said. “Why am I going faced hardships through this before. He and who’s has battled supposed cancer, to learn a HIV and lesson—if there survived is a lesson?” open-heart That’s partly surgery. why Harrison He’s reached out to convinced Watermark to God is share his story. —MITCH HARRISON there to “Could the take care reason for of him. (the tragedy) be this story?” he “I’m just moving forward,” wondered. “Or maybe a random he said. “People are asking if I’m person walking down the street okay. On Facebook that week I and asking me about the house? had people from my hometown I believe God has a reason for (of Tuscaloosa, Ala.,) reaching out, everything and that there’s a saying things like ‘We’re not sure meaning behind this.” what’s going on but our prayers Harrison just doesn’t yet know and thoughts are with you.’” what that reason may be. FINDING HIS F-CUBE Those messages, he Harrison grew up in a said, helped him during his religious, Catholic home, and darkest hours.

Stop. Are You Sure?

“The house is gone and I don’t have to look at it now. I can focus on putting my home back together.”

“I would look back and re-read those posts,” he said. “When you see someone else reaching out, it keeps you going.” Even three months later, members of the LGBT community, his neighbors and his Facebook connections continue to keep tabs on him. Even when someone says that they don’t know what to say, Harrison encourages them to interact. “I tell them to just say, “How are you?” or “Are you okay?’” he said. “I’m not a person who reaches out but I’m learning that I have to let other people help me.”

MOVING FORWARD

Since the murders, Harrison said he is more aware of his surroundings than ever before and makes sure that doors are locked whenever he’s home. “I’m hypersensitive to my surroundings,” he said. “The alarm is set at all times, I hear every noise and I always lock the door.” He said he’s not scared, but he wants to feel safe—and he plans to feel safe when he rebuilds later this year. Plans are already underway to rebuild on the now-vacant lot, and the new home will be

equipped with state-of-the-art locks and a security system. Once it’s built, Harrison will go through the 32 boxes of knick-knacks and personal items salvaged after the �ire. He hopes to host a housewarming party this summer. “I’m having to start my life over a little bit,” Harrison said. It will take awhile to make the new house feel like home again, but Harrison is con�ident that he’s making the right decision to remain in St. Petersburg and to rebuild his home on the same lot where he lost two friends to tragedy. “I can’t run from it. This is a great neighborhood and this has become my home,” Harrison said. “I’m ready for the next step. The house is gone and I don’t have to look at it now. I can focus on putting my home back together.” The new house will look similar to the old one lost in the �ire, but will have the addition of a wrap-around porch—a feature to which Harrison is especially looking forward. “When I move in I’ll have a porch party,” he said. “It’ll be a chance to not only celebrate the new house, but to celebrate the lives of Bruce and Arthur.” |  |

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state NEWS

Florida’s first gay legislators settle in

McBride, gay rights advocate, dies

Wire Report

Wire Report

B

ill McBride, the Florida Democrat who came out of nowhere to defeat Janet Reno for the party’s 2002 gubernatorial nomination but then lost to Republican Gov. Jeb Bush, has died at the age of 67, his wife said. McBride suffered a heart attack Dec. 23 while visiting with family in Mount Airy, N.C., said Alex Sink, who was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010, losing to nowGov. Rick Scott. McBride had suffered from heart problems for many years but, Sink said, ``this was very sudden and unexpected.’’ Sink said McBride’s legacy as an advocate for civil rights outshines his brief political career. “He was always a promoter of equality,’’ Sink said, adding that her husband championed survivors of the Rosewood racial massacre, pro bono legal work and gay rights. “He was always promoting more minorities in the law,’’ she said. Former state Sen. Tom Rossin, who was McBride’s 2002 running mate called him “a real Floridian, who felt very strongly about the state and its future and its ability to deal with the challenges we have.” |  |

T

ALLAHASSEE, FLA. | As state legislators begin the New Year, two of them will make history as the state’s �irst— and only—out, elected of�icials. Rep. Joe Saunders, D-Orlando, and Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, both secured their posts in the 2012 election. Richardson won his August primary and was unchallenged in November. Saunders was elected Nov. 6. In a legislature where milestones passed in recent years include the election of the �irst HaitianAmerican lawmaker, and a CubanAmerican House speaker, Saunders and Richardson also see themselves as pioneers. “You’ve got to be sitting at the table,’’ Richardson, 55, said of the importance of their election. “This is not my quote, but someone has said, `if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.’’’ With an LGBT population

estimated at more than 600,000 people, second in size only to California, Florida had been the nation’s largest state without any openly gay legislators, according to the Washington, D.C.based Victory Fund, a political advocacy organization. With the election of Richardson and Saunders, only 14 states now have no openly gay legislators, said Dennis Dison, a Victory Fund spokesman. More than 100 gay lawmakers hold of�ice, he said. ``It is a very big step for Florida.’’ Richardson, an accountant, was elected in August, winning a Democratic primary over three rivals and facing no Republican opposition. Saunders defeated a primary opponent and then went on to win over Marco Pena in November. John Stemberger, head of the Florida Family Policy Council, spearheaded a 2008 voter initiative that put Florida’s same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution. He said the personal lives of Saunders and

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Richardson are not his concern. “But the danger would be if they try to promote the homosexual agenda in Florida,’’ Stemberger said. Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, a former chairman of the Christian Coalition of Florida, who also worked on the constitutional ban, said he respects that voters sent the two men to the Capitol. “Elections are a re�lection of our state and people will bring very different perspectives,’’ Baxley said. ``Diversity means you’ve got to put up with some right-wingers like me, too.’’ Saunders and Richardson, though, said they see themselves primarily as state legislators pursuing wide-ranging policy agendas. The fact that they’re gay is part of the experience they bring to the Capitol. But it’s not the central issue they plan to build their political careers around, both lawmakers said. |  |


Wire Report

court’s decision to grant his request to delay its implementation. “This law is politically motivated to interfere with counselors and clients. Liberty Counsel is thankful that the 9th Circuit blocked the law from going into effect,’’ Staver said. ``This law is an astounding overreach by the government into the realm of counseling and would have caused irreparable harm.’’ Backers of the ban say the state is obligated to outlaw reparative therapy because the practice puts young people at risk and has been rejected by every mainstream mental health association. After signing SB1172, the governor called the therapies it would outlaw “quackery’’ that ``have no basis in science or medicine.’’ |  |

the Log Cabin Republicans call Hagel ”Wrong on gay rights, wrong on Iran, wrong on Israel.” “Tell President Obama that Chuck Hagel is wrong for Defense Secretary. Help us create a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party,” the ad concludes. In 1998, Hagel questioned whether an “openly aggressively gay” nominee could be an effective U.S. ambassador, a comment that led gay rights groups to voice doubt about his nomination. That

quote is featured in the Times ad. Hagel apologized and retracted the comment on Dec. 21, and the Human Rights Campaign welcomed him as an ally of the gay community. Republican senators have argued that Hagel will face a tough con�irmation process. While Hagel served with many of them in the Senate, he has made enemies with his outspoken opposition to the war in Iraq as well as his recent endorsements of Democrats in competitive races. |  |

gay marriage in places like France and Britain. In his remarks, Benedict quoted the chief rabbi of France, Gilles Bernheim, in saying the campaign for granting gays the right to marry and adopt children was an ``attack’’ on the traditional family made up of a father, mother and children. ``People dispute the idea that they have a nature, given to them by their bodily identity, that serves as a de�ining element of the human being,’’ he said. ``They deny their nature and decide that it is not something previously given to them, but that they make it for themselves. ``The manipulation of nature, which we deplore today where our environment is concerned,

now becomes man’s fundamental choice where he himself is concerned,’’ he said. It was the second time in a week that Benedict took on the question of gay marriage, which is currently dividing France, and which scored big electoral wins in the United States in November. In his previously released annual peace message, Benedict said gay marriage, like abortion and euthanasia, was a threat to world peace. The Vatican went on a similar anti-gay marriage media blitz last year after three U.S. states approved gay marriage by popular vote. |  |

Log Cabin Republicans attack Hagel in ad Wire Report NEW YORK, N.Y. | A gay Republican group has taken out a full page ad in The New York Times criticizing former senator Chuck Hagel and declaring him un�it to serve as secretary of defense. Hagel, a former Republican senator from Nebraska, is considered a top potential nominee to replace current Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. In the Dec. 27 ad,

Pope denounces LGBTs in Christmas address Wire Report VATICAN CITY | The pope pressed his opposition to gay marriage Dec. 21, denouncing what he described as people eschewing their God-given gender identities to suit their sexual choices—and destroying the very ``essence of the human creature’’ in the process. Benedict XVI made the comments in his annual Christmas address to the Vatican bureaucracy, one of his most important speeches of the year. He dedicated it this year to promoting traditional family values in the face of gains by same-sex marriage proponents in the U.S. and Europe and efforts to legalize

MARYLAND TROLLEY OWNER NO LONGER OFFERING WEDDING SERVICES The owner of an Annapolis trolley company says he’ll no longer offer wedding services because he opposes marriage equality. Discover Annapolis Tours was a longtime fixture of the city’s wedding scene, and owner Matt Grubbs acknowledged that the decision will cost him $50,000 in revenue. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is illegal in public accommodations in Maryland.

WEBSITE HELPS DUTCH CATHOLICS “DE-BAPTIZE” OVER GAY MARRIAGE Thousands of Dutch Catholics are researching how they can leave the church in protest of its opposition to gay marriage, according to Tom Roes, the creator of a website aimed at helping them find the information. Roes said traffic on ontdopen.nl—”de-baptise.nl”—had soared from about 10 visits a day to more than 10,000 after Pope Benedict’s latest denunciation of gay marriage this month.

WISCONSIN COURT UPHOLDS DOMESTIC PARTNER REGISTRY Gay rights advocates scored a major win Dec. 21 when an appeals court ruled Wisconsin’s domestic partnership registry was constitutional. Conservatives had argued the registry bestows a status similar to marriage on samesex couples and violates a 2006 state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage or anything substantially similar to it. Conservatives plan to appeal the decision to the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

nation+world

S

AN FRANCISCO, CALIF. | A federal appeals court on Dec. 21 put the brakes on a �irst-of-its-kind California law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law on hold until the court can hear full arguments on the measure’s constitutionality. The law was set to take effect Jan. 1. Licensed counselors who practice so-called “reparative therapy’’ and two families who say their teenage sons have bene�ited from it sought the injunction after a lower court judge refused the request.

The law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this fall, states that therapists and counselors who use ``sexual orientation change efforts’’ on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. The appeals court’s order prevents the state from enforcing the law, SB1172, while a different three-judge panel considers if the measure violates the First Amendment rights of therapists and parents. Liberty Counsel President Mathew Staver, whose Christian legal aid group is representing reparative therapy practitioners and recipients in a lawsuit seeking to overturn the law, applauded the

IN OTHER NEWS

NEWS

Court blocks California law banning gay therapy

APPEALS COURT OK’S BOY SCOUT LEASES IN SAN DIEGO The city of San Diego can continue leasing public land to the Boy Scouts of America for $1 a year even though the group bans gays and atheists, a federal appeals court ruled. A three-member panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec. 20 reversed a 2003 lower court ruling that said two leases violate state and federal constitutional bans on giving aid or preference to religious groups.

MARYLAND CLERKS PROTEST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE A group of deputy court clerks in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, have stopped performing marriages since same-sex marriage became legal there, claiming they are opposed to gay marriage for religious reasons. St. Mary’s Circuit Court Clerk Joan Williams decided those deputy clerks won’t perform any marriages as a way of respecting their beliefs. All counties in Maryland were legally required to start performing same-sex marriages on Jan. 2.

GINGRICH SUPPORTS “REALITY” OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY Former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich said he can accept the “reality” of marriage between samesex couples as a “legal document issued by the state.” In a Dec. 20 interview with The Huffington Post, Gingrich suggested that the GOP (and he himself) could accept a distinction between a “marriage in a church from a legal document issued by the state”—the latter being acceptable.

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perspective

PUBLISHER’S

2013: even better than 2012

Tom Dyer TOM@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

B

Y ANY MEASURE, 2012 WAS

a good year for the LGBT community—nationally, and especially locally. Could 2013 be better? Count on it.

In 2012, Barack Obama became the �irst sitting president to announce support for marriage equality, and then won four more years in the White House. For the �irst time, marriage equality prevailed on a ballot initiative—and it happened in four states. Same sex couples can now marry in nine states and the District of Columbia. Wisconsin’s Tammy Baldwin became the �irst out member of the U. S. Senate, and part of the largest contingent of openly gay members in congressional history. Locally, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer launched the city’s Domestic Partner Registry in January, sparking a wild�ire of DPRs that swept through Tampa, St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Gulfport, as well as Orange and Volusia Counties. Joe Saunders won a decisive victory in a new state house district surrounding UCF, becoming one of the �irst two openly gay members in the Florida Legislature. (The other was Miami Beach’s David Richardson.) Out City Commissioners Kevin Beckner and Steve Kornell won re-election in Tampa and St. Pete. Transgender candidate Gina Duncan nearly won a seat on the Orange County Commission. Pride celebrations in St. Pete and Orlando drew record crowds, and Gay

Days continued to attract people worldwide to Central Florida hotels and attractions. Every one of the achievements noted above came about as the result of hard work by activists, campaign workers and supportive elected of�icials. If you’re one of those who carried the banner during the last decade or so—even when progress seemed impossible—take a bow. 2012 may prove to have been a tipping point in the journey toward full equality. Understanding and acceptance of the LGBT experience has reached a critical mass, particularly with those under 40. Opposition to full equality is now muted; politicians who advocate thusly sound foolish and mean. But looking back, the events of 2012 may feel like smaller waves presaging the landscape-changing one coming in 2013. The Supreme Court has agreed to hear two landmark cases in which they will decide whether the government can refuse marriage and federal bene�its to gays and lesbians. If we win either case, momentum will shift permanently. If we win both, it will be the death knell for the discrimination we have always known. In one case, the justices will review the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies federal bene�its to same-sex couples who are legally married. Three appellate courts have already ruled that DOMA violates the equal protection clause contained in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. The facts of the DOMA case are compelling. Edith Windsor, an 83-year-old widow and resident of New York, was assessed a $363,000 estate tax bill by the Internal Revenue Service after her spouse, Thea Spyer, died in 2009. The couple married in Canada in 2007 after living together for 44 years. Spyer left her entire estate to Windsor. Under IRS rules, heterosexuals pay no estate tax on assets inherited from a deceased spouse. It takes �ive votes to win, and most court analysts believe the votes exist to overturn DOMA. Liberal Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan are a lock. Justice Kennedy, a libertarian conservative who is often the swing vote in cases of this kind, wrote the opinions in the courts two strongest gay rights cases: a 1996 case overturning a Colorado referendum repealing municipal gay rights ordinances, and a 2003 case striking down a Texas sodomy law. In the Colorado case, Kennedy said

that the Constitution “prohibits laws singling out a certain class of citizens for disfavored legal status or general hardships.” He will likely decide that DOMA is such a law. Some think conservative Chief Justice Roberts will agree. More than 100,000 legally married gays and lesbians would be directly affected by the ruling. But the DOMA decision would not impact those living in the 41 states where same-sex marriage is illegal. The other case, however, would affect everybody. It involves the constitutionality of California’s Prop 8, the voter initiative limiting marriage

to a man and a woman. An appellate court also found that this law violates equal protection. The attorneys who argued against Prop 8 have said they will ask the justices for a broad ruling af�irming “the fundamental constitutional right to marry of all citizens.” With public opinion shifting in favor of same-sex marriage rights, it’s hard to imagine Justice Kennedy will choose to be on the wrong side of history. Both cases will be argued before the court later this year, and rulings are expected by June. Prepare to celebrate at St. Pete Pride 2013. |  |

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TALKING POINTS

My comments in 1998 were insensitive...

I am fully supportive of ‘open service’ and committed to LGBT military families.

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OF VOTERS

believe openly gay adults should serve as BOY SCOUT LEADERS

77% support health insurance and employee OF THOSE SAME VOTERS

benefits for same-sex couples

—According to a Dec. 19 Gallup poll

YOUNG AVENGERS SHARE KISS

I

T ONLY TOOK SIX YEARS, BUT THE GAY TEEN SUPERHEROES WICCAN AND HULKING SHARE A KISS in the current issue of the recently re-launched Young Avengers comic series. The two 18-year-old male characters have been a gay couple for half-a-dozen years, but this is the �irst time the artists show the muscular young lads locking lips. Creators Allan Heinberg and Jim Cheung haven’t said why it took so long for the pair to be shown in a romantic situation, but it seems that from here on out, artists won’t avoid the subject of romance in the pages of upcoming issues of the Marvel series. |  |

‘PURPOSE’ AUTHOR JUST FINE NOT APPROVING OF MARRIAGE EQUALITY

N

BC REPORTER AND LGBT ADVOCATE CHELSEA CLINTON MANAGED TO GET UNDER THE SKIN OF PASTOR AND PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE AUTHOR RICK WARREN on a recent episode of Rock Center. On the show, Clinton grills Warren on his

anti-marriage equality stance. “I don’t hate anybody. In fact I’m commanded by Jesus to love everybody,” Warren says. “As I’ve mentioned many times, there’s a difference between acceptance and approval.” Warren suggests that Clinton and other reporters throw in marriage equality questions in

interviews as part of a “hidden agenda,” which prompts Clinton to explain to the pastor that with a majority of Americans supporting marriage equality and it appearing on ballots, it’s a timely issue. Warren makes sure he is clear on his stance: “I do not favor the rede�inition of marriage.” |  |

“The Republican Party will never win another national election if they maintain their conservative positions on Marriage Equality and other social issues. The younger voters won’t support them, it’s really that simple. Older, and more traditionally more socially conservative people continue

to die, and that isn’t going to change. Time to get in step with America! (Or not...)” —TED MAINES “I believe they will. They need a few more dinosaurs to die out first, but once they see the potential value in the manipulation of the gay vote they’ll fly all over it.” —ALAN BALL

CHAMPION WEDS PARTNER

WITH GMA CREW NEARBY

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N DEC. 21, ABC NEWS WEATHER EDITOR SAM CHAMPION (CENTER LEFT) MARRIED HIS LONGTERM PARTNER RUBEM ROBIERB (CENTER RIGHT) with his Good Morning America family close at hand. Champion announced his engagement in the fall on the popular morning program, and his on-air colleagues voiced support and congratulations. ABC’s viewers haven’t been quite as well-wishing, with some letters on the show’s site claiming “disgust” with him “�launting his homosexuality.”

WATERMARKONLINE.COM POLL

WHEN IT COMES TO NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, WHAT’S YOUR STRATEGY? I make a list of changes

and tick them off, all year long.

23% I pick one resolution

PEOPLE ARE TALKING AT WATERMARKONLINE.COM ON WHETHER THE GOP WILL BACK OFF ON THEIR ANTI-GAY MARRIAGE STANCE:

—CHUCK HAGEL, A FORMER SENATOR AND A TOP PICK FOR DEFENSE SECRETARY

and make it happen.

ON BILL KANOUFF, ONE OF WATERMARK’S MOST REMARKABLE PEOPLE OF 2012: “Bill has been a hero of mine long before he lost his leg. This man inspires us all to reach far past the complications of life to create our own destinies.” —TODD KOTTMEIER

22% Ugh, it’s the same every year. “Lose weight.”

21% I don’t do

New Year resolutions.

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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Contemporary Glass Sculpture: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Studio Glass 12•22•12–03•31•13

Jon Kuhn, Divine Mantra, 2006, cut, ground and polished laminated optical glass on steel base, 14.5 x 10 x 10in., collection of Stephen H. Goldman. Photograph by Raymond Martinot

Orlando Museum of Art 2416 North Mills Ave Orlando, FL 32803 www.omart.org

JANUARY 11, 2013 AT 8PM ON SALE NOW Tickets available by calling the Hard Rock Live HARDROCKLIVE.COM Artist & Showtimes Subject to Change • No Cameras, No Backpacks, No Videos

“It’s Mamma Mia meets Sex and the City! Loved it!”

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watermark

UNT2192OL12_wkly_Darkness_4.82x10.3.indd 1 YOUR

PM LGBT LIFE. JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // 11/13/12 ISSUE 12:21 20.01

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ARTS &

BETTE MIDLER:

ENTERTAINMENT

The Showgirl

Goes On ‘MISS M’ TALKS BULLYING AND ‘BITTERSWEET’ BATHHOUSE DAYS Chris Azzopardi CHRISAZZOPARDI@PRIDESOURCE.COM

M

ORE THAN 30 YEARS HAVE

passed since Bette Midler made her screen debut as a rocker with a self-destructive drug habit. The �ilm, 1979’s The Rose, turned the Hawaii native’s dreams, and her nights performing for half-naked gay men at a New York City bathhouse, into a legendary and undeniably in�luential career in music—the title song is one of her biggest hits— and in �ilm. Now that the curtain’s closed on her two-year Las Vegas spectacle, she returns as a leading lady in her �irst major picture in more than a decade. In Parental Guidance, the 67-year-old plays a grandparent alongside Billy Crystal, who both try to navigate modern-day parenting conundrums when

they’re stuck watching their daughter’s three kids. In this chat with Midler, she talked about Parental Guidance—including the �ilm’s stance on bullying—and the “bittersweet” beginning of her career.

Continued on page 27 |  |

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

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Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann in This is 40.

This is 40

Les Misérables

Starring Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann

Starring Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Eddie Redmayne, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter

T PURELY PRESIDENTIAL: Bill Murry as FDR in Hyde Park on Hudson.

Screened Out MOVIE REVIEWS

Movie Milestones Hyde Park on Hudson Starring Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Olivia Williams

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sweet �ilms like this made more often? Perhaps, most American audiences are just too hyper for such kind, polite fare.

Stephen Miller

STEPHEN@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

However, here’s a cool part of US history. In June 1939, when England was scared of the impending World War II, the King and Queen of England spent a few days with FDR at his mother’s house in upstate New York. It’s the �irst time royals had ever visited the former colonies. Also present were FDR’s lesbian wife, his mistress, reporters, Indians, and hotdogs. This odd combo makes this biopic an endearing comedy of manners. Whoever thought to cast Bill Murray as FDR deserves praise—what may at �irst sound weird ends up wonderful. Linney, as distant cousin

26

HY AREN’T QUIETER,

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

Daisy who starts an affair with President, is always perfect—quiet, desperate, and shy. In fact, all of the performances are outstanding. Small and subtle, Hyde Park focuses on expressions and reactions. The photography is nostalgic, loaded with WASP-y glory. The score is a nifty blend in 1930s Americana. Okay, so it may not be exact history. One of the great unspoken turning points of America is how it de�ined itself—its character—as separate from England. For the longest time, the United Kingdom set the rules for manners, etiquette, and the conduct of personal life. Hyde Park on Hudson is precisely about that changing of American standards into all its brave, gauche, con�ident, inappropriate, and brassy friendliness. |  |

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

Anne Hathaway in Les Misérables.

HOUGH FREQUENTLY FUNNY, THIS FLICK OFTEN LACKS SURPRISE, INSIGHT, AND N THE STAGE, LES INTEREST. Turning 40 is the sort of MISÉRABLES IS A GRAND, milestone director/writer Judd Apatow SWEEPING SPECTACLE. As should be able to mine for gold. a musical geek, I’m sad to report Instead, this comedy often feels longish, that—except for Anne Hathaway’s aimless, and more than a little spoiled. beautiful scenes—it falters on screen. Rudd and Mann (Mrs. Apatow) Two-dimensional characters belt are the couple from Knocked Up. turgid opera while the camera sits Upon reaching their fourth decade, three inches from their noses, for they run into middling problems. three hours. Their kids (Apatow’s and Mann’s For those of you who don’t real-life girls) curse as know Victor Hugo’s massive much as the parents do. The grandparents burden the RATINGS GUIDE book, Jean Valjean (Jackman) spent 19 years in prison for couple with extra problems. stealing bread. Out on parole, Rudd scarfs cupcakes, gets he skips probation in hopes Viagra prescriptions, and Overflowing of becoming a good Christian. locks himself in the john to with glittery Inspector Javert (Crowe) trails play Scrabble on his iPad. fabulousness him for decades. Despite being Mann lies about her age and hunted, Jackman repents, secretly smokes. Neither Pretty damn improves himself, and raises a has done enough �inancial good, but it’s no prostitute’s daughter. This all is planning. Both have small Sunset Boulevard played against the backdrop of career problems. Each harbors the French Revolution. resentments while desperately An entertaining The 1980s musical version hoping to be considered enough flick has structural faults this movie a good person, parent, with perhaps version cannot �ix. Songs are and spouse. a few holes repetitive. The plot moves Apatow still has his sense of in circles, the comic relief is character, moments of honesty, Ever so slightly clunky, and the main characters and wonderful bits of grosswatchable, just seem simplistic. We can only out humor. Rudd is perfect as for that hot actor barely tell that director Tom Apatow’s stand-in. Mann is Hooper (The King’s Speech) also good but less successful at spent millions in art direction, more emotional moments. The Two hours of your life you’ll since cameras are parked little girls made me wince— never get back in close-up for eternity. The nepotism obviously cast them. The big problem is that singing is live. Jackman is This is 40 feels as if no one knows how just okay, but Crowe sounds terrible, well off they are, with their fancy cars adenoidal. and nice house. There’s nothing really Then there’s stunning Anne earth-shattering here, and the �ilm Hathaway, who is small, subtle lacks momentum. Finally, when Rudd and human—everything all other and Mann run off to a sexy retreat characters lack, both onstage and weekend, we’ve gone from charming in the cinema. Les Misérables may characters and disgusting comic gags to get lots of nominations, but it only full-blown cliché. |  | deserves one win. |  |

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gay community has always liked a certain type, and there are plenty of those around. But no, I don’t follow it. I do my work; I keep my head down. I have my family. There are new people all the time. Paul Simon said it best when he said, “Every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.” So I’m used to the idea that people come and go, and it’s always fun to watch. It makes life glittery and fun. And that’s what we’re looking for. BUT ADELE IS NOW CONSIDERED A GAY ICON, AND I’VE HEARD YOU’RE A FAN OF HERS.

OFFERING GUIDANCE: Bette Midler and Billy Crystal star in Parental Guidance, a new comedy putting the two stars together as grandparents to three precocious children.

|  | Bette Middler from pg.25

WATERMARK: YOUR NEW FILM,

PARENTAL GUIDANCE, TAKES A STAND AGAINST BULLYING. IT SUGGESTS STANDING UP FOR YOURSELF. DO YOU AGREE WITH THAT MESSAGE?

BETTE MIDLER: I would tell them to tell someone immediately. Tell an older person immediately that this is happening. Say, “Please help me stop this.” You shouldn’t keep it a secret. It’s completely unacceptable. It’s a big country and there are so many different kinds of people in this country now—and everybody doesn’t raise their kids the right way, you know? Sometimes children who are a little bit different are not considered—and they have to be! Everybody has to be considered and treated fairly. It’s just unacceptable. WHO CAME UP WITH THE SINGING BITS IN THE FILM? YOU AND BILLY?

It was his idea. We had been singing to the kids to keep them entertained for a week or two. We had a big tornado scare and everyone was in the basement at one time, so we were entertaining the kids. It just sort of happened that we were singing these doowop novelty songs, and the kids seemed to like them. They had never heard any of this stuff before, so it just sort of fell into place

Of course I have a lot of gay friends.

I’m in show business! —BETTE MIDLER

and seemed like a fun addition to the movie.

WHICH SONGS WERE YOU SINGING?

“Get a Job,” “Yakety Yak” and “Poison Ivy”—the old Leiber and Stoller catalog. Both of us are around the same age, so that’s our childhood music. We’re very steeped in it. DO YOU HAVE ANY GOOD STORIES OR MEMORIES FROM YOUR “BATHHOUSE BETTE” DAYS?

To tell you the truth, it’s in the dim, dark recess of time. I remember I had a wonderful time. I remember I made a great mark. I remember that I had a lot of friends in the gay world. I mean, I remember friends more than I remember instances. Unfortunately, a lot of those people are gone, and I think about them often. They would’ve just been hitting their stride at this point. It’s very bittersweet. YOU MENTION HAVING LOTS OF GAY FRIENDS THEN, BUT I’M SURE THERE’S NO SHORTAGE OF THEM IN YOUR LIFE NOW.

Of course I have a lot of gay friends. I’m in show business!

be so fascinating and such a strong validation.

DO YOU STILL KEEP IN TOUCH WITH ANYONE FROM THOSE BATHHOUSE DAYS?

WHERE DO YOU THINK—OR WHERE DO YOU HOPE—THE GAY MOVEMENT IS HEADED?

Actually, most of them have passed. I hear from a couple of people. My old assistant from those days is still in my life, and so is my costumer. We’re still in touch and I see a couple of the girls, The Harlots, from time to time. But honestly, it’s a big, big life and a big world, and people go off on their own and do what they do. Everyone tries to do the best they can. I will say that in the old days when all of this was all so underground, the excitement in the gay community now about gay marriage and coming above the ground, older people (must) think, “Wow, look how far the gay community has come by sticking together and toughing it out.” You know, gay marriage, being able to adopt children, being part of the mainstream as opposed to always being sub rosa—it must

I’m not gay so it’s kind of hard for me to answer that question. I watch and I’m fascinated and I’m interested. And I’m enthusiastic. I’m all those things. I try to help where I can. I just think it’s just fantastic for the gay community. And I know they’re happy. I know there’s a lot of joy in the community. I know there are a lot of people who are very, very excited about the change that all this acceptance has given them. I know it’s a real thrill. At the same time, there’s also the part that was exciting because there was nothing that they were allowed to do. There was all this stuff about doing things under the radar that was also exciting in a whole other way. DO YOU FOLLOW THE NEW WAVE OF GAY ICONS?

I have to say I don’t. I think that the

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

I do love Adele. I adore Adele. I think she’s a really good singer and a terri�ic songwriter. Her voice is such a beautiful voice. And she’s funny and she’s warm and she’s all the things you want a performer to be. I mean, outside of who her fan base is, I think just as a human being she stands out. I’m really happy that she’s around. I’m really happy that she’s made it and that people adore her. She’s going to have a long, long career. NOW THAT YOU’VE MADE YOUR SCREEN RETURN, WILL WE BE SEEING MORE OF YOU SOON? A NEW STUDIO ALBUM? MAYBE A TOUR?

You know, I’m listening to music. Every day I pick something out of the pot to listen to. I do keep very active with that part—in the songwriting world—and I’m studying the guitar just because I love music. So I’m very interested in music just as an art form, not necessarily to have records or to have hits or anything—just to make music. That’s never left me. I’ve always loved that and I’ve always loved people who are actual musicians. I love the singers and the musicians, too. So I’m always interested in what people have to express and the way in which they choose to express what they have to say. So that part of me—the art part—will never leave. I do keep busy with that. BUT YOU KNOW HOW MUCH WE’D LOVE TO HEAR A NEW ALBUM, RIGHT?

Oh, you’re very kind. I’ll do my best to deliver it… before the afternoon is up! |  | To read bonus content from this interview go to watermarkonline.com.

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

27


Offices in Tampa and Palm Harbor

Tampa

813.228.6800

www.VerrasLaw.com Palm Harbor 727.493.2900

MOMIX

Botanica

JAN. 17 Always an audience favorite! 25 YEARS

Tickets: 813.229.STAR (7827) • STRAZCENTER.ORG Outside Tampa Bay: 800.955.1045 Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

Sponsors: The Joy McCann Foundation

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

watermarkonline.com


ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT EVENT PLANNER

QUICK PICKS Orlando Divine Deception A Tribute to Bette Midler JAN. 12 The Abbey 407-704-6261 The Abbey.com

Mary Poppins JAN. 8-13 Bob Carr Center TicketMaster.com 407-849-2577

St. Petersburg Titanic: The Exhibition THROUGH MARCH 3 Mahaffey Theater 727-898-2100 MahaffeyTheater.com

The Year of Magical Thinking JAN. 8-9 Studio @ 620 727-895-6620 Studio620.org

Sarasota You Can’t Take it With You JAN. 4-APRIL 20 Asolo Rep Theatre 941-351-8000 Asolo.org

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

watermarkonline.com.

Wicked T

TAMPA

HE WITCHES OF OZ ARE BACK

with another tour stop of Wicked at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa Jan. 9-27. The Broadway smash tells the story of Glinda the Good and the Wicked

Witch of the West and their relationship before that annoying girl from Kansas

ORLANDO Joan Crawford’s House Party

T

HE FOOTLIGHT THEATER’S HILARIOUS OBSESSION WITH JOAN CRAWFORD CONTINUES into the new year when Doug Ba’asar plays the iconic title role in Joan Crawford’s House Party. It’s a role very familiar to the local actor and funnyman. He starred in the show during the Orlando Fringe Festival last summer. The show received rave reviews from both Watermark and the Orlando Sentinel and co-stars Catherine Goodison as

daughter Christina, Ginger Minj as a confused Adele and Brittney Harland. This incarnation of the popular Fringe hit will show only three times—Jan 12, 19 and 26. So secure your seats early. Also remember there’s some audience participation in this show, featuring male dancers that are sure to motivate some hot bodies to take the stage. So sit as close as you can! For tickets, visit Wanzie.com. |  |

landed in Munchkinland. The roles originated by Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel have taken on lives of their own, and will be played by Jeanna de Waal and Christine Dwyer, respectively. The phenomenon has broken box of�ice records at the Straz Center and the musical is the winner of 35 major awards, including a Grammy and three Tony Awards. It’s also a favorite

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among LGBTs, since the story discusses misperceptions and how a majority of people deal with things they don’t quite understand. Wicked will remain in Florida for quite some time and will follow up its Tampa run with a late February return to the Bob Carr Center in downtown Orlando. For tickets, visit StrazCenter.org. |  |

SARASOTA+MELBOURNE STOMP

HO KNEW MAKING NOISE WOULD PROVE TO BE SO POPULAR. But with STOMP, its creators have created an unstoppable force. The explosive, witty and unique experience lands at the Van Wezel in Sarasota Jan. 3 and at the King Center in Melbourne on Jan. 4 and 5. The eight member troupe uses everything but conventional percussion instruments—matchboxes, wooden poles, brooms,

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

garbage cans, Zippo lighters and hubcaps—to �ill the stage with rhythms unlike anything you’ve ever heard. Each year, STOMP is recreated and re-imagined to create new electrifying shows. So even if you’ve seen STOMP before, chances are you’ve not see this version. No wonder the show continues to win armfuls of awards and rave reviews from across the country. For tickets, visit VanWezel. org or KingCenter.com. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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COMING TO

FLORIDA

02/02/2013

Warrior Dash is a mud-crawling, ďŹ re leaping, extreme run from hell. This ďŹ erce running series is held on the most challenging and rugged terrain accross the globe. Warriors conquer extreme obstacles, push their limits, and celebrate with kick-ass music, beer and warrior helmets.

sign up today at www.warriordash.com 30

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

watermarkonline.com


4 1

ShotonSite

Tampa Bay 1- CARRIAGE RIDE: Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and his family participate in the annual Ybor Holiday Parade Dec. 23. PHOTO

COURTESY CARRIE WEST

2- DECKED OUT: Ybor City took on a festive look—as did its residents—during the annual holiday parade Dec. 23. PHOTO

COURTESY CARRIE WEST

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5

3

3- CHRISTMAS JOY: Jori, left, and Melanie of Find A Drag Show flank Katherine Nevets at Hamburger Mary’s following Nevets’ performance before Christmas. PHOTO COURTESY CARRIE WEST 4- WHAT’LL YA HAVE?: Flamingo bartenders take a quick break from serving drinks during holiday celebrations Dec. 23. PHOTO COURTESY RAINBOW411.COM

5- HEY EVERYBODY: Stephanie Shippae finds a tasty morsel at Georgie’s Alibi in mid-December. PHOTO COURTESY TINKERFLUFF.COM 6- UNTIL NEXT YEAR...: Popular Christmas stories and characters were well represented during the GaYbor Bar Crawl in early December. PHOTO COURTESY TINKERFLUFF.COM 7- FOUR CALLING BIRDS: The cast at Hamburger Mary’s brought some Christmas cheer to Ybor the weekend before Christmas. PHOTO COURTESY CARRIE WEST

8- MRS. CLAUS’ NIGHT GIG?: Bradley’s on 7th hostess Joey Brooks dresses as Mrs. Claus during the holiday edition of the club’s Amateur Strip Contest. PHOTO COURTESY CARRIE WEST

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OVERHEARD HE’LL ALWAYS BE OUR GURU

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OO FEW VOTERS SHOWED UP AT GAYTRAVEL.COM TO SUPPORT ROBERT GELLER, who was vying to be the travel site’s second Travel Guru in 2013. The Tampa resident made it through several rounds of the site’s contest in hopes of traveling and blogging the world throughout the upcoming year in an of�icial capacity for the site. He was one of 30 contestants hoping to move onto the Top 5 �inals who posted a video showcasing the things he loves about his hometown. Site visitors were encouraged to vote up to 10

times a day for their favorite Travel Gurus, and Geller had enough support to land him in the Top 10. “I did not make the top 5 to move onto the �inals. But I placed in the top 10 and had a blast getting there,” Geller posted on his Facebook wall. Geller handled the disappointment with dignity and a little bit of humor, which is his style. He posted a shirtless photo of himself wearing a “Miss Congeniality” sash. Geller will continue to focus on his successful Outings & Adventures business, promoting activities for LGBTs in Tampa Bay and across the country.

PROSUZY SET TO RETIRE

O

N JAN. 12, SUZANNE NOE WILL RETIRE AND HAND OVER THE REIGNS of her popular women’s networking business, ProSuzy. com, to a new generation. Noe, who lives in Pinellas County, started the women’s network 12 years ago as a way to unite the women of Tampa Bay through technology. Over those 12 years, ProSuzy.com built an extensive newsletter list and has organized countless events catering to women—both gay and straight. Her retirement is well deserved and will give her a chance to focus on other interests. She’s quick to add that she’s not

moving away and will still be visible—she just won’t be as involved as before. A celebration of her retirement is scheduled for Jan. 12 at the Gulfport Casino. Tickets are $20 and guests are encouraged to wear ties of any kind, since the theme is Tie-ing the Community together. Tickets can be purchased—where else?—at ProSuzy.com. More on Noe’s retirement and the future of ProSuzy.com will be featured in the Jan. 17 issue of Watermark.

HE GAVE US 20— THOUSAND!

C

HIP WRIGHT SUCCEEDED IN AT LEAST PART OF HIS DECEMBER GOAL. The

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

St. Petersburg-area personal trainer pumped out 20,000 pushups in the last month of 2012 to raise money for the American Cancer Society. His “Give Me 20” program encouraged those who donated to his cause to push him to reach his lofty �itness goal. The money he raised—nearly $2,500— went directly to the ACS’s �ight against cancer. Wright said support from his clients, friends and community leaders helped push him both physically and �inancially, and he plans to do a similar program sometime in 2013. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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watermarkonline.com


ShotonSite 1

2

3

ORLANDO

1- GO TEAM!: (L-R) Alex Reaves, Ben Garcia, Kevin O’Neill and David Moran cheer on Virginia Tech, who beat Rutgers University 13-10 in overtime during the Russell Athletic Bowl at Citrus Bowl Stadium on Dec. 28. PHOTO BY SEAN O’CONNELL 2- COMPU-SERVED: Don Sumrall and Elizabeth Chartuk volunteer at The Center, using some of the six new computers donated by the David Bohnett Foundation, which helps equip LGBT centers around the world. PHOTO BY RANDY STEPHENS

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3- CHECK 1, 2...: Realtor David Dorman does a sound check Dec. 30, before a performance at the Wheeling Island Racetrack and Gaming Center in West Virginia. PHOTO BY SCOTT PENYAK 4- HOLIDAY HAPPY: (L to R) Dana Rutlege, Linda Stewart and Jackie Blake enjoy the holidays at Stewart’s office open house Dec. 21. PHOTO BY MARK CADY 5- MERRY GRINCHMAS: Watermark admin Erik Caban (center) and Norm Gentry celebrated Christmas Day in Whoville during Universal Studios’ Grinchmas celebration Dec. 25. PHOTO COURTESY ERIK CABAN 6- GOOD EATS: (L to R) Case managers Nicole LaPorte and Erin Snead, executive director Dexter Foxworth and outreach counselor Sophia Rayam celebrate at the Zebra Coalition annual holiday meal for youth, Dec. 24 at Zebra House. PHOTO COURTESY THE ZEBRA COALITION 7- PHOTO READY: Macbeth Photography staff take a break during a NOH8 Campaign photo shoot benefitting The Zebra Coalition, Dec. 20. PHOTO COURTESY OF MACBETH PHOTOGRAPHY 8- BIG FAN: State representative Scott Randolph and his daughter, Hillary, brave the weather to take in the Citrus Bowl parade in downtown Orlando Dec. 29. PHOTO FROM FACEBOOK

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OVERHEARD BEARY CHRISTMAS

T

HE BEAR DEN AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE PLAYED HOST TO MORE THAN 100 PEOPLE for the second annual A Very Beary Christmas. The event, put on by Bears in the City, supports local charities and this year money was raised for The Center of Orlando. It also conducted a toy drive in conjunction with The MAP Program/A Comic Shop in order to make a difference in the lives of children during the holiday season. The local entertainment and karaoke group is headed up by WAVE Award-winner Pat O’Rourke. O’Rourke said this year’s event was in honor of a dear friend, Thom Lane, who passed in 2012. He

added, “My heart is overwhelmed with joy and the Christmas spirit! I can’t wait to do it again next year!”

ORLANDO WILL SEE BETTER DAYS

A

NEW LIVE SITCOM WRITTEN BY AWARD WINNING WRITERS JOHN VALINES AND OUT ORLANDO FRINGE FESTIVAL ICON TOD KIMBRO will debut at Sak Comedy Lab beginning Friday, Jan. 4, with a new episode premiering each month. Better Days is a scripted, live sitcom starring a cast of some of Central Florida’s most talented actors. The story draws inspiration from great episodic comedies like Cheers and How I Met Your

Mother and centers around a group of friends who, while spending their time in a local bar, face many of life’s greatest issues like love, loss and �inding the right roommate. For more information, visit Sak.com.

IT’S MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY

T

HE WINTER PARK PLAYHOUSE CONTINUES ITS 10TH ANNIVERSARY SERIES OF PROFESSIONAL MUSICAL THEATRE with My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra running Jan. 24-Feb. 16, 2013. Directed and choreographed by Roy Alan, this musical tribute will feature four of the area’s

most accomplished professional vocalists: Laura Hodos, Ryan Kim, and Melissa Minyard and out veteran performer Kevin Kelly. Featured are 56 of Sinatra’s most well-known songs. For more information call The Winter Park Playhouse box of�ice at 407-645-0145 or visit WinterParkPlayhouse.org.

PARADISE FOUND

L

AST MONTH, WE REPORTED THAT LONGTIME GAY WATERING HOLE PARADISE LOUNGE ON MILLS HAS CHANGED NAMES, management and that the onceupon-a-time Cactus Club—now Orlando Nights— is said to be marketed as a “straight bar.” While

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

we received some �lack, accusing us of having not having our “facts straight,” a reliable inside source at Orlando Nights, who asked not to be named, con�irmed that as part of the lease agreement with QCorp Ventures, Inc. (Savoy, Savoy Daytona, Orlando Nights) and owners George Butler and Randall Landbright, they are not allowed to say they are a “gay bar.” Although, most have noticed not much has changed at Paradise—er—Orlando Nights except the name. Most of the staff remains and there’s even Bearaoke on Thursday Nights. See for yourself and make your own conclusions on Jan. 4 when Orlando Nights hosts its of�icial grand opening. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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PHOTO BY LEE VANDERGRIFT

Re con struct watermark

IN DEPTH HEALTH+FITNESS

ing {

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How one man battled addiction to create a unique and successful workout program

O

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for its abundant beaches, the seasonably warm weather and relatively mild winters, or maybe even for the state’s numerous theme parks. Bill Bennett, however, relocated to Orlando a year and a half ago because statistics make it the number one city in the country for people getting hit by cars!

A shocking reason, indeed, for many, but if you’re working as a trauma nurse in Detroit, and offered an opportunity to move here for a Masters in Nursing program specializing in critical care at Orlando Regional Medical Center, it makes much more sense. And though he’s no longer enrolled in that program, Bennett has taken everything he’s learned throughout his varied careers— which include 12 years as a critical care nurse, 13 years in the physical �itness industry, and

over three decades spent in the music industry as a DJ/remixer/ producer—and developed Orlando’s most-buzzed-about workout regime. Bill Bennett Boot Camps has created an extremely dedicated and loyal group of enthusiasts who’ve safely reached—and often surpassed— their �itness goals. And like his clients who’ve found obstacles and setbacks en route to achieving their physical �itness goals, Bennett has also endured a variety of struggles and

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

challenges on his new career path. “When I came here from Detroit I thought I knew everything, because I was from Detroit, but I found out I knew nothing,” Bennett says, laughing at his self-in�lated ego. “Detroit is gunshots and stabs. Here you get some really crazy shit.” Bennett calls Colonial Drive one of the �ive top roads in North America for cars hitting

Continued on page 45 |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

35


the audience that wants a little more excitement.” She plans to do the Color Run and Warrior Dash again in 2013. If running a crazy race is on your New Year’s resolutions list, here is a sampling of what 2013 has to offer.

THE COLOR RUN

WHEN: Jan. 13 WHERE: Orlando, St. Petersburg PRICE: $35-$50 Much like the Indian Holi Festival, runners in the Color Run will be coated in pigment at the end of the day. At each kilometer, volunteers throw a different colored powder on the racers, giving them a rainbow result at the finish line. The Color Runs benefit non-profits—the Orlando run will raise funds for the Second Harvest Food Bank, while St. Pete’s event will benefit JDRF, which supports Type 1 Diabetes research and St. Anthony’s BayCare Health System. REGISTER: TheColorRun.com

WARRIOR DASH WHEN: Feb. 2 WHERE: Lake Wales PRICE: $40-$80

RUNNING DEAD: Jen Parrish (left) tapped into her inner zombie and chased runners with her derby league mates Amy Doubleday (center) and Krissi Franzen (right) during the 2012 Run For Your Lives event. PHOTO BY TYLER DUMAS

DaretoDash Adventure runs are Florida’s hottest fitness trend for 2013 Jamie Hyman JAMIE@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

W

E ARE RUNNING THROUGH

colored powder. We pay good money to be chased by zombies. We alternate chugging beers with our running.

It seems like no one can just run �ive kilometers in a straight line any more—themed, adventure runs are the hottest thing to hit west and central Florida and they are big business. According to Outside Magazine, America’s top three obstacle racing brands are Tough Mudder, Warrior Dash and the Spartan Race, which had 41,000 participants in 2010, jumping to 1.5 million runners in 2012. All together,

36

those three races brought in $150 million last year alone. Robert Geller of Tampa is the Chief Adventure Of�icer at Outings and Adventures, a company that hosts social and active events for west and central Florida’s LGBT community. He said the adventure race appeal is obvious. “You get to do some pretty wild things, biking through mud, climbing a wall, running through �ire,” Geller

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

said. “When else do you get an opportunity to do something so extreme like that?” He said the trend could pay off in �itness dividends, as well. “If it’s another way to get people to move, I am all for it,” he said. Jen Parrish, a skater with the Orlando Psycho City Derby Girls, has participated in Warrior Dash, Muddy Buddy, a bike/run that used to be hosted at Disney, and Run For Your Lives. “I think everybody is getting more into running in general and [an adventure run] gives them something to work toward,” Parrish said. “They’re fun to do with friends, fun to do with groups of people. 5Ks are still popular as well, and runs like Warrior Dash are appealing to

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Depending on the course location, the Warrior Dash is different lengths, but the Florida race is 3.34 miles with 17 obstacles, including a run through fire, over mud and underneath a sprinkler downpour. The intense obstacle run concludes with an after-party featuring live music, a beer tent, a costume contest and a prize for the best warrior beard. Warrior Dash partners with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, offering prizes to racers who raise funds for the cause. REGISTER: WarriorDash.com

5K FOAM FEST WHEN: Feb. 16 WHERE: St. Cloud PRICE: $50 - $75 The 5K Foam Fest is an obstacle course, mud race and human car wash in one. Runners get muddy crawling through a swamp, scaling walls and making their way through a web of rope, then clean off by crossing raft bridges, sliding down a giant inflatable slide and tackling other obstacles that end up in massive piles of foam. REGISTER: 5KFoamFest.com

URBAN DARE WHEN: April 13, Nov. 2 WHERE: Tampa, Orlando PRICE: $60 for a 2-person team; $120 for a 4-person family Part run, part trivia quiz, part skill challenges, Urban Dare is like a 1-day Amazing Race that has runners solve clues that lead them to checkpoints where they have to gather information, complete a challenge or snap a photo. Teams can run or use public transportation, and smarts can beat speed. The top 5 finishers get automatic entry into a Super Dare race, where the winner gets $5,000. REGISTER: UrbanDare.com

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TOUGH MUDDER WHEN: Nov. 2 & 3 WHERE: Tampa PRICE: $90-$155 Tough Mudder bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” They’re hardcore 10-12-mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces which raise money for the Wounded Warrior Project. Even if you race alone, Mudders are expected to use teamwork and help each other through the course, to make sure no racer is left behind. Runners sign a pledge stating they understand that Tough Mudder is not a race, but a challenge. REGISTER: ToughMudder.com

RUN FOR YOUR LIVES WHEN: Nov. 16 WHERE: Clermont PRICE: $67-$97 Run For Your Lives is a zombie-themed adventure run where racers can sign up to be zombies… or be chased by zombies. Runners interested in portraying the undead should register early, as those slots fill fast. Helpless zombie victims (people being chased) receive a flag belt that represent their health. Zombies try to steal the flags, while all the runners race through a series of natural and manmade obstacles. REGISTER: RunForYourLives.com

TAP ‘N’ RUN 4K WHEN: TBA WHERE: Orlando PRICE: $52 Tap ‘N’ Run is a 4K with four “chug stations” along the race route, capped by a full beer for runners at the finish line. Participants dress in crazy costumes and receive a Finisher’s Medal that doubles as a bottle opener. The Tap ‘N’ Run made its Orlando debut Dec. 15, 2012—the complete 2013 schedule has yet to be released, so no word yet on the next time the Tap ‘N’ Run hits Orlando or whether it’ll spread to other central or west Florida cities. REGISTER: TapNRun.com

SANTA SPEEDO RUN WHEN: December, exact date TBA WHERE: Tampa Bay PRICE: $30 The skimpiest of all the local adventure races is the one-mile Santa Speedo Run, held every December in Tampa Bay to benefit the AIDS Service Association of Pinellas, Inc. The fun run is traditionally done with runners wearing just a Santa hat, sneakers and of course, Speedos. In 2012, nearly 200 runners raised $30,500 in its third year. It was run in Gulfport for the first two years, and then for 2012, was added to Ybor’s annual holiday festivities with a start near Centennial Park. REGISTER: ASAPServices.org |  |


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|  | Bill Bennett Boot

Camps from pg.35

pedestrians, which results in a wide variety of learning opportunities for a nurse looking to continue his education. But a rotating door of one overthe-top fatal injury after another, in addition to an increased amount of administrative bureaucracy, led to Bennett wondering if he’d made the right decision in coming to Orlando.

PREVENTATIVE RATHER THAN REACTIONARY

Bennett felt that most medical care was reactionary instead of preventative-�ixing a problem rather than taking proactive measures to prevent issues from developing. “Most insurance companies would rather pay for an open heart surgery than a gym membership,” Bennett says. Among that “crazy shit” Bennett saw in the ER was a growing number of injuries sustained at gyms, boot camp classes, and personal training sessions. “I saw a lot of fractured ankles, herniated discs,” he says. “A lot of injuries that could be avoided.” At the gym, Bennett guaged what �itness instructors and trainers were doing both right and wrong in matters of effectiveness, safety, and even motivation. Soon Bennett realized he could combine bits and pieces from his varied backgrounds into one and “Bill Bennett’s Boot Camps” was born. “I put together a program that is more medically-science based than other workouts, and safer,” says Bennett. “Some of the things I saw other boot camps doing, I was shocked. For example, none of us need to be �lipping tires. You can really injure yourself.” Everyone attending Bennett’s classes starts with a personal consultation that includes blood pressure and fat density measurements and a look at health history. For those who’ve suffered signi�icant injuries, their doctors are invited into the discussion as well. “While some personal trainers and �itness instructors have good intentions, many don’t have the experience necessary to adequately work with someone who’s been sedentary for years, who have a signi�icant weight loss they need to achieve. Many people don’t understand the science of it.” In designing his programs, Bennett has incorporated a holistic approach, a method that takes the

38

None of us need to be flipping tires.

You can really injure yourself. —BILL BENNETT

complete person into consideration, both physically and psychologically. Each day’s session takes a different focus, such as legs or chest. Bennett discovered yoga while attempting to �ind inner peace during the height of disillusionment with his health care career; he now dedicates Wednesday classes to the ancient practice. Fridays are dedicated to fat burning, with students encouraged to socialize as they see �it over the weekend. “The program is intense enough that you can live your life and see progress, but you still have to live in moderation,” he says.

FINDING THAT BEAT

The idea of living a life of moderation hits home for the 44-year-old Bennett, who has struggled with substance abuse in the past. But what has also made Bennett especially successful is his ability to personally relate to his clients, most of which are gay men. Realizing he was gay at an early age, Bennett claims to have come out of the womb dancing. And when his farmer father discovered his high-school-age son dressed in hot shorts, a tank top, and a sailor’s hat performing a self-choreographed routine to a Dead or Alive song, the performance was not met with applause. Instead, Bennett was quickly saddled with an abundance of farm chores with hopes that the testosterone-heavy farm work might make him “a man.” With few opportunities for creative expression, Bennett discovered group �itness classes at his local gym. Step aerobics was quickly gaining in popularity, and Bennett quickly rose through the ranks, even participating on a national Reebok Step demonstration team. It was through teaching that

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

Bennett also discovered DJ-ing, creating workout-friendly remixes for his classes. Despite the obvious health bene�its that teaching aerobics provided, Bennett says the job came with an even greater perk. “It was the �irst time I could move the way I wanted to without being criticized.” With thoughts of exploring exercise science, and encouragement from his ER nurse boyfriend, Bennett began college nursing classes. Despite his success with teaching aerobics Bennett sought a bigger limelight…especially one that didn’t predominantly attract women as his audience. He found it through DJ-ing at a new gay club in Detroit. Using his high-energy aerobic mixes to audition, Bennett was hired as the club’s DJ, and soon saw long lines of people waiting to enter. “Being at that age— 25, 26— and that developmental level, my head became extremely large,” Bennett says. “And then the drugs came in.” Getting introduced to illegal substances while having a very addictive personality can make a person an addict, which happened to Bennett. Soon Bennett was single and partying harder, by now fully immersed in the gay circuit party scene. At least until he overdosed. Passed out and discovered “blue” by a roommate, Bennett was rushed to the hospital emergency room. Bennett remained unconscious for three days, and unaware of just how long he had been without oxygen, doctors weren’t sure if he’d awake with brain damage or not. “Luckily, I guess, teaching aerobics for 12 years saved my ass,” Bennett says. Doctors credit Bennett’s “tons” of oxygen cell reserves, which allowed him to be without oxygen for a longer amount

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

of time than most patients.

BODY IMAGE

Bennett eventually returned home to Michigan, where instead of dealing with his addiction issues, the weight gain only led to an even deeper depression. But his sister encouraged him to re-discover physical �itness and working out. Eventually �inding a renewed self-con�idence, Bennett re-explored his music. And though he soon found success when Sony Music bought the rights to his �irst single, “Breakaway,” with Inaya Day, a reality-check from the label’s marketing reps threatened to throw Bennett’s progress off track. “They said, ‘You’re not obese, but you’re too heavy to be marketable.’” The label told Bennett that he would not appear in the song’s music video, nor on any album art. Another “ass-kicker” moment, as Bennett likes to call them, happened at a circuit party. When he took his shirt off and two guys asked him to put his clothes back on, claiming that the sight of Bennett shirtless was “ruining their night.” “Our society, our gay culture, can be very judgmental and very cruel,” Bennett says. “Unfortunately we’re not going to �ix that. But what I can do is help people like themselves better and accept themselves more.”

IT’S ABOUT MOTIVATION

Bennett’s clients say that while the BBBC physical workouts have gotten them in to shape, it’s Bennett’s motivational skills that have truly allowed them to meet their �itness goals. “There’s such a sense of camaraderie that develops during Bill’s classes,” says Jay Lovell, 42, of the boot camp sessions that currently average about a dozen

watermarkonline.com

people. “It helps with accountability, and it’s all incredibly encouraging, with everyone truly wanting everyone else to succeed.” Lovell’s partner Scott Stowell, 46, agrees. “Bill has an uncanny knack for knowing what motivates people, plus he can individualize and customize his approach from person to person,” says Stowell. Both men say when Bennett shares stories from his past, especially those concerning fear and rejection, they and other class members become less intimidated and are more encouraged. Where Bennett was once renting space at local gyms to hold his classes, he’s recently moved into more permanent digs at 1035 N. Mills Avenue. While renovations are underway for the building’s interior, the room that will eventually be the center’s dedicated space for yoga is currently being used for the majority of Bennett’s group and one-on-one training. Lovell says his overall attitude towards life is “so much more positive.” Meanwhile, Stowell was able to reduce his cholesterol levels enough to no longer need medication from his doctor, and that was after working only four months with Bennett. And though working out has been a relatively consistent part of Stowell’s life, he says that training with Bennett allows him to feel like he’s accomplishing something at the gym and that’s a feeling he’s never felt before. And though it’s not intentional, it stands to reason that the walls inside Bennett’s Mills Avenue facility are decorated with pop art portraits of superheroes; the art perfectly complements the BBBC approach, which encourages clients to discover and embrace their inner Superman or Wonder Woman. |  |

TO ENROLL

The first winter session of Bill Bennett Boot Camps starts Monday, Jan. 7, and runs through Friday, Feb. 1. There are beginner, intermediate, and advance class options, and the four week session costs $99. Register online at BillBennettBootCamps.com.

To read bonus content from this interview go to watermarkonline.com.


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BETH SHALOM MEMORIAL CHAPEL Dedicated to Serving Our Community For Over 25 Years. Locally Owned and Operated.

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JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

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physician

plastic surgery

web site

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

Joy Metropolitan Community Church Reverend Terri Steed, Senior Pastor Wednesday Evening Spiritual Transformation Classes 7:00 PM Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 AM 2351 South Ferncreek Ave. | Orlando, FL 32806 Office: 407.894.1081

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

orlando marketplace


[CLASSIFIEDS]

407-481-2243 • Deadline for classifieds is January 11, at 5:00pm. Visit WatermarkOnline.com for Brand New Listings Every Day!

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professional services BODY SENSATIONS -” WHERE YOUR KNOTS BECOME NOT!”

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Sure that may seem silly but what is your criteria for selecting an agent to represent you with the most expensive asset you will probably ever own? Although my swimsuit days are over, my real estate career is still in full force. If you are thinking of buying selling or investing in real estate; think of me first. Stan Madray–Keller Williams Realty (407)928-7791 / www. StanMadray.com My commitment to you!•Communicate Effectively - Answer calls, respond to emails and keep you informed.•Be Knowledgeable - Know the market place, follow the trends and track the numbers.•Have Fun - It’s not just about the destination; It’s also about the journey.•Keep Integrity - Integrity is doing the right thing when no one is looking.•Seek the Win-Win - Negotiate effectively to meet our needs and our objectives.Making real estate dreams come true!*BTW... If you do require your prospective agent to compete in talent, I will be twirling a fire baton to “Half-Breed” by Cher.

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Danny Veal, Realtor GRI, CLHMS & CDPE - I made a commitment to provide a high level of professional services by securing a strong educational foundation in significant areas of real estate to better serve and protect my clients. My designations: GRI - Graduate REALTOR Institute, CLHMS - Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, CDPE - Certified Distressed Property Expert. Please feel free to contact me with any of your real estate needs. www.DannyVeal.com

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ANNOUNCE IT. RENT IT. SELL IT. POST IT.

watermark

classifieds

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

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Do This!

DEAR TRUTH,

W

SAGE ADVICE FROM ‘THE TRUTH’

A little effort can go a long way DEAR TRUTH,

I

’M A 38-YEAR-OLD WOMAN, RECENTLY RELOCATED TO ST. PETERSBURG. I’ve been single for a long time, and had kind of given up hope of �inding romance when I encountered a goddess with sparkling eyes, the most winning smile—and hot body, to boot! e’ve crossed paths a couple times in very super�icial encounters, but I sense a mutual attraction. The problem: she’s deaf. It’s not a turn-off for me. It’s kind of a wonderful challenge. But I have no idea how to go about

W

establishing a connection. You seem so worldly. What’s your advice? —Quietly Smitten Dear QS, The best advice always goes to those who compliment me, so we’re starting off on the right foot. It is a bit tricky but certainly a navigable situation. My �irst recommendation is to teach yourself some basic sign language. Much like other languages, you won’t be able to master it overnight just to speak to her, but teaching yourself a couple of key signs will probably ingratiate you to her. Also, most adult people with

hearing loss—especially those who have been deaf for some time—are usually fairly adept at reading lips. So the next time you see her, you might want to simply greet her with a salutation in sign language and then speak clearly and at a normal rate of speed to her. Here comes the Truth: a little effort can go a long way. Showing her that you’re trying to communicate with her on her terms will probably be enough if she is interested as well. Unlike you, I’m sure she’s dealt with this situation before. Make a good �irst impression and then let her take the lead. Best of luck!

John R. Dickson,

HEN I’M SINGLE I FEEL LONELY and seem constantly aware of the dif�iculties of �inding someone and the bene�its of togetherness; when I’m seeing someone, I focus on their shortcomings, our incompatibilities and the dif�iculties of the relationship. How do I retrain myself to think more positively? How can I enjoy the times when I’m by myself and embrace the dating process? When I meet someone nice, how do I focus on what’s good and minimize what may be different than I want? —Never Satis�ied

particularly if you are what we call a seeker, someone who is always looking to grow and improve. However, when we are consistently undone by unrealized expectations, the problems do not lie with the outside world, but from within. Perhaps you don’t believe you deserve to be happy so you are constantly vigilant for what is wrong instead of being thankful for what is right. My advice is to treasure the time you have in each situation. There are some wonderful things about being single and embracing your time alone can really give you the space and freedom to work on yourself. And of course, being in a loving relationship is a beautiful thing as well. Here comes the Truth: Enjoy the space you’re in today. You won’t always be there. Live in the moment. Seek out a good mental health professional who can help you �igure out why you’re always looking on the dark side. |  |

Seek out a good mental health professional who can help you figure out why you’re always looking on the dark side.

Prince’s Mother, What you describe is a circumstance needing more attention and diligence than a 200-word response in an advice column. A certain amount of ‘the grass is always greener’ is inevitable,

OW N E R

A N D TA K E YO U R P E RS O N A L T R A I N I N G B U S I N ES S TO N E W H E I G H T S AT FLO R I DA FI T N ES S CO N C E P T S! V I S I T W W W. F L O R I D A F I T N E S S C O N C E P T S . C O M /N E W T R A I N E R

TO H I R E A N FFC T R A I N E R O R FO R M O R E I N FO, V I S I T

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W W W. FLO R I DA FITN ESS CO N C E P TS .COM

JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

watermarkonline.com


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JAN. 3 - JAN. 16, 2013 // ISSUE 20.01

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Watermark Issue 20.01: Health and Fitness