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DAYTONA BEACH • ORLANDO • TAMPA • ST. PETERSBURG • SARASOTA • ISSUE 20.20 • SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 • WATERMARKONLINE.COM

YOUR LGBT LIFE.

ROLLINS COLLEGE REVISITS HISTORY WITH THE LARAMIE PROJECT: TEN YEARS LATER

CRASS WITH CLASS Legendary director John Waters brings his strange, wonderful sensibilities to Orlando for Come Out With Pride.

JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT BEEFS UP AND SPEAKS OUT FUNDRAISER SPOTLIGHTS UPCOMING SARASOTA

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Copyright Benson 2013. All Rights Reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced.

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The Europeans are dying out...

DEPARTMENTS

and gay marriages don’t 22 produce children.

06 // MAIL 10 // ORLANDO NEWS 16 // TAMPA BAY NEWS 20 // STATE NEWS 22 // NATION & WORLD NEWS 32 // ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 49 // EVENT PLANNER 51 // TAMPA BAY OVERHEARD 53 // ORLANDO OVERHEARD 54 // TAMPA BAY MARKETPLACE 55 // TRANSITIONS 56 // ORLANDO MARKETPLACE 61 // SPORTS 62 // GALLERY W

PAGE

—RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, DENYING THAT HIS COUNTRY DISCRIMINATES AGAINST GAYS.

ON THE COVER

PAGE In a rare Orlando appearance

Come Out With Pride, 32 fordirector John Waters will talk

about the singular sensibility that has made him a cultural—and gay—icon. Don’t miss “An Evening with John Waters” on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. at The Abbey. And don’t miss Stephen Miller’s exclusive interview.

PAGE

Preview

36 REVISITING HISTORY: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later opens the 2013-14 season at the Annie Russell Theatre on the campus of Rollins College. Thomas Ouellette (above) directs a cast of 13 playing 50 different roles, all citizens of Laramie, Wyoming, interviewed 10 years after the brutal murder of Matthew Shepard in 1998 that led to the adoption of federal hate crimes legislation.

WATERMARK ISSUE 20.20 //SEPT . 26 - OCT . 9, 2013

ORLANDO NEWS

TAMPA BAY NEWS

PAGE Joy MCC celebrates its

PAGE Host Jorge Alvarado (above)

MOVIES

SPORTS

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

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35th anniversary; Exodus International closes its Orlando offices; Vivian Rodriguez (above) is elected president of the Florida Democratic Hispanic Caucus; an update on the rape outside Revolution nightclub; more.

16

celebrates the 4th anniversary of The Jorge Show, the quirky cable sensation in Tampa Bay; Metro Tampa Bay celebrates 20 years with a splashy fundraiser; the ACLU gets involved when a transgender nursing student is denied access to a women’s restroom; more.

PAGE He’s come a long way from

38

the geeky alien on 3rd Rock from the Sun. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wrote and directed his latest movie, Don Jon, and also bulked up for his role as a porn addict. Don’t miss our sexy interview with the popular actor.

PAGE The Los Angeles Dodgers

their first LGBT night, 61 host with Amber Riley (Glee)

singing the National Anthem, and out former ballplayer Billy Bean (above) throwing out the opening pitch; more.

TAMPA INTERNATIONAL GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL, OCT. 4-12. LINK TO THE SCHEDULE AT WATERMARKONLINE.COM. SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TRANSGENDERS STILL FACE HEALTHCARE DISCRIMINATION

I

N THE ARTICLE “NAVIGATING OBAMACARE” (ISSUE 20.18), Anthony Armstrong writes that, “HHS has set in place a policy for all HHS and ACA medical providers that no patient can be denied bene�its or services based on among other categories, gender identity and sexual orientation.” Additionally, the government’s own hhs.gov/ healthcare/facts blog states the following: The Affordable Care Act also includes critically important, non-discrimination provisions. For example, starting in January 2014, it will be illegal for any of the insurance companies who offer coverage through the Marketplace to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. We’ve also taken action to strengthen the civil rights provision in the law, by clarifying that the new law’s prohibition on sex discrimination includes discrimination based on sex stereotyping, and on gender identity. Yet there is no mention of “Gender Identity” in the “Affordable Care Act.” So it may be illegal for insurance companies participating in the Marketplace to discriminate, but what about

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“Could you please explain exactly where this idea of “no discrimination against transgender people” is coming from?” —BRIANNA LOVELY

all the millions of people who already get health insurance through their employers? Apparently it’s still okay for them to discriminate. As the government’s gao. gov/products site states, a typical exclusion for employer based health insurance policies is as follows: Transsexual surgery, including medical or psychological counseling and hormonal therapy in preparation for, or subsequent to, any such surgery. So could you please explain exactly where this idea of “no discrimination against transgender people” is coming from? BRIANNA LOVELY DIRECTOR, TRANSGENDERTAMPABAY, INC.

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Wednesday’ event and raf�le held last week at Quench Lounge in Largo. Our organization is entirely staffed by volunteers, and we do not charge our clients and members. Having friends in the community who make it �inancially possible for us to continue is therefore very valuable. Our monthly fellowship dinners are free. We do testing for HIV and other STD’s by appointment, usually at our of�ice in Clearwater. And we are licensed as a mobile testing site, so we are able to go to events such as AIDS Walk or St. Pete Pride to provide testing. Our other major activity is the sponsorship of the annual International Candlelight Memorial in Pinellas County. We recruit faith leaders, music personnel, a speaker, and the services of the AIDS Memorial Bells in order to make this event meaningful to those who have lost loved ones to HIV, or who are presently infected. CAROL M. DUNN


editor’s

TOM DYER PUBLISHER

Tom@WatermarkOnline.com

M

Desk

Y FRIEND, THOMAS OUELLETTE, IS

currently directing The Laramie Project: Ten Years After at the Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College. It’s about the murder of Matthew Shepard, but it’s also about the way time alters perception. The vivid becomes fuzzy. The painful becomes less so. Like the focus on a pair of binoculars, two activities recently reminded me of a life I’d long forgotten. On Sept. 11, I went to see Steely Dan at the Hard Rock Live concert venue at Universal Orlando. And the following weekend I trekked up to Gainesville for the FloridaTennessee game. Both were fun, but they were also blasts from a trippy and tortured past. I was alone at Steely Dan—long story—so I had ample opportunity

WATERMARK STAFF

to observe and re�lect. Most of the people there were my age: men and women in Hawaiian shirts and Fedoras that screamed, “I haven’t forgotten how to party!” The concert featured two of the least charismatic performers I’ve ever seen—Walter Becker and Donald Fagen—playing some of my favorite music from college. I loved Steely Dan so much back then that my fraternity brothers called me ‘Steely Dyer.’ The music took me back to a

Publisher: Tom Dyer • Ext. 305 • Tom@WatermarkOnline.com Chief Financial Officer: Rick Claggett • Ext. 108 • Rick@WatermarkOnline.com Admin. Assistant: Stephanie Saylor • Ext. 100 • Stephanie@WatermarkOnline.com Editor-in-Chief: Steve Blanchard • 813-470-0899 • SteveB@WatermarkOnline.com Reporter: Susan Clary • 104 • Susan@WatermarkOnline.com Online Media Director: Jamie Hyman • Ext. 106 • Jamie@WatermarkOnline.com Proofreading: Ed Blaisdell Art Director: Jake Stevens • Ext. 109 • Jake@WatermarkOnline.com Production Assistant: Andrés Duputel • Ext. 107 • AdProduction@WatermarkOnline.com

time when I drank and got high just about every day, feigning spirited college high jinks to cover a growing disconnection to my closeted and wholly unful�illed life. As I listened to “Reeling in the Years” and “My Old School,” I wondered if I’d look like my fellow concertgoers if I hadn’t been gay and—just as importantly— hadn’t gotten sober �irst 25 and then again 16 years ago. I both relished and wallowed in memories from that time, and left the concert feeling grateful. Steely Dan had never sounded so liberating. Even though there were serious signs of trouble, I remained closeted—and continued partying— while I attended law school at the University of Florida. The high jinks continued, most especially during football games at Florida Field. Back then it was party central, and a bastion of testosterone driven heterosexual posturing. Still is. The warrior several rows up from our seats in the south end zone mightily resisted being escorted out of the stadium—even after he’d thrown up all over the people in the row in front of him. I’m sure I was often just as obnoxious. There were many games whose second half I didn’t remember. By then I was on an emotional spiral, trying to be some twisted version of an enviable law student, unwilling to grab hold of the truth that would be my life raft. That was long ago. I was with good friends at the Florida-

Tennessee game and we had a great time. But as I looked around the orange and blue stadium, I felt an undercurrent of wistful melancholy for wasted years. And again I felt grateful—for the honest and much richer life I have claimed. This issue is my annual turn as guest editor while Steve Blanchard takes a well-deserved vacation. It always brings back memories—of sleepless nights while we put out early issues with a staff of three, and the excitement of landing interviews with the likes of Gloria Steinem and Billie Jean King. Watermark will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. It’s clear to me now, in a way that it wasn’t back then, that my purpose in founding the newspaper was to create an appealing life raft that would help readers—including me—pull themselves to their LGBT truth. _____

As I looked around the orange and blue stadium, I felt an undercurrent of wistful melancholy for wasted years.

This is my favorite time of year. The weather cools while the social calendar heats up. On the west coast, the Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival �ills early October with wonderful movies at an extraordinary venue. And in Orlando, Come Out With Pride beckons close to a hundred thousand to a beautiful downtown venue—usually with accompanying beautiful weather. This year COWP is bringing John Waters to town. In this issue, read Stephen Miller’s hilarious and thought provoking interview with the legendary director. And here’s a tease: Billie Jean King has just agreed to let me interview her again—for the �irst time since 1997—for our Oct. 24 issue. Like I said, I’m grateful. |  |

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SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

CONTRIBUTORS PEGGY GREEN

is a chaplain and a ClearHeart Coach, serving the LGBT community and helping people and their families find grace and peace at the end of life. To reach her, visit ClearHeartCoaching.com. Page 27

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 32

CHRIS AZZOPARDI

is the editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBT wire service and has interviewed a wide range of celebrities, including Cher and Lady Gaga. He lives in Canton, Mich., and can be reached via his website at Chris-Azzopardi.com. Page 38

Greg Burton, Scottie Campbell, Zach Caruso, Amy Dees, Kirk Hartlage, Rev. Phyllis Hunt, Joseph Kissel, Ken Kundis, Mary Meeks, Stephen Miller, David Moran, Gregg Shipiro, Greg Stemm, Brett Stout, Jim Walker

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

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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orlando NEWS

EXODUS EXIT: On Sept. 23, former Exodus International president Alan Chambers and an undisclosed business partner closed on the sale of the ministry’s Central Florida headquarters. PHOTO VIA TRUTHWINSOUT.ORG

Exodus International headquarters sold Jamie Hyman

O

RLANDO | After being on the market since Dec. 2012, the Orlando headquarters of Exodus International, Inc. have been sold to a private entity. The sale comes after the June 2013 announcement that the world’s largest “ex-gay” organization, which has spent nearly 40 years providing “reparative” therapy to thousands of Christian gays seeking to live a “righteous” life as a heterosexual, would be shut down. At that time, former Exodus president Alan Chambers publicly apologized to the gay community for any damages the controversial ministry may have caused. Chambers said he and a partner he’s been working with—he did not want to name this associate— closed on the building Sept. 23, after Exodus had owned and operated out of it for �ive years. “It’s the end of the era,” Chambers told Watermark. “There’s lots of emotion in it. I put lots of personal money, time and energy into all that we did. It’s emotional to close the doors and sell the property.” Chambers said they’re still selling off assets. “Our goal is to have [Exodus] closed by the end of this year, but we’re not operating in the meantime,” he said. “My focus is really on closing Exodus and getting that all neat and tidy and �inished so that we can move on and �igure out what life is like after that.” When news of the closure and apology broke, Chambers discussed plans for a new, more positive ministry. That plan is still in the works. The new ministry would be called “Speak. Love.” “I think for so many people of faith there comes a crossroads when sexuality is in the picture, and I think many churches don’t know how to navigate faith and sexuality,” Chambers said. “Our desire is to see people treated fairly and loved, and families not broken apart.” He said many people feel like they have to make a choice between their faith and their sexuality, and he’d like to help churches navigate that so people don’t feel pressured to leave their faith. “We desire to see if we can help make a difference and foster conversation and make relationships a priority and do better in the church than we’ve done in the past,” Chambers said. |  |

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

ANNIVERSARY SONG: Joy MCC Rev. Terri Steed introduces the Orlando Gay Chorus at a Sept. 20 concert celebrating the church’s 35th anniversary. PHOTO BY MARK CADY

Safe Haven Joy MCC marks 35 years Jamie Hyman

O

RLANDO | The �irst LGBTaf�irming group to own property in Central Florida celebrated its 35th anniversary with a concert, awards dinner and special worship service Sept. 20-22. Joy Metropolitan Community Church (Joy MCC) has been at its present location on Ferncreek Ave. for nearly 25 years. Joy MCC Senior Pastor Rev. Terri Steed said the church’s origins are in the 1970s, “when many of us were very closeted.” She said the church served as a safe haven. “Over the years it has continued to be that safe place for people to come,” Steed said. “Now that we’re

not the only option in town, we’re still the mainstay in the community and the place where HIV/AIDS services �irst began and a place where people will always be able to come to the communion table as they are.” On Sept. 20, the church hosted a concert featuring the Orlando Gay Chorus and four traveling Joy MCC musicians: Marcus Young, Jeremiah Cummings, Joel Ogburn and Marsha Stevens-Pino. “The concert was standing room only,” Steed said. Joy MCC honored Darcel Stevens and Michael Slaymaker at a Social Justice Awards Dinner Sept. 21. Steed said they had a “great crowd” at the dinner, where they recognized Stevens for her advocacy and years of support for Joy MCC, and Slaymaker

for his work with LGBT youth. Rev. Elder Doctor Nancy Wilson, Moderator of Metropolitan Community Churches, led the Sunday services Sept. 21. “We were very blessed to have her here and have her lead us in a parable of encouragement,” Steed said, noting that Wilson is Joy MCC’s “highest ranking of�icial.” After marking 35 years, what’s ahead for Joy MCC? “We have just grown to two services Sunday mornings to accommodate the crowds for worship,” Steed said. Programming currently includes a popular spiritual transformation class on Wednesday nights, and Joy MCC is getting ready to kick off a 7-week study on the Bible and homosexuality. |  |

Visit JoyMCC.com for more information on the church’s services and programming.

Democratic Hispanic Caucus elects first openly gay president Susan Clary KISSIMMEE | Vivian Rodriguez had her plate full. As vice chair of the Orange County Democrats with a seat on the state LGBT Caucus, she wasn’t looking

SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

for a new post. So, when Rodriguez began receiving calls a week before the election on Aug. 17 to ask her to run for State Democratic Hispanic Caucus President, she initially said “no.” There were already two candidates in the race.

watermarkonline.com

Eventually, Rodriguez relented. By the day of the election, one candidate had dropped out to support her. In a close race, Rodriguez defeated the second candidate from Tampa 37-33, making her the �irst openly gay head of the Democratic


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Jamie Hyman

|  | Democratic Hispanic

Caucus from pg.10

Hispanic Caucus. “I am humbled because the odds were against me,” said Rodriguez, who works as a constituent �ield representative for U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Orlando). “A lot of people believed in me and they wanted a new face.”

man pushed the woman to the ground on her stomach. The driver sexually assaulted her and said “I’ll show you how a real man feels,” according to the police report. If it is determined that the alleged rape was a hate crime, the investigation would move to the state attorney’s of�ice. Anyone who may have witnessed the assault, or who has further information, is asked call Central Florida Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS. Callers can remain anonymous. |  |

Rodriguez, who served 21 years as a New York City Police detective, moved to Orlando in 2004 with her partner and their son after she retired. At one point in her career, she served on the security detail for former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As the new President of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Rodriguez was required to step down from the LGBT Caucus.

She said she has many ideas for getting Hispanics active in elections, including putting together a website, educating voters and reinstating Lobby Days in Tallahassee. “I want to involve people in elections who really believe in making changes for the better,” she said. “I am here to empower the community and I think that will be good for all of us.” |  |

IN OTHER NEWS HAMBURGER MARY’S HOSTS FUNDRAISER FOR ED HAMILTON On Sept. 26, Hamburger Mary’s Orlando will host a fundraiser for one of their employees, Ed Hamilton, who is battling cancer. The event’s theme is “We Are Family.” Doug Ba’aser hosts the show, and the lineup includes: Ginger Minj, The Minx, Miss Sammy, Carol Lee, Leigh Shannon, Page King, Lori Del Mar, and Tia Devine. The fundraiser starts at 8 p.m., with seating at 7:30 p.m. – call 321-319-0600 to make a reservation.

ORLANDO GAY CHORUS TO PERFORM WITH ORLANDO PHILHARMONIC The Orlando Gay Chorus will raise their voices alongside the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra in a celebration of American music and patriotic favorites. “An American Salute” will be performed twice on Oct. 12, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., at Bob Carr Performing Arts Center. Tickets run from about $14 - $70 and are available at OrlandoPhil.org.

orlando

O

RLANDO | Orlando police are still investigating the rape of a woman walking home from Revolution Nightclub as a possible hate crime, but the alleged victim has opted out of the investigation. “The alleged victim in this case has indicated to detectives that she no longer wishes to pursue this matter or be involved in the investigation,” said Sergeant Jim Young. “However, based upon the

initial allegations, detectives are keeping this case open pending any future information that may assist in the investigation.” According to the police report, the victim left Revolution in August, sometime after midnight. While she was walking home alone, a silver vehicle with three white males inside approached her and began yelling sexually explicit comments, including derogatory remarks about her sexuality, calling her a “dyke.” Police say the men stopped their vehicle and the driver and another

NEWS

Alleged rape victim opts out of investigation

CHERYL GRIEB RUNNING FOR OSCEOLA COUNTY COMMISION Kissimmee vice mayor Cheryl Grieb has her sights on a new job. Grieb, who is openly gay, has announced her campaign for Osceola County Commission, District 4. She has served on the Kissimmee City Council since Dec. 2006. The upcoming general election is Nov. 4, 2014. Grieb is also a realtor, and owns Olde Kissimmee Realty, specializing in historic properties for residential and commercial use in downtown Kissimmee and Saint Cloud.

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tampa bay NEWS 16

JUST JACK: Project Runway’s Jack Mackenroth was a special

guest at Metro Tampa Bay’s 20th Anniversary. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD

Gala celebrates Metro milestone, raises $75,000 Steve Blanchard

T

AMPA | The Tampa Garden Club along Bayshore Boulevard was transformed on Sept. 14 in to an icy palace, but the temperatures stayed plenty warm as 150-plus people celebrated Metro Tampa Bay’s 20th anniversary. The gala, which also served as a fundraiser for the organization’s HIV/AIDS services and LGBT outreach programs, was themed “Fire & Ice” and the blue and white decor by Concept Bait hammered home the theme while a �ire dancer welcomed guests outside the Garden Club’s doors. Several special guests spoke to the audience, including Rep. Kathy Castor who talked about the importance of equality on a national level, as well as LGBT-speci�ics related to the Affordable Healthcare Act. Hillsborough County Commissioner Kevin Beckner also spoke. “Congratulations to Metro for two decades of amazing service,” he said from the stage. “It’s organizations like these that have helped keep those living with HIV and AIDS healthy and have made the services necessary available to them all throughout Tampa Bay. For that we thank you.” The gala was a �irst for Metro, and was a way to celebrate the organization’s successes. “The people, our staff, and our mission at Metro have kept us successful,” executive director Lorraine Langlois said. “Our work isn’t done. HIV education and prevention is still needed and a whole new generation needs to be educated. That’s what we do.” Special guests Jack Mackenroth, a New York designer who made it big on Season 4 of Project Runway, and lesbian comic Karen Williams both addressed HIV and Metro’s success. “I was diagnosed HIV positive in 1989,” Mackenroth told the audience. “I was told I only had a few years to live. It’s organizations like this that keep us alive and keep the �ight against this disease alive.” While on Project Runway, Mackenroth revealed his HIV status, making him the �irst positive reality star on television. For more information on Metro, visit MetroTampaBay.org. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

MOTIVATED HOST: Jorge Alvarado says he started his show to provide a voice for the community. PHOTO COURTESY THE JORGE SHOW

All eyes are on Jorge Jorge Alvarado preps fourth season of cable access show Zach Caruso

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AMPA | This isn’t Jorge Alvarado’s �irst rodeo. “I actually started out in television when I was a kid,” said the host, creative director, and producer of Tampa Bay’s The Jorge Show. “I was the host of the WTOG 44 Kid’s Club, and I would host wearing this robe and say things like, ‘We’ll be right back with Woody Woodpecker!’ And I was even on the Mickey Mouse Club too, as a backup dancer/extra.” Alvarado’s eponymous onehour talk show—which features everything from fashion to celebrity interviews—is heading into its fourth season, and with it comes more work and responsibilities. But Alvarado is not only prepared, but looking forward to it. “We’ve all been there where we say ‘Oh I was so busy at work,’ but that’s because you checked your email, you took 15 sel�ies, made a few phone calls, took a break and texted a few people, whatever, we’ve all been there,” Alvarado said. “But now, truly, I can say 100% that I invest everything I have into this

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project, and I know what I hard day’s work really is. There are days I can’t believe how many hours have �lown by.” Alvarado’s journey has come full circle, but in-between his childhood TV appearances and his current career hosting his own show, he spent his days behind the scenes and a jack of all trades. “I danced when I was a kid, and when I got into my adulthood, I got back in touch with it. And that opened me up to a lot of other creative opportunities,” he said. “I would take any job I could get—‘You need a choreographer? I can do that.’ ‘You need a decorator? Yeah, I can do that.’ Whatever it was, I took the job, because I knew that sooner or later I’d be able to use all that knowledge that I had been banking.” That time �inally came when Alvarado was working behind the scenes in fashion and decided to move to the forefront. “Working through all the different creative jobs I’ve had, from choreographer to director to working runway shows, I spent most of the time behind the camera. But when I was working in fashion, I decided to take my career a step

watermarkonline.com

further and actually be the designer,” he said. “And so there was a year I was just cranking out event after event, but they were events that started with my own thoughts and ideas that I wanted to make happen.” It was then that Alvarado decided what he wanted to do with himself. “I knew since I was a kid that there was a voice that should be heard,” he said. “And I was sparked to actually start using my voice for more socially responsible reasons.” Alvarado cites Hillsborough politician Ronda Storms’ controversial stance on gay issues as one major call to action. As part of the County Commission, Storms pushed for a policy that Hillsborough government refrain from participating or acknowledging gay pride events or recognition. “I was a con�ident kid, raised by a strong Puerto Rican mom. I think it was the �irst time that I ever felt that my lifestyle was being threatened for no reason,” he said. “I felt like I had a target on me, and I ended up on the front of the Tampa Tribune holding up my protest sign.” Alvarado became active in the community, working for marriage equality and speaking in Jacksonville. In 2010 he organized Pride On 7th—an event aimed at creating unity within

Continued on page 18 |  |


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tampa bay NEWS

|  | Jose Alvarado from pg.27

local communities. “I wanted to take advantage of the energy coming out of Ybor City, I wanted to get everyone involved,” he said. “I wanted to spread the message to everyone, not just the gay community, because if people outside our community become supportive then we have a better chance of achieving these goals together.” The event no longer exists, but Alvarado says the soul of the project is alive and well. “When this television project started to formulate, I decided to take what we started with Pride on 7th and turn it into a project no one in the Bay Area has done yet,’” he said. Alvarado says that The Jorge Show affords him the ability to stay connected with the creative world he worked in for so long. “Now I get to talk about all these things—fashion and performing—without being the one running around actually doing them all.” Alvarado also claims that a big part of the success of the show is

its honesty. “When we �irst started this project, my number one rule was that I wouldn’t change anything about me,” he said. “I have to talk the way I talk to be 100% relatable to the audience.” Alvarado also uses the show to spotlight artists at the beginning of their careers. “So many people want the big stars,” he said. “Well, I wanted them too, but I also have a platform for people trying to work their way up.” Now all eyes are on Alvarado, and he welcomes it. “I’m a South Tampa boy, so when I hear that industry people in New York and LA are watching me, it’s like ‘Are you serious?’” he said. “I have a supportive husband, a supportive family, and a great group of colleagues that I get to work with, and even though it’s a lot of work, everything is happening so quickly that I don’t want to miss a thing.” |  |

For more information on The Jorge Show visit thejorgeshow.com, or tune in Friday nights at 7 p.m. and Saturday mornings at 11 a.m. on Bright House 949/950, Comcast 20, and Verizon 30/36.

ACLU files complaint on behalf of transgender nursing student Jamie Hyman

L

ARGO | The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida is intervening on behalf of a transgender nursing student at Pinellas Technical Education Centers (PTEC) who was told she is not allowed to use the women’s restrooms at her school. The complaint, �iled Sept. 17, was sent to the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and states that Pinellas County Schools (of which PTEC is a part) is discriminating against Alex Wilson, 25, on the basis of her sex in violation of Title IX of the Educations Amendments of 1972. “Alex was treated the same as any other student until administrators found out she

is transgender,” said Daniel Tilley, ACLU of Florida’s LGBT rights staff attorney, in a media release. “Now they are stigmatizing her and humiliating her because of her gender identity.” Wilson has been living as a woman for four years and is identi�ied as “female” on her Florida driver’s license and in the records of the Social Security Administration. According to the ACLU, she used the women’s restroom from November 2012, when she �irst enrolled at PTEC, until July 8, 2013, when school of�icials told her she could use neither the women’s nor the men’s restrooms and would have to use a restroom in a separate building or in a faculty restroom, which meant she’d have to obtain a key from an administrator every time.

In another meeting, a school administrator threatened to press charges against Wilson if she tried to use a regular restroom, according to the ACLU. The ACLU sent a letter directly to the school superintendent in August. When no action was taken, they �iled the complaint with the DOE. “We are working on a resolution with the school board but don’t have anything to share at this time,” said ACLU spokesman Baylor Johnson. The complaint asks the DOE to investigate, to require school administrators to allow Wilson to use regular restrooms and to revise district policies to make sure they comply with Title IX. According to the ACLU, if the DOE isn’t satis�ied that Pinellas School are complying with protection requirements, they may deny federal funds to the district. |  |

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present

Pride Fest 2013 “Equality for All”

J.D. Hamel Park 12-6 p.m.

Oct 19th

Live Music Cash Bar Clowns Vendor Expo Family Zone Food Truck Rally Face Painters

www.sarasotapride.org SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

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state NEWS

Rubio blocks nomination for first openly gay federal judge Boca Raton, Palm Beach County approve pro-gay policies Staff Report

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ALM BEACH COUNTY | September 10 was a big day for LGBT rights in Palm Beach County. Boca Raton’s City Council voted unanimously to update its equal opportunity policy for the �irst time since 1996, including language that states city employees will not face discrimination because of sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression. During the same meeting, the City Council voted 4-1 to allow domestic partners of city employees to receive the same bene�its as married spouses. The hearing and votes for both issues took just 13 minutes, according to The Sun-Sentinel. Boca Raton had been the largest city in Palm Beach County without an anti-discrimination policy. On that same night, the Palm Beach County Commission met and decided that gay and lesbian county government employees will no longer face a tax penalty on health insurance for their registered domestic partners. The tax equity measure reimburses employees for additional federal income taxes levied when they accept county health bene�its for their partners. |  |

Staff Report

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IAMI | Senator Marco Rubio has blocked the appointment of the �irst openly gay judge to the federal bench in South Florida, despite the fact that he supported the nomination less than a year ago. Nominees must secure the approval of both U.S. senators in their home state. Rubio interviewed Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas and initially supported President Obama’s nomination of him. Sen. Bill Nelson also approved. The Federal Judicial Nominating Commission then of�icially recommended Judge Thomas to become a Federal District Court Judge for the Southern District of Florida. But this week Rubio changed his mind. He’s now blocked con�irmation hearings for Thomas. Rubio’s press secretary, Brooke Sammon, told the Daily Business Review Sept. 19 that the senator blocked Thomas’ con�irmation

BENCHED: Miami Dade Circuit Court Judge William Thomas would have been the first openly gay judge seated on the federal bench in South Florida. PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI DADE CIRCUIT COURT

because the senator has “questions about his judicial temperament and his willingness to impose appropriate criminal sentences.” Sammon cited two instances that Rubio decided “raised serious concerns about his �itness for a lifetime federal appointment.” In the �irst instance, Rubio claims Thomas wept while giving an account of a brutal kidnapping, gang rape and murder at the killer’s sentencing in January. In the second

instance, Rubio’s of�ice questioned Thomas’ sentencing in the case of a hit-and-run driver in Miami that killed a cyclist and provoked outrage in the cycling community The Miami-Dade and Broward Police Benevolent Associations and the League of Prosecutors have written to Rubio’s of�ice in praise of Thomas, but the freshman Republican senator has not been moved. A Change.org petition is being circulated that seeks 10,000 signatures asking Rubio to allow the process to move forward. The petition reads: “Judge Thomas would be a tremendous asset to the bench and community. He brings years of legal and judicial experience to the court. The time to act is now and therefore we request that Senator Rubio put politics aside and immediately issue a ‘blue slip’ allowing for Judge Thomas nomination process to move forward,” the petition reads. Visit WatermarkOnline.com for a link to the petition. |  |

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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nation+world NEWS

IN OTHER NEWS O.C. CROWNS ITS FIRST TRANSGENDER HOMECOMING QUEEN Traditionally conservative Orange County, Calif., has crowned its first transgender homecoming queen. Upon receiving her crown Sept. 20, 16-year-old Cassidy Lynn Campbell became Marina High School’s 50th homecoming queen and one of few transgendered teens nationwide to receive such a title. ``I’m speechless. I can’t even believe this,’’ Cassidy said. ``I’m so proud of my school, my administration and the student body for making this happen.’’

A.G. CERTIFIES WORDING ON ARK. SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PROPOSAL Attorney General Dustin McDaniel has approved the wording of a proposal aimed at repealing Arkansas’ constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. McDaniel certified the proposed Repeal of the Arkansas Marriage Amendment on Sept. 19. The measure would not legalize gay marriage in and of itself, unlike another proposal whose wording the attorney general rejected earlier that week.

N.J. SCHOOL TO PAY EX-STUDENT $60K FOR BULLYING The Old Bridge, N.J., school board has agreed to pay a former student $60,000 to settle allegations the district failed to effectively handle allegations the boy was harassed and bullied for four years. Officials say the student was targeted at school, on the school bus and online for his perceived sexual orientation and, in some cases, his Jewish faith.

S.D. STORE SETTLES WITH FIRED TRANSGENDER EMPLOYEE A Rapid City, S.D., grocery store has agreed to pay a former employee $50,000 to settle a complaint in which she claimed she was fired for being transgender. Cori McCreery, 29, said she was fired in 2010 from Don’s Valley Market after she announced she was transitioning from being a man to being a woman. McCreery had worked for the company on and off for five years and at one point had held a supervisory position.

PA. LAWMAKERS TO TARGET GAY ‘CONVERSION’ THERAPY Some state Democratic lawmakers want to bar Pennsylvania mental-health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of gay minors. Openly gay Rep. Brian Sims of Philadelphia and Rep. Gerald Mullery of Luzerne County said Sept. 17 they plan to introduce a bipartisan bill to bar gay ``conversion’’ therapy for minors. Sen. Anthony Williams of Philadelphia recently introduced a similar bill in the Senate.

N.Y. MAN CHARGED WITH MURDER AS HATE CRIME IN QUEENS The NYPD has charged a 22-year-old man with a hate crime in the stabbing death of a man found under an elevated subway line in Queens. Steven Torres of the Bronx was charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime and criminal possession of a weapon. Torres allegedly attacked 69-year-old Ever Orozco because he believed he was gay.

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Labor Dept: Same-sex spouses have benefit rights

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ASHINGTON, D.C. | Legally married same-sex couples enjoy the same federal rights as other married couples when it comes to pensions, 401(k)s, health plans and other employee bene�its, even if they live in states that don’t recognize their union, the Labor Department said Sept. 18. The new guidance is the latest effort by the Obama administration to clarify questions left unanswered after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in June which invalidated part of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act. The interpretation is consistent with a ruling from the Internal Revenue Service last month that legally married same-sex couples can �ile joint federal tax returns even if they reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. “This decision represents a historic step toward equality for all American families, and I have

directed the department’s agency heads to ensure that they are implementing the decision in a way that provides maximum protection for workers and their families,” said Labor Secretary Thomas Perez. The agency said the terms ‘spouse’ and ‘marriage’ in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) should be read to include same-sex couples regardless of where they currently reside. That means a same-sex couple that marries legally in Minnesota or New York can still participate equally in retirement and other federal employee bene�its if they move to Florida, where samesex marriage is not legal. Groups that represent large employers welcomed the guidance, saying it makes it easier for companies operating across the country to have uniform rules to follow when it comes to issues like spousal consent on distribution of

EQUAL BENEFITS: Labor

Secretary Thomas Perez: “This decision represents a historic step toward equality for all American families.”

bene�its and survivorship rights. “We’re looking for consistency among all the federal agencies and consistency from one state to another,” said Scott Macey, president of the ERISA Industry Committee that represents large employers. “We view this as a positive step to continue to help clarify the impact of the decision.” |  |

Putin says no discrimination of gays in Russia

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ALDAI, RUSSIA | President Vladimir Putin denied Sept. 19 that gays face discrimination in Russia, saying that a new law that has drawn protests worldwide does not infringe on their rights. Putin maintained that the law bans only “propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations among minors.” He argued that it is “no infringement on the rights of sexual minorities” and insisted that European laws allowing gay marriage contribute to

population declines. The Russian law has prompted calls for boycotts of the 2014 Winter Olympics hosted by Russia in Sochi. Putin said while some European nations have allowed same-sex marriages, “the Europeans are dying out ... and gay marriages don’t produce children.” The new Russian law imposes �ines of up to 5,000 rubles ($150) for individuals and 1 million rubles ($30,000) for organizations, plus stiffer penalties for propaganda on the Web or in the media. Foreigners

who violate the law are also subject to �ines, plus prison sentences of up to 15 days, deportation and denial of re-entry into Russia. The law does not outlaw gay sex or explicitly ban participation in gay pride parades or promotion of LGBT equality online. However, the de�inition of “propaganda” is vague and wearing a rainbow �lag on the street or writing in a certain way about same-sex relationships on Facebook could be interpreted as propaganda. |  |

removed from a case because of sexual orientation. At the end of the hour of arguments, it was unclear which way the judges were leaning. The issue started at the beginning of the 2011 trial between SmithKlineBeecham and Abbott Laboratories when an Abbott lawyer used a preemptory challenge to remove a juror who identi�ied himself as gay from serving on the trial. SmithKline argued the juror’s removal was done because of the widespread negative publicity that Abbott’s 2007 price hike received in

the gay community. Abbott denied the allegation and said it had several reasons to remove the potential juror, which included a friend dying of AIDS. The U.S. Supreme Court prohibits lawyers from using their challenges to remove a potential juror solely because of race or gender, but has never ruled on sexual orientation. The California Supreme Court has barred the removal of gays from jury pools without justi�ication since 2000, but its rulings aren’t binding on federal courts. |  |

Federal court deciding if gay juror can be taken off case

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AN FRANCISCO, CALIF. | An appeals court gave little indication Sept. 18 whether a potential juror can be booted from a trial solely because of sexual orientation. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals listened to an hour of legal arguments on the issue from lawyers representing two rival drug companies embroiled in an antitrust dispute. But the three judges were most interested in the question of whether a potential juror can be

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SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

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nerdcandy

T

The best internet tool you’re probably not using

Jamie Hyman ONLINE MEDIA DIR. JAMIE@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

ODAY, WE’RE GOING TO talk about a better way to browse the internet.

Many of you are familiar with RSS feeds and readers. If you are one of them, this column is not for you. Flip to the wonderful John Waters interview, or the story about The Laramie Project at Rollins, or the preview of Sarasota Pride, or any of the other cool things we’ve covered in this issue. However, if (like most of Team Watermark!) you are not familiar with RSS, here’s a crash course. You’ll thank me later.

WHAT IS RSS?

RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication—a nearlyinvisible system that is already in place online. RSS allows readers to easily follow and keep up with a number of different blogs, websites and newsfeeds.

WHY SHOULD I USE RSS?

every few months. Channing has a few options for remembering the url (uniform resource locator, or web address) for each of these sites. He can store them in his head or �ile them as bookmarks on his browser. Or like a lot of people here at Watermark, Channing can type the name of the site—or something close—into a search engine every time he’d like to visit, then wait for that search engine to pull up the link and click on it. Kind of pain, right? First of all, urls aren’t always simple and easy to memorize. Secondly, when Channing stumbles onto a great new site he might not make it part of his regular viewing, either because it’s too much of a pain to remember the url or because his bookmarks menu is getting swollen and already feels overwhelming. But the biggest issue with following sites this way—and incidentally, the reason RSS exists—is that Channing is almost certain to waste time checking sites that haven’t been updated since his last viewing. So let’s save Channing (and you) that time! When you use an RSS reader to aggregate multiple regularly visited sites, you only have to visit the site of the RSS reader. That site pulls all the new updates from all the sites you visit—as they happen—and shows them to you in a simple format. You don’t have to click around, you don’t have to guess which of your bookmarked sites might have a new update, and you don’t have to waste time visiting sites that have no new content. Visit one RSS site every day, and all of the fresh content from your favorite sites is provided to you. And here’s the most important bene�it of all: You don’t have to understand how or why RSS works to use it. It really is that simple.

The typical internet user follows six to eight blogs and websites on a regular, possibly daily basis.

Based on a few informal polls, the typical internet user—let’s call him Channing Cumberbatch—follows six to eight blogs and websites on a regular, possibly daily basis. To keep things simple, let’s take Facebook out of the equation right now because Facebook acts as a different type of aggregator. So in addition to those six to eight non-Facebook sites, Channing might also check four or �ive more sites on a less regular basis—say, every few weeks. Finally, there might be a couple more sites that aren’t updated frequently, so Channing only checks in on them

HOW DO I USE RSS?

First, you need to �ind yourself an RSS reader to aggregate your favorite sites. The most popular RSS reader used to be Google Reader, but Google shut it down this past summer for some indiscernible strategic reason (may it RIP). There’s no longer a frontrunner, but there are many popular options: The Old Reader, Newsblur, Feedly and Digg Reader, to name a few. I currently use Feedly. It’s not as mobile-friendly as Google Reader, but it’s serviceable. But if I was starting from scratch,

you know what I’d do? I’d ask my more tech-savvy friends what RSS reader they use and then just use that one. That way, you have built-in tech support if you get confused. Once you pick a reader, create an account. (I recommend starting with a free one until you get addicted enough to care about bells and whistles.) Your reader will then show you a link that says something like, “Add Content” or “+RSS.” Click that to begin building your RSS feed. Then click on the url of your favorite site, copy it, and paste it into that space. Repeat for the rest of your favorite sites. And seriously, that’s it. You’re done. From now on, just open your RSS

reader and fresh content from all your favorite sites will be waiting for you.

OTHER RSS STUFF

A warning: Usually when you �irst add a site to an RSS reader, that site’s last 10 updates will show up. Don’t freak out because it looks like there’s a bunch of old content. Just mark it ‘read’ until you get to stuff you haven’t seen before. Once there, you’ll be all caught up and anything new you see will be fresh. A bonus: Most RSS readers have mobile applications, so you can use this easy way to keep up with your favorite sites on the go, too. |  |

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guestcolumn

Film Fest Doc Inhabits Lesson of Giving

Peggy Green

W

HAT WOULD IT TAKE TO

feel so much at home in your own skin that you become everyone you want to be? What do you need in order to feel so connected, so related, so much a part of the natural world that everywhere you go you wake up in your own bed? Who are those people who blow into any room, breeze into any town, cross every threshold as if it were their own front door?

Home. The �inal frontier. I’m thinking of a gay couple that could have lived anywhere in the world. They could have built their house in any gay Mecca from Sydney to San Francisco. But they chose to raise their two sons in Nashville. I’m thinking of two gay guys who’d felt their way through the dark cave that was growing up gay in the 1970s. I’m thinking of Curtis, the middle son of fundamentalist Christians. I’m thinking of Desmond, the oldest son of an hardworking but impoverished mother. I’m thinking of two gay guys who went off in search of something greater than

themselves―and met a woman. But not just any woman. Not just any fun, fully-alive, big-hearted, beautiful woman. I’m thinking of Angela. I’m thinking of the woman whose belly became a home. “I’m just the incubator!” she says. I’m thinking of the belly of a woman who carried twin sons into this world, and passed them on to the two pairs of male hands who would carry them home. Imagine. What would it take to so fully inhabit your own form that you don’t even have to click your heels together in order to know where you belong? In search of something greater than themselves, two gay men and one fun woman did one thing right from way down deep. Just as Angela shared her womb with two separate beings, Desmond and Curtis shared their sons, named Roman and Nyro, with their surrogate mom―and her mom and dad. Just as Angela passed a pair of sons to the sort of people usually deleted from the family album, two gay men passed their ruby slippers to the very family that wasn’t so sure how they’d �it in. It’s a song that sings throughout their �ilm, Two: The Story of Roman and Nyro (coming Thursday, Oct. 10 to the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival). In her mesmerizing directorial debut, Heather Winters barely mentions the decidedly unChristian campaign to banish all things gay from the American family. Instead, she gives us two gay men who appear to include the entire world in their vision of ‘hearth and home.’ Instead, she gives us something real, something complicated, something commendable: the parents of Angela, Desmond and Curtis as they confront fear, myth and prejudice. Instead, she gives us a struggle not only towards family, but towards human unity. Instead Winters gives us hearts, and their in�inite capacity for adaptation and growth. From an evangelical named Mary Ann, Curtis’ mom, to Ruby and Ken, Angela’s mom and dad, the village of grandmoms and granddads grows. From Desmond’s father and Angela’s husband, to Bon Jovi and Deepok Chopra, the ruby slippers hop from family member to family member like sticky bee feet from �lower to �lower. What would it take to feel so much a part of the world womb that everywhere you go “there’s no place

I’m thinking of two gay guys who went off in search of something greater than themselves.

like home”—because there’s no place that isn’t? Angela, Desmond and Curtis shared what they had, and when they did it grew and grew until you get the feeling that it now includes everyone, including you. In Chopra’s words, this is the law of giving that comes to life when we “give what we seek.” This is the ‘generosity’ de�ined by A Course in Miracles as “giving away in order to keep.” It is the generosity which the �ilm spotlights when Angela’s mother, Ruby—who has plenty of reasons for disengaging—walks to Angela’s side as the two babies she carried for nine months go home with Desmond and

Curtis. It is the generosity on display when Curtis, who shares no DNA with his sons, is kissed and reassured by Desmond, the biological father. The law of giving is seen most clearly when Desmond, Curtis and Angela’s mom enter the delivery room as a team. In that room, the biological father and the birth mom’s mother add one perfect voice to the song of universal awe as Roman and Nyro enter the world. |  | Peggy Green is a writer, a motivational speaker and a personal coach. Visit her at www.peggygreen.net. Email her at peggy@ peggygreen.net.

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TALKING POINTS

It’s a huge compliment people think I’m gay.

— ACTOR JAKE GYLLENHAAL, TALKING ABOUT HIS ROLE IN BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN ON INSIDE THE ACTOR’S STUDIO.

51

%

of Russians would not like

“under any circumstances”

to see a homosexual as a neighbor or co-worker. —Russian Public Opinion Research Center

PEOPLE ARE TALKING AT WATERMARKONLINE.COM ON A TRANSGENDER NURSING STUDENT’S FIGHT TO USE REGULAR RESTROOMS AT HER PINELLAS SCHOOL:

ON ORANGE COUNTY MAYOR TERESA JACOBS SIGNING A PRIDE PROCLAMATION FOR ORLANDO PRIDE:

“I’m a cis female and have used the men’s restroom when the line is too long at the women’s, and was never treated this way. How dare they?”

“Why do we keep giving Mayor Jacobs a pass?? She is a bigot. The woman does not support gay marriage. Don’t believe me? Ask her yourself. I did and she straight up told me that she does not support gay marriage. She is using our community to further her own political ambitions. She is NOT a friend of the GLBT community, but wants our votes desperately.”

—CYN MCCOLLUM “You’re a cisgender and thus have cisgender privilege, even if you don’t feel you do. The issue is not (cis) men or women going into the ‘wrong’ room. The issue is transphobia. The bathroom issue is just a socially-sanctioned battle line.” —HAZUMUOSARAGI

—RANDZTHEMAN

MISSED DANCING OPPORTUNITY

H

UNKY BRITISH RUGBY STAR BEN COHEN was willing to make his reality television debut yet another symbol for equality. The outspoken LGBT rights advocate, who happens to be straight, offered to dance with a male partner on Strictly Come Dancing—the U.K. version of Dancing with the Stars. But producers paired him with female blonde beauty Kristina Rihanoff. “I’ve no qualms dancing

with a woman or a man,” Cohen said. “Kristina will be easier to pick up though.” Cohen founded the Ben Cohen Standup Foundation to combat homophobia and bullying among LGBT youth. And he welcomes his gay male fan base. “If men �ind me attractive, I’m honored and �lattered by it,” he said. Want to see what all the fuss is about? Check him out on Google Images… almost all of the pics are shirtless. Cohen is a real beauty, inside and out. |  |

BE FORGIVEN

P

LANNING TO DRINK A LITTLE TOO MUCH AT NEXT MONTH’S COME OUT WITH PRIDE FESTIVITIES IN ORLANDO? Want to avoid a yucky hangover? Forgiven Bottling Group, Inc. (FBG) has launched what it calls “the world’s �irst and only alcohol metabolizer” aptly called “Forgiven.” The drink comes as 2-oz shots and 750ml bottles in three �lavors: grape, orange and tropical punch. A similar formula in capsule form is available at GNC, CVS, 7-Eleven and Circle K. FBG claims it “helps fuel the metabolism to process alcohol.” We’ll try anything to be “forgiven” after a night on the town. |  |

CHER SNUBS SOCHI

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HAT WERE RUSSIAN BIGWIGS THINKING when they asked Cher, long beloved by gays worldwide, to open the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi?! The legendary singer-actress said she “�lat out refused” because of the country’s legislation banning progay advocacy. Cher, who

SURVEY SAYS… YOU’RE FEELING

STRESSED

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ATERMARK READERS: ARE YOU ALWAYS WIPING THE SWEAT OFF YOUR BROW? Wringing your hands? That wouldn’t surprise Sperling’s BestPlaces, a research �irm specializing in livability rankings. In a recent study of the “Top Ten Most Stressful Places to Live,” Tampa/St. Petersburg was �irst and Orlando was sixth. Other Florida locales: Miami (3rd), Jacksonville (4th) and West Palm Beach/Boca Raton (10th). Among the variables were employment, commute, mental health and cloudy days. Sperling’s advice to reduce stress? Get more sleep. |  |

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turned 67 this year, is gearing up to release Closer to the Truth, her �irst album of all-new material in more than a decade, on Sept. 24. She’ll soon join the �ifth season of The Voice, as an advisor to Blake Shelton’s team. Finally, she plans to embark on a “Dressed to Kill” concert tour in 2014. |  |

DARREN CRISS TAKES A

LICK

I

N THIS MONTH’S COSMOPOLITAN, GLEE HEARTTHROB DARREN CRISS discusses his ongoing love affair with his gay fans. The straight actor, who plays gay character Blaine, said he was once licked on the face by a male fan. Earlier this year, a blogger for HuffPost Gay Voices gushed about her son meeting Criss, “his crush.” And in April Criss performed at the GLAAD Media Awards singing Carly Rae Jepsen’s hit “Call Me Maybe,” but with the lyrics changed to promote overturning DOMA and Prop 8. You can catch Criss on the season premiere of Glee when it returns to Fox on Sept. 26. Rumor has it that Blaine, and his boyfriend Kurt (Chris Colfer) will reunite and get engaged in the upcoming season. |  |

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lass C s s a

r C with In Orlando for Come Out With Pride, director John Waters will reflect on the strange and wonderful sensibilities that fueled his legendary career.  

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watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

O

Stephen J. Miller

RLANDO | WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT

that a commitment to bad taste would change cinema—and comedy—forever?

In his 60-plus years as a �ilmmaker, best-selling author, cartoon voice and onstage performer, John Waters has done just that. As part of Come Out With Pride’s Out in the Open Film Festival, Waters is bringing his one-man journey in the world of mis�its to Orlando. For one night only—Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.—the legend will present “An Evening with John Waters” at The Abbey, �illing the downtown performance venue with his off-color stories, sharp wit, and even sharper moustache. “It’s about celebrating not �itting in, including not �itting in the gay world if you’re gay,” Waters said during an hour-long telephone interview from his home in Baltimore. He’d just returned from Provincetown, where he spends his summers. At the age of 15, Waters started �ilming his family and neighbors with

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just a hand-held camera. Later he roped in friends that included drag legend Divine and camp queen Mink Stole. He also found fascinating local freaks like Edith “The Egg Lady” Massey. Using these subversive characters, Waters infused popular cinema with previously unfathomable levels of violence, absurdity and the grotesque. Nowadays, it’s the stuff of gagworthy legend: Divine eating real dog feces (Pink Flamingos, 1972), or getting raped by a giant paper-mache lobster (Multiple Maniacs, 1970), and Kathleen Turner killing Patty Hearst with a shoe (Serial Mom, 1994). Somehow, from ‘60s homemade shorts and ’70s shockers to ‘80s musicals and ‘90s big-budget black comedies, Waters slowly gained acceptance in the world of mainstream entertainment. He became a bestselling author and talk-show regular.

watermarkonline.com

He’s even the voice of John the Shopkeeper on The Simpsons. Johnny Depp, Kathleen Turner and Johnny Knoxville clamored to work with him. Hairspray and Cry-Baby became Broadway musicals—the former earning �ive Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and now being performed in places like Eustis. Waters tackled a wide range of topics during his interview for Watermark, and offered some surprising opinions. WATERMARK: CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR SHOW?

JOHN WATERS: I’ve been doing a version of it for forty years. But this speci�ic night is gayer... and �ilthier. It’s a self-help lecture. It’s about true crime, it’s about movies, it’s about art, it’s about fashion, it’s about sexual politics—you know, everything. It’s always updated, always changing. I read like a hundred magazines a month because I’m always looking for new stuff. I have a prison version, a gay version, a horror version, a foreign version. I always adapt it to who the audience is going to be.


watermark

IN DEPTH

WILL THERE BE ANY WEIRD PROPS FROM YOUR OLD MOVIES?

The set is up to the place I’m playing. I only ask for a nice vase of �lowers on the stage. But to be honest, I don’t need any scenery. Once I get going, you’re not going to look at scenery. THE ABBEY IS A GREAT VENUE.

At a gay event you always expect a little more panache. But I’m not demanding anything, believe me. I have the shortest rider of any speaker ever. ANY SPECIAL PLANS WHILE YOU’RE IN TOWN?

I never get to do anything in town. I’m usually in, do my show, off to bed and on a plane to the next one the next day. The only people I meet are usually the people at the show. YOU’LL MEET MY NEIGHBOR JESSE AT THE SHOW. HE’S A SUPER FAN. HE’LL BE THE ONE WITH THE WORD “CRACKER” TATTOOED ON HIS NECK.

For real? I assume he means like a hillbilly and not the character “Crackers” in Pink Flamingos. COULD BE. THAT MOVIE IS ONE OF HIS FAVORITES.

(Laughs) That movie has not gotten any nicer with age. I’ll look for him. My fans are great. Some get there early, and get drunk and by the time the show starts they’re passing out. They laugh too hard at everything you say in the �irst �ive minutes, and then they puke. I’m trying to think... I don’t think I’ve ever had a heckler in my entire life. YOU HAVE SUCH ICONIC ITEMS IN YOUR FILMS... THE GIANT LOBSTER IN MULTIPLE MANIACS, THE ROACH DRESS IN HAIRSPRAY, DIVINE’S RED DRESS IN PINK FLAMINGOS. IS THAT STUFF WAREHOUSED SOMEWHERE?

COME OUT WITH PRIDE

It depends. I have a �ilm archive at Wesleyan University and it has everything from my �ilms that I could get my hands on. The roach dress that Rikki Lake wore is there. I don’t think that red dress survived. The lobster de�initely is not. My production designer Vincent Peranio created it. He was in it with his brother; you can see them... they’re the feet of Lobstora. It was made of papermache and rotted so we took it to the harbor in Baltimore before it became a kind of yuppie place. Back then it was all rats and sailors and stuff. We just threw the lobster in the water and gave it a burial at sea. Most of the other stuff is there at Wesleyan. It’s mostly the later stuff. With the earlier stuff we didn’t know anyone would care! I don’t have anything about my career in my house at all. BALTIMORE USES YOU IN THEIR TOURISM PROMOTIONS NOW.

As long as they don’t put out my address! I don’t respond well when people knock on my door. I even have my fan mail delivered somewhere else. IS THERE ANY THOUGHT TO A MUSEUM?

No, I don’t want that. It all goes to Wesleyan when I’m gone.

YOU STARTED MAKING FILMS IN 1964. DO YOU THINK IT TOOK THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA A LONG TIME TO FIND YOU?

I don’t think it took long at all! I always got coverage. No one said my movies were great for 10 years or so, but plenty of people said they were bad. They noticed! My audience was part of a cultural war going on in the ‘60s. The �ilm critics were very square and very straight. We used their negative reviews. In fact, I built a career off of negative reviews! I’ve always believed I was enough of a showman to do that. In the beginning I didn’t mind negative reviews. I was just glad to be reviewed at all. But as I got older, bad reviews got harder and harder to take. I’ve always said, ‘You read the good ones twice and the bad ones once... and then you put them away and never look at them again.’ And responding to your critics is a sure sign of a real amateur. In the ‘60s the bad reviews helped me, but that wouldn’t happen today. Now all �ilm critics are hip; there are no square Continued on page 44 |  |

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“It’s a great acting lesson for students because it gives them the opportunity to put on the moccasins of some very different people who are all still alive and still breathing,” Ouellette said. “It allows them to play a range of characters—some hold views analogous to their own and some are diametrically opposed. Inhabiting both, and giving their words the same conviction, is a real challenge for students.” One third of the 13-person cast is comprised of incoming freshman, who received notices about the tryouts at home before arriving on campus. The narrators are Crysta Anne Marie, Peter Ruiz and Alexandra Crawford. The actors are Chris Stewart, Kami Spaulding, Ryan McCormick, Isabella Ward, Casey Casteel, Emily Steward, Alexios Venieris, Samantha Frontera, Russell Henderson, Ryan Roberson, Aaron McKinney and Taylor Sorrel.

HISTORY RETOLD

HISTORY REVISITED: Director Thomas Ouellette (second from left) considers his The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later cast. The English Bulldog at right—Lillian—is Ouellette’s. PHOTO BY JAKE STEVENS

A Tragedy Revisited THEATER

Rollins College dives head first into The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later

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Susan Clary

INTER PARK | IT’S BEEN 15

years since we lost Matthew Shepard. The 22-year old University of Wyoming student was kidnapped, beaten, tortured and tied to a fence post on Oct. 6, 1998. He died six days later and his murder became the gay hate crime that shook the country and ultimately led to federal hate crime legislation. 36

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

In the years since, there have been songs, books, �ilms and documentaries written about Shepard. None stands out more than The Laramie Project, a play by Moises Kaufman and members of the Tectonic Theater Project. It was borne from hundreds of interviews with the townspeople of Laramie, Wyo. The crime occurred just outside the prairie town. Ten years after Shepard’s death, the Tectonic Theater Project returned to Laramie to follow-up with residents and talk to them

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about the lasting impact of his murder. Those interviews became a companion play, an epilogue, titled The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. This provocative work opens the 2013-2014 season at the Annie Russell Theatre at Rollins College. It runs from Sept. 27-Oct. 5. Though written as a staged reading, director Thomas Ouellette has envisioned Laramie as a fully staged play at the Annie. “I picked this play because I thought this would be a watershed moment for the LGBT community,” said Ouellette, referring to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denied federal bene�its to same-sex married couples. “I knew it would be poignant and pointed either way.”

AN ACTING LESSON

A casting call for Laramie coincided with the �irst week of school for Rollins. More than 60 students tried out for 13 places in the cast—�ive men, �ive women and three narrators. The actors portray 50-plus roles and had to demonstrate for Ouellette that they could seamlessly move from one persona to another.

watermarkonline.com

The Epilogue is told in two acts, each about 45 minutes in length. Shepard is not portrayed in the play, though his mother, Judy Shepard, who became a high-pro�ile LGBT activist after her son’s murder, has a role. In addition, we hear from one of Shepard’s murderers: one of two men who received life convictions for the crime. The play asks and tries to answer a number of challenging questions: How did Laramie change as a result of Shepard’s murder? Has the impact been lasting? What does life in Laramie tell us about life in America 10 years after the murder? And how is history being rewritten? One of the things that recent interviews revealed is that for some in Laramie the story has morphed, from a murder rooted in senseless homophobia to a “drug robbery gone bad”—despite all evidence to the contrary. “The premise for the Epilogue is that the same group of interviewers went back to Laramie to talk to people and see where the town was. It’s about all that has changed— and hasn’t changed—since this bellwether incident in 1998,” said Ouellette, who is a professor of Acting & Directing in the Department of Theatre & Dance at Rollins. “The play is a range of stories: the memories and reactions of people as they look back.” One of the most surprising stories came from the convicted killer, who now claims he was Shepard’s lover and that the murder was the result

Continued on page 47 |  |


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Box Office Hours: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm Sat 10am-4pm Open Later & Sun on Show Days Group Sales 941-955-7676 x 2225 Mattison’s Bayside Dine Before the Show 941-921-3400 Performers, Prices, Dates & Times are subject to change without notice.

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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THERE’S A BIT OF SEX IN THE MOVIE—AND YOU’RE ALWAYS THE ONE HAVING IT. HOW DO YOU DIRECT YOURSELF IN A SEX SCENE?

See, the sex scenes—with one exception—are very, very highly stylized and they’re not so much scenes that play out in real time; they’re more like narrated storybook versions of a look inside the mind of this guy, and so shooting them is like putting together a puzzle. They’re made of lots of little pieces. When you put the puzzle together it seems like a sex scene, but when you’re shooting it, it’s not like that at all. HOW MUCH DID YOU WANT TO GET AWAY WITH IN THIS MOVIE, AND HOW MUCH DID YOU ACTUALLY GET AWAY WITH?

HERE’S JONNY: In Don Jon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a porn-obsessed man unable to connect with real women.

Beefcake or Boy Next Door? FILM Don Jon star Joseph Gordon-Levitt talks about sex, fantasy and his gay fans.

W

Chris Azzopardi

HO DOESN’T SEE JOSEPH GORDON-

Levitt as the “perfect man”? The one man who knows him best: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

And neither should you, he says. After breaking through on TV’s 3rd Rock from the Sun, Gordon-Levitt played a gay hustler in Mysterious Skin, a Mormon homophobe in Latter Days and Batman’s cool sidekick in The Dark Knight Rises. In Don Jon, the actor takes on a porn-obsessed womanizer in a sex comedy he wrote and directed. The

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message: there’s more to a person than meets the eye. Plenty of Gordon-Levitt meets the eye in Don Jon: that chest, those arms and all the near nakedness of the New Jersey lothario he plays. In our interview, Gordon-Levitt discusses the dangers of believing he’s the ideal mate, contributing to the gay rights movement, and

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

what he’s really doing during those masturbation scenes in Don Jon.

WATERMARK: LET’S TALK ABOUT THE INTENSE, SEDUCTIVE LOOK ON YOUR FACE DURING THOSE MASTURBATION SCENES. WHAT WERE YOU ACTUALLY THINKING ABOUT? AND WERE YOU REALLY WATCHING PORN? JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT: Nah, I wasn’t really looking at porn. But I was pretending I was looking at porn. I’VE NEVER PRETENDED TO WATCH PORN.

(Laughs) I have now!

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within us. They’re both at extreme ends of the spectrum of cultural norms: what a man is supposed to be and what a woman is supposed to be. But I think we all have that tendency in a way. It’s easier to just oversimplify ourselves and our identities and our lives, and especially our love lives. It’s very seductive to think that it just ought to be simple—and in real life, it’s not. YOU FIRST REALLY REACHED A GAY AUDIENCE WITH MYSTERIOUS SKIN. HOW AWARE ARE YOU OF HAVING A GAY FOLLOWING?

I don’t spend much time distinguishing people into categories like that. To be honest, I don’t really think about it in that way.

What’s in the movie is exactly what IF YOU WERE GAY, YOU MIGHT REALIZE HOW MANY GAY PEOPLE I wanted it to be. I don’t think it’s ADORE YOU. all that sexually explicit. There are Well, that’s very some very modi�ied nice to hear! I’m and stylized clips glad to hear it. from pornography videos because that’s BUZZFEED a central symbol RECENTLY NAMED 42 THINGS THAT in the movie, but PROVE YOU’RE there aren’t really THE PERFECT any realistic sex MAN. INCLUDED scenes. It’s not a ON THAT LIST: THE movie that’s about FOREARMS, YOUR shocking you with CHIC STYLE, THAT anything graphic. —JOSEPH GORDON-LEVITT YOU LOOK GREAT

“Real life is so much more beautiful and rich and nuanced than those oversimplified fantasies.”

THIS FILM DEMONSTRATES WHAT YOU’VE DISCUSSED IN THE PAST: THAT THE MEDIA CAN REALLY SCREW WITH OUR MINDS. WHEN CHOOSING FILMS, DO YOU THINK ABOUT HOW MUCH INFLUENCE YOU HAVE ON THE PEOPLE WHO WATCH THEM?

I do, yeah. It’s always a balance between trying to keep an eye on my own self-ful�illment so that I’m always doing what’s inspiring to me, but also thinking about what this will mean to people who see it. I know for me, the movies and TV shows that I watch, and the songs or the books or the articles, are a big part of how I make sense of the world. I feel fortunate to be a part of that cultural conversation. And I try to be something positive. YOU SEEM LIKE THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE OF A MEATHEAD, SO HOW DID YOU GET IN THE MIND AND BODY OF DON JON?

Yeah, I worked out a ton. And I ate a ton of chicken! You know, I think we all know guys like that, and we all have some of Jon and some of Barbara (his love interest in Don Jon, played by Scarlett Johansson)

watermarkonline.com

IN WOMEN’S UNDERWEAR. EVEN THE 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN PIGTAILS GOT A MENTION.

(Laughs) That’s exactly the kind of oversimpli�ied fantasy shit that I’m making fun of in Don Jon. SO YOU DON’T LIKE BEING THE “PERFECT MAN,” THEN?

I think it does seep into your brain and into your identity and will absolutely interfere in your ability to be happy—and that’s exactly what Don Jon is about. It’s a young man who watches too much pornography and a young woman who watches too many romantic Hollywood movies, and neither one of them can be satis�ied in their relationship because they’re too busy comparing real life to these simplistic fantasies that they’ve seen on screen. Real life is so much more beautiful and rich and nuanced than those oversimpli�ied fantasies, but you won’t feel that beauty if you’re too busy comparing it to the 42 reasons why your favorite actor is the perfect man. There’s no such thing as a perfect man. Every human being is a unique person. |  |


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DRAG DUO: Lindsay Carlton (left) and Beneva Fruitville join Matthew McGee and Scott Daniel for a Showgirl Reunion on Sept. 30. The hilarious drag duo will also emcee Sarasota Pride on Oct. 19.

Funny Girls SARASOTA PRIDE

Five favorite performers kick off Sarasota Pride with a Showgirl Reunion.

S

Michelle Rinaca

ARASOTA | PRIDE RETURNS TO J.D.

Hamel Park in downtown Sarasota on Oct. 19. To help build excitement, organizers are throwing a “Prelude to Pride” event on Sept. 30 at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Fruitville Rd. Showgirl Reunion is an original comedy featuring �ive of the area’s most popular entertainers: Matthew McGee, Scott Daniel, Beneva Fruitville, Lindsay Carlton and special guest Joey Panek. It’s a combination of McGee and Daniel’s Scott & Patti Show, but incorporating the

stars of Sarasota’s Drag Queen Bingo Bonanza. Showgirl Reunion, a bene�it for Trinity Charities HIV/AIDS programs, is the brainchild of Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project founder, Garry Allan Bruel. And there is a serious message behind the laughter: that members of the

LGBT community must continue to be tested for HIV/AIDS. Recent reports indicate that gay and bisexual men account for a full 63% of all new HIV infections. Most concerning is a 22% increase among those between 13 and 24 years old. So why bring laughter to such a serious topic? “Gay people have such a great capacity for joy” said McGee. “It’s important to raise awareness, and this is a stressful topic, but you get to people more with joy”. All �ive entertainers are respected in overlapping local and regional circles. They’re looking forward to working with each other. According to the performers, the collaboration

of such vivid characters has to create fundraising and other already resulted in bouts of sideevents throughout the year, resulting splitting laughter. in overall growth for the event. “If you look at all things with “I wish there wasn’t a need for a little humor, that’s how you get Pride, and that we all had equal through life” said Fruitville of rights and could just have a big party her involvement. to celebrate together” said Barnes. Using theatre to raise awareness “I hope I see that in my lifetime. for HIV/AIDS is a life’s mission for With all the progress we’ve seen Bruel, who founded Suncoast AIDS this past year, I don’t know… it could Theatre Project more than a decade be possible.” ago. Bruel learned his craft at the According to Barnes, Sarasota Asolo Theatre, and has mounted Pride allows others to see the LGBT several productions throughout community in a different light. Tampa Bay since 2002. Through “Pride lets people see that we them, he raises both funds and are parents and neighbors; that we awareness about a topic that is still are their doctors, nurses, and other dif�icult for many to address. professionals,” said Barnes. “They He notes that Suncoast is unique see that we really are no different because money raised can be than anyone else.” applied to important HIV/AIDS Barnes and Bruel believe the goals beyond paying for medications Showgirl Reunion “Prelude to Pride” and treatments. ties Pride together in meaningful “We can help someone take their ways. There will be laughter, and dog to the vet or an opportunity to pay for electricity” fall in love with said Bruel. some priceless “Sometimes people local characters. with HIV will spend The event will all of their money raise awareness on these other and funds for an things and neglect important and themselves.” —CINDY BARNES, SARASOTA often-overlooked Though he isn’t cause. And it PRIDE CHAIRPERSON personally infected, will serve as an Bruel says he feels introduction to personally affected. Sarasota Pride, which takes place “I see these beautiful spirits being devoured by this disease” said Bruel. less than three weeks later. It will also serve as an “I can’t not help.” introduction to the emcee Through the efforts of Bruel and s for this year’s Pride: Fruitville his Suncoast AIDS Theatre Project, and Carlton. Barnes says that countless people have been made Sarasota Pride is a fun, family aware of the ongoing prevalence of friendly event that will feature live the disease in the LGBT community, music, entertainment, vendors, been tested and received and activities for the kids. With treatments. commentary by Fruitville and Bruel is concerned that gay men Carlton, let the laughter begin. have grown complacent when it Organizers hope many will attend comes to testing because of new Sarasota Pride on Oct. 19 from noon medications on the market that to 6 p.m., and Showgirl Reunion allow people to live longer and healthier lives. But he also notes that on Sept. 30. Barnes promises that her staff and volunteers will these remarkable new medications greet everyone with open arms are expensive, often come with side and a smile. effects, and are not a cure. “We should really be Prideful… “Garry has been such a champion every single day of the year,” for awareness” said McGee. “He and Barnes said. |  | [Sarasota Pride chairperson] Cindy Barnes are really the unsung heroes behind all of this.” MORE INFORMATION The main event, Sarasota Pride, draws people from all walks of life WHAT: Showgirl Reunion to celebrate equality, diversity and WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church, 3975 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota the richness of the LGBT community. WHEN: Monday, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m., Like its big sister to the north, St. doors open at 6 p.m. Pete Pride, the annual event was INFO: Tickets are $15 or $25 for originally held in the summer. VIP reception and seating; contact Organizers moved it to October to Trinity Charities at (941) 351-4347 or info@trinitycharities.org. make it accessible to more attendees and families. The move allows Pride

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“Pride lets people see that we are parents and neighbors.”

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FIVE DAYS OF PRIDE:

COME OUT

WITH PRIDE

2013

Tuesday, Oct. 1

An Evening with John Waters (see story)

Wednesday, Oct. 2

Pink Collar Comedy Show 8 p.m., The Orlando Improv, 9101 International Dr. Jeff Jones, Ginger Minj, Carol Lee and Addison Taylor. FREE WITH RESERVATION (407-480-5233), $5 AT THE DOOR.

Thursday, Oct. 3

Orlando Pride Opening Ceremony 6:30 p.m., The Cheyenne Saloon, 128 W. Church St. Country singer Steve Grand (“All American Boy”) and more. NO COVER, $35 FOR VIP RECEPTION.

Pride Night at Halloween Horror Nights 7 p.m., Universal Orlando Wear purple and be part of the COWP invasion. PRICES START AT $39.99

Friday, Oct. 4

Pride Church Street Block Party 7 p.m., Church St. Martha Wash headlines this fabulous block party. NO COVER

Saturday, Oct. 5

Come Out With Pride Parade and Festival Lake Eola Park and Bandshell 12 NOON Festival begins with 100s of vendors. 3 PM Rally featuring remarks by U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, Fla. Rep. Joe Saunders, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Orlando City Commissioner Patty Sheehan. 4 PM Parade steps off at Summerlin and Robinson. 9 PM Fireworks, with dancing until 10 pm.

For more information and a full calendar of events, visit comeoutwithpride.com.

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|  | John Waters from pg.33 �ilm critics anymore…or at least very few. GENE SHALIT IS STILL OUT THERE.

I am not mentioning anyone’s name! (Laughs) You. Never. Answer. Your. Critics. If you do, the critic always gets the last word. I ALWAYS FELT ROGER EBERT GOT WHAT YOU WERE DOING.

Well, I could debate that! On my later �ilms he gave me some of the worst reviews I ever got in my life! That hurt in the Midwest. HAIRSPRAY AND CRY-BABY WERE TURNED INTO MUSICALS. DO YOU HAVE ANY OTHER MATERIAL THAT WOULD MAKE A GOOD MUSICAL?

Cry-Baby was a �lop on Broadway, which I thought was weird and really sad. We got four major Tony nominations, and then we closed. Hairspray was a dance movie. Cry-Baby was a musical movie. But there are some obvious choices from my other material. I think Serial Mom would work as a weekly TV show, and if you took the sex out Pink Flamingos would make a great weekly cartoon show for children... it would just be a battle of �ilth. Desperate Living should be a theme park. I could see A Dirty Shame on ice. I try to think of ways to re-imagine all of them. I want them all to be reinvented and out there working— it’s their duty!

WHAT ABOUT FEMALE TROUBLE?

DEMENTED DUO: A young John Waters, with his drag doppelganger, Divine. bible for the whole series. That also hasn’t happened yet. So, I could! The real sequel to Hairspray would be a bit of a downer though... and a drama because once the real ‘60s happened the dance show would go off the air. Everybody changed! The integrationists became hippies, and the ones that still wanted to tease their hair stayed home and never did anything again.

I DON’T SEE ANYONE TODAY GOING AS FAR AS YOU DID WITH COMEDY?

There are plenty of �ilmmakers that are nothing like me, but I think they make great movies—extreme movies. Like Lars Von Trier. They’re usually Europeans. (LAUGHS) WELL, I WOULDN’T CALL WHAT LARS VON TRIER DOES COMEDY! I WANT TO ASK ABOUT YOUR CURATING... AND YOU’RE WRITING, TOO.

I’ve curated a few times, but I really hope that we I have art shows all the in Berlin, have out gays at the Winter time—one one in London, one in York in 2014. I Olympics in Russia, because I want New have many different some real trouble there: Gay Trouble waysAndtoItellwasstories. proud that my last book —JOHN WATERS at the Olympics! was a best seller. I

That’s my favorite of the Divine movies. I always felt it was the best way to remember him. If you saw I Am Divine, the documentary about him, then you know he wasn’t like his characters. He didn’t live like that. IT’S TERRIBLE TO SAY, BUT DIVINE’S LIFE HAS A PERFECT DRAMATIC ARC FOR DOCUMENTARY.

Well, it has a sad ending. He died a week after Hairspray opened—right before he was to go on Married with Children playing a gay uncle. It probably would’ve been very special and it never happened. He wanted to play men just as much as women. He had no desire to be a woman. DO YOU WANT TO MAKE SEQUELS TO ANY OF YOUR FILMS?

I wrote a sequel to Pink Flamingos called Flamingos Forever. And I was paid a lot of money to write a sequel to Hairspray, which I called White Lipstick. It hasn’t happened yet. I was also paid to do a TV series based on Hairspray. I wrote the pilot and the SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

YEAH... I GUESS IT WOULD HAVE TO DEVOLVE INTO THE ‘70S AND ‘80S…

... and by then I’d even quit taking LSD! YOU’VE WORKED WITH TURNER, DEPP AND KNOXVILLE. IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN HOLLYWOOD YOU’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO WORK WITH?

Certainly Meryl Streep, of course.

DO YOU SEE WAYS THAT YOUR FILMS HAVE INSPIRED OTHERS?

I’m not sure I’ve inspired others. If I have, maybe it’s in a bad way. I mean, sometimes Hollywood tries to do bad taste, and sometimes I love it—like Bridesmaids and The Hangover. But many times they’re trying too hard, and it’s not witty. It’s easy to be gross. It’s harder to be funny. So maybe I’ve been a bad in�luence on big-budget Hollywood movies.

just turned in my new book, Carsick, which comes out next year. It’s about when I hitchhiked across America by myself. I did that for a year back when I was young. I’VE READ CRACKPOT AND SHOCK VALUE, BUT I ADMIT THAT LAPSED AGNOSTIC IS STILL ON MY TO-READ LIST?

Well, and then you’ll have Carsick next year. SWITCHING GEARS, THERE’S THIS ETERNAL QUESTION IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY ABOUT WHETHER WE SHOULD ASSIMILATE OR WHETHER…

What does that term mean?

ASSIMILATE? I THINK IT MEANS THAT GAY PEOPLE LOOK AND ACT ENOUGH LIKE STRAIGHT PEOPLE THAT WE DON’T MAKE THEM UNCOMFORTABLE.

Oh, I don’t think it means that. I think assimilation means there’s no need for gay separation because there’s

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complete acceptance. And I believe in that eventually... eventually. But gay people changing so that others approve... I am vehemently against that! I am the opposite. I am tired of gay people having to be good all the time. ARE YOU OKAY WITH LABELS WITHIN THE LGBT COMMUNITY... LIKE “BEAR” AND “OTTER?”

Where I live, all the straight boys are bears and don’t know it. I am against separatism of any kind, including gay separatism within its own ranks. I think people should have diverse friends... women and men of all sexual tastes and colors and everything. I don’t understand wanting to hang around people who look and act exactly like you. I think that’s incredibly dull. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I AM ANY MORE. I DON’T THINK I’M A BEAR. I DON’T HAVE ANY LEATHER, EXCEPT FOR A NICE FALL JACKET. I DON’T OWN ANY FLANNEL, AND I HARDLY EVER WEAR JEANS.

(Laughs.) You’re not a bear. I guess I’m a polar otter. All the labels are kind of funny to me. People pick them and talk about them so seriously, as if they’re talking about a political party. I certainly talk a lot about the incredible slang and the limits people put on themselves in my show. Also, the limitations I put on myself. My entire career is about limitations, in a way. YOU’VE SAID YOU WERE ALWAYS OUT?

Well no, I didn’t say that because it used to be illegal. I �igured everyone just knew. The way people talk about coming out these days, it makes it sound like a Bar Mitzvah. I was on the cover of a gay ‘zine really early, but it wasn’t because I was brave. It was because nobody else would put me on the cover! I just went with who liked me. I guess I was always gay, but I always had straight friends, too. I hung around all different types of people. My friends were always the outsiders... people who didn’t even �it within their own minorities. And those are still my favorite people. Some times the gay community can have more rules than my parents had when I lived at home! I rebel against that, too! YOU KNOW THIS CELEBRATION YOU’RE COMING TO IN ORLANDO IS CALLED “COME OUT WITH PRIDE?”

Yes, and I’m totally for that! I believe that whenever anyone comes out, it makes it easier for others. That’s why the Republicans �inally caved in on gay marriage mostly... because they found that it was irrelevant. They found out they knew someone gay. And every program on television had to have a gay character. This is what made it progressively become legal. But I also believe you should be able to ‘come in.’ I mean, people are allowed to be wrong. I had a gay friend who later

Got Mustard?

had a girlfriend. He was thrown out of the gay community, and I thought that was ridiculous! We should have a ‘Coming In Day’ for the one percent that found out they were wrong. Or maybe they like both. Or maybe they don’t want to be labeled.

We’ve got more weiner than we can handle.

YEAH... AND IF THERE IS A GAY COMMUNITY, I’VE MET SOME I DON’T WANT IN MY CLUB.

There’s certainly a risk in admitting that there are gay jerks. Like every black person is good, every gay person is good. That’s ridiculous! I went with the Governor of Maryland to campaign for gay marriage. I’m all for it. And I really hope that we have out gays at the Winter Olympics in Russia, because I want some real trouble there: Gay Trouble at the Olympics! Here in America, the straight community is certainly more accepting of the gay community than they’ve been before. Is the gay community more accepting? Don’t make me laugh! YOU’RE COMING TO ORLANDO. ANY THOUGHTS ON THEME PARKS?

www.DareToRescue.com

“Heartbreakingly beautiful” – The Independent

Well, when I was young, I was totally against all the theme parks because they wouldn’t let longhaired people in. And then Gay Days came along! I think it’s because for some reason all animators seem to be gay—more than hairdressers! I don’t know why. I’ve worked for Disney, and it was a huge in�luence on me. Sometimes I’m a voice on Fish Hooks, a show that Disney produces. I wanted to be a Disney villain all my life. I was always rooting for the villain. I wanted to be the stepmother, and I thought Disney did them so well. Look at Mink Stole in Desperate Living—she’s totally Disney!

NOW THEY HAVE THE SIMPSONS’ SPRINGFIELD USA AT UNIVERSAL. ARE YOU GOING TO SHOW UP THERE AS JOHN THE SHOPKEEPER?

(Laughs) I don’t know. The Simpsons was so good for me. I mean, kids still walk up to me in the airport and that’s all they know me from. It certainly was fun and an honor to be asked. You know, though, my favorite amusement parks are old, rickety, rundown ones… right before they close them. I liked Coney Island before they started �ixing it up. I love old roller coasters that look like they’re going to collapse on us. |  |

SUNDAY, OCT. 13 7:30 p.m CAROL MORSANI HALL

MORE INFORMATION

WHAT: An Evening with John Waters WHERE: The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Dr., Orlando WHEN: 7 p.m., Tuesday, Oct. 1 TICKETS: $39 general admission and $150 for Meet-and-Greet at comeoutwithpride.com/tickets/

STRAZ CENTER

IT’S MORE THAN JUST A SHOW.

Tickets: 813.229.STAR (7827) • STRAZCENTER.ORG Outside Tampa Bay: 800.955.1045 Group Sales (10+ get a discount): 813.222.1016 or 1018 Events, days, dates, times, performers and prices are subject to change without notice.

To read bonus content from this interview and recent COWP updates go to watermarkonline.com.

Contains mature subject matter.

Sponsored by

This performance is funded, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with SouthArts and the State of Florida, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Supported by the Scottish Government’s International Touring Fund.

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! s d n e i r f y r r u f y e H I ’m B re n ne n

(and no, I am not a ge cko)

THERE ARE LOTS OF EXCITING CHANGES to tax laws for our married moms and dads. But listen up…we need to be working on FurQuality and a Furry Rights Campaign. Where are the exemptions for furry kids, furry child tax and furry kid care credits???? More disposable income=more Pookie’s treats; got it????

TELL YOUR MOMS AND DADS TO CONTACT MY MOMS FOR HELP WITH: • Same-Sex Marriage (or knot) • Impact on income taxes and beneets • Considerations when owning a business • Non-furry kid exemptions, credits (again, where are the Furry Rights?) • Amending returns • State tax return ling requirements • Estate and Gift tax planning OTHER TAX AND PLANNING ISSUES:

Leah G James, CPA, MSTax Judy L Hines, CQA, CPB 407.478.4513 ContactUs@geckoCPA.com 46

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• Corporate and individual tax returns • Retirement Planning • Bookkeeping/QuickBooks® • Payroll • IRS and FDOR representation

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currently serves as provost. In 2013, the college held its second Lavender Graduation for LGBT students. |  | Laramie Project: Ten Years Later from pg.36 “If you had told me when I came here 20 years ago, I would not have believed of a drug robbery—though Shepard was that we would see this wake of change,” found beaten and tied to a fence. Ouellette said. This retelling has become so pervasive Winter Park and Orlando have seen a that award-winning journalist Stephen �lood of new theater companies, including Jimenez went back to Laramie to look at Mad Cow Theatre, Orlando Shakespeare court records, talk to people and compile Theater, Breakthrough Theatre of Winter research for a new book. The Book of Park, Orlando Repertory Theatre and Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder Winter Park Theatre, with the community of Matthew Shepard is set to be released thirsting for more. All this comes at a Oct. 1, and Jimenez plans to write a good time for The Laramie Project. screenplay. “It will be interesting to see how the “Some people in Laramie have community—both the Rollins community gravitated towards that theory in a way and the community outside the college— that’s frustrating,” Ouellette said. “It’s responds to this play and the discussion almost as if they want to be able to say we are creating with events surrounding ‘This isn’t about me. This isn’t us. These its opening,” Ouellette said. “We are one were two drug-crazed people who were generation past Matthew Shepard and not us.’” many of the students in this play were just two or three when he was killed. We had CHANGES AT ROLLINS several who didn’t know who Matthew The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later is Shepard was.” not the �irst time Rollins has tackled the In conjunction with The Laramie story of Shepard’s murder. The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, the school has Project, the �irst play, had a dramatic hosted a cast discussion at the Winter reading at the Fred Stone Theatre in Park Library and a visit by renowned 2000. The experimental theater, home LGBT activist Stuart Milk, whose uncle to the Rollins Players since 1922, Harvey Milk, the �irst openly gay elected features more avant garde second stage of�icial, was gunned down by a fellow shows produced by San Francisco students. supervisor Laramie is the in 1978. singular drama in An opening the Annie Russell’s night reception 81st season, which on September will include the 27 will feature Tony-winning Alan L. Bounville, musical-comedy The an openly th 25 Annual Putnam gay activist, County Spelling Bee who walked in November, the 6,000 miles humorous A Clean to end gender House in February, and sexual the cabaret style orientation —DR. THOMAS OUELLETTE, Song & Dance in discrimination. DIRECTOR March and The Lost Bounville will Comedies of William also speak at the Shakespeare in April. college at 4 p.m. on September 28. According to Ouellette, there would “This is not about a bunch of theater have been little support for a staging of artists working in a room with no either Laramie play at the Annie Russell windows—it goes way beyond that. For Theatre a decade ago. Back then, the most theater people, it’s me, me, me,” Annie was one of just a handful of theater Ouellette said. “This is theater for social options in town. Loyal but conservative change and it’s a way for students to use season ticket holders in Winter Park their craft to expose people to different had come to expect more traditional worlds and make them think. It’s very Broadway fare. empowering for them. It’s powerful.” |  | “The fact we couldn’t do it [Laramie] on the main stage isn’t our misconception of what the audience was up for,” MORE INFORMATION Ouellette said. “Annie Russell was the theater of choice for people for years.” WHAT: The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later In recent years, Rollins has changed WHERE: Annie Russell Theatre, dramatically. The college now has an Rollins College LGBT faculty organization and a studentWHEN: Sept. 27-Oct. 5 led LGBT club on campus, both of which TICKETS: $20 ($10 for students) at hold a number of annual events. An annieboxoffice@rollins.edu or 407-646-2145 openly lesbian dean, Dr. Carol Bresnahan,

“It will be interesting to see how the community—both the Rollins community and the community outside the college— responds to this play.”

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AARTS RTSS & RT

ENTERTAINMENT EVENT PLANNER

QUICK PICKS Sarasota Always… Patsy Cline THROUGH OCT. 6 The Manatee Players ManateePlayers.com 941-748-5875

Tampa/ Orlando

Sarah Brightman OCT. 6 Tampa Bay Times Forum TampaBayTimesForum.com 813-301-2500 OCT. 8 Amway Arena CenterOrlando.com 407-489-2020

Disenchanted! D

ISENCHANTED! IS BACK! AND THAT MEANS

Orlando

the hilarious “Oops Guys”—Dennis Giacino and Fiely Matias—are in town to nurture their Tampa and off-Broadway-bound musical. Disenchanted! gives longsuffering Disney princesses—brassy Snow White, ditzy Cinderella, weight-obsessed Sleeping Beauty, neurotic Belle, tipsy Ariel, butch Mulan and buxom Pocahontas—a chance to vent about the pressures of their con�ining roles.

Bear Bash III SEPT. 26-29 Double Tree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World Orlandobearbash.com

Other Desert Cities

SEPT. 27-OCT. 9 Mad Cow Theatre Madcowtheatre.com

Mamma Mia! OCT. 3-9 Bob Carr Performing Arts Center TicketMaster.com 407-246-4262

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

watermarkonline.com.

ORLANDO

MELBOURNE America’s Got Talent-Live

D

ON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO BE DAZZLED LIVE AND IN-PERSON by the electrifying stars of NBC’s top-rated hit show, America’s Got Talent. Fan favorites—including winner Kinechi Ebina and runners-up Jimmy Rose and Taylor Williamson—will take

the stage for the “America’s Got Talent-Live” stage show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3 at the King Performing Arts Center. The opera trio Forte, featuring Orlando’s Fernando Varela, will also perform. Tickets are $25-75. For more info visit KingCenter.com or call 321242-2219. |  |

T

Think Disney meets South Park. Disenchanted! was a hit at the 2011 Orlando International Fringe Festival. It’s since been tightened for successful runs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Philadelphia, and will land at the Straz Center’s Jaeb Theater in Tampa for an 11-week run from Jan. 28-April 13, 2014. The Orlando cast features Michelle Knight, reprising her role as Snow White, and Andrea Canny, direct from her triumph in Lizzie Borden, as Belle. Disenchanted! runs at The Abbey from Sept. 19-Oct. 27. For tickets, visit AbbeyOrlando.com. |  |

ST. PETERSBURG Broadway Cabaret

WELVE SINGERS FROM THE ST. PETERSBURG OPERA cast of Romeo and Juliet will belt out their favorite solos, duets and ensembles in a dynamic “Broadway Cabaret” at The Palladium. Featured musicals include: Cabaret, Kiss Me Kate, A Little Night Music, Showboat, Seven Brides for Seven

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Brothers, West Side Story, The Wiz and South Paci�ic. The event is Friday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m., at the Palladium Theater in the Stavros Great Room at 253 Fifth Ave. N. Dessert and drinks will be available. Tickets are $75. For more information, visit StPeteOpera.org or call 727822-3590. |  |

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Tampa Bay

1- BESTOWING AN HONOR: (L-R) Jason Stewart, Ashley Brundage, Chuck Henson and Dustin Becker surround Eunice Fisher, who was honored for her ongoing support of TIGLFF at the TIGLFF Program launch party at the Tampa Museum of Art Sept. 19. PHOTO BY NICK CARDELLO 2- BEAR BOARD: The board of the Tampa Bay Bears talk about the organization at Quench Lounge during Watermark Wednesday Sept. 18. PHOTO BY PAUL KINCHEN OF TINKERFLUFF.COM

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3- BEAR MEMBERSHIP: (L-R) Tony Miranda and Mark Fields of the Tampa Bay Bears share membership information at Quench Lounge during Watermark Wednesday on Sept. 18. PHOTO BY PAUL KINCHEN OF TINKERFLUFF.COM 4- SPECIAL GUESTS: TIGLFF’s Renee Cossette and Tampa Police Officer Sean Mahabir smile before both speak at the September GaYbor District Coalition meeting at Ybor Muvico on Sept. 12. PHOTO COURTESY CARRIE WEST 5- POWER WOMEN: (L-R) Metro Tampa Bay emcee Amy DeMilo stands with U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor at the Tampa Garden Club on Sept. 14. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD 6- FILM FEST ENCORE: Members of Crescendo perform “Somebody to Love” at the Tampa Museum of Art during the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival’s official launch party Sept. 19. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD 7- STAGE READY: HIV activist and model Jack Mackenroth and comedian Karen Williams work their smiles before taking the stage at Metro Tampa Bay’s 20th Anniversary Gala Sept. 14. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD

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8- COUCH CLOSE: Sharon and Catt Dunaway get close at the Metro Tampa Bay Gala Sept. 14. PHOTO BY STEVE BLANCHARD

OVERHEARD FIND THEM SOMEBODY TO LOVE, REALLY

W

E LOVE CRESCENDO: THE TAMPA BAY WOMEN’S CHORUS. So imagine our excitement when we got a chance to hear them do a surprise number not this month! The fabulous ladies �irst appeared at the start of the Metro Tampa Bay Gala when a “�ight” broke out between two women, gaining the attention of the entire crowd within the Garden Club on Sept. 19. But soon, it was evident it was staged as women throughout the crowd took turns singing portions of the Queen hit “Somebody to Love.” By the time the song wrapped, the women, who had been stationed around

the large room were all together, near one end of the room belting out the mega-hit. It grabbed everyone’s attention and was a fabulous way to announce the evening’s festivities. Just a week later, at the launch party for the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, another “�ight” broke out near the bar, grabbing the attention of everyone at the Tampa Museum of Art on Sept. 19. But once again, the familiar song started and the members of Crescendo appeared throughout the crowded museum, with one member belting out some impressive notes from atop the stairway. And yes, even though we had seen it a week before, the performance still surprised us, and delighted the entire room.

THOSE BEAR NECESSITIES

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VERY MONTH, WATERMARK EDITOR STEVE BLANCHARD AND TAMPA BAY SALES MANAGER BILL JEFFRIES host Watermark Wednesday at different venues throughout the region. While the formula is pretty constant— networking, social time, raf�le prizes and donating money to organizations and charity—the September social took a surprise turn with the Tampa Bay Bears. For the �irst time ever, Watermark Wednesday presented a “Bare Chest” contest, which suited the men of the Tampa Bay Bears just �ine. In all, seven contestants took to the stage at Quench Lounge to showcase their torsos and

two of the hotties walked away with prizes to see area shows. One of the prizes was to see— appropriately—the Barenaked Ladies in concert. The night was also the most successful Watermark Wednesday to date, with more than $700 raised for the Bears, which donated it to the AIDS Partnership, Inc.

DIGGING DYSTOPIA

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ELIEVE IT OR NOT, IT’S ALREADY THAT TIME OF YEAR TO THINK ABOUT THE HOLIDAYS, especially Halloween, which is less than a month away! Walk through any club or gathering of friends in Tampa Bay and you’ll hear the same question—”What’s your

SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

costume for the All Hallows Ball this year?” While many have ideas already in the works, there are some who are still struggling with this year’s theme—dystopia. Those LGBTs on “the list” received word of the dark theme via mail earlier this month and it included a description of what the organizers have in mind. The message is short and sweet: It is time to put your imagination to the test as you envision and embody a postapocalyptic future, as you de�ine Dystopia.” The annual invitationonly party is on Oct. 26 at the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in Tampa. You can bet we’ll be there with our cameras to catch the creative process all night long. |  |

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CLUB ORLANDO COME OUT TO PLAY! Gyms come and go…… Club Orlando’s Gym has been here for 14 years and is still going strong! We Offer Monthly and Annual Memberships. Stop in for a tour and a complimentary work out.

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ShotonSite 1

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ORLANDO

1- MILK MINGLES: LGBT Activist Stuart Milk talks with students from the Rollins College Spectrum Alliance during a visit to campus on Sept. 12. PHOTO BY LONNIE THOMPSON

2- DOCUMENTARY DUO: Billy Manes and Vicki Nantz share the stage at the Global Peace Film Festival’s premier of Billy & Alan: In life, love & death equality matters. PHOTO BY MARK CADY

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3- JIGGER JUDGES: (L to R) Watermark’s Director of Online Media Jamie Hyman joins Orlando Ballet dancer Sebastian Serra, Orlando Sentinel writer Tod Caviness, artist Andrew Spear and Orlando Weekly’s Jessica Bryce Young as celebrity judges for The Ultimate Ivanhoe Cocktail Challenge, Sept. 23 at The Hammered Lamb. PHOTO BY SCOTTIE CAMPBELL 4- FLAG FARE: (L to R) Sara Ruvola, Bob Gregor and Danny Sliter enjoy the fabulous fare at Watermark’s Third Thursday hosted by Flag World on Sept. 19. PHOTO BY MARK CADY 5- CHURCH SOCIAL: Celebrants enjoy the show at the 35th Anniversary Celebration of The Joy Metropolitan Community Church of Orlando on Aug. 20. PHOTO BY MARK CADY 6- GOOGLE GLASS: Brian T. Wilson shows off Google Glass at the Florida Blogger and Social Media Conference on Sept. 21 at Full Sail. PHOTO BY LONNIE THOMPSON 7- REPS HUDDLE: (L to R) State Representatives Joe Saunders and Karen Castor Dentel discuss priorities at the Orange County Legislative Delegation meeting on Sept.16. PHOTO BY LONNIE THOMPSON

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WHO’S GUARDING THE GUARD HOUSE?

NEW LGBT-OWNED EATERY IN THE MILK DISTRICT

8- DANCE BENEFIT: WFTV Channel 9 News Anchor Jorge Estevez and dance partner Brooke O’Donnell win the mirror ball trophy in Orlando’s version of Dancing with the Stars to benefit Community Based Care of Central Florida on Sept. 14 at Hard Rock Live. PHOTO BY LONNIE THOMPSON

OVERHEARD ORLANDO FILMS TRAVEL TO TAMPA

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WO OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED DOCUMENTARIES at the upcoming Tampa International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival have Central Florida connections. In Billy & Alan, director Vicki Nantz tells the true story of a loving but turbulent relationship, a tragic suicide, and a �iery will contest—complete with evil matriarch—that could have been lifted from a Southern Gothic novel. Orlando Weekly columnist Billy Manes is narrator, victim, and ultimately hero of this deeply touching �ilm

that runs at the Tampa Theatre on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 8:30 p.m. The movie played recently played to a sold out audience at the Global Peace Film Festival. And then on Thursday, Oct. 10, Memories of a Penitent Heart will be screened at 6:30 p.m. at Muvico Baywalk in St. Petersburg. In this heartbreaking documentary, director Cecelia Aldarondo explores her uncle’s death and her grandmother’s insistence that he repent his homosexuality on his deathbed. When he dies on Easter Sunday, she is convinced it is a miracle. But the movie is about what was lost in that hospital room, and the painful costs of prejudice.

I

T MAY HAVE BEEN A SLOW NEWS NIGHT, but the visuals were undeniable. On Sunday evening, Sept. 22, a car crashed into the guard house at the front of the Parliament House parking lot, �irst lifting it up and then turning it over on its side. “I saw that booth go up at least 10, 15 feet in the air,” a witness told Channel 9 Eyewitness News. On Facebook, another witness recounted that the accident resulted when two cars tried to pull into the parking lot—at the same time. According to police, there were no serious injuries.

MIMOSAS AND MOTHERS-IN-LAW

IT’S OFFICIAL. SE7ENBITES IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS at 207 N. Primrose in the Milk District east of downtown Orlando. The brainchild of chef Trina GregoryProbst, Se7enbites will specialize in baked goods with fresh, homegrown ingredients. The catchy name refers to a diet plan that launched Gregory-Probst on a healthier lifestyle that helped her shed more than 100 pounds. Need incentive to stop by? Visit their Facebook page and look at the scrumptious offerings.

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ALK ABOUT DRAMA. At their commitment ceremony last week at the Crowne Plaza Orlando Universal—a �irst for that upscale venue—Jeffrey Maxwell and Joel Rayburn descended from a glass elevator wearing white tuxedos. More than 120 guests greeted them, and after brunch and a �irst dance, their mothers traded speeches—and tears. |  |

watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE.

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Transitions

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

CHANGE-OF-LIFE COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS DAYTONA ATTORNEY WINS AWARD: Forum for Equality honored

Lloyd Bowers with the 2013 Political Activism Acclaim Award. Bowers, one of the original organizing members of the Forum for Equality, has been a civil litigation attorney for thirty one years. In New Orleans, he worked for passage of a Human Rights Ordinance and a Domestic Partnership Ordinance, which he authored.  In 1995, Bowers moved to Daytona Beach to live and practice law with his partner, Chris Wickersham. In 1997, after being appointed to the Daytona Beach Charter Review Commission, he proposed a Human Rights Ordinance which lost by a narrow 4-3 vote.  His continued efforts paid off last year when the Volusia County Council passed a Human Rights Law that protects LGBT citizens and a Domestic Partnership Law.  

FARM WEDDING:

Ben Johansen, aka ‘Eureka Fish,’ and Timothy Vargas (right), president of the board of directors of the GLBT Center of Central Florida, were married on Sept. 20 at Ben’s family farm in Connecticut.

Congratulations William Jeter Gridley and Jeffrey Scott Carver, local artists and owners of Argyle Gifts and The Foundery, were married in Rockville Md., on Aug. 21. Celebrating their 24th anniversary, the couple traveled to Maryland with Mr. Gridley’s parents, retired Judge William C. Gridley and Shannon J. Gridley, who served as witnesses at the wedding. Upon returning to Orlando, the couple had a small reception for family and friends at The Smiling Bison. The GaYbor District Coalition celebrates another year of uniting LGBT and LGBT-friendly businesses in Tampa’s historic district on Sept. 29. Sarasota’s Trinity Charities program director Bruce Fournier and his partner, Frank Horan, celebrate nine years of marriage on Oct. 1. The couple was married in Provincetown in 2004.

Pinellas County Center for the Arts theatre department chairman Keven Renken and his partner, Bill Myerholtz, celebrate their 31st anniversary on Oct. 2. Orlando attorney Tony Tapia and author/consultant Scott Vedder celebrate the first anniversary of their commitment ceremony at last year’s Come Out With Pride on Oct. 6. Mary Birchler and Kimberly Boshears of Spring Hill celebrate 21 years together on Oct. 9.

Passings Stephen Crohn, 66, a coincidental but important figure in early HIV/ AIDS research, died on Aug. 23 as the result of suicide. Crohn’s boyfriend died of AIDS in 1978, and eventually so did most of his friends. And although Crohn took no precautions to avoid infection, he remained healthy. Study of his resistance led to breakthroughs in the understanding of HIV. Researchers found that his CD4

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ANNIVERSARY AND WEDDING: Dino McGill and Nick Lawrence (right) will have a wedding ceremony at the Lake Mary Events Center on Oct. 3, 2013. The couple met on July 4, 2006, and they were married on July 4, 2013, in Stowe, Vt.

white blood cells locked out the virus, which suggested successful future treatments. “What he contributed to medical knowledge is really quite extraordinary,” said Dr. Bruce Walker of M.I.T.

Local Birthdays EO Inn & Urban Spa general manager Eddie Cooper, gay bar star Janine Klein, Keep Orlando Beautiful coordinator Jody Goostree, Watermark Director of Online Media and straight ally Jamie Hyman (Sept. 26); Tampa decorator extraordinaire Matthieu Stanoch, Ybor City event planner Tony LaColla (Sept. 29); HIV/AIDS activist Rob Domenico (Sept. 30); twirler and Bay News 9 traffic expert Chuck Henson, activist and blogger Randy Ross (Oct. 4); Lighthouse Realty broker/owner Mike Trexler (Oct. 6); Gomez Law Firm of St. Petersburg’s Ian Stanislaus, activist and OYA and OADO co-founder Michael Slaymaker, graphic designer Jocelynn White (Oct. 7).

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

SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

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youth services Serving Central Florida's LGBTQ youth for over 20 years New meeting location at Reeves United Methodist Church 1100 N. Ferncreek Ave. Peer-to-peer support group and social activities for LGBTQ youth ages 13 – 24.

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L.A. Dodgers to host LGBT night

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OS ANGELES | Thirteen years after two women got kicked out of a Los Angeles Dodgers game for kissing, the team will host their �irst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender night on Friday, Sept. 27. Danielle Goldey and her thengirlfriend, Meredith Kott, had gone to see the Dodgers play the Cubs in August 2000. They celebrated home runs by kissing until security guards approached them. “Apparently someone actually reported us to security in these exact words: ‘I don’t want my kids around those kind of people,’” Goldey told Los Angeles radio station KNX. The couple threatened a lawsuit, and the team agreed to give 5,000 tickets to LGBT groups. Goldey said one thing they requested—but didn’t get—was a Gay Night at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers said that LGBT

Night Out will feature a �irst pitch by former Los Angeles Dodger Billy Bean, the only living former MLB player to publicly come out as gay. The national anthem performed by Amber Riley (Glee, Dancing with the Stars), accompanied by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. Lance Bass (*NSYNC) is among celebrities planning to attend. Fireworks will cap the night game against the Colorado Rockies, and afterward fans will be invited onto the �ield to enjoy music by DJ Manny Lehman. Other major league teams, including the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies, have hosted similar events. The Tampa Bay Rays have worked with St. Pete Pride to provide group tickets. The Dodgers are partnering with Tom Whitman of Flip Events for what all say will be an annual event. Whitman said the Dodgers “have been standing on the right side of history from the days of Jackie Robinson through today.”

Wire Report

P AND HERE’S THE PITCH: Out

former major league baseball player Billy Bean will throw out the first pitch at the L.A. Dodgers first LGBT night.

Goldey is glad that her wish has �inally been granted—13 years later. “I’m happy that other gays and lesbians—especially the younger generation—can go and hold hands at a game, just like straight couples, and not feel that they’re going to be kicked out or shamed,” she said. |  |

ORTLAND, MAINE | Russia’s new law banning gay “propaganda” could end up tarnishing the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, two-time Olympic gold-medal winner Seth Wescott said, becoming the latest Western voice to condemn the law. Wescott criticized the International Olympic Committee on Wednesday for selecting Sochi to host the 2014 games, saying the city hadn’t proven it had the ability to hold the event. The new Russian law that prohibits the promotion of “nontraditional” sexual relations could further sully the completion, he said. “The human rights stuff that’s going on, there’s a potential for it to be an incredibly negativelyovershadowed Olympics,” he said. Wescott, 37, who lives near western Maine’s Sugarloaf ski resort, won gold medals in snowboard cross in the 2006 and 2010 Olympics. After undergoing knee surgery in April, he will attempt to qualify for the upcoming 2014 Olympics during races in December and January. |  |

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sports

Wire report

Olympic snowboarder denounces Russian anti-gay law

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PHOTO BY CHRIS STEPHENSON

PHOTO BY CHRIS STEPHENSON

PHOTO BY CHRIS STEPHENSON

PHOTO BY CHRIS STEPHENSON

PHOTOGRAPHY: MBA MEMBER APPRECIATION PICNIC

Galleryw Go see more photos at

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HE METROPOLITAN BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (MBA) HOSTED A MEMBER APPRECIATION PICNIC at Lake Fairview Marina on Saturday, Sept. 21. Dozens of MBA members and guests attended the laid-back event, enjoying a beautiful afternoon at the popular park just a few miles west of downtown Orlando. Activities included pontoon boat rides, paddle board ride and croquet. But many were content to sit undercover, enjoy delicious food and drink and catch up with each other. |  |

SEPT. 26 - OCT. 9, 2013 // ISSUE 20.20

Photography by Chris Stephenson CSTEPHENSONPHOTOGRAPHY.COM

and Jake Stevens JAKE@WATERMARKONLINE.COM

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Paint the town proud BMO Harris Bank is a proud sponsor of Come Out With Pride Orlando and the Dinner & Fireworks event.

bmoharris.com

BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. 2013_411_Metro Business Association.indd 1

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File Name: 2013_411_Metro Business Association

9/12/13 12:15 PM watermark YOUR LGBT LIFE. 63


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LUxURY, DOWntOWn Living FROM tHE HigH $200S Low-Maintenance townhomes in the SoDo Area the best restaurants, shopping, and entertainment are all just steps away from Copley Square, Ashton Woods’ vibrant, new townhome community in downtown Orlando. Our luxury townhomes offer high-end designer finishes, 2-car attached garages, and an ideal SoDo area location. Make the most of the city with maintenance-free homes designed for the way you live.

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Watermark Issue 20.20: John Waters at Come Out With Pride