Central Florida picks their LGBTQ favorites in the Watermark Awards for Variety and Excellence


Favorite Local Politician
First: State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani
Second: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Third: City Commissioner Patty Sheehan

Favorite Local Activist
First: Blue Star, Central Florida entertainer
Second: Brandon Wolf, Equality Florida
Third: Tatiana Quiroga, Come Out With Pride

Greatest Ally to The Local Community
First: State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani
Second: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer
Third: Keri Griffin, Orlando VA LGBTQ+ veteran care program coordinator

Most Effective Local Nonprofit Organization
First: LGBT+ Center Orlando
Second: Zebra Coalition
Third: The Barber Fund

Favorite Local Trans-Affirming Organization
First: LGBT+ Center Orlando
Second: Divas in Dialogue
Third: Bliss Cares

Favorite Local Sports League/Organization
First: Orlando City Soccer
Second: OBBA Gay Bowling League
Third: Central Florida Softball League

Favorite Local Writer/Journalist
First: Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel
Second: Jeremy Williams, Watermark
Third: Faiyaz Kara, Orlando Weekly

Favorite Local Website
First: ComeOutWithPride.org
Second: WatermarkOnline.com
Third: Bungalower.com

Favorite Local Fundraising Event
First: Orlando AIDS Walk
Second: Celebrity Bartending at Savoy
Third: Zebra Coalition’s Valentine’s Day Drag Brunch

Favorite Annual LGBTQ Local Event
First: Come Out With Pride
Second: GayDayS
Third: One Magical Weekend

Favorite Local Trans-Affirming Event
First: Central Florida Trans March
Second: The Trans Awareness Ball
Third: Unity Nite at Savoy

Favorite Local LGBTQ Youth Event
First: Come Out With Pride
Second: LGBT+ Center Orlando’s Drag Queen Story Hour
Third: Zebra Coalition’s Youth Prom

Favorite Local Business Not a Bar/Club
First: Hamburger Mary’s Orlando
Second: Pineapple Healthcare
Third: Lacastro

Favorite New Local Business
First: 1Up Orlando
Second: Fruit Wine Productions
Third: Breyting Community Roaster

Favorite Local Health Care Facility
First: Harmony Healthcare Orlando
Second: Orlando Immunology Center
Third: Pineapple Healthcare

Favorite Local Hair Salon/Barber Shop
First: Floyd’s 99 Barbershop
Second: Gary Lambert Salon
Third: Lambs Eat Ivy Salon

Favorite Local Makeup Artist
First: Alex Traum, Universal Orlando
Second: Justin Jimenez, Sephora
Third: Brandy Felton, The Makeup Bar Orlando

Favorite Local Fitness Center
First: Planet Fitness at Fashion Square
Second: LA Fitness at Colonial Marketplace
Third: Rock Hard Fitness

Favorite Local Veterinarian Clinic
First: Winter Park Veterinary Hospital
Second: 4 Paws Animal Clinic
Third: Loch Haven Veterinary Hospital

Favorite Place to Pamper Your Pet
First: Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming Orlando
Second: Ranger’s Pet Outpost and Retreat
Third: Woof! Orlando

Favorite Local Realtor
First: Scott Benson, Green House Realty
Second: Jimmy Hendrickson and Shawn Layton, Centra Florida Home Boys
Third: Eddie Cooper, Mainframe Real Estate

Favorite Local Attorney
First: John Morgan, Morgan & Morgan
Second: Tom Dyer and Ed Blaisdell, Dyer & Blaisdell P.L.
Third: Carmen M. Love, Law Office of Carmen M. Love

Favorite Local Place to Buy a Car
First: Fields BMW Winter Park
Second: CarMax Orlando
Third: Carvana Orlando

Favorite Local Shopping/Entertainment District
First: Disney Springs
Second: Mills 50 District
Third: The Mall at Millenia

Favorite Local LGBTQ clothing store
First: Out of the Closet – Orlando
Second: MojoMan Swimwear & Clothing
Third: Lacastro

Favorite Local Geek Spot
First: Cocktails & Screams
Second: The Geek Easy
Third: Gods and Monsters

Favorite Local Trans-Affirming Space
First: LGBT+ Center Orlando
Second: Bliss Cares
Third: Miracle of Love’s Stafford House

Favorite Local Faith-Based Establishment
First: Joy Metropolitan Community Church
Second: First United Methodist Church of Orlando
Third: First Unitarian Church of Orlando

Favorite Local Florist
First: In Bloom Florist
Second: Lee Forrest Design
Third: The Flower Shop Orlando

Favorite Local Museum
First: Orlando Science Center
Second: Orlando Museum of Art
Third: Orange County Regional History Center

Favorite Local Space to Buy Art
First: LGBT+ Center Orlando
Second: Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Third: Art Gallery at Mills Park

Favorite Local Hotel/B&B
First: Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando
Second: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando at SeaWorld
Third: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Orlando Downtown

Favorite Local Artist
First: Patty Sheehan
Second: Kelly Stewart
Third: Nick Smith

Favorite Local Photographer
First: Loc Robertson
Second: Patrick Buckley and Jonathan Rodriguez, PB&J Studios
Third: Dylan Todd

Favorite Local Restaurant
First: Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Second: Hamburger Mary’s Orlando
Third: The Hammered Lamb

Favorite Local Brunch Spot
First: Hamburger Mary’s Orlando
Second: The Hammered Lamb
Third: Maxine’s on Shine

Favorite Local Late-Night Dining
First: Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Second: Gringos Locos 2 – Milk District
Third: The Hammered Lamb

Favorite Local Unique Drink/Eat/Treat
First: Thanksgiving sandwich at Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Second: Original Chocolate Chip cookie at Gideon’s Bakehouse
Third: Charcuterie Grazing Board at Bites & Bubbles

Favorite Local Caterer
First: Little Lamb Catering
Second: John Michael Catering and Weddings
Third: Bless my soul food catering & more

Favorite Local LGBTQ Bar/Club
First: Southern Nights Orlando
Second: Savoy Orlando
Third: District Dive

Favorite Local Allied Bar/Club
First: The Hammered Lamb
Second: Ember Orlando
Third: Cocktails & Screams

Favorite Non-alcoholic Hangout
First: Pom Pom’s Teahouse & Sandwicheria
Second: Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar
Third: The Glass Knife

Favorite Local Happy Hour
First: District Dive
Second: Savoy Orlando
Third: The Hammered Lamb

Favorite Local Karaoke, Trivia or Bingo Night
First: Ginger Minj and Gidget Galore’s Family Gayme Night at Hamburger Mary’s Orlando
Second: Lacie Browning’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” Viewing Party at Savoy
Third: Addison Taylor’s Bad Ass Bingo at District Dive

Favorite Local Bartender/Server
First: Tia Divine at Southern Nights Orlando
Second: Dominick Mascio at District Dive
Third: Colleen Green at Southern Nights Orlando

Favorite Local Performer: Drag Queen
First: April Fresh
Second: Trixie Deluxxe
Third: Bearonce Bear

Favorite Local Performer: Drag King
First: Axel Andrews
Second: James Jackson
Third: Eros Gemini

Favorite Local Performer: Stage
First: Blue Star
Second: Gregory Metts
Third: Kirk DaVinci

Favorite Local Performer: Musician
First: Billy Mick
Second: Craymo
Third: Heather Abood

Favorite Local Performer: DJ
First: DJ Brianna Lee
Second: Scott Robert
Third: Edil Hernandez

Favorite Local Breakout Performer
First: Gregory Metts
Second: MrMs Adrian
Third: Sheila from accounting

Favorite Local TV/Web Personality
First: Nancy Alvarez, WESH 2
Second: Martha Sugalski, WFTV
Third: Ginger Gadsden, WKMG-TV

Favorite Local Radio Show/Podcast
First: Johnny’s House on XL1067
Second: Chad & Leslye on Magic 107.7
Third: The News Junkie on Real Radio 104.1

Favorite local LGBTQ Influencer
First: Ivy Les Vixens (@eveleena)
Second: Brendan O’Connor (@bungalower)
Third: Tora Himan (@torahiman)

Favorite Local Performing Arts Venue
First: Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts
Second: The Abbey Orlando
Third: Renaissance Theatre Company

Favorite Local Theatrical Show
First: “The City Beautiful, An Original Live Music Burlesque Cabaret,” Orlando Fringe
Second: “TV Land Live’s Gilligan’z Island,” Clermont Performing Arts Center
Third: “Nosferatu,” Renaissance Theatre Company

Favorite Adult Novelty Store
First: Fairvilla
Second: MojoMan Swimwear & Clothing
Third: The Store @ Barcodes

Favorite Local Place to Play Tourist
First: Epcot
Second: Universal Studios
Third: Lake Eola

Favorite Local Place to Pamper Yourself
First: Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa in Winter Park
Second: Walt Disney World
Third: Club Orlando

Favorite Local Hidden Gem
First: Gatorland
Second: Grumpy’s Underground Lounge
Third: Kings Landing in Apopka

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