What kind of writing do you do for Watermark?

I write a regular perspective column and news stories, especially investigative pieces with multiple contacts.

What was the name of your first headline with Watermark?

“Equality Florida Pinellas Gala Raises Record Amount”

What is the name of your Viewpoint column?

Positive Living

How did you come up with the name for your column?

Positive Living has two meanings that are interconnected. I strive to show that you can have a rich, full positive life while dealing with the HIV positive label and as a long-term survivor.

What made you want to write for Watermark?

I’ve always been proud that the official news source and voice of the gay community of the I-4 corridor has had such high journalistic standards. We are well respected and I wanted to be part of that.

What is your favorite thing about writing for Watermark?

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of writing about a wide range of topics from Gays and Catholics to Women in the AIDS epidemic to Getting Gay People Out of Uganda. It’s amazing to see the depth of our community and I always learn something from each story. I love writing a perspective column where I can share some of my own personal experiences as an activist and a longtime resident of the area.

When did you develop a passion for writing?

My high school honors English teacher told me that whatever career I chose that writing was going to be an important part of it so I’d better practice it a lot. She told me I had talent, to foster it and to go for it!

What do you like writing about the most?

When I’m writing news stories I like the in-depth investigative pieces where I can speak to multiple contacts and weave together a story from what they tell me. I love telling interesting stories about how LGBTQ people are navigating the complex times in which we find ourselves. For my perspective columns I love writing about my own personal experiences as an activist on a wide range of issues. It’s great to be able to share my 35 years of experience living in St. Pete and watching it grow up from a sleepy retirement community to a chic progressive gay hotspot.

What is your favorite LGBTQ Event?

St. Pete Pride and anything we produce at the LGBTQ Resource Center of the Gulfport Public Library.

What is your favorite thing about the local LGBTQ community?

In St. Pete and Gulfport I think my favorite thing is how integrated we are into the general community. While some neighborhoods are gayer than others there isn’t really a “gay ghetto.” We are everywhere and actively engaged in everything that makes the Sunshine City so special.

What would you like to see improved in the LGBTQ community?

I’d like to see us continue to work on men and women working more closely together. We’ve made some good progress but we could still do better.

What do you want the Watermark readers to know about you?

Under the brash outspoken activist exterior is a shy, sensitive, lonely, only child looking for love.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Get sober sooner.

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