The Last Page: Dr. Steve Yacovelli

By : Rick Claggett
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What kind of writing do you do for Watermark?

Viewpoint author; basically random thoughts on how I’m seeing the world as it relates to our community.

What made you want to write for Watermark?

THE MONEY! THE FAME! (hehe) Seriously, I wanted to find a way to not only give back to my LGBTQ+ community but also challenge myself to do some different kind of writing beyond my business and academic pursuits.

What is your favorite thing about writing for Watermark?

I feel like I have a platform to try and make our LGBTQ+ experience a little bit better.

What is the name of your column with Watermark?

“Homo Erectus: The Evolution of Us”

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

“Homoerectus” was a silly word I thought up somewhere on I-95 that’s derived from “homosexual” and “erect” (interpret that how you will) with a Latin slant. The tagline “the evolution of us” speaks to the development professional in me, where I hope my little column helps us as a community to continue to evolve and grow.

What is your favorite LGBTQ Event?

Come Out With Pride, of course!

What is your favorite thing about the local LGBTQ community?

I think it’s more how the greater Orlando community seems to have our collective backs and overall really embraces inclusiveness in general. And yes, as an LGBTQ+ community we sometimes disagree internally, but we are still strongly unified and fiercely protective of one another. #OrlandoStrong

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

Two things: First, while I love that we are so spread out throughout Central Florida, I wish we had a little more of a “gayborhood” similar to cities like Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Columbus that served as the epicenter of our community. Second, a broader range of social activities for LGBTQ+ people to get together beyond softball, bowling and bars.

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

That I’m stupidly passionate about diversity and inclusion and how it interacts with our world. Whether that’s educating clients on how their unconscious biases are impacting their business, how we mitigate bias within corporate learning or how best to work with members of the LGBTQ+ community within the workplace. I love helping folks grow through embracing inclusion. Also, my friends sometimes call me the “HR Police” because of this. Frankly, they like coming to me and asking those “hard” questions about diversity topics because they know I’m a safe ear and will only mildly poke fun of their silly questions.

What advice would you give your younger self?

“Oh, little Stevie: Use more sunscreen and wear knee braces when you do sports to preserve your joints. Oh, and be nice to that guy who approaches you at Club Firestone in June 1996, because you’ll eventually marry him 18 years later.”

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