The Last Page with Nathan Bruemmer

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

Right now I’m focusing on issues for LGBTQ+ youth, detailing their perspectives and the issues they face.

What made you want to write for Watermark?

The ability to focus on the issues of the next generation is important and I can write about that here. I need to write about the truth. Statistics are sometimes really ugly—but in putting the truth out, I try to find examples of hope and ways to show the possibilities. We don’t need to be our statistics.

What is your favorite thing about writing for Watermark?

Watermark does a great job at covering so many things and areas; I enjoy being one of those voices. I appreciate that Watermark allows the space for all voices and all perspectives. That’s important. We’re a big, bold, beautiful rainbow and we’re all different. We have to learn from each other.

What is the name of your column with Watermark? 

“Keeping It Real”

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

I was brainstorming at ALSO Youth one day and it came from some of the kids. My job is to bring in programming that empowers LGBTQ+ youth and to work on building inclusive communities. LGBTQ+ youth are already living with all kinds of realities, and sometimes we sugarcoat things and they know. A lot of youth talk to me about how other adults talk to them. They don’t want to be talked down to; they want to have real conversations. I keep it real with them.

What is your favorite LGBTQ Event?

The reality is that I love all of the events, because I remember when there were none.

What is your favorite thing about the local LGBTQ community?

Our connections to each other. I run into a lot of people at a lot of different things, sometimes in places where I’m not expecting to. It’s like when you go home after a long time after you haven’t seen your family. I don’t know if all communities are connected like that.

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

I see in different regions – Orlando, Tampa, St. Pete, Sarasota – I see different successes and I see areas where work is needed. It’s a little different in every community. Every region has different strengths. I would like all of the successes in all of the places. If we could figure out how to own that then it would make it better for everyone in the battle for equality.

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

I’ve been working with kids for a long time, and it’s probably because in some ways I’m still a great big kid at heart. The other side of that is that doing advocacy work for so long is hard work. There’s been a lot of struggle and setbacks, but I don’t focus on that. I celebrate the wins when they happen and that keeps me kid-like.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Believe in yourself, even if no one else does. Hard work does pay off—the work isn’t as hard when you do it with other people who work as hard as you do on what’s important. Find your community.

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