12.12.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Welcome to Watermark’s annual Remarkable People issue. This is, hands down, my favorite issue of the year. We take a handful of people in our local communities, 19 for 2019, and showcase why they are remarkable through the eyes of those closest to them.

Some of those recognized will be well known to you, as they have been champions of our community for many years. Others will be less known, those who work behind the scenes making magic happen, someone whose single act of kindness set them apart or those whose talent was so great it made them rise to the top in places LGBTQ people have not gone before. Whatever their accomplishment, I hope you will join Watermark in celebrating our remarkable people of 2019.

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11.14.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Progress, not perfection: One of the many mantras for those in a 12-step program. The idea is that no one is perfect; therefore striving for or searching for perfection is futile. One should simply try to do the next right thing, work toward being better one day at a time. It sounds nice on paper, but putting it in practice is much more difficult. It takes tools and time to train your brain to think this way.

I can’t say if this is the way things have always been or if I am just opening my eyes to it in the wake of information overload, but our society seems too preoccupied with perfection — giving way to an all or nothing culture.

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05.30.19 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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Hi! My name is Rick and I am queer. How does that make you feel? Does the word queer invoke anger or fear? Or is it something you embrace? Is this a generational question?

I understand and respect completely that the word queer is a trigger for some. I vividly remember being asked if I was queer when I was younger. It was usually accompanied by some snarl-faced look that let me know being queer was not a good thing in their eyes. Not knowing what queer meant, I would answer “no,” which would result in my gender being questioned or chased around the playground. By the time I was called “as queer as a three dollar bill,” I knew what they were saying.

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04.04.2019 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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“Never put it in writing,” my mom always says. “You can’t put middle class values on a lower class society,” my 12th grade English teacher taught me. My former boss and mentor often advised me not to speak in absolutes. Most recently, my sponsor tells me to “do the next right thing.”

This is all fantastic advice from important people to me, and I try to obey these words of wisdom in daily life. Oh, I fail. Sometimes I fail miserably. However, the idea is progress, not perfection.

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12.28.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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New Year’s Eve is upon us. This day has changed for me over the past few years. Usually I’d spend the evening getting drunk and complaining about how awful the year was. At midnight my friends and I would hug each other in the hopes for a better new year.

December 31, 2014 would be much of the same. In the early morning hours of that day my father passed away, pretty much sealing the deal on making 2014 an awful year. Later that evening my family joined me at my favorite watering hole before we all retreated back to my place where I drank the year away. That was the last New Year’s Eve I would spend drunk.

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07.12.17 Publisher’s Desk

By : Rick Claggett
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One day at a time. That’s what they tell me. It’s one of the most useful tools in sobriety, especially in the beginning.

I stopped drinking on October 1, 2015. It was nine days before the annual Come Out With Pride celebration at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and I was nervous. How was someone like me, someone who would binge drink at every opportunity, going to make it through this major weekend-long event at only nine days sober? The answer: 24 hours at a time.

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