Words To Live By: Courage

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Rick_ClaggettBy the time I was in the ninth grade I accepted the fact I was a homosexual. I wasn’t out or proud.  I was scared. I had done my time with self-loathing and trying to talk myself into being normal. My knowledge of the homosexual world revolved around what I’d picked up from TV, church, family and friends. Homosexuals were sinners, gross deviants who were to be laughed at and avoided. Although I didn’t feel that described me, I came to terms with it. After all, I thought boys were cute.

Toward the end of my freshman year of high school, I was given a glimmer of hope that maybe I wasn’t such a terrible person. I had a teacher who decided to stray from the normal health-class curriculum by sharing her story of homosexuals. She started the lesson off by referring to the community as gay. A student quickly asked if she meant homosexuals. She answered yes, but said they preferred to be called “gay” because their lives were about whom they love and not necessarily about with whom they have sex, a pretty ballsy move for a Southern teacher in 1990. She went on to describe gay people as normal. This was a first for me. I remember living next to a gay couple when I was in elementary school. Plenty of words were used to describe them, but normal wasn’t one of them.

Continue Reading >>

Words To Live By: Baskets

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0

Rick_ClaggettWe have an Easter tradition in my family. Annually, we search the house for Easter baskets left by Jesus, a rabbit or – most likely – my mother. The Easter basket tradition is one of my favorites, and continues to this day when we are able to get together for the holiday.

The search begins the same way every year. Mom walks up to you and says, “I have it on good authority the Easter Bunny came and left something for you. It’s somewhere in the house.”

Continue Reading >>

Words To Live By: Passion

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0
Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

I would be remiss if I didn’t start this column out by thanking the Metropolitan Business Association for bestowing upon me the honor of Business Man of the Year. I have a great passion for what we do at Watermark and a great deal of love for the staff and the community we serve. It is an incredible feeling to be recognized for doing something you love to do.

I am a huge fan of events akin to the MBA’s Pride Gala and Watermark’s WAVE Awards, because they draw attention to those in the community that have a great deal of passion. Having passion for your community and channeling that passion into volunteer work or the advancement of others is what I like to call using your powers for good.

Continue Reading >>

Words To Live By: Religious Right

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0
Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

Let’s start by clarifying the use of the word right immediately. I’m not referring to the religious right as in the social dictator and presidential doubtful, Mike Huckabee. Or the incoherent speaking marvel that is Sarah Palin.

This column is about the religious right as in the moral or legal entitlement to have or obtain something or to act in a certain way, as defined by Google.

Continue Reading >>

Words to Live By: Community

By : Rick Claggett
Comments: 0
Rick Claggett

Rick Claggett

My entire life is gay. I work in arguably one of the gayest offices in town, my gay friends and I mostly hang out in the locally gay-owned watering holes and I have played on gay softball, bowling, kickball and volleyball teams.

In fact, I even turn what’s straight about my life into something gay. My best friend, Jen, and I have lived together for almost 15 years.

Continue Reading >>