What an honor and what validation. Many thanks to Heidi and Delena. Check out this great website.
Someone You Should Know: David E. Watters
David Watters: “Equality” is his middle name — literally!
Reintroducing David Equality Watters
You know how, if we’re really passionate about something – say, gardening – we might say, “Gardening is my middle name”? Well, “Equality” is David Watters’ middle name – literally!
David tells how he legally added “Equality” to his name at the age of 40. “To me it was symbolic and something that I did to mark my 40th year on the planet – 40 years of inequality – and to remind myself that there is still work to be done. I believe that those who have inserted ‘Equality’ into their online profile names are also making it clear to others that victory in the battle for equal rights is still some way off. It opens conversation and debate too.”
We at 10,000 Couples first got to know David last fall when he shared news about the Equal Love Campaign in the UK – an effort to obtain a legal ruling that neither marriage nor civil partnership should be limited by a couple’s gender(s) or sexual orientation(s). Throughout 2011, David is contributing to 10,000 Couples, introducing us to the eight couples who have filed applications “in the European Court of Human Rights to overturn the twin bans on same-sex civil marriages and opposite-sex civil partnerships” (Peter Tatchell). See David’s first couple-profile here.
David is also author of the forthcoming book Never Blend In: The Legacy of Harvey Milk, featuring key voices from the LGBT community with the goal of inspiring and encouraging “those who may lack self-esteem or who question their validity” (NBI Associates website)
David’s Latest Undertakings
pictured, David with Alan Cumming
In fact, all that David does involves assisting people – any and all people – to live authentically, to no longer accept the judgments and limitations imposed on them by others, and to believe in themselves as valid individuals. To that end, he has recently undertaken two new endeavors: NBI Associates, an organization which empowers people to make personal and professional transformations, and the “Give ‘em Hope” video campaign on YouTube, which David himself explains in the video below.
In response to my question of whether NBI is specifically geared toward the LGBT community, David explained that he doesn’t find it useful to label people – that he believes
“the best approach, with regards to understanding our common human experience, is to be fully inclusive and to acknowledge that there are similarities in the way society can limit us all by the labels that are attached.” He went on to explain that “NBI is absolutely open to anyone wishing to look at where they are ‘stuck’ and why. It’s about understanding that our beliefs inform our choices and our behaviors.” David offers one-on-one coaching via Skype, email, or in person, to any individual who wants to move forward in life. NBI uses Cognitive Behavior and Performing Arts strategies and tailors workshops to meet the needs of individual, academic (both students and staff), and corporate clients.
School workshops cover such topics as Labeling, Self-Esteem, Confidence, Interdependence, and Goal Setting, as well as those designed specifically for Performing Arts students. Business workshops explore Change in the Workplace, Equality & Diversity, Owning Your Goals, Assertiveness at Work, Public Speaking, Giving & Receiving Feedback, Team-Building, and more. (See sidebar for descriptions of some of NBI’s Student workshops.)
David & Richard
David shares his life with his partner, Richard, whom he met when both were living in South East London. The couple has been together for seven years. Says David, “I think that we are incredibly well suited (and for the purpose of this article, Richard agrees!). We want the same things and have always managed to be strong and supportive when the other needs it. We have experienced the usual ups and downs that life sends, but the older or wiser one gets, [the more] one realizes that without the bad, the good has less value.”
David continues, “I admire and respect Richard more than anyone I’ve ever met. I think that we have been a good influence on each other. He teaches me not to stress out, and I teach him (he would say push) to take on new challenges. The Equal Love Campaign would not be something that Richard would have put himself forward for, but I know that he is secretly proud to be part of such an historic initiative.”
Richard has two adult children and a grandchild on the way. David feels blessed to be fully included in Richard’s family and proud to be a part of their lives. He states, “I love it when they come to me for support or advice; it’s like being a dad without having to have dealt with all the teething and dirty diapers!”
David sums up his and Richard’s relationship this way: “We’re just a ‘normal’ couple doing ‘normal’ things and trying to do the best we can to get by in life – we’re just as boring as the next couple!”
To which this author, having read much of the content on the various websites for David’s multiple ambitious, global-society-impacting, high-intensity, much-effort-requiring projects, responds with an “I’m not buying it” sort of smile: “Normal? Boring? Um, yeah… right!!”
NBI ASSOCIATES: http://www.nbiassociates.co.uk
“GIVE ‘EM HOPE” CAMPAIGN: http://neverblendin.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/give-em-hope-david-e-watters-hd/