David Wade grew up in Newark, Delaware and attended Wilmington University for Business Management and Marketing. He moved to the Rehoboth area about 10 years ago and has been here off and on since. After spending a few years in the Hospitality Management field, David decided to switch to a profession that would help him be more diverse. He chose to work in the travel industry, and currently works for Accent on Travel, one of our CAMP Rehoboth sponsors. According to David, “This career change has become my latest hobby/obsession, getting to experience new cultures and broaden friendships all over the world is a positive outcome of the change. I love a career where every day is a new challenge. I get to work in a career that allows me to spend even more time in the LGBT community here in Rehoboth Beach, allowing me to do more volunteer work for CAMP Rehoboth.”
Additionally, David says, “I would not be where I am today if it was not for the support of my family and friends. I have a very large support system of blood and adopted family. Being the oldest of six kids, has taught me to constantly be setting a good example, and volunteering for CAMP Rehoboth is one way of staying involved in the community and setting that example.”
When did you start volunteering at CAMP Rehoboth?
I started volunteering for CAMP Rehoboth in 2012, shortly after being introduced to friends that were involved with the organization.
What events/activities have you been involved with as a volunteer?
I have been involved with several events at CAMP Rehoboth such as the Sundance 5K race, the Annual Fourth of July Pool Party, and the Block Party event.
Of the many events held by CAMP Rehoboth, which is your favorite and why?
I would have to say I have fun at ALL CAMP Rehoboth events. Seeing people come together to support a good cause with such positivity. The pool parties are my favorite because it is a nice way for everyone to relax from the stress of the world and have a good time while still raising money for CAMP Rehoboth.
Name a childhood mentor or someone who influenced you while growing up.
If I had to choose someone, it would have to be my grandfather. He portrays strength, wisdom, and family values that I admire and follow.
What is your best memory volunteering here?
I would have to say just being involved in any CAMP Rehoboth event. Everyone is always smiling and cheerful, and I like being surrounded by positive people.
If you could go back to the age of 18, what do you know now that you wish you knew then?
I realize now that I should not have been hiding behind a curtain. I would have embraced my sexuality much sooner, and not dealt with years of stress for no reason.
Favorite season here at the beach and why?
Of all the seasons, summer is my favorite. It is a time to let loose and enjoy what this area has to offer most. It is a time of making more friends from all over.
Do you have an LGBT hero? Who and why?
I would use the term Role Model as much as a Hero. I want to say that this person is more of a local hero, someone who often quotes “Rehoboth means room for all.” He has never stopped fighting for his dear friends, family, and the LGBT Community. He is someone who helps breakdown barriers, and makes strides for a more united future through beliefs and actions. Thank you, Chris Beagle for all that you do and represent.
The LGBT community has made significant progress in the fight for equality. Did you expect to see this in your lifetime? Why or why not?
I did, especially living in a community where there is an abundance of equality with everyone feeling safe. We have members of the community such as the CAMP Rehoboth Board fighting for our rights. With all of the people that have and are fighting for us, all of the strides that have made, and the passion in those strides, it really portrays a positive future.
What advice would you give the younger LGBT community?
I would tell them–never stop fighting for what you believe in. In addition, to fight for what will help you and the younger generation(s) growing up after you.
Favorite holiday and why?
My favorite holiday would have to be Christmas because it is a greater chance for people to come together.
Favorite U.S. city and why?
Hands down it would be San Francisco. It is such a beautiful laid-back city with an abundance of history.
How long have you been coming to Rehoboth?
When I was young and we lived in Newark, Delaware, it made Rehoboth an easy trip. So while growing up, we would come to Rehoboth in the summers. As an adult, I decided to move here because I loved it so much.
Since you began coming to Rehoboth, name the biggest change(s) you have seen.
Integration! Most people that come to visit or live here do not think twice about walking into any restaurant or bar based on concept of “gay” or “straight.”
Best year of your life and why?
That would be 2012. It was the year I came out as a gay man. My bond grew stronger with friends and family. New friends arose from my outing as well. I was then able to be comfortable with myself, and to help others in the LGBT community.
What are you most thankful for?
I am most thankful for my friends and family. Without them, I would not be who I am today.
David, we thank you for your support. It is a great feeling for us at CAMP Rehoboth to see the younger generation joining and volunteering for the many events. This gives us hope for CAMP Rehoboth that it will continue to grow and thrive for many years to come. We look forward to seeing you at some of the upcoming events in 2018.