Getting to Know David Mariner
Q&A with Letters from CAMP Rehoboth
CAMP Rehoboth’s new Executive Director, David Mariner has officially relocated from Washington, DC to Rehoboth Beach and begun his new role! Letters from CAMP Rehoboth staff stole a few minutes of his time to get to know him a bit more.
For the past 11 years, you worked at the DC Center for the LGBTQ Community. How are CAMP Rehoboth and the DC Center alike? How are they different? How might your experience there enrich the work we do here?
There are over 250 LGBTQ community centers across the country, and they all have a lot in common with each other. Most centers have arts and cultural programs, health and wellness initiatives, support groups, meeting space, and community resources. LGBTQ community centers are often the first resource people look to when they don’t know where to start.
In my years at the DC Center I’ve had the opportunity to see many different LGBTQ community centers across the country and to build relationships with the amazing people that run those centers. There is so much we can learn from each other.
You have done some work in advocating for health programs for young people. How does it feel to be moving to an area that is seen as a retirement destination?
It feels great! I’m equally proud of the work we’ve done at the DC Center supporting LGBTQ older adults, and look forward to continuing that work here. LGBTQ people face some unique challenges as we age. I think there is a lot we can do to support LGBTQ older adults.
I recently had a chance to talk with Doris Person, the Assistant Principal at Rehoboth Elementary, and learned about the growing population of students in local schools. So while Rehoboth is a retirement destination for many, there is also a growing youth population.
I’m proud that CAMP Rehoboth is a home to everyone, and particularly to folks on either end of the age spectrum.
What’s the one thing you most want people to know about you?
I hope folks know what an honor it is for me to be selected for this position. I’m excited to get to know you all, and I will work hard to be worthy of the trust you have placed in me.
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” What kinds of activities do you enjoy doing when you are not making the world a better place?
I love to travel and spend time with my family, which is spread out across the United States and the United Kingdom. My husband, Khusan, and I are very much looking forward to getting a dog once we are settled.
When did you visit Rehoboth Beach for the first time, and what was your first impression?
When I first moved to DC many years ago I came to Rehoboth for a trip with my family. I remember Lambda Rising still had a store here, and being amazed at how many DC friends I bumped into. Attending Sundance this year, however, was when I truly began to understand what a special place Rehoboth is.
What’s your rejuvenating activity?
My husband, Khusan, and I set a New Year’s resolution to visit 50 different restaurants in 2019, and we are well on our way to achieving that goal. We love exploring cuisines from different cultures and countries.
I love everything Walking Dead and I’m excited that my friend Nico Tortorella will be starring in the new spinoff series. Nico is queer and non-binary, and recently released a new book, Space Between. I admire them as an activist and can’t wait to see them on the show.
Looking toward summer 2020: What’s already on your to-do list for your first summer at the beach?
I’m most looking forward to having friends and family come visit us in the summertime. We hope to have a guest room set up to accommodate plenty of visitors. Everyone wants to come visit when you live by the beach!
I’m not waiting till summertime to start enjoying Rehoboth, however. I’ve already heard great things about the Sea Witch® Festival and of course I’m looking forward to the CAMP Rehoboth Block Party. ▼
- Actor: Ian McKellan
- Actress: Jessica Lange
- Animal: Siberian Huskies
- Author: Karen Armstrong
- Book: Stone Butch Blues, Leslie Feinberg
- City: St. Augustine, Florida
- Classic Movie: Princess Bride
- Day of the Week: Friday
- Dessert: Anything with dark chocolate
- Disney Movie: Aladdin
- Flower/Plant: Gerbera Daisies
- Game: Risk
- Hobby: Reading
- Holiday: Christmas
- Holiday Song: “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” Bruce Springsteen
- Movie: Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Branagh version)
- Musical: Sarafina!
- Olympic Event: Ice Skating
- Personal Hero: Kiyoshi Kurimiya
- Quote: “He that would be a leader must be a bridge.” Welsh proverb.
- Shopping Store: Target
- Sport to Watch: Soccer
- Thing to Cook: Breakfast
- Time of Day: Afternoons
- TV Show: Walking Dead
- TV Show Character: Carol
- Vacation Spot: Key West
- Video Game: Galaga