By Joey Amato
Born and raised in Montebello, California, Go Riverwalk Magazine publisher Mark Corbett has lived a not-so-traditional life. A father of three, Corbett began his publishing career in New York City serving as Associate Publisher of Lesbian & Gay New York (LGNY), a bi-monthly newspaper. “I then became National Advertising Sales Manager for Columbia FunMaps,” Corbett tells SFGN.
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Upon arriving in Florida, Corbett began publishing a local neighborhood newsletter which caught the attention of The Riverwalk Trust, an organization created to raise capital for ongoing Riverwalk promotions and improvements.
Go Riverwalk Magazine began as a newsletter in 2004 and was transformed to its current magazine format in 2005. “My vision from day-one was to serve the people that live, work, and play in our great city with current information and features on the arts, our urban lifestyle, city business, dining and a slice of everything and anything Fort Lauderdale.”
As with many other industries, publishing has been hurt tremendously by the recession, but Corbett remains optimistic for the coming year. “2010 looks to be a very promising year. My mantra for most of last year was “creative solutions for challenging times.” It worked and got us to where we are today. This year our mantra is a bit simpler but equally powerful: “creativity, prosperity, and happiness are all states of mind.”
Go Riverwalk Magazine currently works with a team of about 25 highly talented individuals to produce each issue. “Our publishing team at New River Design consists of a core group of six. Riverwalk Trust accounts for another three in editorial, and we work with numerous contributing writers, designers and photographers.”
In addition to serving the business community, Corbett also contributes heavily to many area non-profit organizations including Broward House, the Pride Center at Equality Park, Miami City Ballet and South Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Before becoming publisher of Go Riverwalk, Corbett was involved in a 13 year marriage and had three children. “Coming out late in life accomplished a couple of things for me. I knew, at the age of 40, there was no turning back, at least not for me.”
Ending his marriage was not exactly easy. “Conventional divorces can get ugly enough. My ex-wife decided to grant interviews with local and national media and appeared on a television show which featured women claiming their lives were in ruins because of marrying gay men.”
Within three months following the divorce, Corbett was marching in New York’s Gay Pride Parade with the Gay Fathers Forum. “After all, I was a dad, and I would not allow anyone to take that away from me. Today, my children are my biggest fans and an amazing support group.”
Some people may not understand Corbett’s life, but he is quick to explain, “It’s not that difficult to understand – I have an ex-wife, three grown children, a grandson, an ex-husband, and two ex-boyfriends.”
“I could not be happier with my life. I wake every morning with extreme gratitude for all the wonderful people and the impermanent material objects that make my life so much easier.” He continues, “I’m even grateful for all the difficult people, too. They have mostly become my greatest teachers and a few have earned the title of Buddha.”
Corbett has become somewhat of a role model for the younger gay community in Fort Lauderdale. “I’m openly gay and very active in our business community. That alone should offer some encouragement and incentive for others to follow.”
After struggling with his sexuality for years, Corbett is an advocate for equal rights. “Be yourself…responsibly and with passion. Coming out at any age can be productive and liberating to the spirit. Most will find the so called monsters created are within our minds.”
“Most people really don’t care if you’re gay or straight. We set up the roadblocks to our own successes. Let go and live your life to the fullest, each and every day.”
Corbett describes his relationship with his former lover Carl, “We were together for a long time. We lived the “Ozzie & Harriet” life here in beautiful Fort Lauderdale before breaking up three years ago. Time moves on, people change and gravitate to opposing belief systems, then people move on. It’s a way of life, the way of the Universe.”
When asked what he was searching for out of life, Corbett answered with two simple words, “Eternal happiness”.
Many gay men struggle to find love but Corbett is convinced, “Love is everywhere.” And yes, he has found it. “Most people associate love with the quality of their bed partners and if they return text messages within a reasonable period of time. I find love in the most amazing places.” Corbett enjoys the more spiritual side of love.
“Sitting on top of a mountain under a starlit canopy, observing the journey of a falling raindrop, connecting with an opening flower or listening to a symphony of crickets… love is within us all, it’s up to us to connect. And connecting with that bed partner, is so much more intense when you start from within.”
To learn more about Mark Corbett and Go Riverwalk Magazine, please visit www.newriverdesigngroup.com.