Ken shares a coming out from NPR’s StoryCorps cast and how it relates to his story.
Here is the transcript:
Titus (DT) and Zeek Taylor (ZT)
DT: I always referred to myself as the invisible gay guy. Because people that I worked with didn’t know I was gay and I heard every gay joke and slur. And, you know it hurt ‘cause these are people I liked.
And, um, in a small town like Fayetteville, everybody would know I was gay and nobody would hire me. So we had two houses. Because I needed a place so people could come after work and have a beer or hang out.
ZT: It kept the Miller Lite cold in the fridge… <<Laughter>> …for when they guys came over.
DS: Even though it had clothes in it, and food. You could open the door and swear I slept there last night but I never did.
ZT: I knew that’s what had to happen. It was pretty easy to run in to people that you worked with at the grocery store or wherever.
DS: Do you remember the things we had to do when somebody came up and talked to me?
ZT: Oh sure. You chose the name “Oscar” as your work name. And when we would go out, if someone said, “Hey Oscar,” I just kept walking like we were strangers. I, I never questioned having to do it. I didn’t like it but it would have been so hard on you if we had lived in the open at that time.
DS: Did you ever feel like I was ashamed of you or embarrassed by you?
ZT: No. I never felt that at all. I felt more that you were ashamed of yourself.
DS: That’s probably pretty true. You know, I’ve never really told you how brave I think you are. You were this openly gay ballet dancer. And, uh, the chameleon. And I think that I took the coward’s way out.
ZT: But I felt, “this is the price we have to pay to be together.”
DS: You know, even though I come across as the strong one you’re really the strong one in our relationship. And I admire you for being your own person all these years.
ZT: I appreciate knowing that, it means a lot to me.
DS: Well, you deserve all that and more. I’ve known you a long time and, uh, you just constantly amaze me.
ZT: Thank you.