90-Year-Old Gay Man Recalls Long Struggle With His Sexuality
June 2, 2021 8:36 PM   Subscribe

90-Year-Old Gay Man Recalls Long Struggle With His Sexuality Ari Shapiro reporting for All Things Considered in 2015. 8m listen, full transcript on page.
posted by hippybear (6 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Thanks, hippybear. The lives and struggles of queer elders are often forgotten - especially in scenes that tend to celebrate the young and beautiful. An important story.
posted by prismatic7 at 1:23 AM on June 3, 2021 [5 favorites]

Whoa, Hector Black. I went to his house in about 1970. I was just a kid. I remember them being such wonderful loving people, and my Dad and Uncle played music with them.
But what I remember the most is my Dad being so impressed with their lifestyle. I'm sure it affected his (and thus my) life. We also moved to a Black neighborhood in Atlanta, and experimented with communal living, and my Dad also came out of the closet at an old age. Dad died last year at 81, survived by his husband. My Mom never stopped loving him, but let him go--somewhat against his will--so he could be who he really was.
posted by bitslayer at 5:28 AM on June 3, 2021 [60 favorites]

That story has at least two novels worth of drama in it. He sounds like he would be a really interesting person to talk to, and I'm glad they are collecting at least pieces of his history.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:09 AM on June 3, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sounds like an amazing man. Thanks for sharing your story, bitslayer!
posted by Bella Donna at 7:38 AM on June 3, 2021

I went looking for more info on him and he died in 2020 at 95. I won’t link the fairly nice obituary I read because it seemed to ignore his coming out which was 5 years prior. It seemed incomplete. But, yeah, I’ll be looking out for more info on him. My uncle seemed similarly in the closet his entire life other than the fact that he never married and had a male life partner for all my living memory. While not everyone is the same and everyone deserves privacy and dignity, I can’t help but think he would have been potentially happier, less depressed, maybe less alcoholic if he could have been even more open about his life and less tortured by the expectations and social mores of his generation. These stories are important.
posted by amanda at 9:00 AM on June 3, 2021 [3 favorites]

Thank you for this. I read it this morning when I first saw the post and have been thinking about it all day.
posted by profreader at 2:40 PM on June 3, 2021

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