The late gay ambassador James C. Hormel is the latest name to be added to the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor. Five names of community leaders are added to the wall at the Stonewall Inn each year, ahead of Manhattan’s Pride celebrations in June. This year late composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim — who died last November at 91 — is being added.
Tyler Clementi — the Rutgers student who committed suicide in 2010 after his roomate posted a video of him kissing another man online — is being added along with Lesbian Reporter and Feminist Dolores Alexander.
This week, we hear from James C. Hormel.
In his lifetime Hormel went from closeted to out, conservative to liberal and forced conservative members of the Senate to speak on the record about homosexuality during his confirmation fight, which conservative Republicans blocked from 1997 to ‘99. He never was confirmed by the whole senate, President Clinton installed him as ambassador to Luxembourg using executive privilege. He held that ambassadorship for less than 2 years, from mid 1999 through December 2000.
In 2011 James Hormel stopped by the KALW studio in San Francisco for a chat with host Eric Jansen about his life, and his memoir Fit To Serve: Reflections on a Secret Life, Private Struggle, and Public Battle to Become the First Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador.
This week we present some of that 2011 interview on Out In The Bay.
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The Executive Producer of Out In The Bay is Eric Jansen. This edition of Out in the Bay was produced by Christopher Beale. The 2011 interview with James C. Hormel was engineered live by Joann Mar.