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James C. Hormel honored at Stonewall

James_Hormel.jpeg
Wikimedia Commons/Nancy Pelosi

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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Please help us keep bringing queer air to your ears. Out in the Bay is an independent non-profit production. We receive no funds from podcast platforms nor from radio stations that air Out in the Bay weekly. Your gift will help keep LGBTQ voices and stories coming to you and others who might not be able to give. (Donate tabs on our website will take you to a Media Alliance interface. Media Alliance is our non-profit 501(c)3 fiscal agent. Your gift will be earmarked for Out in the Bay.)

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.

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Christopher J. Beale is an independent radio host, producer, and journalist living in San Francisco.
Eric Jansen is a long-time broadcaster and print journalist. A former news anchor, producer and reporter at KQED FM, San Francisco; KLIV AM, San Jose; and Minnesota Public Radio, Eric's award-winning reports have been heard on many NPR programs and PRI's Marketplace. His print work has been in The Mercury News, The Business Journal, and LGBTQ magazines Genre and The Advocate, among other publications. He co-produced the June 2007 PBS documentary Why We Sing!, about LGBTQ choruses and their role in the civil rights fight.