- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Logsdon, Darryl oral history interview, 2015 September 25
Logsdon, Darryl oral history interview, 2015 September 25
In this interview, Darryl Logsdon recounts his social and professional work as an LGBTQ+ activist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Logsdon describes being drawn to Charlotte during the early 1980s both on a visceral level that he decribes as "good vibes," and by Charlotte's small but present gay community, in which Mr. Logsdon could meet other gay people and pursue his Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science at UNC Charlotte. Mr. Logsdon speaks often of his work with Charlotte LGBTQ+ activist Don King, recounting his first time seeing Mr. King on local television promoting gay rights and first meeting Mr. King in 1982. Soon after meeting Mr. King, Mr. Logsdon joined the LGBT organization Queen City Coordinators (QCQ). As secretary of the organization, Mr. Logsdon worked to organize a public LGBT event in Park Road Park. Mr. Logsdon describes the initial hesitation by other QCQ members of holding an event in a public space for fear of being outed. He describes Charlotte during the 1980s as hostile to LGBT people due to lack of experience and representation, with no public LGBT voices to counter the vocal opinions of conservatives. Mr. Logsdon explains that, unlike many of the gay men and lesbians he encountered in Charlotte, he wasn't raised under strong Christian doctrine, which resulted in his comfort and confidence within his sexual orientation from an early age. Mr. Logsdon discusses at-length the creative ways in which he and Mr. King gained publicity for gay and lesbian organizations and events, in an effort to provide voices and faces to Charlotte's gay male community, as well as aiding in Charlotte's overall LGBT awareness. As a UNC Charlotte student, Mr. Logsdon participated in a Gay and Lesbians Speaker's Bureau with Mr. King, Billie Stickle, a local lesbian activist, and Lynne Guerra, a minister of the Metropolitan Community Church. Together, the Bureau often engaged in an open dialogue with UNC Charlotte students and during these conversations, Mr. Logsdon began to interact with hetero-allies that he often refers to as the "moderate middle." After graduating from UNC Charlotte, Mr. Logsdon became an employee of First Union Bank and was regularly sought after within the bank to engage in sexual orientation training and seminars. Mr. Logsdon speaks at-length about his professional LGBTQ+ activism within First Union Bank, Wachovia Bank, and Wells Fargo, highlighting his and other LGBTQ+ employees push for domestic partner benefits and a gay employee organization. Within both his professional and social justice activism, Mr. Logsdon stresses the importance of support and cooperation from the moderate middle in achieving overall LGBTQ+ equality. However, this support was greatly tested during the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the late 1980s and 1990s in Charlotte, as both LGBTQ+ and hetero-Charlotteans learned that the illness had spread from larger cities. During this time, Mr. Logsdon describes himself as active within local organizations, such as Acceptance and First Tuesday, as he witnessed other gay male leaders and organization members perish in a myriad of painful ways caused by AIDS. Mr. Logsdon also discusses the resilience of Charlotte LGBT communities, describing how lesbians stepped in as caretakers of gay men suffering with AIDS, as well as institutional support by Wachovia Bank. Other major topics discussed by Mr. Logsdon include the Gay and Lesbian Community Center in Charlotte, the Gay and Lesbian Fund, and the necessity of coming out for societal change.