- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Tonda Anne Taylor oral history interview 1, 2015 March 10
Tonda Anne Taylor oral history interview 1, 2015 March 10
In this first of four interviews, Tonda Taylor, long-time activist for LGBTQ rights and founder of Time Out Youth, an organization that offers support, advocacy, and opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) youth in Charlotte North Carolina, recounts her family background and her formative years. Ms. Taylor describes her experiences growing up in a conservative family in the Myers Park neighborhood of Charlotte, her relationship with her father, a prominent local allergist, and the challenges she faced as she became aware of her sexuality. She discusses the complexity of interracial relations in Charlotte during the 1950s and early 1960s, noting the effects of segregation and the pervasiveness of racism. In particular she describes the important role that her family's housekeeper, Bessie Rushing, played in shaping her world view and interest in social justice. Ms. Taylor also recalls the liberating impact that foreign travel had on her life when she was a teenager, her personal experiences of homophobia, and the serious setbacks that this caused in her life and education as a young woman.