- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Ken Schell oral history interview 2, 2017 August 15
Ken Schell oral history interview 2, 2017 August 15
In this second of two interviews, Ken Schell, a gay man who was the victim of a brutal attack and robbery in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1987, discusses his reaction to the attack and how it has affected his life. [For details of the crime see an article by Diane Suchetka, staff writer for the Charlotte Observer on April 14, 1991 pg. 1E of the Living section.] Mr. Schell describes the overwhelming support that he experienced from his friends, colleagues, and the local community after the attack, and his surprising readiness for such an encounter. He modestly discounts the idea that he was courageous in his willingness to come forward and accuse his assailants, an act which was rare among gay victims at the time. In retrospect Mr. Schell feels that the attack affected him mostly some years after the event. He describes how he experienced PTSD upon reading a glowing obituary for the Superior Court Judge Frank Knepp who tried his case. Judge Knepp's verdict against Mr. Schell's assailants had been notably light, and he had also made pointed slurs against gay men during the trial. Shortly after this Mr. Schell was wrongfully arrested by police in a local park, and the arrest resulted in the termination of his career as a teacher. Mr. Schell concludes the interview with a discussion of his continuing search for love and validation, and a description of his current relationship with a bi-sexual man.