A few months after I graduated from college, I moved to Paducah, a small town in western Kentucky, to work for the local newspaper. I didn’t like my first apartment and after a year living there wanted something bigger. I decided to rent the top floor of a two-story house with one of my co-workers.
As I was filling out paperwork for the lease, I noticed the landlord looking at my roommate. He and I were both clean cut, slender and in our 20s. “Now, you’re not one of those fag couples, are you?” asked my landlord, who was probably in his 50s. “They’re practically taking over the neighborhood.”
Our home was in a neighborhood that had been designated as an arts district. Artists who bought property in the area were eligible for sizable grants to make improvements to their home. The project attracted artists from all over the country. And some of them were gay.
We weren’t, but I didn’t feel the need to tell my landlord. If I were gay, would that make me less capable of paying my rent on time? Less trustworthy? Continue reading