James Horton

As Interviewed by E.A.S., March 1, 2018

James H.: In His Own Words

Well, as a member of LGBT community, I have of course experienced several different episodes in my professional career. There was a time when I was denied a promotion because of being a gay man -- and the superintendent at the time told me that he just could not take a chance in promoting someone to a principal role that he felt that the community might object to, and so he would not allow me to become a principal even though Iíd been assistant principal for many years. So then I moved to a different district, and I was able to be a principal because nobody knew me there, and I was a successful principal for three years. Then my first district, the one that wouldn't give me a promotion, wanted me to come back -- and all of the sudden they didnít have a problem with it anymore since I had proven that I could be a good principal. So thatís one situation.

Then Iíll tell you about another one that was a little bit scarier. One time, we were at a concert -- an Olivia Newton John concert if you can believe that -- and we were having a good time, and this one fellow behind us he just... I don't think he was very open-minded, so after the show, he called us faggots and threatened us physically even though we hadn't done anything to him. So there have been a couple of things like that. And Iíve had friends of mine who have experienced different kinds of hardships.

But the good news is that I believe that those situations don't happen nearly as often as they did ten years ago certainly longer than that. So I think things are... I think the world today, or at least out country today, is a little bit more accepting of people with different backgrounds.