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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Hull's growing awareness of his sexual identity

Hull describes his interactions with other non-heterosexual boys as a child. He discusses his first awareness of his sexuality and his coming-out experience as a teenager.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Bill Hull, June 21, 2001. Interview K-0844. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

BILL HULL:
Still do, for that matter. [Laughter] I mean, the first gay person that I ever knew, was a classmate, and I knew that he was gay from the third grade on and he didn't until he reached high school. But, I knew that he was the same as I was, I just didn't want to—well, and I just didn't know what sex was. When you are a third grader you just know, that, "Hey, here is another sissy." Y'all had a lot of fun together playing dress up and doing back door shows and things like that. I think that the first time that I ever was aware that I was a totally gay person, and I realized that, hey, he is really like me, I was probably like thirteen years old. Yeah, and who was that? I don't want to say his name because he would be destroyed if I told him, but he was an older person. Let's see, I was 13, he was in his twenties, he was a journalist and I was very active in community stuff, 4-H and stuff like that. That was one of his beats I guess, and I was involved in 4-H health or something. Anyway, he interviewed me and I clicked on him immediately as being a gay person. I knew who that was other than him being a gay person, but he was much older and almost a father figure, I guess. But, at 13 anybody is a father figure. I decided that I wanted to do a class project about being a journalist and wanted to interview him, so I basically set it up and seduced him.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Oh, oh, you seduced him sexually.
BILL HULL:
Right.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Oh, well, good for you.
BILL HULL:
I know. [Laughter] Well, I didn't know quite what to do, but I knew that once we got alone together, then I could be who I way back in the back of me be the one that I always wanted to be. That was sort of called my physical coming out. But, I never really had to deal with being gay.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Right, right, well, you people never really discuss it, it just happens and—
BILL HULL:
Yeah, I just knew it and I was just waiting around until I got pubic hair and could do it.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Right. [Laughter] ] Oh, goodness, how did he react to that?
BILL HULL:
Oh, it was wonderful. Oh, well, good, because he was gay.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Oh, well, yeah.
BILL HULL:
And he introduced me to his first ever boyfriend.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
Wow, well that is very good, that is a very healthy coming out experience.
BILL HULL:
It was very, very healthy.
CHRIS MCGINNIS:
It is very positive. You hear so many not so positive. That is very good.
BILL HULL:
I know.