Some people still can't get over that a gay person is on Atlanta radio. Or that condoms are an effective deterrent to a family with 14 people in a barn.
Jeff answered the phone in the B98.5 studio the other morning, during which the caller asked to speak to our producer. Once Jeremy picked up the line I could see his frustration grow as he listened to whatever lengthy story the listener was telling him. He ended the conversation by slamming the phone on the receiver and continuing his work. Jeff and I asked what made him so angry, and Jeremy explained that the listener and his family had just taken a vote to stop listening to our show. The reason? I was gay.
This listener was apparently tending horses in a barn with 14 members of his family that morning and heard me talk about my girlfriend, which prompted “the vote.” After the call, Jeff and Jeremy spent the next few minutes discussing how offended they were at hatred towards gay people. Mind you, I was not part of that conversation, since I was unaffected by the call and continued with my work. But to hear these straight guys genuinely disappointed in homophobia was refreshing. They also called the listener a coward for not talking to me directly. I must agree.
The radio gay? That's lesbian Melissa Carter (photo), who recently returned to morning drive time with a new show on B98.5. She recounted the incident for her regular column in the GA Voice. Carter became the first openly gay person on Atlanta radio more than a decade ago, back when that barn apparently didn't come equipped with a radio.