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00:00:01 - Introduction 00:02:46 - Growing Up in WNC and The Nashville Area

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Partial Transcript: My mom is from here and her family all the

way back to the founding of the town, so I just really like the area and never

really wanted to move anywhere else. I mean, my attitude is changing a little

bit the older I get because of the town is not what it was when I grew up, but

my family's here and I just want to be around. I love my parents to death, so I

just want to stay close to them.

Maya, Interview...:Yeah, absolutely. Family is so important, especially now.

David Ayers:Exactly.

Keywords: Nashville; Tenessee; WNC

00:08:52 - Beginning David's Life History and Coming Out Journey

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Partial Transcript: And that caused some issues within the family because my first cousin was very

homophobic. I mean, it's obvious he is. I didn't like him anyways so it didn't

bother me that he was homophobic against me, I just didn't like the fact that he

stopped the relationship. And a lot of people say, "Well, you're dating your

cousin, that's so Southern," but he wasn't really my cousin, he was adopted. And

when that broke off, I was so distraught I just had to tell my parents, yes, I

am gay. So that was after college. Nobody knew during college. So that was my

parents that knew.

And then I gradually around 1992, the local gay bar here in town Scandals was

known to have a "straight night" on Thursday nights. And a friend of mine who I

was working with at the airport at the time was gay and he knew I was gay, but

nobody else knew I was gay and asked me if I wanted to go to Scandals. When I

said, "I'm not going to a gay bar," he said, "No, there's straight night." I

said, "Oh, okay," well, this is my way of sliding into that scene undetected.

Keywords: Accepting; Christian; Discrimination; Journey; Military

00:19:49 - Experiences with the Gay Community, Clubs, and Church Community

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Partial Transcript: And then eventually... So, I mean, when I

first went there, I would say that I was a little nervous, but I was comfortable

in the sense that I didn't have to admit that I was gay.

And we just drank and had a good time. I did meet a couple of boyfriends in

there on and off, some of them I'm still in touch with, to this day, but I just

wanted her to have a good time and basically drink. It was my first real bar

that I enjoyed going into because it was a nightclub/bar. So yeah, I loved the

music, I loved the lights, and I love live music and this was as close to live

music, having a live DJ there every weekend that I just enjoyed, probably got

caught up in it. And the owner, he's since passed away, but he was a very good

bar owner. He knew what a DJs to bring in, what music to play, what lights to

put in. I mean, he was really good. But I forgot the question now.

Keywords: Christianity; Church; Clubs; Gay Community; LGBTQ+; Scandals

00:26:18 - 2016, Coming Out at Work, and Kenneth

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Partial Transcript: He was doing some things for the bank that morning on his computer,

but he was missing work. He had a hearing impairment, so he would always

complain that he was an addict, he was deaf, and he was gay, and he didn't want

to know if there was anything else wrong with him. That's why he never got a

solid help for his suspected bipolar. And he told me he was going to go get

something to eat. And I just looked at him. I said, "Are you okay?" Normally I

ride with him everywhere he went, but that morning I was exhausted and I didn't

go with him. And he left the house, he loved me and he left the house. And I

said, "Something ain't right."

Keywords: Berevement; Finances; Loss; Relationships

00:39:17 - College Life and Gathering a Passion for Aviation

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Partial Transcript: I think at UNC Asheville and I think only 12 to 15 transferred or

something like that. So I spent the next two and a half years down in Daytona

Beach. And one of my middle school friends, middle school and high school

friends, was down there at the same school and lived in the same apartment

complex I lived in and we ended up becoming even closer friends. We're still

friends to this day, he's now a Colonel in the United States Air Force.

Keywords: Aviation; Coming Out; Psychology; UNC Asheville

00:46:19 - Civil Union v.s Marriage and David's Support System in WNC

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Partial Transcript: Maya, Interview...:A lot of times, the word chosen family is something that LGBT

folks use. I know that you have the support of your family, but folks like

Kenneth who didn't have the support of their family, we call it chosen family

because it's family in the LGBT community that takes you in or supports you when

things are hard. And so I was just curious if you had a support network, an LGBT

support network of folks in Western North Carolina.

David Ayers:Not really. It's complicated as to why, or maybe it's not

complicated, but the gentleman that just came by a second ago, he's very

supportive. He's also very active in the gay community, works in the Western

North Carolina AIDS project and is an advocate for HIV AIDS community and also

the addiction side of it. He's been very helpful in a lot of ways and is a good


Keywords: AIDS; Advocate; Aviation; Christian; Conservative; LGBTQ+ Community

00:54:03 - Segregation in the LGBTQ+ Community and Childhood Experiences

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Partial Transcript: Maya, Interview...:Great. So you talked a little bit about growing up. Do you

have a significant memory related to childhood, or sort of your journey to adulthood?

David Ayers:The only memory I have that always comes to my mind is my dad, he

was a banker for Cove. He used to go out on business trips, and he'd go to the

Asheville airport back when the Asheville airport wasn't near as big as it is

now. It's not big now, as far as Air Force go. But as far as the Asheville

airport goes, it's grown a lot. And we had big, mainline Piedmont jets come in

there back in the day. And big, loud, noisy things. And he would take off on

them. And I just remember walking up towards the viewing area that they had at

the time, where you're pretty much on the tarmac, and feeling the rumble and the

noise of those airplanes take off. And just, man, I want to do that. And that

just, I don't know. Something about the... I love noise, and I love power. And

that had both of them. And I was just like, I'm going to do that.

Keywords: Asheville; Conservative; Economic; Gay Community; Segregation; Unincluded

01:04:28 - Heavy Metal Influence and Being An "Adrenaline Junkie"

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Partial Transcript: And then when David Talvass, the other guitar player, joined... His mom

and my mom were majorettes at Asheville High together. My mom went to Asheville

High as well, except it wasn't called Asheville High back then. But they were

majorettes together. So Dave and I grew up together, and he and my brother

became extremely close and just were very competitive on the guitar. And both of

them were in the band together with me, and he came up with the name and it just

stuck. I don't know why. I have no idea.

Keywords: Asheville; Bele Chere; Family; Heavy Metal; KISS; Michael Jordan

01:21:15 - Addiction and Harm Reduction in the LGBTQ+ Community

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Partial Transcript: I

know it does, but I just don't see a whole lot of it. You know, a lot of the

party type drugs, ecstasy, I've seen GHB. I mean, I've seen a lot of stuff. It

just seems to be very prominent.

And when I went to rehab, you know, everybody has got a story and a lot of those

stories involved a lot of pain. And I actually wrote an article while I was

there that stated that gay people in general have a higher incidence of heart

disease, diabetes, and other stress-related illnesses because when they grow up,

they experience a lot of little traumas, either being forced to come out or

coming out and people not accepting them or child molestation, which I was a

victim of, or something like that. that gives you a little post-traumatic stress

disorder signs throughout your life or symptoms of throughout your life. And

people end up self-medicating.

Keywords: AA; Addiction; Drug Deals; Lambda; Recovery

01:28:44 - Local Social Interactions and Closing Statements

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Partial Transcript: Well, at the time I was, you know, I was out of my job. I was getting some pay.

I wasn't getting my full pay. And they told me they were going to charge me 300

bucks if I didn't return the phone. I told them what had happened. I told them

it was in the custody of the Buncombe County sheriff's department. They said

they didn't care. I even accelerated the call or escalated the call to the

higher ups and they just didn't care. They wanted that phone back.

So I ended up getting in touch with the deputy and telling them, look, I don't

have $300. I need to get the phone back. And he told me, he said, "Well, I can't

give you anything back at this point."

Keywords: APD; Asheville; Buncombe County; Locals; Relationship; Sheriff's Department