News » Pride

Watch: Kenneth Felt Talks About Coming Out at 90

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Monday July 27, 2020

Kevin Felt, right, and his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, left.
Kevin Felt, right, and his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, left.  (Source:Screenshot via the BBC)

In June, EDGE reported on Kenneth Felt, a 90 year old man who was compelled to come out after being in quarantine. Felt and his daughter, Rebecca Mayes, were interviewed for The Denver Post's The Know.

More recently, Felt and his daughter were featured in a brief video for BBC where he discusses writing his memoirs in lockdown as the reason to acknowledge his sexual orientation to loved ones. In these passages he remembers his first love, Philip, who he met in California in the 1950s, when the law still criminalized homosexuality. After searching, Felt learned that Philip passed away only two years ago. With the prospect of arrest and imprisonment, Felt says "we were very careful never to be seen in public."

Felt elaborates the memory is the reason he came out to Mayes:

"I said to my daughter Rebecca: 'I sure miss Philip.' She had never heard of Philip before, so all of a sudden she was aware that there was another life with me. And I thought: 'It's time to just tell everybody.'"

The impact of having lived in the Midwest and being raised in a conservative religious household is what Felt says kept him from coming out, even after his daughter came out to him 25 years ago. "Before I came out, I was doing everything I could to avoid drawing attention to me. It's just a total reversal of my role and I'm embracing it and doing what I can for the gay cause."

Watch the video below.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.

Comments on Facebook