StoryCorps Legacy: Peter Byrd

“A lot of people don’t get a chance. I’ve had a million chances.”

Peter Byrd sat down with Lisa Roland to record this Legacy interview in partnership with Grady Health Ponce De Leon Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

Listen to an excerpt from Peter and Lisa’s conversation:

Click here to download a PDF transcript of this clip.

Recorded in June 2014, Peter talks about his father who was a football coach for an undefeated team, “He was very big and very bold and very smart and very masculine. But if he would drive home and I’d be on the porch combing barbie doll’s hair, he never said a word. He never skipped a beat.”

He also recalls the moment he realized he was gay and how he thought it would change the way he was treated by others, “If you’re like that, the teacher’s won’t protect you. If you’re like that, the ministers don’t like you. It was just the beginning of trying not to be something that got your behind kicked all the time.”

Peter then remembers visiting a psychic three months after he was diagnosed with HIV and the advice he received, “She told me, ‘Stop worrying. This is not the end. This is the beginning for you.’”

At the end of the excerpt, Peter reflects on how grateful he is for the people in his life and for all the chances he’s been given, “I really want to honor all that has been given to me by how I treat people, how I embrace the world, how I keep myself safe, how I feel loved, how I give love.”

Click here to learn more about Grady Ponce de Leon Center.

Click here to learn more about StoryCorps Legacy.

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Each week, the StoryCorps podcast shares these unscripted conversations, revealing the wisdom, courage, and poetry in the words of people you might not notice walking down the street.