Les Krambeal ~ Individual Oral History Interview

Dublin Core

Title

Les Krambeal ~ Individual Oral History Interview

Subject

Gay, coming out, Gay Rodeo, cowboys, attraction, desire, sexual experiences, Stonewall Democrats, relational configuration with three men

Description

Les Krambeal shares his stories as part of the Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project. He tells of growing up on a ranch in Oregon ranch country. He tells of his ‘coming out’ and his attractions for cowboys. He discusses his work with the Gay Rodeo and the Stonewall Democrats. He is active in politics. He is also open about his three-man relational configuration.

Creator

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives

Source

MiniDV tapes recorded on Panasonic DVX-100A digital video camera

Publisher

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives

Date

10 April 2010

Contributor

Les Krambeal for the Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project of the Arizona Queer Archives

Rights

Rights given to the Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project and the Arizona Queer Archives

Relation

Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project

Format

H.264 300Kbps streaming QuickTime movie, 427 x 240

Language

English

Type

MovingImage
Oral History

Identifier

Arizona LGBTQ Storytelling Project

Date Available

26 May 2015

Date Created

10 April 2010

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Jamie A. Lee & Ryn

Transcription

Les Krambeal:
I’m from the Rouge valley in Ashland Oregon. I grew up there and I used to show Arabian horses and what brought me to Tucson was there’s a very large Arabian horse show in Scottsdale every year that I started coming to back in the mid 70s and I came down to Tucson when I was here one time to look at a horse for sale and I fell in love with Tucson. Scottsdale never really attracted me too much it was…uh…Pheonix is a lot different than Tucson, it’s kinda like anywhere USA, you know it has lawns and no respect for the Southwest. Tucson on the other hand exhibited it’s history and love of the Southwest architecture and respect for the desert, you’re had pressed to find a lawn, a grass lawn in Tucson and I just fell in love with Tucson….it just seemed like a very friendly uhm…welcoming community and it was always my intent to retire here because Orgeon as beautiful as it is and as much as I love Oregon, it’s really cold in the winter time. And as I got older cold isn’t…it’s not the hype it was when you were younger and you could ski and do all sorts of things so I came to the Southwest and Tucson to retire.

Interviewer:
And how long have you been here?

Les Krambeal:
Five years, we came here in 2005.

Interviewer:
And did it take you long to dive into a community?

Les Krambeal:
No, one of the things we really liked about Tucson is when we arrived we checked with Wingspan, they had a business directory or they have a business directory. There’s a very active LGBT Chamber of Commerce here and we used their business directories for everything we needed. We got our movers through them, we got our insurance agent, we got just everything, our accountant. Everything we needed was in their business directory and it’s still…we always go to their business directories before we go anywhere else.

Interviewer:
One gentleman I interviewed last month, he said he loved Tucson because he thought it was so welcoming to LGBT people compared to so many other cities in the US, have you found that as well?

Les Krambeal:
I find that very true, bot just with the elected officals and the government but with the community as a whole and in the two different positions I’ve had here…I said I came here to retire but unfortunately the economy doing what it did a lot of us had to go back to work but both the positions I’ve had I said right up front I was gay and they didn’t bat an eye. You know it’s like, “so why are you telling me this?” which is nice, you haven’t always been in that environment.

Interviewer:
And….do you label yourself a bear is that…?

Les Krambeal:
I don’t label myself anything I label myself less. There are a lot of people who would call me a bear because I’m of extra weight…uhm…and that’s pretty much…bears are...I’m suppose to be burley, hairy guys…I guess…yeah? There is a bear organization here in Tucson that’s very active in the community not just socially but they also do a lot of funding raising for charities and stuff so yeah. There’s a lot of organizations…one thing I find really interesting about Tucson’s gay community versus other places is…and I’m a previous gay bar owner so you know I’m probablt more attune to it than a lot of people is that Tucson is not bar based. You go to Pheonix and everything centers around their gay bars. In Tucson…and it’s unfortunate that we lost the...what was it called the weekly observer?...they had a great listing of gay and lesbian organizations in their newspaper that took up like two full pages. There’s a hiking clubs and softball clubs and bowling clubs and everything imaginable…cooking clubs, everything you could possibly want to do there was a club for it. And the social interaction in Tucson is based more around common interests than around going out to the bars…which you know, I love. The internet has certainly helped everybody in our community as far as connecting with people but it’s great that this community bases it’s affiliations on whatever levels more on common interests and business needs or whatever.

Interviewer:
How do you feel about the state of Arizona with its seemingly regressive politics compared to Tucson?

Les Krambeal:
Tucson…well Oregon is kind of the same way without Portland, Eugene and Ashland, if you remove those three pods, unfortunately those three pods are ¾ the population of Oregon but if you removed those, I mean that would be redneck America. And unfortunately here, the main population base is redneck America, you know Pheonix is such a right-wing area but Tucson and I think Flagstaff to a certain degree are more liberal and certainly Bisbee but most of Arizona like you say is very right-wing and a couple areas, I’m not comfortable even going. You know I certainly find the legislature here to be abhorrent I mean not just towards the LGBT community but where in the world do you go that passes laws that you can carry guns in schools…you know it’s really scary. But hopefully we’re going to be changing that, I mean they’ve gotten…so far the realistic centrist people will look a little to the left this next coming election and hopefully they’re be some changes made.

Interviewer:
And when you lived in Ashland, you were the bar owner there…

Les Krambeal:
No. I had a gay bar in Oklahoma City; Reno, Nevada; and Long Beach, California.

Interviewer:
Oh my goodness! And do you have any gay bars now?

Les Krambeal:
No. Learn my lesson. That’s a funky business to be in. Its hard to please the gay community all at the time and you have to do that all the time if you have a gay bar. Mine were country western dance bars. It’s a lot of hard work. Its long hours. And there were things that were more important to me. So I came back to my senses. Seemed like a fun thing to do at the time that I started but I was in it for about eight years back in the 80’s.

Interviewer:
And what is your coming out story?

Les Krambeal:
The coming out story that I tell…You have to realize, you know, I’m going to be sixty years old this year. So we didn’t have internet and TV shows and stuff that even address the issue of homosexuality. I never even heard homosexual or gay or anything. I grew up on my grandfather’s ranch in Southern Oregon back when we still did cattle drives and the whole thing. In fact we had rodeo grounds on my grandfather’s ranch where we had the local Highschool rodeo was held there. When I was pretty young I realized that I had a unique attraction to men in wranglers but I never really came to realize what that was all about until the one and only time in my life I ever hitchhiked. After college I was in training, I guess to Georgia in Fort Gordon, before I went to Vietnam and the one and only time I hitchhiked I got picked up and invited for a sexual encounter which turned out to be a very favulous experience and I was so excited that all of these things where rushing through my mind and all of this stuff started making sense. All the stuff that had gone through my head over the years and I was so excited I called home for my family and said “Guess what?” and they were all sort of, “0kay?!” But I was so relieved and so excited and I’ve never had a whole lot of coming out issues. My older sister, she was so excited, she told all my friends where I grew up –she still lived there- so first time I came home its like every body was sort of looking at me, “Oh!” I think for the most part my family was very accepting other than one time when I was fired for being gay. I don’t think I really had any real bad issues other than you know when you are not welcome. If you are not welcome I do not want to be there anyway. But I haven’t had any traumatic experiences. I think a lot of that had to do with the influence of my maternal grandmother. Who was an incredible wonderful person who always taught me to be true to myself and I had to like myself before anyone could like me. So when I came out its like, “Gosh I unlocked myself.” Life became much easier.


Interviewer:
Did you stay in the military?

Les Krambeal:
No. Just long enough to finish my obligation. I did go to Vietnam but I got out shortly after I came back.

Interviewer:
And so you had come out just before you went to Vietnam?

Les Krambeal:
Yes.

Interviewer:
And so where there any issues when you were in the military at that time being gay?

Les Krambeal:
I don’t recall there being any issue. In fact I went from being a company clerk to being a battalion clerk and then when I was in Vietnam I was a general’s aid and I think almost all the general aids were gay. We had martini lunches by the pool. I don’t remember any that weren’t gay.

Interviewer:
Did the gays break down the morality of the troops?

Les Krambeal:
Oh no, heavens no! We kept them all in line. We were at the command center in [inaudible] (12:55) and we were all general’s aids so we were right in the middle of everything. I was actually an aid for the director of intelligence. We really knew what was going on everywhere and I really think we made better soldiers than the straight ones.

Interviewer:
You had mentioned earlier about, you know, when you were coming out there hadn’t been anything about homosexuality on TV…

Les Krambeal:
Well, you know, kids today its there its out there. They are all very aware of it. There’s even organizations to help kids that are coming out younger and younger. There’s organizaitons fortunately to help them. That wasn’t there when I was a kid. You would never have heard the word “Gay” coming out of anyone’s mouth. At least I didn’t in rural Oregon. I know in the hippie days, if you will, I was sort of a borderline hippie. I think the sexual revolution opened up homosexuality and some of the bigger cities like New York, and San Francisco and Boston, what have you. If you weren’t in those metro areas there just wasn’t anything going on, at least that I was aware of.

Interviewer:
Do you think the media portrays our lives accurately or do you think we have a lot of work to do?

Les Krambeal:
Yes and no and we have a ton of work to do. Some people think like Jack and Will and Grace was a poor portrayal of a gay person. But I know lots of gay friends like that. The gay community is as diverse as the straight community. We are short, tall, fat, skinny, nelly, butch, everything in between. Some are athletic, some aren’t. Some are lawyers and doctors, some are waiters and janitors. I mean, we are everything. And that’s part of the difficulty as opposed to other minorities like you can’t hide the fact that you are black. Most people can’t hide the fact that they are Hispanic. But you can hide the fact that you are homosexual. And unfortunately a lot of people still do. And until everybody comes out, and people realize that everybody has friends and family who are gay, its not going to get any better. We can sometimes be our worst enemies because you have to embrace the entire community. You can’t just put a few select faces out there and say “This is who we are.” Because we are everybody and we are everywhere.

Interviewer:
What is your opinion on same sex marriage.

Les Krambeal:
Why not? Gordon and I have been together 20 years, I mean, how more married can you be? I have straight friends that were not even married half that time.

Interviewer:
And you said you and Gordon have children?



Les Krambeal:
We do. I say we do. He was married before I met him. He and his ex-wife have two wonderful suns, Steve and Lori. They are I think 41 and 44 this year. But I embrace them as my own. We have a wonderful relationship with both of them and with their mother too.

Interviewer:
And when you were growing up were you kind of like an organized religion or was faith important to your family?

Les Krambeal:
No. I grew up in a Methodist family. I think we went to church on Easter, maybe three times. I’m not sure what was special about those three times. And no, when I was a junior in Highschool my parents said that I had to become a member of the church. I had to go to some classes and become a member of the church, but that was like in the evenings. I went to church and became a member, and that was probably the last time I went to church other than for a funeral or a wedding. I don’t much like organized church. I think organized church has done more damage to the world than any other single thing. Look at the scandal with the pope right now.

Interviewer:
Do you and Gordon have a regular spiritual ritual that you do everyday or together that you do together?

Les Krambeal:
I don’t know that you would call it spiritual but every single day at which you would call the cocktail hour, I guess, we settle down and we discuss each other’s day. Some times its exctiting and most of the time its pretty boring but we’ll take that time every day to talk about our day so that we each know what we are all doing, Juan is included in that. I think we are both very spiritual people but to us spirituality has nothing to do with an organized church. Neither one of us believe in God but we believe there is some form of spiritual being. What it is we haven’t really figured out yet. But I think we are probably most spiritual than those who claim to be Christian.

Interviewer:
How did you and Gordon meet?

Les Krambeal:
Well we have two stories that we tell. One is that me and Gordon were in traduced by a mutual friend. But the mutual friend is the name of the person at the park were we met. He was still married when I met him.

Interviewer:
And you have been together 20 years. What’s the secret to your longevity.

Les Krambeal:
Gordon. Incredibly wonderful, kind, gentle loving person. He’s easy to get along with. That’s my secret to it. I haven’t always been the most easy person to get along with, but he says I am. I think it’s a matter of meeting the right person. Its never been difficult.

Interviewer:
What are your astrological signs?

Les Krambeal:
Gordon is a Libra and I’m a Scorpio. He’s a shall I, shouldn’t I, shall I, shouldn’t I, and I’m a “Gordon will you please make up your mind?!”

Interviewer:
Then, when you and I met for coffee you talked about the stonewall democrat. How did you get involved in that?

Les Krambeal:
I was actually brought up in a republican household and was in fact president of my Highschool and college young republicans. But its interesting how when you are put into an environment of learning I went to Alum University which is a small college in Salem Oregon. It was the first time that I was ever in an environment that encouraged me to think and that became very dangerous because I started thinking and I didn’t like some of the things that hadn’t been taught to think before. I suspect I have always been a little bit political. My major was political sience. I like politics, I would never want to be and elected official, I think I’m more the kind of person that is a good party person or a good valot measure person. I’m a behind the scences mover, shaker, get it done sort. I don’t like the lime light of being the legislator. I much prefer to be the person to help get that legislator elected that’s the right one to be our legislator. But I just became more as the gayish started popping up in Oregon, we had the valot measures there every two years and our momemtum kept building and building and building and we lost the first one but won all the rest of them. I’m sure you follow along and see that great results have happened in Oregon. And then when we moved to Arizona, shortly after we moved here I became a member of the board of the National School of Democrats. That was really exiting, you know for a political sort of guy because I really got to meet some of the national players and what do they call themselves? The belt weight champions or whatever that little phrase is for the people that live in D.C. I guess its Boston to Virginia but that was real exciting for me because I really learned about how the politics changed, not just legislation but they really changed things. And that learning experience was absolutely wonderful. I’ve been able to put a little bit of that knowledge to work here and unfortunately I had to resign that position last summer because of my cancer but I’m still trying to do things. I can’t be as active as I once was but I certainly can be as active as I’m able. I love the politics of it. We have a great stonewall democrats organization here in Tucson. I help organize the LGBT carcass of the Arizona state democratic party which is very active group now.

Interviewer:
And you are also with the gay rodeo?

Les Krambeal:
I’m the past president of International Gay Rodeo. As I mentioned earlier I grew up on a ranch with the rodeo grounds on it so I’ve been in rodeo since I was a little kid. I can’t remember what the occasion was but I was in Reno I’m going to say 76-77 somewhere in there and it just happens to be the weekend there was a gay rodeo. And It was huge. And I thought, “Wow! I’ve never even heard of this!” So I got the information and next year I was there with my horse and my ropes and came home with some buckles. I got really exited and when we opened the gay bar in Oklahoma City we were contacted by Wayne Getino out of Denver who was one of the early organizers of the International Gay Rodeo along with his business partner John King who owns Charlie’s in Phoneix. And several other places around the country. They invited us, at that time I lived in Oklahoma City with my ex-partner at the time, so we got the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo started and helped the international gay rodeo and then I was the second president of the International Gay Rodeo. This is the 25th anniversary of the Oklahoma Gay Rodeo this year. We are going to go back to Oklahoma City and help them celebrate.

Interviewer:
What is the difference between the gay rodeo and the not gay?

Les Krambeal:
There are several differences, one is every event there is for men there is for women. In straight rodeo there is a whole bunch of rodeo events and women’s barrel racing. That’s all women are allowed to do. In ours women bull ride. They do everything that men do. There are separate categories. In team events like in straight rodeo the team roping team is two guys while it doesn’t matter in gay rodeo it can be two women, two men, a man and a woman it doesn’t matter. Everybody is treated equally. The other thing is there is camp events that allow people who aren’t necessarily cowboys and cowgirls to participate. Its also a tremendous celebration of the country western lifestyle. You can’t go to straight rodeo and hold hands. At least in most places. It’s a great environment for gay people that come out from that environment to go to an event to where they can be themselves. It’s a tremendous mechanism for raising funds for gay and lesbian charities. A lot of differences. A much happier and friendlier environment.

Interviewer:
I think there is also a better treatment of animals.

Les Krambeal:
Oh absolutely. We don’t do tie down calf roping. Its break away as soon as the rope tightens it snaps off the horse’s saddle. There is a flag and that is when the time ends. The calf isn’t thrown down in [our guard] (28:17). We have very stringent animal rights. As many rules to protect the animals as there are to protect the competitors.

Interviewer:
A little earlier you had mentioned cancer. Have you had any issues with like the healthcare?

Les Krambeal:
No. Actually my healthcare has been through the VA center here and its been absolutely wonderful care. My family, Gordon for one, was in the room with me at all times. They come to my appointments with me and hear what the Doctor has to say. There’s never been an issue at all. They’ve been absolutely at all.

Interviewer:
For this project one of the goals is to educate teenagers and the next generation of the LGBT youth and letting society know that LGBT people are very complex and you can’t just label us with a stereotype. Is there anything that you would want to say about the role of education and hearing voices for youth today or to change minds, you know, based on your history of politics like is your personal story important?

Les Krambeal:
Sure it is. I think one of the most important things you can do is correct people when you year a joke told. It doesn’t have to be a joke inflammatory towards someone who is gay but inflammatory towards anyone because if they are going to tell a Polock joke, the same person is going to tell a gay joke. You’ve got to stop them and correct them you don’t discriminate against anybody. There’s all kinds of humor out there without having the humor to demean someone for whatever reason. I think you need to correct people. A lot of my family, because I have a lot of red-necks in my family if I’m in their presence they won’t even tell jokes anymore because I’ve corrected them so many times. So I think that is really important because I don’t think people see the seriousness of what they say because if you joke about it, particularly if there are little kids around, those little kids develop an idea that its okay to make fun of people. We have such severe problems still with bullying not just against gay people but bullying in general. White teachers don’t do anything about it. They see the bullying that goes on. You need to stop that. Early on teach people to respect one another and embrace the fact that people are different from each other. I can remember little kids being teased in elementary school because they start to wear glasses. Kids called them little four eyes. Stop that. Stop discrimination and humiliation from the very beginning and then people don’t grow up with that attitude.

Interviewer:
On the way over we were talking about our family members, some who are super right wing and conservative and red-necky. Where do you think we fail in teaching people on how to be critical thinkers. In terms of understanding their place whether its religion or society. It seems to be kind of piggy back to the bullying idea, how do we get people to think about their lives, where are we failing. Is it in the school?

Les Krambeal:
We are failing from day one. We as gay people, not just us but everybody needs to step back and look and look at what they are saying and how it affects people. How it affects your community, your family and your friends. The bullies, I mean you can’t tell me that a teacher doesn’t know that Johnny over here isn’t the school yard bully. How could a teacher possibly not know that. Generally those bullies are a bully because they have issues. You don’t need to just protect the kids they are bullying but you need to find out what’s causing them to be a bully and help them address those issues also. But as far as within our own family and our circle of friends I think we need to do like I say and just stop them when they make a derogatory comment or whatever. There isn’t enough of that done or people wouldn’t still be doing it. And as I mentioned before depending on the environment that we are in we too often hide because we can. Again, if I was black and I was in a room with people except for a few crass people, no one is going to make a joke about someone who is black because obviously there is a black person in the room. But if I’m gay, they don’t necessarily know that so its okay to make a gay joke. Well, its not okay. We need to make sure that they know that its not okay. Whether I’m gay or not. Its not okay to make a derogatory remark about anyone for any reason. I mean, I don’t like everyone in the world, but I try really hard and sometimes it is really hard with some of these right wingers. My grandma always said if you can’t say something nice just don’t say anything and I really try to practice that. And especially when there’s young people around. I don’t want to give them a false impression that is okay to be derogatory about someone.

Interviewer:
Throughout your life what have been some of the biggest obstacles that you’ve overcome?

Les Krambeal:
As a gay person or as Les? The biggest obstacles I’ve overcome. I don’t know. I’ve often wondered what about me made me do some of the things that I did. I was a cheerleader in junior high, highschool and college. And Eagle Point had never had a male cheerleader before. And some of my friends said, “You are kind of like a sissi aren’t you being a cheerleader?” and I said, “Why would you say that?” So they convinced me one year to go out for football. I went out for football and I was a line backer, and a very good one and I said, “Okay see!” and I went back to being a cheerleader. Because its what I want to do. I’m sure I went through lots of obstacles. But obstacles were probably to me more like a challenge. A challenge is always a good learning experience. I think the hardest lesson to learn for anybody and especially for me was that if you fail the challenge you didn’t fail. The only failure is not taking the challenge on. It isn’t necessarily beating the challenge or winning the challenge the only failure is not accepting the challenge. And I think that’s the best advice I can give anybody.

Interviewer:
Do you think that’s what keeps people in the closet?

Les Krambeal:
Yes. I think a lot of people stay in the closet because they are afraid of rejection. My philosophy has always been, if they reject me because they find out that I’m gay, then obviously they didn’t love me or like me to start because there’s so much more to me than just being gay. And if that sole factor causes them to turn their back on me then they didn’t like me in the first place.

Interviewer:
And how are your parents with you coming out and stuff? Have they been accepting?

Les Krambeal:
There’s never been a problem with my parents as far as my coming out or being gay. There’s other issues with my parents but my being gay never was an issue.

Interviewer:
And are they still living. And how do they like Gordon.

Les Krambeal:
They like Gordon fine. We don’t have a very good relationship with my parents because my mother is an alcoholic. So we haven’t seen them for many years because I made the decision to quit enabling her. And she’s an alcoholic.

Interviewer:
Was that one of the obstacles that you had to overcome too? You know, growing up with an alcoholic mother?

Les Krambeal:
Ah hum. That was a real difficult one.

Interviewer:
And as an enabler what did that look like to you?

Les Krambeal:
Do you mean why did I consider myself an enabler?

Interviewer:
Yeah. I mean what where you doing?

Les Krambeal:
Because I would, you know, ta-ta to her and tell her how fabulous she was and “Oh you look so pretty” you know when she looked like crap. She was obviously a little drunk. I tried too hard to gain any kind of affection or love from her when she doesn’t have the ability to love. And it took me a long time to learn that lesson.

Interviewer:
And did it also affect your sister?

Les Krambeal:
Very much.

Interviewer:
Do you still have a close relationship with your sister?

Les Krambeal:
I have four sisters.

Interviewer:
Four sisters!

Les Krambeal:
And I have a very good relationship with two and I have no relationship with two. One is just like her mother. About the fourth time she threw a knife at me and actually pulled a gun at me twice in her alcoholic rages. I decided I didn’t want to be around her any more. The other one got pregnant when she was fourteen and gave her baby to my older sister to raise and all the problems that she went through and all that. She ended up on the street and a drug addict and her brother Les was always rescuing her and helping her get back on her feet and she found God. And all of a sudden she needed to help cure me of my homosexuality. She’s a born-again that was actually nicer when she was a drug addict and a prostitute than she is as a born again Christian. She was a much nicer person. And the other two sisters are just red-neck cowgirls that are kind and gentle people.

Interviewer:
Do they come down and do rodeo stuff with you?

Les Krambeal:
Gordon and I don’t have horses anymore. We sold our farm in 1996 and all of our horses. My oldelst sister was just here visiting with her husband maybe six weeks ago. They came down and spent a week or two with us. Alice hasn’t been down but she’s afraid to fly. But we see them when we go back to Oregon.

Interviewer:
Do you go back a lot.

Les Krambeal:
No. We try to go back every other summer.

Interviewer:
And where do your kids live? Do they live in Oregon?

Les Krambeal:
One lives in Loucern, Switzerland and one lives in Ashland, Oregon.




Interviewer:
What last words would you have to say about yourself. How are you unique? What’s your drive? What makes you tick?

Les Krambeal:
How am I unique? I don’t know that I am unique. What makes me tick? Gordon. Actually Gordon in one both are a very possitvie influence in my life. And certainly my rocks as I went through all my cancer stuff. And still continue through. But what makes me tick? I don’t know. The desire to see things better. Hopefully with a few more treatments I’ll be back to where I was and can do more. But what makes me tick? That’s a hard question to answer. I’m on a netserve that is the belt way groupies, if you will, that gives a lot of inside information about what is going on in congress and with like the guiness task force and matrices and all those people who are really the makers and breakers for our community. What makes me tick is when I see something positive going on. And I see the don’t ask don’t tell, and we are actually going to hopefully make it before congress this year. That can almost bring tears to my eyes. To know the those kinds of things are really going to happen. What a long road its been but what a long road we still have.

Interviewer:
And how do you feel about Obama as president these days.

Les Krambeal:
I love Obama. He hasn’t done all the things he said he would do as quickly as he said he would do but who knew all the obstacles that he would have put in front of him. I think he is very sincere and still wanting to do all those things and I think we’ll see all those things in his first four years but people have to give him a little time and they have to understand the processes. That’s one of the things that’s been really beneficial to me on this netserve that I’m on because I have a much better understanding of the processes that all these things have to go through than I did before. So I’m not as quite as irritated. I would probably be a little bit more irritated if I didn’t understand that. I have a better understanding so I’m okay with what he has done so far, and I know that he is going to do all the things that he said he was going to do. I think he is a person you can trust and believe. I don’t think he is, well really is a politician, I think he is the first sincere politician I’ve met in a really long time.

Interviewer:
I’m kind of curious about your relationship Juan, Gordon and yourself. How do you negotiate that.

Les Krambeal:
How do we negotiate what?

Interviewer:
Are you all physically and romantically involved with each other?

Les Krambeal:
The three of us? Yes.

Interviewer:
That’s a very interesting dynamic. I think there’s a lot of folk that are interested, how do you negotiate time and jealousy.

Les Krambeal:
Jealousy has never been an issue.

Interviewer:
Really? How are you able to overcome that?

Les Krambeal:
I don’t know that I had to overcome it. I have no doubt in my mind or in my soul that Gordon loves me. I know he does. His actions every day tell me so. Juan has been with us now for four years. And the same would be true of Juan. He’s a very kind gentle loving person. He wouldn’t do anything to make you jelous. He is as attentive to Gordon as he is to me. Certainly my attention is to both of them. Its an interesting dynamic because I’m attracted to older men. Gordon has always been attracted to younger men. I sort of feel like I was really lucky to get his attention because I’m only ten years younger than him. But it works for us and it works very well. If you saw our master bedroom, we have the biggest bed you’ve ever seen because it’s a bed for three.



Interviewer:
Do you have any advice for young folk that are attempting to negotiate non traditional relationships like that. Non-monogamous, polyamorous that kind a thing.

Les Krambeal:
To always be open and honest. It doesn’t do anybody any good to hold things in. You need to open up and be honest from the very beginning. You can’t have secrets and the worst thing you can do is play one against the other. I remember my sisters doing all the time. When we grew up I was the only boy, so I had my own bedroom but there were two girls in the other bedrooms for the kids. Every weekend one of the sisters would be moving across the hall, they were always changing who their roommate was. I think honesty and openness is the best policy. For me I’m fortunate because there’s two people who are easy to love. I think that was the lack of success in previous relationships I was never secure in knowing that I was loved. I knew if I loved them because it was my emotion, but I never had met anyone who expressed love other than to say the words. I never got the body language or the feeling all the time. I don’t think I had a relationship with anyone in my past who ever like if I was cooking as they walk by be would just pat me on the shoulder for no reason. I never met anyone like that before. It’s a matter of meeting the right person. It has not been difficult at all.

Interviewer:
Very good. Thank you. Any last words from you to sum up the interview?

Les Krambeal:
Take my Grandma’s advice be true to yourself.



END OF TRANSCRIPTION.

Citation

Jamie A. Lee, Project Director, Arizona Queer Archives, “Les Krambeal ~ Individual Oral History Interview,” Arizona Queer Archives, accessed December 12, 2019, http://www.azqueerarchives.org/items/show/159.