Pride month is underway! To celebrate, we're sharing “Portraits of Pride” featuring SAGE participants each week throughout June. This week we're introducing Jimmy Harris, an actor and SAGE participant who charms both on and off-stage.
Born in Richmond, Kentucky as the ninth of ten children, Jimmy remembers that his mother encouraged him to move away, saying "You're out of here! You're going to end up in a big city--you're going to learn how to eat frog legs and lobster!"
True to his mother's prediction, Jimmy moved to New York City at age 20 in the late 1960's, drawn by a love affair with a well-to-do man. He remembers that he experienced a "shock of luxury--that I was willing to adjust to very quickly! It was a magnificent journey."
Eventually Jimmy graduated from Fordham University and moved into the professional world. After being fired from a job at insurance company for being gay, he built a successful career as a court reporter, then left it to pursue his dreams of show business. Despite being offered a partnership in the firm he worked for, Jimmy knew it was time for a change. "I had to take the road that would liberate my soul and not stifle my personality," he remembers. "I didn't want to be in a suit five days a week."
Jimmy's brave choice paid off; he's had a successful career as an actor, having performed in a few films and about 25 plays over the years. Though he's now retired, Jimmy says he's tempted to return to acting from time to time, so keep an eye out for him on Broadway! If you don't see him onstage you'll find him at The SAGE Center, where he meets friends for dinner two or three times a week.
-- Posted by Kira Garcia