This is the 22nd in a series of transcript excerpts from the collection of the Samuel Proctor Oral History Program at the University of Florida. This is Part 1 of 2.
Fred Pratt was interviewed by Jessica Clawson [C] in 2012.
P: I was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1956.
C: When did you move to Florida?
P: 1967 or ’68. I have a disability, and there was no education for children with disabilities in Pennsylvania at that time, at least our part of Pennsylvania. And there was in St. Pete, where my grandparents were, so we moved down there so I could have an education. Stayed for college, stayed for the whole thing.
I’m a gay man. I’ve been gay, I’ve always known it, felt since I was little, for as long as I could remember, that I’ve been attracted to guys.
C: You went to undergrad at USF, University of South Florida?
P: Yes. From ’77-’80. It was closest, and I was living with my grandmother and she wasn’t doing very well, and I didn’t want to move her anywhere. And they had a political science program, which I was interested in.
I worked for 16 years as a public assistance specialist for the state of Florida, including food stamps, Medicaid, food, AFDC. I do a lot of phone banking for local candidates. Some state and national candidates, too.
Now I’m on disability retirement, and have been for the last 11-12 years.