Steven Warren Saylor was born in Port Lavaca, Texas, on March 23, 1956, and grew up in the small town of Goldthwaite. His parents divorced when he was quite young; his two siblings, Gwyn and Ronny, and he were raised by their mother, who did secretarial work to make ends meet. Saylor credits his mother, Lucy, with instilling in the family a solid sense of self-worth. In particular, she emphasized academic achievement. As a consequence, by the time that they graduated from high school, all three Saylor children earned grants and loans to attend college.
During Saylor’s formative years in the hill country of Texas, he strove to conform to external expectations. He got good grades, played trumpet in the school band, got a part-time job at the local supermarket, and dated girls. All the while, however, he harbored a secret that he was not willing to divulge until he moved one hundred miles away from home to attend the University of Texas in Austin in 1974. In Austin, which Saylor has described as an oasis in a desert of intolerance, Saylor felt comfortable enough to embrace his sexuality. At the age of nineteen, he found his life partner, Richard Solomon; the two moved in together as a gay couple.
In 1978, Saylor graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor’s degree in history with honors, and in 1980, he and Solomon moved to San Francisco. For more than ten years thereafter, he worked as a freelance writer and magazine and newspaper...
(The entire section is 461 words.)