By Donalevan Maines
“In short, there’s simply not
A more congenial spot
For happily-ever-aftering than here
-Title song of Camelot
Suburban parents L. Jay and Scott Edenmeyer can trace their romantic fireworks to a walk through Eleanor Tinsley Park after meeting at a rehearsal of Bayou City Gay Men’s Chorus.
That was in July 2010, 25 years after the pair performed in the same Sam Houston State University production of Camelot without knowing it. “Jay was onstage and I was in the orchestra,” explains Scott, whose name growing up was Scott Eden.
On his side of the footlights, L. Jay Edenmeyer’s stage name is his birth name, L. Jay Meyer. Through June 26, he portrays multiple roles—Amos Calloway, Dr. Bennett, and Mayor of Ashton—in the Broadway musical Big Fish at Stages Repertory Theatre.
The couple’s cast of characters grew when L. Jay adopted his great nephew, Ty, whom Scott met on the couple’s second date, to the Houston Zoo. “I adopted Ty at the end of January 2014,” says L. Jay, detailing a process that began in 2008. “He’s now 12.”
Meanwhile, L. Jay married Scott in the backyard of their home in Katy, Texas. This summer, they’re moving to Canyon Gate at the Brazos, a Richmond, Texas, subdivision. Ty will be able to catch a school bus to his middle school in Rosenberg; their new home is closer to L. Jay’s job as a theater teacher at George Ranch High School in Richmond, and Scott’s gig as an elementary-school music teacher further south off U.S. 59 in rural Beasley.
“Everybody’s been an Edenmeyer for a year,” says L. Jay, who played Judy Garland’s loyal accompanist (a composite character, Anthony) in this spring’s production of End of the Rainbow at Stages.
“Ty is a pretty good little actor, too,” says L. Jay. “Last year, we did Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Ty played Benjamin, so he got to work with high school kids. But he hasn’t done any more [theater]; he rebels by not doing it.” Instead, Ty plays outside linebacker in football, among other sports, and he took up percussion instruments in band class.
Having two dads doesn’t seem to bother Ty, shrugs L. Jay. “He kind of adjusted to the idea that things are going to be a little different. When you’re 12, you’re embarrassed by your parents because you’re 12. He knows his parents love each other and that we love him dearly.”
Plus, there’s the additional “cool factor” of having fathers who are adored by high school students. “He sees us around older kids, who sometimes treat us like we are famous,” explains L. Jay. When the Edenmeyers attended a musical this year at another area high school, “He heard a couple of them call out, ‘Dad!’ When they saw Scotty, they called out, ‘Other Dad!’”
Before L. Jay began working at George Ranch, its thespians already knew him as “Mr. E” from contract work he had done on their shows. “I wear different clothes, a hat, my earrings—I’m me,” he says. “They see me as an interesting guy.”
When the subject of spouses came up in Scott’s job interview at Beasley, which is also in Lamar Consolidated Independent School District, Scott told them his husband works at George Ranch.
“They don’t care,” says L. Jay.
Nor have the Edenmeyers been bothered by “a lot of kickback” in their home lives, he adds. “It is not something that crosses my mind. We’re hand-holders; we don’t make out in front of everybody. Sometimes, somebody might look a bit too long or a bit hard, but we’ve never felt unsafe. Everybody is somewhere for a reason; maybe we’re here to open a few minds.”
Donalevan Maines is a regular contributor to OutSmart magazine.