As both a science lover and a self-described foodie, Taylor Wallace is one of the lucky ones who has managed to combine his passions into a viable career.
Wallace is a food science and nutrition expert at George Mason University and also founder and CEO of his own consulting firm Think Healthy Group through which he works with 21 food companies, trade associations and commodity boards to help clients design and execute cutting edge research to inform policy. He conducts most of the research in house at the university.
“I was always interested in science, says the 33-year-old Hopkinsville, Ky., native. “When I discovered food science, it offered a way to apply my love of science to help others. I knew I couldn’t force people to eat right overnight, but I could help design healthier products that people love.”
Wallace came to Washington eight years ago for work after earning a Ph.D. and master’s degree in food science and nutrition from Ohio State University and a bachelor’s in his native Kentucky. Find him online at drtaylorwallace.com.
Wallace is single but owns a house in Bloomingdale with his friend Ken Gaughan, which they share with Gaughan’s boyfriend and three dogs.
Wallace enjoys kickball, dodgeball and volunteering in his free time.
How long have you been out and who was the hardest person to tell?
Aug. 10 was my 10-year anniversary of being out. It was hardest to come out to my grandmother who was my rock throughout life and my best friend. My coming out didn’t affect our relationship whatsoever, though.
Who’s your LGBT hero?
Wanda Alston. I think it’s extremely important that we all continue her legacy of advocating and supporting at-risk LGBT youth (wandaalstonfoundation.org). Ellen is pretty stellar too.
What’s Washington’s best nightspot, past or present?
I just love JR.’s. The staff is just so great and they’re always so supportive of kickball and our community. It’s such a nice laid-back atmosphere and I always find someone interesting to chat with.
Describe your dream wedding.
A secluded, casual beach wedding with friends. Real Pina Coladas, tiki torches, catering by Hot-N-Juicy and the guy of my dreams.
What non-LGBT issue are you most passionate about?
Nutrition. I love helping people, especially kids, lead healthier lives.
What historical outcome would you change?
9-11. It breaks my heart to watch the documentaries.
What’s been the most memorable pop culture moment of your lifetime?
Tupac getting shot.
On what do you insist?
That he’s still alive.
What was your last Facebook post or Tweet?
A picture of my awesome kickball team! Love you boys! Just the Tip!
If your life were a book, what would the title be?
I’m not sure what the title would be but it would definitely be a comedy!
If science discovered a way to change sexual orientation, what would you do?
Absolutely nothing. Why change who you are? Besides, gay boys have way more fun.
What do you believe in beyond the physical world?
Love and that my puppy Princess and I will be together forever.
What’s your advice for LGBT movement leaders?
Too often we tend to tear each other down instead of uplifting one another. I saw a lot of this at the Pride parade this year. Positively changing the world starts with each one of us. We tend to be critical of people who have a different view of the world vs. trying to understand and better resonate with one another.
What would you walk across hot coals for?
Oreo cookies and cream ice cream and the people I love.
What LGBT stereotype annoys you most?
I find them hilarious. Just let me have a shot at cutting your hair and I’ll show you a gay stereotype!
What’s your favorite LGBT movie?
What’s the most overrated social custom?
Dressing up in a suit to go stare at a computer screen all day.
What trophy or prize do you most covet?
The World Food Prize. It’s the highest honor in the food/agriculture field.
What do you wish you’d known at 18?
That coming out would only make me stronger and better in the long run.
The best LGBT community and friends I could have ever imagined. Not to mention I’m a foodie.