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Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories Oregon English
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Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest Oral Histories

  • MSS 2988-SR
  • Collection
  • 2000 - 2013

The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN) was established in Portland, Oregon, by Tom Cook in the early 1990s. Since then the organization has collected archival materials and oral histories from organizations and individuals active in lesbian and gay issues in the Portland area and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Many of these oral histories were gathered by Portland State University students, from the late 90s to present.

Oral history interviews with Norm Costa (Transcript)

Transcript. Norm Costa has lived in the Portland metro area since 1958. He transitioned from an engineering career to running his own beauty salon in Lake Oswego for several years during the 1960's. More recently, Costa has worked for decades as a gay rights activist, mostly working with local health departments on HIV prevention efforts. This interview describes many aspects of the gay experience in Portland over the course of those years, including his experience with politics and activism, personal experiences, gay-oriented clubs and businesses over the years, and the spread of the HIV virus in the early 1980's.

Costa, Norm

Oral history interviews with Frodo Okulam (Sound Recording 01)

Tape 1 Side 1. Frodo talks about her life as a lesbian, in the late 1960s onward. She discusses her gender identity as a child, dealing with her sexuality as a teen, how she got her name and what the Lord of the Rings meant to her, starting the Portland Chapter of the Tolkien Society of America, and her spirituality as a Wiccan and member of the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church).

Okulam, Frodo

Oral history interviews with Frodo Okulam (Sound Recording 02)

Tape 1 Side 2. Frodo talks about her life as a lesbian, in the late 1960s onward. She discusses her gender identity as a child, dealing with her sexuality as a teen, how she got her name and what the Lord of the Rings meant to her, starting the Portland Chapter of the Tolkien Society of America, and her spirituality as a Wiccan and member of the MCC (Metropolitan Community Church).

Okulam, Frodo

Oral history interview with Lee Coleman, by Joshua Fackrell and Katrina Griffiths [Transcript]

Transcript. Coleman discussed his involvement with (pro-gay) "Log Cabin Republicans" organization in CA and OR. Fight against measure 9. On "Right to Privacy" board. Became democrat after being outed as a John Kerry supporter. Advocates political involvement (as a democrat).

Coleman, Lee, 1931-

Oral history interview with George Oberg, by Brian Aune and Heather Burmeister [Sound Recording 02]

Session 2. George Oberg lives in Vancouver, Washington. He was the first president of the Second Foundation, which was a gay rights organization during the 1970s. During the interview, he talks about the early gay rights movement as well as the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. He talks about how his partner died of AIDS.

Oberg, George

Oral history interview with Rupert Kinnard, by Marissa Gunning and Ellen Tobias [Sound Recording]

Session 1. Kinnard discusses a few different subjects that include the accident that left him a paraplegic, his experience and career in cartooning and graphic design, working for Just Out, his new venture The LifeCapsule Project, and his feelings on gay marriage.

Kinnard, Rupert, 1954-

Oral history interview with Linda Rae Besant, by Emma Bagley and Emily Kahnert [Sound Recording 01]

Session 1. Besant discusses her involvement in the earliest incarnation of the vocal group The Dyketones; coming out in her early thirties (to herself & to her family); her commitment to Women In the Wilderness (aka Keep Listening); her life with her partner, Marcia; and the community at the Mountain Moving Cafe in the 1980s.

Besant, Linda

Oral history interview with Roey Thorpe, by Roxanne Michelle Holtman [Transcript]

Transcript. Thorpe discusses her tenure as Director of Basic Rights Oregon (2001-2006) and her subsequent role on staff at Planned Parenthood in Portland. Thorpe also discusses her youth in Columbia, SC, her coming-out process during the early 1980s, and the significant positions she has held in organizations dedicated to LGBT rights, non-profit community childcare, and at Empire State Pride Agenda (NY).

Thorpe, Rochella, 1962-

Oral history interview with April Lewis, by Tyler Brewington and Heaven Hartford [Sound Recording]

Session 1. In this interview, Lewis, shares some fascinating information about her family, her background in diversity training, her involvement with Portland’s lesbian softball league, and her experience of living through the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Now over twenty-five years sober, April speaks candidly about her identity as a recovering person, twelve-step programs, addiction and abuse within LGBT communities, and the importance of addiction recovery communities.

Lewis, April D.

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