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Oral history interview with Frodo Okulam

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 Holly Hart, by Winter Drews and James Loos

Holly Hart is the owner of Old Wives Tales restaurant on East Burnside in Portland. She was born in Chicago in 1947 and grew up there before moving to Portland to attend Reed College in 1964, where she was highly active in protests against the Vietnamese War. Her identity as a lesbian became apparent around this time, and following graduation at Reed, she entered a period of intensive gay rights activism. Suffering burnout, she regressed from these activities before returning to them upon attending the law school at the University of California Berkeley from 1972 to 1975. Some time around 1978, Hart was on a panel commissioned by Oregon Governor Bob Straub to compile a report for the "Task Force on Sexual Preference". Upon the failure of the Mt. Moving Café, which Hart frequented during its brief run, she started Old Wives Tales, with an emphasis on multi-ethnic vegetarian cuisine.

Hart, Holly

Oral history interview with Norm Costa

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