GENDER & SEXUALITY IN TOMPKINS COUNTY
Oral History Collection
The History Center in Tompkins County’s Oral History Program collects, preserves, and amplifies the stories of our local community.
The Gender and Sexuality in Tompkins County Oral History Collection was established in 2021 to highlight interviews and stories in our archives that explore sexuality, gender identity, expressions of love, and activism in these areas. This collection does not include interviews from everyone in our oral history collections who identified as LGBTQIA+ but only those interviews that discuss these identities and experiences. The topics of these interviews explore a wide range of experiences, community, and culture, and the stories shared may have been guided by the specific project the interview was recorded for. This collection will continue to expand as our Oral History archives continue to grow.
Trigger warning(s): Gender-erasure, sexually explicit, sexual assault, death, AIDS epidemic, drug use, homophobia
Visit our Exhibit Hall to hear oral history clips in our Story Vault exhibit!
Learn about LGBTQ+ history in Tompkins County.
FEATURED ORAL HISTORY PROJECTS
2019 - Local Sisters of Change
In collaboration with the Dorothy Cotton Institute and the Cornell Anthropology Department, undergraduate students from Cornell University explored the racial and social justice work of nine local women through oral history interviews.
Trigger warnings: Some interviews include experiences with white supremacy, anti-Black sentiment, domestic abuse, death, and gender-erasure.LOCAL SISTERS OF CHANGE FINDING AID
2019 - HERSTORY - Generation to Generation
Young women from the Tompkins County community explored local women’s history, and each interviewed an adult woman in the community about their lives and work. A project of The History Center Youth Ambassadors.
Trigger warnings: Some interviews include experiences with sexual assault, death, child abuse, child sexual abuse, the AIDS epidemic, drug use, and drug addiction.
2016 - 'Telling Our Stories Oral History Project' - A program of the Tompkins County Office for the Aging
The volunteer Working Group on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Aging which the Tompkins County Office for the Aging convenes, presented two local workshops on Telling Our Stories: Collecting the Oral Histories of LGBT Older Adults in 2016. The collection includes over 30 oral histories of older LGBT community members and is housed with the Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University.
GENDER & SEXUALITY IN TOMPKINS COUNTY INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS
Nancy Bereano - 2019 - Local Sisters of Change
Nancy Bereano talks about her work as a welfare rights organizer and her experience fighting for LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation to be passed in Ithaca and Tompkins County in the 1990s. She also speaks about her small business, Firebrand Books, a nationally acclaimed lesbian and feminist publishing company
Candace Edwards - 2019 - Local Sisters of Change
Candace Edwards, creator of Qinfolk, an Ithaca-based festival that celebrates art made by the QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color) community, reflects on her childhood, time in college, and organization of the Qinfolk Festival. She speaks about her work with the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund in New Orleans during college and her future hopes for Qinfolk.
**PLEASE NOTE** Not all of our oral histories are available on SoundCloud or other remote streaming services. If you would like to listen to a specific interview please reach out to our archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org to access a specific interview from our collections. Not all interviews are available yet for public listening per the interviewees request.
Audio clips may NOT be reproduced without permission.