LGBT Oral History: Ed Good and Thurman Grossnickle

LGBT History Project Logo
Number of Pages: 
52
Date: 
March 28, 2013

For the very first interview of the history project, Edmund Good and Thurman Grossnickle describe their coming out stories. Thurman is a retired Scientist Administrator and has spent many years in academia and in health professions, as well as in LGBT organizations. He considers himself Brethren, although he no longer attends church, though a large part of his coming out process involved the organization, Dignity, which was primarily run by the late Father Saude (ph.). Upon discovering his sexuality, Thurman spent a considerable amount of his time dedicated to the LGBT community of Harrisburg, operating the Gay and Lesbian Switchboard, attending and hosting Dignity events, and serving as editor of the Dignity newsletter. Thurman discusses his involvement, his experiences living in Central PA, and his decision to never divorce his wife. Edmund is a retired apartment manager, though he is still involved in the Brethren Housing organization, which finds places for mothers going from welfare to work. Edmund explains that though he was always kind of aware of his sexuality, he hadn’t really come out before attending college. At Penn State, he was involved in several LGBT outlets, including the student organization HOPS (Homosexuals of Penn State), which was supported and funded by Penn State. Edmund, too, alludes to the friendly climate, which he’s experienced during his life as a gay man in Central PA. In the second half of their interview, Ed and Thurman tackle some deeper issues. Ed discusses how his work and family life didn’t change too much overall, but there were some bumps. At first, his parents didn’t understand what it meant to be gay, creating an estrangement. But with the introduction of Thurman into the picture, they had a change of heart. Ed and Thurman discuss other difficulties they’ve endured in 33 years as a couple. Despite being made coal on the carpet, a church backed them up and defied their national organization, making it a known safe space for LGBT couples. On a less happy note, they discuss a community’s reaction to Thurman’s friendship with a gay teenage boy. As Ed and Thurman reflect on the past events they’ve encountered, they note where we’ve come from and where we still need to go. Ed mentions several websites, webinars, and workshops that helped him as a gay man, but could also help others to understand and love thy neighbor.

Organizations: 
Location: 
LGBT Oral History - Good, Ed and Grossnickle, Thurman - 042
Origin: 
Gift of Ed Good and Thurman Grossnickle