LGBT History Project

About LGBT History Project Resources

The LGBT Center of Central PA and the Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections have partnered to document the stories and history of LGBT life and activism in the greater Central Pennsylvania region. This site contains oral histories that have been recorded for the LGBT History Project, as well as fully accessible digital versions of documents, images, and artifacts that have been donated to the project.

This is a quickly growing collection, and not all items are available through this website. Please contact Malinda Triller-Doran at archives@dickinson.edu for information about how to access all of the resources of the LGBT History Project, as well as how to donate additional materials.

Generous support to make these unique resources accessible has been provided by the Schlegel Deibler Charitable Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission.

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LGBT History Project

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Date: January 14, 2018

Steve Glassman was born on September 20, 1954 in Chicago. He was fortunate enough to grow up in a rather liberal household with accepting parents who were involved in political activism and social justice during the Civil Rights era. Glassman’s...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 041: Steve Glassman

Melita McCully

Date: November 28, 2017

Melita McCully was born on December 11, 1952 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. After the death of her father, Melita moved to Florida with her family and became both the breadwinner and the caretaker of her six brothers and sisters, mother and...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 079: Melita McCully

Sophie Kandler

Date: September 28, 2017

Sophie Kandler was born in Spring City, Pennsylvania in 1966. After being bullied at home and at school, Sophie finally graduated from high school. After graduating and applying to colleges, Sophie decided to attend Drexel University. After...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Transgender Experiences

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 053: Sophie Kandler

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Date: September 16, 2017

The Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) Center of Central PA (Harrisburg) began to form in the late 90s. To receive fundraising though the National Lesbian and Gay Community Funding Partnership of New York, the founding group was led...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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Organizations: LGBT Center of Central PA

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 065: LGBT Center History Group Interview

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Date: September 15, 2017

Mara Kiesling was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1959. Mara is a transgender woman, who is a transgender rights activist and founding executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality based in Washington D.C. In this interview...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Transgender Experiences

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 056: Mara Kiesling

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Date: August 23, 2017

For more than a decade, Jeanine Ruhsam was an advocate in Central Pennsylvania’s transgender community. With the primary goal of providing support and resources for transgender people and their loved ones, she spearheaded the Trans Central...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Transgender Experiences

Organizations: TransCentral PA

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 099: Jeanine Ruhsam

Amanda Porter

Date: August 16, 2017

Amanda Porter was born in 1950 in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. Amanda Porter is a trans woman and transgender rights educator and activist. In this interview, Amanda repeats her goal of wanting to make transgender people visible everywhere. She...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Transgender Experiences

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 093: Amanda Porter

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Date: August 6, 2017

Harry Long was born in Lebanon, Pennsylvania in 1951 and attended Lebanon High School. After attending Millville University and becoming involved with an underground newspaper, Harry began his career of working for newspapers; in addition to...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 069: Harry Long

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Date: July 29, 2017

Robert Sevensky was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1948. Despite having an unpleasant experience in early education and having financial issues, Robert persevered and ended up pursuing an academic career in college. After two years at the...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 105: Robert Sevensky

Marty Tornblom

Date: June 9, 2017

Marty Tornblom was born in Utah and was raised in the greater Salt Lake City area, as a member of the Mormon Church. She decided to get a degree in education which lead her to teaching. Following her marriage, she converted to Presbyterianism and...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations: South Central Aids Assistance Network (SCAAN)

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 114: Marty Tornblom

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Date: April 25, 2017

Kerry Wiessman was born on October 26, 1954 in Glen Ridge, New Jersey. She grew up in Wayne, New Jersey in a lake community. Kerry discusses her upbringing in a large family and her relationship with her mother. Kerry also discusses her career in...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics:

Organizations: Gay Affirming Interfaith Network

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 125: Kerry Wiessman

James Tompkins

Date: March 26, 2017

James Tompkins was born and grew up in Southern Pennsylvania, where he lived on a farm with his one brother, three half siblings, and parents. In this interview, James discusses his experiences coming out to his family, his art, and various bars...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations: Act UP

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 113: James Tompkins

Debra Fulham-Winston

Date: March 19, 2017

Deb Fulham-Winston was born in 1952 in Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up in an Irish-Catholic family with eight siblings, and spent the first half of her schooling in Catholic school. Early on, she had a strong conviction for feminism and social...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations: South Central Aids Assistance Network (SCAAN)

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 040: Debra Fulham-Winston

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Date: March 12, 2017

Frederick (Rick) Schulze was born in Delaware in the 60s and spent his childhood and adolescence in the 70s in the Harrisburg area. He first talks about his complicated relationship with his family and his gay identity, mentioning his mother’s...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations: The Mansfield Gay Alliance, South Central Aids Assistance Network (SCAAN), Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 101: Rick Schulze

Patricia ''Pat'' Saunders

Date: March 5, 2017

Patricia ''Pat'' Mastandrea Sanders was a hair stylist in Boston before moving up to advertising and marketing for 300 salons across the country. One fateful day she slipped on an ice cube and hit her head. Her life changed forever. Unable to...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations: Lancaster AIDS Project, The Betty Finney House

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 100: Patricia ''Pat'' Saunders

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Date: January 30, 2017

Gary Hufford (born 1952) and George Centini (born March 11, 1937) are a married couple living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In this interview, George and Gary recount their time in the gay bar and restaurant business. Both grew up in the restaurant...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 050: George Centini and Gary Hufford

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Date: January 19, 2017

This is an interview with Steven Leshner of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He conveys his struggles of coming out in the 1970s and being a gay man in central PA through a series of anecdotes. Steven also talks extensively about his work at Dignity and...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics:

Organizations: Dignity/Central PA

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 063B: Steven Leshner

Hannah Smith-Brubaker

Date: October 27, 2016

Hannah-Smith Brubaker was born in Tioga County, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her childhood in Port Allegany, McKean County. She began to identify as a lesbian at the start of college, and she entered the political sphere for the first time...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 109: Hannah Smith-Brubaker

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Date: July 20, 2016

Mark Segal is a gay rights activist, author, and journalist for the Philadelphia Gay News. In this interview, Mark discusses his political involvement in the gay rights movement in Pennsylvania in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Particularly, he focuses...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 103: Mark Segal

Sabrina Valente

Date: April 9, 2016

Sabrina Valente was born in Baltimore, MD and lived most of her childhood and adolescence in Littlestown, PA in Adams County. She attended Eastern University for an undergraduate degree in Biblical Studies and Wagner College for a Master’s degree...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

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Organizations: TrueNorth Wellness

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 117: Sabrina Valente

Amy Skillman

Date: May 5, 2016

Amy Skillman talks about her childhood growing up in Michigan in a large Episcopalian family and the influence of spirituality in her life, both as a teenager and an adult. Amy went to an all-girls school where rumors circulated about certain...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 108: Amy Skillman

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Date: November 14, 2015

Don Haines was born in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and grew up there. In this interview he discusses his experience in Lancaster County as a gay man. He also discusses his experience in Columbia, PA and the acceptance that he has from his family and...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics:

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View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 043: Don Haines

Gretchen Little

Date: November 19, 2015

Gretchen Little was born on October 26, 1958 in Elmira, New York. As a child, Gretchen was interested in sports and experimented with wearing women’s clothing in the home. While studying Media Arts at Southern Methodist University in Dallas,...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Transgender Experiences

Organizations: TransCentral PA

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 067: Gretchen Little

Cathy Nelson

Date: November 11, 2015

Cathy Nelson was born in Brooklyn, New York, and moved to Staten Island, New York, at the age of two with her strict Italian-Swedish family. As a child, Cathy loved music and did well in school. She also participated in Catholic youth group...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: Coming Out

Organizations: Central PA Womyn's Chorus

View Item:

Shaka Hudson

Date: Agusut 3, 2015

Shaka Hudson was born in 1949 in Harrisburg as the middle of five children. An artist his whole life, Shaka attended John Harris High School and Penn State University before unenrolling in college and leaving Harrisburg to join the Washington D.C...

Collection: LGBT Oral History

Topics: HIV/AIDs

Organizations:

View Item: PDF icon Transcription of LGBT Oral History 050: Shaka Hudson

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