LGBT Oral History 068: Julia "Julie" Lobur

Number of Pages: 
November 12, 2013

Julie Lobur was born in New Kensington, Pennsylvania in 1955 and moved to Harrisburg in 1970. She received her bachelor’s degree from Penn State and added a master’s degree in computer science in 2003. Julie briefly served in the military in 1983 where she met her wife Marla, but was discharged because she is a lesbian. She currently works as a computer architect for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and an adjunct professor of computer science for Penn State.

Julie discusses her coming out process at the age of 18, in large part aided by the existence of something that might be unique to Harrisburg: a diner – The Commerce Diner – that catered to a gay clientele. Julie details how she met Marla, how they decided to get married in Iowa in 2009, how they came to be part of a set of couples suing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to recognize their marriage, and how the lawsuit has completed her coming out process. She describes how attitudes have changed towards gay people over the years, and how this “sea change” in acceptance implies increased responsibility for gay people. She shows her gratitude to the gay men of Harrisburg by describing how they established the “gayborhood,” which she believes saved the city from blight. Human and institutional support networks have played a major role throughout Julie’s story.

Time Period: 
Gift of Julia "Julie" Lobur
LGBT Oral History - Lobur, Julia "Julie" - 068
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections