LGBT Oral History 084A: Mary Nancarrow

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October 9, 2013

Born in 1951, Mary Nancarrow grew up in the Harrisburg area, and from a young age, she has been involved in the movements for LGBT and women’s rights, especially for Central Pennsylvania. She has worked extensively with NOW, serving as the president for Pennsylvania NOW in 1984 and 1985. As part of this involvement, she helped to plan the first march on Washington for LGBT rights, which was eventually held in 1987. Additionally, she was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Rural Gay Caucus, and she was also very involved in the drafting and passing of the Harrisburg Human Relations Ordinance, ensuring that the legislation provided protection against discrimination for LGBT people. She recently retired from the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission after over 20 years. In this interview, she discusses what it was like to be gay in the ’70s, ’80s, and ‘90s, particularly in the Central Pennsylvania area, recalling discrimination she and others faced during that time period, her struggles with coming out to her parents, notable events of the era and her personal reaction to them, and her dedication to LGBT and women’s rights and its role in her life.

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Gift of Mary Nancarrow
LGBT Oral History - Nancarrow, Mary - 084A
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections