LGBT Oral History 084B: Mary Nancarrow

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February 24, 2015

Mary Nancarrow grew up in a suburb of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the 1950s and 1960s with divorced parents and two siblings. After graduating from Shippensburg University, she became prominent in the women’s movement and the LGBT movement in Central Pennsylvania, serving on the Governor’s Council for Sexual Minorities and the Rural Gay Caucus. Mary was also heavily involved in the National Organization for Women [NOW] and was elected NOW Pennsylvania President, working to pass marital rape legislation, funding and campaigning for political races, and fundraising money for the NOW PAC. After her presidency, she helped to plan the National March for LGBT Rights in Washington D.C. and volunteered for the Harrisburg Gay and Lesbian Switchboard. Today, Mary lives in Harrisburg and sings in the Women’s Chorus. In this interview, Mary discusses her childhood and early relationship to religion as well as her involvement with the anti-Vietnam War movement throughout high school and college. She also describes her contributions to Shippensburg Gays United, feminism within the gay rights movement, and the experience of coming out to her parents and friends. Mary concludes the interview by acknowledging the incredible extent to which the LGBT community has changed over her lifetime and expresses her hope to see ongoing growth in civil rights in the future.

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