LGBT Oral History 106: Jude Sharp

Number of Pages: 
August 22, 2016

Jude Sharp was born in November of 1947 in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and graduated from the Philadelphia High School for Girls. She then attended the Tyler College of Art and studied the art of making jewelry. When she was 21, Jude married her first husband and moved to Denver, Colorado, where she opened her first jewelry shop. Upon ending her relationship, Jude moved back to Lancaster where she met her first girlfriend. Jude has been working with jewelry for nearly 50 years since, and currently has her own business, J. A. Sharp Custom Jeweler. In this interview, Jude discusses the roles her relationships and artistic visions have played in her life. In her childhood, she and her family frequently moved from town to town as her father, a Methodist minister, was transferred to different churches. She speaks of a pervading feeling of ostracism that was assuaged when she came out as lesbian, finally being able to be true to herself. Jude marvels at the changes her community has seen, and laments at the continuing problems with drug and alcohol abuse that face many LGBT individuals today, relating to her own experience. She reflects upon her desire to put creativity to a good purpose and form relationships with others through the medium of crafting personalized jewelry. Additionally, Jude discusses how her own sexuality has played a role throughout the rise of her career.

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Gift of Jude Sharp
LGBT Oral History - Sharp, Jude - 106
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections