LGBT Oral History 131: Cecelia Wambach

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July 30, 2018

Cecelia Wambach was born on May 26th, 1942 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Cecelia begins the interview by talking about her family life, the dynamics of her relationship with her parents and religion, and how those facets shaped her adult identity as a lesbian woman. She grew up as the second-oldest of 14 children, with a stay-at-home mother and a father who had a radio talk show and late-night talk show. She describes being very happy and satisfied with her upbringing. Raised as a devout Catholic, Wambach later became apart of a Convent and school named Sisters of Notre Dame. From there, she taught as a nun in several Parrish schools on the East Coast. She also worked with Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement. After leaving the Convent, Wambach received her Masters in Math and Fine Arts from New York University. She later got her PhD from Fordham University in Math Education. She explains that during this time in her life, she did not yet know she was lesbian.

Wambach got married to an ex-priest in 1973. It was not until the day after getting married did she realize she was lesbian. She had a son named Nathaniel and raised him while working as a teacher for public schools in New York City. In realizing her sexual identity, Wambach went through years of therapy to cope. She also became apart of many different Lesbian and LGBTQ+ communities and activist groups, such as the S.O.S (Shelter our Sisters), Mother Tongue, The Names Project, O.L.O.C. (Old Lesbians Organizing for Change) , and B.A.C.W (Bay Area Career Woman) and others. Currently, Ms. Wambach is deeply involved with refugees on the Island of Lesvos, where she and other LGBTQ educators teach children.

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Gift of Cecelia Wambach
LGBT Oral History - Wambach, Cecelia - 131
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections