LGBT Oral History 141: Marie DiFava

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January 14, 2020

Marie DiFava was born in Lebanon County in 1953 and grew up in a troubled Italian home. She graduated from high school and attended nursing school, but after burning out from her job and schooling, she dropped out, married, and had three children with her husband. During her marriage and after her divorce, Marie volunteered as an EMT and worked for the United States Postal Service as a mail carrier. In this interview, she discusses going to a doctor and being referred to therapy which gave her the tools to live a healthy life despite the violence and instability of her childhood. Her therapist pushed her to come out so she told her children. After her youngest daughter informed the entire neighborhood of her sexuality though, Marie looked for gay organizations to join. She travelled to groups across Central Pennsylvania, but she grew frustrated with the lack of community in Lebanon, so she started her own group, Lebanon County Lesbians. The group met in her home for five or six years and ended when Marie started to let transwomen join and other members disagreed. Finally, she discusses the challenges facing her and other older LGBT people, the love her children gave her, and her pride in being able to donate the newsletters and activities letters from her organization to the History Project.

Video footage of this interview is unavailable at this time. Please contact for more information.

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Gift of Marie DiFava
LGBT Oral History - DiFava, Marie - 141
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections