LGBT Oral History 013: Bobbi Carmitchell

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June 26, 2013

Bobbi Carmitchell was born in Willow Street, Pennsylvania.  She spent most of her professional career as a full-time musician, but currently has added contracting work in stained glass and woodworking art. Bobbi describes her journey in the musical world – from the Wood and Wind trio, to playing with her sister, and then onto to a solo career – and how that journey has shaped her identity as a lesbian.  She details how her early years with Wind and Wood, and the influence of women musicians enabled by Olivia Records, helped her to come out.  She expresses amazement at how coming out today has become a non-issue for so many women.  She describes several stories over the years that demonstrate her difficulty in balancing a life as an out lesbian with the desire to appeal to a broader audience, including how she is currently choosing to frame a novel she hopes to finish soon.  Bobbi emphasizes that her parents were fully supportive of her, and yet relates stories of their difficulties with her sexuality.  She details her involvement with the Central Pennsylvania Women’s Music Festival and Women’s Circle which highlight tensions within the LGBT community.  A strong feminist identity and involvement in women’s issues has powerfully shaped who Bobbi is.

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Gift of Bobbi Carmitchell
LGBT Oral History - Carmitchell, Bobbi - 013
Dickinson College Archives and Special Collections