SAN DIEGO, California -- The Lambda Archives of San Diego, in cooperation with Diversionary Theatre, will host “Telling Our Stories - LGBTQ Oral History” on Saturday, March 21 at 2 pm.
At the event, guests will be treated to stories of San Diego’s LGBTQ history from longtime activists through video, art and storytelling.
Long-time activist Steven F. Dansky of New York will also be present to talk about his project, “OUTSpoken: Oral History from LGBTQ Pioneers,” which unpacks the community’s history with stories from audacious pathfinders and gay liberationists; dykes and lesbian separatists; and radical fairies and queens.
These pioneers formulated a daring politics with insights about human existence, trans- and gender identity, and sexual orientation that has inspired generations of post-Stonewall Rebellion activists and change-agents, academics and historians, and artists, filmmakers, and writers.
Dansky will screen an op-doc trailer with snippets of archived interviews. He’ll also discuss saving LGBTQ history on his journey traveling coast-to-coast through rural communities to urban epicenters, and globally via Skype to Bangkok, Buenos Aires and Melbourne.
Joining Dansky on stage will be some of the people recording San Diego’s own local oral histories. Attorney and activist Robert Lynn has been interviewing pioneers of the San Diego LGBT community including Bridget Wilson, Stan Lewis, Chris Shaw, Al Smithson, George Murphy and others.
When someone asked recently when the project would be finished, a spokesperson for the Archives said, “Never.” There are so many people whose histories are worth preserving that the list is endless.
Meanwhile, local videographers Meredith Vezina and Ellen Holzman have been borrowing the Archives to record interviews for their trans history project. They have taped the histories of transgender individuals including those of Connor Maddocks, Vicki Estrada and Tracie O’Brien, with many more scheduled to be done.
The videos created by Lynn and Vezina and Holzman will become part of the Archives permanent collection.
At “Telling Our Stories,” Dansky, Lynn, Vezina and Holzman will each talk about their process, show clips of their work then join in a discussion of oral histories and answer questions lead by the evening’s MC, community activist, Fernando Lopez.
The program will last until 3:30 pm followed by an hour-long reception. The event will be held in the theater space at Diversionary, 4545 Park Blvd., and is free to the public, but with a $10 suggested donation.
About Lambda Archives
The mission of the Lambda Archives of San Diego is to collect, preserve, and teach the history of LGBT people in the San Diego and the northern Baja California region.