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Oral Histories - Get Involved

This page provides in-depth interviews with more than 40 early leaders of LGBTQ+ religious movements. You can either listen to the audio or read the transcript of an interview.  You can also view biographical information and photographs about this diverse group of early activists and leaders.

An oral history differs from other types of interviews by content and length. As the Oral History Association points out: “Oral history interviews seek an in-depth account of personal experience and reflections, with sufficient time allowed for the narrators to give their story the fullness they desire. The content of oral history interviews is grounded in reflections on the past as opposed to commentary on purely contemporary events.”

An oral history is most valuable when little original source material is available about someone—few personal papers or organizational records documenting the leader’s life and work.  Therefore, LGBTQ-RAN tries to record oral history interviews primarily with early activists whose stories might otherwise be lost to the historical record.  This page also includes oral history interviews that other persons or groups have undertaken and asked LGBTQ-RAN to post here for ease of access.

You can assist by:

  • Sending the names of significant leaders of LGBTQ+ religious movements whose unique stories risk being entirely lost;
  • Record oral history interviews with your group’s early leaders or your colleagues who have been important leaders but may not have much existing documentation.  Contact LGBTQRAN for technical assistance or to arrange posting an interview here.
  • Notify us of existing recordings of oral history interviews with early leaders of LGBTQ+ religious movements. LGBTQRAN will list them here or link to them to provide for wider accessibility.

For more detailed information on how to conduct oral history interviews, review the Principles and Best Practices from the Oral History Association.

For more information, contact us at info@lgbtqreligiousarchives.org