LGBTQ+ communities take pride in their strength, resilience, and progress towards equality. However, we rarely hear about the spoken traditions through which communities develop and grow. As with any group, people who identify as LGBTQ+ pass on traditions and norms through conversation, storytelling, poetry, jokes, public performances, and more. To preserve these traditions, researchers endeavor to record oral works in the most complete form obtainable.
Historical oral artifacts are heard and recorded by academic compilers and preserved for posterity. What follows are outstanding examples of LGBTQ+ oral history projects.
The Center Oral History Archive
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center endeavors to empower the LGBTQ+ community to lead healthy, successful lives. The Center celebrates diversity through advocacy for justice and opportunity. One of the ways they accomplish this is through their oral history archive to promote and support local LGBTQ+ communities. This archive includes more than 80 entries collected between 2018 and 2019.
Oral History Society: LGBTQ Histories
The OHS LGBTQ+ Histories project was initiated to reduce the marginalization of the individuals and communities it represents. This is an important way for these communities to preserve their heritage through oral history testimony in which lived experience is shared.
Oral History Hub LGBTQ Digital Oral History
LGBTQ digital oral history project represents an emerging field created by committed activists, historians, and archivists from locations across the country. The Oral History hub serves as a resource for oral history practitioners, students, and the public.
University of Nebraska LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection
The University of Nebraska LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection is home to more than 52 interviews conducted with LGBTQ+ individuals from a range of communities, focusing on those with a connection to the region. The interviews were collected with the intention that they would be part of the UNO Queer Omaha Archive. All interviews conducted since 2020 are audio recordings and include UNO faculty.
University of North Carolina Asheville LGBTQIA+ Oral Histories
This collection of oral histories was assembled through a collaboration between Blue Ridge Pride and UNC Asheville, directed by Dr. Amanda Wray. Each example is a link that opens a searchable oral history which can be viewed using the OHM Synchronizer.
Rutgers LGBTQ+ Oral History Archive
This academic oral history collection contains the complete testimony of 8 individuals. These are in-depth interviews prefaced by a detailed written introduction to the person of interest. This archive is outstanding in that it offers an unusual level of detailed information about the person of concern, their places of origin, backgrounds, and stories.
Queer Omaha Archives
The Queer Omaha Archives LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection is home to oral history recorded testimonies conducted with LGBTQ+ individuals with an interest or connection to Omaha, Nebraska.
LGBTQ Religious Archives Network
This collection is made up of in-depth interviews with over 60 leaders of LGBTQ+ religious movements. The entries can be heard or read. Those interested can view biographical info and images related to this diverse group of activists and leaders.
Washington State Archives - Digital Archives
This archive contains 35 transcripts of interviews conducted from 2012 to 2014 by Laura Hodgman Ph.D. The records are open to the public for use as research material. For more information, contact the Washington State Archives at (360) 586-1492, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of these collections contain entries offered by members of the LGBTQ+ community itself, adding to the authenticity of the projects to which they belong. While no individual archive is complete on its own, a more comprehensive study of LGBTQ+ oral histories may accessible to those who survey multiple collections.