The following individuals agreed to be interviewed by students in Gender Studies 206, during Fall Semster 2009, and provided brief biographical statements. Some of them were interviewed, and the transcripts or recordings are attached whenever possible. Not all of these individuals were actually interviewed, but their information is provided here nonetheless as a resource for further research. Contact information was provided by Carol Fischer of the IU GLBT Student Support Services Office.
We expect this section of the project to grow as additional individuals are profiled and interviewed.
Co-Director of IU GLBT SSS Office, longtime activist.
My undergraduate years at IU were during the early 1960s. At that time, there were no gay bars, gay organizations, support groups, etc. The gay community was very definitely a sub-culture and many would-be gays remained closeted. This was pre-Stonewall, pre-HIV and pre-social acceptance. Therewere definite social and professional stigmas to being out.
My experience with the community have been....Been here since 1992 Lesbian softball team, women's coffee houses, remember Aquarius books (the local womens bookstore), worked and attended the national women's music festival, attended and then facilitated a campus group for lesbian, bisexual and questioning women, and was here for the debate about including sexual orientation in the human rights ordinance and about starting the IU GLBT office. I also remember the blmtn feminist chorus. Also teach GLB and trasgender-themed classes at IU.
Here is a brief bio from the bloomingOUT web site. I've been involved with LGBT issues on campus and in the community -- as well as feminist/civil rights issues -- for almost 30 years. While this doesn't cover everything it provides a small window of insight into my activities and who I am: Helen Harrell is a long-time activist for social justice. She is a former clinical therapist, pre-school teacher, construction worker, union organizer, and co-founder of Bloomington, IN chapter of Pride at Work. She is co-founder and former President of Spencer IN PFLAG chapter and is a workshop presenter, free lance writer, columnist and lecturer. She has a master's degree in clinical psychology and was working toward a PhD when she left to live the communal life for a few years. Upon returning to 'civilization' she became an employee of Indiana University, first in the political science and then speech communication departments and is currently affiliated with the African Studies Program. She is the advisor for the undergraduate LGBT student group OUT, and is co-advisor for the American Indian Undergraduate and Native American Graduate Student groups. She served as co-chair of the Community Friends and Resource Network with the Neal Marshall Black Culture Center and served a term as treasurer of the Bloomington Black Business and Professional Association She is also last, but not least a mother and grandmother who considers herself to be most fortunate to have the opportunity in assisting WFHB and the bloomingOUT staff with the challenge of educating and illuminating the public in regard to LGBT issues. Her goal is and has always been to eliminate discrimination in any form and to help create a truly just society and world.
My participation in LGBT life has taken on many forms. I grew up in Bloomington and dealt with figuring out my own sexuality in high school, then went to college at IU and took part in local events at the time. At the end of my college career I began volunteering/working for the GLBTSSS office and working with bloomingOUT. Now I am a full time appointed staff member at IU navigating their domestic partner benefits and adult out life in Bloomington.
I arrived in Bloomington in August 1979. I came out the following summer. In the early 80's I participated with BGA (Bloomington Gay Alliance) which then became BGLA (Blooming Gay/Lesbian Alliance) and volunteered for the GLB Switchboard. I've been a speaker for the GLB Speaker's Bureau off and on since 1982, speaking on panels to IU classes about GLB issues. My husband Peter and I coordinate a monthly potluck dinner group for gay and bisexual men that has run continuously since January 1991.
I've been involved in the Bloomington gay community since 1971, participating in most gay organizations at one time or another, and founding a few of them myself.
Long time Board member for the on campus GLBT Office, I have also participated in LGBT issues with the BFC. I am in a longtime relationship with a partner for over 20 years. Head of Musical Theater Department.
Monte Simonton, Jr
Hi, I would say that i have not had as much experience. When I first came to Bloomington in 1997 I was involved with OUT at IU for about three years. Since then I have not done much because I have been a student and working full time for Middle Way House. I am currently working to have Bloomington's first LGBT domestic violence support group and am working with our agency to increase services.
Katherine Brown Sterritte
I am a 22 year employee with the IU Health Center having worked as one of its health and sexuality educators for that time period. Part of my work includes moderating sexuality panels about sexual orientation. Over the years I have been involved in GLB organizations in Bloomington including PFLAG and IYG.
I've worked for IU for over 35 years, and have been a lesbian living in Bloomington since the mid 1970s. During that time I've worn many hats at IU. I've been a student, an administrator (in gender studies I might add from 2004-07), even an IU Trustee. I was the first IU Trustee to introduce domestic partner benefits for same-sex faculty, staff and students which we won in 2001. I was the first Vice President of the IU GLBT Alumni group when it was founded in the mid-1990s. In my current position, I teach multiple sections of technology courses here in the Busienss School. I also train new instructors and graduate assistants to provide teaching support. I am also a faculty advisor for SAGE (Sexual and Gender Equality) which is a GLBT political action club at IU. My partner and I have been together for 10 years and we’re pretty out.
Martha Vicinus Longtime lesbian faculty member, 1968-1981; active in many lesbian and leftist causes, co-founder of Women's Studies Program.
Carolyn Marie Weithoff
I was a masters' student at IU when the LGBT Student Services Office was getting off the ground (circa 1996), so I did some of the leg work for that. Once I returned to IU and joined the faculty in 2000, I also joined the Office's Advisory Board and have been a member of that ever since. I'm a straight ally, and have been intimately involved with LGBT programming on campus throughout my time here.
Linda Giovanna Zambanini
I came out in '75 and between then and when i graduated in '78 I was a member of the IU Gay and Lesbian speakers bureau, a member and president of Lesbian Liberation Organization (one of the highlights was protesting Anita Bryant :)), and a member of the Xantippe Women's Collective and A Room of Ones Own women's bookstore. This spring/summer after the Day of Decision rally protesing the passage of Prop8 in California, i joined with another Lesbian in starting a new local LGBTQA - Gay Recruiters - which staged the local marriage counter sit-in on July 2nd to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Stonewall.