UNCG’s University Libraries and the UNCG Office of Intercultural Engagement will co-host a panel discussion, “Off the Record: Sharing the Story of the LGBTQ+ History of UNCG” on April 20, at 3 p.m. in honor of UNCG Pride Month.
It will be held in the first-floor Reading Room, Jackson Library.
The panel will consist of three current LGBTQ+ students and three LGBTQ+ faculty, two of which attended UNCG as students. The historical perspective of the LGBTQ+ history of UNCG based upon these panelists spans from the 1970s until present, elaborating upon the gap-filled evidence represented in the historical record.
Since homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder until 1973, and transgender identity was diagnosable as gender dysphoria until 2012, the LGBTQ+ communities remained hidden populations in the historical record for their own safety. An interview with a named, non-anonymous LGBTQ+ student does not exist in UNCG history until 1992, one hundred years after the opening of the university.
The panel discussion is inspired by the oral history project underway as part of the 125th anniversary of the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG). With Chancellor Gilliam’s sponsorship, Special Collections and University Archives is conducting a two-year project (2016-18) of oral history interviews. This project will capture oral histories from a wide variety of interviewees with connections to UNCG, such as faculty, administrators, alumni, staff and current students.
Four of this event’s panelists participated in the oral history project, making strides to fill in the gaps in UNCG’s historical record.
By Hollie Stevenson-Parrish, University Libraries