about the project

Outsouth: LGBTQ+ Oral History Project


Gallery (54 Interviews Total):

  • Gilda Wabbit (Sam Themer).PNG

    Gilda Wabbit (Sam Themer),…

    Drag queen Gilda Wabbit (Sam Themer) talks about her childhood in Kentucky, growing up in Louisville and Frankfort as the "artsy" "weird" kid. She talks about…
  • James Dinkle.PNG

    James W. Dinkle, December 1,…

    Dinkle talks about his experience of discovering his sexuality and coming out. He talks about how he was affected by living in a conservative environment, and…
  • Mark Johnson.PNG

    Mark Johnson, December 8, 2017

    Mark Johnson talks about growing up in Owingsville, Kentucky and his experiences in school just after integration. He talks about being called various names…
  • Tuesday Meadows.PNG

    Tuesday Meadows, December 11,…

    Tuesday Meadows is a transgender woman from Kentucky. In this interview she discusses her childhood growing up in Kentucky, why she waited until late in her…
  • Michael J. DeLeon, December…

    Michael DeLeon and his husband Greg Bourke were the plaintiffs in the Kentucky same-sex marriage case Bourke v. Beshear which later went to the Supreme Court as…
  • Greg Bourke, December 11, 2017

    Greg Bourke and his husband Michael DeLeon were the plaintiffs in the Kentucky same-sex marriage case Bourke v. Beshear which later went to the Supreme Court as…
  • Ernesto Scorsone, December 11,…

    Ernesto Scorsone is a lawyer, politician, and judge from Kentucky. At the time of this interview he is serving as Fayette Circuit Court Judge. In this interview…
  • Reinette Jones, January 26,…

    Reinette Jones is a special collections librarian and African American Studies academic liaison at the University of Kentucky. Jones shares her experiences…
  • Nelson Fields, April 11, 2018

    Nelson Fields shares his journey toward self-love and acceptance, discussing growing up in Georgetown, Kentucky and realizing his sexuality, yet feeling…
  • Jennifer Martin, April 19,…

    Jen Martin shares her journey as a transgender woman from her first coming out as seemingly a gay man to coming out as transgender and transitioning in the…
  • Kevin Lane Dearinger, April…

    Kevin Lane Dearinger shares about his Catholic upbringing in Kentucky, his passion for writing, and his eventual passion for theater. Dearinger describes his…
  • Carol Taylor-Shim, May 1, 2018

    Carol Taylor-Shim shares her experiences navigating her sexual and racial identities, discussing issues such as tokenization, racism, and trauma. Taylor-Shim…
  • Theo Meacham, April 27, 2018

    Theo Meacham shares his journey into coming out as a queer transgender man. Meacham also talks about his passion for theater and working with LGBTQ youth.…
  • Melissa N. Stein, May 2, 2018

    Melissa Stein talks about her journey as a white lesbian mother, detailing her life from her growing up in the Northeast (United States), to eventually living…
  • David B. Dearinger, May 7,…

    David Dearinger shares his life from his childhood in Kentucky, his coming out during the Stnewall era, and his eventual career as a museum curator. Dearinger…
  • Steven Johnson, May 21, 2018

    Steven Johnson details his journey from Tennessee to Kentucky, describing his personal journey identifying as a gay man, as well as his path into a career in…
  • Julia Bennington, June 5, 2018

    Julia Bennington shares her personal journey, which spanned decades, toward meeting, being separated from, then eventually reuniting with her partner.…
  • Michael J. Drury, June 14,…

    Michael Drury shares his journey from becoming interested in theater as a teenager to currently acting as producing artistic director for an LGBTQ-focused…
  • Dawn Josephine Wilson, June…

    Dawn Wilson shares about her life from her illustrious history of political activism, to her passion for fencing, and her experiences as a trans woman of color…
  • Michael Aldridge, June 20,…

    Michael Aldridge shares his extensive experience in working with LGBTQ rights as the Director of the Kentucky ACLU. Aldridge also shares his life journey as a…
  • Ross Ewing and Mel Lesch, July…

    Ross Ewing and Mel Lesch, University of Kentucky alumni, share their undergraduate experience. They discuss founding the LGBTQ student group, Outsource, and…
  • Charlie Yi Zhang, July 3, 2018

    Charlie Yi Zhang shares his childhood and education in China, and his journey to eventually moving to the United States for his PhD. Zhang discusses gender,…
  • Mel Lesch, July 6, 2018

    Mel Lesch shares her life journey from moving state to state and eventually settling in Lexington, Kentucky. Lesch discusses her life as queer person, her…
  • J.P. Davis, July 13, 2018

    J.P. Davis describes his upbringing in Ashland, Kentucky and coming out as a gay man to his church-going family. Davis also shares his passion for fundraising…
  • Rory Barron, July 17, 2018

    Rory Barron, a University of Kentucky undergraduate student, shares his life as a transmasculine person. Barron discusses his passion for activism, the…
  • Mary Bolin, August 9, 2018

    Mary Bolin, Director of the University of Kentucky Counseling Center, shares how she came to be committed to the safety and wellness of LGBTQ undergraduate…
  • Heather Gray, August 10, 2018

    Heather Gray shares about her upbringing in West Virginia as pansexual woman. She discusses her passion for animals, the importance of mental health care, and…
  • Pamela Hammond, August 13,…

    Pamela Hammond shares her life experiences in Texas, Ontario, and primarily Kentucky, as a bisexual woman. Hammond discusses being a foster child for a portion…
  • Meg Coppala, August 15, 2018

    Meg Coppala, an undergraduate student at the University of Kentucky, talks about their experiences as a non-binary pansexual person. They talk about their…
  • Carol Taylor-Shim and Keenen…

    McMillan and Taylor-Shim, founders of the Shades Of Pride University of Kentucky undergraduate student group for LGBTQ people of color, share about the…
  • Jeffrey Jones, August 24, 2018

    Jeffrey Jones, University of Kentucky alum, shares his extensive knowledge about and involvement with the history of LGBTQ groups in Lexington, Kentucky,…
  • Eric Doninger, August 28, 2018

    Eric Doninger shares his experiences as a gay man who came out within the past five years (as of 2018). Doninger details his long journey toward…
  • Josh Mers, August 29, 2018

    Josh Mers, once a candidate for the Kentucky House of Representatives in the 2018 Democratic Primary, shares his life journey navigating politics, fatherhood,…
  • Mead Overbeck, August 30, 2018

    Mead Overbeck shares her journey as a lesbian. Overbeck discusses her passion for teaching, the environment, and women-identified spaces and groups. Overbeck…
  • Asher Corin…

    Asher Villagrana-Espinoza shares his life journey in affirming his manhood. Villagrana-Espinoza discusses the intersections of his identity as a Mexican…
  • Payton Moore, September 7,…

    Payton Moore shares her life story so far as a bisexual woman. She discusses mental health, being a first generation college student, activism, and bisexual…
  • Jack L. Coffman, September 10,…

    Jack L. Coffman shares his experiences being gay during the 1960s, 1970s, and beyond. Coffman talks about the love of his life, Teddy, as well as about working…
  • Sam Dorr, September 12, 2018

    Sam Dorr shares his life and career in Louisville, Kentucky. Dorr describes being fired from his job for being gay in 1981, the ensuing legal struggle, and…
  • Ross Ewing, September 13, 2018

    Ross Ewing, a family law attorney at his own law firm, discusses growing up gay with an absence of gay role models, the importance of ally-ship, and the support…
  • Michael Frazier, September 14,…

    Michael Frazier shares the origin of his passion for equality and justice. He discusses his upbringing in Powell County, Kentucky, including what it was like…
  • Morgan W. Fry, September 18,…

    Morgan Fry shares about his life from growing up on a farm to moving to various large cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Atlanta. Fry discusses how he…
  • Mikaela Feroli, September 19,…

    Mikaela Feroli reflects on the life path that eventually led her to move from the North East to Kentucky. Feroli shares her experiences growing up as a lesbian,…
  • Heather D. McIntyre, September…

    Heather McIntyre shares what it was like growing up in Tyler County, West Virginia. She discusses her commitment to the Presbyterian Church, her faith, and…
  • Bernadette Barton, October 1,…

    Bernadette Barton details her journey toward becoming a woman-identified and lesbian-identified feminist. She discusses her investment in gender equality, her…
  • Ondine M. Quinn, October 11,…

    Ondine Quinn shares her journey toward working in community organizing. Quinn describes her passion for social justice, discussing her activism, her achieving a…
  • Michael Frazier, October 15,…

    In this second interview, Frazier goes into more detail about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of founding the University of Kentucky OutSource Center.…
  • Greg Feeney, October 29, 2018

    Greg Feeney, Vice President of Academics and Work Force Development at Bluegrass Community and Technical College, shares his life journey from growing up in…
  • Ashley Ruderman, November 13,…

    Ashley Ruderman shares her journey from her childhood in Illinois to her graduate career in Lexington, Kentucky. Ruderman talks about realizing her lesbian…
  • Blake Johnson, November 15,…

    A University of Kentucky sophomore at the time of this interview, Blake Johnson, also known as Blake McSorley, describes their upbringing and life in Lexington,…
  • Stan "JR" Zerkowski, November…

    Director of Fortunate Families, a national Catholic network of parents of LGBTQ children, Stan "JR" Zerkowski shares his life journey from his childhood in New…
  • Morgan Thomas, January 25,…

    Morgan Thomas is a junior at the University of Kentucky and a member of the Kentucky Air National Guard. Thomas shares his experiences at UK and in the National…
  • Jonathan Coleman, February 1,…

    Jonathan Coleman, who earned his doctorate in history at the University of Kentucky, shares his path toward becoming a historian of sexuality and a public…
  • J. T. Hulan, March 23, 2019

    J.T. Hulan, and architect and veteran, shares his experiences working in a number of careers; from reconnaissance in the U.S. Air Force to now designing…
  • Tomika Taylor, June 24, 2019

    Tomika Taylor, a drag performer, shares her experiences growing up a transgender woman in a small town and eventually moving to Lexington, Kentucky during the…