Browse Interviews

  • Collection: LGBTQ+ Cleveland
10 total

Tom Stebel Interview, 01 August 2023

Tom Stebel (b. 1962) was born in Garfield Heights and grew up in Seven Hills before attending Miami University. He discusses coming out as a gay man in the 1980s and becoming involved in LGBTQ+ activism in college. Stebel recounts moving to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in the 1980s during the height of the HIV/AIDS crisis before returning to Ohio in the 1990s. He describes the impact of HIV/AIDS on LGBTQ+ communities in Cleveland in the 1980s and 1990s. He also describes working as a volunteer…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Sally Tatnall Interview, 19 July 2023

Sally Tatnall (b. 1937) grew up in Buffalo, New York, and moved to East Cleveland in the 1960s. She discusses developing her political consciousness through her involvement in civil rights activism in Cleveland. She discusses moving to Cleveland Heights, becoming an active feminist, and coming out as a radical lesbian feminist in the 1970s. Tatnall discusses becoming active in Cleveland Heights' East Side lesbian feminist communities and her role as as a founding member of the lesbian collective…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Mike Brunstedt Interview, 12 July 2023

Mike Brunstedt (b. 1964) was born in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and grew up in Macedonia. Mike discusses coming out as a gay man in the 1980s while attending Case Western Reserve University and his subsequent discovery of the Cleveland's underground gay and straight club scenes in the 1980s. He discusses attending various gay and straight clubs in Cleveland's Flats district in the 1980s and 1990s, including his participation in Cleveland's underground Club Kid and rave scenes. Brunstedt…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

John Nosek and Leon Stevens Interview, 15 August 2023

John Nosek (b. 1949) and Leon Stevens (b. 1948) are native Clevelanders who grew up on the east side. They discuss the Cleveland gay community in the 1970s and '80s, including managing the Gay Educational and Awareness Resource (GEAR) Foundation's High Gear newspaper in its early years and their gay activism in the mid- to late 1970s. Nosek and Stevens detail the early history of GEAR, its Gay Hotline, and its long struggle to establish what eventually became the LGBT Community Center of Greater…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Debra Hirshberg Interview, 11 July 2023

Debra Hirshberg (b. 1954) grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, and moved to Cleveland in 1972 to attend Case Western Reserve University. She discusses coming out as a lesbian in the 1970s and becoming an active member of the East Side lesbian feminist community in Cleveland Heights in the mid-1970s. Hirshberg describes her involvement in Cleveland Heights' vibrant lesbian feminist communities in the 1970s and 1980s, including her role as a founding member of lesbian feminist collectives Hag House…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Brynna Fish Interview, 17 August 2023

Brynna Fish (b. 1957) grew up in Youngstown and studied social work at Yeshiva University before moving to Cleveland Heights in 1979. In this interview, she discusses her involvement at the intersection of Cleveland's Jewish and lesbian communities, as well as her work with coordinating the annual Womyn's Variety Show and music festivals with Oven Productions and her founding of Chevrei Tikvah, a gay and lesbian synagogue, in 1983. She reflects on various gay and lesbian bars in Cleveland, and…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Bryan C. Jones, 26 July 2023

Bryan C. Jones (b. 1960) is a native Clevelander and grew up in the Hough area before attending the University of Cincinnati. Jones discusses transferring to Florida A&M University and Florida State University in the 1980s and coming out as a gay man after becoming active in Atlanta's gay communities in the early 1980s. He discusses the onset of the AIDS crisis in the 1980s, receiving an HIV/AIDS diagnosis in the 1980s, and moving back to Cleveland in the 1990s. Jones discusses the intersections…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Jacob Nash Interview, 04 August 2023

Jacob Nash (b. 1964) grew up in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, before moving to Ohio in 1999. He discusses coming out as a transgender man in the 1990s and becoming involved in transgender and LGBTQ+ community activism after seeking a marriage license in the 2000s. Nash discusses moving to Akron and becoming active in LGBTQ+ communities and spaces in Cleveland and Akron while working between both cities. He discusses his involvement in TransFamily, TransAlive, and the LGBT Community Center of Greater…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Devinity Interview, 25 July 2023

Devinity (b. 1979) grew up in Sandersville, Georgia, before moving to Cleveland in 1992. Devinity discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s, her career as a female illusionist/entertainer, and discrimination within the LGBTQ+ community. Devinity discusses working as former employee of the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, including her involvement in the Center's Trans Wellness Program, Transgender Day of Remembrance, Transgender Day of Visibility, and Pride events. She…

Listen Now
Transcript Available

Monika Veliz Interview, 08 August 2023

Monika Veliz (b. 1977) was born in Italy and grew up in Euclid, Ohio, before attending Virginia Marti College of Design. Veliz discusses coming out as a transgender woman in the 1990s after attending meetings at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland. She discusses becoming active in Cleveland's Black underground LGBTQ+ Ballroom scene after joining the House of Chayde in the late 1990s. She discusses her career as a drag entertainer in Cleveland and describes the various gay bars and…

Listen Now
Transcript Available