Browse Interviews

  • Collection: LGBTQ+ Cleveland
  • Subject is exactly "AIDS"
5 total

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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