Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Karuna Neustadt Oral History Interview, 2016

Oregon State University
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00:00:00 - Introduction and Background Information

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Partial Transcript: Today is May 12, 2016. My name is Ester Mathews, and we are at Oregon State Valley Library. I am conducting an interview for the OSU Queer Archives. Can you please state your name and spell it for me?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes her background, including childhood, schooling, and career choices.

Keywords: Boston, MA; Iowa; OSQA; Oregon State University; childhood; schooling

Subjects: Boston, MA; Iowa; Oregon State University; childhood; education

00:08:00 - Consciousness of LGBT people and issues

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Partial Transcript: So, what were the different schools you went to, what was kind of the attitude like for those communities in terms of LGBT issues?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes her consciousness about LGBT people and issues during her time in Iowa and Oregon.

Keywords: Eugene, OR; LGBTQ; consciousness; visibility

Subjects: Eugene, OR; consciousness; sexual minorities; visibility

00:11:19 - Feelings about sexuality and coming out

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember before you moved to Oregon what you were thinking, feeling, uncomfortable, accepted?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt discusses her feelings about discussing LGBTQ identities and issues before and after moving to Oregon. She also describes coming out to her friends and family.

Keywords: Iowa; coming out; lesbianism; lesbians; parents; sexuality

Subjects: Iowa; coming out; lesbianism; parents; sexuality

00:16:43 - College life and career

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Partial Transcript: Can you mention when you were at University of Oregon, was there a lot of talk about it or was there just like a community that was very supportive? How did the interplay with the community and peer groups go there?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes college life at the University of Oregon in the late 70s and early 80s, her decision to pursue graduate school, and her career as a social worker.

Keywords: University of Oregon; career; gerontology; nursing; nursing homes; schooling; social work

Subjects: University of Oregon; career; education; gerontology; nursing; social work

00:26:46 - Community support for LGBTQ people in the 80s and becoming politically active

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Partial Transcript: Do you remember, back in 83, what the community attitude and support were for the LGBTQ community?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes the communities she was involved in during the 80s and her perceptions of acceptance for LGBTQ people during this time. From here, she moves into a conversation about her becoming politically active and participating in the group known as After 8.

Keywords: After 8; Ballot Measure 8; LGBTQ; activism; being out; community; discrimination; visibility

Subjects: activism; community; sexual minorities; visibility

00:34:21 - The Oregon Citizens' Alliance, Ballot Measure 8, and the political involvement of After 8

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Partial Transcript: You mentioned the OCA, Can you tell us a little bit more about the organization?

Keywords: Ballot Measures; Basic Rights Oregon; Corvallis, OR; Oregon Citizens' Alliance; Right to Privacy; anti-LGBTQ sentiment; campaigning

Subjects: Basic Rights Oregon; Corvallis, OR; Oregon Citizens' Alliance; Political campaigns; Right to Privacy

00:42:17 - Additional work of After 8 and community sentiment towards the group and LGBTQ issues

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Partial Transcript: So that was a big piece of what after 8 did in terms of political work, but we also were, we also had the other pieces of our mission statement, which was education and visibility, and we had a speaker's bureau that went out to different organizations around town...

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes some of the other political projects of types of work After 8 was involved in that related to other aspects of the group's mission statement. She also talks about the community response to the group, including death threats and vandalism, as well as community sentiment toward LGBTQ people more generally.

Keywords: After 8; adopt-a-highway program; advocacy; death threats; education; gay straight alliance; hotline; outreach; poling; political endorsements; questionnaires; safety; vandalism; violence; visibility

Subjects: After 8; Gay Straight Alliance; advocacy; education; outreach; poling; safety; vandalism; violence; visibility

00:55:21 - Community response to violence against LGBTQ youth

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Partial Transcript: So, you mentioned this story where there was this local student who um was kind of beaten up and there's an article in the Register in Eugene, February of 1998, and you were interviewed for that article. How do you think that that incident kind of affected the way people perceived the issue, what was the community response?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes how an incident in which a LGBT student was assaulted affected the community in Corvallis and the political response to this hate crime.

Keywords: Corvallis, OR; Hate crimes; activism; advocacy; social climate; trauma

Subjects: Corvallis, OR; Hate crimes; activism; advocacy; trauma

00:59:41 - Harvey Milk Dinners

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Partial Transcript: So, one thing you mentioned earlier on - you were talking about the Harvey Milk Dinners. Can you tell me a little more about that?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt discusses the purpose of the Harvey Milk Dinners, which took place from 89-99, as well as many of its recipients during the ten-year period.

Keywords: Harvey Milk Dinners; awards; community recognition; outreach

Subjects: awards; community recognition; outreach

01:07:10 - Non-Discrimination ordinance and the inclusion of transgender people

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Partial Transcript: So, speaking of um the celebration of the evolution of rights in that area, there's an article in Just Out magazine that talks about an ordinance for, that was passed in the Corvallis area. Do you remember that, that's talked about in that article...

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt discusses a non-discrimination ordinance that she helped pass for the county and mentions that it included transgender people, which was not typical at that time.

Keywords: Corvallis, OR; LGBTQ; Ordinance

Subjects: Corvallis, OR; sexual minorities

01:09:34 - Feeling like part of a community

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Partial Transcript: Do you feel, you mentioned um earlier you know kind of in your plans with After 8, what you chose, that you wanted to part of the community. By this point, were you feeling like you were part of the community or were you still trying to just live?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes how doing various types of work in After 8 as well as the social climate affected her perceptions of herself as part of a community.

Keywords: Community; advocacy; awareness; visibility

Subjects: Community; advocacy; awareness; visibility

01:11:31 - Professional life

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Partial Transcript: So, what was going on for you professionally during this time? How did that interplay with you know the political side of...

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes her professional life during the time of her involvement with After 8

Keywords: career; professional life

Subjects: career

01:13:57 - After 8's expanding activities

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Partial Transcript: So, did the activities that you guys did in the beginning of After 8, did those kind of evolve or you know were you still kind of doing the same speaking events and education. How did the activities change over time?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes the expansion of After 8's activities.

Keywords: After 8; advocacy; education; political engagement; visibility

Subjects: advocacy; education; visibility

01:15:57 - Non-discrimination in schools and the Boy Scouts of America

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Partial Transcript: So, you mentioned that one of your main focuses in After 8 was on the school board and what was going on there. There was an article in Corvallis Gazette Times where there was a school board meeting and it was basically kind of the school board wasn't honoring their anti-discrimination policy. What was going on with that? Do you remember?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes the concern surrounding the Boy Scouts' presence in the schools in Corvallis because of their stance on discrimination by sexual orientation.

Keywords: Boy Scouts of America; Corvallis, OR; non-discrimination; school board

Subjects: Boy Scouts of America; Corvallis, OR; discrimination; school boards

01:18:47 - The final years of After 8

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Partial Transcript: So you mentioned that After 8 formed around 89 and went through 2003. So, what were the final years that After 8 was really active, what were they like? What was going on then?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt describes her sense of the final years of After 8, including the final Harvey Milk Dinner.

Keywords: After 8; Harvey Milk Dinners

01:22:21 - LGBTQ movements today

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Partial Transcript: Can you share some of your thoughts and feelings on kind of how the LGBTQ movement has progressed, where it is at today, just some thoughts on that?

Segment Synopsis: Neustadt offers her perspective about the state of contemporary LGBTQ movements, particularly surrounding same-sex marriage.

Keywords: LGBTQ; politics; same-sex marriage; social movements

Subjects: politics; same-sex marriage; sexual minorities; social movements

01:26:37 - Concluding remarks

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Partial Transcript: So, is there anything else you would like to talk about further?

Segment Synopsis: The interview closes the interview and Neustadt makes a final remark about past activism.