Oregon State University Libraries and Press

Jill McAllister Oral History Interview, 2017

Oregon State University

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0:00 - Introduction and background

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Partial Transcript: So, today's date is May 2, 2017 and I am Zachary Berry. This is an oral history interview with Jill McAllister.

Segment Synopsis: McAllister briefly discusses her childhood and provides some background information about herself.

Keywords: childhood; education; Missouri

Subjects:

2:13 - Were LGBTQ issues ever discussed at school or within your family?

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Partial Transcript: So, to bring it back to your childhood and high school years, were LGBTQ issues ever discussed at school or within your family?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes the lack of discussion about LGBTQ+ issues during her childhood.

Keywords: family; LGBTQ+; school

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2:40 - Pursuing a career in religion

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Partial Transcript: So you said once you arrived in Oregon it really opened your doors to women involved in the faith and that as a career path for you. Do you remember a specific moment when you decided to change career paths and really pursue becoming a leader in this community?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes how she came to see the potential of a career in religion fitting into her life and aligning with her beliefs.

Keywords: acceptance; gender; religion; religious freedom; sexuality; tolerance

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5:45 - Discussion of LGBTQ issues in seminary

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Partial Transcript: Awesome, and so when you were studying to become a minister, how were LGBTQ issues discussed in seminary?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes the climate surrounding sexuality during the time she was studying to become a minister.

Keywords: LGBTQ+; religion; sexuality

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7:37 - Becoming an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within the church

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Partial Transcript: So, this change in outlook led for you to advocate for LGBTQ rights within the Unitarian Universalist fellowship here. When did you decided to use your position to encourage others to stand up for LGBTQ rights and issues?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes how she first learned about LGBTQ+ issues and how this led her to become an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights within her faith community.

Keywords: homophobia; LGBTQ+; religion; sexuality

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11:27 - Comparison of experiences in Michigan and Oregon

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Partial Transcript: So, how did your experience in Michigan compare to Oregon with the congregation in general? I know you've mentioned before that it took them a while to finalize their welcoming congregation title and just difficulties there.

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes how her experiences in Michigan differed from those in Oregon, particularly around the visibility and discussion of LGBTQ+ issues.

Keywords: LGBTQ+; religion; visibility

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14:24 - Becoming an advocate for transgender rights

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Partial Transcript: Um, so I think were going to move on now from lesbian and gay right to transgender rights concerning bathroom rights and what not. When did become an advocate for transgender rights relative to starting to talk about lesbian and gay issues within the community?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister describes her relationship to advocacy on behalf of transgender rights.

Keywords: gender identity; religion; sexuality; trans; transgender

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17:07 - Sexuality education

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Partial Transcript: So, I just want to talk about the sexuality in school topic for a second. So, teaching sexuality to middle school and high school kids must have been kind of a touchy issue in the community, maybe. Other people not discussing as openly and you guys taking that stance.

Segment Synopsis: McAllister discusses the importance, challenges, and outcomes of including holistic sexuality education within the congregation.

Keywords: education; fear; gender; LGBTQ+; sexual violence; sexuality

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23:53 - Biggest problems affecting LGBTQ people within the congregation and broader community

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Partial Transcript: So, what do you see as the most important problems to be resolved as far as LGBTQ inclusion goes or in larger community outside of the fellowship?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister talks about the most important issues affecting the community her congregation is a part of, relating back to her discussion of sexuality education.

Keywords: education; gender; LGBTQ+; sexuality

Subjects:

26:50 - Rules regarding restroom usage

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Partial Transcript: As far as the information you guys provide, your members' acceptance has grown as far as sexuality goes. As far as physical changes - physical as in I know you told us here at the Unitarian Universalist fellowship the rules for bathroom usage in the buildings are, its just whichever one you prefer to use, I understand?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister talks about the decision to include only gender-neutral bathrooms in her congregation.

Keywords: all-gender restrooms; bathroom usage; gender

Subjects:

28:56 - Same-gender marriage practices

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Partial Transcript: Move onto a couple questions about same-sex marriages nationally and within your community as well. You mentioned before that in the 1980s when your fellowship was founded that they would marry people even if it wasn't legally binding but just as far as the church is concerned and how fast - was that adopted nation wide or is that just a few here and there practiced that?

Segment Synopsis: McAllister talks about her congregation's willingness to perform same-sex marriage even in cases where it was not legally binding.

Keywords: gender; marriage; same-sex marriage; sexuality

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30:29 - Conclusion

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Partial Transcript: Um, so I think that all the questions we had for you. Is there anything else you would like to share with us on these topics?

Segment Synopsis: The interviewers ask for closing remarks and end the interview.

Keywords:

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