This is a collection of oral history interviews conducted by the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, & Sexuality (SWGS) at Rice University (2007-2022). The items in this collection are the result of a community research project, the work of Rice University students earning credit for the course SWGS 201, “Introduction to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Studies.” The collection includes interview recordings with Houstonians who have made contributions to the LGBTQ+ community. Each group of students spent a month researching their chosen individuals. When background reports were completed, they conducted interviews with these subjects and subsequently prepared written transcripts of the interviews. To learn more about the project

There are 49 interviews in this collection, with new interviews to be added annually. The finding aid for the collection is available online: Houston ARCH (Houston Area Rainbow Collective History) Collection

Recent Submissions

  • Shannon Baldwin oral history interview and transcript 

    Baldwin, Shannon; Castellano, Claire (2022)
    Judge Shannon B. Baldwin practiced law for over 22 years before becoming a judge. She is licensed in GA and TX. She is a former prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer. Currently, she is the elected presiding Judge of Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 4. Judge Baldwin was the first African American woman to run and preside as an out member of ...
  • Alexis Melvin oral history interview and transcript 

    Melvin, Alexis; Smith, Maggie (2021)
    Alexis Melvin is a gender-fluid transgender woman. Beginning in the mid-1960s, she worked as a grassroots community organizer to challenge discriminatory policies and work to elect pro-equality policy makers. An independent consultant, transgender activist, photographer, charity fundraiser, and lecturer located in Houston Texas, she is president of ...
  • Jarrod Gullett oral history interview and transcript 

    Gullett, Jarrod (2020-06-30)
    Jarrod Gullett is a principal and co-founder of Proud Pony International, a new media collective specializing in motion pictures and creative dressage, and has produced award-winning broadcast content for over ten years. Since the beginning of this creative partnership, he has expertly guided commercial work, web series, music videos, and original ...
  • Don Kelly oral history interview and transcript 

    Kelly, Don (2020-08-17)
    Don Kelly was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1940. He moved to Texas more than 50 years ago to join the U.S. Air Force and serve his country. After earning a Bachelor of Arts from the University of St. Thomas and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Kansas in 1967, he began a professional career in city government. He worked as a ...
  • Harrison Guy oral history interview and transcript 

    Guy, Harrison (2020)
    Harrison Guy grew up in La Marque, Texas. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Urban Souls Dance Company, an award winning company that's treading new ground and making its voice heard throughout the community and nationally. Urban Souls' work tackles issues and ideas that push some audiences to new ways of thinking. In 2019 he was selected as ...
  • Sara Rook oral history interview and transcript 

    Rook, Sara (2012-03-10)
    Sara Rook was born male in 1958 and struggled with her identity for many years. At the age of 40, she transitioned to female and became active in the transgender community in Houston. She helped organize Unity Banquet of 2000, was a member of the board of the Houston Transgender Unity Committee and was vice-president of the Greater Houston Gay Lesbian ...
  • Larry Lingle oral history interview and transcript 

    Lingle, Larry (2014-06-22)
    Larry Lingle opened the first Lobo Bookshop in Dallas in 1973. It became the third gay bookstore in the country. Lingle opened a Houston Lobo Bookshop in 1986 on Monstrose. He has received awards from the Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus. Lingle purchased the oldest gay bookstore in the world, the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in New York City from 1996 until ...
  • Michael C. Webb, Jr oral history interview and transcript 

    Webb, Michael C., Jr. (2015-06-24)
    Michael C. Webb, Jr. was raised in Houston, Texas. He attended high school at Chinquapin Preparatory School in Highlands, Texas, and graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon with a degree in political science. As legislative and district aide to Texas State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia, Webb was part of a team that successfully fought back against ...
  • Dee Dee Watters oral history interview and transcript 

    Watters, Dee Dee (2015-08-06)
    Dee Dee Watters is a native Houstonian. As an African-American trans woman, Watters is an activist for inclusion and equality. In 2000, she founded the Transgender Women of Color United for Change (TWCUC) - the first Houston organization that provided safe spaces specifically for trans women of color. She has been active in Think Peace International, ...
  • Tye West oral history interview and transcript 

    West, Tye (2014-03-30)
    Tye West is a native Houstonian. He has made equality for the transgender community a top priority in his work, which includes volunteering for organizations such as the Houston chapter of Black Transmen, Inc., Human Rights Campaign, and Montrose Grace Place.
  • Cristan Williams oral history interview and transcript 

    Williams, Cristan (2010-03-10)
    Cristan Williams is a trans historian and advocate for the transgender community. She started the first trans homeless shelter in the South and co-founded the first federally funded trans-only homeless program. She is the Executive Director of the Transgender Foundation of America.
  • Kristian Salinas oral history interview and transcript 

    Salinas, Kristian (2012-03-21)
    Kristian Salinas was born in Alvin, Texas and is the Board President and Artistic Director of QFest, the Houston GLBTQ International Film Festival. QFest is dedicated to promoting the arts that are by, about, and of interest to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer community. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin's Radio-TV-Film ...
  • Emma Lou Scott oral history interview and transcript 

    Scott, Emma (2015)
    Emma Lou "Scottie" Scott is a life-long resident of Houston. She taught physical education in the Houston Independent School District for 33 years. She maintained a life-long participation in sports, entering Senior Olympics at age 55 and the National Gay Games, collectively winning over 300 medals. In 2007 she was inducted into the Texas Senior Games ...
  • Lorraine Schroeder oral history interview and transcript 

    Schroeder, Lorraine (2013-04-11)
    Lorraine Schroeder was hired as the first director of the LGBTQ Resource Center at the University of Houston in May 2010 when the Center opened. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education and a Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC). She has been active in LGBT groups in Houston such as Executive and ...
  • Weldon Hickey oral history interview and transcript 

    Hickey, Weldon (2012-03-15)
    Weldon Hickey grew up in Bay City, Texas. He moved to Houston, Texas in the 1980s and has been a LGBTQ activist in several Houston organizations. He worked at Legacy Community Health Services, and as an administrator for Bethel United Church of Christ. He was selected as Grand Marshal of the Houston Pride Parade in 2005.
  • Burton Bagby-Grose oral history interview and transcript 

    Bagby-Grose, Burton (2010-03-27)
    Burton Bagby-Grose is a seventh generation Texan, licensed American Baptist minister and a seminarian at Andover Newton Theological School. He is openly gay and was legally married to his husband at the historic First Baptist Church in Newton (Massachusetts). Together, they are raising their adopted daughter. Bagby-Grose received the Hammer Award for ...
  • Juan Palomo oral history interview and transcript 

    Palomo, Juan (2014-03-25)
    Juan Palomo was a journalist for more than 20 years. Most of those years were at the Houston Post, as a general assignment reporter, political reporter, foreign correspondent, Washington correspondent, columnist and editorial writer. He covered religion for the Austin American Statesman for several years and wrote a monthly op-ed column for USA TODAY. ...
  • Januari Leo oral history interview and transcript 

    Leo, Januari (2018-07-10)
    Januari Leo is a prominent LGBT activist and advocate. She graduated from the University of Houston with a Masters in Social Work in 2010 and works in the Graduate College of Social Work in Development. She has worked with Legacy Community Health Services in government relations, and advocated for the passage of Proposition 1, a referendum held on ...
  • Bob Briddick oral history interview and transcript 

    Briddick, Bob (2018-08-07)
    Bob Briddick moved to Houston, Texas in 1974 working in interior design. He joined The Assistance Fund in the late 1980s, working with the organization when it merged into Legacy Health Services in 2005. In 1999, Briddick was elected King Olympus XXX, and in 2005 he served as president of the Diana Foundation. In 2013, at its 60th-anniversary ...
  • John Heinzerling oral history interview and transcript 

    Heinzerling, John (2011-03-18)
    John Heinzerling has lived in Houston since 1954. He has worked in commercial real estate for most of his life. He was President of the Diana Foundation from 2006-2011. The Diana Foundation is focused on assisting and supporting the needs of the gay community, by distributing funds to organizations that are dedicated to providing services that enhance ...

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