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OUTLoud will Collect and Preserve Important Oral Histories from Surviving Pioneers of the Modern LGBTQ Movement (1969-1981). Read more

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This project was successfully funded on November 12, 2013.

OUTLoud will Collect and Preserve Important Oral Histories from Surviving Pioneers of the Modern LGBTQ Movement (1969-1981).

About this project

The Goal of OUTLoud: To Preserve Essential History from LGBTQ Pioneers:

The courageous pioneers who gave birth to the modern LGBTQ movement in the years immediately following  New York’s 1969 Stonewall Rebellion are vanishing yearly. Once many hundreds strong, the activist women and men of the Stonewall generation seized the moment to create an altogether new type of LGBTQ political activism that was sharply distinct from the homophile movement that preceeded it. 

They were a new breed: young, radical, militant voices, deeply-connected to the women’s and civil rights movements of their time and determined to make the world a better place in which to live their lives openly and without fear. Now, 45 years later, old age, AIDS and other illnesses have taken their toll and many of the extraordinary stories of these pioneers have never been told. Therefore, it is with a sense of real urgency that OUTLoud has been formed. We need to capture these stories for future generations.

Little known stories, rich, varied and waiting to be preserved.

They created a new world. Within the first year following Stonewall these pioneers founded historic political organizations—the Gay Liberation Front, Radical Lesbians, the Gay Activists Alliance, and Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries—and organized the first Gay Pride March. They bravely risked their lives at hostile street protests and experienced alienation from friends, family and careers. They examined their own lives and formulated a significant new radical politics around gender identity that inspired thousands of other LGBTQ activists, literally changing the world for millions of gay men and lesbians today. Yet their names and stories are largely unknown.

OUTLoud Phase One:  $9,000 will cover an initial 12 Oral Histories.

The goal of OUTLoud is simple: to capture important first-hand, at-length, oral histories from significant, surviving pioneers before the opportunity passes and then disseminate them in widely-available video and online formats.  As an first step, OUTLoud has identified 12 LGBTQ pioneers who have agreed to participate in this important project by narrating in-depth accounts of historic events they experienced and telling their life-stories in their own words. Interviews will require travel to locations around the country, including New York, Boston, San Diego, and Portland. Therefore, the producers reasonably expect this initial phase to take from six to eight months and be completed in June 2014.

Your contribution will help us preserve essential LGBTQ history.

Your monetary support for this Kickstarter project will cover basic expenses: cross-country travel, equipment, editing, transcriptions, outreach to LGBTQ archives, libraries, and schools, building an archival website, as well as production of the printed materials and electronic media needed for distribution of the oral histories themselves. Every dollar helps us reach our goal. Exceeding our goal will allow us to extend the project and gather additional oral histories; something we hope will be achieved.

Oral History Captured for Scholars, Students and Future Generations:

Upon completion, OUTLoud will make these oral histories available in the following ways:

--Recordings of the interviews will be transcribed, summarized, or indexed and then made available to all LGBTQ archives in the United States and globally

--Distributed to academicians and students for use in research and in LGBTQ and gender studies courses

--Individual multiple format DVDs

·-Interviews will be made available for research or excerpted in publications, radio or video documentaries, museum exhibitions, dramatizations or other forms of public presentation.

--Recordings, photographs, and related documentary materials posted on a dedicated OUTLoud Internet website. 

Some Details:

OUTLoud will focus on the early years of the modern LGBTQ movement (1969-1981)—from the Stonewall Rebellion in New York City to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The goal of OUTLoud is to produce rich and unique source materials on this germinal era in LGBTQ history. OUTLoud will record extensive oral histories of LGBTQ pioneers so that their memories and perspectives on this historic period are preserved for future generations.

OUTLoud will conduct and record interviews, producing quality video and still photography, in addition to promoting the best standards for the practice of oral history-taking, as defined by the preeminent organizations in the field, such as the Oral History Association and the Smithsonian Institution, Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

OUTLoud advocates the significance of oral history. For LGBTQ people, it connects us to the past; grounds us in the present; and gives us a sense of identity. The oral history of our pioneers—the tradition-keepers of the LGBTQ movement and culture—also enriches the larger community, anchoring us all in a larger whole. 

The Producers of OUTLoud

OUTLoud’s producers are uniquely qualified to head up this project. As early LGBTQ pioneers themselves, both Steven F. Dansky and John Knoebel participated in the heady activism of New York City from 1969 onwards. Through personal friendships and extensive networking they have connected with many of their surviving fellow activists from that era who will be the subjects of the initial OUTLoud oral histories. See our complete bios by clicking the blue link under our photos on the above right.

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges impact every project and OUTLoud may be no exception. For example, it's possible that a few of the 12 LGBT pioneers currently scheduled to participate may become unavailable because of schedule conflcts or illness. The producers are confident that they would be able to secure other equally qualified individuals to complete the first round of oral histories. In the unlikely event that the initial phase extends beyond the 6-8 month schedule, we are prepared to continue until it is completed and will notify our backers with regular updates.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    19 backers

    E-newsletter w. project updates and short clips from ongoing interviews.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    8 backers

    Above plus: OUTLoud logo coffee mug

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    18 backers

    Above plus: 60-minute OUTLoud oral history highlights on DVD

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers

    Above plus:
    Original photographic portrait of one or more participating LGBTQ pioneers shot by photographer, Steven F Dansky

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Above plus: Individual credit as "Major Donor" on completed oral history materials

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    First 4 awards plus: Credit as "Sponsoring Donor" and personal visit with producers and participating pioneers as logistics allow.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (60 days)