LGBTQIA+ Oral History Archives

Barbara Bell

Meet a nurse who stepped up big time during the HIV/AIDS crisis while serving at VA hospitals in North Carolina.

Interview Date:  November 2, 2019

Interviewer:  Horace Vanderbilt

Interview Length (HH:MM): 00:46

Topics Covered: Community Needs / Services | Equity / Diversity / Privilege | Health / Healthcare / HIV/AIDS | Inspirations / Mentors / Leaders | LGBTQ Spaces / Events / Pride Festivals | Stigma / Isolation / Invisibility

Barbara Bell, a LGBTQIA ally who grew up in White Plains New York, went to nursing school in the 1960’s. Once graduating nursing school, she began working in the VA hospitals in North Carolina finally settling at the VA in Asheville. While working with the VA she began to become concerned with the treatment of many HIV/AIDS patients that came through the VA, especially the LGBTQIA patients and decided something needed to change. After realizing the mistreatment that was taking place, she worked with her boss to have to begin working these patients to provide better services and treatment during their stay at the VA and even after. This passion to help HIV/AIDS patients led her to begin working with a Food pantry dedicated to providing food and other necessities to people struggling with HIV and AIDS a place which is works tirelessly at even today.

Click a Link to Go Directly to a Particular Segment

History and Passion | Involvement with the LGBT+ population in Western North Carolina | On Being an Ally | Progress of Stigmatization of HIV/AIDS in Asheville, NC | Privilege and More Community Involvement | Inspirational People in the LGBT+ Movement | Modern LGBT+ Biases and Intolerance | Involvement with Blue Ridge Pride | What Can We Do? HIV/AIDS, Allies, Blue Ridge Pride, Stigma, Privilege

Outline of the Interview

History and Passion | Involvement with the LGBT+ population in Western North Carolina | On Being an Ally | Progress of Stigmatization of HIV/AIDS in Asheville, NC | Privilege and More Community Involvement | Inspirational People in the LGBT+ Movement | Modern LGBT+ Biases and Intolerance | Involvement with Blue Ridge Pride | What Can We Do? HIV/AIDS, Allies, Blue Ridge Pride, Stigma, Privilege

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Mental Health Providers

Eric Davis  MS, LCPA, NCC, Counselor

Willow Wellness and Recovery, PC 9 All Souls Crescent  Suite B, Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 490-4137 | Website I am a firm believer in empowerment and self-determination. In the past, I have worked well with folks experiencing a range of issues, such as anxiety, depression, substance-use, sleep disturbances, relationship issues, and issues unique to the LGBT community.

Scott Thomas,  Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, LCAS

Silver Lining Therapy 70 Woodfin Place  STE 21, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 705-3084 | Website I believe humor can be a powerful tool for healing and seek to incorporate this into our time together. Unique to my practice is an approach that truly puts you at the center of the counseling experience, and I draw from a wide variety of techniques to help you see and experience real change in your life. To see if therapy might be a good fit, I offer free phone consultations.

James Harrison, PhD Psychologist

12 Westridge Dr , Asheville, North Carolina 28803  Phone: (828) 348-6300 | Website I enjoy helping people achieve physical and emotional intimacy whether they are young or old, straight or gay, in healthy, responsible, and mutually affirming ways. I also enjoy helping people improve their earning and manage their assets. And I like working with older people. I offer free phone consultations.

Judy Maris, Counselor, LPC, LCPC, MA, MS

Maris Psychotherapy 41 Clayton St, Suite 301, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (828) 537-4489 | Website We can explore troublesome patterns that tend to repeat themselves in your life or look at new issues that have just come up. The important thing is for us to work together to get to the bottom of your difficulties and resolve them. I will assist you in becoming more aware of what you are feeling and thinking in the present moment. The untapped wisdom within you is a powerful healing force. Let me help you gain access to your full inner resources. I offer free phone consultations.

Elizabeth Heaney, Counselor, MA, LPC 

166 E Chestnut Street, Asheville, North Carolina 28801  Phone: (520) 447-3319 | Website I work with individual adults with concerns like: family history issues, relationship concerns, life satisfaction issues (related to jobs, living situations or relationships), anxiety and depression. I’ve had a particular focus on working with couples, addressing every aspect of relationship challenges – relationship dissatisfaction/boredom, affairs, sexual/intimacy issues, etc. And I was a civilian counselor on military bases for several years, so I have a clear understanding of the unique pressures and challenges facing service members and families. I offer free phone consultations.

Siljoy Maurer

Holistic Perspectives P.O. Box 333, Enka, NC 2872  Phone: (828) 333-0103  | siljoy@me.com or  www.HolisticPerspectives.com For many years now I have been mentoring men and women from all walks of life. It continues to be my greatest joy to accompany someone from “just being ok” into thriving! As a Mentor & Healer I partner with my clients in creating authenticity, wellness and deep contentment, in whatever area of their lives they are seeking change. The combination of giving very practical, livable tools for direct “next steps” while “holding the big picture” and then manifesting that big picture often feels like this: a new client brings me their life or life situation in a jigsaw puzzle box, they lost the lid and forgot what the picture on it looked like. I am good at knowing that picture and then guiding my clients/mentees to put all the puzzle pieces together.  

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