Oral History

WNC LGBTQ Oral History Project

Listen to Our Stories

Click on a name to listen to interview or read transcript.

Antiga Part 1 [2019 | 1:06]

Introductions | History of Childhood | Nuclear Family, Was-Band, and Children | Divorce, Relationships, and Coming Out | Politics of Being a Lesbian | Inspiration and Mentors | Back to Asheville | Growing Up with “Two Mothers” | Current Needs of Asheville Lesbians | Politics of Last Names

Antiga Part 2 [2019 | 1:29]

Politics of Last Names (continuation from previous interview) | The Current State of Feminism | The Cost of Feminism: Family Strife | The Women’s Suffrage Movement | Taking on the School Board in Minnesota | The Intersection of Lesbianism and Feminism | Artistic Endeavors | Being a Witch | Co-counseling and Reevaluation Counseling | Antiga’s Education, Marriage, and Motherhood | One More Song

Nancy Asch [ 2019 | 0:45]

Introduction | Moving to Western North Carolina | Living in Boston, Massachusetts | Growing Up in New York City | Practicing Social Work | The Benefits of Political Organizations and Activities in Asheville, North Carolina | Developing a Community and Support Network in Asheville, North Carolina | Girls Rock | Exposure to People of Different Race and Class Backgrounds | Coming Out | Significant Changes and Development | Paving the Road for Future Generations | Race and the Progressive Movement in Asheville, North Carolina

Barbara Bell [2019 | 0:47]

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?

Jessica Britton [2020 | 1:14]

Introduction | Asheville Native | LGBT Environment | LGBT Involvement | Growing Diversity | Impact On LGBT Community | Getting Fired | Getting outed | Experiences of Discrimination | Coming Out | Pride Festival | Trans Veterans | Trans Police Officers | Favorite Memories | Pride Festivals | Phoenix Transgender Support Group | Groups modeled after Phoenix | Impact of Other Individuals | Meaning of Reflection | Local Medical Care | Extreme Right Wing and Native Groups | Childhood Gender Identity | Theater Experience | Contact With Diverse Groups | Being a Trans Christian | Inclusive Religious Community | Work With Preachers | Public Experience | Supporting the LGBT Community | Greatest Satisfaction | Depression in the LGBT Community | Change Over Time | Advice Going Forward | Conclusion

Cortina Jenelle Caldwell [2020 | 1:14]

Introduction: Biographical Information | What “Rural” Means to Cortina | Growing Up in Morganton and Going to College | Coming Out Journey | Living Black and Queer, School Experiences | LGBTQ+ Role Models | Leaving / Returning to College, Creating a NonProfit | Artists Designing Evolution Project: Entrepreneurship, Storytelling, Service, Education, and Creative Facilitation | Moving “Back Home,” Starting a Business, Early LGBTQ Community Experiences | Listening to LGBTQ Youth and Developing Leadership | Shifts in LGBTQ Gathering, How We Socialize Differently

Roseanna Coates [2019 | 1:49]

Rosie describes herself and her early days in Asheville (1979-1983) | Rosie Joins the U.S. Army, 1983 | Rosie’s Childhood and Musical Abilities | Rosie Realizes She Is A Lesbian in College | Facing Homophobia and Discrimination in College | Early LGBTQ Bars in Asheville (1979 to late 1980s) | Living Closeted / Living Out with Family | Developing Pride and Self Acceptance | Asheville’s Early Pride Festivals, 1991 | O’Henry’s, A Hub of LGBTQ Support, and Asheville’s Bar History | Asheville Lesbians and Building a Downtown Mecca | Transgender Presence in Asheville (1970s / 80s) and Holly Boswell’s Legacy | Racial Integration in Asheville’s LGBTQ Community | Law Enforcement and LGBTQ Community in Asheville | Evolving Asheville Reputation

Dan Coleman [2020 | 1:31]

Western North Carolina native | Living Queer in the South, Coming Out Journey | Accepting My Gay Identity; Seeking LGBTQ Resources | Locating Allies in High School and Self- Actualization | LGBTQ Inclusion at UNC Asheville and Building a Queer Family | Rural LGBTQ Identity, Assimilating, and an Evolving Landscape | The Fear of Coming Out to Your Parents; Managing Family Expectations | How Things Have Changed, Teaching in a Private vs Public School Environment | Wishes for Future LGBTQ Community Building

Yvonne Cook-Riley [2019 | 1:34]

Introduction | Childhood | The Transgendered Experience | Coming to Asheville, North Carolina | A Neutral Amount of Life Improvement Since Coming to Asheville | An Interest and Love of the Natural World | The Farm and Femininity | Academic Performance in Grade School | Coming Out | Enlisting in the US Air Force | Marriage and Children | Awareness of the Gay Community | A Coming Out Experience | Experiences and Exposures During the s | Isolated Communities | The Beginning of Her Path

Zeke Christopolous [2020 | 0:59]

Introduction | Moved to Asheville in 2000 | Changes in Asheville’s Reputation as Inclusive and HB 2 | LGBTQ+ Gathering In and Beyond Bar Culture | Future for LGBTQ+ Community in Asheville | Zeke’s Young Life | Otherness In Childhood and Wanting to be a Boy | Ancestors and Family in “Two Senses of the Word” | Faith Communities in Asheville and Formative LGBTQ+ Organizations (2001 | Faith Experience in Asheville and Training for LGBTQ+ Inclusion | Healthcare and Health Issues in WNC | Educational History and Search for Identity | Social Activism and Educational LGBTQ+ Advocacy Work | Good and Bad Experiences with Social Services and Housing Insecurities

Lorena Russell & Kitty Hancock [2019 | 1:14]

Introduction | Residence in Western, North Carolina | Childhood Memory | Coming Out Narratives | Defining Coming Out | First Gay-related Event | Dating Life Stories | UNC-Asheville | Veterans Affairs LGBTQ Programs | Support Network in Western, North Carolina | LGBTQ Community Activism | Contact with Different People | First Meeting | Favorite Memory Together | LGBTQ Media Representation | Educational Background | Conclusion

Kelly Harrison – Part 1 [2019 | 0:49]

Introduction | Childhood in Hot Springs, NC | Coming Out as Gay | Living a closeted life | LGBT Community and Role Models in Youth | Aids Crisis in High School; First Pride Event | Going to College and Searching for LGBT Community | LGBT Organizations in Asheville C.L.O.S.E.R. and Avoiding the Gay Bar Scene | Gay Bar Scene in Asheville, NC | Mental Health Therapy and Coming Out | HIV Blindness and Health Service Experiences | Social Work Background and Leaving that Field | Spiritual Journey and Welcoming Institutions | Assessing Diversity in Asheville’s LGBT Community

Kelly Harrison – Part 2 [2019 | 0:22]

Introduction | Influence of Elders | Helpful Resources | Urban Gay Society | Rural Culture vs Urban Culture | Loss of Identity | Relationship within LGBTQ Community | Label Changes | Feelings on the term Queer | Self-Care | Conclusion

Beth Heinberg [2019 | 0:42]

Introduction | Asheville | Boston | Youth Outright | Girls Rock Asheville | Pride Festival | Networking | Lack of Diversity | Coming Out | Stigma v.s. Inclusion | Political Action | Intersection of Race | Lesbian Asheville Today

Peter Kendrick and Ron Lambe [2019 |1:00]

The Running Water Collective | RFD Magazine | Relationship with Neighbors | Gay Spirit Vision Conference | The Fairy Community | Southern Appalachian and Gay Alliance (SALGA) | Gays in Asheville in the s | Closure of Running Water | Gay Weddings in North Carolina | The Masonic Temple in Asheville

Beaulah Land [2019 | 1:39]

Introduction & Family History | Understanding and Learning about Queerness in the Classroom | The Firsts Coming Out and Relationships | Finding Her Community | Drag Lingo | Identity of Beaulah Land On and Off Stage | Religion in Queer Community | The First Performance | First Drag Memory and Drag Makeup | Drag Family Explained | Holly Boswell | Defining Drag | Activism in Western North Carolina and at Western Carolina University | Names | Race, Gender, and Drag | Self Care and Mental Health

Natasha Noir Nightly (Lane Wagner) [2020 | 1:03]

Natasha Preinterview material | Lane Wagner/Natasha Noir Nightly’s Coming Out Story | Bullying, moving to Asheville, and introduction to drag | Natasha speaks about Lane doing ballet and how drag has changed | Race in drag, marriage equality, Pride, and doing weddings

Kari and Ashley Pilcher [2019 | 1:13]

Introduction | Residence in Western, North Carolina | Childhood Memory | Ancestors | Coming Out Narrative | Changes in LGBTQ Community | Awareness of Sexual Identity | Definition/Influence of Coming Out | First Gay-related Event | Favorite Dating Stories

Allison Scott [2019 | 1:27]

Introduction | Revitalization of Asheville and Being Queer in that Time | Coming Out | Community Spaces Growing Up | Historical and Current Bias Against Trans Community | Centering Marginalized Voices in Social Justice Movements | Trans Visibility | On the Backs of Those Who Came Before | An Activist to be Remembered | Life View as a Trans Womxn | Safe Spaces in Asheville for the Trans Community

Tina White – Part 1 [2020 | 0:55]

Introduction | “How would you describe yourself, Tina?” | “What brought you to Western North Carolina, and how long have you been here?” | Intersectionality | “Have you seen things that have changed in a negative fashion?” | Desired Changes in the Community | Tina White’s Childhood | An Inner Struggle | Community Organizations and Support Groups | Forming an Identity | Asheville Organizations | Community Strife | Privilege | Final Thoughts for Part 1

Susan Wilson [2019 | 0:21]

Introduction | Childhood | Meeting Her Wife | Moving to Western North Carolina | The Marriage Ceremony | Being Misunderstood By Family

Scroll to Top

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.