Lesbian Elders Oral History Project: Interview with Gloria A. Olson
Part 1


Part 2


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Born May 16, 1928 in Pepin, Wisonsin; has one older sister and one older brother; father was farmer among other jobs; moved several times, including to Frogtown in St. Paul when she was 15; left home at 17 or 18 to join the Raney Brothers carnival; moved to San Francisco when she was 21; returned to Minnesota when she was about 50; has two sons, Tim and Paul; married sons' father, who was bisexual, and later divorced him; works as a hairstylist. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: The struggle to determine why she was in a female's body; her two sons; carnival work and travels; the predominantly gay bars in downtown St. Paul; church involvement; lesbian society in San Francisco; what brought her back to St. Paul; motorcycle riding; distinctions in labels for homosexuals; house parties for black and white women in the 1950s; other lesbians who received shock treatments; sodomy laws; the Holland Bar in Minneapolis; current involvement in GLEAM and former involvement in GOLD (Grand Old Lesbian Dames); her pregnancies; people who helped her to raise her sons; biggest changes she's seen in the community; same-sex marriages; trying to understand her Christian faith in relation to her sexual orientation.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
27 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 01:25:00 running time
Creation Interviewee: Olson, Gloria Ann
Interviewer: Weiland, Mary R.
Made in Roseville, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Roseville, Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 01/22/1997
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 67
Accession Number AV1999.251.4
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, sound cassette: 'Lesbian Elders Oral History Project'

User Comments

  • Anjanette Schussler on January 5, 2018 08:30:50 PM

    For future lgbt historians - in this interview, Gloria Olson talks about going to Kirmser's bar in downtown Saint Paul in the 1940s, which was the subject of a book, The Evening Crowd at Kirmser's: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/the-evening-crowd-at-kirmseras

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