What is your name?
When did you start/how long have you been volunteering at ONE?
I moved to Los Angeles from the UK in 2011, and a friend introduced me to ONE. I started volunteering in 2012, so eight years now.
What is your favorite part about volunteering at ONE?
Aside from playing a part in preserving our history, I've also made some great friends along the way.
Do you have a favorite collection or item you have come across?
I specialize in recorded media, so I'm personally interested in how representation of LGBT+ people has developed in films and TV over the decades. I'm always fascinated to see the other collections, the breadth of material ONE preserves is mind-blowing.
What is the weirdest/funniest task you have done while volunteering?
We have an extensive collection of adult videos, covering all tastes - let's just say I've had quite the education while cataloguing them!
What is something that you have learned about queer history while working with the collection that surprised you or you didn’t know before?
Being new to LA, I didn't appreciate the important role this city played in early gay rights. So much is focused on New York and San Francisco, but there is an equally rich heritage here, and I'm grateful ONE is preserving those stories. I'm also old enough to remember the start of the AIDS epidemic, but young enough to have not been personally affected by it in terms of losing friends and loved ones. ONE has a rich collection from this time, and I think learning, understanding, and remembering what happened then is critical to our future health and happiness.
What is something about ONE that people might not know but you wish they did?
That it's not just a collection of things. There is real love and passion that goes into preserving this heritage.
What has brought you joy recently during the pandemic and uprisings?
It's difficult to feel joyful at this time, but what gives me hope is seeing young people protesting for civil rights. I remember marching and campaigning for my rights back in the 1980s and 1990s, and, at that time, I would never have believed that equal marriage was possible. The world can be changed, but you have to make that change - it will never happen by inertia. I truly hope this moment persists, and we see a fairer, more just America rise from the ashes of this truly terrible year.