Sandy Szelag interview

Dublin Core

Title

Sandy Szelag interview

Subject

tucson, lesbian, women, gay, minister, unitarian, seminary, met, feminist, church, remember, group, chicago, movement, lesbian feminist, lived, counseling, unitarian church, experience, service

Description

The Rev. Dr. Sandy Szelag is interviewed by Deborah Dobson on 29 June 2013 in Tucson, AZ.

Creator

Deborah Dobson, Arizona Queer Archives

Source

View Sandy's interview here: https://vimeo.com/manage/videos/961656193

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Deborah Dobson

Interviewee

Sandy Szelag

Location

Tucson, AZ

Transcription

Sandy Szelag (intv by Dobson)

Sandy and Reverend Dr. Sandra share their experiences in the feminist and lesbian movements, highlighting the importance of intersectionality and inclusivity. Sandy recounts her journey of self-discovery and coming out as a lesbian in a religious community, while Reverend Dr. Sandra shares her experiences as a lesbian woman of color. Both speakers emphasize the challenges faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in religious communities and the need for acceptance and understanding. Speaker 1 shares their personal journey in Tucson, Arizona, highlighting their involvement in organizations that provided a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community. They reflect on the progress made, including the legalization of same-sex marriage and federal benefits, while acknowledging the backlash faced and the need to continue pushing forward. Speaker 1's proudest moment is the community's overall progress and the people involved in its advancement.

Transcript

https://otter.ai/u/Q-LflUHL5jVIO6jlgdIXnrDDfB4?view=transcript

Outline
Feminism, lesbianism, and gay rights within a Unitarian church.
Reverend Dr. Sandra Chalon Ste LIG shares her experiences in the feminist and lesbian feminist movements in Tucson since 1977.
Speaker 1 advocates for LGBTQ+ inclusion in Unitarian church, successfully establishes office of gay concerns.
Minister-in-training hid her sexuality to avoid prejudice, found supportive congregation in Tucson.
Sexuality, identity, and acceptance in a religious context.
The speaker came out as a lesbian to their church community after making connections with people in Tucson.
Woman shares experiences of being ostracized by church community after coming out as lesbian, including a humorous encounter with a curious church member.
Speaker shares experiences with LGBTQ+ community, including personal story and interfaith service after murder.
Lesbian and gay counseling in Tucson, Arizona.
In 1977, Dr. Anita L. Smith moved to Tucson and began offering lesbian and gay counseling services, including couple groups and commitment ceremonies.
Speaker reflects on past experiences with LGBTQ+ community organizing.
Speaker shares experiences advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, including raising awareness in counseling classes and supporting a partner in a custody battle.
Lesbian feminism and its impact on the speaker's life.
Speaker 1 describes involvement in lesbian feminist movement in Tucson, including protesting Anita Bryant's visit.
Speaker reflects on their experience as a woman minister in the 1970s and 1980s, sharing a story about a wedding they performed where the groom was nervous about his mother's reaction to a woman minister.
Speaker notes that the women's movement provided support and helped change attitudes towards women in ministry, including the fact that the mother in the story was accepting of a woman minister marrying her son.
Gender inequality in seminary and dissertation on Elizabeth Cady Stanton's theological underpinnings.
Speaker reflects on experiences of discrimination in seminary, particularly lack of representation of women.
Woman in seminary realizes connection to oppression through singing cleaning woman in stacks.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton's religious beliefs underpinned her activism, despite being misinterpreted as anti-spiritual.
LGBTQ+ progress and challenges, emphasizing community and resilience.
Speaker 1 highlights progress in Tucson, including more women in higher positions and recognition of domestic partnerships.
Speaker 1 expresses concern about lost consciousness among young women regarding feminist movement's impact on their rights.
Speaker 1 highlights progress in LGBTQ+ rights, including legal marriages and federal benefits.
Speaker 1 is proud of community efforts, including those who risked their lives for equality.

Citation

Deborah Dobson, Arizona Queer Archives, “Sandy Szelag interview,” Arizona Queer Archives, accessed July 15, 2024, https://azqueerarchives.org/items/show/1015.