SOL: LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network ~ Oral History Interviews

SOL: LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network ~ Oral History Interviews

SOL focuses on supporting Queer and Trans People of Color (QTPOC) and offers educational programming, student advocacy, and ally building among individuals and organizations at Oregon State University.

Learn more about SOL: LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network

OSQA is excited to share a set of 7 oral history interviews pertaining to the history of SOL; 2 were conducted in 2015 and 5 in 2019. All interviews are within OH34 and are available online via the LGBTQ+ Voices Site.

Ish Guevara

Date: March 15, 2015
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:12:11
Interviewee: Ish Guevara
Interviewer: Kiah McConnell

Interview Video and Index

Bio: At the time of the interview, Ish Guevara was a third year undergraduate student at Oregon State University studying Apparel Design and Management. Before coming to OSU, Guevara started the LGBTQ club at his community college. When he transferred to Oregon State, Guevara was offered a position at the Centro Cultural César Chávez, and later with SOL, the LGBTQ+ Multicultural Support Network, where he worked for two years.

Summary: In the interview, Ish Guevara offers his thoughts on the politics of queer and trans movements and support, both nationally and at Oregon State University. Guevara outlines his vision for stronger collaboration between SOL, the Pride Center, and the other cultural centers.

Jaqc Allen

Date: April 29, 2015
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:25:23
Interviewee: Jaqc Allen
Interviewer: Kiah McConnell

Interview Video and Index

Bio: At the time of the interview, Jaqc Allen was a third-year student studying Public Health, Health Promotion, and Human Development. Allen worked at the Black Cultural Center, and was later appointed as a leadership liaison for SOL. Allen holds many identities that are important to them, including being queer, lesbian, gender nonconforming, and Native American Black. A nontraditional student, Allen came to Oregon State in their mid-twenties.

Summary: In this interview, Allen details their coming out experience as someone who began to explore their identities a little bit later in life. They describe coming out as a process, and describe the way this process looks different with friends, family, teachers, and peers. Allen briefly explores the intersection of masculinity and race, and how this intersection has impacted them as a masculine-presenting person of color. In addition, they share their vision for the future of SOL (the LGBTQ+ Multicultural Network), the Pride Center, and the other cultural centers. Allen explains the ways in which the mere existence of SOL is indicative of a greater problem with inclusion amongst the cultural centers, and a lack of intersectional awareness in their resources and staff. At the end of the interview, Allen briefly discusses Project Social Justice and how it has impacted their life.

Derron Coles

Date: February 13, 2019
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:47:32
Interviewee: Derron Coles
Interviewer: Cori Elam

Interview Audio and Index

Bio: Coles is from Baltimore, Maryland where he attended Catholic schools before enrolling in a pre-engineering high school. While in high school he was bullied for his race, sexual orientation, and for being overweight. Once he got to Oregon State University, he experienced discrimination due to being one of the few black students in the engineering department. Coles harnessed the pain from these experiences into helping create a more inclusive atmosphere on campus. SOL was created in 2002 through Cole’s empathy for other students and it continues to be a university supported initiative.

Summary: Coles discusses his journey in creating SOL as a place where students can feel safe in expressing all aspects of their identities and learn from each other. As a student with multiple marginalized identities, he realized the importance of communication, education, and community. With faculty support from Larry Roper, SOL has become a permanent fixture on the OSU campus since 2002. Despite some groups on campus originally not acknowledging the need for a LGBTQIA+ group specifically for students of color, it has continued to thrive with student support each year.

Larry Roper

Date:  February 13, 2019
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:22:48
Interviewee: Larry Roper
Interviewer: Isabella Arrieta

Interview Audio and Index

Bio: Roper is a professor of Language, Culture, and Society at Oregon State University. From 1995-2014 he served as the Vice Provost of Student Affairs at OSU. As a Vice Provost he helped provide the initial funding for the creation of SOL. Roper describes his primary role in student affairs as helping to create campus environments that respond to the needs of the student population. He states that SOL is a respectful and inclusive part of OSU.

Summary: Roper discusses how his position as Vice Provost allowed him to engage with Derron Coles one-on-one to get funding for the creation of SOL. Roper discusses the OSU university statement on inclusion, equity, and diversity which can be supported with funding student programs that meet the needs of our less visible students.

Justine Anaya

Date: March 3, 2019
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:18:11
Interviewee: Justine Anaya
Interviewer: Hope Trautman

Interview Video and Index

Bio: Anaya is an undergraduate student at Oregon State University studying Environmental Economics and Policy. She worked with SOL from 2014-2016 and describes this as a time when the organization was struggling to stay afloat. Despite this difficulty, finding community in SOL has helped Anaya thrive in a predominately white campus.

Summary: Justine Anaya discusses her identity as a queer indigenous woman and how that has shaped her activism. Anaya discusses the status of SOL during her time working for the organization for 2 years, how her ideas of activism have changed, and what is it like to be a minority identity in STEM classes at OSU.

Tamara Lash

Date: April 16, 2019
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:20:44
Interviewee: Tamara Lash
Interviewers: Corey Illum and Isabella Arrieta

Interview Video and Index

Bio: Lash is an M.A. student at Oregon State University who completed her undergrad at OSU as well. During her involvement with the Women & Gender Center, she was introduced to the SOL initiative on campus. As a person with multiple marginalized identities, she advocates for more resources on campus that are not solely student led because this can result in emotional burn out for the students.

Summary: Lash discusses the differences between her experience as an undergraduate student at OSU and as a grad student after taking a two year break from academia. She talks about the importance of resources in higher education that go beyond student led organizations and how students of color are able to see the institution through a different lens. Lash gives advice to SOL members about other ways they can support the surrounding community of Corvallis and share how SOL had a positive impact on her life.

Kobe Natachu Taylor

Date: April 25, 2019
Location: Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Length: 0:30:07
Interviewee: Kobe Natachu Taylor
Interviewer: Julian Chu

Interview Video and Index

Bio: Natachu Taylor is an indigenous, two-spirit, queer student majoring in nutrition and a minor in queer studies at Oregon State University. Taylor hopes to take what he has learned at OSU back to their home community after graduation. As an OSU student, Taylor engages in social justice activism with the QTIPOC support network in SOL.

Summary: Natachu Taylor discusses the journey of finding themselves and community at Oregon State University. As a marginalized identity, they unintentionally fell into social justice roles by having a need to advocate for themselves and other indigenous/queer students.

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