Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Jeffrey Jones, August 24, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:01 - Education

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Partial Transcript: Awesome.

Segment Synopsis: Jones briefly summarizes his educational path.

Keywords: Buildings; Campus; Changes; Moving; PhD; Research faculty; Salary; Tenure faculty

Subjects: Appalachian State University; College choice; College environment; College students--Conduct of life.; Education; Geography; Georgia State University; Lexington (Ky.); Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:04:44 - Biography

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Partial Transcript: Uh, to start us off, how about you tell me a little bit about yourself?

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses his education, and how he became involved with the University of Kentucky. Jones talks of the gay social scene he experienced at the University of Kentucky in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Keywords: "GLUE"; Bars; Boone (N.C.); Faculty; Gay student groups; Graduate schools; Inclusive; Intimate; Organized community; PhD; Small towns; Social networking; Terms; UK Lambda

Subjects: Acronyms; Appalachian State University; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Employees; Gay community; Gay men; Geography; Georgia Southern University; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Lexington (Ky.); Meetings; Professors; Public health; Savannah (Ga.); Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Staff; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:09:22 - Start of Lambda at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: Um, tell me more about the start-up of Lambda.

Segment Synopsis: Jones recalls the establishment of Lambda, a gay student group that he helped found at the University of Kentucky. The initial years of Lambda are discussed.

Keywords: Acquaintances; Active; Bisexuality; Co-presidents; Counseling offices; Dances; Events; Flyers; Founding members; Graduate schools; Homey; Interior design; Jobs; LISTSERV lists (Electronic discussion groups); Paperwork; Partners; Restart; Safe spaces; Secretary; Speakers; Student Organization Office; Student groups; Transgender; Treasurers; UK Lambda; Vibe

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Conflicts; Cynthiana (Ky.); Equality; Gay men; Gossip; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Lesbians; Lexington (Ky.); Meeting; Psychology; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:13:41 - Mission of Lambda

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Partial Transcript: If you could put the mission of Lambda or its purpose into words, um, how would you describe that? How would you sum that up?

Segment Synopsis: Jones describes the mission of Lambda and charts the evolution of Lambda to the organization that it is today (which has a different name and reaches out to the LGBTQ community of the University of Kentucky).

Keywords: Active; GSA; Inclusive; LGBTQ; LISTSERV lists (Electronic discussion groups); Lambda Net; Name changes; Safe spaces; Student organizations; Supportive; UK Lambda

Subjects: College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Coming out (Sexual orientation); Gay men; Generations; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Identity; Leadership; Lexington (Ky.); Meetings; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:17:14 - Registering Lambda / Do-overs

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Partial Transcript: Um, what was your experience registering this kind of group at the Student Org. Office?

Segment Synopsis: Jones details the process of registering Lambda as a gay student group, and the reactions of others to this organization. Jones also explains what he would do differently if given the chance to start Lambda over again.

Keywords: Acceptance; Community; Different; Gay student groups; Outreach; Purpose; Pushback; Registering; Regrets; Student groups; Supportive; UK Lambda; Unpopular

Subjects: Change; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Coming out (Sexual orientation); Gay men; Georgia Southern University; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Lexington (Ky.); Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Social skills; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Work

00:20:58 - Challenges of Lambda

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Partial Transcript: And also looking back in hindsight, do you recall any challenges when it came to running this--helping run this group and these efforts that you've been describing?

Segment Synopsis: Jones characterizes some of the most difficult challenges of running Lambda. Opposition from outsiders and factions within Lambda were the hardest challenges for Jones to overcome as a leader of the group.

Keywords: Campus; Complaints; Gay student groups; HIV positive; HIV/AIDS; Impatient; Inequalities; Issues; LISTSERV lists (Electronic discussion groups); Politically active; Socialize; Splinter group; Structural discrimination; Student groups; UK Lambda; Venting; Verbal abuse; Women's group

Subjects: Challenges; College dropouts; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Coming out (Sexual orientation); Discrimination; Fear; Gay men; Health; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Lexington (Ky.); Men; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Women; Young men

00:25:40 - Dissertation

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Partial Transcript: My dissertation is based on interviewing 106 people.

Segment Synopsis: Jones illustrates how he went about doing his dissertation in Lexington, Kentucky. Jones also discusses some of the most important themes in his dissertation.

Keywords: Dissertation; GLSO (student group); Gay Liberation Front; Gay Students Coalition; Gay student groups; Hidden histories, proud communities : multiple narratives in the queer geographies of Lexington, Kentucky, 1930-1999; Lavender (student group); Lesbian Resource Office; Pride Center; Womyn Weave (student group)

Subjects: Acronyms; Georgia Southern University; Historic; History; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Interviews; Lexington (Ky.); Materials; People; Research; Savannah (Ga.); Sexual minorities.; Sexual orientation.; Stonewall Riots, New York, N.Y., 1969; Students; University of Kentucky

00:30:12 - Student groups today / Demographics of Lambda

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Partial Transcript: That seems to be the case at, uh, at, uh, Georgia Southern, the students prefer the term 'GSM.'

Segment Synopsis: Jones briefly talks of student groups today. Jones then details what the demographics of UK Lambda were like in the first years of the organization.

Keywords: Advisors; Faculty members; Friends; GSM; Gay student groups; Identities; Recognition; Student body; Student groups; Transgender; UK Lambda; Unknown acronyms

Subjects: Acronyms; African Americans; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Demographics; Gay men; Georgia Southern University; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Lesbians; Lexington (Ky.); Race; Savannah (Ga.); Sexual minorities; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Students; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; White; Work

00:36:40 - Research process

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Partial Transcript: Uh, so I wanted to ask, how did you go about conducting your research, specifically on, um, the student groups, especially the UK student groups?

Segment Synopsis: Jones articulates his research process for his dissertation.

Keywords: Connections; Dissertation; Fairness Ordinance; GLSO; Gay student groups; HIV; Hidden histories, proud communities : multiple narratives in the queer geographies of Lexington, Kentucky, 1930-1999; Imperial Court; Individuals; Issues; Lexington Herald-Leader; Move; Newspapers; Rare; Special collections; Survey; Volunteer work

Subjects: Acronyms; Archives; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Couples; Gay men; Georgia; Historic; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Interviews; Lexington (Ky.); Marriage; Materials; Memories; Military; Privacy; Religion; Research; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:40:34 - Research issues

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Partial Transcript: Did you face any challenges in doing this research? As in, any information you wanted to access, but weren't able to access.

Segment Synopsis: Jones discusses some of the issues that he encountered while writing his dissertation. Some of the perceived notions of a linear and united LGBTQ community and an inherent recall bias of certain interview subjects are emphasized.

Keywords: Artistic; Bisexuality; Committees; Connections; Different communities; Dissertations; Drag queens; FBI; Fairness Ordinance; GLSO; Gay student groups; Imperial Court; LGBTQ community; LGBTQ history; Linear narratives; Pagan Babies; Recall bias; Separate; Social world; Train; Unimpactful

Subjects: African Americans; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Communities; Culture; Facts; Gay men; Gays; Historiography; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Interviews; Latinos; Legends; Lexington (Ky.); Men; Music festivals; Partners; People; Race; Research; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Truth; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky; Vietnam; Women; Work

00:50:11 - Why research the history of UK student groups?

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Partial Transcript: Um, why was it important to you to research the history of student groups?

Segment Synopsis: Jones explains why he decided to research the history of gay student groups at the University of Kentucky for his dissertation.

Keywords: Bars; Dissertations; Drag parties; Drinking; GLSO; Gay Liberation Front; Gay bars; Gay student groups; Hidden histories, proud communities : multiple narratives in the queer geographies of Lexington, Kentucky, 1930-1999; Non-binary people; Place; Political movement; Politically active; Socialize; Transgender; Unwelcome

Subjects: Change; College environment; College students--Attitudes.; College students--Conduct of life.; College students--Social conditions; Coming out (Sexual orientation); Culture; Equality; Gay culture; Hippies; History; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Identity; Lexington (Ky.); Marriage; Research; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority college students; Sexual orientation.; Underground; Universities and colleges.; University of Kentucky

00:53:43 - Legacy of gay culture

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Partial Transcript: Um, and I think that about brings us to the conclusion of our interview...

Segment Synopsis: Jones summarizes the importance of preserving gay culture for future generations.

Keywords: Bars; Ephemeral; Future; Historic plaques; Posterity; Preservation; Spaces; Stories

Subjects: Fashion; Gay community; Gay culture; History; Homosexuality--Social aspects.; Legacy; Music; Sexual minorities.; Sexual orientation.