Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with Ondine M. Quinn, October 11, 2018

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries


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00:00:00 - Early upbringing

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Partial Transcript: My name is Adriana Sisko and the date is October 11th, 2018.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what her early childhood was like. Her mother is Cuban, and her father is Irish-American. Quinn went to a Spanish immersion elementary school.

Keywords: Appalachian; Columbus; Cuba; Downtown; French; Irish-American

Subjects: Art; Childhood; Cuba; Education; Families.; Irish; Ohio; Siblings; Spanish

00:10:02 - High school experience

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Partial Transcript: And in high school, were you participating in dating then?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what high school was like. She had a crush on her second grade teacher. Her parents were liberal, and used words like "lesbian" and "gay" freely. Quinn went to an art-focused high school.

Keywords: Art-focused; Crushes; Gay; High schools; Lesbian; Liberal; Ohio State University; Queer

Subjects: AIDS (Disease); Education; Gay youth; Liberal; Sexual minorities' families.; Sexual minorities.; Sexual minority youth; Sexual orientation

00:16:57 - Religion

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Partial Transcript: Um, and two more somewhat "backtracky" questions before we keep moving forward.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn reflects on religion in her life. Her mom and dad being Atheist felt strange when visiting her Catholic grandparents. Quinn focuses on earthly energies and astrology.

Keywords: Astrology; Atheists; Catholics; Churches; Earthly energies; Spiritual

Subjects: Atheism; Catholicism; Religion; Spiritualism

00:22:42 - Graduating from high school

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Partial Transcript: And so graduating high school, how did you feel when you graduated?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn explains why moving to college felt relieving. There were problems at home, bad relationships, and drug-usage leading to bad grades.

Keywords: Autonomous; Colleges; Difficult; Grades; High schools; Schools; Trauma

Subjects: College; Drugs; Education; Parents; Relationship--Drama

00:26:04 - College experience

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Partial Transcript: How did college classes settle with you?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about her college experience. Joining a Latinx organization, Alpha Lambda Psi Fraternity, gave her a sense of home in Ohio State's large campus. During her junior year, she began dating women and exploring her sexuality.

Keywords: Choices; Colleges; Dating; Feminism; Feminists; Fraternity; Gender and women's studies; Greek life; International studies; Latinx; Mentorship; Organizations; Political science; Students; Undecided; Women

Subjects: College; Instant messaging; Lesbian; Ohio State University; Organization; Women

00:41:35 - Graduating college

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Partial Transcript: And when you graduated from undergrad, where were you in life at that point?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn shares the story of the relationship she had with Kendra, her partner; a movie scene encounter and later moving in together. After college though, finding a job was important and one of Quinn's priorities.

Keywords: Activism; Columbus; Concerts; Crushes; Hostess; Indiana; Indianapolis (Ind.); Interviews; Jobs; Ohio; Ohio State University; Social justice

Subjects: Interviews; Job searching; Relationships; Working and living

00:47:18 - Moving to Lexington, Kentucky / Coming out to her parents / Job search

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Partial Transcript: Um, how long were you in this, like, living with three people scenario?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn moved to Lexington, Kentucky in 2005 to work in community organizing. During that time, she came out to her parents, sister, and her brother, who also came out as gay. This was a difficult period for Quinn because her job was stressful and she went through a break up with her partner Kendra. Later, life began to improve again when she got a job as the Central Kentucky Organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth.

Keywords: Brothers; Building a United Interfaith Lexington through Direct action (BUILD); Churches; Community organizing; Fundraising; Jobs; Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Parents; Partners; Relationships; Religion; Stress; Workshops

Subjects: Coming out (Sexual orientation); Families.; Job analysis; Kentucky; Organizing

01:01:19 - Music

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Partial Transcript: Tell me more about your interest in music.

Segment Synopsis: Music was and is a part of Quinn's life. It began when she was in fourth grade and got the opportunity to rent a violin. She now creates electronic music.

Keywords: Electronic music; Elementary schools; Music; Ohio; Violin

Subjects: Music; Violin

01:02:39 - Central Kentucky Organizer for Kentuckians for the Commonwealth

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Partial Transcript: And so you returned to community organizing in 2008.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what it was like working as a community organizer for Central Kentucky.

Keywords: Community organizers; Kentuckians for the Commonwealth; Lexington (Ky.)

Subjects: Voting

01:07:18 - Traveling

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Partial Transcript: And you said that you worked with that organization for five years.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what it was like to backpack down to Colombia. At first, she did not backpack although she wanted to because it seemed like a rich white kid thing to do, but later she decided to participate anyway. The experience was rewarding.

Keywords: Backpacking; Central America; Colombia; Learning; Traveling

Subjects: Backpacking; Traveling

01:13:55 - University of Kentucky College of Social Work

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Partial Transcript: And another topic shift.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what UK Social Work lacks and its opportunities for growth. In light of this, she began a podcast that gave her a space to voice important concerns.

Keywords: Diversity; Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Master's degrees; Social work; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Social Work & Counselling

01:22:55 - Recent endeavors

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Partial Transcript: And so when you finished after three years part-time, where were you at in life and what happens next after that?

Segment Synopsis: Quinn talks about what she has accomplished post-master's degree. The job she has now is a good fit for her as she is a training and technical assistant specialist. Quinn describes the job to be an endless puzzle. She is also taking a sexuality post-grad certificate at the University of Michigan.

Keywords: Community organizing; Graduates; Jobs; Social work; University of Michigan

Subjects: Sexuality & Culture; Social Work & Counselling

01:29:51 - Final thoughts

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Partial Transcript: Okay my next few questions are sort of like the final round of questions.

Segment Synopsis: Quinn ends the interview talking about the changes Lexington has gone through such as night life, infrastructure, conservatism, gentrification, and suburbs. In the future, she hopes to continue to cultivate personal relationships.

Keywords: Future; Gay; Gentrification; Keeneland; Night life; Politics

Subjects: Gentrification; Kentucky; Lexington (Ky.); Queer