This oral history interview is an intimate conversation between two people, both of whom have generously agreed to share this recording with Oral History Summer School, and with you. Please listen in the spirit with which this was shared.
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This interview was conducted with Molly Pearson on October 9, 2022 in Hillsdale, NY. Molly speaks about growing up in Lincoln, Nebraska, in a radical space in a conservative state, before moving to St. Louis. Molly describes growing up in a house with her biological mother, Annie, her biological father, David, and her father Paul who her mother was married to. She speaks about after the death of Annie and David, the queer community who raised her and her sister and definitions of ‘queer’. She speaks about a few characters who stepped up to help and learning basic life skills from these community members including canning tomatoes and applesauce, how to bake, how to floss, helping her make friends her age. She describes ger biological father entering a deep depression which lead to a hoarding disorder, and having her sister leave the house. She describes it being hard to explain her family situation when meeting someone, dating being weird, having a very queer perspective of the world, but eventually not needing people to understand where she came from now that she’s found her own community. She describes drinking heavily and doing cocaine to offset her own discomfort leading to failing her first two years of undergraduate. Molly talks about interests including riding a bike, going to music concerts, reading, and no longer identifying as an activist but being involved in community spaces. She thinks about stepping back and following things that are already happening as a valuable skill, wanting to be able to retire, abolition on a lot of levels, including abolition of marriage. Molly describes thinking about her mom every day and having her as her role model and possibility model. She wanted to end of the ‘good energy’ of her mom.
This interview is hereby made available for research purposes only. For additional uses (radio and other media, music, internet), please click here to inquire about permissions.
Oral history is an iterative process. In keeping with oral history values of anti-fixity, interviewees will have an opportunity to add, annotate and reflect upon their lives and interviews in perpetuity. Talking back to the archive is a form of “shared authority.”