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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On Wednesday evening, June 12, 2019 in Hudson New York Mary Foltz, a daughter, college professor, wife, and forty-two year old lesbian shared stores about her life. Mary the only child of Margaret and Richard Foltz, grew up in Bellevue Washington, a suburb in Seattle Washington. She expressed she had “a really charmed Childhood”. She tells the story of being awakened by her father around midnight to look at the first fall of snow, later sledding down a hill in the middle of the night. She describes her dad this way, “My dad makes magic happen...He is an adventurer..He is a wonderful man.” Mary goes on to describe how she looks like her mom and believes they also have the same temperament: “I can get anxious the way she gets anxious.” She further says, her mom is a psychologist who puts work first, she cares deeply about human beings. Her mom is guided by her beliefs as a Catholic and sees her work as acts of God. Mary has been an out lesbian since age twenty-one. Mary discusses, it has been a challenge for her mom to accept her sexually. Mary says, for at least ten years Mary did not share anything about her private life with her parents, she wanted to protect those relationships and she did not want to push her parents away. Mary speaks about never wanting to get married. She did not need validation from the state but after the election of Donald Trump, Mary wanted to make sure her love had the rights to the life they build. Mary and her partner, Danielle married in 2016. Mary speaks about Danielle being a great support, especially during a second miscarriage that came at the time when an expected book proposed for publishing was denied. She ends the interview reflecting on the ways she and her parents have consciously and unconsciously moved towards the acceptance of their humanity. This interview would be of interest to those who are curious about the dynamics of parents of a LGBTQ daughter, the role of the Catholic church and sexuality, faith, caring for elderly parents, miscarriage, grief, rejection, getting pregnant, IVF, lesbian marriage, gay rights, literary arts reconciliation and acceptance.
A Black feminist woman, retired educator who has worked as a teacher, professional staff developer and school administrator. She facilitates book discussions on professional and personal development. As an oral historian giving "ordinary" women a public platform to share their stories is her post retirement commitment.
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.”