When you think of Camden, your first thought probably doesn’t have anything to do with rainbow flags or LGBT pride, but a new project from the Camden County Historical Society (CCHS) hopes to change that.
CCHS's Oral History Project is an initiative that seeks to develop a better representation of Camden's history, which, organizers hope, will include stories of the town's gay past. "This project will ensure that the memories and history of the LGBT community in Camden County will not be forgotten from future historical interpretations," says co-organizer and Rutgers grad student Joshua Lisowski. "And later generations will understand what it was like to live during this time of struggle for equality."
The project will eventually turn into a website, where you can watch the oral interviews, and get a little more background information about the stories being told. Think of it as an "I'm From Driftwood" kind of thing, but more Camden-y.
Lisowski and team are on the lookout for individuals who would like to contribute — whether its sharing stories or pointing them in the direction of someone who would. At first they are focusing on the Collingswood community with hopes of expanding to the rest of the county later. "I have already spoken to the PFLAG Collingswood chapter, the owners of the Grooveground coffee house ... but we are still looking for more public involvement."
Have some stories to tell about gay Camden, or know someone who would? Contact CCHS by phone at 856-964-3333, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Would love to see this come to fruition.