Happy Pride Month everyone! In honor of Pride we chatted with Kristyn Scorsone, creator and producer of Queer Newark Oral History Project’s podcast, on PopCrush on 94.5 PST!

Kristyn is a PhD candidate in the American Studies program at Rutgers University-Newark. They have a B.A. and an M.A. in History with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies, also from Rutgers-Newark.

Our conversation included the scandalous “Lavender Marriages” that were put together in Hollywood. At one point, gay men in Hollywood had fake marriages in order to keep their sexuality a secret. Kristyn explains how pride still existed in the early 20th century and any attempts to hide their pride was a way for those gay men to remain employed.

“So there’s also this myth that like, you know, lavender marriages existed because people had shame or like that people prior to Stonewall were full of shame and were isolated...but that’s not the case," Kristyn stated. "They used these different strategies to make their way through the world.”

Recently, Instagram added a feature for users to include their pronouns in a set spot in their profile’s bio. Kristyn says that “gender identity is different from gender expression. So when you share your pronouns, you’re basically taking the guesswork off other people. It makes the space safer for trans and gender non-conforming folks as well... I do think it’s an excellent way for cis gendered people to make space for trans people in their lives and in their workplaces by putting their pronouns in whatever place that is available.”

Kristyn also told us about the Queer Newark Oral History Project, saying that at first, they looked for queer representation in the media, not realizing that two miles away from them in Newark NJ, a lot of queer and trans history, mostly among black queer women, was taking place. Kristyn noticed a particular phenomenon occurring among the LGBTQ+ community in Newark after their years of working with the QNOHP.

“So they start their own businesses instead and not only do they do that to survive financially, but they also use it to inform their activism and they make it a vehicle for fighting in these grassroots ways...They’ve started safe spaces for queer and trans people in Newark,” Kristyn stated.


For more information and to listen to the podcast led by Kristyn, click here!

Check out the Queer Newark Oral History Podcast on Instagram and Twitter: @QueerNewark

Find Kristyn Scorsone on Instagram and Twitter: @ykristyn



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