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Rick Wilson Interview

Video: 

Description: Rick Wilson never envisioned himself getting involved with social or political activism. He was happy to live in Hillcrest, out and free, working as a ballroom dance instructor and as a manager of a travel agency. Then in the early 90’s he found himself involved in the campaign against the planned AIDS Memorial in Balboa Park. At first it seemed an impossible task as the Gay community leadership along with the San Diego City Council had united behind the proposed memorial. Eventually Rick would find support among the community and worked with ACT-UP and Wendy Sue Biegeleisen and changed the tide of public and political opinion. Many in the community believed that the money would be better spent on AIDS related servives and that “AIDS was not done yet”. The rally cry would become “No AIDS Memorial until there is a cure”. The interview tells the story of Rick’s Journey through the process of becoming an activist and taking on the powers that be and ultimately winning the argument.

Date: 2016-04-27

George Murphy Interview

Video: 

Description: Born and raised in Indiana, George Murphy moved to San Diego in 1971. A retired professor, George has spent the last forty years dedicated to San Diego and the LGBT Community. He is a member of the LGBT Senior Housing Steering Committee, a founding board member of the LAMBDA Archives, and a member of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego since 1972. He is also a founding member of and continues to volunteer for the LGBT Center. In 1983, George helped found the San Diego AIDS project. Through his ministry at MCC, he continues his work for people with AIDS, cancer and other illnesses. He also served on San Diego’s first telephone Gay Crisis Hotline and is a charter member on several committees for the San Diego Democratic Club. Honors and awards include the Jess Jessop Founder’s Award in 1993 and a Wall of Honor recipient for the Center in 2008. Amazingly, George still finds time to be active in his community, Ocean Beach. He has been involved with numerous projects and organizations, including Friends of the Ocean Beach Library, the Ocean Beach Planning Board, and the San Diego River Coalition. He loves to travel, read, watch old movies, practice yoga and view the sun setting on the ocean.

Date: 2014-12-02

Wendy Sue Biegeleisen Interview

Video: 

Description: Part of Lambda Archives’ celebratory event “Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers” held March 19, 2016 in San Diego, CA. Self identified as a loud, proud, activist Jewish peacenik Dyke, Wendy Sue has for 35 years volunteered her time and her deep caregiving spirit to numerous grassroots organizations in response to the AIDS epidemic. In her work with Concerned Citizens for AIDS Patients (CCAP), a group founded by Carolyn Butterworth, she assisted those with AIDS in everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, giving haircuts and in the end holding their hands while they took their last breath. She also helped to organize quilting bees, helping San Diegans make their own panels for the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. Wendy Sue channeled her anger and grief over watching her community’s devastation into more direct activism and helped to start the ACT-UP San Diego chapter. ACT-UP (AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power) San Diego harnessed the power of non- violent protest and civil disobedience to agitate for both political and direct service responses to the AIDS epidemic. She also worked with ACT-UP to start a clean needle exchange program (illegally) in the early 1990’s to help reduce the rate of HIV transmission. Additionally, Wendy Sue has been involved with Project Lifeguard and the Blood Sisters.

Date: 2016-02-08

Tony Freeman Interview

Video: 

Description: Recorded as part of the Lambda Archives of San Diego’s 20th anniversary.

Additional Description: Before moving to San Diego in 1996 to accept a position as senior pastor at Metropolitan Community Church San Diego, Tony Freeman lived in Florida and Denver, where he was involved with HIV/AIDS services, the Imperial Courts’ Scholarship Review Committee and the GLBT Community Services Center. Since settling in Allied Gardens, with his partner and their 11-year-old son, Tony Freeman has received numerous awards for his community activities. They include: helping to found Sunburst Apartments, San Diego’s first supportive housing project for GLBT homeless youth; founding Operation Hope for the Hungry, which provided critical community and ecumenical support for the San Diego Food Bank when it was forced to find a new home; and founding Caravan of Hope, which collected and delivered supplies to GLBT people affected by Hurricane Katrina. He received the 1998 Nicky Governor’s Award for community service, the 2001 Champion of Pride award, and he is a 2006 recipient of the Center’s Visionary Award for work on the GLBT homeless youth housing project. In August 2007, Freeman was appointed executive director of the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation.

Date: 2007-11-30

Maria Galleta Interview

Video: 

Description: Part of Lambda Archives’ celebratory event “Heroines, Pioneers and Trailblazers” held March 19, 2016 in San Diego, CA. Maria Galleta co-founded Christie’s Place with Irene Milton in 1996, establishing the only organization in San Diego whose mission is  dedicated to serving women, children and families infected and affected by HIV/AIDS, providing education, support and advocacy. Currently, she helps run ACOSIDA Clinic, the oldest HIV/AIDS clinic in Tijuana founded in 1983  and Casa Nicole, founded in 2006,  which offers transitional housing for people living with HIV/AIDS. ACOSIDA was founded to help those afflicted with AIDS find affordable or free treatment in order to help them focus on other aspects of their lives. Casa Nicole offers a sanctuary to those in Mexico facing social derision by providing basic healthcare, psychological treatment, substance abuse treatment, hygiene counseling, HIV prevention classes and assistance in finding employment. Together, these two organizations provide an essential response to HIV/AIDS on the Mexican side of the border. Her passion, dedication, leadership  and courage in the fight against AIDS and discrimination have provided solace and joy to innumerable souls.

Date: 2016-03-14