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Jeri Dilno interview with David Farrell


Note: Interview ends in part two at 00:14:50, followed by unrelated content.

Description: Jeri Dilno has been involved in the LGBT community since the 1950s. She joined the Air Force in 1958 and received an undesirable discharge in 1961 under suspicion of homosexuality (later changed to honorable after she fought the charge). She returned to San Diego in the 1970s and was heavily involved in many LGBT organizations and causes, both social and political. These include the San Diego LGBT Center, the LGBT Pride board, the San Diego Democratic Club, the LGBT State Democratic Caucus, and a campaign against the Briggs initiative. Reverend David Farrell was Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego (MCCSD) from 1975-1995. MCCSD has been actively involved in the LGBT civil rights movement and provided counseling and support services throughout the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s. He began an annual 50-hour prayer vigil on December 1, 1985 that soon spread to other churches around the country, sparking the United Nations and World Health Organization to proclaim December 1 to be World AIDS Day. Farrell was also instrumental in raising awareness and gathering support in California in the fight against Anita Bryant and the Briggs Initiative in 1978. In this interview Farrell discusses his religious background and troubled youth, his involvement with the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego, volunteerism in the gay community, and AIDS/HIV issues. Note: On Tape 2, after 14:50 the interview ends and the tape contains audio of a meeting regarding county funds for AIDS research, and possibly a meeting of the San Diego Democratic Club.

Metropolitan Community Church


Description: A presentation given at the Metropolitan Community Church of San Diego. Margarethe Cammermeyer was the highest ranking officer in any service of the US armed forces to be discharged based on her sexual prefrence. Reverend Dusty Pruitt entered the army as a second lieutenant in 1970, where she came to the realization that she was a lesbian. After completing her army service she studied at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado, becoming the first openly gay or lesbian person to graduate with the Master of Divinity degree from that school in 1980. She pastored the Metropolitan Community Church in Long Beach, California till 1995. During this time she was discharged from the Army Reserve after giving an interview to the Los Angeles Times regarding her experiences as a lesbian pastor, sparking a twelve-year legal battle to regain her reinstatement and Major status.

Date:  1995-05-28

Benjamin Dillingham, III Interview


Description: Ben Dillingham is a board member for AIDS Project San Diego, AIDS Walk San Diego, L.I.F.E. Foundation, San Diego Community Research Group and Something Special Food Pantry. He is also a member of The San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Development Committee, is part of the United Way’s Diversity Committee and a member of the County of San Diego AIDS Services Advisory Panel. Dillingham is a board chair of AIDS Foundation San Diego, board treasurer of San Diego Scholarship Foundation and sits on the San Diego Human Dignity Foundation Finance Committee. He is an appointee of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors to the San Diego County Veterans Advisory Council and is part of the Wall of Honor committee. Throughout the years, Dillingham has received countless awards for his dedication to community service and has been honored by the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Bravo! Newsmagazine, the Asian Pacific Islander Community AIDS Project, and received the AIDS Walk San Diego Hero Award, among other honors. A longtime member of the Imperial Court de San Diego, he has received the Queen Eddie Award, the Presidential Award and has received Jose Honors by the International Court Council. Currently retired, Dillingham served previously as chief financial officer/controller for the San Diego Metropolitan Transit Development Board and as Chief of Staff to San Diego Mayor Maureen O’Connor. He is a graduate of St. Mark’s School, Southborough Massachusetts, Harvard College and the Harvard University Business School. He is a decorated combat veteran of the United States Marine Corps, having received a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam, and was named the 2007 LGBT Veteran of the Year.

Date: 2008-12-05

Bridget Wilson Interview


Description: Bridget Wilson is a San Diego attorney who was involved in many military discrimination cases before and after Don’t Ask Don’t Tell was implemented. She was a member of the Army Reserve from 1977-1980, after which she trained as a nurse and then entered the legal field. She started her own legal firm in 1997, specializing in military cases, civil litigation, business, employment, and personal injury. This interview by Peter Brown focuses on her experience in the Army Reserve and basic training.

Date: 1979