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

Additional Description: Vertez Burks was another newcomer to San Diego in 1985, when she arrived to spend a summer vacation. Now 20 years later, Burks says she still feels like it is summer vacation, but she also feels she’s made a home for herself here. “I walked into The Center (Gay and Lesbian Center of San Diego) behind the Brass Rail (oldest gay bar in San Diego) and my life has never been the same. I was welcomed with open arms.” Burks decided to give back to the community that liberated her from “the darkness and loneliness of the closet.” Since then she has been involved with The Names Project, Lesbian Community Cultural Arts, Lesbians and Gays of African Descent United, Pride, Life Lobby… the list goes on. “I have tried some of the things that were on my list. I have not finished, nor have I done half of what is there, but I consider myself blessed and honored that someone noticed the little that I have done.”

Date: 2007-12-02