- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Diana Travis oral history interview, 2017 February 27
Diana Travis oral history interview, 2017 February 27
Diana Travis discusses her life and activism as a lesbian living in Boston, Massachusetts and Charlotte, North Carolina. She describes her formative years in Charlotte, where her father, Gus Travis, was a popular columnist for the Charlotte Observer and her mother, Laura Ann Travis, was an insurance agent. She details her development as a promising young musician, noting that her first romantic experiences were with fellow musicians. Ms. Travis recollects how her passion for music led her to apply as one of the first group of females to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the mid-1960s, and later transfer to the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She describes how, after her move to Boston, she became involved in social justice movements for gay rights, women's rights and black liberation. Of particular note, she details how she and a friend met with members of the Daughters of Bilitis in New York City in the late 1960s, and how they subsequently started their own chapter. Ms. Travis also discusses the impact that the Stonewall riots had on the gay and lesbian community in Boston, where groups proliferated after 1969. She describes the innovative tactics she and others adopted to raise public consciousness about civil rights, including various theatrical stunts that stimulated public discourse and her involvement in the first gay pride march in Boston. Ms. Travis relates how she eventually moved back to Charlotte, and her family's support of her. She concludes the interview with reflection on her current activism fighting for women's rights and abortion rights at a time when she feels they are both under threat.