- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Tom Warshauer oral history interview 1, 2017 January 22
Tom Warshauer oral history interview 1, 2017 January 22
Tom Warshauer discusses his life as an openly gay man and his forty year career as an architect and city planner. Mr. Warshauer describes his experiences growing up in a Jewish family in Wilmington, North Carolina during the 1960s, the discrimination he experienced, and the freedom he felt to embrace his sexual orientation in New Orleans after his family moved there in 1971. He explains his parents' reactions to his coming out, particularly his father's difficulty with accepting his son's orientation. Mr. Warshauer recounts his education, his growing interests in architecture, and coming out at Rice University after a period of study abroad in London. After working as an architect in Houston and Charleston, Mr. Warshauer returned to Wilmington to assist his parents in restoring family property at about the same time as Interstate 40 opened up the area to new growth. He recalls the growing visibility of the gay community in Wilmington during the 1980s, but also the strong class divide evident in the city's LGBTQ society. He briefly talks about the social impact of the AIDS epidemic, in particular how it made the community draw together and at the same time forced people to come out publicly. The interview concludes with Mr. Warshauer describing his time at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he studied development and city planning.