- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Charlotte LGBTQ+ oral histories
- Janice Covington Allison oral history interview 2, 2016 May 14
Janice Covington Allison oral history interview 2, 2016 May 14
In this second of several interviews, Janice Covington, a transgender woman and political activist in Charlotte, North Carolina, continues to discuss her personal history and reflects on transgender experiences over time in the Carolinas. She describes her married life and her conflicting identities as a husband, father, and fire chief, and as a transgender woman. Although she characterizes experiences for LGBT people in Charlotte during the 1970s and 1980s as dangerous, she also describes how she was able to find a community to identify with in the city's various gay bars and establishments. Ms. Covington describes these LGBT venues in detail, including Oleens, Scorpios, the Brass Rail, the Odyssey, Cinema Blue, Daks, the Bar at 316 (formerly Liaisons), Tags, the Woodshed, Independence News, the White Rabbit, and others. In particular she describes the drag culture of Oleens bar on South Blvd where she performed as a drag artist, and her interactions with the co-owner Oleen Love, the manager Greg Bradford, other drag queens including Casey King, Boom Boom LaTour, Tiffany Storm, and Gypsy Star, and various patrons. Ms. Covington notes that at the time of the interview the transgender community in Charlotte had only been publicly identified for about four years. She relates the history of transgender support groups in the Carolinas, describing Phoenix in Asheville, Kappa Beta in Charlotte, and Tri Gender Association in Greensboro. In contrast to these early support groups, Ms. Covington relates how she founded TransCarolina in the early 2000s to address workplace rights and to serve as a social group with a public face. She relates how many hotels were welcoming of the group, which met around the state two or three times a month.