Marianne Cutler, July 30, 2020

Dublin Core

Title

Marianne Cutler, July 30, 2020

Subject

COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020-
COVID-19 (Disease)

Description

Marianne Cutler talks about her experiences teaching during the Pandemic, and talks about how there is more LGBTQ+ representation in modern media as well. She also goes on to talk about how the 2020 Presidential Election would shape the future of this country.

Publisher

Special Collections and Archives, Trexler Library, Muhlenberg College

Date

2020-07-30

Contributor

This oral history recording was sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, with generous support provided by a grant to Lafayette College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Rights

Copyright for this oral history recording is held by the interview subject.

This oral history is made available with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0). The public can access and share the interview for educational, research, and other noncommercial purposes as long as they identify the original source.

Relation

40 Years of Public Health Experiences in the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community

Format

video

Language

English

Type

Movingimage

Identifier

PH40_23

Oral History Item Type Metadata

Interviewer

Liz Bradbury

Interviewee

Marianne Cutler

Original Format

video/mpeg

Duration

01:49:47

OHMS Object Text

5.4 July 30, 2020 Marianne Cutler, July 30, 2020 PH40_23 01:49:47 LVLGBT40 40 Years of Public Health Experiences in the Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Muhlenberg College: Trexler Library Oral History Repository This oral history recording was sponsored in part by the Lehigh Valley Engaged Humanities Consortium, with generous support provided by a grant to Lafayette College from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. COVID-19 Pandemic, 2020- COVID-19 (Disease) Marianne Cutler Liz Bradbury video/mpeg CutlerMarianne_20200730_video.mp4 1:|42(2)|56(13)|83(8)|113(7)|133(8)|144(9)|158(12)|170(5)|186(4)|211(3)|232(7)|251(11)|259(12)|272(12)|285(6)|299(12)|318(1)|329(14)|345(9)|363(8)|380(8)|393(10)|409(7)|423(10)|438(14)|451(4)|464(2)|480(3)|490(9)|500(3)|513(13)|523(14)|536(14)|551(3)|569(9)|585(1)|599(2)|613(6)|632(8)|651(2)|665(8)|688(13)|702(5)|710(13)|723(12)|743(11)|759(3)|777(13)|789(7)|800(8)|815(1)|827(11)|842(3)|853(8)|870(11)|883(2)|903(13)|918(13)|940(1)|954(2)|980(4)|999(1)|1011(6)|1031(5)|1048(9)|1066(2)|1080(14)|1091(13)|1106(4)|1117(3)|1132(11)|1153(1)|1168(7)|1179(2)|1192(4)|1207(11)|1219(8)|1231(8)|1249(5)|1260(8)|1272(5)|1289(3)|1304(13)|1319(9)|1337(4)|1353(14)|1370(1)|1384(4)|1399(7)|1412(7)|1426(13)|1446(2)|1458(14)|1474(12)|1494(11)|1506(7)|1521(5)|1537(3)|1555(2)|1568(9)|1582(7)|1597(4)|1607(6)|1616(2)|1632(5)|1643(5)|1660(7)|1677(2)|1685(15) 0 https://youtu.be/CIjppMgCfFs YouTube video 0 Working Out Technical Issues LIZ BRADBURY: We even have a backup audio one in case the video doesn’t work for some reason. MARIANNE CUTLER: The little recorder icon has come on. LB: I can see that. Are you able to twist that a little bit so you don’t have so much space above your head? Because it would be a little bit better. MC: Well -- I can. Hang on one second. LB: Okay. MC: I’m sorry. You’re recording and now I need to do this. Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Record ; Tech 271 Going Out During the Pandemic MC: Well I’m going out as little as possible just like lots of other people. And when I am out, I am hyper-conscious of where other people are in relation to me. LB: Yeah. MC: So when I’m in the supermarket, when I’m at Wegmans, or, at Lowes, I’m very conscious of not only where other people in relation to me, but also whether other people seem to be conscious of where they are in relation to other people. As far as the ones who are just blithely moving along. I’m very sort of conscious of that. But in terms of the actual places, I mean literally Wegmans, Lowes for home improvement related things. Couple of trips to CVS. And -- Oh and the post office I think twice. CVS ; Liz Bradbury ; Lowes ; Marianne Cutler ; Wegmans 373 Her Children's Lives During the Pandemic MC: She is hoping to make the high school team. She’ll be going into high school at the end of August. And she’s hoping to make their team, because as of right now they’re still declared intention of the Board that governs athletics as if there will be a fall season. At this moment, that’s the view they’re taking. So, they’re having optional workouts right now. The team. And she’s doing them so I take her to and from them. They’re wearing masks. They’re doing social distancing and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that all of that is happening the way it should. You know. It’s like, you know you lay everything out and you think what’s the relative benefit versus the relative risk here. And then, you know my partner and I both have been really pretty hyper-vigilant about things. But we’re at that point where we need to start making some decisions that might push that a little bit. LB: Yeah. MC: And in terms of relative benefit and risk, the benefit of [Kai?] participating in this. We decided it was the potential risks of it. So Kai is my daughter. I also, last May, we call them, “The Guys.” A male couple who, one of whom I had known since I was 18. We were on the same floor of our dorm together. Actually he was our donor for Kai. And he and his partner, of you know, probably approaching 30 years at this point. They are very involved with Kai’s life. They live in Boston. They’re very much involved with Kai’s life as family members. Not as Dad or anything like that. But we made the decision because they’re hyper-vigilant because one of them is quite, he is actually fairly high risk due to age, that we would join our bubbles. We did that in May, actually. They came down here for Kai’s birthday. And everything was fine. But they have a place in Provincetown. Athletics ; Boston ; High School ; Kai ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Provincetown 570 Life in Provincetown MC: They really are. LB: But, did you find that people in Provincetown were much more, or enough of them were okay? Or, what did you think? MC: You know, it was a very -- I go every summer at least once. And I love it. I love just the spectacle. It totally recharges my queer. I just love it. It’s a fun, happy place. But it was not the same P-town that I’ve visited so many times before. I was there during what would have been Bear Week, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been there during Bear Week. Bear Week ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Provincetown 704 Provincetown and Its Community MC: And you know they’d be doing some -- You know I like a good old fashioned now and again. Bourbon now and again. You know, visiting certain spots along commercial street that are my favorites. So there was none of that this time. But we had a wonderful time despite that. So. Now [Sandy?] is actually not here. Sandy’s happy place is. I don’t know if you're familiar with this, but there’s a place in Chester County called, oh gosh. I just call it Kimberton. It’s Camphill Kimberton. It is a community. I don’t even know how large the land area is. A community for adults with intellectual disabilities. And it’s kind of founded on the sort of ‘Steiner’ philosophy. So people living in small houses. There’s usually four villagers. One or two -- Usually I guess two what are called “co-workers.” They’re people who work in the community. Lots of little houses and lots of you know they have a dairy and a [beefery?]. And you know CSA on their property as well. Huge. Garden. All of that. Herb garden. Bourbon ; Camphill Kimberton ; Chester Country ; Marianne Cutler ; Old Fashioned 852 Sandy and Kai's Experience at Kimberton MC: But I help the community in other ways. But anyway. So this year, Sandy and Kai went, and they had to go into the quarantine there for two weeks before they were. And they were in their sort of own little private living space. And then they were allowed to move into the house where they usually volunteer and live as co-workers basically. So they were quarantined there for two weeks and I was home alone for those two weeks. But then they were in the house for another two weeks. So I was actually home alone for a whole month. That was, between being home all the time and hardly going out, that was a little scary. It’s just so weird. Thank goodness for the dog. That’s all I can say. Sandy’s still there. Kai I fetched. We went to Provincetown. We’re here. So that’s a very long answer to the question about going out. But I haven’t done. (inaudible) Kai ; Kimberton ; Marianne Cutler ; Sandy ; Volunteer 1012 Family Precautions with the Pandemic LB: So she’s been taking care of little kids, but nobody that was really talking about, and then, I don’t think I’ve talked to anybody else. Because all the AIDS people they’re all old, so -- And in fact, most of them, they’re pretty established in their careers, a lot of them are retired with pensions and stuff. So there’s really no financial circumstance that they had to -- Most of those people. Because I talked about COVID with everybody too. But then making the decision to talk to the people of color in the first ten COVID things. The first person. So of all those first ten people, nobody really knew anybody that was sick, and nobody knew anybody knew anybody who was close to them who had died. And the first person I interviewed, it was somebody I’d known for a long long time. But, for the COVID thing said, yeah. Eight family members have had it and three of them have died. It was the first thing he said. So I have people in my extended family who have been very very sick. But I’m finding that a lot of people at least think they don’t know anybody who’s had the disease. So how about you for that? Do you know people that have been sick? MC: I have only known people who that, that I’m aware of, that have been tested because they had hospital exposure. And I know people who have family members -- COVID ; Family ; Kids ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler 1183 Bradbury's Busy Interview Schedule LB: Great. So it’s really tricky. I mean, I think that. But, I think another thing is that one of the reasons they had me do these interviews is because doing 30 in-person interviews in about six weeks -- Not very many people can -- And they have to be part of the queer community. It’s hard to get people to be able to pull that off. Most of our interns, our employees are too young. They don’t know these people. So they make you this gig. So as and I said, “Okay, but I just want you to know that the Lehigh archive’s oral history, it took them two years to do ten people. Archives ; Interviews ; Liz Bradbury 1497 Medical Visits Under a Pandemic MC: Basically, because they were all I’m not sure the right word to use -- The level of urgency, they weren’t sort of life-or-death tests. So we’re putting this off. We’re just dealing with the things that have to be dealt with, etc. But you know the biopsy, thyroid biopsy. All those different things. And I’m spending like two and a half months just in limbo. Which was hard. The stress level of the situation. But once I was able to go back to do the follow-up, I’ve been impressed with every interaction I’ve had in that setting. Biopsy ; Marianne Cutler ; Thyroid 1668 Favorite Restaurant and Vaccine Conspiracies MC: Favorite restaurant in East Stroudsburg. When I’m able to get out of the office to like go out for lunch or after work to like have a beer with friends or whatever, is. I don’t know if you head up to East Stroudsburg very often, but there’s this wonderful place called the Beer House Cafe. Right on the, I think it’s called Crystal Street. The main sort of street of East Stroudsburg. Fantastic sort of North African, the main chef is, you know, she’s got one of her parents is from I can’t remember where, Egypt. North African. Other is South American. Really interesting food and flavors. I just loved this place. And I love her. You know, she’s wonderful. We always chat when I’m there. Because I’m a chatty person, in case you haven’t noticed. So, she’s like talking about you know the conspiracy to keep how’s it, I’m going to say it wrong. Hydroxychloroquine. The conspiracy to keep it out of our hands basically. And it’s like. And then she started going off on the vaccine conspiracy and autism and I had no idea. This part of you. And she’s not open to hearing other perspectives. And if it weren’t for COVID, I wouldn’t have known all this about her. (laughter) Beer House Cafe ; COVID ; East Stroudsburg ; Marianne Cutler 1771 Floridians Resistance to Wearing Masks LB: Yeah, that’s one of the things about when you go away on vacation. You don’t want to learn about politics of other places where you don’t like. Like people would say to us, “Would you live in Florida?” And we’ve made an effort to be in a place that had racial diversity, and stuff that was a little less scary than every single place is very narrow. Every person is white. But what’s happening there is so ridiculous that it makes it hard to imagine not feeling that when we went back. Because, literally people were wearing masks, young people were wearing masks, teenagers, are being attacked by people. People are shouting at them for wearing a mask. Diversity ; Florida ; Liz Bradbury ; White 2184 Discussing a Biden Meme LB: I actually think that’s kind of a thing to say. Like I saw a meme that said, you know, it was a picture of Biden that said, “Let me read you parts of my platform.” And at the bottom it said, “You had me at let me read.” I mean, and really how can you justify the craziness of this circumstance. And so. But I do think that in some ways it has to be distilled into a much simpler message because people that are saying this kind of stuff, they still have to be inundated with stuff saying, “Well okay, this is not true. You’re wrong, and here’s why we know that” sound bite. You’ve got to spend a lot of time reading. You know. And they want to justify the fact that they have done this very foolish, unthoughtful thing. And what folks said were going to happen. Who would have even thought that it would have gone this far? Biden ; Liz Bradbury ; Meme 2382 Preferences for Democratic Candidates in 2020 Election MC: I was all about Elizabeth Warren. That’s who I wanted. LB: Her too. But if she’s in the administration, it would be a wonderful thing. Because we’ll hear her all the time. You know, throw out Betsy DeVos and have Elizabeth Warren. How would that change our lives? You know, every moment of the reality of that and I hope that Joe Biden is smart enough to do that. And I hope the campaign and all of these people are willing to do that and have Bernie Sanders be somebody who is a major advisor, part of the cabinet, angrily disagreeing, fine, you know. Fine with that. He’s not really my guy, but I’m fine with that. He’s really good policy, and some people really within reason, a lot of his economic circumstances, you know what he’s talking about is really important. And it’s what we need. And people say, “I don’t want this guy, he’s too much of a communist.” Well he’s not going to be president. So he’s not going to be vice president. So shut up. MC: Right. And so many don’t understand what communist or socialist mean. Right, that’s another one. It’s another dog whistle. “Socialist.” Bernie Sanders ; Betsey DeVos ; Elizabeth Warren ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Socialist 2564 Cutler's Change from Teaching In-Person to Online LB: You learned how to do it. MC: Exactly. And being in the classroom face-to-face with students plays to my skillset. Being online doesn’t. And we had to make this transition very quickly. We had a week off for spring break and then spring break was extended by a week. So we had two weeks basically to get everything organized. And I did and there were some difficult decisions to make. One of the decisions I made was to make everything asynchronous because I really didn’t have confidence in -- I just felt too uncertain about whether my students would have time-specific access to the Internet, etc. ESU, I had a lot of. And also maybe sociology I think is a subject -- I have a lot of not just racial and ethnic diversity in my classes but I have a lot of socioeconomic diversity in my classes. So having students who are going to be at home with limited access, uncertain broadband capacity, all that. I thought the only way for me to do this is to go asynchronous. Put everything up there for people to do it as they’re able. And then have discussion boards again that people could kind of, as they were able depending on what their resources were. And it worked. I think largely because students were patient with me because they already had rapport. So they were patient with me as I, I’m not a very tech-savvy person. So as I was learning the software it was a steep learning curve. I put something up and they couldn’t access it and I had to figure out why they couldn’t access it. But they were patient with me about it and good-humored basically about it. As I speeded by on the seat of my pants basically. But starting in the fall, starting out online it’s not going to be the same situation. I don’t have rapport with those students already. Now my skills are more developed in the war. I took an online course, not my course that I’m teaching online. But it was on mechanics. It was not about, how do you establish, really establish rapport. Connect with -- Because nobody knows that. Sorry? ESU ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Spring Break 2886 College's Plans on Reopening MC: Right, and one of the things. When ESU was still planning to go with the hybrid model. Yeah, we had all these Zoom meetings with administrators and they showed us how they were going to be setting up the classrooms with their new COVID Capacities and all this over stuff. And they were going to be issuing ESU logo facemasks to everyone to all the students. We were told we had permission to tell a student they couldn’t enter class without a facemask. So much about what we were supposed to do when the student says, “I’ve paid for this class. I’m coming in whether you are forbidding me too or not.” Those kinds of things weren’t so well worked out. But the reality is that even if we could achieve the social distanced classroom, even if we could do that, and I have one class that’s an upper level seminar basically, and all I have is ten students. We could do that. We could have a social distanced classroom. But, you can’t have, you’re going to be able to have students doing social distancing in the dorms. Or in the frat houses. Things like that. I mean, so yeah, we believe it’s the only responsible decision to make and I’m glad they made it. LB: Well Roberta Meek is one of the interviews I did, and she’s at Muhlenberg, and she said, “How do we tell students to not act the way they expected to be able to act when they came to college?” I mean, it’s about interaction. It’s about sharing space. It’s about you know conversations. It’s about living in a new space with new people who are completely different than what you’ve ever been with before. And, she said no matter what we say, we tell people not to drink in the dorm rooms. Colleges ; COVID ; ESU ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Muhlenberg ; Reopening ; Roberta Meek ; Students 3298 Robin Casey and Food Service LB: Yeah. And actually Robin Casey who is the diversity or one or I guess the head of diversity of that kind of level diversity at Muhlenberg, I interviewed her too. And she was saying that it’s actually pretty comfortable because you get the pick of the dorms. You don’t have to stay in the crappy dorms. They get their own place and they each get their own restroom. But pretty much all the classes, they just stay in their room. There’s no food service. So they can pick up, but they’re paying for that or their loans are going for that or something. But yeah, all summer they’ve had about one hundred students on campus. Hundred students on campus and some of them were in some programs that they sort of had to be there but, for the most part, it’s the way you’re describing it. Internships and that kind of stuff. But it’s really complicated. And yet, you know, there’s no alternative right now. We just have to stop hanging out with each other for a while. We just have to do it. And it’s terrible for people that age. It’s terrible for people my age, or particularly people Trisha’s age. Because she lives with us and she thinks, “I don’t have that many years left to just waste waiting until it’s better. And let’s hope it’s not another four years that we have to wait.” Diversity ; Liz Bradbury ; Robin Casey 3408 One of the Upsides of Quarantine MC: Okay. One upside of all of this isolation and especially when Sandy and I were both gone and I had literally no responsibilities other than to survive. Because I wasn’t teaching summer school or anything. One of the upsides that normally I don’t watch very much television. Very, very little. I had so much time on my hands that I watched so much Netflix. We only have Netflix and Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime ; Marianne Cutler ; Netflix 3678 Queer Shows Growing Up MC: Right. You know, and you go on looking for things and found things like, The Killing of Sister George. LB: Yeah. Or, you know. I always say this. The first movie I saw when I was a kid, when was growing up in Connecticut. I could watch the million-dollar movie and they show the same movie every day for a week in the afternoon. If you were like sick and home from school you just like kept watching this movie and it was The Children’s Hour. And Shirley MacLaine is in this and she plays the gay character who turns out to be gay. They’re accused of being gay. Of course Audrey Hepburn was in it too. And at the end she confesses that she really is a lesbian and that she’s interested in Audrey Hepburn and then she kills herself. But reality is, and I talk about this all the time, I said when I saw that I went, and I watched it every single day. And I absolutely have continued to fantasize about Shirley MacLaine ever since. I watched every single movie she was in. I saw every television show she was in. I just thought this, there was even. And I even said this about, The Miracle Worker where the incredibly hot Anne Bancroft is talking about how when she was in the orphanage, you know, women who went after young girls, and I’m like, yeah? Like that was my tune-in to that. That that was so exciting that I could just hear somebody talking about queer people. Audrey Hepburn ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Shirley MacLaine ; The Children's Hour ; The Miracle Worker 3998 Queer Star Trek MC: Well my obsession when I could. When I was in like high school. And yeah, I wasn’t out yet. Anything that was set in a women’s prison. So, I’m living in New Jersey. This is in the seventies and the PBS station would show an episode of Prisoner: Cell Block H. An Australian series. I was like, I watched it religiously. Not even knowing what compelled me. LB: Are you Voyager fan? Star Trek: Voyager. You just need to watch that. Because it’s run by women. And there’s this huge subtext of this lesbian relationship in the second half of the series that they would writing to. And there’s an enormous amount of fan fiction between the captain and this other character played by Jeri Ryan, which you know. People still, cause that’s been playing in other countries now. And when Kate Mulgrew. Kate Mulgrew was of course also in Orange is the New Black. She was Red in Orange is the New Black. She will still do Star Trek conventions and she’ll go to like England or something and she’ll go into a room and they’re be like a thousand people in there and every one of them is a lesbian. The one time I heard her, the actress says, “Is there anyone is this room who isn’t gay?” And like one guy. But she says, and these women are coming up and asking questions and stuff. What about the writing between you and Seven of Nine. And she says, “Well, that was the best writing. It was really good writing.” Jeri Ryan ; Kate Mulgrew ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Orange is the New Black ; Star Trek 4114 Jeri Ryan's Experience with Lesbians LB: Yeah, so she’s the character. At one point, this woman gets up and she’s wearing a T-shirt, of course they’ve all got these sort of Geordie accents and they’re all all this stuff. And cause they just started to show that a couple years ago in England all the time. Or in the UK. And she looks at this woman’s T-shirt and she says,“So, I go commando. What does that mean?” And the woman at the podium says, “I’ll show you in a little while.” And the room erupts with hysterical laughter. It goes on and on. It’s just like that. And I think like -- So I ended up writing a couple of books and one of them has a character in it, one of the love interest characters is fashioned after Kate Mulgrew as the person in Voyager. Although it’s nothing like her. I just thought that’s a good person to fashion this character after. And then she, Kate Mulgrew, wrote an autobiography and she did a reading in Philadelphia at the library in Philadelphia. At the end, you can have her sign the book. And I gave her one of the books that I wrote that she’s the character. I have a picture of her in my office touching the book. Kate Mulgrew ; Lesbians ; Liz Bradbury ; Philadelphia 4338 The Reality of Isolation LB: That’s true. And so what’s your biggest frustration during all this stuff. Asking everybody that. MC: Frustration. Well I think the hardest thing is the isolation, honestly. I don’t find it frustrating, although I find it. I think it’s sad sometimes. I get sad that I’m not able to spend time with, you know, I have a very. I mean, my family aside, my support network of friends is very strong, and group of about five of us who get together regularly. It hurts. I feel sad that we can only do things by Zoom. That’s the thing that’s hardest. But I think the thing that’s most frustrating is the stuff I read where people are denying the science. And attacking people who are wearing masks or people posting signs, “No masks allowed in this store” or whatever. Things like that. Or when I am out, I mean most people are doing fine. But there are those people who are, if they’re wearing a mask, they’re wearing it incorrectly. Their nose is out, or things like that. It’s on their chin. But that is what’s most frustrating because that is what is going to prolong the situation of isolation that makes me sad. So, I think that’s it. LB: Universally, that’s what every single person that I’ve interviewed has said. That people are not taking this seriously and they’re not doing. You know Gary and Steve, they were my last interview and they said we’re doing everything right, but because people aren’t doing things right we still have to stay inside. We still have to have all the same job worries and all this stuff because other people. You know to not have the leadership to convince people to do the right thing. Which is really the job of the leader of the country to do those things. People like Franklin Roosevelt could talk people into doing the right thing. You know we could have, make people comfortable. And then make people understand. You have to do this. Franklin Roosevelt ; Isolation ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Zoom 4547 Takes on the Black Lives Matter Movement MC: And when George Floyd was killed and we started organizing rallies I felt unsafe going to them. And so I didn’t. You know, Kai, great kid. She’s very plugged in to politics and everything. Arguing with all of her friends over social media about things like Black Lives Matter. Things like income inequality. All those kinds of things. I’d like to take a little credit for some of that. But, anyway. She and I at one point we were like, because she likes to do that too. She likes to be present. She likes to show up. And we were like, “We want to go but we’re not going to go.” And that’s very hard. I mean, I’ve been doing other things. Giving money. Doing the things I can do at a distance. But it’s been very hard not to participate actively. LB: Everybody I know over fifty has said that. Everybody that I’ve interviewed. I mean, in interviewing people who have said. Blaise and Alanna who were saying, you know, “We’ve been marching since the sixties.” And to not be able to do this. And when the stuff happened in Allentown, Adrian actually texted me right from the first march, which was and he texted me. It was late at night. And then the next day, they had another march and I said to Trish, “You know. This is right outside our house. It’s like three blocks away.” And I said, “I think I need to go to this.” And she said, “Really?” I mean, I’m at enough risk. But she’s really really at risk. She has lupus. She has lung issues. Stuff like that. So I said, “Let me look at the thing.” And I looked at a video of the first march, so it was one. And the next night they had another march. And I was thinking about going the second night. And on the first night there’s all these young people. And they’re walking along. They all have masks on. And then I saw three people who were part of the group who didn’t have masks on. And they’re all there. And they’re chatting, and they’re shouting. And I’m thinking, “I know this is what, I mean I’ve done this. And I know that this is a risk. And I can’t take this risk. I have to --” Allentown ; Black Lives Matter ; George Floyd ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler 4864 Moravian Graduate Mention LB: Well, one of the things when I interviewed somebody who was 22 and had just graduated from Moravian. And he was saying that -- I mean, he was very calm and he was concerned about this. And he said the same thing. He was frustrated with people who don’t believe this. But he also was inherently calm. And one of the reasons he was calm was that he has his whole life in front of him. He doesn’t have to think he’s sucking up the last. You know like this is my last chance. I mean things will work out. Things will be okay. This person is being very careful. They’re probably not going to get the disease. Because they’re being very, very careful. They’re not going to make that happen to themselves. MC: And that’s another thing. The smart. Okay. This is going to sound terrible, probably. I don’t know if I should say it. You know, it’s being recorded. LB: Go ahead. Say it. MC: You know. Survival of the fittest doesn’t mean survival of the physically strongest necessarily. It means survival of the most adaptable. Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Moravian 5063 Talking About the Spanish Flu LB: I know. And the unfortunate is that even with the flu. I like to talk about this all the time because I’m obsessed with the flu epidemic of 1918 and that has to do with the fact that my area of expertise with regard to art history is around that time. In that section of the and how it affected people and it also affected me directly because my grandmother died in that flu epidemic. She was 32 years old when my father was four. And so it affected my life because my Dad grew up without a mother. I didn’t have two grandmothers. That kind of stuff. But the most significant thing about that flu epidemic was. Well, there’s several things -- one hundred million, fifty to one hundred million people died of that flu. One in three people of the world had it. But the most significant reasons for that we were at war. Everybody was at war. And they all didn’t want to talk about the fact that their country was having casualties from an illness. So there was actually sedition laws that you couldn’t talk about the flu epidemic in 1918. MC: Really? I wasn’t aware of that. LB: And that’s why it’s called the Spanish Flu. Because Spain was the only country that was not in World War I. They were neutral. And so they were reporting on all of the stuff that was happening. All these people were dying in Spain because they were dying anywhere. So it was the headlines of the newspaper, but they wouldn’t talk about it in England or Germany or the US. Because they didn’t want to tell anybody that we were all sick. It all happened in 1918. And interestingly, it was about a fifteen-month period and it was much more serious than this. For one thing, it struck people between the ages of 20 to 40. That was the primary thing. People would die in one day. And they’d show symptoms in the morning and die at the end of the day. And you know, one month in New York City twenty-three thousand people died. And people in Allentown. There was a huge number of people in Allentown, huge number of people in Easton. But Bethlehem actually quarantined so they didn’t have as many cases. They had hundreds of cases instead of thousands of cases. But nobody was allowed to talk about it, so there’s not a lot of information about it. That’s one of the reasons that we really. So, there was a herd immunity there because so many people had it. Hilda Doolittle had it, among other things. She almost died from it. That’s how she met Bryher, the lesbian that she stayed with for the rest of her life. She came and took care of her. Also, women who were pregnant were much more likely to get it and seventy-two percent of the women who were pregnant who got it died. So I think my grandmother was pregnant. And Hilda Doolittle was pregnant. She had a miscarriage and she was so sick. She was rich, but she was really really sick. It was during World War II, or World War I. And Bryher came and said, “You’re really sick. I need to take you some place and make you health.” Bryher was the richest woman in the UK at the time. And took her away to an island where they could quarantine so that she could get better and she did. But, it was a terrible terrible illness. And yet we weren’t allowed to talk about it. And that’s kind of the way this is now. You know, we won’t have as many cases if we just stop testing people. So same mentality one hundred years later. Liz Bradbury ; Sedition Laws ; Spanish Flu 5335 Criticism of Trump's Handling of the COVID-19 LB: Until people know people who have been sick and died, they’re just acting like it’s not happening. Because they don’t know anybody who has been sick or who has died. Particularly who has died. And so, a crazy guy. A repair guy came to one of the people that I was interviewing’s house and he said, “You know, this is all a plot by Hillary to make people get sick so that would collapse --” Like Hillary would do this now. To collapse the economy so that Trump won’t win. And this person said, “Yeah, well. Okay.” You know, and he said to him, “You don’t know anybody’s who’s been sick, do you?” And you goes, well, “I don’t know anybody personal. I know some people who have been sick but not in my personal circle who has been sick.” So see, nobody really has it. Well, they’re going to wait until people really have it. You know, it’s not enough to have five hundred people die in Allentown. It has to be five hundred people in your own circle. People die. So that in the really high. And with the flu epidemic of 1918, it was the same situation. There was a lot of deaths, then it sort of ended. It didn’t go. Then there was this second wave that was just horrible. It was exactly the same configuration of the year that was just, where people would get like on a subway car. Coney Island. By the time they get off they collapsed and died. You know, just happened when they were in areas like that. Just happened so easily. And so maybe that is not going to be the -- Some people are thinking that’s not going to be the case. It’s not the same kind of thing. Some people are saying that little kids are less likely to get it. But as my friend who’s a pediatrician said, you know, she said I’m getting a lot of people saying, do you think I can go ahead and send my kid to daycare? And she said, so when you send your kids to daycare, do they ever get sick from any of the other kids there? They get everything there. If you do it, they will get it. They’re going to get sick. Or they’re going to get exposed. And then they’re going to have it. Maybe they won’t get really sick, but you’ll have to look around your circle of family and friends and see if there’s anybody there that’s really going to be at risk. So a lot of the people who I have interviewed who have been older have said that was the thing that really bothered them because they couldn’t really see their grandkids because they’re the ones at risk. And they don’t want to do that to their grandkids. It’s really. Donald Trump ; Hillary Clinton ; Liz Bradbury 5520 Comparing COVID-19 to a Bad Flu LB: No. It’s really not like even like having a bad flu. It’s like having -- So I have a very close friend who had it and she said. You know, she had a one hundred three temperature for two weeks. She said she woke up every morning saying to herself, okay, today I just have to not die. And she said, if I have to go to the bathroom, I had to crawl there. I couldn’t walk. And she luckily had other people around who finally took her to the hospital. She was in contact with people and she said, you need to, it’s too many days for you to have this high temperature. And she went into the hospital and then they did a bunch of stuff to her and she got better. But, she’s still suffering from that, and other people that we know are still having symptoms of it. One person that I talked to said after months they had a close family member that had it. And after a month they were still just, couldn’t do anything it was so. So I think that people don’t understand how serious it is. And unfortunately, people may have to know somebody before they’ll take this seriously. And there are some media problems with it too. I don't think the media is making it clear enough to people. Although, what, you know. I mean, if you tell somebody that one hundred fifty thousand people in America have died, and they say, “Yeah, but it’s all a hoax.” How do you fix that? I mean -- Flu ; Hospital ; Liz Bradbury 5701 The Importance of the Truth LB: Do you want say like, could you write a paper about that? I want you to research that and bring me some real citations that aren’t just from some crazy. MC: Yeah and it’s -- But the thing is that, I don’t know. I thought with my students that if I say something like, “I get how you might think that’s how it is, but here’s some other information. And I think that you should just think about that. I generally don’t tell them that they’re wrong. But, I just try to say here’s some other information that’s verifiable. You can go and check it out if you want to. I just give them something to think about. And I just leave it with them. Because, what are you going to do, right? Citations ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Paper 5944 Agoraphobia Over the 2020 Presidential Election LB: Yeah. And I sent a message to somebody who was here and he’s moved to Lisbon, Portugal. And I needed to tell him about something, and he said, “You sent this to me at two o’clock in the morning. You’re up in the middle of the night.” And I said, “Yeah, I haven’t slept since the election. Since the last presidential election. Actually six months before that. And I guess one of the frustrations and angers I have is I don’t know how, if I’m ever going to feel not this way. Even if things go better. I’m never going to feel the way I felt during the Obama administration again. Cause I’m just too aware of the stupidity and. That’s another thing too. I just don’t think like and I know other people that said that they’ve developed a level of agoraphobia. MC: Whataphobia? LB: Agoraphobia. They just don’t feel comfortable going out. And you know, Adrian has talked about opening the center. And immediately I’m going like I’m going to -- I just said. And I said I’m not going to do it. And I just said it’s a long way off. Don’t worry about it now. And I think that’s a good thing for him to say. Agoraphobia ; Lisbon ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Portugal ; Presidential Elections 6204 Motivating College Students to Vote LB: Good. Yeah. Well, that’s the secret. At Muhlenberg when Adrian was a student at Muhlenberg and it was the Obama election, there was I often I give this dynamic people and reasons to do things and she has say, has been about forty-five kids and then forty-five college students and when Adrian was there it was seven hundred college students. And then when they left it was forty-five again. And he organized for those students to go vote. And I really think that Obama’s win was because of students, of college students. Which I don’t think Hillary Clinton ignite at all. MC: Nor is Joe Biden, and I hope that whoever he -- LB: But I think that other things are igniting college students now. MC: True. Hillary Clinton ; Joe Biden ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler ; Muhlenberg ; Obama 6563 Closing Remarks MC: I really approached this as a conversation more than. LB: I take it as that. MC: And I’ve really enjoyed this conversation. LB: Good. And I’m also to come and fix your house as soon as COVID’s -- MC: Awesome, excellent. LB: I’m going to turn off the recording now. So thank you again so much. Closing Remarks ; Liz Bradbury ; Marianne Cutler MovingImage Marianne Cutler talks about her experiences teaching during the Pandemic, and talks about how there is more LGBTQ+ representation in modern media as well. She also goes on to talk about how the 2020 Presidential Election would shape the future of this country. LIZ BRADBURY: We even have a backup audio one in case the video doesn&#039 ; t work for some reason. MARIANNE CUTLER: The little recorder icon has come on. LB: I can see that. Are you able to twist that a little bit so you don&#039 ; t have so much space above your head? Because it would be a little bit better. MC: Well -- I can. Hang on one second. LB: Okay. MC: I&#039 ; m sorry. You&#039 ; re recording and now I need to do this. LB: We even have a backup audio one in case the video doesn&#039 ; t work for some reason. MC: The little recorder icon has come on. LB: I can see that. Are you able to twist that a little bit so you don&#039 ; t have so much space above your head? Because it would be a little bit better. MC: Well -- I can. Hang on one second. LB: Okay. MC: I&#039 ; m sorry. You&#039 ; re recording and now I need to do this. LB: That&#039 ; s all right. That&#039 ; s all right. We&#039 ; ve got plenty of time. MC: So what I need to do is lower it. Is that what you&#039 ; re saying? LB: Yeah. Yeah. Okay. That&#039 ; s perfect. MC: Okay. I thought I was [raising it?]. LB: There we go. This is great. There&#039 ; s just not so much space over your head. You&#039 ; re sort of in the middle, so that&#039 ; s good. MC: Okay. LB: Okay. So, it&#039 ; s on and that&#039 ; s on. Yes. So, with this project Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and the Trexler Library at Muhlenberg College will collaborate on forty years of public health experiences in the Lehigh Valley LGBT community collecting and curating local LGBT health experiences from HIV AIDS to COVID-19. My name is Liz Bradbury and I&#039 ; m here with Marianne Cutler to talk to her about her experiences in the Lehigh Valley LGBT community during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the Lehigh Valley LGBT community archive. We are meeting on Zoom today and it is July 30th. Is that right? MC: Yes. It&#039 ; s hard to keep track. LB: It is. That&#039 ; s something that everyone needs to know with regards to archive stuff. So yeah July 30th, 2020. So, thank you so much for your willingness to speak with us today. To start can you please state your full name and spell it for me. MC: Sure. My name is Marianne Cutler. M-A-R-I-A-N-N-E C-U-T-L-E-R. LB: Okey-dokey. And will you please share your birthdate? MC: December 23rd, 1961. I&#039 ; m fifty-eight and a half years old. LB: Okay. Well that&#039 ; s good. So what town are you in? MC: Bethlehem. LB: Okay. MC: Bethlehem City. Not township. Bethlehem City not township. LB: City. Okay. So, and this keeps reminding me to be sure it&#039 ; s recording, so yes it is. So this is the consent part. Do you consent to this interview today? MC: I do. LB: Do you consent to having this interview being transcribed, digitized, and made publicly available online in searchable formats? MC: I do. LB: Do you consent to the LGBT archive using your interview for educational purposes in other formats including films, articles, websites, presentations, and other formats we may not even know about today. MC: Now you&#039 ; re going too far. No, I&#039 ; m just kidding. I do. LB: Do you understand that you will have 30 days after the electronic delivery of the transcript to review your interview and identify any parts you&#039 ; d like to delete and/or withdraw your interview from the project? MC: I understand. LB: Okay. What is your zip code? MC: 18018. LB: Okay. Did you say you were thirty-nine and a half, cause that&#039 ; s the next question? MC: Fifty-eight and a half. LB: Oh, Fifty-eight and a half. Why did I -- I misheard you. MC: Wow, thirty-nine and a half. LB: That&#039 ; s cool. MC: That&#039 ; s a long time ago. LB: For a long time after I turned forty, I still thought I was thirty-eight. I just kept thinking I was thirty-eight and then I&#039 ; d go wait, no, I&#039 ; m really not thirty-eight. How do you identify yourself within the LGBT community? MC: I would describe myself as a masculine of center lesbian? LB: Okay. And cisgender? MC: Cisgender, yes. LB: So, there&#039 ; s lots of things we can talk about. You can talk about anything you want, and in fact we were starting out talking about, let&#039 ; s just go back into this since we were already in that. We were talking about where we go to shop. Where we&#039 ; ve been going out. So go ahead and talk about that. MC: Well I&#039 ; m going out as little as possible just like lots of other people. And when I am out, I am hyper-conscious of where other people are in relation to me. LB: Yeah. MC: So when I&#039 ; m in the supermarket, when I&#039 ; m at Wegmans, or, at Lowes, I&#039 ; m very conscious of not only where other people in relation to me, but also whether other people seem to be conscious of where they are in relation to other people. As far as the ones who are just blithely moving along. I&#039 ; m very sort of conscious of that. But in terms of the actual places, I mean literally Wegmans, Lowes for home improvement related things. Couple of trips to CVS. And -- Oh and the post office I think twice. LB: Yeah. MC: Now, I have to leave the house for some other reasons. I&#039 ; ve been having some medical issues that require trips to the doctor&#039 ; s, but anything I can do via, you know with the tele thing. Therapy and all that. That sort of stuff I&#039 ; m doing this way. My daughter, I have a fourteen-year-old daughter who plays field hockey, and she&#039 ; s a goalkeeper, it&#039 ; s awesome. LB: Cool. MC: She is hoping to make the high school team. She&#039 ; ll be going into high school at the end of August. And she&#039 ; s hoping to make their team, because as of right now they&#039 ; re still declared intention of the Board that governs athletics as if there will be a fall season. At this moment, that&#039 ; s the view they&#039 ; re taking. So, they&#039 ; re having optional workouts right now. The team. And she&#039 ; s doing them so I take her to and from them. They&#039 ; re wearing masks. They&#039 ; re doing social distancing and I&#039 ; m keeping my fingers crossed that all of that is happening the way it should. You know. It&#039 ; s like, you know you lay everything out and you think what&#039 ; s the relative benefit versus the relative risk here. And then, you know my partner and I both have been really pretty hyper-vigilant about things. But we&#039 ; re at that point where we need to start making some decisions that might push that a little bit. LB: Yeah. MC: And in terms of relative benefit and risk, the benefit of [Kai?] participating in this. We decided it was the potential risks of it. So Kai is my daughter. I also, last May, we call them, &quot ; The Guys.&quot ; A male couple who, one of whom I had known since I was eighteen. We were on the same floor of our dorm together. Actually he was our donor for Kai. And he and his partner, of you know, probably approaching thirty years at this point. They are very involved with Kai&#039 ; s life. They live in Boston. They&#039 ; re very much involved with Kai&#039 ; s life as family members. Not as Dad or anything like that. But we made the decision because they&#039 ; re hyper-vigilant because one of them is quite, he is actually fairly high risk due to age, that we would join our bubbles. We did that in May, actually. They came down here for Kai&#039 ; s birthday. And everything was fine. But they have a place in Provincetown. LB: Yeah. I saw that you were in Provincetown. MC: So, Kai and I actually just came from ten days in Provincetown. Well about a week ago we got back. So we went there, but the drive there. We went eight hours without using the bathroom. LB: I know. You know, we go to Florida and it&#039 ; s fourteen hours and I said, we have to get Shewees. MC: Yeah, I&#039 ; m the same. I was going to get them. LB: She said, I&#039 ; m not doing that and I said then we can&#039 ; t go because I can&#039 ; t. She really can&#039 ; t do that stuff. I&#039 ; m like, ah, look I&#039 ; ll go behind the trees. But I&#039 ; ve never known her to do that. And I said, I don&#039 ; t see how. That&#039 ; s the one thing. Cause we have a place and we can get down there and we can -- But people in Florida are horrible. P-town I think.... MC: Oh my God. LB: Yeah. MC: People are insane. LB: It&#039 ; s just horrible. And the numbers are just unbelievably dangerous. MC: They really are. LB: But, did you find that people in Provincetown were much more, or enough of them were okay? Or, what did you think? MC: You know, it was a very -- I go every summer at least once. And I love it. I love just the spectacle. It totally recharges my queer. I just love it. It&#039 ; s a fun, happy place. But it was not the same P-town that I&#039 ; ve visited so many times before. I was there during what would have been Bear Week, and I don&#039 ; t know if you&#039 ; ve ever been there during Bear Week. LB: I&#039 ; ve seen pictures. It wouldn&#039 ; t be something to do. MC: It&#039 ; s usually jam-packed. LB: Yeah. MC: It&#039 ; s got to be one of their most, you know one of their busiest theme weeks. LB: Sure. Yeah. MC: And it wasn&#039 ; t. It wasn&#039 ; t packed. But, again I, they were not wearing masks in the main drag commercial street. And they have people kind of situated at each end who are mask ambassadors. They&#039 ; ve got the sash saying mask ambassador. LB: Of course. So brilliant. I could handle that. MC: I went a little bit in like just a couple blocks in because there was one place I needed to go to buy something that I can&#039 ; t buy in Pennsylvania, and I will just leave it at that. But it seemed like most the people who were walking around were wearing masks. LB: Yeah. MC: The beach was, we did go to the beach. And it was comparatively empty. LB: Yeah. MC: The distancing wasn&#039 ; t an issue. Yeah, so I mean I felt comfortable there. But not comfortable enough to just. Like normally I would be hanging out on the commercial street just watching. LB: Sure, I know. I&#039 ; ve done it. MC: And you know they&#039 ; d be doing some -- You know I like a good old fashioned now and again. Bourbon now and again. You know, visiting certain spots along commercial street that are my favorites. So there was none of that this time. But we had a wonderful time despite that. So. Now [Sandy?] is actually not here. Sandy&#039 ; s happy place is. I don&#039 ; t know if you&#039 ; re familiar with this, but there&#039 ; s a place in Chester County called, oh gosh. I just call it Kimberton. It&#039 ; s Camphill Kimberton. It is a community. I don&#039 ; t even know how large the land area is. A community for adults with intellectual disabilities. And it&#039 ; s kind of founded on the sort of &#039 ; Steiner&#039 ; philosophy. So people living in small houses. There&#039 ; s usually four villagers. One or two -- Usually I guess two what are called &quot ; co-workers.&quot ; They&#039 ; re people who work in the community. Lots of little houses and lots of you know they have a dairy and a bakery. And you know CSA on their property as well. Huge. Garden. All of that. Herb garden. LB: Yeah. MC: Mosaics. Bakery. They sell their goods. There&#039 ; s a Kimberton Whole Foods that sells their baked goods and all of that as well. So it&#039 ; s this completely insular bubble unto itself. And Sandy&#039 ; s brother who&#039 ; s profoundly autistic lives in a very comparable kind of community in New Zealand, which is where she&#039 ; s from. And so when she discovered this place. She said, &quot ; I want to do some volunteer work there.&quot ; She usually does just for a couple weeks. But this, obviously it&#039 ; s an unusual summer. So, in order for her to go, it&#039 ; s actually kind of swell. I bring them supplies and I know people there. But I don&#039 ; t have the right temperament for volunteering there. I&#039 ; m not that good a human being, I guess. LB: I understand. I really understand. MC: But I help the community in other ways. But anyway. So this year, Sandy and Kai went, and they had to go into the quarantine there for two weeks before they were. And they were in their sort of own little private living space. And then they were allowed to move into the house where they usually volunteer and live as co-workers basically. So they were quarantined there for two weeks and I was home alone for those two weeks. But then they were in the house for another two weeks. So I was actually home alone for a whole month. That was, between being home all the time and hardly going out, that was a little scary. It&#039 ; s just so weird. Thank goodness for the dog. That&#039 ; s all I can say. Sandy&#039 ; s still there. Kai I fetched. We went to Provincetown. We&#039 ; re here. So that&#039 ; s a very long answer to the question about going out. But I haven&#039 ; t done. (inaudible) MC: At all, except by Zoom. LB: Of all the people that I&#039 ; ve spoken to, and as I said this is 30 interviews that I&#039 ; ve done, you are the I realize that I&#039 ; m trying to make a lot of different demographic broader demographics and it&#039 ; s a little harder to do that when you&#039 ; re talking about people who lived through the 80s and 90s within the LGBT community in the Lehigh Valley working on the AIDS issues. And it was all white people. It was different types of people and a little bit different ages, but there all about the same age or about my age. And everybody was white. So I made a big effort in the first ten people that I interviewed for COVID to make sure that it was people of color. And I was able to do that. But I realized that none of the people, and then I&#039 ; ve done a bunch of that, I don&#039 ; t think anyone else I&#039 ; ve interviewed has a kid. I realize that I&#039 ; ve picked sort of a foolish demographic with regard to that. MC: That really changes the equation in lots of ways. LB: That really does, and so. I have interviewed a few people who are caring for kids like Roberta Meek -- I don&#039 ; t know if you know her but she&#039 ; s a professor and a good friend of mine and she&#039 ; s a professor at Muhlenberg. And she&#039 ; s just in the retirement phase, and she&#039 ; s about my age. And she has, her daughter, her son and daughter-in-law have four kids and two of them are really little, so she&#039 ; s been taking care of them. And her whole family is in one bubble so that she&#039 ; s not cross, there&#039 ; s no danger of that as well. MC: Right. LB: So she&#039 ; s been taking care of little kids, but nobody that was really talking about, and then, I don&#039 ; t think I&#039 ; ve talked to anybody else. Because all the AIDS people they&#039 ; re all old, so -- And in fact, most of them, they&#039 ; re pretty established in their careers, a lot of them are retired with pensions and stuff. So there&#039 ; s really no financial circumstance that they had to -- Most of those people. Because I talked about COVID with everybody too. But then making the decision to talk to the people of color in the first ten COVID things. The first person. So of all those first ten people, nobody really knew anybody that was sick, and nobody knew anybody knew anybody who was close to them who had died. And the first person I interviewed, it was somebody I&#039 ; d known for a long long time. But, for the COVID thing said, yeah. Eight family members have had it and three of them have died. It was the first thing he said. So I have people in my extended family who have been very very sick. But I&#039 ; m finding that a lot of people at least think they don&#039 ; t know anybody who&#039 ; s had the disease. So how about you for that? Do you know people that have been sick? MC: I have only known people who that, that I&#039 ; m aware of, that have been tested because they had hospital exposure. And I know people who have family members -- LB: Right. MC: --who know people have been sick and died. But my direct relationships with people, no. On Sandy&#039 ; s side of the family, they&#039 ; re all in New Zealand, and New Zealand handled this -- LB: I know. I know. I&#039 ; ve read all about it. They&#039 ; re just right. MC: I have leader envy any time I hear anything about. You know they just issued? a whole chunk of money to the arts. To like support the arts. It&#039 ; s like, you know. LB: Well the only one thing they&#039 ; ve got is there&#039 ; s no tourism because you can&#039 ; t in general. A bunch of idiots and we&#039 ; ve ruined. MC: That&#039 ; s true. And that&#039 ; s a big hit because that&#039 ; s one of their main money-makers. But they&#039 ; re not backing down on it. They keep quarantined for two weeks, period. Sandy wants to actually go back to visit, but by the time she&#039 ; s done with the two-week quarantine, she&#039 ; d have to turn around and come home again. Come here again. LB: What does she do? MC: She&#039 ; s a professor at Moravian College. She does medieval history. LB: Great. So it&#039 ; s really tricky. I mean, I think that. But, I think another thing is that one of the reasons they had me do these interviews is because doing thirty in-person interviews in about six weeks -- Not very many people can -- And they have to be part of the queer community. It&#039 ; s hard to get people to be able to pull that off. Most of our interns, our employees are too young. They don&#039 ; t know these people. So they make you this gig. So as and I said, &quot ; Okay, but I just want you to know that the Lehigh archive&#039 ; s oral history, it took them two years to do ten people. MC: Crazy. LB: And well I may be a year. But still. There&#039 ; s a reason for that. It&#039 ; s much easier to do interviews on Zoom. They were doing them with cameras before COVID. And you have to schedule it and it&#039 ; s much harder. But it&#039 ; s much easier to do these on Zoom. But the truth is, I know a lot of queer people, and yet -- MC: I would hope so in your person. LB: It&#039 ; s harder to find, but people that I know, I mean I don&#039 ; t know a lot of people that are very very cavalier about this. So that&#039 ; s one of the reasons that a lot of the people that I&#039 ; m interviewing don&#039 ; t know people who are very sick. Because like I was talking to Steve Libby and Gary Gaugler yesterday, they run Gay Journal Magazine and stuff. And they said we&#039 ; ve been absurdly, I mean. We&#039 ; re still washing everything when it comes into the house. And they said nobody we know is like this. And I said actually everybody you and I know together are acting this way. Because you just aren&#039 ; t aware of it because you&#039 ; re not communicating with everybody around here. So, truthfully people are being very careful. Drive around. We had to go to the doctor at rush hour the other day just for a checkup we had to go to. And there was nobody. We&#039 ; re driving through Whitehall on 145, because we had to go to Laury Station. We&#039 ; re coming back. It was four thirty, five o&#039 ; clock in the afternoon on 145. We&#039 ; re going past the malls and everything. And it looked like it was Sunday morning, you know. There was hardly anybody on the street in comparison to what it normally would be. MC: Right. LB: And I&#039 ; m thinking everybody&#039 ; s really back to work. Everybody&#039 ; s on this green thing and they&#039 ; re all out doing -- It&#039 ; s not really true. It just sort of seems that way when you look at social media. MC: LIke I&#039 ; ve made the decision that tomorrow I&#039 ; m getting a haircut. This is four months growth. This is literally. Because I got a haircut right before we went into lockdown just because it was convenient. It turned out that way. This is four months&#039 ; growth and I, you know. But I had this long exchange with the woman who cuts my hair. What their protocols were. You know, I&#039 ; m not just like I didn&#039 ; t just like call to make an appointment. How are you doing with this, and how are you and. The whole thing. I assured that. Well, I can&#039 ; t say there&#039 ; s going to be no risk. There will be only very little risk. Because again, it&#039 ; s the risk benefit thing. LB: I talked to a person who, it was Alanna Berger who she was one of the interviews, Alanna Berger and Blaise Liffick. And they&#039 ; re the Silent Witness people with the big rainbow umbrellas at Pride Festival. They have a transgender daughter who they said in their interview, they said that they went, that she went to the dentist and the dentist walked in the room with no mask on. MC: See, that&#039 ; s -- How can a dentist do that? LB: I know. And then she, a week later she was sick and she went to her doctor and the doctor wasn&#039 ; t sure, and thought that maybe she had a -- You know, they weren&#039 ; t sure about stuff. And then she thought she might have an embolism because she&#039 ; s on estrogen and that can be a (inaudible) -- And people have had strokes from this and they said sort of said they think it&#039 ; s Coronavirus and then they dealt with her. And later, they think she&#039 ; s had a stroke. And the only place that she&#039 ; s been is to the dentist. So I mean. And there&#039 ; s... Frankly the medical people have been incredibly careful. We&#039 ; re very comfortable at the medical places. MC: Right. Absolutely, I&#039 ; ve felt the same way. LB: You know. We also are feeling like we go to the doctor all the time because that&#039 ; s the only place we&#039 ; ve gone. So we&#039 ; ve gone out like four times. Or three. I think I&#039 ; ve gone about three times. Yeah, we&#039 ; ve gone out three times. And it&#039 ; s all appointments. So it seems like that&#039 ; s all we do. MC: Well right before. Again, right before we kind of went into this isolation. In March, I had a series of medical tests and all these follow-ups that they wanted me to do. Okay, we want you to do this test, that test. Have this test, et cetera. And then everything stopped. So I spent like more than two months basically in limbo. LB: Oh God. MC: Basically, because they were all I&#039 ; m not sure the right word to use -- The level of urgency, they weren&#039 ; t sort of life-or-death tests. So we&#039 ; re putting this off. We&#039 ; re just dealing with the things that have to be dealt with, etc. But you know the biopsy, thyroid biopsy. All those different things. And I&#039 ; m spending like two and a half months just in limbo. Which was hard. The stress level of the situation. But once I was able to go back to do the follow-up, I&#039 ; ve been impressed with every interaction I&#039 ; ve had in that setting. LB: Well they are trying to, you know, there&#039 ; s -- MC: Apparently that is the new face of the COVID front lines. LB: Have you seen that meme where the person, said there&#039 ; s a young woman, and she&#039 ; s sort of looking out the window and it&#039 ; s -- (laughter) (inaudible) MC: Are you depressed about sleeping with demons -- Something -- (inaudible) Have you seen the one, might be for you? Have you seen the one, it&#039 ; s a medieval painting basically. There&#039 ; s a woman lying in bed. And there&#039 ; s a demon sort of walking away. That face when your demon lover has to go meet with the Lizard people. (laughter) LB: I mean there are people who are still falling for this stuff. I know. I actually had someone contact me directly from Texas. Used to live here and she said, you know I have family members that believe this stuff. Why are you in Texas? MC: Yeah, that&#039 ; s the pre-existing condition I guess. Well, actually one of the disappointments that I&#039 ; ve experienced. I mean this is all related to COVID, obviously. It&#039 ; s not some of the direct questions that you sent me. LB: Everybody else has answered that. MC: Favorite restaurant in East Stroudsburg. When I&#039 ; m able to get out of the office to like go out for lunch or after work to like have a beer with friends or whatever, is. I don&#039 ; t know if you head up to East Stroudsburg very often, but there&#039 ; s this wonderful place called the Beer House Cafe. Right on the, I think it&#039 ; s called Crystal Street. The main sort of street of East Stroudsburg. Fantastic sort of North African, the main chef is, you know, she&#039 ; s got one of her parents is from I can&#039 ; t remember where, Egypt. North African. Other is South American. Really interesting food and flavors. I just loved this place. And I love her. You know, she&#039 ; s wonderful. We always chat when I&#039 ; m there. Because I&#039 ; m a chatty person, in case you haven&#039 ; t noticed. So, she&#039 ; s like talking about you know the conspiracy to keep how&#039 ; s it, I&#039 ; m going to say it wrong. Hydroxychloroquine. The conspiracy to keep it out of our hands basically. And it&#039 ; s like. And then she started going off on the vaccine conspiracy and autism and I had no idea. This part of you. And she&#039 ; s not open to hearing other perspectives. And if it weren&#039 ; t for COVID, I wouldn&#039 ; t have known all this about her. (laughter) LB: Yeah, that&#039 ; s one of the things about when you go away on vacation. You don&#039 ; t want to learn about politics of other places where you don&#039 ; t like. Like people would say to us, &quot ; Would you live in Florida?&quot ; And we&#039 ; ve made an effort to be in a place that had racial diversity, and stuff that was a little less scary than every single place is very narrow. Every person is white. But what&#039 ; s happening there is so ridiculous that it makes it hard to imagine not feeling that when we went back. Because, literally people were wearing masks, young people were wearing masks, teenagers, are being attacked by people. People are shouting at them for wearing a mask. MC: I know. LB: And one young woman, she was, I know the person. But she said, &quot ; I am very at risk. I&#039 ; m very at risk. And my granddaughter who&#039 ; s fourteen and wants to be with her friend who is fourteen.&quot ; So they go for a walk outside. They social distance, and they wore a mask. And they were walking down the street. She told me right where they were and everything. And she said this pickup truck stopped and people yelled at them and they spit on them, just because they were wearing a mask. And she said, &quot ; You know, my granddaughter, if she got sick she&#039 ; d probably be okay. But she could really make me sick.&quot ; I mean she&#039 ; s just trying to do, a lot of people who are that age, to be sympathetic and not selfish. She tried to teach people to not be selfish. And she said, and this is why where we got all the time and, you can get away with it if you don&#039 ; t know. But once you know this stuff, it&#039 ; s very uncomfortable and -- Yeah, I think that I mean... MC: And there&#039 ; s no reasoning. LB: No, there&#039 ; s no reasoning. You really think you could just say here&#039 ; s all these things that are very easy to understand. I read a thing that said: to be really proactive you should join this work and it was a pro of the kind of the people that we would be supportive in terms of their political leanings. And they said don&#039 ; t just post memes and don&#039 ; t just do this. You have to do work and I said, &quot ; Yeah except for that memes are what&#039 ; s changing people&#039 ; s minds.&quot ; I mean I need to see a picture of Joe Biden and his policy and a picture of Trump and the counter-policy where he support the demon lady. And just say like, here&#039 ; s a guy who supports these things that are for his strategy. And I know actually, I provided voter information to people for years. And that&#039 ; s how you get people to vote. You get people to look at that and they go that I saw this thing. They don&#039 ; t want to read something. MC: When I post an article I know that some of the people whose feeds that it shows up on will read it. Or at least -- But I know that other people, they&#039 ; ll just see the headline. Like, if I, and for me if the headline captures something important, post it. People who won&#039 ; t read it, they&#039 ; ll see the headline and maybe something will click. You know? LB: You have to do it that way. But I also think that people need to be. I had long talks with Trish about this. I think that people need to be posting. People just tend to post negative things all the time because that&#039 ; s all they&#039 ; re seeing. And they need to post parts of Biden&#039 ; s platform so that whether you like this guy or not, his platform, if you compare that to Trump&#039 ; s platform, there&#039 ; s no challenge. I mean it&#039 ; s like. Do you believe in science? No, I don&#039 ; t believe in science. You know, here&#039 ; s how we could have avoided this thing. That&#039 ; s exactly the opposite of what Trump did. So this guy wouldn&#039 ; t have done it. This guy would have. I think that that&#039 ; s problem. We&#039 ; re not getting that kind of message and while lots of thinking people will read all this stuff. And they&#039 ; ll be very familiar with it. And they&#039 ; ll be familiar with court cases. That&#039 ; s not the people you have to sway. That&#039 ; s the problem. MC: Right. LB: The sway people who saw on YouTube something that doesn&#039 ; t, like, it&#039 ; s true. It&#039 ; s on the Internet. I actually had somebody say that to me in front of Planned Parenthood one time. They were protesting against Planned Parenthood. And they were trying to stop someone from going in. And they were saying Planned Parenthood is trying to make you have babies so they can kill the babies. So they give you birth control that doesn&#039 ; t work. And I said, &quot ; Where did you get that idea?&quot ; MC: What an insane idea. LB: How insane is that? And she said, &quot ; I know it&#039 ; s true because it&#039 ; s on the Internet.&quot ; And I said, &quot ; This is not something I can argue with.&quot ; I know it&#039 ; s true because it&#039 ; s in writing. You know, it doesn&#039 ; t mean anything. And I remember this person saying this. And then I started to walk away and then I realized why this person was saying this and she was saying this because she had somehow taken her birth control wrong, become pregnant, had to have an abortion and then felt guilty about it so she wanted someone to blame. So it was that kind of a thing. I sort of said, like I&#039 ; m thinking why would somebody say this? And it doesn&#039 ; t really have anything. I think that there are a lot of people who are trying to justify their vote for Trump which has put the entire world in a terrible circumstance solely because he was elected. I mean, things would be totally different. Or be very different. MC: They&#039 ; d be very different. We&#039 ; d still have Coronavirus. We&#039 ; d still be having to deal with that. But it would be very different. LB: We would&#039 ; ve rapid testing. We would have had all sorts of leadership that explained things more clearly and that, well I didn&#039 ; t say you can inject your body with Clorox. You know. MC: Have you seen -- (laughs) I&#039 ; m sure you have. You&#039 ; ve seen the signs that [Amy Sinelli?] had made? The Biden, they&#039 ; re Biden signs but they don&#039 ; t say &quot ; Biden 2020.&quot ; They say &quot ; Biden, we won&#039 ; t inject you with bleach.&quot ; or something. LB: I actually think that&#039 ; s kind of a thing to say. Like I saw a meme that said, you know, it was a picture of Biden that said, &quot ; Let me read you parts of my platform.&quot ; And at the bottom it said, &quot ; You had me at let me read.&quot ; I mean, and really how can you justify the craziness of this circumstance. And so. But I do think that in some ways it has to be distilled into a much simpler message because people that are saying this kind of stuff, they still have to be inundated with stuff saying, &quot ; Well okay, this is not true. You&#039 ; re wrong, and here&#039 ; s why we know that&quot ; sound bite. You&#039 ; ve got to spend a lot of time reading. You know. And they want to justify the fact that they have done this very foolish, unthoughtful thing. And what folks said were going to happen. Who would have even thought that it would have gone this far? MC: I never thought it wouldn&#039 ; t. LB: The economy&#039 ; s the worst it&#039 ; s ever been. You know, and you can&#039 ; t say, &quot ; Well, it&#039 ; s not his fault.&quot ; How could you say that? Well of course it&#039 ; s his fault. He&#039 ; s the leader. It&#039 ; s not true in New Zealand. It&#039 ; s not the worst economy they&#039 ; ve ever had. In fact their people are looking at them going, &quot ; Good job.&quot ; You know. They&#039 ; re the leaders of the correct steps to take. MC: Well I&#039 ; m just hoping -- I mean obviously I have my preferences, but whoever Biden announces as his running mate is fine. It&#039 ; s fine. Let&#039 ; s get you elected. LB: What I&#039 ; m hoping for is that he announces that he has chosen everyone to be on his team. MC: Right. LB: Chosen, you know, has taken all those people that were a good group of people. MC: All of them are smart people. LB: All these smart people, and they&#039 ; re going to be the Secretary of State and they&#039 ; re going to be the Secretary of Education. Elizabeth Warren is the Secretary of Education. You know? If he doesn&#039 ; t pick Kamala Harris for vice president, then he picked her for attorney general. You know, to say that well everybody could say that I wanted this person, and now they&#039 ; re going to be part of that. Because under the Obama administration some of the best minds. A lot of the stuff that happened was because he picked these really smart people. And if we can appease all of the people on this side of the aisle by saying this is a guy who picks smart people and then listens to them. MC: Right. LB: Let&#039 ; s just do that. And he can say, &quot ; I&#039 ; ll keep Fauci.&quot ; He&#039 ; s a perfectly good guy too. And I&#039 ; ll listen to him. I&#039 ; m not going to tell him to say something else because I don&#039 ; t like it. MC: Even if he is more popular than I am. LB: No kidding. That&#039 ; s true. So yeah, and I have said. I publicly posted that I would crawl over glass to vote for Joe Biden. And certainly I thought there were other people who would have been much more fun to have as president. But who cares? I mean we need to live. MC: I was all about Elizabeth Warren. That&#039 ; s who I wanted. LB: Her too. But if she&#039 ; s in the administration, it would be a wonderful thing. Because we&#039 ; ll hear her all the time. You know, throw out Betsy DeVos and have Elizabeth Warren. How would that change our lives? You know, every moment of the reality of that and I hope that Joe Biden is smart enough to do that. And I hope the campaign and all of these people are willing to do that and have Bernie Sanders be somebody who is a major advisor, part of the cabinet, angrily disagreeing, fine, you know. Fine with that. He&#039 ; s not really my guy, but I&#039 ; m fine with that. He&#039 ; s really good policy, and some people really within reason, a lot of his economic circumstances, you know what he&#039 ; s talking about is really important. And it&#039 ; s what we need. And people say, &quot ; I don&#039 ; t want this guy, he&#039 ; s too much of a communist.&quot ; Well he&#039 ; s not going to be president. So he&#039 ; s not going to be vice president. So shut up. MC: Right. And so many don&#039 ; t understand what communist or socialist mean. Right, that&#039 ; s another one. It&#039 ; s another dog whistle. &quot ; Socialist.&quot ; LB: If socialists get into the government, they might take away my social security. (laughter) MC: Yeah. Exactly. LB: But, anyway. MC: They might take away my health care. LB: I know. Oh God. So anyway. Yeah. MC: Back to the interview. LB: No, all these questions I think we&#039 ; re hitting on them anyway so I think that&#039 ; s kind of the thing. But talk a little bit about what you do, because you&#039 ; re coming into the next phase of the school year and so, the college year. So talk about what you do. And how that&#039 ; s been for you, because I know you had been, suddenly, had to to teach online. MC: Right. We had to very suddenly move from in-person teaching, classroom teaching to online platform. And like a lot of my colleagues, I&#039 ; d never taught online before. I never had any interest in teaching online before I&#039 ; m very much a -- I just work best face-to-face. I think with students. I&#039 ; m, for whatever reason, I&#039 ; m generally pretty good at establishing rapport. I get to know them all by name and a little bit about them just through casual conversations as people are coming in and out of class. I tend to have a good record I think when it comes to class participation. Lots of students participate even in large lecture classes. Cause over the years I&#039 ; ve developed certain skills that help set that tone. I don&#039 ; t think it&#039 ; s any special thing I was born with or whatever but I&#039 ; ve developed skills. Sorry? LB: You learned how to do it. MC: Exactly. And being in the classroom face-to-face with students plays to my skill set. Being online doesn&#039 ; t. And we had to make this transition very quickly. We had a week off for spring break and then spring break was extended by a week. So we had two weeks basically to get everything organized. And I did and there were some difficult decisions to make. One of the decisions I made was to make everything asynchronous because I really didn&#039 ; t have confidence in -- I just felt too uncertain about whether my students would have time-specific access to the Internet, etc. ESU, I had a lot of. And also maybe sociology I think is a subject -- I have a lot of not just racial and ethnic diversity in my classes but I have a lot of socioeconomic diversity in my classes. So having students who are going to be at home with limited access, uncertain broadband capacity, all that. I thought the only way for me to do this is to go asynchronous. Put everything up there for people to do it as they&#039 ; re able. And then have discussion boards again that people could kind of, as they were able depending on what their resources were. And it worked. I think largely because students were patient with me because they already had rapport. So they were patient with me as I, I&#039 ; m not a very tech-savvy person. So as I was learning the software it was a steep learning curve. I put something up and they couldn&#039 ; t access it and I had to figure out why they couldn&#039 ; t access it. But they were patient with me about it and good-humored basically about it. As I speeded by on the seat of my pants basically. But starting in the fall, starting out online it&#039 ; s not going to be the same situation. I don&#039 ; t have rapport with those students already. Now my skills are more developed in the war. I took an online course, not my course that I&#039 ; m teaching online. But it was on mechanics. It was not about, how do you establish, really establish rapport. Connect with -- Because nobody knows that. Sorry? LB: You&#039 ; ll be able to do it. MC: I&#039 ; ll try. LB: You&#039 ; ll be able. I mean, you will. MC: Well, I&#039 ; ll figure it out and I&#039 ; ll make changes as I go. And I&#039 ; ll have it set up to go, but I&#039 ; m sure I&#039 ; ll be making changes as I go, as I figure out well this isn&#039 ; t working. I need to. LB: Has ESU announced that they will not be opening? MC: Yeah. They&#039 ; re full online this fall with the exception of certain kinds of certain kinds of courses that are kind of practically based and things like athletic training or, you know, nursing or something where they have to do something. But otherwise, we&#039 ; re all online. So I&#039 ; m hoping for a hybrid, and I&#039 ; d already come up with some ideas about how I could do that. How I could meet with sort of subsets of students at different times, put other things online to be done asynchronously. I had sort of thought all that through. I mean I hadn&#039 ; t created the actual lesson plans and syllabi yet, but I had thought the dynamics of making a hybrid model work. And then they said we&#039 ; re solely going online. So. It is what it is. LB: Well, yeah. I actually think that all of the colleges will be that way. There are colleges -- MC: Moravian has not declared that yet. LB: It&#039 ; s ridiculous that they haven&#039 ; t. MC: Oh I know. LB: Because it&#039 ; s making every -- MC: Sandy at this point is expected to in the classroom still. I mean she&#039 ; s expecting it will probably change, but as of now she will be expecting to be in the classroom. LB: Well I talked to a number of people who have been working at various different colleges all over the country. I have a friend in Illinois who is, you know, the administration, this is at Illinois Wesleyan. The administration said, &quot ; Well, we&#039 ; re going to be opening.&quot ; And the faculty said, &quot ; Yeah, no.&quot ; Because they really have a high level of danger. Let me put it that way. And what the faculty came back with was, the faculty alliance said, &quot ; It&#039 ; s unethical to do it. It&#039 ; s unethical to do it to us and it&#039 ; s unethical to do it to the students. And if it&#039 ; s a financial problem, well, we&#039 ; ll have to work it out. But right now we can&#039 ; t put people at risk because we don&#039 ; t know what&#039 ; s going to happen. It would be different if everybody had their masks on.&quot ; MC: Right, and one of the things. When ESU was still planning to go with the hybrid model. Yeah, we had all these Zoom meetings with administrators and they showed us how they were going to be setting up the classrooms with their new COVID Capacities and all this over stuff. And they were going to be issuing ESU logo facemasks to everyone to all the students. We were told we had permission to tell a student they couldn&#039 ; t enter class without a face mask. So much about what we were supposed to do when the student says, &quot ; I&#039 ; ve paid for this class. I&#039 ; m coming in whether you are forbidding me too or not.&quot ; Those kinds of things weren&#039 ; t so well worked out. But the reality is that even if we could achieve the social distanced classroom, even if we could do that, and I have one class that&#039 ; s an upper level seminar basically, and all I have is ten students. We could do that. We could have a social distanced classroom. But, you can&#039 ; t have, you&#039 ; re going to be able to have students doing social distancing in the dorms. Or in the frat houses. Things like that. I mean, so yeah, we believe it&#039 ; s the only responsible decision to make and I&#039 ; m glad they made it. LB: Well Roberta Meek is one of the interviews I did, and she&#039 ; s at Muhlenberg, and she said, &quot ; How do we tell students to not act the way they expected to be able to act when they came to college?&quot ; I mean, it&#039 ; s about interaction. It&#039 ; s about sharing space. It&#039 ; s about you know conversations. It&#039 ; s about living in a new space with new people who are completely different than what you&#039 ; ve ever been with before. And, she said no matter what we say, we tell people not to drink in the dorm rooms. MC: That&#039 ; s effective. (laughter) LB: We tell people, you know, they have to do certain things and we can&#039 ; t control these, you know, they&#039 ; re adults and they do all sorts of different things that you&#039 ; re really not supposed to do. And all it has to be is one person, and then you have to send them home. So, in our greater, our extended family, we had a group of people who are another family that their daughter came home from college and she was perfectly fine. They sent her home. It was, the college is in New York State, and they sent everybody home. It was time for them to go home. And a few days later, she spiked. And this is somebody very close to us. Who&#039 ; s like, the temperature and infected everyone in the family. Including the ninety-two-year-old grandmother. And some of them, quite a few people, some of them got very sick. Two of them had to go in the hospital. Had they not had certain kinds of ins with the medical community, they would have died. There&#039 ; s no question. What does that do to a college student, too? Somebody said to me, &quot ; How is this person?&quot ; And well, doesn&#039 ; t injure her, she&#039 ; d be okay. She recovered. And everybody. They recovered. But it was awful. It was just horrible. MC: Yeah, just imagine the guilt. LB: Oh gosh. Can you imagine? Can you imagine? And if that happens with this kid. Because she didn&#039 ; t know she was sick. She didn&#039 ; t do anything like go to spring break or anything like that. She came home from college. She didn&#039 ; t know anybody that was sick. So clearly there were other people that were going to other places that were infecting other people too. MC: And we just can&#039 ; t know. There&#039 ; s just. And one of the downsides, I think, of, and again let me just preface this or just reiterate, that I think it&#039 ; s the only responsible decision to make. To put our curriculum online. But I worry about the young people. I worry about the queer people should be at home with families that are not supportive or who are in some cases not just unsupportive. Not just the absence of -- LB: That risk. MC: But the presence of antagonism. LB: There, something like that circumstance. And that person is seeking out an ability to stay at the college even though they won&#039 ; t take, a college in the community, well a lot of colleges in the community. And some colleges have large numbers of people on campus. I think Muhlenberg is one hundred kids on campus who can&#039 ; t go home. They just can&#039 ; t go home for whatever reason. There&#039 ; s no home. There&#039 ; s too much illness there. There&#039 ; s, they won&#039 ; t be accepted there because they&#039 ; re queer or something like that. And that&#039 ; s a responsibility of the college too. So. MC: We&#039 ; re at ESU I haven&#039 ; t heard of any specific cases. None of the students that I work with are experiencing that that they&#039 ; ve shared with me. I know that Sandy has a student who&#039 ; s in that situation from Moravian. And they just, you know they check in intermittently. Just report. Our dean of students, who you probably know. Gene Kelly. LB: Sure. MC: Gene Kelly. He was officially named dean of students probably about January or so, and he&#039 ; s a -- LB: Yeah, I&#039 ; ve known Gene for years. MC: Yeah. And so, he&#039 ; s obviously, if there are students in that situation, he&#039 ; s probably in charge of making decisions about who&#039 ; s allowed to stay in the dorms. So I feel like a student if a queer student in that situation were to appeal to him, to be allowed to stay in the dorm. At least that student would have a very sympathetic ear. LB: Yeah. And actually Robin Casey who is the diversity or one or I guess the head of diversity of that kind of level diversity at Muhlenberg, I interviewed her too. And she was saying that it&#039 ; s actually pretty comfortable because you get the pick of the dorms. You don&#039 ; t have to stay in the crappy dorms. They get their own place and they each get their own restroom. But pretty much all the classes, they just stay in their room. There&#039 ; s no food service. So they can pick up, but they&#039 ; re paying for that or their loans are going for that or something. But yeah, all summer they&#039 ; ve had about one hundred students on campus. Hundred students on campus and some of them were in some programs that they sort of had to be there but, for the most part, it&#039 ; s the way you&#039 ; re describing it. Internships and that kind of stuff. But it&#039 ; s really complicated. And yet, you know, there&#039 ; s no alternative right now. We just have to stop hanging out with each other for a while. We just have to do it. And it&#039 ; s terrible for people that age. It&#039 ; s terrible for people my age, or particularly people Trisha&#039 ; s age. Because she lives with us and she thinks, &quot ; I don&#039 ; t have that many years left to just waste waiting until it&#039 ; s better. And let&#039 ; s hope it&#039 ; s not another four years that we have to wait.&quot ; MC: On no. I can&#039 ; t even wrap my head around that. LB: I know. It&#039 ; s so depressing. But anyway. So, I think we covered everything. Let&#039 ; s see. MC: There was one other thing that I wanted to mention. LB: Okay, do MC: But if you want to look over your list and see if there&#039 ; s anything. LB: No, I think we&#039 ; re hitting everything. Say whatever you want. MC: Okay. One upside of all of this isolation and especially when Sandy and I were both gone and I had literally no responsibilities other than to survive. Because I wasn&#039 ; t teaching summer school or anything. One of the upsides that normally I don&#039 ; t watch very much television. Very, very little. I had so much time on my hands that I watched so much Netflix. We only have Netflix and Amazon Prime. LB: Yeah. We do too. That&#039 ; s all we have. MC: Okay. So, and I caught up on a lot of my Queer TV. Seriously. I watched all six seasons of How to Get Away with Murder. Have you watched that? LB: We saw the beginning episodes. MC: That is a perfect television show. Start to finish. All six seasons. LB: I didn&#039 ; t care for it. Because I felt in the first season, we watched it because Anita Lee, who is the, who was the head of PFLAG in the East Stroudsburg area, her son Justin Lee was a writer on that show, so watched the show, and he was gone (inaudible) and everything. And you know great acting and it&#039 ; s really interesting and the dialogue&#039 ; s great. But I thought, &quot ; I don&#039 ; t like any character in this show.&quot ; And -- MC: Six seasons later, you still won&#039 ; t like any character. LB: And I can&#039 ; t do that. (inaudible) MC: Complicated. And you don&#039 ; t know who to trust. LB: And, so desperate for that, you know, This is Miss Marple. And the bad guy who gets killed is bad anyway. I&#039 ; m so -- MC: And Viola Davis is amazing. And her... LB: She is. MC: And especially the last couple of seasons when she&#039 ; s completely falling apart. (inaudible) Her mother I seriously -- that is, as far as like a television viewing experience where you never really know what&#039 ; s going to happen, you&#039 ; re on the edge of your seat. You never know who to trust. All that. It&#039 ; s a perfect six seasons. I loved it. And the ending is perfect. Anyway. But I also, I got, I also watched (inaudible) I watched... Now of course I&#039 ; m going to blank on everything. One of those short-term free memberships so I could watch -- Have you seen it? LB: No, I haven&#039 ; t seen it. MC: Get one of the seven-day free trials. Then you again. There&#039 ; s Vida. It&#039 ; s terrific. It&#039 ; s so good. I watched Gente-fied one of the like, it&#039 ; s an ensemble kind of cast. But one of the story lines is queer. One of the main characters. LB: Is that on STARZ? MC: Sorry? LB: STARZ, or is it on -- MC: No, that&#039 ; s on Netflix. Gente-fied is on Netflix. LB: I haven&#039 ; t seen that. MC: These are both Latinx focused shows which there are a lot of on TV. So I don&#039 ; t know if they&#039 ; re really got but I watched Atypical. That has a -- There&#039 ; s kind of exploring her sexuality, identity, like that. I can&#039 ; t even remember things that I&#039 ; ve watched. LB: Did you watch One Day at a Time? MC: I have not seen the last season because it&#039 ; s not on Netflix yet. But, yeah. Schitt&#039 ; s Creek. LB: Schitt&#039 ; s Creek. Yeah we watch that. MC: I haven&#039 ; t seen the last season of that either, because it&#039 ; s not on there. It&#039 ; s just, there&#039 ; s so much good TV than there ever used to be. Even on, there&#039 ; s a short series that&#039 ; s four episodes or something on Netflix called Unorthodox. LB: Oh yeah. Adrian was talking. I&#039 ; ve seen that. I&#039 ; ve seen some. MC: It&#039 ; s really good. And even that has a queer element to it. I mean my goodness. When we were young people, you know. LB: I know. MC: I mean Personal Best was the first movie I ever saw. LB: Me too. MC: Right. You know, and you go on looking for things and found things like, The Killing of Sister George. LB: Yeah. Or, you know. I always say this. The first movie I saw when I was a kid, when was growing up in Connecticut. I could watch the million-dollar movie and they show the same movie every day for a week in the afternoon. If you were like sick and home from school you just like kept watching this movie and it was The Children&#039 ; s Hour. And Shirley MacLaine is in this and she plays the gay character who turns out to be gay. They&#039 ; re accused of being gay. Of course Audrey Hepburn was in it too. And at the end she confesses that she really is a lesbian and that she&#039 ; s interested in Audrey Hepburn and then she kills herself. But reality is, and I talk about this all the time, I said when I saw that I went, and I watched it every single day. And I absolutely have continued to fantasize about Shirley MacLaine ever since. I watched every single movie she was in. I saw every television show she was in. I just thought this, there was even. And I even said this about, The Miracle Worker where the incredibly hot Anne Bancroft is talking about how when she was in the orphanage, you know, women who went after young girls, and I&#039 ; m like, yeah? Like that was my tune-in to that. That that was so exciting that I could just hear somebody talking about queer people. MC: I don&#039 ; t remember ever hearing anything on TV when I was growing up. But, we did have Family, so we had Kristy McNichol. LB: &quot ; Family.&quot ; That&#039 ; s true. MC: Kristy McNichol when I was in high school. So there was that. (inaudible) LB: That&#039 ; s true. Although, yeah, I know. And there was like the oldest daughter on Eight is Enough. MC: Right. LB: And everybody. When you get older, one of the things. You probably know. [Sandy Fluck?] who was the head of the education department. MC: Oh, yeah. LB: So she&#039 ; s [Beth?] (inaudible) really great friends of ours for many years. They live in Rehoboth now. Sandy was talking about how when she first saw the movie, this is a dyke thing, when she first saw The Trouble with Angels the movie The Trouble with Angels, she wanted to be a nun. And universally, if you ask lesbians of that age, and Sandy&#039 ; s a little older than I am. So she&#039 ; s about seventy now. If you ask people who of that age if that affected them that way. Some of them just became lesbians. Even the Jewish lesbians? MC: Yes. LB: I mean Sandy was a Christian Scientist. She was as far from Catholic. But it was just this whole thing of like, these women who were kind of hot and fun and they were having a great time. MC: A good time, yeah. LB: And there&#039 ; s no men there. And they treat men like crap when they push them around. And Ros Russell is so brilliant in that part. And she&#039 ; s got that tough, big shoulder broad even in the nun&#039 ; s habit deal. So that had that enormous. And the same The Sound of Music. The nun part of The Sound of Music The nun part of The Sound of Music. I mean really, really impacted. MC: Didn&#039 ; t happen for me. LB: No, I mean to see that there were these communities of women that were self-governed and tough. And that girls could go into these communities of women, and then stay there. Cause that&#039 ; s what happens for them. And even the fact that The Trouble with Angels, which kind of a kitschier thing, Ros Russell was, that was the remake of it. Part of it was shot in Allentown. MC: Oh really? LB: It was at Dorney Park. Yeah at Dorney Park. But that was, I was all fascinated by that because there&#039 ; s a part where the nun says that it&#039 ; s really hot. And it&#039 ; s Stella Stevens actually. And she pulls up her habit to expose her leg because she&#039 ; s so hot. And I just thought. This is so exciting. And just like the tiny little kernel of excitement there. MC: Do you remember the first time you saw All About Eve. The heat between the two of them. My God. LB: That was a lesbian thing at the end. In the last scene. The other woman comes in. That&#039 ; s actually in Vito Russo&#039 ; s Celluloid Closet in his book where he talks... MC: It&#039 ; s been so long since I&#039 ; ve read it. I don&#039 ; t even remember. LB: Book&#039 ; s totally different from the documentary in a lot of ways. So it&#039 ; s so fascinating. No I mean. You know, all of that stuff. Any time there was that kind of a scene I was like. MC: Well my obsession when I could. When I was in like high school. And yeah, I wasn&#039 ; t out yet. Anything that was set in a women&#039 ; s prison. So, I&#039 ; m living in New Jersey. This is in the seventies and the PBS station would show an episode of Prisoner: Cell Block H. An Australian series. I was like, I watched it religiously. Not even knowing what compelled me. LB: Are you Voyager fan? Star Trek: Voyager. You just need to watch that. Because it&#039 ; s run by women. And there&#039 ; s this huge subtext of this lesbian relationship in the second half of the series that they would writing to. And there&#039 ; s an enormous amount of fan fiction between the captain and this other character played by Jeri Ryan, which you know. People still, cause that&#039 ; s been playing in other countries now. And when Kate Mulgrew. Kate Mulgrew was of course also in Orange is the New Black. She was Red in Orange is the New Black. She will still do Star Trek conventions and she&#039 ; ll go to like England or something and she&#039 ; ll go into a room and they&#039 ; re be like a thousand people in there and every one of them is a lesbian. The one time I heard her, the actress says, &quot ; Is there anyone is this room who isn&#039 ; t gay?&quot ; And like one guy. But she says, and these women are coming up and asking questions and stuff. What about the writing between you and Seven of Nine. And she says, &quot ; Well, that was the best writing. It was really good writing.&quot ; MC: I&#039 ; ve heard of Seven of Nine. I&#039 ; ve heard of that character. LB: Yeah, so she&#039 ; s the character. At one point, this woman gets up and she&#039 ; s wearing a T-shirt, of course they&#039 ; ve all got these sort of Geordie accents and they&#039 ; re all all this stuff. And cause they just started to show that a couple years ago in England all the time. Or in the UK. And she looks at this woman&#039 ; s T-shirt and she says, &quot ; So, I go commando. What does that mean?&quot ; And the woman at the podium says, &quot ; I&#039 ; ll show you in a little while.&quot ; And the room erupts with hysterical laughter. It goes on and on. It&#039 ; s just like that. And I think like -- So I ended up writing a couple of books and one of them has a character in it, one of the love interest characters is fashioned after Kate Mulgrew as the person in Voyager. Although it&#039 ; s nothing like her. I just thought that&#039 ; s a good person to fashion this character after. And then she, Kate Mulgrew, wrote an autobiography and she did a reading in Philadelphia at the library in Philadelphia. At the end, you can have her sign the book. And I gave her one of the books that I wrote that she&#039 ; s the character. I have a picture of her in my office touching the book. MC: Cool. LB: I said, Trish, I really like it that you&#039 ; ve indulged this fantasy for me. So, it was pretty funny. But I think that there&#039 ; s a lot of interesting stuff. One of the things about Voyager was it was produced in the Clinton era. And so it&#039 ; s a much gentler show. And so was The Next Generation. Both of those were. And then there was a later show produced in the more negative era that was much more, that was in the Bush era, that was much more aggressive and fighting and blowing people up. But the Voyager has got scenes in it where you just go, &quot ; Whoa!&quot ; MC: I&#039 ; m going to have to check it out. LB: The second half, so I think there&#039 ; s seven seasons and it starts at the end of the third season of the new character. There&#039 ; s, Scott Thompson is in it. One of the episodes. It&#039 ; s very very funny. And it&#039 ; s not queer enough, but it has this woman captain. And they ran the whole series. They didn&#039 ; t say that they were tired of her. They really didn&#039 ; t. It&#039 ; s worth it. It&#039 ; s worth watching. Plus it&#039 ; s something else. MC: We&#039 ; re going to not be going out for a while. So any more things to watch. LB: I know, I would totally run out of stuff. But I told you about QI. Have you watched QI? MC: I have not watched. No, I haven&#039 ; t. LB: Watch an episode. But only the ones with Sandi Toksvig because she&#039 ; s a lesbian and she&#039 ; ll say it over and over again. Somebody&#039 ; ll make a joke and she&#039 ; ll say, some penis joke, and she&#039 ; ll say, &quot ; I have no experience with that.&quot ; And people will laugh. MC: That&#039 ; s how I teach. I do that in the lecture all the time. LB: I do too. I&#039 ; ll say, &quot ; I don&#039 ; t really understand this, but some people say.&quot ; So, yeah. That&#039 ; s kind of the deal. Well, it&#039 ; s been a while. Let&#039 ; s see if I hit everything. So. So I don&#039 ; t have to ask you if you aren&#039 ; t out at home. You haven&#039 ; t been laid off. MC: Only to my family. LB: That&#039 ; s true. And so what&#039 ; s your biggest frustration during all this stuff. Asking everybody that. MC: Frustration. Well I think the hardest thing is the isolation, honestly. I don&#039 ; t find it frustrating, although I find it. I think it&#039 ; s sad sometimes. I get sad that I&#039 ; m not able to spend time with, you know, I have a very. I mean, my family aside, my support network of friends is very strong, and group of about five of us who get together regularly. It hurts. I feel sad that we can only do things by Zoom. That&#039 ; s the thing that&#039 ; s hardest. But I think the thing that&#039 ; s most frustrating is the stuff I read where people are denying the science. And attacking people who are wearing masks or people posting signs, &quot ; No masks allowed in this store&quot ; or whatever. Things like that. Or when I am out, I mean most people are doing fine. But there are those people who are, if they&#039 ; re wearing a mask, they&#039 ; re wearing it incorrectly. Their nose is out, or things like that. It&#039 ; s on their chin. But that is what&#039 ; s most frustrating because that is what is going to prolong the situation of isolation that makes me sad. So, I think that&#039 ; s it. LB: Universally, that&#039 ; s what every single person that I&#039 ; ve interviewed has said. That people are not taking this seriously and they&#039 ; re not doing. You know Gary and Steve, they were my last interview and they said we&#039 ; re doing everything right, but because people aren&#039 ; t doing things right we still have to stay inside. We still have to have all the same job worries and all this stuff because other people. You know to not have the leadership to convince people to do the right thing. Which is really the job of the leader of the country to do those things. People like Franklin Roosevelt could talk people into doing the right thing. You know we could have, make people comfortable. And then make people understand. You have to do this. MC: Imagine. Think about World War II and all the rationing that they were doing. Like, if people won&#039 ; t wear a fucking mask now. Like how -- LB: So the level of frustration is astounding. And I&#039 ; ve talked to everybody about, I mean we&#039 ; ve talked a little bit about Black Lives Matter. That&#039 ; s one of the things. MC: That&#039 ; s one of my frustrations actually. Sorry for cutting you off. LB: No, that&#039 ; s exactly right. MC: Because of my anxiety about this and not, they&#039 ; re not unfounded these days, you know I am someone who typically attends protests and rallies and marches. That&#039 ; s where I run into you generally, at these things. Right? LB: Right. MC: And when George Floyd was killed and we started organizing rallies I felt unsafe going to them. And so I didn&#039 ; t. You know, Kai, great kid. She&#039 ; s very plugged in to politics and everything. Arguing with all of her friends over social media about things like Black Lives Matter. Things like income inequality. All those kinds of things. I&#039 ; d like to take a little credit for some of that. But, anyway. She and I at one point we were like, because she likes to do that too. She likes to be present. She likes to show up. And we were like, &quot ; We want to go but we&#039 ; re not going to go.&quot ; And that&#039 ; s very hard. I mean, I&#039 ; ve been doing other things. Giving money. Doing the things I can do at a distance. But it&#039 ; s been very hard not to participate actively. LB: Everybody I know over fifty has said that. Everybody that I&#039 ; ve interviewed. I mean, in interviewing people who have said. Blaise and Alanna who were saying, you know, &quot ; We&#039 ; ve been marching since the sixties.&quot ; And to not be able to do this. And when the stuff happened in Allentown, Adrian actually texted me right from the first march, which was and he texted me. It was late at night. And then the next day, they had another march and I said to Trish, &quot ; You know. This is right outside our house. It&#039 ; s like three blocks away.&quot ; And I said, &quot ; I think I need to go to this.&quot ; And she said, &quot ; Really?&quot ; I mean, I&#039 ; m at enough risk. But she&#039 ; s really really at risk. She has lupus. She has lung issues. Stuff like that. So I said, &quot ; Let me look at the thing.&quot ; And I looked at a video of the first march, so it was one. And the next night they had another march. And I was thinking about going the second night. And on the first night there&#039 ; s all these young people. And they&#039 ; re walking along. They all have masks on. And then I saw three people who were part of the group who didn&#039 ; t have masks on. And they&#039 ; re all there. And they&#039 ; re chatting, and they&#039 ; re shouting. And I&#039 ; m thinking, &quot ; I know this is what, I mean I&#039 ; ve done this. And I know that this is a risk. And I can&#039 ; t take this risk. I have to --&quot ; MC: It&#039 ; s so hard. LB: It is. MC: You know. Cause it&#039 ; s. I just, yeah. LB: I can tell you this. I will risk my life to vote. MC: Oh, hell yes. Have you voted in the primary? I voted by mail. LB: Yeah. And we just signed up to vote by mail too. But if there is any possibility not, I will stand in line. I will. And I absolutely will do that. I will, but I&#039 ; m not going to. That&#039 ; s it. And I think everybody feels that way who recognizes how it important it is. This is. So, yeah that&#039 ; s a good thing. Well, this is the last part. So what gives you hope now? Cause we need to end on a happy little note. And I would guess that part of it is that you have a wonderful daughter. MC: Well, what I was going to say is that it&#039 ; s the young people. And she is one of them. She has lost a lot. She lost the last quarter of her eighth grade year. You know, she lost her spring field hockey season and all of her summer camps. She&#039 ; s very into field hockey camps. She does multiple camps in the summer. She&#039 ; s lost all of that. It&#039 ; s uncertain whether she&#039 ; s going to be going to school. I mean, right now yes. But. You know, she&#039 ; s had so little. I know. She&#039 ; s had a couple of contacts with friends where they&#039 ; ve done the social distance walk with the masks on. But, you know, she&#039 ; s lost a lot. And still, she cares about the future. She&#039 ; s not wallowing in this moment of loss forever. And when you talk about. When I see people out who aren&#039 ; t wearing masks, it is largely people who are old enough to know better. At least at the supermarket. Or at Lowe&#039 ; s. It&#039 ; s people in their thirties. Or forties. So it&#039 ; s the young people. It really is the young people. LB: And they&#039 ; re the ones that are doing these really great marches. I mean they&#039 ; re really speaking out about this. MC: Yes. They&#039 ; re feeling empowered. And, God, please all of them who are able to, go out to vote. That&#039 ; s the thing. I feel like they&#039 ; re dealing with all this a lot better than some of their parents are. LB: Well, one of the things when I interviewed somebody who was 22 and had just graduated from Moravian. And he was saying that -- I mean, he was very calm and he was concerned about this. And he said the same thing. He was frustrated with people who don&#039 ; t believe this. But he also was inherently calm. And one of the reasons he was calm was that he has his whole life in front of him. He doesn&#039 ; t have to think he&#039 ; s sucking up the last. You know like this is my last chance. I mean things will work out. Things will be okay. This person is being very careful. They&#039 ; re probably not going to get the disease. Because they&#039 ; re being very, very careful. They&#039 ; re not going to make that happen to themselves. MC: And that&#039 ; s another thing. The smart. Okay. This is going to sound terrible, probably. I don&#039 ; t know if I should say it. You know, it&#039 ; s being recorded. LB: Go ahead. Say it. MC: You know. Survival of the fittest doesn&#039 ; t mean survival of the physically strongest necessarily. It means survival of the most adaptable. LB: Right. MC: That&#039 ; s what it is really. And is this situation, adapting means wearing your mask and using social distancing and minimizing your risks. And that seems to be. It seems to be what most of the smartest people are doing. LB: Except for the people in my family that got sick. They were absolutely in their own household. MC: Right, exactly. But what I&#039 ; m saying is it seems like if you look at the states that have really not handled this way. And where they rank educationally and all those kinds of things. While I&#039 ; m not saying this is an absolute. You know, as you were saying your family, for example. Things we don&#039 ; t know. But it seems like those who are attracting the most risks to themselves. You know who are flagrantly doing that aren&#039 ; t the sharpest tools in the shed. LB: No, I think that&#039 ; s really true. MC: And that gives me hope for the future. LB: I mean, it does because. You don&#039 ; t want to say something mean about them, but this is one of the realities is that it&#039 ; s a socioeconomic situation too. And so one of the people that I interviewed was saying that their daughter has a congenital heart problem. But her job is that she&#039 ; s seen as an essential worker. She&#039 ; s a waitress. I mean she&#039 ; s a layperson. Like that&#039 ; s an essential worker. And this person who is working in Northampton County is working at a restaurant where they&#039 ; re not following the protocols that they&#039 ; re supposed to be, and she has complained that she has a very high risk. And they said, if you have a problem just don&#039 ; t come in and we&#039 ; ll consider it your resignation, which means they won&#039 ; t pay her unemployment. And so, you know, for those of us who can do -- MC: You&#039 ; re right. You&#039 ; re right. I guess I&#039 ; m being a little flip there. But, you&#039 ; re absolutely right in what you&#039 ; re saying. LB: I think that there&#039 ; s a reality to -- MC: I realize that I&#039 ; ve got a lot of privilege when I say that. LB: I know. And the unfortunate is that even with the flu. I like to talk about this all the time because I&#039 ; m obsessed with the flu epidemic of 1918 and that has to do with the fact that my area of expertise with regard to art history is around that time. In that section of the and how it affected people and it also affected me directly because my grandmother died in that flu epidemic. She was 32 years old when my father was four. And so it affected my life because my Dad grew up without a mother. I didn&#039 ; t have two grandmothers. That kind of stuff. But the most significant thing about that flu epidemic was. Well, there&#039 ; s several things -- one hundred million, fifty to one hundred million people died of that flu. One in three people of the world had it. But the most significant reasons for that we were at war. Everybody was at war. And they all didn&#039 ; t want to talk about the fact that their country was having casualties from an illness. So there was actually sedition laws that you couldn&#039 ; t talk about the flu epidemic in 1918. MC: Really? I wasn&#039 ; t aware of that. LB: And that&#039 ; s why it&#039 ; s called the Spanish Flu. Because Spain was the only country that was not in World War I. They were neutral. And so they were reporting on all of the stuff that was happening. All these people were dying in Spain because they were dying anywhere. So it was the headlines of the newspaper, but they wouldn&#039 ; t talk about it in England or Germany or the US. Because they didn&#039 ; t want to tell anybody that we were all sick. It all happened in 1918. And interestingly, it was about a fifteen-month period and it was much more serious than this. For one thing, it struck people between the ages of 20 to 40. That was the primary thing. People would die in one day. And they&#039 ; d show symptoms in the morning and die at the end of the day. And you know, one month in New York City twenty-three thousand people died. And people in Allentown. There was a huge number of people in Allentown, huge number of people in Easton. But Bethlehem actually quarantined so they didn&#039 ; t have as many cases. They had hundreds of cases instead of thousands of cases. But nobody was allowed to talk about it, so there&#039 ; s not a lot of information about it. That&#039 ; s one of the reasons that we really. So, there was a herd immunity there because so many people had it. Hilda Doolittle had it, among other things. She almost died from it. That&#039 ; s how she met Bryher, the lesbian that she stayed with for the rest of her life. She came and took care of her. Also, women who were pregnant were much more likely to get it and seventy-two percent of the women who were pregnant who got it died. So I think my grandmother was pregnant. And Hilda Doolittle was pregnant. She had a miscarriage and she was so sick. She was rich, but she was really really sick. It was during World War II, or World War I. And Bryher came and said, &quot ; You&#039 ; re really sick. I need to take you some place and make you health.&quot ; Bryher was the richest woman in the UK at the time. And took her away to an island where they could quarantine so that she could get better and she did. But, it was a terrible terrible illness. And yet we weren&#039 ; t allowed to talk about it. And that&#039 ; s kind of the way this is now. You know, we won&#039 ; t have as many cases if we just stop testing people. So same mentality one hundred years later. MC: I wonder if, so I&#039 ; m sure you&#039 ; ve heard that Herman Cain died. LB: Yeah. I just read that. MC: And I wonder if that will catch the attention of some people. Like, well maybe this is real. You know, one of ours died. LB: Who was infected by Trump. I mean he was in Tulsa. MC: I know. But if, in addition to him, if one or two other sort of high-profile Republicans were to die, maybe. I could make suggestions if you want, but you know. LB: What I was going to say was, some people, Trish is a medical professional and she said. Until people know people who have been sick and died. MC: I&#039 ; m sorry I didn&#039 ; t get that. LB: Until people know people who have been sick and died, they&#039 ; re just acting like it&#039 ; s not happening. Because they don&#039 ; t know anybody who has been sick or who has died. Particularly who has died. And so, a crazy guy. A repair guy came to one of the people that I was interviewing&#039 ; s house and he said, &quot ; You know, this is all a plot by Hillary to make people get sick so that would collapse --&quot ; Like Hillary would do this now. To collapse the economy so that Trump won&#039 ; t win. And this person said, &quot ; Yeah, well. Okay.&quot ; You know, and he said to him, &quot ; You don&#039 ; t know anybody&#039 ; s who&#039 ; s been sick, do you?&quot ; And you goes, well, &quot ; I don&#039 ; t know anybody personal. I know some people who have been sick but not in my personal circle who has been sick.&quot ; So see, nobody really has it. Well, they&#039 ; re going to wait until people really have it. You know, it&#039 ; s not enough to have five hundred people die in Allentown. It has to be five hundred people in your own circle. People die. So that in the really high. And with the flu epidemic of 1918, it was the same situation. There was a lot of deaths, then it sort of ended. It didn&#039 ; t go. Then there was this second wave that was just horrible. It was exactly the same configuration of the year that was just, where people would get like on a subway car. Coney Island. By the time they get off they collapsed and died. You know, just happened when they were in areas like that. Just happened so easily. And so maybe that is not going to be the -- Some people are thinking that&#039 ; s not going to be the case. It&#039 ; s not the same kind of thing. Some people are saying that little kids are less likely to get it. But as my friend who&#039 ; s a pediatrician said, you know, she said I&#039 ; m getting a lot of people saying, do you think I can go ahead and send my kid to daycare? And she said, so when you send your kids to daycare, do they ever get sick from any of the other kids there? They get everything there. If you do it, they will get it. They&#039 ; re going to get sick. Or they&#039 ; re going to get exposed. And then they&#039 ; re going to have it. Maybe they won&#039 ; t get really sick, but you&#039 ; ll have to look around your circle of family and friends and see if there&#039 ; s anybody there that&#039 ; s really going to be at risk. So a lot of the people who I have interviewed who have been older have said that was the thing that really bothered them because they couldn&#039 ; t really see their grandkids because they&#039 ; re the ones at risk. And they don&#039 ; t want to do that to their grandkids. It&#039 ; s really. MC: That&#039 ; s got to be really hard. LB: Yeah, I talked to, I interviewed one guy who said his father was intubated for two weeks and was very close. You know, had he not been intubated. He was in the hospital with intubation for two weeks. It&#039 ; s so horrible to have that too. And people who I know who have had it. It&#039 ; s so awful that it&#039 ; s like a PTSD thing. I wanted to interview some people that have been sick and they couldn&#039 ; t talk about it, it was so awful. People don&#039 ; t understand how awful it is. It&#039 ; s really. If you get it bad, it&#039 ; s really not like anything else. It&#039 ; s not just having the flu. MC: It&#039 ; s not just like the sniffles. LB: No. It&#039 ; s really not like even like having a bad flu. It&#039 ; s like having -- So I have a very close friend who had it and she said. You know, she had a one hundred three temperature for two weeks. She said she woke up every morning saying to herself, okay, today I just have to not die. And she said, if I have to go to the bathroom, I had to crawl there. I couldn&#039 ; t walk. And she luckily had other people around who finally took her to the hospital. She was in contact with people and she said, you need to, it&#039 ; s too many days for you to have this high temperature. And she went into the hospital and then they did a bunch of stuff to her and she got better. But, she&#039 ; s still suffering from that, and other people that we know are still having symptoms of it. One person that I talked to said after months they had a close family member that had it. And after a month they were still just, couldn&#039 ; t do anything it was so. So I think that people don&#039 ; t understand how serious it is. And unfortunately, people may have to know somebody before they&#039 ; ll take this seriously. And there are some media problems with it too. I don&#039 ; t think the media is making it clear enough to people. Although, what, you know. I mean, if you tell somebody that one hundred fifty thousand people in America have died, and they say, &quot ; Yeah, but it&#039 ; s all a hoax.&quot ; How do you fix that? I mean -- MC: I don&#039 ; t know. I don&#039 ; t know that you can. LB: Yeah. MC: Maybe like I said, maybe some high profile people die. LB: Sure. MC: And, not just high profile people. But, high profile anti-mask people. LB: Or deniers of it. Yeah. No certainly an example of that. MC: Maybe that will shake people out of their complacency. LB: Well, it&#039 ; s pretty hard to say, oh this is my group is people. You don&#039 ; t have to do masks. Don&#039 ; t do that standing behind me. Then they find out that there&#039 ; s a contamination there. An infection. And then one of the ten people that&#039 ; s sitting there dies. I mean, how do you? You know, it&#039 ; s blinders. MC: Oh yeah. LB: It&#039 ; s so hard. I don&#039 ; t know. And it&#039 ; s hard to know really how -- I mean, do you get students in classes who will sometimes say things to you like, how could you possibly think that was true? MC: Oh yeah. Yeah. I just have to stop myself from laughing usually. Like, really, you think this? LB: Do you want say like, could you write a paper about that? I want you to research that and bring me some real citations that aren&#039 ; t just from some crazy. MC: Yeah and it&#039 ; s -- But the thing is that, I don&#039 ; t know. I thought with my students that if I say something like, &quot ; I get how you might think that&#039 ; s how it is, but here&#039 ; s some other information. And I think that you should just think about that. I generally don&#039 ; t tell them that they&#039 ; re wrong. But, I just try to say here&#039 ; s some other information that&#039 ; s verifiable. You can go and check it out if you want to. I just give them something to think about. And I just leave it with them. Because, what are you going to do, right? LB: There&#039 ; s a woman who posts a lot of very very interesting particularly feminist thing. Lesbian things on the Internet for a long time. And I have quite a relationship with her and I was working with her on some projects and stuff. And she started to post stuff that was particularly TERFy. It was just really, really major TERF stuff. And she posted some -- MC: Oh man you started. LB: And she posted a thing that said that ten thousand people in the UK who had transitioned through this one clinic were detransitioning. And I looked it up. I actually know this person. She&#039 ; s a famous playwright in the lesbian community. And I looked it up. And she said, &quot ; Well, this is the information.&quot ; And I was -- this was a Facebook exchange. And I said, &quot ; I looked this up, and this is absolutely not true. You&#039 ; re retweeting something. If you read the article, that&#039 ; s not even what the article says. And if you read it, that&#039 ; s not what it says. She says, &quot ; Well it&#039 ; s in the Guardian.&quot ; And I said, &quot ; No it isn&#039 ; t. You didn&#039 ; t even read the article. What it says is that tens of thousands of people went to this clinic in the UK because it&#039 ; s the only national health clinic that does transgender surgery for free, in effect, for the national health. That if you live in Wales you have to go to that clinic. You have to travel a long way, but you get free really good health care and you get free transition surgery. It doesn&#039 ; t say anything detransitioning. It doesn&#039 ; t say anything about that at all.&quot ; And she said, &quot ; But I know people who detransitioned.&quot ; I said, &quot ; But you posted something that&#039 ; s absolutely not true, and you can&#039 ; t do that. You can&#039 ; t put this thing up and cause divisiveness between our community. And then with phony information.&quot ; I said, &quot ; I can&#039 ; t pretend this doesn&#039 ; t matter to me.&quot ; MC: Good on you. LB: Even though I really, I had a lot of admiration for this person. I was beginning to think, you know, where are you getting this? Well I researched. But, that&#039 ; s not what you posted. You posted something that wasn&#039 ; t true. So, anyway. Yeah, that&#039 ; s not what we need right now either. MC: No it is not. LB: It&#039 ; s really hard because you hear about all these crazies all the time. And it&#039 ; s very depressing. And it&#039 ; s hard for any of us to say, &quot ; I think Joe Biden is going to win.&quot ; Because we already got kicked in the head four years ago when we really thought Hillary was going to win. And so none of us is complacent or comfortable. We&#039 ; re just too on edge. MC: It&#039 ; s probably the single greatest source of anxiety that I have. LB: No kidding. MC: That it will be stolen. That it will be. You know. LB: Yeah. And I sent a message to somebody who was here and he&#039 ; s moved to Lisbon, Portugal. And I needed to tell him about something, and he said, &quot ; You sent this to me at two o&#039 ; clock in the morning. You&#039 ; re up in the middle of the night.&quot ; And I said, &quot ; Yeah, I haven&#039 ; t slept since the election. Since the last presidential election. Actually six months before that. And I guess one of the frustrations and angers I have is I don&#039 ; t know how, if I&#039 ; m ever going to feel not this way. Even if things go better. I&#039 ; m never going to feel the way I felt during the Obama administration again. Cause I&#039 ; m just too aware of the stupidity and. That&#039 ; s another thing too. I just don&#039 ; t think like and I know other people that said that they&#039 ; ve developed a level of agoraphobia. MC: Whataphobia? LB: Agoraphobia. They just don&#039 ; t feel comfortable going out. And you know, Adrian has talked about opening the center. And immediately I&#039 ; m going like I&#039 ; m going to -- I just said. And I said I&#039 ; m not going to do it. And I just said it&#039 ; s a long way off. Don&#039 ; t worry about it now. And I think that&#039 ; s a good thing for him to say. MC: I think you&#039 ; re right. I think it&#039 ; s going to be hard to venture back in the world again. They&#039 ; re going to be a lot of baby steps involved. LB: And yet they did it after the flu epidemic of 1918. And you don&#039 ; t really hear about that. I mean it was. But that was one of the reasons why the roaring twenties was as roaring as they were. There was a lot of reasons for that. That was another reason. A lot of people, they did quarantine. And there were parts, like people would go to Philadelphia there was no one on the street. Middle of the day. And was a ghost town. So I don&#039 ; t know. There&#039 ; s going to be. It will be interesting to see. MC: I&#039 ; m sorry. LB: I want you to say whatever you want to say, go ahead. MC: This hour-long interview&#039 ; s been two hours. LB: One hour and forty-one minutes. MC: It&#039 ; s fine with me. The one thing that gives me hope is to watch the political news pretty closely and seeing, you know, people like Ritchie Torres, you know, winning his -- I don&#039 ; t think it&#039 ; s been officially declared yet, but it&#039 ; s a done deal. You know. Jamaal Bowman winning his primary. Mondaire Jones. Of course, AOC. Seeing again it&#039 ; s the young people, you know, who are just giving me hope. They&#039 ; re giving me more, more. It&#039 ; s going to be a slow process. But I&#039 ; m thinking about what&#039 ; s happening now in the Trump administration. I don&#039 ; t even like saying his name to be perfectly honest. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth. But I hope, I tell myself that we&#039 ; re watching the death throes of white unrepentant white supremacy. Unrepentant male supremacy. That it&#039 ; s in its death throes now and this is its sort of last surge of. I&#039 ; m telling myself that. I need to believe that. And I take a lot of hope from seeing. I was just saying, you saw the folks, you&#039 ; re seeing Katie Porter taking people down. You know, she&#039 ; s a bad ass. I mean, just there are more and more people that are entering positions of power who can make a difference. I got to take hope from that. LB: Good. Yeah. Well, that&#039 ; s the secret. At Muhlenberg when Adrian was a student at Muhlenberg and it was the Obama election, there was I often I give this dynamic people and reasons to do things and she has say, has been about forty-five kids and then forty-five college students and when Adrian was there it was seven hundred college students. And then when they left it was forty-five again. And he organized for those students to go vote. And I really think that Obama&#039 ; s win was because of students, of college students. Which I don&#039 ; t think Hillary Clinton ignite at all. MC: Nor is Joe Biden, and I hope that whoever he -- LB: But I think that other things are igniting college students now. MC: True. LB: And I think that&#039 ; s one of the things. I mean sometimes you have to look at the other side and say, okay, there is a difference. And people are all saying that. So that if Joe Biden says, and he is saying publicly the financial circumstances of taking care of students, student college loans, which of course is not coming out of the Trump administration. But, to be able to compare those things and that students need to say, okay, this is how we can engage in this group. We cannot engage this group. And so, if these people are running the government, we can demand change. We can&#039 ; t demand any change. Trump, we can demand it but nothing&#039 ; s going to happen. And so I think the young people that are, I&#039 ; m hoping that people. And the reason is we&#039 ; re seeing this happen in elections that people are standing in line for eight hours at risk for COVID but they&#039 ; re still doing it just to be able to vote in a primary when they&#039 ; ve never done that before. Well that&#039 ; s a big deal. You know, that&#039 ; s a lot of numbers here. I just read, and I don&#039 ; t know if this is true, that a million people, a million Democrats have registered to vote by mail in Florida. Well, that&#039 ; s a lot of people already to be doing. And that&#039 ; s a very significant thing. So that&#039 ; s what I want. We just got money to encourage people to vote by mail and we just got a grant to be working on that. That&#039 ; s going to be something after to be working on. But I think that that kind of stuff just more votes is more good votes and that&#039 ; s going to happen. That&#039 ; s absolutely true. And so those things have been different too. So, I&#039 ; m knocking on wood. MC: They give me hope. LB: Definitely not complacent. And I also said to Trish, if it doesn&#039 ; t work this way, I mean we&#039 ; re going to see major upheavals and major organizations. You know, scary are the circumstances. But if that happens, you know, we&#039 ; ll have to roll with that too. MC: Survival of the most adaptable. LB: That&#039 ; s a brilliant thing to say. I really think that&#039 ; s true. And I say to people. And people say things like I can&#039 ; t do this. I can&#039 ; t do this. Change is hard but we have to change. Everything about us. Everything about the queer community is about change. So if you&#039 ; re uncomfortable about this, get over it for Christ&#039 ; s sake. For heavens. We&#039 ; ve been doing this for. We&#039 ; ve had to change people&#039 ; s minds all along. MC: Absolutely. LB: From forever. That&#039 ; s how we thrive. We can&#039 ; t just go, &quot ; Okay, everything&#039 ; s fine now.&quot ; Cause it&#039 ; s never going to be that way. So did I already ask you this? I guess maybe I have. To say something to somebody in the future if they&#039 ; re looking at this archive and you can make a little soundbite and say now. I know it&#039 ; s a big responsibility. MC: Well, yeah. I don&#039 ; t remember that one. LB: For me, I mean I say to people like, the people in the future know what happened. They know who won the election. They know what happened with COVID. They know what it&#039 ; s like to live thirty years from now. But they don&#039 ; t know exactly what it&#039 ; s like for individuals now. And that&#039 ; s why we&#039 ; re making these videos. MC: I guess what I&#039 ; m going to say is so trite really, I think. I said before, there&#039 ; s nothing original about it. But, first of all I have to thank you for watching these. Thank you for going into this archive to learn about this. Because honestly if we don&#039 ; t learn about history we are going to repeat it. And it&#039 ; s not going to be pretty and it&#039 ; s not going to be fun. And our testimonies to the fact that it&#039 ; s not pretty and it&#039 ; s not fun. So yeah. Learn history and spread it to those. Others will know too. Otherwise you&#039 ; ll end up entering a situation just like this. Where you&#039 ; re the ones making the archives. So again, nothing original in that but I think that&#039 ; s probably what I would say. LB: Well I really appreciate this so much and thank you for letting me talk to you for so long. I&#039 ; ve been talking way too much. I&#039 ; m not supposed to say anything. MC: I really approached this as a conversation more than. LB: I take it as that. MC: And I&#039 ; ve really enjoyed this conversation. LB: Good. And I&#039 ; m also to come and fix your house as soon as COVID&#039 ; s -- MC: Awesome, excellent. LB: I&#039 ; m going to turn off the recording now. So thank you again so much. END OF VIDEO FILE Copyright for this oral history recording is held by the interview subject. video This oral history is made available with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0). The public can access and share the interview for educational, research, and other noncommercial purposes as long as they identify the original source 0

Files

CutlerMarianne_Thumbnail.png


Citation

“Marianne Cutler, July 30, 2020,” Lehigh Valley LGBT Community Archive Oral History Repository, accessed July 23, 2024, https://trexlerworks.muhlenberg.edu/lgbt_oralhistory/items/show/33.