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Interview with Brandy Pollard

Oral History interview withBrandy Pollard (0h 56mm 40ss), conducted by Misha Falk in 2019.

Brandy Pollard (she/her) begins the interview by discussing her early childhood and adolescence. Pollard reflects on being bullied in school leading to her quitting in grade ten despite having good marks. Pollard moves on to discuss her difficult marriage, struggle with her identity, and suicide attempt. She discusses seeking counselling and coming out to her sister, which leads to her coming out to her wife and children. Pollard talks about her transition and coming out at work which leads to an increasingly hostile work environment. Pollard moves on to talk about her identity and her relationship with other trans persons and the broader LGBTQ+ community. She discusses negative experiences engaging in the healthcare system as a trans person. Pollard ends the conversation talking about her poetry and art.

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Interview with Ben Baader

Oral History interview with Ben Baader (01h 00mmm 57ss), conducted by Misha Falk in 2019.

Ben Baader (he/him) states that he had done a previous life story interview in 2015 with Oriol Poveda. Baader talks about coming to Winnipeg and getting a job at the University of Manitoba. Baader describes his experience of being trans as being “in-between” or “not-settled” but also “rich.” He describes his experience of being Jewish from Germany and his father surviving the Shoah as also contributing to this feeling of, “not being fully at home.” Baader describes how his ideas of identity and the gender spectrum have changed over time. He describes himself as “genderqueer,” but is comfortable not to categorize himself. Baader talks about the challenges of connecting with the trans community in Winnipeg as an older adult and his connections with the Orthodox Jewish trans community, as well as “Eshel,” an Orthodox LGBTQ+ organization. Baader references his experiences with transgender groups in New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Indianapolis, as well as a German-Jewish lesbian group in Berlin. Baader talks about transphobia in the lesbian community. Baader talks about his experience with the health care system. Baader talks about trying to mentor the younger trans community and how things have changed for the newer generation.

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Interview with Lara Rae

Oral History interview with Lara Rae (02h 13mmm 13ss), conducted by Misha Falk in 2019.

Lara Rae (she/her) begins the interview discussing her family and childhood. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Rae’s family moved to Toronto, Canada in 1972. Rae talks about hiding her identity from her parents and their attitudes towards transgender persons. Rae discusses her early days in comedy and her involvement with the Winnipeg Comedy Festival. Rae speaks at length about her struggle with gender dysphoria; although she was aware she was transgender at an early age she was apprehensive about transitioning. Rae came out as transgender in 2016 and began transitioning at a late age. Rae talks about only feeling comfortable with dating men following her transition and surgery. She describes previously having anxiety about gay men stemming from the trauma experienced from a sexual assault when she was nineteen. Rae talks about her time as a comedian in the 1980s and her departure from the comedy scene. Rae talks about her trans rights activism and talks at length about the financial, organizational and emotional challenges of transitioning. Rae discusses the complexities of navigating the gender spectrum. Rae talks about her relationship with younger trans people and the broader LGBTQ+ community. Rae discusses her experiences with the Manitoba healthcare system. Rae also talks about art that was important to her in relation to her transition.

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Interview with Jarvis Brownlie

Oral History interview with Jarvis Brownlie (02h 08mmm 10ss), conducted by Misha Falk in 2019.

Jarvis Brownlie (he/him) begins the interview by stating that he identifies as a queer man who is “fully transitioned.” He discusses his childhood, growing up, and his family at length, including how his mother is still in denial of his transition. Brownlie discusses coming out as a lesbian in 1984, the nineties, and different terminology concerning LGBTQ+ identity and gender roles. Brownlie discusses his long-term relationship and the support he received from his partner when he came out as trans in the late-nineties as being rather rare amongst lesbian relationships. Brownlie discusses his own experiences with homophobia. He talks about his work experience in academia and living in Winnipeg. Brownlie discusses his frustration with taking testosterone, navigating the medical system, and critiques the gender binary system. Brownlie discusses at length what trans means to him and discusses trans activism, literature, organizations, workshops, and more. Brownlie talks about LGBTQ+ spaces in Winnipeg, Pride, and the drag community. He also discusses the AIDS crisis and government policy towards trans persons.

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Interview with Mateo Llanillos

Oral History interview with Mateo Llanillos (02h 00mmm 49ss), conducted by Misha Falk in 2019.

Mateo Llanillos (he/him) begins the interview with a conversation about his birth in Masaya, Nicaragua and subsequent immigration to Winnipeg, Canada. He talks about his family and their relationship as well as his childhood. Throughout the interview Llanillos discusses many topics including: gender identity, gender dysphoria, gendered privilege, gender-based violence, and restrictions to transitioning. He talks about coming out to his family, the death of his father, and the relationship with his mother. Llanillos converses at length about what trans means to him. Llanillos also discusses his interactions with Rainbow Resource Centre, the wider LGBTQ+ community, and the importance of having older trans members mentor trans youth. Llanillos talks about his experiences with the healthcare system as a trans person. Towards the end of the interview Llanillos discusses trans authors, art, literature, and a Winnipeg-based trans zine.

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Interview with Roz Usiskin

Oral History interview (9h 26mm 15ss) with Roz Usiskin, conducted by Nolan Reilly, Winnipeg Manitoba, 2016. 8 individual sessions are indexed and transcribed in full.

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Project Documents: Roz Usiskin Interview

This file contains documents related to the interview conducted with Roz Usiskin by Nolan Reilly in 2018. It includes: Biographical questionnaire; 30 photographs; transcript of an interview with Usiskin conducted in 1998; 3 Books: "The Wolodarsky Family: Volume One: A Lifetime of Letters: 1913-1922" and "Volume Two: The Legacy Continues, 1922-1979," and "Uncle Mike’s Edenbridge: Memoirs of a Jewish Pioneer"; and Nolan Reilly's Interview Notes.

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Abe Arnold Interview

1 oral history interview with Abraham Arnold, conducted over 8 sessions (8h 41mm 22ss total). The Interview, conducted by Nolan Reilly, is a life story interview that explores Arnold's life and career as a culturally and politically committed member of Canada’s immigrant Jewish community. The interview was conducted in Winnipeg primarily between 2006 and 2007, with one final session in Jan. 2010, although the material relates to Arnold's time spent in various cities of Canada including Montreal, Vancouver, and Winnipeg. All interview sessions are included as parts which include recordings, transcripts and other interview documents. For other associated records see: 'Related Documents' File.

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Project Documents: Abe Arnold Oral History Project

This file contains all documents related to the Abe Arnold Oral History Project. It contains 55 digitized photographs, a daft of Abe Arnold's unpublished memoire chapters, Nolan Reilly's draft manuscript (based not he interview), ,the interview consent form, the Raw unedited audio from the interview sessions, two digitized reel to reel recordings, and an inventory of all the documents archived with the project.

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Interview with Carlos Sosa

Oral History interview (00h 54mm 40ss) with Carlos Sosa conducted remotely by Emily McPherson in Winnipeg Manitoba, 2021. Interview is indexed and fully transcribed.

Emily McPherson interviews Carlos Sosa about his experience as a participant in disability rights activism and advocacy. The interview begins with Sosa telling detailing his family history and some childhood memories; he then discusses his early experiences in the school system and the pressure he felt to pursue a trade rather than attend university. Speaks about beginning to participate in activism, involvement in the New Democratic Party, and mentorship by the late Jack Layton. He details some of the activist projects that he has been a part of such as the efforts to save the Kelvin Community Centre, affordable university tuition, and efforts to ensure the operation of public services such a libraries and swimming pools. Sosa describes his current work at the CBC and his own experiences with disability and the stigma surrounding it. He discusses his initial perceptions of the MLPD, his involvement in the organization, as well as his choice to create an oral history project based on that organization. The interview concludes with Sosa connecting the human rights movement to oral history and commenting on the impact of the pandemic on the most vulnerable in society.

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