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Oral History with Katherine Allen, October 23, 2014 , 2014-10-23

Identifier: Ms2015-007_VTLGBTQ_AllenKatherine

Scope and Content

In her oral history, Katherine Allen discusses her activism, her relationships and personal identity, her experiences as part of a ‘lesbian poster family’ and as an ‘out’ faculty member at Virginia Tech. The interview was conducted on October 23, 2014 in Wallace Hall on the Virginia Tech campus. Laura Keith was the interviewer and Sara Evenson was the technical assistant.


  • 2014-10-23


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. One interview in this collection is only available on-site as a transcript by request.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Virginia Tech LGBTQ Oral History Collection must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Biographical note

Katherine Allen is a professor of Human Development at Virginia Tech. Originally from Baltimore, Maryland, she completed studies at the University of Connecticut and Syracuse University before joining the Virginia Tech faculty in 1989. Allen came to Tech as one of the first ‘out’ lesbians and following her arrival, she became a vocal activist for LGBTQ rights both within the University and throughout the state of Virginia. Her research has focused on children of LGBTQ families, including the effects of relationship dissolution and legal custody rights. In the 1990s, Allen raised two children in a lesbian relationship and founded a lesbian mothers group with her partner. Her family became a ‘poster family’ for LGBTQ community, both locally and nationally, before she separated from her partner in the early 2000s. Allen continues to fight for legal protections and employee benefits for LGBTQ families at Virginia Tech and around the world.


From the Collection: 0.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English



Material Details

The master recording consists of two .wav files. These files were combined into one .mp3 access file.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US