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Out in the Open

Location: Homewood Campus


Out in the Open
Out in the Open


Out In The Open is a collective oral histories project developed by Johns Hopkins University students through the spring 2022 course Queer Oral History (AS.389.348).

Starting January 2022, a group of Johns Hopkins University students began to learn how to conduct oral history interviews under the instruction of Winston Tabb Special Collections Director Dr. Joseph Plaster. Engaging critically with modern queer and oral history theory, the students broke into groups and coordinated interviews with 15+ members of the queer Baltimore community with the aim of archiving a queer reimagining of the city. The series of interviews culminated into a capstone project at the end of the semester: coordinating a listening party to share the finalized oral history recordings with community members and all involved in the project.

The recordings featured in this website are five-minute edited excerpts of the two-hour oral history interviews that will be archived in the Sheridan Libraries summer 2022.

Our mission is to collaborate with the community to collect, archive, and share oral histories on the queer heritage of Baltimore.

The project aims to:

  • record and archive diverses histories of gender and sexuality in Baltimore, as it intersects with race and racism, poverty, immigration, the AIDS crisis, disability, public health and activism
  • connect LGBTQ+ people and build community via sharing the oral histories of our multi-dimensional narrators — from social activists, to musicians, and to preachers
  • and begin a longer-term project based at Johns Hopkins Hopkins, reimposing a queer lens on archival studies.