Oral Histories

Interview of Marilee France

Activist for LGBTQ rights and teacher's issues. June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives board member.
Women's Activist Lives
Social Movements
LGBT Movement
Women's Issues
Biographical Note:
Activist for LGBTQ rights and teacher's issues. June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives board member.
Cifor, Marika
France, Marilee
Persons Present:
Cifor and France.
Place Conducted:
France’s home in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library’s Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Marika Cifor; M.L.I.S, Simmons College; M.A., history, Simmons College; doctoral student, information studies, UCLA. Cifor ‘s research focuses on LGBTQ archives, history, and culture in the United States.Cifor prepared for the interview by reviewing secondary sources on lesbian history in Los Angeles, including Lillian Faderman and Stuart Timmons’ Gay L.A.; articles by Yolanda Ritter; a dissertation in progress by Rebecka Sheffield of the University of Toronto on social movements and lesbian and gay archives; and secondary materials from the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, the ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, and the Lesbian Herstory Archives. Archival collections reviewed included Southern Calfornia Women for Understanding, the Jinx Beers Papers, the Margaret Ann Porter Collection, and the Connexxus/Centro de Mujeres collection 1985-1991 at UCLA Library Special Collections.
Processing of Interview:
The interviewer prepared a timed log of the audio recording of the interview. France was given the opportunity to review the log in order to supply missing or misspelled names and to verify the accuracy of the content but made no changes.
3.25 hrs.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
Women’s Activist Lives in Los Angeles is a series of interviews done by graduate research assistants under the auspices of UCLA’s Center for the Study of Women. The series addresses the diverse ways in which women’s social movement activities affected public policy and transformed civic institutions such as education, social services, and the art world in Los Angeles. Several of the oral histories also focus on individuals who were involved with the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives, which the Center for the Study of Women was involved in bringing to UCLA Library Special Collections at the time the oral histories were being done.
Family background in Central California--Growing up in Northern California--Memories of the Cold War and politics in the 1950s--Gender roles in high school--Involvement in anti-war movement at California State University, Long Beach--First lesbian relationships--Awareness of the United Farm Workers movement--Teaching in an African American elementary school in Pasadena--The desegregation of Pasadena schools-- National Defense Education Act Advanced Summer Media Institute workshop in 1966--Involvement with the California Federation of Teachers--Teaching at Pasadena Alternative School.
Meeting Dolores Huerta—Awareness of the United Farm Workers movement—Involvement in American Federation of Teachers—Involvement in California Federation of Teachers—Desegregation of Pasadena schools—Meeting wife Wendy Averill—First heterosexual marriage and child—Coming out—The 1978 Briggs Initiative—Domestic partnership and the fight for equal marriage rights-Early involvement with the June L. Mazer Lesbian Archives—Lesbian relationships and monogamy—Single parenting—Getting master's degree--Teaching philosophy—Care for elderly parents—Work in different schools—Caring for sister with Alzheimer’s—Involvement with Mazer Archives.