Oral History Interview with Christina Cauterucci, 1987 -

Title

Oral History Interview with Christina Cauterucci, 1987 -

Description

Christina Cauterucci, who identifies as a queer woman, is a journalist in Washington DC, interviewed by Krista Gettle.

Date

25 October 2016

Rights

The interview belongs to the Rainbow History Project. The RHP release form was used and all rights belong to RHP.

Coverage

Christina Cauterucci is a journalist and activist in Washington DC especially interested in women’s and queer issues. She speaks about her time at Georgetown University in the late 2000’s as the LGBTQ Resource Center was established. She is currently a staff member at slate.com. She describes the loss of queer spaces in DC and organizing alternative women’s parties. She also discusses her experience coming out and societal perceptions of a femme-presenting woman dating a transgender man.

Interviewer

Krista Gettle

Interviewee

Christina Cauterucci

Location

MLK Library, Washington DC

Transcription

Not yet transcribed. Time coded notes.

Original Format

Yes, recording available (.mp3, 85 MB)

Duration

1:01:44

Time Summary

Born in New Jersey in 1987
Moved to Manchester, NH at 10
Moved to Washington DC in 2006 for college at Georgetown.
Family
More interested in politics than her family. Family is very supportive of her agitating.
1 older sister.
Mother did a lot of odd jobs.
Dad in sales for MCI/Verizon
Georgetown
Wrote for the Georgetown Independent
While she was a student there was a hate crime against a LGBT student and there was 1 university sponsored person to support the students afterwards.
At Georgetown, she was involved in the LGBT activism as an ally until her senior year.
As an ally, it felt like gay and queer students were at the margins.
There was one group called GU Pride that organized events but it was mostly white gay men.
Queer women organized a lot around the Women’s Collective because GU Pride didn’t feel like it represented their needs.
GU can appear very homogeneous from the outside and not gay positive.
The administration would accept and tolerate but not necessarily support. After this incident the university president, who was the first layperson of a Catholic University in the U.S. He stood up and said that we can and should support the LGBT community.
A LGBTQ resource center was created. As the director of the resource center, "Shiva" Subbaraman made a point to enlist the support for the Center from all of the Jesuit priests.
She realized how much the culture had shifted at her Lavender Graduation, when Kara Swisher, a tech reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area, came back to speak and talked about not being back since the 80’s because of how toxic the environment had been. Also at that time, GU Pride was suing the administration for acknowledgement of their organization.
Now there are 2 full time employees, large alumni community, bring speakers to campus, hold parties.
Journalism
After working at Georgetown for a few years and getting her graduate degree, she interned at NPR on the Arts desk.
Moved to Washington City Paper as the Arts Editor. Found that the pieces that spoke to her the most were those that had to do with gender, identity and justice issues.
Amanda Hess left her beat at Slate and Christina saw it as an opportunity to write about a broad range of topics (science, arts, etc) through a lens of gender.
Writes 2-3 pieces a day, generally more opinion pieces that flesh out the story after the major story breaks on national day.
Loss of Queer Spaces
Where the Girls Go - Defunct blog that was an events calendar that aggregated all the events for queer women in DC.
Another gay blog, The New Gay
Created a number of one off gay parties
Hosted a number of the parties at The Islander, a DC restaurant
‘Blast-off’
‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’
Would charge a cover to keep random people out for safety.
Still host one during the Summer called ‘Overeasy’
Phase I
Long narrow bar with stage opposite, dark, poor sound system
Did Jell-o wrestling in a big inflatable pool with jello (industrial gel)
MC - Stacy Lockerman (sp?)
Pride
Wrote an article about the commercialism of Pride.
Fear for a community that loses its capacity for protest. Getting married was the one issue a lot of gay people and there are still a lot of the other issues with which queer people struggle.
Coming Out & Early Years
Dated a Transgender person as her first relationship - Presented as femme with a transgender man. The relationship was very queer but looked like a straight couple in public. Her partner had mostly straight friends and she wanted a queer community.
Large family - some were supportive some weren’t
Parents took it hard at first but are very accepting especially since meeting her current partner.
Activism
Black Lives Matter vigils
Vigil after the Orlando shooting
Message for youth today
There’s no right path. Things will make sense when you look back on them but things never make sense when you are trying to look forward and plot out your life.

Files

Citation

“Oral History Interview with Christina Cauterucci, 1987 -
,” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed September 24, 2017, http://rainbowhistory.omeka.net/items/show/4939505.