This oral history interview with Jerry Weller was conducted by Libbey Austin at Weller's home in Portland, Oregon, on May 10, 2007. Austin conducted the interview for the Gay and Lesbian Achives of the Pacific Northwest as part of Professor Christa Orth's senior capstone class on LGBTQ history at Portland State University. The collection includes a transcript of the interview.
In this interview, Weller discusses his early life in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including his experiences as a young gay man at Penn State University. He talks about his relationship with Bruce Muller, describes how he became involved in the gay rights movement while living in the Bay Area, and discusses his reasons for moving to Portland in 1976. He discusses his involvement with the Portland Town Council, describes the anti-gay legislation that passed in many places in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s, and talks about his involvement with the national gay rights movement. He discusses the development of the Portland Town Council, the Right to Privacy PAC, and other gay rights organizations he was involved in. He also talks about the development in the language regarding LGBTQ people. He talks about his experiences in Washington, D.C., and in Chicago, Illinois, and his return to Portland in the 1980s. He discusses his relationship with the Shepherd family; describes his experience with AIDS; and speaks about gay rights legislation he was involved with. He closes the interview by talking about the role gay bars and drag queens played in the gay rights movement, about the growth of gay pride events, and about his favorite gay bars in Portland.