Queer Mississippi (Complete Collection)

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Tupelo (Miss.)


In this interview, Star Newsom relays her life growing up in Memphis Tennessee, especially her experiences with the Girl Scouts. She goes on to discuss her college experiences at Arkansas Tech and Indiana State Universities, coming out as a lesbian, and working while closeted as the director of multiple summer camps in the South. Star focuses on Southern Baptist upbringing, lesbian friendships and the pressure to stay closeted due to fears of being fired. She also goes into great detail concerning her relationships with her family members, some of whom were very accepting and some who did not support her as a lesbian. Finally, she describes founding Starting Over Coffee House, an LGBTQ-friendly space in Tupelo, MS, and other business ventures. Star ends by recounting her wedding to Lena Conwill at the Link Centre in Tupelo.This interview was conducted as a part of the Queer Mississippi Oral History Project through a grant from the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies at the University of Mississippi, in partnership with the Invisible Histories Project, in the summer of 2019.

Relational Format

audio recording




Additional files include: abstract, field notes, audio file. Transcript is available on request.


In copyright. For permission to duplicate, repost, or otherwise re-use these images, please contact the Invisible Histories Project: Mississippi.

Newsom, Julia _Abstract.docx (12 kB)

Newsom, Julia _Fieldnotes.docx (13 kB)
Field Notes