Interview with Linda Ketner, August 13, 2018

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Interview with Linda Ketner, August 13, 2018
Mielcarek, Alexandra
Ketner, Linda
Linda Ketner is a strategic planning consultant for mostly nonprofit organizations; she and her partner Beth have been together for almost twenty years. She grew up in the small town of Faith, NC, eventually moving to Raleigh and finally, Salisbury, NC. Ketner recalls realizing her sexual identity at about age twelve and asking her mother about girls marrying girls. Her mother’s strong negative response prompted Ketner to learn more; she looked up “homosexual” in her local library and found literature that was even more discouraging. A series of events led her to live a double life: one “supposedly straight” and the other, her hidden true self. In college, Ketner began her first relationship with a woman while simultaneously dating men in the hopes of finding one with whom she was compatible. This eventually led to a number of broken engagements and a marriage that ended when Ketner could not deny that she was a lesbian. After years of living in secret, she and her partner occupying two separate nearby houses to allay suspicion, Ketner decided to come out. Some others, however, advised her to remain closeted to prevent “damaging” many of the progressive causes with which was involved. Ketner describes the process of telling friends and describes the family ceremony that included her partner Ginny, Ginny’s children, and a host of other invited guests, who ended up fully supporting them. Her mother, whom Ketner took care of for years, eventually was won over, as well. In 2008, Ketner ran as a totally “out” candidate for US Congress; she describes that and how she and others founded Alliance For Full Acceptance (AFFA) in Charleston, SC and SC Equality, in Columbia, SC. She mentions Tom Meyers and his organization We Are Family and discusses the work of AFFA and SC Equality on such LGBTQ issues such as HIV/AIDS awareness and on other public, religious, and law enforcement topics. Ketner discusses her curiosity as to what might survive death; and the interview concludes with her assessment of challenges facing the LGBTQ community today. She particularly notes the troubling policies and attitudes of President Donald J. Trump, and the lack of strategic planning necessary for progressive movements to sustain themselves and survive.
LGBTQ Life in the Lowcountry Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Personal or Corporate Subject:
Food Lion, Trump, Donald, 1946-
Topical Subject:
Coming out (Sexual orientation), Lesbian couples as parents, Homophobia, Sexual orientation--Religious aspects, Homosexuality--Law and legislation--South Carolina
Geographic Subject:
Faith (N.C.), Salisbury (N.C.), Charleston (S.C.)
Shelving Locator:
S.C. County:
Charleston County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
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Copyright © College of Charleston Libraries.
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For more information, contact Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries, 66 George Street, Charleston SC 29424.