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Frequently Asked Questions About…

The Project | Sharing Your Story | Supporting the Project | Etc.

About the Project

What is an oral history?

The phrase usually refers to audio interviews about recent history, described first-hand by people with direct experience. At QOHP, we call them “stories,” because we believe that everybody has a story to tell about their shared or unique experience, with or without an interviewer. All recordings made by QOHP follow the interview format. Users who submit videos may use an interviewer, but it’s not required. Information on how to record and add your video to our site is here.

Will you include written histories or audio?

We’ll be sticking to the video format for now, because we think a person’s body language, facial expression, and appearance all add to what they have to say. There’s plenty out there already in written and audio form. Of course, transcripts will eventually be available for most videos on our site.

Who is your sponsor? Are you affiliated with another organization?

We are an independent organization, just getting started. We’re in the process of filing for non-profit status, and we’re looking for a fiscal sponsor in the meantime. We’re also open to becoming a sponsored program of a larger organization if we think it’s a good match. Please be in touch if you can help us out!

Is this only local to the Bay Area? What’s the geographic scope?

We collect video stories submitted from all over the US and beyond! We also feature stories recorded on digital video here in the Bay Area, where we’re based. We hope to raise funds to travel to record stories in other parts of the country.

I know someone you should interview. How should I proceed?

If they are in the Bay Area, contact us with their name and contact information, a bit about who they are and why we should interview them. If we don’t follow up immediately, we’ll keep the information on hand for the future. Our current resources permit only a few interviews a month, and we are trying to keep our collection as diverse as possible. A simpler approach? Interview them yourself and submit the video.

Why do you use the word “queer”? Isn’t that derogatory?

Some LGBTQA folks (including us) have reclaimed the word queer as a positive thing, thus neutralizing the negativism associated with the word. For more on this, go here.

Sharing Your Story

Can I share my story or that of a friend?

YES! Please do share your own personal story. Instructions are here. If you want to share a friend’s story, you should interview them on video and submit that, using the instructions in the link above. Please don’t send videos of you talking about other peoples’ stories though—keep it personal!

I’ve never made a video before—help!

No worries, it’s pretty simple. Here are some instructions. If you need more help, contact us.

How do I share my video with you?

Easiest way? Put it on YouTube or Vimeo and send us the link. Here are instructions. If you’d like to do it another way, contact us first with details.

What happens after I send you the link?

We’ll review the video to make sure it meets our content guidelines, and the video will appear on our site.

How will stories be archived?

With your permission, we’ll keep a copy of your video story in our archives, which are separate from the website itself. When we have transcripts, we’ll keep copies of them as well.

What if I want you to have my story but I don’t want it made public?

Some of you may have stories that need to be kept more private than others. You can indicate that on the submittal form and we will only allow access to your story by special request, and notify you when we get such a request.

Can I remove my story?

Yes. Contact us and we’ll take down the link and destroy any copies we’ve made.

Supporting the Project

How can I make a donation to support your awesome work?

Gee, thanks! We’re happy to accept donations—although until we have non-profit status, donations aren’t tax-deductible. Go here to donate.

I’d like to help you by volunteering my time or services.

Great! Let us know how you’d like to help here.


I’m a scholar. How can I access full interviews?

Happy to help if we can—just contact us with details about your project and any deadlines. All requests subject to approval by QOHP.

Are there transcripts of these stories?

We hope to be able to make transcripts viewable on the site (downloadable only by special request). Right now, we need funding to pay for the service (it costs about $1/minute), or volunteers to transcribe for us.

How can I contact someone featured on your website?

If a particular story has inspired you, the best means of contact is to comment on their video, either on our website or on YouTube or Vimeo. In rare cases, we may be able to contact the person for you.