Oral history interview with Helene Bloom, 1943-

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Oral history interview with Helene Bloom, 1943-

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Helene Bloom is a lesbian woman and is co-owner with Fran Levine of Soho Tea & Coffee at 2150 P St NW, Washington, D.C., in Dupont Circle. Soho is the oldest independent tea and coffee house in Washington, D.C.

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<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=40&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=10+November+2015+">10 November 2015 </a>

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<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=47&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=The+interview+belongs+to+the+Rainbow+History+Project.+The+RHP+release+form+was+used+and+all+rights+belong+to+RHP.">The interview belongs to the Rainbow History Project. The RHP release form was used and all rights belong to RHP.</a>

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1970s--
Helene Bloom is co-owner, with Fran Levine, of Soho Tea & Coffee at 2150 P St NW, Washington, DC's Dupont Circle neighborhood. She describes the LGBTQ community in Washington DC, from 1974 to present. She remembers demonstrating and participating in marches in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s for gay causes and women’s movement and meeting ]some of the early activists such as Gloria Steinem, Bella Abzug, Midge Costanza and Lily Tomlin. She speaks about various LGBTQ spaces in Dupont Circle such as bars, dance clubs and how Soho served as a gathering space. She discusses her professional experience and discrimination against her because she was a lesbian working in the United States government (National Institute for Mental Health, Health & Human Services, Department of Transportation) and as Executive Director of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO). She also remembers the AIDS Epidemic in terms of how the LGBTQ community reacted and the personal loss of a friend. She describes her personal life, being married to a man at a young age, the challenges of coming out in the 70’s and her family’s reaction. She speaks to themes the loss of gay gathering spaces and continued dispersion as LGBTQ lifestyles are more accepted and integrated into mainstream ways of life.


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Interviewer

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=2&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Autumn+Eastman">Autumn Eastman</a>

Interviewee

<a href="/items/browse?advanced%5B0%5D%5Belement_id%5D=3&advanced%5B0%5D%5Btype%5D=is+exactly&advanced%5B0%5D%5Bterms%5D=Helene+Bloom%2C+1943--">Helene Bloom, 1943--</a>

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Washington, D.C.

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Citation

“Oral history interview with Helene Bloom, 1943-,” Rainbow History Project Digital Collections, accessed December 14, 2019, https://archives.rainbowhistory.org/items/show/1622.

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