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Georgia Transgender Oral History Project: Useful information for Interviewees

Before the Interview

Before the interview:

  • You will be given a copy of the Georgia Transgender Oral History Project Interviewee Packet. This packet provides information about the project. It also summarizes what will happen during and after the interview, and provides an example of the release form that you will be asked to sign after your interview is finished.
  • If you do not have access to a computer at home, we can arrange for you to use one in a safe, quiet space.
  • You will have the opportunity to meet with the archivist and/or the person who will interview you. You can request as many meetings as you want - we want you to feel comfortable going in to your interview!
  • You will be asked to complete an interviewee form. This form asks for information about you. It also provides an opportunity for you to select the topics you would like to talk about.
  • You will be asked if you are comfortable being interviewed using video. If you are not, we can arrange for the interview to be audio only.
  • You will be asked to do a short technology check Zoom meeting a few days before your interview. This allows us to make sure that our computers are working. It also allows us to look at the lighting in the place that you will be interviewed.

What to Expect

  • Your interview will feel similar to any regular Zoom meeting, except for the fact that it is being recorded. The person interviewing you will have a list of questions to ask you (you will have pre-selected the topics you want to discuss). The interviewer may not say as much as a friend would during a regular conversation. This is because they are there to guide you through the interview. The interview is all about you, not the person interviewing you!!
  • At the beginning of the interview, the interviewer will read a statement that includes your names, the name of the project, and the date. The interviewer will also ask for your verbal permission to record the interview.
  • Most interviews last approximately two (2) hours, however, your interview may be shorter or longer. If it looks like your interview will be very long, we may schedule a second interview. Talking about yourself can be quite tiring, so you should feel free to let the person interviewing you know that you need to take a rest or stop interviewing for the day.
  • Interviews can be quite emotional. We always recommend having a supply of tissues on hand. Talking for a long time can also make you thirsty, so have a glass of water available too.
  • After the interview, you may be tired, so try to rest for a while.

The Release Form

When your interview is over, you will be asked to sign a release form. This form officially transfers ownership of your interview to Special Collections and Archives at Georgia State University. When the interview has been transcribed, you will have the right to review it. You and your heirs will also have the right to copy, use, or publish all or part of your interview.

There are sections in the form that will ask you to:

1) Provide personal information - name, address, e-mail

2) Select the level of access to your interview. Options include:
a) The content may be made available, without restriction in the Reading Room at Georgia State University and online. 
b) The content may be available in the reading room only, and researchers who come to GSU may obtain copies of the interview.
c) The content may be available in the reading room only, and copies may not be requested.
d) The content may be made available to researchers in transcript form in the reading room, by reproduction, and online, with the Interviewee's personal information and/or portions redacted.
e) The content may be made available to researchers in transcript form in the reading room only, with the Interviewer's personal information redacted. Researchers in the reading room may obtain copies of the interview. 
d) The content may be made available to researchers in transcript form in the reading room only, with the Interviewer's personal information redacted. Copies may not be requested.

3) Select an option for when your interview can be made available. Options include:
a) Immediately
b) On a specific date that you choose
c) After your death

4) Choose a pseudonym (alternative name) if desired.

After the Interview

Once you have completed your interview, you may request a copy of the audio or video for your interview. The archivist can send it/them to you almost immediately.

The interview will go into a queue for transcription. Transcription involves typing, word-for-word, everything that was said in the interview.

When the transcription is completed, we will send you a copy of the transcript. If you see any part of the transcript that you would like to remove, we can do that upon request. 

If you have given us permission to make the interview publicly available, we will synchronize the audio/video with the transcript, and add it to the Georgia State University Library's Digital Collections.

Information about the interview will be added to this Georgia Transgender Oral History Project research guide.

You can share the interview in any way you want!

While we value the insights oral histories and interviewees contribute to the historical record, we recognize the sensitive nature of the information contained therein and are committed to honoring donor/interviewee wishes for the handling of their own life materials. If you have contributed to this oral history collection and wish to have any information pertaining to your oral history (including associated descriptions*, such as abstracts and biosketches) redacted, edited, or removed entirely, please email your request to (*This includes name and/or pronoun changes.)

Making the Most of Zoom

  • Lighting
  • If possible, be in a quiet location with natural light.
  • Make sure the light is facing you and not behind you
  • Avoid directly facing a window (this protects your eyes)
  • Getting the Right Angle
  • Have your camera at eye level. Adjust the height of your monitor to keep your face up. (You can use books, boxes, or Tupperware to help raise up the monitor or laptop.)
  • Location
  • Try to find a quiet place with few distractions, visually or audibly.
  • Consider using headphones if you’re in a place that might have background noise
  • Make sure you’re physically comfortable in your chair

  • Zoom Set-up
  • Please have the name you want connected to this history in your Zoom profile.
    • To do this, once in the meeting click the three dots that appear as you hover your cursor over your image. A drop-down menu will appear. Select “Rename” and type the name you’d like.

  • What to wear
  • Please where anything that makes you feel comfortable. Do not wear stripes. Consider wearing solid colors, avoiding all black or all white.

Download Zoom

Using a Mac:
Zoom instructions

Installing the Zoom application
  1. Visit our Download Center.
  2. Under Zoom Client for Meetings, click Download.
  3. Double click the downloaded file. ...
  4. Once the installer opens, click Continue.
  5. Choose the destination for installation: ...
  6. Click Continue.


Using a PC:

How to download Zoom on your PC
  1. Open your computer's internet browser and navigate to the Zoom website at
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Download" in the web page's footer.
  3. On the Download Center page, click "Download" under the "Zoom Client for Meetings" section.
  4. The Zoom app will then begin downloading.

Special Collections and Archives

Special Collections and Archives

Oral Histories at GSU

Gender and Sexuality Collections: Subject Guide

Phone: (404) 413-2880

Mailing Address:
Special Collections & Archives
Georgia State University Library
100 Decatur Street, SE
Atlanta, Georgia 30303-3202

In Person:
Library South, 8th floor

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