Oral History Archives at Columbia
 

Thomas Iorio Stonewall Vets video recordings, 1994-1996

Summary Information

Abstract

The Thomas Iorio Stonewall Vets video recordings document LGBTQ culture and heritage in New York City in the mid-1990s. Some footage in the collection was ultimately used in Iorio's short film Stonewall: The March Forward. This film is also found in the collection. Iorio took these videos to connect with LGBTQ history after he came out in the 1990s. The footage has a mixture of oral history interviews and recorded events and activities. Major themes of the collection are the activities of the Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association (SVA), the lives of unhoused LGBTQ individuals on the piers west of New York City, drag performance, and LGBTQ life in Manhattan in the 1990s. Figures featured include Sylvia Rivera, Williamson Lee Henderson (Willson Henderson), Stephen Van Cline, and Queen Allyson Ann Allante.

At a Glance

Call No.: OHAC
Bib ID 15145328 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Iorio, Thomas ; Wicker, Randy
Title Thomas Iorio Stonewall Vets video recordings, 1994-1996
Physical Description 28 videocassettes (Hi 8); 5 videocassettes (VHS); 1 item
Language(s) Collection is in English.
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

Access: Open

Arrangement

Arrangement

Collection is arranged chronologically.

Description

Scope and Contents

The Thomas Iorio Stonewall Vets video recordings document LGBTQ culture and heritage in New York City in the mid-1990s. Some footage in the collection was ultimately used in Iorio's short film Stonewall: The March Forward. This film is also found in the collection. Iorio took these videos to connect with LGBTQ history after he came out in the 1990s. The footage has a mixture of oral history interviews and recorded events and activities. Iorio is also sometimes the subject of the films. Camera-work is also frequently undertaken by Randy Wicker and occasionally by Stephen Van Cline.

A major theme in the collection is the activities of the Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association (SVA). The SVA was founded to preserve the history of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, communicate about GLBT issues, and provide assistance to GLBT individuals in need. Iorio's interviews with Stonewall vets document the events of the 1969 uprising and how the community's history was understood and celebrated in the 1990s. There is also footage of the organization's meetings and participation in events. Figures featured include Sylvia Rivera, Williamson Lee Henderson (Willson Henderson), Stephen Van Cline, and Queen Allyson Ann Allante.

Another major theme of the collection is the lives of unhoused LGBTQ individuals on the piers west of Greenwich Village in New York City. Across several videos, Iorio and Wicker record Sylvia Rivera describing life in this community. The videos capture a moment when the city was forcibly removing this community in favor of the gentrifying forces that would follow.

Drag performance also receives considerable attention. The collection contains several recordings of performances and documents performers as they prepare to perform. Performers also speak on practical aspects of performance and their philosophies about the art form. Iorio's videos also offer a more general window into LGBTQ life in Manhattan in the 1990s. Videos document longstanding events such as the NYC Pride March and Greenwich Village's Halloween parade, interiors of clubs and bars, and informal activities with friends. The collection also includes dubs of commercial films and documentaries found among Iorio's other tapes.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Conditions Governing Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

Access: Open

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright by Thomas Iorio or other creators. The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York hold a non-exclusive license to enable library activities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Thomas Iorio, Gift, 2019

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Collection processed by David A. Olson and Alexander J. Whelan. Collection was processed concurrent with digitization as part of Columbia University Libraries' Mellon Foundation-funded Audio and Moving Image Project, 2020-2021.

Revision Description

Links to digitized items added. kws 2021-08-12

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Interviews Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Oral histories (literary works) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Allante, Queen Allyson Ann Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Drag shows Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gay activists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gay community Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gay liberation movement -- United States -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gay pride parades Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Greenwich Village (New York, N.Y.) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Henderson, Williamson Lee Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Homeless persons -- New York (State) -- New York Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Rivera, Sylvia, 1951-2002 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stonewall Riots, New York, N.Y., 1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Transgender people Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Van Cline, Stephen Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Iorio was a documenter of LGBTQ history in New York City. After coming out in the 1990s, he used oral history interviewing and filmmaking as a mode of self-discovery and means of learning about the community's history. He connected with members of the Stonewall Rebellion Veterans Association (SVA), and collected stories of many individuals who were at the 1969 Stonewall uprising. Iorio used footage to create a short film titled Stonewall: The March Forward. In 1996, the film was submitted for broadcast to the "Short Film and Video Festival on the Air" of the television show In the Life. It was not ultimately aired. Iorio was a 1991 graduate of Columbia College. By the 2010s he was living in Waterbury, Connecticut and London in the United Kingdom.