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Virginia Apuzzo Interviewed by Kelly Anderson, June 2-3, 2004

 File — Box: 4
Link to transcript of Virginia Apuzzo interview
Link to transcript of Virginia Apuzzo interview
Link to video
Link to video

Scope and Contents

In this oral history Virginia Apuzzo discusses her family heritage, growing up in an Italian American community in the Bronx, and her choice to enter the convent. The interview is particularly strong in the areas of Catholicism, faith, and spirituality. Apuzzo discusses her coming out process and the ways that her sexuality became her politics. While she touches on the women's movement, the Houston conference, and the impact of feminism in her life, Apuzzo details in depth her relationship to the gay and lesbian movement, in particular her experience with the Task Force. She also describes her campaign for the New York State Assembly and the formation of Lambda Independent Democrats. A significant focus of the interview is Apuzzo's service in the Cuomo and Clinton administrations. (Transcript 96 pp.)

Dates of Materials

  • June 2-3, 2004


Conditions Governing Web Access

At the direction of the narrator, the recording of this interview may only be placed on the web if access is restricted to the Smith College community. Please consult with special collections staff at to inquire about the existence of or access to digital copies. The interviewer and narrator for this interview have agreed that the transcript may be placed on the web.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview is open for research use without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The interviewer and narrator have transferred copyright of this interview to Smith College.

Biographical / Historical

Virginia (Ginny) Apuzzo (b.1941) was raised in the Bronx, graduated with a B.A. from SUNY New Paltz and an M.A. from Fordham University, and entered the convent at the age of 26. After leaving the convent, Apuzzo came out publicly as a lesbian, taught at Brooklyn College, and dove head first into movement politics. Working with the then-named National Gay Task Force, Apuzzo worked to have a gay and lesbian plank included in the 1976 Democratic Party platform. Subsequently, she became the Director of the Task Force, directing much of her attention to the AIDS crisis. Apuzzo's impressive political accomplishments led to two decades of political appointments, first with the Cuomo administration and then the Clinton administration, where she was appointed Assistant to the President for Administration and Management, making her the highest ranking out lesbian government official to date. Apuzzo left this post in 1999 when she rejoined the Task Force as the first holder of the Virginia Apuzzo Chair for Leadership in Public Policy. She currently resides in Kingston, New York.

Language of Materials