In this article I throw off my designated subject position as the “narrator” and step into the critical historian’s role of interpreter to interrogate my experience of being interviewed for a large-scale lesbian and gay oral history project. From this position I came to recognize that, despite having volunteered for the project, I was wary of the “gay-life framework” I felt had been imposed on the story of my life. In addressing the narrator’s experience of the interview and the narrator’s apparent exclusion from the afterlife of the interview, I claim both a critical space for the narrator but also offer an evolving reflection on the ambivalent power of the institution and, unexpectedly, on the continuing power of heterocentric and silencing discourses.

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