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Veronica Mainetti


Albany, New York “Change comes about in many, many ways. And they all interlock and work with each other. It’s like somebody has to break the eggs and somebody has to make the omelettes. And some change you do from the inside. Some you do from the outside. And then there’s the nuances of how inside is inside. But one thing that you always have to be careful about when you’re making changes, I think, from the inside is to make sure that that person that you’re working with has enough information, enough support, enough conviction themselves, because you’ve convinced them and given them all the arguments, that they can then take it to the next step. Because if they’re convinced that they don’t know how they’re going to articulate this beyond here, then nothing is going to happen.”⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ The “inside” person Jean O’Leary is referring to here, in her 1989 interview with Eric, is Midge Costanza, Special Assistant to President Carter (and Jean’s then partner in life), who facilitated the historic first White House meeting between President Carter’s staff and leaders from the gay and lesbian rights movement, in 1977. #makinggayhistory⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Image: Jean O’Leary (left) and Midge Costanza (right) at the New York State Women’s Meeting, Albany, New York, July 8-10, 1977. Credit: ©Jo Freeman, www.jofreeman.com.⁠⠀

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