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Leslie Sarvis interview, 2021-10-04

Identifier: dcpl_dcohc029_03.wav

Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

D.C. Oral History Collaborative (DCOHC) is a citywide initiative to train community members in oral history skills, fund new and ongoing oral history projects, connect volunteers with oral history projects, and publicize existing oral history collections. DCOHC is a project of DC Public Library, HumanitiesDC, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. This collection contains oral history interviews, transcripts, and indexes produced by DCOHC grantees.


  • Creation: 2021-10-04


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Born in D.C. in 1959, Leslie Sarvis mostly grew up near H and 17th Streets NE and had a sister who was transgender as well. She transitioned at an early age and became a “street girl.” She performed drag shows, struggled with drugs, and spent time in prison. She has worked with several community organizations helping the transgender and larger LGBT communities in D.C. including THE and the Wanda Alston Foundation. She now lives in Petworth near the Metro stop.


From the Collection: 1.13 Terabytes


Ms. Sarvis discusses growing up in D.C., mostly in Carver/Langston in Northeast, her early sense of herself as different and coming into her gender and sexuality, her older sister also being trans, going to clubs and performing, the impact of the AIDS epidemic, her time in prison, her involvement with transgender and HIV/AIDS organizations including Transgender Health Empowerment, and the changes in the city.

Related Materials

Oral Histories with similar themes and narrators are also available through the Rainbow History Project.


Please note: This interview includes graphic descriptions of violence.

Repository Details

Part of the The People's Archive, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library Repository

901 G Street NW
4th Floor East
Washington DC 20001