LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Pat Tetreault

Dr. Pat Tetreault, LGBTQ+ activist and researcher, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on December 15, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tetreault shared information about her upbringing in a Catholic military family, her pansexual identity, her education and research interests, moving to Lincoln to work at UNL, meeting her wife, and becoming the founding director of UNL's LGBTQA+ Resource Center in 2007., Dr. Pat Tetreault, LGBTQ+ activist, author, researcher and survivor advocate, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on December 15, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tetreault was born in El Paso, Texas in 1956 to George and Mary Ann Tetreault and was one of six children. Growing up in a traditionally strict and rule-oriented Catholic military family, Tetreault learned at a young age the benefits and limitations of self-discipline. As a child playing softball, Tetreault developed crushes on other girls but was not aware of her sexuality until much later, as same-sex attraction was a deeply taboo subject both in society and within her church. In high school during the early 1970's, Tetreault rebelled against the punitive and authoritarian structure of Catholic school and her home life, which led to the school attempting to remove her from that National Honor's Society. As a senior, Tetreault was not allowed to speak as Valedictorian, which prevented her from accessing certain scholarships and financial assistance for college. After a semester at Our Lady of the Lake in fall of 1974, Tetreault left and enrolled at the University of Texas-El Paso, where she would earn her BA in Psychology in 1979 and meet her best friend and gay man, Robert. Being exposed more to the LGBTQ+ community throughout the late 1970's, including a trip with Robert in 1978 to San Francisco right before the assassination of Harvey Milk, Tetreault began to come to terms with her bisexual (now pansexual) identity. In 1986, she earned her PhD from Kansas State University in Social Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Psychology of Women. Tetreault then moved to Lincoln, Nebraska to complete a postdoctoral fellowship in the UNL Law-Psychology program where she researched the victimization of women and was involved with organizations like Women Against Rape and Voices of Hope. Her partner at the time, Sue Fox-Emrich, moved to Lincoln shortly after to be with her. In 1992, Tetreault became the Sexuality Education Coordinator for UNL's Health Center, where she would work to provide programming and information on sexual health until 2007. From 1989 on, Tetreault was heavily involved with the Committee on GLBT Concerns, fighting to add Gender Identity to UNL's non-discrimination policy, combating discrimination against LGBTQ+ students in ROTC, and working to expand Domestic Partner benefits for LGBTQ+ faculty and staff at UNL (which was finally granted in 2013). With the growing awareness of the needs of LGBTQ+ students, Tetreault became the Founding Director of UNL's LGBTQA+ Resource Center in 2007, where she has tirelessly worked for over a decade to advocate for students and provide education for faculty and staff. In the late 1990's, after nearly 10 years together, Tetreault's relationship with Sue ended and they stayed best friends. Sue later became diagnosed with COPD and tragically died while being transferred by a medical transport. In 1998, Tetreault met her partner and future wife of 20 years, Dr. Kristin Grosskopf. In this interview, Tetreault also discusses her current relationship with family members, close friendships, and the negative impact of the Trump administration on her work and life., None, Dr. Pat Tetreault, born in El Paso, Texas in 1956, is the Founding Director of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's LGBTQA+ Resource Center and Assistant Director of Student Involvement and Student Affairs. As a long-time LGBTQ+ rights activist, published author, researcher and advocate for survivors of domestic and sexual violence, Tetreault's has worked for more than 25 years to support marginalized students. Tetreault earned a BA in Psychology from University of Texas-El Paso in 1979, and a PhD from Kansas State University in Social Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Psychology of Women in 1986. After moving to Lincoln, Nebraska in 1987 as a postdoctoral fellow, Tetreault became the Sexuality Education Coordinator for UNL's Health Center for 15 years, from 1992-2007. Tetreault has won numerous awards for her lifetime of advocacy work, including UNL's Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community (2002), Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Status of Women (1999, 2005), and Sue Tidball Award for Creative Humanity (1997). In the community, Tetreault has been involved with numerous organizations such as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays Lincoln, Lincoln NOW, Angels Theatre Company, KZUM Community Radio, and is a member of Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA), College Student Educators International (ACPA), and Consortium of LGBT Resource Professionals in Higher Education. Tetreault currently resides in Lincoln with her partner of 20 years, Dr. Kristin Grosskopf, and their cat, Pascha., UNO Libraries' Archives & Special Collections, 02:24:40
View this Object: https://library.unomaha.edu/_audio/UNO-0240_Pat-Tetreault.html
Abstract/Description: Dr. Pat Tetreault, LGBTQ+ activist and researcher, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on December 15, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Tetreault shared information about her upbringing in a Catholic military family, her pansexual identity, her education and research interests, moving to Lincoln to work at UNL, meeting her wife, and becoming the founding director of UNL's LGBTQA+ Resource Center in 2007.
Subject(s): Queer Omaha Archives
Sexual minorities -- Nebraska -- Omaha
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Date Created: 2017-12-15

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