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Dunning, Zoe

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Oral History Project: 
Alumni Interviews
Stanford Pride Oral History Project
Lin, Jason
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Oral History Type: 

Zoe Dunning graduated with a master’s in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1993. In this interview, she describes her upbringing in the Midwest, her experiences as a student at the United States Naval Academy and the Graduate School of Business, and advocating for LGBTQ rights in the military. Dunning talks movingly of the pressures she felt as a lesbian student at the Naval Academy and while serving in the military in the 1980s and the consequences she experienced when she spoke out against the military’s ban on gay people. She describes her subsequent advocacy work, especially with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, and the circumstances that led to President Barack Obama inviting her to the signing of the law overturning the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in December 2010. She also recalls joining the Business School’s LGBTQ student group, later called Out4Biz, helping to start one of the groups most popular traditions, and getting involved with the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club in San Francisco.

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