LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Gary Emenitove

Title

LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Gary Emenitove

Subject

Queer Omaha Archives
Sexual minorities -- Nebraska -- Omaha
interviews
oral histories (document genres)

Description

Click here to access the interview, LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Gary Emenitove

Mr. Gary Emenitove, retired broadcaster and performer with the River City Mixed Chorus, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on February 20, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska. Emenitove shared information about growing up in Council Bluffs, his early love of music and radio, joining the Metropolitan Community Church and accepting his sexuality, forming the River City Mixed Chorus, and his career in radio broadcasting.

Biographical Sketch

Mr. Gary Emenitove, born in Kansas City, Missouri, is a white gay man, retired radio broadcaster, and one of the founding members of the River City Mixed Chorus. At a young age, Emenitove's parents moved the family to Council Bluffs, Iowa, to open up their small business. Later, Emenitove attended college at the University of Iowa and graduated with a BA in Journalism and Broadcasting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 1974. Emenitove would go on to have a decades-long career in radio broadcasting, working for stations in Iowa, Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. As a lover of music and singing, Emenitove was one of the founding members of the River City Mixed Chorus in the early 1980's, Nebraska's only GLTBA chorus. Emenitove currently resides in Omaha with his husband, Michael.

Interview Summary

Mr. Gary Emenitove, retired broadcaster and performer with the River City Mixed Chorus, was interviewed by Luke Wegener on February 20, 2018, in Omaha, Nebraska. Emenitove was born in Kansas City, Missouri as the only child of Karl and Helena Emenitove. When Emenitove was young, the family moved from Missouri to Council Bluffs, where they bought and operated a small business. The store was a significant, time-consuming part of Emenitove's parent's lives, and they spent most of their time tending to the store.

Emenitove enjoyed music, singing, radio broadcasting, and listening to the news from a young age. He worked odd jobs at a radio station as a child and was always a member of the school chorus. Growing up in Council Bluffs in the 1960's, Emenitove was aware of his same-sex attraction, but did not openly discuss or act on his feelings.

Emenitove moved to Omaha in 1983 and worked at the Sweet 98 radio station, his first job at a large and popular station. After a road trip with friends to Des Moines for a Twin Cities Men's Chorus concert, Emenitove and friends formed the Mid City Chorus in Omaha, which eventually led the creation of the River City Mixed Chorus. Music and chorus have been Emenitove's lifelong passions.

Emenitove later joined a gay discussion group at Metropolitan Community Church of Omaha (MCC),and found an environment that was comfortable and accepting of his sexuality. Never having outright denied his sexuality, but also not fully coming out to those in his life outside the discussion group, Emenitove credits Pastor Jan Kross at MCC with helping him finally open up about his sexuality in his 30's. Emenitove currently resides in Omaha with his husband, Michael.

In this interview, Emenitove also discusses working against Nebraska Initiative 416, the great changes in radio technology and equipment over the course of his career, and his views on the Trump administration.

Interview Notes

Some bits of background noise, noise from a dog tag.

Emenitove provided some clarifications for the interview. He referred to the "Mid City Singers" in the audio, but clarified that the name was actually the "Mid City Chorus." He also clarified that the second director of River City Mixed Chorus died of AIDS, not the first.

Date

2018 February 20

Publisher

University of Nebraska at Omaha Libraries

Relation

LGBTQ+ Oral History Collection finding aid available at https://archives.nebraska.edu/repositories/4/resources/604

Interviewer

Luke Wegener

Duration

01:19:23

Files

http://revelation.unomaha.edu/_bepress/omeka/asc-contentdm-original.jpg

Citation

“LGBTQ+ Voices: Interview with Gary Emenitove,” Queer Omaha Archives, accessed November 22, 2018, https://queeromahaarchives.omeka.net/items/show/3260.

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