Arden Eversmeyer was born on April 4, 1931, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She moved with her parents and younger sister to Dallas, Texas in 1943. After high school, she attended Texas State College for Women, earning a B.S. in Health and Physical Education. In 1964, she received her Master’s in Education from Sam Houston State University.
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Arden became a public school teacher. She worked in schools for 30 years, teaching Health and Physical Education and serving as a Secondary Counselor. In her early 20s, she met her first partner, Tommie. They were together for 33 years. Beginning in the 1960s, Arden joined a local Civic Club and became involved in community activism. When Tommie died of cancer in 1985, Arden openly devoted herself to promoting lesbian rights.
For over thirty years, Arden has built community and developed resources for elderly lesbians. She served six years as a Mayoral appointee to the Area Agency on Aging. In 1987, she founded Lesbians Over Age Fifty (LOAF). LOAF provides safe spaces to meet and socialize with other lesbians. Arden soon realized many of her friends were aging and dying. She started collecting their life stories, hoping to preserve their wisdom and experiences. She soon expanded her efforts, gathering stories from lesbians across Houston. In 1998 she founded the Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project (OLOHP). Since then, she has interviewed over 650 lesbians 70 years or older and published two books chronicling their tales.
Before starting the oral herstory project, Arden was involved with Old Lesbians Organizing for Change (OLOC). OLOC is a national organization that brings together older lesbian activists to work for social justice and equality for elderly lesbians. Arden was on the steering committee for 14 years and, in 2000, they agreed to support OLOHP. As a sponsor, OLOC helps Arden’s herstory project raise money and find more women willing to share their stories.
In 1987 Arden met Charlotte, whom she married in 2008. Partners for over 30 years, the two travelled and collected interviews together. Charlotte passed away in April, 2018. The Old Lesbian Oral Herstory Project and its archives are now housed at Smith College, where new stories continue to be added.