UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

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Janice Covington Allison papers

Identifier: MS0617

Content Description

This collection contains material generated by Janice Covington Allison in her fight for LGBT rights and an end to discrimination against transgender individuals. It includes items related to her work with TransCarolina, the Democratic Women of Mecklenburg County and Pride. There is also a large series of memorabilia that contains a significant amount of items from the 2012 and 2016 Democratic National Conventions.


  • 2008-2016

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Janice Covington Allison papers are the physical property of J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections. Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical / Historical

Janice Covington Allison was born James Franklin Allison in 1947 in Wilmington, Delaware. Allison first began to realize she was different at age 11, when a nurse told her that she was not developing as a boy should. The fact that she exhibited more feminine traits angered her father and he began to verbally and physically abuse her, until her mother intervened and stopped him. In 1964, she enlisted in the army and served in Vietnam and Korea as a combat engineer. After leaving the military, Allison got a job at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, where she waited on notable figures such as Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Gene Autry and The Supremes. During her time in San Francisco, she was arrested on several occasions when police raided gay nightclubs in the city. Allison met her future wife, who was originally from North Carolina, in 1971 and they relocated to the Charlotte area a few years later.

She began her career as a volunteer firefighter at the Pitts Fire Department in Cabarrus county, where she dressed as a male by day but lived privately as a female. In February 2003, she founded TranCarolina, a group that fights for workplace rights and serves as a social group for transgender people. In 2005, Allison stopped presenting publicly as a male and in 2012, North Carolina's 8th Congressional District elected her to be the first transgender woman to represent the state at the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte. In 2013, Allison became the first transgender member of the Mecklenburg County Democratic Women's Association and served as the chair of diversity and outreach for the North Carolina Democratic Party. One of her primary issues was securing passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act to protect transgender individuals in the workplace.

In 2015, she visited a woman's restroom at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center during a City Council debate over whether to extend nondiscrimination protection to LGBT citizens. Allison was escorted out of the restroom by police, but it was an example of the fierceness with which she fought for causes she believed in and helped bring the issue to the forefront of the city's eyes. Janice Covington Allison died on October 1, 2021 at Atrium Health Mercy Hospital in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sources: https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article254706257.html



2 Linear Feet (1 large tub and 1 crown box)




Papers documenting Allison's work in the LGBT community, particularly in the area of transgender rights. Includes subject files, correspondence, awards, newspapers and memorabilia.


The collection is arranged into the following five series: Activism, Cards and Correspondence, Awards, Newspapers and Memorabilia.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated in 2021 by Janice Covington Allison.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in 2021 by Andrew Pack.
Janice Covington Allison papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte 28223 United Stated