Estes is a professor of History at Sonoma State University in California. He earned a B.A. in history and economics from Rice University in Houston, Texas. After spending a short while working in San Francisco, he went to the University of Georgia for an M.A. in history and then to the University of North Carolina for a Ph.D. in history.
Along the way, he worked as an interviewer for the Southern Oral History Program in North Carolina, a counselor at the Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, a teacher in the Sunflower County Freedom Project in Mississippi, a researcher at the American Youth Policy Forum in Washington, D.C., and a guest curator at the GLBT Historical Society in San Francisco.
His books include I Am a Man!: Race, Manhood, and the Struggle for Civil Rights (2005), and Ask & Tell: Gay and Lesbian Veterans Speak Out (2007). He is currently working on Too Proud to Whitewash: Charleston since the Civil Rights Movement, which is about his hometown.
A complete list of guest speakers in the Contemporary History Institute Spring lecture series is available at http://www.ohio.edu/conhist/sponsored-events/speaker-series.html