Image from the #ThisIsOutLoud social media campaign for StoryCorps' Pride 2014 launch. Photo courtesy of StoryCorps
By Adam Kampe
The audio piece features excerpts of StoryCorps OutLoud stories and interviews with OutLoud Manager Andrew Wallace and OutLoud Producer Nadia Reiman.
A recipient of multiple NEA media arts grants, StoryCorps is a smart and ambitious nonprofit dedicated to recording, archiving, and sharing America's stories. According to its founder Dave Isay, "The heart of StoryCorps is the conversation between two people who are important to each other: a son asking his mother about her childhood, an immigrant telling his friend about coming to America, or a couple reminiscing on their 50th wedding anniversary."
Over the past several years, these intimate conversations have riveted the nation every Friday morning through broadcasts on National Public Radio, demonstrating how storytelling—whether written, visual, or aural—is not only an art but a critical part of what makes us human.
Now, we can add a new set of voices to the existing archive. In June, which was Pride Month, StoryCorps launched its OutLoud initiative, which celebrates the LGBTQ community by giving voice to individuals like Jay Fischer, an older man who discusses his homosexuality with his 90-year-old mother, Rita, and Alexis Martinez, a transgendered woman who shares the pain of transitioning from male to female with her daughter, Lesley. Like the StoryCorps National Teachers and Griot Initiatives, OutLoud creates a space for a specific community by documenting their stories, then invites others in through the act of listening. We, the people, get to eavesdrop on and learn from the community at large, thereby bringing us all a little closer together.
Special thanks to Jeremy Helton for arranging the interviews and for his input.