Story Sharing Day

We invite the public to sign up for a time to share their stories. The last thing VideoOut wants to do is parachute into a community, exploit that community for their story capitol, and then leave. So, we partner with organizations and community leaders to help us rally people to share their stories. Each person signs up for a 30 minute slot, we guide them through the process, and then we share the stories back to the organization or community.

Here are some examples of stories that have been recorded at Story Sharing Day events across the country:

 
 

Fabian Rodriguez

You may know Fabian as RuPaul's Drag Race star, Naysha Lopez, but his story started long before he became famous. Fabian's story is not uncommon: he was taught that being gay is not right. His mother read his journal and discovered his secret. Listen to Fabian's story to figure out how it all worked out for him, then add your own story to the VideoOut library.

In partnership with Center On Halsted in Chicago.

 

Stephan Duret

Stephane Duret is the founder of Kaiser's Room, a NYC based nonprofit that empowers kids on the Autism spectrum. He's also an actor in Kinky Boots on Broadway. There's little that Stephane cannot do, and in this story, he explains how he learned to the most important thing of all: just be himself.

We collaborated with Kinky Boots on Broadway and Housing Works Thrift Stores in New York City.

 

Pheobe VanCleefe

Gender and identity expectations aren't always right for everyone, and that's why Phoebe is non-binary. An advocate for LGBTQ youth experiencing homelessness, Phoebe is a community super force. Armed with a story full of lived experience, wisdom and compassion, Phoebe has something for all of us to hear. Listen to Phoebe's story and then share your own at videoout.org!

We partnered with Marriott International and True Colors Fund in Atlanta.

 

Norma Seledon

Noma Seledon has a heart of gold! The driving force behind all that she does is her love for people. That's why it's no surprise that she was inducted into Chicago's LGBT Hall of Fame in recognition of her community building work - work that touches countless lives. Her expertise and passion for the intersection of humanity makes her a powerful and empathetic leader. Again, we're not surprised that Norma is a doctoral candidate studying Community Psychology. Norma's story is so important - it's a voice that's all too often unheard. She's proud of her Mexican heritage. And we're proud of her.

We partnered with Alphawood Gallery and Chicago Sinfonietta in Chicago.

 

Rev. Mark Byrd

Coming out is a journey, and for Reverend Mark Byrd, it included marriage and a daughter - and telling his entire church congregation. When he called his parents to tell them that he was separating from his wife, their response was disheartening, but Mark's love and grace is an example for us all. And living as that example is what brings him true joy.

We partnered with LGBT Life Center in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

 

Sean McKenna

Coming out wasn't particularly difficult for Sean McKenna. He risked the same thing we all risk - losing friends and family, ridicule, etc. - but he knew he had to be true to himself. NYC helped him do that! His story isn't uncommon either. His mom was reluctant, thinking this can't be the best for her son. It's what happened in Sean's life years later that sets his story apart. He's HIV+, and he's a long-term survivor. Listen to his story about what it takes to be gay, HIV+, and a good human being. His advice is for all of us (hint: the answer is love).

We partnered with Bureau of General Services Queer Division in New York City.

 

Sarina Bello

Sarina left Jonathan in the past, but she will not forget to acknowledge him. Now, however, she is happy living in her truth. At 16, she started telling everyone. It started with her mom, who came out to her at the same time. At first, Sarina thought it was a joke, but quickly realized her mom was in fact a lesbian. Then, Sarina came out again - this time, it was to fully realize who she is. Now, Sarina knows she’s fabulous. And she thinks you are too!

We partnered with Staten Island Pride Center in New York City.

 

Grace Balzar

Grace is the epitome of her name. She experienced abuse from her bilogical parents, lived in the foster care system, transitioned in a time of what seemed like politically sanctioned prejudice, and has the best attitude about life you could possibly imagine. Grace has a message for anyone still experiencing abuse, and she also shows us all how to live and love in a way that will undoubtedly make the world a better place.

We partnered with Colorado GBLT Center in Denver, Colorado.

 

Sushma

Sushma is an actor whose passion for others is beautifully evident. From small town Pennsylvania, Sushma was one of the only Indian people in her community. Now, Sushma's pansexual identity manifests itself through an uncompromising love for those around her. It has nothing to do with sex, actually. It's about the heart and the mind.

We partnered with Interstate the Musical in New York City.

 

Here’s a video we helped create in partnership with Grey for National Coming Out Day 2017. We recorded each person’s story as a part of a company wide Story Sharing Day. They can all be viewed in VideoOut’s library.