an evening of LGBTQIA+ storytelling

VideoOut believes that speaking out is one of the most powerful actions a person can take in the fight for equality, equity, and liberation. That’s why we organize events like SpeakOut. We invite a group of storytellers to share their coming-out story in front of a live audience. Here’s a few examples from events we’ve done in the past.


Stayceyann chin

Staceyann is a lesbian immigrant who knows the power of her story. She's a poet and performer, and she uses her voice to highlight injustice, among other things. In this video, she tells about the time she came out in Jamaica. And she warns of the costs of coming out.

cesar francia

Cesar is a former-Brooklynite, a food enthusiast, globe trotter, salsa dancer, immigrant, and people lover. He is currently an Associate at Arent Fox LLP, focusing on anti-corruption compliance and immigration law. His pro-bono practice includes representing LGBT asylum seekers, and same-sex couples in the fight for marriage equality in Latin America courts and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Born and raised in Venezuela, Cesar has traveled to over 70 countries. He is a graduate of New York University and NYU School of Law, and is the recipient of the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, the Derrick Bell Scholarship for Public Service, and the Catherine B. Reynolds Scholarship in Social Entrepreneurship.

Melissa Sklarz

Melissa Sklarz is the Director of Development at Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF). She has been an LGBT activist and advocate for over 20 years, by educating the political system on trans issues and working at the city, state and federal level helping to create inclusive LGBT public policy. She is the first trans person elected to office in New York. She has been involved in the last 4 Democratic conventions and is the first trans delegate from New York, and is the first trans member of the Electoral College. She helped bring trans rights to New York City and worked with the Governor on his trans inclusive Executive action in 2015. She has worked with NY City Council, NYPD, Hetrick Martin, and SAGE to make those groups more trans inclusive.

Tatenda Ngwaru

Tatenda is a black woman, a refugee, and an intersex person. Life hasn't been easy. She was beaten in Zimbabwe before moving to the United States as an asylum seeker. She now seizes every opportunity to teach people about the intersex community. And she encourages us all to find the joy in who we are so that we conquer whatever the world throws at us.

To see photos from SpeakOut: Stories of Pride, our annual SpeakOut event with Brooklyn Brewery, click here.