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StoryCorps Is Looking For Tales from the Stonewall Era


Stonewall OutLoud is emphasizing the search on rural communities, communities of color, and transgender elders. 

If you're one of those people who gets a good cry out when they hear StoryCorps on NPR every week, get ready for a new round of LGBTQ-centered stories.

StoryCorps, a project to preserve personal stories from people across the country (which are often known to be quite touching), is launching Stonewall OutLoud to collect stories from LGBTQ+ elders, and preserve queer history for future generations. Through StoryCorps' app, people can record their own personal account of being an LGBTQ+ person; the Stonewall OutLoud project is focused especially on those who were around during the time of the Stonewall Riots.

StoryCorps will work with several LGBTQ+ organizations on this project, including SAGE, the National LGBTQ Task Force, Griot Circle, and GLSEN. According to the project's coordinators, each of these interviews will be preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

"Stonewall OutLoud will reach deep into LGBTQ communities across the country to ensure that as wide a collection of voices as possible are recorded and preserved," the organization said in a statement. "With special emphasis given to rural communities, communities of color, and transgender elders, the initiative seeks to connect older and younger generations through the powerful StoryCorps interview experience, preserve these stories for the future, and share the voices of the LGBTQ community with a broad general audience through educational and broadcast partnerships."

Dave Isay, the founder of StoryCorps, said it was important to preserve these stories since so little documented information about this time exists. "In the spirit of the Shoah project, which documented the stories of every living Holocaust survivor," Isay said in a statement, "and Maya Angelou's stirring words, 'History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again,' we hope that Stonewall OutLoud will be a beautiful, loving celebration of LGBTQ elders on this historic anniversary."

Gather 'round children and learn from your elders.

RELATED | Listen: StoryCorps Releases Hopeful, Pre-Stonewall Story for National Coming Out Day

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