StoryCorps Releases Hopeful, Pre-Stonewall Story for National Coming Out Day

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As part of StoryCorps’ OutLoud initiative to gather LGBTQ stories across America, Patrick Haggerty recalls talking with his father about being gay in rural Dry Creek, Washington, in the late 1950s.

The groundbreaking oral history project StoryCorps released the animated short “The Saint of Dry Creek” in partnership with the It Gets Better Project today as part of the OutLoud initiative to document the stories of LGBTQ people across America. In the story, Patrick Haggerty remembers the advice his father, a dairy farmer in rural Dry Creek, Wa., gave him when, in the late 1950s, he realized his son was gay.

OutLoud documents the powerful, varied experiences of LGBTQ people. The initiative honors the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrates the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplifies the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record.

“We’ve recorded 700 interviews with 1500 people in the last year,” Isay tells Out. “I am surprised again and again how important these interviews are to the participants, and how powerful the stories are, and how little there is in the public record about life pre-Stonewall, especially in small towns and red states, like in this recent story. They rip my heart out—and inspire me—again and again. “

The end result of OutLoud will be a diverse collection of stories that will enrich our nation’s history.StoryCorps launched OutLoud in 2014 on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the riots, in memory of StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s father, the renowned psychiatrist and early advocate for marriage equality Dr. Richard Isay, who came out to Dave when he was 22 and Richard was 52. More information about OutLoud, and interviews collected for the initiative, can be found atStoryCorps.org/outloud/.

StoryCorps and the It Gets Better Project released this animated story for National Coming Out Day. See more StoryCorps.org/animation/

 

 

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