Theme suggestion: Coming Out (This means whatever it means to you. It's just a jumping off point. You can tell unrelated stories.)
WHAT IS IT? Queers sharing stories. Think of it as an informal, conversational open mic. Or a slightly formalized, cut-to-the-good-shit conversation between new and old friends. If you're not sure you're ready to share a story, come to listen anyway. Maybe you'll feel supported and inspired enough once you're here. No pressure.
WHAT KIND OF STORIES? Stories should be about your own life. Stories from your day. Stories from last year. Stories from when you were five. Stories about a dream you had. Stories that may or may not be related to your experience of intersecting identities of race, gender, presentation, class, ability, sexuality, etc. Stories that may or may not be related to the theme of the evening. Stories that may or may not be directly related to your queerness. Your stories!
And responses to stories. "i can relate" "that reminds me of my experience" "can i ask you a question?" "you're amazing" "thank you for sharing"
WHY: Have you ever been among a group of queer friends and gotten on the topic of coming out? Suddenly everyone's listening intently, compassionately as you take turns telling your stories--of coming out, not coming out, coming out over and over, the journey, the process, what happened then, what's happening now, ups and downs...
Stories are how we bond. This is what makes us family.
WHAT TO BRING: Light snack (optional). A story or two (optional). Listening ears (makes it sound like I'm a preschool teacher--I sort of am--but listening ears are not optional :))
NOTE: This is not a support or therapy group (though everyone is expected to be supportive and storytelling can be naturally therapeutic).
The concept and format of storytelling night are a work in progress. Your ideas, questions and suggestions are welcome!
By car: Free street parking. Easy.
By bike: Also easy. You can lock your bike against anything in the backyard or put it in our garage. Just ask me to open it for you.
By BART/bus: Still pretty easy. From downtown Oakland (12th St and 19th BART stations) take the 1, 1R, 40, or even the 14, though that's less preferred. From Lake Merritt BART, take the 62 or arrange for me to pick you up, no problem. You can also just walk from LM BART. It's about 15 minutes.