We all have stories to share. These stories document who we were, who we are now, and how we got here. These stories also allow others to find solace, common ground, strength and hope. As the Freethought movement grows, there has been a lot of comparison drawn from the tactics and the experience of the LGBT movement in the area of “coming out”. Some have found it an appropriate analogy, while others find it too disproportionate a point of a departure. To say the least, we all have our own opinions on the necessity, viability, and steps toward increased visibility and acceptance.
As such, the LGBT Humanist Council wants to know from you: what is your story? Your story is valuable. It is who you are, and it is also part of our story. Humanism is about our individual experience, and those interpersonal reactions culminating in our shared humanity. Your story is one of Our Stories. We wish to archive this point in the development of the broader Humanist community and reflect on the intersection of LGBT, Freethought, and visibility.
In the Our Stories project, tell us your story. In the space provided below, please share your story, your thoughts, and anything else that you would like. Though we prefer the unfiltered experience, you can provide your story and opinions at any level of candor you wish (let it all hang out or give us just a glimpse). All stories submitted will be held in the strictest of confidence; but we would like to share some of them on here and in a proposed upcoming book.
Here are some basic questions to provide some direction. Remember that all of your responses are voluntary, held in confidence, and we will contact you if your story is selected for sharing (in advance of any publication), for your consent and any level of desired anonymity. This is a place to share your story whether you are a Freethinker, LGBT person, an ally, or anywhere in between. We want you to share your thoughts whether you are Humanist who struggles at the Thanksgiving dinner table with your mother who constantly gives you Bible tracts, or you are a lesbian woman how doesn’t see the need to let everyone know, or even if you are a person completely opposed to the philosophy of Secular Humanism and who thinks that all gays are going to hell (you are reading this, that means that you are part of the story).
- How do you consider yourself: a Humanist, Freethinker, Atheist, ally, or a Christian, Muslim, etc (elaborate)?
- How would you identify yourself (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Heterosexual, ally, etc)?
- Would you consider yourself out of the closet, and to what extent?
- What is your story? (for example: How did you come to a position of freethought? When did you discover that you were LGBT? Was it a struggle for you, if so, what tensions or conflict did you encounter? Did you suffer extreme harassment and intimidation, or was it a non-issue? Do you have some funny anecdotes or stories? Do you have a coming out story, or did it “just kind of happen” because “everybody knew”? How did your family react? Or have you not told them? Do you feel the need to come out, or is not being out a non-issue entirely?)
- Who in our society has a more difficult time being out of the closet LGBT people, or Freethinkers? And to what extent? (elaborate).
- How important is it for someone to be out of the closet, and why should they?
- What advice do you have to someone trying to become visible, or maintain visibility?
- Any other thoughts that you have.
This project is for everyone connected with this intersection of communities at this moment in our history. This project is also intended to encourage us to all think more deeply about who we are and our path to getting here. We are all in this together, and together we shall thrive. Please share your story and help us promote this project.