As someone who always has something to say, very few moments in my life render me speechless. Today is one of those days where I find it hard to articulate what is happening.
The pinnacle moment of this project has been the stories submitted to the site. Every single story is read slowly and carefully by our staff. No story is ignored and every story is valued.
As a human, it is our nature to feel some sort of compassion and empathy for others. The stories that have been submitted so far have honestly taken me 10 steps back. Each story has left me in awe. Last night alone, I read two powerfully written stories that left me frozen in time. When I read the stories for the first time (and two to three times more after that) I remove myself from my current situation and instead insert myself into the shoes of the story teller. Each story has done this to me, and they have all allowed me to gain a new perspective and better understanding of what others in the community have gone through.
They are courageous.
The individuals who took the time to share their experience not only took time out of their day to write their story, they LIVED it. The few moments it took them to write it encapsulates an entire lifetime of identity exploration and acceptance. For some, it was a journey to find self-worth where there was once none. These individuals took the time to share their experience in an effort to help someone they will likely never meet. To do that is a selfless and courageous act.
A special thank you to my Lead Editor and lifelong friend, Ally for all that she has done. From day one of our friendship, to all she has done to help me make this project come true.
Thank you to my friend Dallas for talking to me on FaceTime back in June when the idea for this project came to mind.
Lastly, thank you to every single story writer that has sent in a story, is currently drafting one, or will write one in the future.
All of you are making the world a better place.