StoryCorps, the groundbreaking effort to document the American story, which has given 500,000 Americans across all 50 states the chance to record conversations about their lives and preserve them for future generations, is preparing to launch Stonewall OutLoud, a participatory initiative to gather the stories of LGBTQ elders before they are lost to history.
In June 1969, a series of protests and clashes with law enforcement broke out in and around New York City’s Stonewall Inn, after a violent police-raid on the gay club sparked retaliation among the bar’s patrons and neighborhood residents. The events served as a catalyst to the national LGBTQ rights movement.
This June, in honor of the 50th anniversary of what became known as the Stonewall Riots, StoryCorps will ask people across the country to use the free StoryCorps mobile App to record the stories of people within the LGBTQ community who were born before the events of Stonewall. Each of these interviews will become a permanent part of American history 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.
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.
Individuals and organizations can pledge to take part at storycorps.org/outloud
Dave Isay, President and Founder of StoryCorps said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with our partners over the month of June to ask the country to honor an LGBTQ elder with an interview and preserve this part of our history about which so little information exists. In the spirit of the Shoah project, which documented the stories of every living Holocaust survivor, 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.”