personal narratives

Recent posts

Reflections On Coming Out

October 11th was National Coming Out Day, which was established after the 1987 March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. This celebration of identity is intended to promote equality, safety, and tolerance for all, regardless of sexual identity. People’s willingness to share their coming-out stories is a significant part of this movement. As someone who studies storytelling, I can tell you that stories are a powerful expression of the cultural and individual aspects of our identities. It makes sense that collecting coming-out stories would yield a great many insights about the commonalities of both oppression and acceptance. Continue Reading →

The Importance Of Storytelling To Sexual Health

Stories are indisputably powerful: the success of the movie-factories of Hollywood and Bollywood, the mass-market paperback book industry, and the blogosphere all attest to the fact that stories in so many forms can reach, affect, and transform people’s lives. Stories and storytelling also play an important role in sex education. This piece on how storytelling can lead to insights about teens’ sexual choices is a short but compelling argument for the necessity of including teens’ voices in the discourses about their sexuality. By telling the story of a straight-A student who became pregnant in high school–and letting her speak for herself about her fears, her confusion, her decision to keep the baby, and her activism in sex education–the piece makes a powerful statement about how the inclusion of storytelling in sex education is invaluable. The specific set of stories discussed has to do with pregnancy prevention among teenage populations, but the applications are far wider. Continue Reading →