In honor of Gay Pride Month, Atlanta’s Radial Cafe was abuzz with stories from the LGBTQ community on Wednesday evening, June 23, 2010. Radial owner Phil Palmer generously hosted Atlanta StoryCorps and over 100 members of Atlanta’s LGBTQ community, their friends, family and colleagues. Master of ceremonies for the evening was WABE’s own John Lemley, host of City Cafe, which airs on WABE each Tuesday.
Upon entering the event, attendees registered and received a bag of goodies donated by WABE. They then enjoyed light fare graciously provided by Radial.
Once the program was underway, attendees listened to LGBTQ stories selected from both national and local participants. All of the local StoryCorps Atlanta alumni whose stories we played were in attendance.
Jamie Strand, whose story aired on WABE just the day before, talked about sharing her story of being a transgender woman. Jamie, born male, was a very popular football player, and even married a cheerleader. After twenty-four years of marriage, he realized that he had to manifest the truth he had known about himself from the age of five. Jim became Jamie and now lives happily and openly as a woman. Jamie took the podium that night – emphasizing that her journey was not an easy one. When an audience member asked what happened to the cheerleader, Jamie pointed to her and said, “She’s right here.” The whole room exploded in applause.
Several alumni expressed their appreciation that StoryCorps was reaching out to the LGBTQ community in Atlanta. It was clear to all in attendance that LGBTQ stories are important not only to StoryCorps, but to the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the Southeast, the United States and the world.