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Creating History at Creating Change

Posted on Thursday, April 4th, 2013.

From January 27-29, more than 3,400 people filed into Hilton Atlanta to attend The 25th National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference. StoryCorps Atlanta was represented among the hustle and bustle as LGBTQ advocates and their families stopped by our makeshift space to record amazing stories of courage, love, and hopes for the future.

The conference was particularly special because it also marked the 40th anniversary of the large nonprofit, offering some participants the chance to reminisce on how far their cause has come in recent years. Pat Hussain, an Atlanta native, grew up during the Civil Rights movement and reminisced on a time when she felt unaccepted as an African American lesbian woman. After witnessing a Black youth being doused with hot coffee in the 1960’s during a sit in at a lunch counter, she fled out of fear of being unable to remain non-violent.

Pat Hussain smiles after her interview.

Pat Hussain smiles after her interview.

“Everything went red because I wasn’t feeling non-violent,” she tells her longtime friend, Pam McMichael. “I left, and I was so ashamed of myself.”

During a 1990 LGBTQ-people of color rally, she recalls a long line of KKK members yelling obscenities to her and her cohorts. This time she would stand her ground.

“I thought here I was back at that lunch counter,”says McMichael. “I was finally ready for nonviolence. I did what I could, when I could.”
Listen to Pat’s story here!

Julie Childs, the executive assistant to the Task Force’s executive director, used her 40-minute recording to chat with Amy Ray of the Indigo Girls.

Julie Childs (l) and Amy Ray (r) at the Creating Change Conference 2013.

Julie Childs (l) and Amy Ray (r) at the Creating Change Conference 2013.

“Amy and I have worked on activist projects in the queer movement for nearly 16 years, but I feel like the storytelling session enriched and deepened our connection both professionally and personally,” says Julie. “I feel like I had become somewhat complacent, but spending an hour with StoryCorps and Amy has stoked my inner flame.” Read more about Amy’s StoryCorps experience here!

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