On Wednesday, June 22 StoryCorps Atlanta fans gathered for our second annual “StoryCorps Out & OutLoud: A Celebration of Stories from the LGBTQ Community.” The evening’s host, WABE’s John Lemley, commented that despite moving to a larger venue, the event was once again standing room only.
Kerrie Cotton Williams, Archivist and Manager of the Archives Division at the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History and StoryCorps alumna discussed the importance of archiving our stories.
When StoryCorps Atlanta thinks of its few “regulars,” Dave Hayward’s name is right at the top. Through his organization, Touching Up Our Roots: Georgia’s LGBT History Project Initiative, Dave is committed to capturing the stories of Atlanta’s sizable LGBTQ community, and he has recorded a whopping 14 conversations with StoryCorps Atlanta since we opened in October 2009. Dave describes Touching Up Our Roots as an LGBT history project that “preserves, promotes, and publicizes the contributions LGBT people have made, and make to, civil rights, civic and neighborhood organizations, and culture in Atlanta and in Georgia.” Equally important, he advocates the value of preserving these stories and exemplifies the StoryCorps mission, “to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives.”Through his organization, Dave has had conversations with an impressive variety of Atlantans who identify as LGBTQ. One of his earliest conversations was with Greg Daugherty. Greg talked about growing up in Black Mountain, NC (just outside Asheville), coming out, and losing his long-time partner. Greg also talked about living in Atlanta since 1978–playing softball for sixteen years with Atlanta’s first gay softball team, the Blue Knights; working at the Academy Theater as a performer and house manager; helping to organize endless numbers of AIDS fundraisers; and, for the past fourteen years, owning a publishing company that publishes the Atlanta Show Guide as well as other theater programs and playbills. Of his StoryCorps experience, Greg recently said, “I wasn’t there (in the booth) just for myself. I realized as I was talking that I needed to leave something for those coming behind me, the younger LGBTQ generation.” (more…)