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What is the mission of Stories for Love?
The mission of Stories For Love is to empower the LGBTQIA+ community to unfold their personal truth to create positive change within ourselves, our relationships, and ultimately our community. We are a community of photojournalists and storytellers who share stories of personal truth through recorded conversations and portrait photography.
What inspired you to start Stories for Love?
Stories For Love was created out of a need to reach and impact my community by unfolding my own truth and story. I am originally from Florida, and when Florida was working to pass same-sex marriage, the Attorney General appeared on the news promoting a ban on same-sex marriage. She was the same woman who stated that recognizing same-sex marriages from other states would disrupt existing marriage laws and “impose significant public harm.” I took it as a personal attack. This was my home state. I had to share my story to try and make an impact on decisions that would ultimately affect my future family, and generations of LGBTQIA+ families to come. Most importantly, I wanted my community and my state to celebrate me with love. From my story, came many others from Florida, and eventually we collected over 300 from around the world in places like DC, Iceland, China, Macedonia, and more. Over time, I have realized that that the fight was not only about marriage. I learned that our mission is about unfolding our personal truth to create positive change within ourselves, our relationships, and ultimately our community. From this realization, Stories For Love was born into the thriving storytelling nonprofit it is today.
How has the climate around the LGBTQ community changed since gay marriage was legalized in the US?
Now that marriage equality is passed, it gives the community the opportunity to focus on so many other issues that need addressing within the LGBTQIA+ community. For example, laws protecting trans rights are now at the forefront of public consciousness. Other sexually diverse groups such as asexuals, queers, polyamorous, and bisexuals and are becoming more vocal and visible. Gay marriage has been a trailblazing movement for the LGBTQIA+ community, and I cannot wait to see the progress we will make in the years to follow. I think the passing of marriage has also changed the climate in other movements as well. The feminist movement, the anti-gun movement, Black Lives Matter, and other movements are learning from the “playbook” of how same-sex marriage was passed in the US. A great book that is referenced by many grassroots movements is “Winning Marriage: The Inside Story of How Same-Sex Couples Took on the Politicians and Pundits — and Won” by Marc Solomon.
While other organizations are doing work to pass laws and start larger conversations, Stories For Love continues to focus on the individual in these fights. We want to ensure the LGBTQIA+ community continues to have a platform to share their truth to create change within themselves, their relationships, and ultimately their community.
What have you learned through starting Stories for Love?
I’ve learned that community is key. I sign all my emails with the quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead. At the end of the day, the most important work Stories For Love does to help build community is during those 5-10 minutes when two people, a photojournalist and storyteller, sit down and unfold their truth to one another. The sense of community created during these story gathering sessions have been multiplied 300 times around the world since we began 2 years ago. These story gathering sessions allow people to unfold their truth out loud, and also empower the community to live their truth in all aspects of their life. We aspire to grow and share many more stories with each year that passes!
Hey there! My name is Liz and my passion is hearing people’s stories and relating them through a camera. I believe that every human deserves to be heard because our stories are what make us who we are. It should never matter with whom we experience our stories, where we experience them, or how we look as we live them.
Through Stories and through Love, we can share the human experience, create connection, promote understanding, and unite the masses. Stories for Love is an incredibly important new platform giving voice to the LGBTQIA+ community, and I am truly honored to help bring forth our voice. I deeply believe in this mission, and I know we can all learn to celebrate our differences and individuality with love.
Hey! I’m Ken. I am a 20-something marketing professional living in Bakersfield, CA. I live in an area that isn’t super friendly to the LGBTQIA community, so I understand what it’s like to feel unimportant. I really believe that everybody is important regardless of whom they love or how they express themselves, and I look forward to helping grow the message and scope of Stories For Love.
I recently graduated with a BFA in theatre performance at Florida Southern College. My most recent job was serving at Smithfield Hall, it's a sports bar, I love sports! I came to NYC about 4 years ago and just completely fell in love and then moved here on my own! It's rough but I'm doing it. I decided I wanted to use my photography and get involved with the community some how. LGBT has somehow always been apart of my life growing up and I want to show my support and share stories and faces of people that matter too!
The mission of Stories For Love is to empower the LGBTQIA+ community to unfold their personal truth to create positive change within ourselves, our relationships, and ultimately our community.
We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization made up of volunteer photojournalists and storytellers who share stories of personal truth through recorded conversations and portrait photography. Our volunteers live all around the world, some of whom are from areas where it is dangerous to identify as LGBTQIA+.
To empower the LGBTQIA+ community to unfold their personal truth and gain a deeper understanding of themselves and their community.
Collecting and sharing stories. Based on our data, each story we share reaches the hearts and minds of at least 10,000 people. We currently have around 200 stories, and we are always looking for volunteers to capture or share stories.
100% of every donation in 2017 will go directly toward resources for collecting and sharing stories in order to empower the LGBTQIA+ community to unfold their personal truth. Most of our costs come from basic run-business needs such as website hosting, business cards, and initiatives to get the word out about our mission.