There is something really powerful in the telling and hearing of stories. In times gone by, our ancestors would sit by the campfire telling stories about their quests and adventures, their trials and tribulations, their plights and revelations.
As a same gender loving man, I know that when I was growing up I longed to hear the stories of people who were just like me. Even now as an adult, I still take sheer delight in hearing about the experiences, adventures and encounters of same gender loving people, as they navigate through work, play, love, family, relationships and all other aspects of life.
Some of us live in societies where as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender people, we cannot share our stories as authentically as we would like to. In some cases this is down to a fear of rejection, disapproval or shame. In other cases, it’s simply a matter of not knowing any benevolent witnesses who are willing to sit with us in compassion and non-judgement as we tell our story.
Here are some quotes I came across, which encapsulate the intention behind OutTales around the Fire:
Telling our story helps us feel connected to others as we go through difficult times. When we sit with fellow wayfarers, sharing our trials and revelations and listening to theirs, our struggles seem less like personal vendettas and more like myths in the making – Elizabeth Lesser, Broken Open
Gay storytelling engender myths, allowing the negative elements that traditional society and religion has placed on homosexual identity to be transformed and uplifted – Toby Johnson
Storytelling is one of the traditional ways values and “spirit” are passed from one generation to the next. Let’s tell each other what a long straw we’ve drawn in this life because we’re gay – GaySpirit in storytelling, Charmed Lives
The more connected we stay to everything larger than us, the less turbulent our time on Earth. This is why it helps to share our journey with others, because in so doing we become a chorus of voices, and the stress of going solo lessens once we discover that we are not alone – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening