Secretly Y’all’s first LGBTQ-focused storytelling event takes place later this month at Diversity Richmond… and they’re looking for a few good storytellers.
Have you ever felt petrified just at the thought of sharing who you had a crush on? Has your heart ever felt like it was bursting at the seams with self-confidence, simply because you love everything about you? It’s not just queer people who can relate to these very human feelings, but LGBTQ people indubitably experience our world through a different lens — an entire spectrum of lenses. As our society becomes ever more comfortable with nuance in favor of rigid boxes, queer people are often the ones leading the charge to rethink our cultural approach and shift to more inclusive ways of speaking about the human experience.
As a Southern city with a rather buttoned-up sense of decorum, Richmond’s LGBTQ people haven’t had the same opportunities to share our stories. A brief look back into our city’s queer history shows that queer Richmonders have often had to fight for space in which we can safely live, gather, and just be. The River City’s greatest queer icon, Dirtwoman, broke all boundaries to fight for the rights of the downtrodden and even run for mayor.
In our current age of tolerance, the need still exists for us to share our stories with cisgender people, straight people, and with each other as we move towards an era of acceptance. On Tuesday, September 24th, Richmond’s queers will have a unique chance to share their stories on stage — and if you want to take part, you have until next Monday, the 16th to submit your bio and story synopsis to [email protected]!
On the 24th, later this Virginia Pride Month, Diversity Richmond will be hosting Secretly Y’all: PRIDE & PREJUDICE. Secretly Y’all is a Richmond, Virginia based organization that broadcasts people’s true stories to inspire, to create and to invest in community. Since 2010, Secretly Y’all has curated live events and provided a microphone and a safe space for those who have a true story that needs to be shared, as well as a welcoming space for those who come to listen. They collect money at the door to donate to local nonprofits (in this case, Diversity Richmond) as a way to further invest in the community.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE marks the first LGBTQ themed storytelling event Secretly Y’all has ever organized. As straight, cisgender people, Kathleen and Colin — Secretly Y’all’s two leaders — are especially excited about this first ever queer-centered event. “While we work on generally making our events inclusive, we are excited to partner with Diversity to specifically highlight and hear stories from our Richmond LGBTQ community during our local Pride Fest in September,” they stated. “Our experience has shown us how important it can be to have the chance to share a story, and how uniquely impactful hearing others’ experiences can be on creating connection and understanding between each of us as members of our local community.”
The theme of the night, “PRIDE & PREJUDICE,” normally brings to mind Victorian romances and oppressed women with sharp wits. However, at this event, there will be no Jane Austen. This Secretly Y’all event is a platform to hear from Richmond’s vast, diverse LGBTQ+ community about their experiences as queer people in the formal capital of the Confederacy. How do we as queer people overcome the prejudice others spout or that we ourselves internalized and take pride in who we are and who we love?
For those interested in expanding their horizons and flexing their empathy muscles, the event will be held in the Rainbow Ballroom, the main event hall at Diversity Richmond. Stories will start at 7:30pm. Mobile Yum Yums (Caribbean soul food) and Taqueria Panchito food trucks will be serving up their flavorful creations in the parking lot for those who’d like something to munch on while the listen. Dayum This is My Jam will be inside selling their delicious jarred goodies. Best of all, Hardywood will be bringing over cans of their special pride themed beer, Tropic Like It’s Hot, with all purchases benefiting Diversity Richmond!
If you would like to submit a story please email a brief synopsis of the story and a short bio at [email protected]