(Chelsea Update would like to thank Kate Mehuron for the information in this story.)
The Queer Storyslam on Nov. 14 was an extremely moving event, thanks to this wonderful group of storytellers.
Joanna Whaley, a multiple Moth Story Slam winner, came back to Chelsea, bringing her guest storytellers Jessa, Naomi, Laci, and Iggy to participate in the Nov. 14 Queer Story Slam Performance. Chelsea resident Jeanne Franks gave a poignant story on behalf of her storyteller who could not be present. All of their stories created deeper empathy and understanding of the trauma and resilience experienced by the LGBTQ and Allies community.
Held in Chelsea First United Methodist Church, this event, attended by over 75 people, was the last part of a three-part series sponsored by the social action group Equality Chelsea and supported by the organization One World One Family that began in September with the Story Collector Training by Laura O’Connor.
In October, Joanna Whaley gave the “How to Tell Your Story Workshop” at Serendipity Books, sharing her story on coming out as a transgender woman and preacher, and tips on how to tell your story. She was enthusiastically received and invited back to tell one of her stories and her guest tellers.
Thanks to Reverend Joy Barrett for hosting this event at UMC, and to Michelle Tuplin, Serendipity Books, for her support in organizing this series.
*A StorySlam is a live event where storytellers have 5 minutes each to tell a true, personal story inspired by a selected theme.
**LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The Q generally stands for queer when LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and media use the acronym. In settings offering support for youth, it can also stand for questioning.
***Allies refer to those who affirm and offer support LGBTQ people.