Post submitted by Jonathan E. Guydon, Sr. Rep, Customer Service Assist at Cardinal Health

Earlier this month, I had the unparalleled pleasure of participating in "OutLoud Storytelling," an HRC Arkansas event in partnership with Tales from the South and Yellow Rock Concepts. We gathered together to celebrate National Coming Out Day and Pride in Little Rock, Arkansas. Proceeds from the event went towards a college scholarship for LGBT youth in Arkansas.  

As I heard coming out stories from nearly every segment of the LGBT community, I was overcome with a sense of euphoria and pride. The 10 stories covered a variety of issues, including complications at work, supporting friends and standing up equality in faith communities. While there were common themes of bigotry, strife, degradation and ignorance, the most common theme of all was triumph.

Prior to this event, I only knew one of the storytellers taking the stage. Now, I feel there's an unbreakable bond of friendship amongst us all.

While we all have stories to tell, coming out stories are a powerful way to gain understanding and to change hearts and minds. Through the gift of storytelling, we can find common ground and remove the barriers that divide us. Storytelling reminds us that we are all human, doing our best to get on with this journey of life. 

Whether it's for the first time ever or the first time today, the experience of coming out and living openly covers the full spectrum of human emotion -- from fear to euphoria. Coming out -- whether it is as LGBT or allied -- is a deeply personal journey for each individual. Learn more about coming out at HRC’s Coming Out Center.

Filed under: Coming Out, Transgender, Allies

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