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Honoring Identity: LGBTQ Stories From Kalamazoo


“Honoring Identity: LGBTQ Stories From Kalamazoo,” is a listening event honoring the stories WMUK and StoryCorps collected in November. Thursday January 28 at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College, 5:30 p.m.

Free and open to all.

WMUK and Partners Make Recording History

In partnership with WMUK and the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center, StoryCorps recorded interviews to document diverse voices from the Kalamazoo LGBTQ community, providing participants the opportunity to preserve their stories and help make history. Stories will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Interviews were recorded on November 5, 6, 7, 2015 at WMUK studios, on the campus of Western Michigan University.

From WMUK General Manager Gordon Bolar

A year ago, I met with StoryCorps founder Dave Isay to discuss WMUK’s plans to bring StoryCorps’OutLoud Initiative to Kalamazoo. He asked why, out of all the initiatives StoryCorps offered, I chose OutLoud? I said that Kalamazoo had a lot of stories from the LGBTQ community that needed to be preserved, validated and heard. I said our vision included a multi-event community-wide focus on LGBTQ stories and that we had excellent potential partners.

The first three parts of our Honoring Identity project included a StoryCorpsOutLoud residency, a presentation by Dave Isay and a presentation by activist speaker Crispin Torres at Transgender Remembrance Day. Tonight, “Honoring Identity: LGBTQ Stories From Kalamazoo,” our project finale, is a listening event honoring the stories WMUK and StoryCorps collected in November. WMUK is proud to partner with The Resource Center and the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership as we complete Honoring Identity. We thank our funding source, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, for helping make this project possible.

What is StoryCorpsOutLoud?

StoryCorps recognizes the profound historical importance of capturing the stories of the LGBTQ community and the urgent need for this work to happen now. StoryCorps’OutLoud Initiative is a multi-year initiative dedicated to recording and preserving LGBTQ stories across America. OutLoud honors the stories of those who lived before the 1969 Stonewall uprisings, celebrates the lives of LGBTQ youth, and amplifies the voices of those most often excluded from the historical record. The end result will be a diverse collection of stories that will enrich our nation’s history. Learn more at

Dave Isay, StoryCorps Founder & President

Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous broadcasting honors, including six Peabody Awards and a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship. He is the author/editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including the New York Times 
best sellers: Listening Is an Act of Love (2007), Mom: A Celebration of Mothers from StoryCorps, All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps (2012), and Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps (2013). In 2015, Dave was recognized with the TED Prize, awarded to one exceptional individual with a creative, bold vision to spark global change.

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