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The power of storytelling

AIDS Testimony

Please keep trying out and posting comments on the threaded comments thread, folks, as we cover other topics. It helps to have everything in one place -Adam

By Adam Bink

I won’t repeat it too in-depth, but we often say our mantra at Courage Campaign and our movement is story-telling to change hearts and minds… or at the very least, start a conversation.

Here is the incredibly moving story of an AIDS/LifeCycle rider currently cycling from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money to fight, and awareness of, HIV/AIDS. He stopped and told his mother he is HIV+ during the tour on the phone. Watch:

It must take a lot of courage. He may have just turned his mom into an advocate by telling his story… or at the least, moved her in the right direction. Sometimes storytelling is often about being gay, but it is sometimes about being positive, too (and many other issues).

As we encourage folks to tell their stories as part of the Dustin Lance Black challenge, today Servicemembers Legal Defense Network asked its supporters to record a video for the challenge about serving in the military:

SLDN is pleased to collaborate with the Courage Campaign on its “Testimony” website, providing an SLDN “Community Page” as a place for veterans and families to share their stories about how “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal has affected their lives. Check out the newly uploaded story of Navy veteran Alicia Barnes on our page, as she talks about serving in the closet.

Recently, the Courage Campaign launched a video challenge featuring Dustin Lance Black, screenwriter of the 2008 Oscar-nominated drama “Milk.” In this video, Dustin encourages viewers to record and post their own testimony on the website, to tell stories about why they support LGBT equality. If Dustin selects yours as one of his favorite videos, he will bring his production crew to your hometown to film a public service announcement!

SLDN joins Dustin’s call, as we encourage you to post your video about DADT on SLDN’s Community Page. From young veterans to long-time military spouses, countless lives have been affected by DADT and the prior regulatory ban on military service by LGB people. This is your chance to speak up and speak out, to talk candidly about how this law and imminent repeal impact you and your family and friends.

To enter the contest, just record and upload a 1-2-minute video telling your story in support of LGBT equality no later than 11:59 p.m. on June 15th, 2011. Click here for details about how to upload your video. Please add your video both to both Dustin’s and SLDN’s Community Pages (select multiple pages when uploading, using the Ctrl key).

Thanks for stepping out for LGBT equality and sharing your story about DADT. Good luck on the contest – let’s get uploading!

Thanks SLDN for encouraging story-telling for members of the military LGBT (and allied) community, and for those of you in other communities, please do tell your story. You can get started here!



  • 1. DazedWheels  |  June 9, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Hi again, all. I was able to post a direct link to the video to my fb page, and it looks like Ronnie posted it to the Freedom Fighters for Equality fb page.

    I snipped the "embedded" part out of the URL, and posted it as ""

  • 2. Sagesse  |  June 9, 2011 at 1:01 pm


  • 3. Kathleen  |  June 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

  • 4. JonT  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    Just like old times….

  • 5. peterplumber  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    The Perry v. Schwarzenneger (Prop 8) hearing will commence at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, June 13, 2011, in Courtroom 10, 19th Floor, in the Phillip Burton Federal Building and United States Courthouse, San Francisco.

    Chief District Court Judge James Ware will preside, having taken over the case from retired District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker when the latter retired in February, 2011.

    Seating in the Courtroom will be limited. There are a total of 36 seats that have been reserved for credentialed media representatives. There are no Courtroom media passes for this hearing – seating for media in the seats that have been set aside will be on a first come/first seated basis. Media representative seeking seating in the Courtroom will need to show some form of official press credentials issued by the organization that you represent.

    As before, there will be overflow seating in the Ceremonial Courtroom, also on the 19th Floor, where a live video feed will be available.

    Additionally, the Media Center on the first floor (Turk street side of the building) will be open at 8:00 a.m. on the day of the hearing.

  • 6. peterplumber  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    (NOTE: The Turk street entrance is now reserved for building employees – all members of the public, including the media, are required to enter the building and go through screening via the Golden Gate Avenue plaza entrance).

    Questions may be addressed through:

    The Prop 8 email account at:

    [email protected]
    (Preferred method of communicating with the Media Liaison representative)

    or by calling:

    (415) 522-4051

  • 7. juliecason  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Thank you for the info. My wife and I will be there at 7:30AM, hoping to make it into the Ceremonial Courtroom.

  • 8. adambink  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Rick and Arisha will be there with bells on!

  • 9. nightshayde  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    … as long as they don't take off their shoes.

    (wait – that trick has been pulled) 😉

  • 10. juliecason  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    And speaking of storytelling…
    I'd like to enlist the power of P8TT community in fighting back against those who wish we would all just go away. Today, AFER posted a really lovely video on their web site and on Facebook commemorating the anniversary of the Loving v. Virginia case. Apparently, "someone" (BB? Magster? or one of their ilk) reported that video as "offensive" and now Facebook has blocked it. I really wanted to share that video with my mostly straight friends (it's my job to enlighten them ;-). So, if you would like to be sure that this video is able to be distributed on the most-used platform on the planet, try sharing it to FB and then filing a complaint with them when the link is blocked. I'd love to see them get torrents of complaints from our side…. Thanks!

  • 11. Ann S.  |  June 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Julie, I tried to post it on FB and then filed a complaint when it was blocked. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

    ETA: My Gravatar shows now, whee!

  • 12. juliecason  |  June 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm

    The block has now been removed. I like what one fellow is doing now–he's posting the video under the comment, "Here's the video that the anti-marriage equality folks don't want you to see." 😉

  • 13. Sagesse  |  June 9, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Facebook may be blocking it, but it's available in this article online at the Washington Post. Censor that :).

    Loving v. Virginia gives hope for same-sex marriage

  • 14. Sagesse  |  June 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    P.S. The AFER email of the video is signed by Julian Bond, Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP and member of the AFER advisory board.

  • 15. Marcos  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Not sure if anyone has posted this video from Olson and Boies on the anniversary of Loving vs. Virgina, but here it is:

  • 16. Marcos  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Woops, I see juliecason posted it up above. Must think before I post!

  • 17. Adam Bink  |  June 10, 2011 at 8:27 am

    There is a small YouTube logo button to the top right of the comment window. Use that to enter your URL.

    [youtube IM5A8kiNA6o youtube]

  • 18. Marcos  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    I would like to know as well if it will be on C-Span like before.

  • 19. JonT  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    At the 9th Circuit hearing, there was an announcement specifying which cameras would be allowed.

    I have heard nothing similar regarding this one… Since this is still the district court, and they were not allowed to televise the original trial, I highly doubt this one will be televised either.

    I would absolutely love to be proven wrong however 🙂

  • 20. JonT  |  June 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm

    Replying to my post (ahem), Adam states above: 'Rick and Arisha will be there with bells on! '

    So someone will be there. 🙂

  • 21. nightshayde  |  June 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

    Hmmm. I just posted a reply to Adam & the reply got thrown into moderation. Are we having a spam-attack again, or did something else wonky happen?

  • 22. Adam Bink  |  June 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    The occasional odd one gets thrown in — no spam attack. Try posting again and I will get it posted as soon as I clear up something with access on the backend, which may be in the AM. Sorry about that.

  • 23. Adam Bink  |  June 10, 2011 at 8:25 am

    Comment is now approved.

  • 24. Kathleen  |  June 9, 2011 at 9:30 pm

    I've subscribed, but am not getting notices. Is everyone else getting emails with new comments?

  • 25. Ann S.  |  June 10, 2011 at 7:54 am

    Kathleen, I am getting emails with new comments. Did you create a wordpress account? I did, and maybe that is why? I don't know.

    Also, when I subscribe, I have to select "all new comments" from the drop-down menu below the comment box. Otherwise I only get replies to my comments (the default selection).

  • 26. Kathleen  |  June 10, 2011 at 8:15 am

    I haven't created account, but all the previous versions let me subscribe without doing that. Yes, I'm selecting "all new comments." Nothing.

  • 27. Sagesse  |  June 10, 2011 at 4:22 am

    Mercury News editorial: Ban gay judges from hearing gay rights cases? Absurd

  • 28. Sagesse  |  June 10, 2011 at 4:44 am

    No mention of his views on DADT repeal, but it seems Panetta's confirmation will not be delayed.

    Panetta faces no major hurdles to confirmation as Pentagon chief

  • 29. Sagesse  |  June 10, 2011 at 4:54 am

    Gay presidential candidate left out, again

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