The Gender and Sexuality Alliance (G.S.A.) hosted a Moth-Style Storytelling event in the Underwood Room this past Saturday afternoon as part of a series of weekend festivities celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community.
The Moth, a storytelling style that was popularized by a non-profit organization which is also called The Moth, that strives to share stories dissolving stereotypes and building bridges, was led by G.S.A. club co-heads Karissa Kang ’17 and Indy Sobol ’17. Choate’s Spectrum Club also participated in the event.
“I first found the idea of The Moth in my English class with [Dr. Tasha Hawthorne] and at that point I was in the middle of coming out while at Andover, so I decided to have my story be about coming out. I think that trying to talk through [that experience] was important to me and I know that [Kang] feels the same way, so we both felt that this was a good way for us to come together and share,” said Sobol.
In light of the recent “National Coming Out Day,” the overarching theme of the event was “Coming Out… Or Not.” Many attendees spoke on their personal experiences and journey to discovering and accepting their sexualities.
“You come out to your parents, and you come out to your friends, and then you come out to every new person you meet, and you don’t ever stop coming out. It’s not a one-time thing. I’m coming out and I’m always coming out. I don’t get to stop coming out,” said Nell Fitts ’18, a board member of G.S.A.
Many participants expressed their insecurities about being solely defined by their gender or sexuality. However, the speakers took pride in the safe space Andover’s G.S.A. club provided.
“I’m incredibly grateful to G.S.A. at Andover. When I first came here, I didn’t really know much about who I was or who I was becoming or what kind of future there was for me… I feel that [G.S.A.’s greatest gift] is not even the education [it] can give people or the terminology [it] can provide, but just a space for us to exist without having to censor ourselves and who we are,” said Sobol.
This discussion was part of a larger movement to help promote and understand the LGBTQIA+ community on campus.
“To those who are not part of the LGBTQIA+ community who did not come, I would say that I hope that they are still supportive of and willing to hear our stories and hear our voices in our everyday lives and not just in formal settings like this. I would say that the next time an opportunity arises to be educated about the LGBTQIA+ community, I would advise them to take it and listen and learn and love,” said Max Rigby-Hall ’18, a board member of G.S.A.