Literacy of Pride and Acceptance

In honor of Pride in Atlanta this weekend, I’ve highlighted narratives that deal with acceptance and love of oneself despite adversities. In both of these narratives, the authors discuss how coming out and accepting their sexual identities resulted in a better understanding of themselves. These narrates are truly special, and I hope you enjoy them!

In his literacy narrative, Nick Wilbourn sends out a powerful message of love that rests on the ideas of believing in yourself and not giving up hope. Wilbourn starts his narrative by recalling several memories from his early literacy history, such as his introduction to writing numerals in Kindergarten and his successful attempt at dropping his southern accent. These moments, though, are overshadowed by his moments of accepting himself and his sexual identity, a process that led to his own personal understanding of literacy. When he fully accepted himself as gay and came out publicly, he began feeling “like a more literate person.” In fact, he equates literacy to knowing yourself and  believes “everyday is a learning process” and that he’s “always learning more about [him]self.”

Catherine Scaman’s father disowned her when he found out about her girlfriend, withdrawing his financial support for her college education. Although she was unable to attend school in the fall as planned, his response to her sexuality “started [her] on a path to discovering who [she is] not only as a person but as a writer.” She spent the next year living with her aunt and uncle in Phoenix, Arizona, where she was forced to attend church. Even though, she experienced disapproval from members of the community, including a sermon regarding her situation, she found within the church a group of teenagers who also identified as queer. She met and mentored them weekly, and through their experiences she became inspired to write her first play, which they performed at the local LGBT community center!


photo credit: Robert Couse-Baker