Humans are made for stories, telling and listening to them. Stories exercise our imaginations. We experience the fullness of the present moment while we look back on the past and imagine the future. In the midst of a storytelling circle, we are privileged to enjoy the eternal; united by the forever connections between time and all human experiences.
The storyteller shapes the values and vision of a community. Throughout human history, the role of the storyteller has been to answer these questions: 1.) Who are we? 2.) Why are we here? 3.) How shall we live? We listen to the stories of our time and find our identity, purpose and hope for the future. We look at each other, face to face, and recognize how much our stories have in common. This is the mystery and the power of a storytelling circle.
So the Trans*cend Circle has begun. Thirteen people, each with a powerful story to tell, have gathered in a circle to respect and value their own life journeys and to do the same with the life journeys of others in the circle. The group is clearly having fun. Laughter has been a chief ingredient of our time together so far. Trust is deepening. Tears have been allowed and nurtured with compassion.
The first two sessions have focused on introductions, getting to know each other. “What is your name and what has been your experience of selecting the name you have chosen for yourself?” The responses to these questions have illustrated the courage and creativity included in this story circle. In sharing their responses with one another, the participants have embraced a shared purpose: to make safe space for their stories to be heard and honored. The group is invested in a hope that their stories, shared on stage and film, will shape a world of inclusion and safety for transgender people everywhere.