www.ImFromDriftwood.com collects true LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) stories from all over the world--from the smallest towns to the biggest cities--to help gay youth feel not so alone. The hundreds of written stories and over 50 Video Stories (http://www.imfromdriftwood.com/new-video-stories/) range from the furtive life of a gay man living in Indiana during the ultra conservative, and unforgiving 1950s, to a clandestine underground gay-straight alliance in present day Indonesia. While some stories recount bitter memories of violence, hatred, and intolerance, most are a testament to the most common of human emotions - optimism, love, honesty, and hope. Together, these stories offer rare insight, and lend indisputable humanity to the lives of LGBT people everywhere, giving gay people young and old the world over a sense of community and a reassurance that they are not alone.
ABOUT THE ROAD TRIP
LGBT people are everywhere. IFD is going to prove it.
In September 2010, IFD Creator Nathan Manske, and Video Director and Editor Marquise Lee, will set out on a four month tour of the US, traveling by van to all 50 states (they'll fly to Alaska and Hawaii) with the goal of bringing IFD off the computer screen and into America. Along the way, they will meet the many faces of LGBT America, and through both Video Stories, Audio Stories and written word, bring their stories to the world.
Along the way, they will have Reading Events at cafes, bookstores, bars, community centers, college campuses and other venues where they will read stories from IFD and talk about the site and its purpose. They will also have days devoted to filming and recording Video Stories and Audio Stories.
They'll add a regular blog page to IFD chronicling their adventures. Marquise will film their journey and will make short YouTube videos about their progress. They will publish regular Video Webisodes as well as written updates about their journey.
The 4-month Road Trip will be broken into two legs separated by a two week break. The first leg will consist of the eastern half of the United States and the second leg will consist of the western half, plus Alaska and Hawaii.
The first leg will begin the day after Labor Day, September 7, and go until October 30. The two week break will be from October 31 - November 13. The second leg will be from November 14 - December 31.
The first leg will appropriately begin and end in Driftwood, Texas, with a launch party to kick things off. The second leg will begin in Alaska, then Hawaii, and then have the official launch of the second leg in Los Angeles.
A camera and equipment, renting or buying a used van, gas, insurance, food, and lodging for 50 states and 4 months, as well as flights to Alaska and Hawaii adds up to a whole lot. This $15,000 we're raising from KickStarter won't cover it all but it will get us the essentials and that ooomph we need to get it started. This $15,000 will be our green light!
IFD knows LGBT people are everywhere. You know LGBT are everywhere. After this Road Trip, LGBT youth will know it, too. Based on feedback I've received through the site, these stories really are important to a lot of people. Here's just some of what people have said:
"How fantastic that the next generation doesn't have to think they're the only ones out there that feel the way they do when they're "different" - I applaud you. Wish you had been around before I wasted my life not being myself."
"You're doing a wonderful job helping gay kids around the world feel like they are not alone!"
"...definitely changed my attitude towards myself and makes me smile!"
"Amazing channel. I wish it existed when I was 10. Keep it up!"
“...so simple yet amazing. They're inspirational too, you actually give back to the community (not only us gays, but the whole deal) something with meaning. keep up this powerful, committed work."
"Just wanted to say thanks for this site and the wonderful people and their stories you and your team create! Please keep up the good work you guys/gals :)"
"Thank you for your stories and hard work. Your stories have inspired me to come out to my parents. It's been killing me to tell them. But I'm tired of living a lie. I hope they can love me for who I am. So I thank you again for your stories which have inspired me."
For creating IFD, Manske was selected as one of The Advocate's "Forty Under 40" (http://www.advocate.com/printArticle.aspx...). His inclusion, along with the others on the list of "young activists, artists, and other standouts" was described by the publication as “proof the qualities that make a leader are often innate—and that the gay movement is still in good hands.” IFD also gained notable recognition from other on- and offline media outlets including The Austin Chronicle's "Best of 2009", Instinct Magazine (http://instinctmagazine.com/features/i%E2%80%99m-from-driftwood-s-nathan-manske), NPR, AfterElton (http://www.afterelton.com/people/2009/11/nathan-manske), Andrew Sullivan, Towleroad (http://www.towleroad.com/2009/03/im-from-river-forest-illinois.html), Queerty, Houston Press, and The Austin American-Statesman (http://shopping.statesman.com/SS/Page.aspx...;).
- (69 days)