By Mike Hogan, Dignity/Chicago
On Saturday, October 22, Dignity/Chicago hosted an evening of story-telling by members and friends. The stories were focused on their coming out experiences, in celebration of National Coming Out Day. The stories were powerful, funny, sad, and all quite moving. There was a feeling of being in a sacred space as the story tellers shared their personal journeys. The gathering was held in the private dining room of a local restaurant and went from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., with refreshments being served. It was hard to believe that we were there for three hours. This was the first event sponsored by the Spiritual/Education Committee of the chapter. The chapter is looking to offer other opportunities outside of the liturgy to serve the needs of the LGBTQ community of Chicago. We advertised the event through email, Facebook, our chapter website, and various other social media. A wonderful result was that some of the people who came and told stories had never heard of Dignity, but saw it on Facebook. We had information about DignityUSA and Dignity/Chicago available.
Our chapter president, Ramon Rodriguez, opened the program with some information about our Spiritual/Education Committee and its goals and said that this was the first in a series of events. We had a simple survey for attendees to fill out and share their reactions to the program, and also to suggest possible program topics in the future. All of the comments were quite positive, and we received some great suggestions. We also had attendees sign in and invited them to list their email addresses so that we would be able to keep in touch with them. It was an incredibly uplifting evening that not only introduced some new people to Dignity/Chicago, but also brought us closer together as a chapter.