I'm From Driftwood

The stories on I’m From Driftwood send a simple but powerful message to LGBTQIA+ people everywhere: You are not alone. I’m From Driftwood combats isolation and creates empathy to build a more understanding and accepting world. These are our stories, told in our own voices.

Latest What Was It Like? Stories

Go To Full Story
Black Gay Man Reflects On A Life Defined By Love, Authenticity, Activism And Connection. “That’s Just Part Of Who I Am.”

by Harold Cottman

Black Gay Man Reflects On A Life Defined By Love, Authenticity, Activism And Connection. “That’s Just Part Of Who I Am.”

1980s: Black Gay Man On Coming Out In The South: “While I Did Come Out, I Didn’t Really Feel Free.” So, you know, for me, the last thing that I wanted to be was a gay man bec...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Lesbian Activist Recounts Her Decades-Long Fight For Equality In Philadelphia And Beyond.

by Leona Thomas

Lesbian Activist Recounts Her Decades-Long Fight For Equality In Philadelphia And Beyond.

1980s: Being Openly Gay In College “Wasn’t Without Some Level Of Risk Every Day.” When I was growing up in high school, I had no idea that I was LGBTQ or potentially LGBTQ. A...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Black & Gay In New Orleans From The 60s To Today: “You Get Up, You Dust Yourself Off, And You Fight On.”

by Michael Hickerson

Black & Gay In New Orleans From The 60s To Today: “You Get Up, You Dust Yourself Off, And You Fight On.”

First Shunned By Neighbors, Then The Bars: Being Black In New Orleans In The 1960s and 1970s. Well, I was born to Sadie and Charlie Hickerson. We lived in an area of New Orleans ca...

Read More
Go To Full Story
“It Ain’t Over Till The Bisexual Speaks.” Activist Fights For Bi Inclusion Throughout The Decades.

by Lani Ka'ahumanu

“It Ain’t Over Till The Bisexual Speaks.” Activist Fights For Bi Inclusion Throughout The Decades.

From Living As A Straight Housewife to Becoming A Lesbian Activist. “It Was An Amazing Awakening.” I was conceived in Hawaii. This is how the story goes – conceived in Hawai...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Trans Woman Reflects On Her Four-Decade Journey To Authenticity.

by Nancy Menusan

Trans Woman Reflects On Her Four-Decade Journey To Authenticity.

1969: Trans Woman Reflects On Exploring Her Gender As A Child. “I Knew Inside Who I Really Was.” In 1969, I was 12 years old. I was living in Douglaston, Queens. And I had – ...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Egyptt LaBeija – Life In And Out Of The Ballroom.

by Egyptt Labeija

Egyptt LaBeija – Life In And Out Of The Ballroom.

1980s: Seeing Trans Women For The First Time: “I Felt Welcomed.” I grew up in a town in Long Island called Freeport. And I grew up basically in a middle-class home. My parents ...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Gay Life In Philadelphia From The 1940s To Today.

by Stanley Alper

Gay Life In Philadelphia From The 1940s To Today.

1947: Meeting Other Gays in High School: “It Was Something I Wanted To Be A Part Of.” My life actually started in early September of 1947. That was when I started my first day...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Gay And Coming Of Age In 1970s New York City.

by Michael Dain

Gay And Coming Of Age In 1970s New York City.

1960s: A Trip To The Met Was “The First Time I Remember Any Attraction For Men.” I first became aware of being attracted to men when growing up in the mid-sixties, when I was ...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Finding Love While Living Through The AIDS Epidemic.

by Ted Chapin

Finding Love While Living Through The AIDS Epidemic.

Coming Out To Parents in the 1970s Wasn’t Easy But “Time Heals All.” Every every gay man knows at some point in their childhood, certainly by puberty, that – what their at...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Falling In Love, Breaking Up, And Reuniting: “Every Day Was The Best, Best, Best, Best Day Ever.”

by Sheila Bligen

Falling In Love, Breaking Up, And Reuniting: “Every Day Was The Best, Best, Best, Best Day Ever.”

1950s: Experience During Naptime: “It Was An Inkling Of A Difference.” So being a native New Yorker, I started my early childhood education on the Lower East Side. I was four ...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Gay Veteran Reflects On Life In And Out Of The Navy.

by Jim Darby

Gay Veteran Reflects On Life In And Out Of The Navy.

1950s: Sailor Spends A Night In Jail After Gay Bar Is Raided. In 1952, I received what we call the SSS, Selected Service System envelope. Every young man who got one of those...

Read More
Go To Full Story
Gay Man’s Journey From Bathhouse Towel Boy To AIDS Activist.

by Jay Blotcher

Gay Man’s Journey From Bathhouse Towel Boy To AIDS Activist.

1970: Gay 10-Year-Old Boy Finds Creative Way To Convince Mom To Buy Teen Magazines Well, I grew up in a small town called Randolph, Massachusetts, which is about 15 miles south of...

Read More

Unfortunately, this is all the stories we have in the What Was It Like? category.

I’m From Driftwood is producing new stories on an ongoing basis. Want to help us find more stories What Was It Like? stories? Let us know!