Daring to Share is a movement that transpired 3 years ago from a belief I had that
“One uncomfortable conversation creates ten years of wisdom.”
There was something deep inside of me that kept daring me to share the stories of truth most are afraid to mention and that we all experience in one way or another. My own story was yearning to be released and I knew that sharing it would impower others to feel more connected and lead life from a place of increased acceptance and inclusivity knowing they were not alone.
In September 2016, I began writing a collection of stories shared through meaningful conversations I had with individuals I met within my day to day living. Never could I have imagined the magnitude of impact these stories would have on the community I lived in and then as time passed, on an international level while Daring to Share evolved further. I was privileged to experience lifechanging connections through conversations I had with potential writers.
Looking back, I am still in awe at the organic way the act of sharing one’s truth evolved into a series of books, then community storytelling events and, ultimately, a movement of social activism inspiring a heightened level of inclusion through the act of human advocacy that comes from taking the time to listen to someone.
Meeting Scott De Freitas-Graff and his husband, John De Freitas in January 2017 was a pivotal moment within the evolution of DTS as they became the push behind the in-person storytelling events. They understood and supported the unique Daring to Share way of sharing a story in the written word that solely advocated human connection through inspiration and adamantly denied any other motive such as business or self-promotion, because we knew that would take away from the intent to inspire. They encouraged me to offer a safe in-person space for our community to share their stories in front of an audience.
With Scott and John on board, we had a DTS team, and while I collaborated with 8 authors writing and editing their stories, Scott implemented Daring to Share: The Event by bringing members of our community together to share stories in local restaurants at storytelling events – we filled the room every time and added a few additional events like Daring to be Queer and Daring to Share Gratitude. We also chose to include a giving back component by supporting others including one particular family who needed financial support after losing their son in a tragic car accident. John stepped into the role of executive assistant and became our greatest cheerleader.
My heart was full as my intention to hold space for others to share their stories expanded to the most real and raw way there is - through in-person face to face connection, something our society is yearning for while desperately clinging to threads of emotional wellness.
The impact of these community storytelling events was beyond moving as people resonated with whole and parts of stories being shared, and we literally felt the emotional energy of real and raw connection in the room. Not only was it incredibly powerful, but it was highly contagious. I've always known just how necessary listening along with sharing our stories is, in order to create a deeper understanding of one another, but I suddenly had an acute clarity of how Daring to Share was about to influence a societal shift from conditional judgement to unconditional acceptance.