I’m From Driftwood: I just love a good story.

The blog I’m From Driftwood has been an addiction of mine for a few months now, and it’s high time I pushed it onto you.

Nathan Manske started I’m From Driftwood less than two years ago with one fantastic purpose: “We will collect and share true LGBT stories in all 50 states [now internationally] to send a simple yet powerful message to LGBT youth: You are not alone.

I’ll link to just a few of the stories and then let you dig through the site on your own. Trust me, it’s easy to lose track of time at IFD.

Most of the stories are text pieces. Here’s one from Paul Richmond from Grove City, Ohio. The story about the time he met his hero is so touching that I keep coming back to it again and again. Here’s a snippet:

Arriving at this destination was no easy task. It began seven months prior when I was throwing a football in the back yard with my dad and sister one evening. My throws were known to flop around in the sky, suffering from intense seizures mid-air, and then falling limply to the ground several feet before reaching their target. This being a particularly bad day for me athletically, I made a simple proposal. “Dad,” I shouted. “If I can get this football to you, you have to take our family to Dollywood’s Grand Opening in April. Is it a deal?”

Dad, chuckling, agreed to the bet. Little did he know that now, I was a man with a mission. With gritted teeth and a flash of determination in my eyes, I shifted all my weight back to my right foot and then jumped forward as I released the ball. I almost fell flat on my face, but the ball bolted from my fingertips and dashed through the early evening air.

Seven months later, here we were.

If you didn't love Dolly before, you will when you read the rest of Paul's story.
If you didn't love Dolly before, you will when you read the rest of Paul's story.

My favorite way to find new IFD stories is with their interactive Google map. For some reason, it was exciting to zoom in on my state and see pins in cities and little towns that I’ve known all my life.

One growing section of I’m From Driftwood is the video stories. Here are two of my favorites. Scott’s is uplifting, while Zee’s will break your heart.

What the heck, here’s one more to end it on an up note. This one’s from comedian Dave Rubin, who co-hosts the podcast The Six Pack with masc jock Ben Harvey. The Six Pack is actually how I heard about IFD.

Whether you’re lesbian, trans, bi, gay, or an ally, consider submitting a story to IFD. Especially if you’re from a state that isn’t very well represented (right now there’s nothing on the map from Arkansas, Montana, Wyoming, North Carolina, Maine, or Vermont), and especially if you’re non-white or non-male, please make a special effort. Let all of our LGBT youth and adults know that they aren’t alone.

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