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Glimmer of Gladness from David Knapp

Uncategorized Mar 29, 2020

My name is David Knapp and I am a speaker at Stonewall Speakers, a volunteer speakers bureau comprised of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender people and their allies. In 25 years, Stonewall Speakers has visited 97% of the 160 public high schools in Connecticut to speak to over 100,000 students. We had a big impact in changing the homophobic atmosphere of most high schools in the state. We used to ask the kids, “How many of you have heard the words ‘fag’ ‘queer’ or ‘homo’?” Everyone would raise their hand. Because of our presence, the mostly closeted gay or lesbian students knew that we were there supporting them. We would usually have three speakers who would take turns telling personal stories. That format was very successful with very little controversy which was amazing back in the 80s and 90s. We weren’t proselytizing, we were just telling our stories. That’s all we did. The power of that was just incredible. One time,...

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Glimmer of Gladness from Kelly Chapman

Uncategorized Mar 29, 2020

The day of the Boston Marathon Bombing, we had tickets to the Red Sox Game. Our plan going into the day was to get to the stadium early so that we could get a drink at Lucky Strike because my boyfriend’s college roommate worked there and we always saw him when we went to games. After the game, we planned to go straight to the finish line so that we could get as close as possible to the runners. But the morning of the marathon, we actually couldn’t find the Red Sox tickets. We couldn’t find them anywhere. When we tried to print them out again, our friend’s printer was broken so we had to go to Staples instead. While we were at Staples, my boyfriend got sick and a lot of really bizarre things happened that prevented us from visiting Lucky Strike before the game. Pressed for time, we decided to see his roommate after the game, which is why we were at Lucky Strike - not the finish line - when the bombs went off. Because of this, I never get upset when plans...

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Glimmer of Gladness from Chris O'Brien

I am grateful to be alive. On July 27th, 2011 I became paralyzed from the neck down. While on vacation on Block Island, Rhode Island, I dove into the ocean, hitting a sandbar. Immediately I knew something was terribly wrong. I was floating in the water face down and had a numbing sensation throughout my body. My first instinct was to roll over, but I couldn’t. I opened my eyes and saw my arms; they were just floating there motionless. Being a competitive swimmer I was lucky enough to be able to hold my breath for a long time. Out of nowhere my friends and others who saw me floating from the beach flipped me onto my back. I was carried onto the beach and driven to a small hospital on the island. From there, I was airlifted to Rhode Island Hospital where I underwent surgery to repair the break in my neck.

I am grateful for my family and friends.

After getting to the hospital I began to learn about the severity of the accident. I had no motion in my arms or legs and could barely...

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A Reflection by Adrianne Robinson, Mother of A Seven Year Old Student

parenting Mar 28, 2020

He bounded off the bus with his backpack bouncing behind him. He smiled and waved to me with one hand and while the other was tucked away in his pocket. He seemed more excited to see me than his normal after school demeanor. I watched my boy hop around the puddles left behind from yesterday’s rain and I found myself matching his excitement with my own…though I had no idea why. As I knelt down to hug him, he barreled towards me almost knocking me over. His one-handed hug was tight as the other was still nestled in his pocket clenching whatever treasure he had found. Then he stepped back and said, “I have something for you!” Our eyes were level with each other, but his eyes seemed to sparkle with some sort of mysterious pride. He stepped back and quickly pulled his hand from his pocket and then put it behind his back. I didn’t get to finish asking what it was before he took his hidden treasure and proudly held it before my eyes. “I got this for you...

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