Project Overview / Live Out Loud’s Role/ Participant Responsibilities
- Role model expresses interest in the Homecoming Project and completes Participation Form (see “Sign Up” on the website).
- Live Out Loud will process the Participation Form and schedule an initial conversation (phone call) with you.
- We want to get to know you, and have you know us! We will describe the process in detail, and answer any questions or concerns you may have.
- Live Out Loud will contact your high school and introduce our work and the mission of the Homecoming Project.
- Live Out Loud will coordinate the process of scheduling the Homecoming Project and will be the main contact for the school. We lay all the groundwork for your return. **Please note, this process can take some time. Although the participant may be eager to return to speak with the students, every school has a different schedule. It may be as little as a few weeks to as long as 6 months. We do everything in our power to ensure that every interested participant has the opportunity to participate.**
- Once a date is set, Live Out Loud will actively work with you to develop your story/presentation. We will schedule phone calls at your convenience and provide focus questions and on-going feedback. This process can also take place via email if that works better for you.
- Once a date is set, we connect you with the school to coordinate day-of logistics (parking, where to go once at the school, etc.).
- Live Out Loud will provide you with ongoing support and encouragement up until the moment of your Homecoming Project (this includes continued coaching and feedback).
- Day-of: You will return to your high school to share your personal story with the students. Through sharing your personal story you will serve as a role model for LGBT youth and allies and provide hope and inspiration to the next generation.
- Post Homecoming Project: Live Out Loud will schedule a phone call with you to hear all about the event. We will follow up with the school and get their feedback as well. We ask that you write a short reflection summing up your Homecoming Project experience. We want to be able to brag about this wonderful experience.
- Congratulations! You will now join a group of members from the LGBT community that have provided inspiration to the younger generation. Live Out Loud will facilitate a sustainable relationship between you and the school community by providing you with resources and newsletters.
Link 2: Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be a celebrity to participate in the Homecoming Project?
Absolutely not. The Homecoming Project is about sharing your story with LGBT youth.
What does a typical Homecoming Project look like?
Usually, our role models speak to the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at the high school. While size varies by high school, this is usually between 10-30 students. Often times we encourage school organizations to partner together in order to reach more students. Rarely, we are able to secure an assembly for a department in the school or the entire school. It is important to note that no student is ever required to be a part of a Homecoming Project. All students will attend because the want to be there.
How many people have you sent back so far?
Since the creation of the Homecoming Project in 2008, we have sent 40 people to their respective high schools nationwide!
Do you provide some kind of training to help me get my story together?
Absolutely! We don’t want you to go it alone. We’ll work with you to help craft your story and pass along material to consider when crafting your story. We have experienced staff members who have worked with our participants in the past to help put together, cohesive, inspiring, creative presentations. You just need to bring your story!
What if my high school doesn’t have a Gay-Straight Alliance?
We have several options. Some schools have diversity clubs or peer mediation groups that have similar message of acceptance. Also, some teachers have hosted our speakers in the past during class time. Finally, we have also worked with community groups or other area high schools to host a Homecoming Project.
What steps do I need to take after signing up on your website? How long will it take before I go back?
After you sign up on our website, someone from Live Out Loud will contact you to gather a little more information about your and your school. Live Out Loud will then take care of contacting and coordinating details with the school. Depending on the school, this process could take as little as a week, to several months. The process depends on the school’s schedule and how responsive the staff are. However, once a date is set, we then work with you to craft a story for the students.
Will you be contacting the school?
Yes! We contact the school for you and work out details with your former high school. However, if you have a particularly strong connect with your high school or still have relationships with a few faculty members and would rather coordinate your Homecoming Project, we welcome that as well and have a “Do It Yourself” packet we can pass along.
Can I bring someone with me?
As long as the school is comfortable, we encourage it! Friends, partners, allies, and fellow grads are a wonderful source of moral support and can provide additional role models for the students. Especially if you’re nervous, bringing someone can be a tremendous source of strength.
Who introduces me?
This will be a logistic we will have you coordinate with the contact at your high school. Usually the teacher or faculty member who’s in charge of the group you’re speaking to will introduce you.
Is there anything I should bring with me to the presentation?
Nothing is required. However, we encourage participants to bring old photos, high school yearbooks, letter jackets, or any high school high school memories. Also, if you’d like to show a PowerPoint or old movies, we encourage this as well. Just be sure to check with the high school to make sure they have the appropriate technology.
Do you help with transportation costs?
Unfortunately, we are unable to help with transportation costs at this time. If transportation is really an issue we can discuss a Homecoming Project via webcam with you high school.
Have you ever had a school say “no”? If so, what happens then?
Schools can say “no” for a variety of reasons. If a school does insist they cannot host a Homecoming Project, we have a few options. Sometimes there is an available community forum, such as a library, community center, or PFLAG chapter that would be willing to host a Homecoming Project. Other times we are able to reach out to a rival high school or other high school in the area.
After I go back, then what? Is there a debriefing?
Absolutely. We make a point to chat with both schools and participants after the Homecoming Project to gage their feelings and reactions on the experience. We ask for testimonials, reflections, or photos/video of the event. We will also help the participant maintain contact with the school community by providing resources that can be sent to the GSA and through a monthly newsletter.
What if I have a question or concern that hasn’t been answered here?
Please feel free to reach out to Tom Hernandez, Program Manager for the Homecoming Project at firstname.lastname@example.org