What People Are Saying About Live Out Loud


“When I entered the classroom and saw the dozens of students, teachers, friends and family who came out to hear my story I was immediately overcome by emotions. It was humbling to realize that these people, some of whom were complete strangers, were there to listen to me share my coming out experience.  After the Gay-Straight Alliance’s sponsor introduced me to the crowd, I took a deep breath and uttered my first few words “Ten years ago I walked through the halls of high school as a 5’6” nerdy, awkward and insecure teenager. Today, I am honored to participate in Live Out Loud’s Homecoming Project and return to Yorktown High School to share my coming out story to all of you as a confident and proud (but still slightly awkward) 28-year old man.”  It’s hard to articulate how grateful I am for the outpouring of love and support that I received from friends and family for participating in the Homecoming Project. The Homecoming Project is certainly one of the greatest experiences of my life!”

– Tommy Dierkes, Homecoming Project participant

“It was a true honor to be a part of these young people’s lives and to know that one can make a positive impact, however small that may be. I think back to a time when I was their age and realize just how alone, misunderstood, confused, and angry I was–how I felt trapped in a world that did little or nothing to accept people like me. Having positive and supportive figures in one’s life is a wonderful gift. The act is small, but the outcome is tremendous. The mission of Live Out Loud speaks volumes!”

– Milagros Cota Durán, School Program role model

“All of the possibilities for action that I witnessed at Live Out Loud’s Young Trailblazers Gala are endless. I met trans activists, marketers, designers, entrepreneurs, businessmen, journalists, all of whom are dedicated to bolstering the standing advancement of our community in this society. I can say that the gala has encouraged me beyond any measure I thought it would upon stepping through the doors of the Times Center – I know now that I am ready for that revolutionary change. I can’t wait to experience it with all of you. Thank you.”

– Justin Kilian, Scholarship Winner 2014

“I cannot say enough about working with Live Out Loud this school year.  My students grew so much through our connection.  Not only did they meet several inspirational role models, but most importantly my students learned more about who they are and what their role is in assisting others.  My club has expanded so much and is now working on a project to educate incoming Freshmen thanks to the ideas and support they received from Live Out Loud.  We have partnered with other organizations before and they have all fallen short.  The staff at Live Out Loud elevated my kids and my club to a new level.”

– Dayna Kurnitz, Counselor and GSA Advisor

“Meagan’s Homecoming Project really made me look inside myself and think. Nothing is more important than being accepting of yourself and your own sexuality, before you can expect others to accept you for who you are. I was not comfortable coming out, not even as an ally, but Meagan inspired me to be true to myself, and stop being ashamed or self-deprecating. I came out on Saturday after her talk to a group of trusted friends and family. I am not ready to be completely out, but I feel good knowing I am taking the first step and beginning to find happiness and confidence in who I am.”

Anonymous student who attended Meagan’s Homecoming Project