The idea that sexual preference and gender identify naturally include a spectrum of variations is becoming more widely accepted in more parts of the world than ever before. Yet, ironically, our acceptance and resulting “assimilation” into general society has led to greater repression in places like Russia and parts of the Middle East and Africa. Meanwhile, in America, it has eroded the real-world LGBTQ community we fought so hard to establish—places which offered safe havens where individuals could explore and define their sexual and gender identities and which have been a crucible for political and cultural change.
Furthermore, the barrage of new technology and media in today’s world has led many within the LGBTQ community, as well as in greater society, to lose sight of our past. So much of what we have experienced and fought for is now being taken for granted or just plain forgotten— and, in the classic words of the great philosopher George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.”
Bammer’s goal is to keep our unique heritage alive and vibrant. We believe that through collective storytelling—encouraging and assisting people in writing down, recording and sharing their experiences of growing up, coming out and being LGBTQ over the last 50+ years, both in America and around the world, we can strengthen the bonds of our community by:
• Infusing new LGBTQ generations with a greater sense of their LGBTQ heritage.
• Highlighting the uniqueness and value of LGBTQ community and its place in society at large as a crucible of creativity, culture and change.
• Fostering increased social interaction and new bonds of friendships among members of the LGBTQ community through shared experiences—especially between older and younger members of the LGBTQ community
• Providing historical context and understanding of current events relevant to the LBGTQ community
While the larger moments of our history—the Stonewall Rebellion (and the gay liberation movement that followed it), the AIDS epidemic (and the devastation it caused), and marriage equality (which allowed our love to be recognized legally)—have entered into mainstream history books, the small moments of our lives—the personal experiences—are the ones most often lost and forgotten. Yet, these stories typically leave a more indelible impression and touch more hearts.