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Stories for Choice:
A Night of True Storytelling
for Reproductive Justice

Join us as 11 brave storytellers, selected from an international call,
share their experiences to speak truth to power.

january 22, 2023
(what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade)
7 PM, EST
In-person at Senate Garage in Kingston, NY
or accessible virtually from anywhere via livestream

CALL FOR STORIES FOR CHOICE!

Do you have a Story for Choice to share? Then we want to hear from you! Applications are accepted until September 15, 2021. Click below to learn more and apply.

Stories for Choice uses radically true stories that include the TMI parts we usually keep to ourselves because of fear, shame, stigma, or cultural expectation — to ignite human connection, challenge the status quo, and inspire storytellers and listeners alike to take action for true reproductive justice.

We no longer have a constitutional right to reproductive health care.

On June 24, 2022, just shy of the 50th anniversary, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. 13 states have enacted full bans on abortion services. An additional 4 states have enacted partial bans, and 8 states have temporarily blocked attempts at abortion bans1. In states where abortion remains legal, a record number of out-of-state patients are seeking services2. There is an increased demand for sterilization3. People who miscarry are not receiving care because their symptoms mimic that of a medication-induced abortion4. People are being turned away for emergency care.

Choice is not just about abortion rights. We acknowledge that, for centuries, many populations have been denied reproductive healthcare, regardless of the law; and that all people who are capable of becoming pregnant—including include queer women, transmasculine, and nonbinary people—may have a need for full-spectrum pregnancy, family planning, and abortion care. Choice is about full bodily autonomy and comprehensive, safe, accessible reproductive healthcare for all.

Did you know that:

  • For Black and Indigenous people over the age of 30 who can get pregnant, the pregnancy-related mortality rate is four to five times higher than their white counterparts.
  • LGBTQIA+ people experience major disparities in sexual and reproductive health care and worse health outcomes than the population overall. 
  • One in three transgender people, and 48% of transgender men, have delayed or avoided preventive health care such as pelvic exams or STI screening out of fear of discrimination or disrespect5.
  • Latinx-identified people who can become pregnant experience multiple barriers to healthcare, including contraception and reproductive care which can result in lack of access to affordable preventive screenings, such as Pap smears, mammograms, and tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs)6.
  • In a 12 month period, 41% of mobility device users experienced accessibility issues trying to access exam/treatment rooms to receive necessary reproductive healthcare such as pap smears. 31+ states currently allow forced sterilization—and only three states explicitly prohibit forced sterilization of disabled children. Such laws work in tandem with other barriers to inhibit the full reproductive autonomy of disabled people7.

Aug 9 – Sept 15, 2021:
Call for Storytellers

oct 1, 2021:
Storytellers Confirmed

november – january:
TMI Project online true storytelling workshop for accepted applicants

Storytelling is a strategic component of organizing and social justice movement building. In concert with studies, statistics and articles in the news, storytelling has the power to open hearts and change minds, by fostering identification. The ripple effect is exponential, with the potential to transform the minds of leaders, and inspire sea change in cultural ideas, practices, and policies.

August 9 – September 15, 2021:
Call for Storytellers

October 1, 2021:
Storytellers Confirmed

November-January: 
TMI Project online true storytelling workshop for accepted applicants

January 22, 2022:
On the anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade, the workshop series will culminate in Stories for Choice — a night of true storytelling live on zoom and accessible to an international audience.

STORYTELLERS

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Antonia Marrero
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“I am a brown Latina woman and part of the LGBTQIA+ community. I am also a Gynecological Teaching Associate and use my body as a tool for educating Medical Students. Our voices are being silenced and I am mad as hell. Stories for Choice is a platform to change that.”

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Ashly Lorenzana
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“My mother was 14 when she had me. Both of my parents were addicted to drugs. I know that no child deserves a mother who doesn’t want them. I‘m a sex worker, and I’ve had multiple abortions. Stories like mine go unheard, and I’m sharing it because our rights and freedoms are under attack.”

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Charlene Modeste
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“I’ve lived with uterine fibroids for over 20 years. I’ve been infantilized and conditioned to ignore my instincts and intuition. Our stories are the connective tissue that unite and hold our communities together and I want to share mine to embolden audiences and honor the desires of their hearts with gusto.”

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Erin Dudley
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“I had two abortions, six miscarriages, and an ectopic pregnancy before I arrived at the middle-aged mom-hood I now experience and enjoy. We need to share who we are, without shame, and demand policies that allow all people access to the healthcare they need.”

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Frida Vidrio Mendoza
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“In Mexico, women and girls begin our sexual life without having access to information, contraceptives, and reproductive healthcare services. It doesn’t have to be like this. Join us in this crucial space for much-needed dialogue.”

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KT Kennedy
Pronouns: They/Them

“My great-grandmother Alberta Butler passed in a ‘backyard’ procedure in the 1930s. I want to tell my story as a Black queer non-binary person who’s had two abortions, while also honoring my ancestors.”

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Maura Alia Badji
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“In 1988, I was an unmarried full-time college student with a part-time job at a video rental store. I made the right choice for me and had an abortion. We can’t let the juggernaut of rightwing politics silence us. I’m sharing my story to make sure that every person can make the right choice for themselves, whatever it may be.”

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Nakinti Besumbu Nofuru
Pronouns: They/Them

“I live in Cameroon, Central Africa where abortion is illegal. The horrible experience I went through at the hands of a quack abortion “specialist” nearly cost me my life. I’m traveling all the way to New York to share honestly about my experience because I haven’t talked about it much. People need to know what is happening around the world.”

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Shannon Flynn
Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

“I grew up in an atmosphere of sexual predation and substance abuse. I want audiences to know there are conditions beyond our control that lead to unwanted pregnancy. Join us to hear our stories – it’s a way to find courage, validation, and solidarity in the cause.”

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Sofia Jaimes
Pronouns: Ella

“My belly has harbored life. It has also harbored death. I went into a depression when I miscarried and was ecstatic when I got pregnant with my twins. We must fight the corrosive harm silence causes our communities and honor the diversity of our experiences. Our stories show the transcendent power of honesty.”

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Victoria Leigh
Pronouns: She/Her (They)

“I’m a domestic violence victim advocate. I’ve written abortion referrals for clients whose abusers have gotten them pregnant as a form of control. Violence during pregnancy increases. Abortion services help victims stay safe.”

WORKSHOP LEADERS

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Hayley Downs
Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

“When I first heard the words ‘TMI Project’ I thought, ‘What is that? I want to do that!’ I knew that any group that valued ‘too much information’ enough to make it a ‘project’ of it were people that I had to know.”

In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Hayley is a writer, podcast producer, and documentary filmmaker. She produced, edited, and co-wrote seasons one and two of the TMI Project Podcast. She produced the documentary film, Hidden Battles, which was directed by Victoria Mills, about the psychological effects of killing on soldiers. She also produced and broadcast edited Naturally Obsessed: the Making of a Scientist, a film about laboratory research by Richard and Carole Rifkind. Her angst-filled teen journal was included in Mortified: Real Words, Real People, Real Pathetic, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment. Naturally Obsessed premiered on WNYC/Thirteen and is distributed by PBS International. Her installations and experimental films: Move, Coleslaw Wrestling and Boar Hog, exploring multi-generational Florida folk culture, have shown at underground film festivals including NY, Chicago and SF, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Miami and Art Basel. She lives in Kingston, New York with her husband and a small brood of furless beasts.

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Dara Lurie
Pronoun: She/Her/Hers

“I jumped at the opportunity to participate as a storyteller in TMI Project’s first workshop and performance of #BlackStoriesMatter in early 2017 and, later that year, as a TMI Project teacher-trainee. I can’t think of more important work than helping people tell their true stories. If you think it’s simple, you should try it sometime.”

In addition to leading TMI Project workshops, Dara is an author and manuscript coach. She received a B.A. in Film & Theater from Vassar College and M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Hunter College. Dara grew up on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and migrated in the early 1980s to West Berlin, Germany, where she tended bar, wrote and performed in the theater while living in different communities of squatters, Green Party activists, journalists, teachers, and social workers. Her first book, Great Space of Desire; Writing for Personal Evolution, is a memoir and creative guide for writers wishing to tell their own stories.

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Perla Ayora
Pronoun: She/Her

“We immigrants have stories that have been quiet for a long time and now there is finally a safe space where they can be heard. An immigrant has a lot to say about discrimination and culture but also about values, family, learning and justice. Writing your story brings you closer to freedom.”

“Nosotros los inmigrantes tenemos historias que han sido calladas por mucho tiempo y ahora por fin hay un espacio seguro donde pueden ser escuchadas. Un inmigrante tiene mucho que decir sobre discriminación y cultura pero también sobre valor, familia, aprendizaje y justicia. Escribir tu historia te acerca a la libertad.”

Perla is a stand-up comedian who enjoys writing songs, poems, essays, and… jokes. Her creativity and love of expression helps to elevate the many diverse voices of Radio Kingston by broadcasting their shows live from various locations throughout Kingston. She is a radio host and the co-producer of “Tokens Inc”. A dark comedy web series about tokenism. Originally from Yucatan, Mexico, Perla was drawn to Kingston for its lively art, music, and comedy scene – but loves that she can also chill at a BBQ or a taquiza with her neighbors.

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Raine Grayson
Pronoun: He/Him/His

“TMI Project does the exact kind of work that the world needs. From the moment I learned about them I wanted to contribute to the way they spread outstanding courage, community, and kindness. TMI Project makes the world a more honest, open place and I am honored to be given the chance to help foster and facilitate their mission.”

Raine Grayson is a multi-genre writer whose work focuses on exploring and uplifting the LGBTQIA+ community. He specializes in social action theatre and also dabbles in academic essays and creative non-fiction. He founded “Queeries Blog” – a space for queer artists to publish their work freely. He’s worked with The TMI Project before in conjunction with the Trevor Project for “Life Lines: Queer Stories Of Survival”. He’s spoken his suicide survival story on nationally streaming platforms for Trevor Live in support of their suicide prevention chat line. His nonfiction work can be found featured at Queeries Blog, Go Magazine, The Paragon Press, Weasel Press, and soon So Say We All’s magazine “The Whole Alphabet”. His playwriting has been featured by The Playwriting Collective, The Tank, NY Madness, KIT Theatre, The Rosendale Theatre, and Virtual Theatre Collaboration. He is a recipient of the SUNY Thayer Fellowship and Patricia Kerr Ross Award for his playwriting, as well as being recognized as a runner-up for the The Playwriting Collective’s Ball Grant. If you’d like to queer up your timeline, find him on social media @rainerpism.

Partners

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Read Stories for Choice

Support Stories for Choice

This is an all hands on deck moment. Will you support speaking truth to power to inspire change?

 Sign up to be a member of the Stories for Choice Support Committee. Only a couple of hours a month goes a long way!

Watch the Stories for Choice performance from 2022!

If your organization, school, or business believes in true reproductive justice, TMI Project wants to partner with you.

Become a Program Partner:
FREE PROGRAM OFFERING!!!
Invite your community to see a Free Screening of Stories for Choice on January 22, 2023 — what would have been the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

TMI Project will provide you with:

  • Marketing materials — we will send you posters, social graphics, and sample emails to make promoting your event as effortless as possible
  • Tools to host a post-performance Q&A and community conversation
  • A Storytelling and Action Toolkit to share with your inspired audience

Become a Business Sponsor:
(variety of levels)

  • Brand your business as an investor of social responsibility
  • Digital ad placement
  • Verbal stage acknowledgments
  • Logo on ALL Materials
  • Additional Digital Mentions
    • Blog post interviews
    • Social media shoutouts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
    • Linked logo in our monthly E-newsletter

Help Spread the Word

Access social media graphics, sample copy and the press release.

Stay in the know.

Sign up for our mailing to get the latest updates sent right to your inbox!

Sample Copy:

TMI Project launched a call for storytellers for Stories for Choice, a true storytelling program that will feature a ten-session writing workshop and culminating live performance on January 22, 2022, the 49th anniversary of Roe Vs. Wade. Choice, as we see it, means access to safe reproductive healthcare for everyone, for any outcome they choose.  All selected participants receive $500. Learn more and apply (through Sept 15):
https://www.tmiproject.org/storiesforchoice/
#StoriesForChoice #ReproductiveJustice #MyBodyMyChoice #ReproductiveRights #ProChoice #RoeVsWade #TMIProject #Storytelling

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