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Inspiring Stories from “I’m from Driftwood”

In 2009, Central Texas native Nathan Manske saw a photo of trailblazer Harvey Milk (left), who was one of the first openly gay elected officials in the U.S. Harvey was holding a sign in the San Francisco pride parade in 1978. It read, “I’m from Woodmere, N.Y.” It was a lightbulb moment for Nathan: “I’m from Driftwood, Texas.”

That handpainted sign was like a billboard showing everyone living in small towns, big cities, and everywhere in between that they are not alone. So, Nathan created “I’m From Driftwood,” an LGBTQIA+ story archive that “aims to help LGBTQ people learn more about their community, straight people learn more about their neighbors and everyone learn more about themselves through the power of storytelling and story sharing.”



“Be yourself, be comfortable and let’s get to know each other.” – I’m From Driftwood


This video archive is full of empowering and affirming LGBTQIA+ stories from people of every age, race, gender, background and culture. We need I’m From Driftwood right now and we wanted to share a few of our favorite video stories. So, take a break from TikTok. Pause your Tiger King binge. Stop refreshing the CNN homepage. And let’s go to Driftwood.



Nick Donias

Gay Man Reconciles His Spirituality With His Sexuality

Nick Donias grew up in a tough part of Fort Worth, Texas, where his only respite was his Pentacostal church. When he discovered that he was gay, he questioned whether he could continue to be religious. Fortunately, after a spiritual moment at a gay bar, he discovered his spirituality and his sexual orientation could, in fact, coexist.



Greg Abbink

First Openly Trans Officer at Austin Police Department Shares Journey

Throughout his life, Greg Abbink knew he was a boy, but everyone saw him as a girl. When his nephew came out as trans in 2014, Greg was inspired to do the same – coming out not only to his family, but to his fellow officers at the Austin Police Department.



Coleman Goode

Gay Man Confronts Mental Illness, Addiction and his HIV Diagnosis with the Help of Others

When he was just 25 years old, Coleman Goode had reached a low point in his life. He was suicidal, addicted to crystal meth, and newly diagnosed with HIV. His life thrown into a tailspin; he had no idea what the future held. Fortunately, with the support of others, he was able to confront his mental health and addiction issues and live a healthy and fulfilling life.



Cecilia Gentili

“I Am A UFO Child That Was Left Here By Mistake.”

Cecilia Gentili’s brother told her she was an alien. Being transgender, she thought it might be true. This story is part of the “What Was It Like? Stories by LGBTQ Elders” series, a new program by I’m From Driftwood and SAGE, the country’s largest and oldest organization dedicated to improving the lives of LGBTQ older adults.



Marcella Andrews

First Graders Rush to Defend Mom’s Trans Daughter: “These Kids Are Incredible. We’re Gonna Be Okay.”

Despite experiencing homophobic bullying in high school, Marcella Andrews grew into a happy adult, marrying a woman and raising two young children. When her youngest child experienced transphobic bullying, however, she was transported back to those troubling high school days. Fortunately, her child’s peers came to her defense.



Share Your Story!

You can be a part of the archive. Share your story with IFD and the world HERE.


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Donate HERE. I’m From Driftwood is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and your donation is tax-deductible.


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