“HERstory, HIStory, THEIRstory, THEMstory: Resilience and Resistance,” a panel of storytelling by three regional speakers, was held at Shippensburg University’s Old Main Chapel on Monday evening.
The panel started out with background of each panelist, a woman who is a songwriter, a board member of the LGBT Center of PA and the founder of Harrisburg Music Festival.
Amanda Carter is a singer and songwriter. Because she grew up around the arts, she became fascinated with language and songwriting. She has also created a local non-profit for after school programming for children in Harrisburg. Currently, Carter is attending law school.
She started her portion of the panel by performing a song that she wrote about her late girlfriend.
After her girlfriend committed suicide in front of her, Carter put her time and effort into writing and trying to better others’ lives.
“It’s never the end of the world,” she had to say about tough situations.
Demaurion Yellowdy, a model and a board member of the LGBT Center of Pennsylvania, has been an advocate for persistence and survival.
Starting his segment, Yellowdy said, “I am part of HIStory, and I started out as HERstory. I am a trans man.”
He discussed his early life, and said he was constantly in and out of foster homes because of clashing opinions on sexuality, gender and religious beliefs.
“I was kicked out of homes because people live a Christian lifestyle — they didn’t really get a chance to know me because of their beliefs,” Yellowdy said.
After three suicide attempts, Yellowdy found solitude in football and his wife, giving her the credit for his success.
“I never thought I would see past my 18th birthday. I’m 29 now,” he said.
Anwar Curtis, who is in the education field and founder of the Harrisburg Music Festival, focused on growing up in a two-parent household, something of which most of his friends were envious.
“Society tells us that I cannot be sad or depressed because I come from a two-parent household,” Curtis said.
All three panelists were asked a series of questions, ranging from inspiration to tools of success.
“My greatest tools are a supportive network,” Carter said.
Carter, Curtis and Yellowdy are all currently working in Harrisburg trying to successfully help others and make an impact.