Please join me in welcoming Mason Funk, founder of the nonprofit OUTWORDS, for a Cake Panel.
A bit about Mason and OUTWORDS: Mason Funk grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Stanford University. Prior to creating OUTWORDS, Mason produced and directed award-winning non-fiction films for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, Fox Sports, and other major networks. The concept for OUTWORDS was born in 2014. Looking back over his own journey from terrified gay teenager in the 1970s, to his current life as an out-and-proud gay man, OUTWORDS founder Mason Funk wondered, “How did I and millions of other LGBTQ people get from there, to here?” To answer this question, Mason created OUTWORDS, the first national effort to capture the stories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) elders and pioneers all over America, and use their stories to educate, empower and inspire people all over the world – in particular LGBTQ youth. By creating this connection between LGBTQ youth and pioneers, OUTWORDS will inspire our youth to defend their rights, and to work side by side with other activists for a more equitable, inclusive America. To adequately preserve this profoundly important history, all OUTWORDS interviews are recorded by experienced filmmakers using high-definition cameras, professional lighting and sound. To date, OUTWORDS has captured 131 groundbreaking interviews in 25 states + Washington DC. The first collection of OUTWORDS interviews, entitled THE BOOK OF PRIDE, will be available on May 21, 2019, simultaneous with the launch of our custom digital platform, to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.