Some of us are more awkward than others. I told this tale of paralyzing social phobia and the search for friendship at college at the Hartford, CT storytelling show Speak Up on September 28, 2013. The hosts were gracious, the audience was warm (and huge), the space was beautiful, and my fellow storytellers were interesting and engaging.

The highlight of the evening, however, was a brief conversation I had with a social worker during the intermission. “I work with kids who have gender identity issues,” she said. “Three of them have social phobia. I didn’t understand what that felt like until I heard your story.” She’s going to look into treatment methods. As a result of that conversation, three kids who have an already rough road ahead will perhaps suffer less in at least one area. Gratifying indeed. I’m glad I made the two hour drive.


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