the yarn

At The Yarn, we believe in the power of story to break down barriers, gain greater understanding of our neighbors and change hearts and minds. 

2017 OUTLOUD Cast

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Justin Sarlo

Justin is a Little Rock native who is active in many areas of the LGBT community and beyond.  He has been involved in many charities including PFLAG New Hampshire and Renegades for a Cause (as a founding member).  Through Renegades for a Cause and on his own, he has assisted various organizations including Arkansas AIDS Foundation, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Reach Out and the Christmas Caravan, Lucie’s Place, and many others.

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CC Carter

Her work has received literary accolades scoring her a significant number of poetry and activism awards as well as being anthologized in over 35 literary collections. Her first collection of poetry, Body Language, was nominated for a 2003 Lambda Literary Award. She is the winner of a host of poetry slams, including winning the Fifth Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Competition and the First Annual Behind Our Masks Poetry Slam. Carter is a regularly featured artist on Olivia Travel Vacations and at women’s music festivals around the country. She has shared stages with Nikki Giovanni, Maya Angelou, Cheryl Clarke, Dorothy Allison and other notables. In 2003, Carter also founded POW-WOW, Inc. (Performers or Writers for Women on Women’s Issues), a weekly spoken-word venue in Chicago that lasted for 10 years. As a result of her arts and activism work, she has received numerous honors, including being inducted into the Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame (in 2002 for her cultural work), again with the African-American Performance Ensemble A Real Read (2006), and yet again for POW-WOW, Inc. (2013). Dr. Carter was one of six international recipients to be dubbed by Eve Ensler with the esteemed title of Vagina Warrior for her work in creating a safe space for women artists who are survivors of violence (2005). She has taught master classes at more than 20 colleges/universities, and is a sought-after presenter at women’s conferences. Carter is passionate about facilitating workshops to women in underserved communities, as well as those women whom are survivors of assault or have issues of trauma.

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ANGELA SPEARS-GULLETTE

Angela is a native of Little Rock and graduated from Central High School and Arkansas State University.  Married with two daughters, 21 and 16 years old.  She has always worked with animals in need and volunteers to assist native wildlife.  Her family has a small farm of rescued animals, usually rescued from someones plate.  Angela and her wife, Charlie, were part of the lawsuit for the right to marry in Arkansas and were couple 11 of the first 15 to legally marry in the state.  Angela is speaking tonight with the support of her sweet wife and kids.

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Aaron Perkins

Aaron Perkins is the owner of Face Your Day Salon.  Prior to opening his own image consulting firm, Aaron worked at Vogue Magazine In New York City.  Aaron works with high profile clientele, weddings and regional, national and international pageants, and writes a regular beauty column for Celebrate Magazine. Aaron’s celebrity clients include John Legend, Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, the men of Duck Dynasty, Hugh Jackman, Tom Cruise, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Candace Glover, Luke Bryan, Rachel McAdams, and Elton John. He is the personal image consultant for NLR District Judge Paula Juels Jones and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. Aaron’s bridal work has been featured in Southern Bride magazine and Martha Stewart Weddings. His pageant work includes Mrs. Arkansas, Miss Louisiana and Miss Haiti International.  Aaron has worked at New York Fashion Week multiple times, on the set of music videos for Hot Chelle Rae and Nash Overstreet and on projects with Pixar, Dillard’s and L’Oréal.  He has also worked on projects on the national level including media campaigns for the San Diego Zoo and the Wal-Mart Shareholders Meeting. Aaron Perkins is enormously active in the nonprofit community and has lent his time and services to The Rep, Easter Seals and Rock the Runway as well as teaching career makeup application workshops for residents of Our House.  He serves on the board of directors for Opera in the Rock, as creative director for the Big Role Model program benefiting Big Brother Big Sisters of Central Arkansas and as Style Chair for CARTI Festival of Fashion.  In 2015, Mr. Perkins was also one of the first three men ever elected to the board of the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas after 101 years of existence.

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Patrick mcbride

Patrick is a recent transplant to Little Rock from Washington D.C.. This is his second storytelling performance, his first having been during this year's DC Pride as part of Story District's Out/Loud: Queer, Questioning, Bold and Proud show. Patrick believes shining light on our dark corners through sharing with others is what frees us.

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clay turner

Clay Turner is from Leachville, Arkansas and graduated from Arkansas State University in May 2017 with a degree in political science and a minor in Spanish. He now attends the University of Arkansas Clinton School, where he pursues a Master's of Public Service. 

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shelly palumbo

Shelly is originally from NYC and after a career in process research and development then corporate
management she was forced to retire from her professional career after her first heart attack. Shelly decided to leave the New York City area and purchased a farm in a small town in North central Arkansas. Shelly is the parent of 4 college age children. Throughout her life she flip-flopped between denial and acceptance of womanhood, her true identity, and did not seriously begin her transition until she was in her 50s. Twelve years ago her heart condition worsened and she was diagnosed with a congenital cardiac condition called torturous arteries. Five stents, bypass surgery and innumerable invasive procedures to correct the condition and still her prognosis was pretty bleak. Three years ago after what she was told may be a one way trip to the Heart Hospital, she decided to fully come out publicly. Now Shelly finally lives, joyfully,  as the person she was born to be.

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Andrea galindo

Andrea is 25. She was born in Lubbock, TX and raised in Arkansas. She's a super chill person and enjoys painting pictures with words. Andrea started spoken word her sophomore year of college when there was something inside of her to say. Now she uses words as a way to speak life to people. Most of all, she loves tacos.

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José Gutiérrez

José Gutiérrez is a proud gay man, Mexican born, Arkansan who has lived in the state since the age of six. His creativity and talents as an artist began in his early youth. His passion for fairness and equal treatment matured as he grew up based in his experiences as an immigrant, person of color and a gay man. Now the director of Center for Artistic Revolution, where he continues to collectively work toward equity and liberation. Sharing his story with others to educate and bring awareness to those who struggle with their gender/sexuality in hopes that they can live their true selves.
 

 
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Traci Berry

Traci Berry was born and raised in Central Arkansas and is a proud graduate of Sheridan high school. She received her bachelors in education from Henderson State University where she was a member of the Lady Reddie basketball team. Traci received her Masters of education from the University of Little Rock Arkansas in 2003. She spent 14 years in public school education as a teacher, coach and Alternative Learning Environment director. She is an avid outdoors woman. She spent 5 years working in the ropes industry building, managing, training guides, and guiding Zipline tours. Traci is currently the director of Raid the Rock Adventure Race. You can listen to Traci every Monday morning on Little Rock's community radio station KABF 88.3 FM where she is a volunteer DJ with her own show, The T with Traci & Angie. They discuss all things LGBT and more. She is the new President of the Stonewall Democratic Caucus of Arkansas. Traci currently works for the most progressive newspaper in our state, the Arkansas Times. She is very active in the community advocating for equality. She enjoys a smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, a crisp rosé, or an austere whiskey.
 

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Kendra Johnson

Kendra R. Johnson joined the Human Rights Campaign as the Arkansas State Director for Project One America in August 2014. As a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, Kendra is thrilled to be working to advance fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people right in her own backyard.

Kendra has been a lifelong volunteer and activist, including founding the first lesbian/bi-sexual support group at Spelman College in the 90s and volunteering communications services for Brazil’s first historically black college. She currently serves as the Board Chair for Southerners on New Ground (SONG), the largest grassroots LGBT organization in the South.
 

James Rector 

James K Rector, moved from a small community in Oklahoma to Fayetteville to attend the University of Arkansas in 2000 where he studied Music with a Minor in Business. He fell in love with the Arkansas because of its people, cultural opportunities, and proximity to several great outdoor adventure spots. After working in a corporate setting decided to return to his love of creativity at the New Design School in Fayetteville studying Graphic Design.  

Once again James' life adventure changed when he moved to Little Rock to join the team at HRC Arkansas as State Field Organizer. Previously he served as President of the Northwest Arkansas Center for Equality, the local LGBTQ resource organization. Rector currently serves on the board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Little Rock as Chair-Elect, is Vice President of the board for Central Arkansas Pride, Co-chair of the communications and messaging team for the Pulaski County Democrats, and the Director of Finance and Fundraising for The Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminar in Arkansas. He is also a freelance graphic designer, enjoys reading a variety of books, and spends his most of his free time with his dog Rocco and friends.