It’s been a few years since I first posted the video My Name is Chris on Youtube. I wanted to create a snapshot of my life. I have been silent about my abuse for over 2 decades and this video is my admission that it has affected almost everything about me. I wanted that happy childhood dream. But I finally knew that there was nothing I could do to take my childhood back, to wipe away the abuse. I couldn’t even pretend anymore that the abuse didn’t exist.
So I made My Name is Chris, and I cry just a little every time I watch it. Recently I had the privilege of taking part in a two-part Oprah special on male survivors of child abuse. Oprah wanted an audience of 200 male survivors to show a face to the millions of men who are abused and never talk about it.
Shortly after the filming I received an email from Jarrod Marcum Noftsger. He was among the 200 men. He wanted to let me know that My Name is Chris helped his recovery. In fact, he made is own version of the video, called My Name is Jarrod, as a way of coming to terms with his own horrific abuse.
There are millions of survivors out there who want to tell their stories. Yet, we feel isolated and unable to express the deepest pain in our lives. The My Name Is Project is there to provide a survivor a way to express it.
So our project is simple:
1. Create your own My Name is… video. There are many programs to make nice montages. I made My Name is Chris with One True Media. If you have any production questions feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m no video wizard but i’ll do my best to help. I want your video to be as representative of your voice as much as possible.
2. Post your video on Youtube as a “response” to My Name is Chris. Our video can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYBkMzQrknk. This way, we stay connected and others can see all of the videos in the project stream.
Click here for a quick tutorial for those who aren’t sure how to add a video in response to ours.
3. Feel free to incorporate what elements you want from My Name is Chris, but your video should have the taste of your personal experience to it. We want to learn about your personal adversity and growth. It can be happy, it can be sad. As long as it is real we want it to be a part of this project.
4. Email Chris along the way with your thoughts, experiences, and questions and to let us know that you have contributed to the “My Name is…” project.
Our goal is to create a community of “My Name is…” videos which tell the collective stories of abuse and trauma in our communities. The short term goal is 50 before the end of 2010. 50 videos. Men and Women. Together. Starting with My Name is Chris and My Name is Jarrod. We need 48 more before January of 2011. We can only do it with your voice.
Sharing your story is the greatest gift you can give to another survivor. When I made My Name is Chris I was only trying to heal from my pain. Imagine the impact our collective montage of stories will have on survivors who need to hear that they are not alone and that their pain matters.
We can only do this with your help.
Chris de Serres