A Single Moment Of Kindness At An LGBTQ Bookstore Leads To A Lifelong Philosophy

Rainbow flag (AP)
Rainbow flag (AP)

In 2002, Joe Faust was the manager of a small, independent LGBTQ bookstore in Indianapolis called Out Word Bound. He remembers picking up the phone one night and hearing a very upset young man on the other end of the line. The stranger told Joe that he was probably gay but that he was terrified to admit it.

Listen to the full Kind World episode here (Joe Faust's story starts at 9:07):

"There was a real sense that he might have been intent on hurting himself if he couldn’t come to terms with this experience he was having,” Joe said.

Even though Joe had no formal experience in crisis management, he listened to the caller and tried to calm him down. Joe told him his own story about coming out as a gay man. Then, to his surprise, a customer at the bookstore approached him and asked for the phone. That started a domino effect in the store.  Each customer took the phone and shared their own stories with the distressed caller. Joe says that night of kindness deepened his love and appreciation of his LGBTQ community.


Andrea Asuaje Reporter/Producer, Kind World
Andrea Asuaje was a reporter and producer in WBUR’s iLab, where she made Kind World.



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