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For immediate release
September 23, 2005
Contact:
Chad Campbell, NPR:
ccampbell@npr.org | 202.513.2304

Greg Chapman of Houston, TX to be Broadcast Essayist On October 3 Edition of This I Believe, NPR Series Exploring Personal Values

Chapman’s Essay, Chosen from 6,000, Explores How He Accepted His Sexuality in Contrast to His Upbringing

WASHINGTON - This I Believe, the NPR® (National Public Radio) weekly series of personal essays from famous and everyday Americans about core values and beliefs features NPR listener and Houston resident Greg Chapman on how "the stories I tell myself" enabled him to put aside the beliefs taught him during his upbringing and embrace being gay. The essay airs on the October 3 edition of the NPR newsmagazine All Things Considered.

Chapman’s essay, chosen from nearly 6,000 submitted since the series launched five months ago, recalls the rigid teachings of his youth and how they affected his struggle with his sexuality. But, as he notes, “I started to changed the basic stories of my life…I started to love myself and to believe the Divine did so as well…(and) the more I loved myself, the more beauty I saw in everyone else.” He concludes, “So I'm gay. And now, after decades of struggle, I tell a good story about it.”

Chapman is a CPA and tax analyst who heard his first "This I Believe" essay on KUHF-FM/88.7 in Houston. When he attempted to write his own version - as the series encourages listeners to do - he was initially unsure about what he would say but admits it quickly became "healing experience" completed in an hour.

Chapman joins an impressive list of prominent essayists who have contributed to the series since it made its premiere April 4; participants have included former Secretary of State Colin Powell; Academy Award-winning director Errol Morris; writer and activist Andrew Sullivan; authors John Updike, Isabel Allende, Rick Moody, and Azar Nafisi; journalist and activist Gloria Steinem; psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, and physicist Brian Greene.

NPR and its member stations have always had a strong connection to its listeners, and with This I Believe, nearly 6,000 people have undertaken the challenge of expressing their personal beliefs in 500 words. The essays range from poignant to humorous, and provide unique insight into what Americans believe in the 21st century. Essays from listeners comprise at least half of the pieces broadcast and have ranged from Phyllis Allen’s powerful take on identity and race to Deirdre Sullivan’s essay of the importance of always going to a funeral to Sarah Adams’ essay on being nice to "the pizza delivery dude." Chapman’s essay on All Things Considered will be heard on more than 600 public radio stations with more than two million listeners.

A contemporary version of Edward R. Murrow’s landmark 1950s project, This I Believe has sparked communal essay-writing sessions in schools, universities, community groups and houses of worship and at life-changing events such as birthdays and funerals. Every Monday, a new essay, from an NPR listener or public figure, airs on NPR, alternating between the signature news magazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

To date, This I Believe essays have ranked among the top e-mailed stories on www.npr.org. To listen or to read past essays please visit www.npr.org/thisibelieve.

NPR is renowned for journalistic excellence and standard-setting news and entertainment programming. A privately supported, non-profit, membership organization, NPR serves a growing audience of 26 million Americans each week in partnership with more than 780 public radio stations. International partners in cable, satellite and short-wave services make NPR programming accessible anywhere in the world. With original online content and audio streaming, npr.org offers hourly newscasts, special features and eight years of archived audio and information.

This I Believe is a collaboration between NPR and This I Believe, Inc., Dan Gediman and Jay Allison, producers.

This I Believe is partially funded by Farmers Insurance Group of Companies®, which is the nation’s third largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group.