I have always found that storytelling requires a couple of ethical considerations, and I endeavor to note them here. Unless otherwise stated, the stories I tell are true accountings of events, and I feel very strongly that those stories are the property of the people who lived them. I enjoy retelling events, but seek permission before telling a story that isn’t mine.
With that said, storytelling is still innately problematic because consent cannot always be given. Some people I cannot find, or never really met. Additionally, children cannot truly give consent for their story to be told, or for you to chat about them at the coffee shop with your other mom-friends or co-workers.
If I was there, I will tell you what I saw, but I’m still uncomfortable with the fact that the line of ethics is not clear. These are my stories, but not always mine alone.
So here is what I can do.
I state my intent to change anything I want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with the story itself. I will change names, ages, setting, details, genders, family structure, and anything else I see fit in order to preserve some anonymity.