This post was written by Kate Masters.

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Frank Warren onstage at the Missouri Theatre. Photo: Kate Masters.

Frank Warren has often been called, “the most trusted stranger in America,” a fact you can tell he really likes to tout in all his speeches. The silver-haired founder of the PostSecret blog has been collecting skeletons from the closets of thousands of anonymous confessors since he started the community art project 10 years ago on the streets of Washington, D.C.

The concept behind PostSecret is simple, but its message is timeless. Contributors anonymously mail in their deepest secrets on one side of a homemade postcard, and Warren posts 10 of them on the site every Sunday. Followers from around the world can view them online, or in the five PostSecret books that Warren has published since the blog was founded. The confessions are meant not only to inspire empathy, but to liberate their tellers. In Warren’s mind, guilty secrets can only harm, but the truth will set you free.

You can’t help but like Frank Warren, still slightly gawky even after years of sharing his story on college campuses across the globe. There’s an earnestness to him that could melt the heart of even the coldest cynic, and he still delights in the thousands of secrets he receives every day. At last night’s PostSecret event at the Missouri Theatre, Warren was a model confessor, opening the floor to audience members after he discussed the founding of the blog.

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Frank Warren at his event at the Missouri Theatre. Photo: Kate Masters.

Not all of the confessions last night were easy to stomach. With tears in her eyes, one Mizzou student admitted that after she was sexually assaulted, her friends had told her she should have just had sex with the man who did it. Another woman confessed that she had given her son up for adoption 30 years ago and was now too afraid to search for him.

But a surprising number proved that some secrets can be delightful. One woman announced that sometimes when she farts while running, she thinks it makes her go faster. A high school grad told the crowd that she wasn’t invited to hang out with anybody on senior skip day, so she spent it watching Netflix and masturbating.

For Warren, it’s not about the intensity of the secret. It’s about how you feel when you can finally let it go.

Talk Back:

Have you ever posted something on PostSecret?

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