Keep informed about our journey, Gay Into Straight America!  Each week, we send out a newsletter.  Below are links to the ones we have sent since the beginning of our year long journey, which began September 11, 2005.  The most current one is at the top.  Note:  The last newsletter for this journey will be the December, 2006 newsletter, since our year long journey will be over; however, Stand UP Speak OUT, Inc. will continue with other projects.  Gay Into Straight America was its initial one.  Click here and sign up to receive our newsletter that will come from Stand UP Speak OUT in 2007.  Those who have already been receiving this newsletter will automatically receive our Stand UP Speak OUT...Live Authentic newsletter.

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October Media Release
Oct 24, 2005

Gay Into Straight America
Two Women and a Poodle
on a one-year mission to transform themselves and the world


Stand UP Speak OUT Press Release
For immediate release
Contact: Dotti Berry, 360-305-0909


(Bellingham, WA) –  Gay Into Straight America, kicked off September 11, 2005, and is the initial project of an organization, Stand UP Speak OUT, Inc.  This is a yearlong journey for "two women & a poodle,"  Robynne Sapp, Dotti Berry, and their standard poodle, Rylee Joy.  They are commited to creating authentic connections with people who are "wrestling" with their understanding of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, and dissolving differences that separate us. 


Their journey began in their home state of Washington during September, before proceeding  to Oregon, where they were legally married on March 7, 2005.  Their marriage was voided by the state of Oregon in 2005.  November takes them to California, before they head east across the United States through Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa and Arkansas as they speak and facilitate workshops, before arriving on December 18 in Dotti's hometown to speak to PFLAG Atlanta.


Their journey was ignited through their involvement with Soulforce, an organization committed to utilizing the practice of relentless nonviolent resistance to help free oppressed sexual and gender minorities from religious and political oppression.


Another seed was planted with the simple vow of intention they spoke at their spiritual wedding ceremony on July 31, 2004:  “We vow to change the world through the expression of our love.”


The final catalyst occurred on March 9, 2005 as Sapp and Berry were reading The Advocate Magazine. An article featuring Lars Clausen, a Lutheran minister whose six-week tour StraightIntoGayAmerica was to begin on June 14, 2005, jumped off the pages.  Reading Clausen’s blog inspired them to “Just do it!” leading them to set September 11, 2005, as the official kick-off date for their yearlong journey.


“We were ecstatic about meeting with Lars face-to-face on Memorial Day, 2005, reveling in our parallel journeys,” say Berry and Sapp.  “We all agree that the bigger picture is about moving beyond political and religious polarization.”


Berry and Sapp say, "We hope to dispel myths and fears that individuals have of GLBT persons and create a safe space for meaningful dialogue. We both feel strongly about treating other people with respect and listening carefully to them, regardless of differences of opinions."


Though planned events with outreach to groups, organizations, and religious institutions will take place, they feel that the everyday interactions which create authentic connections are at the core of their journey. They also invite GLBT persons, particularly youth, as well as queer, questioning persons, and allies to participate, saying, "We feel that each individual is our hope for today, as well as tomorrow, in bridging the differences in our society."  A commitment to creating a stronger foundation of understanding about transgender and intersex persons is also important in their journey, and their motto, "Leave no person behind" is a reflection of that commitment.


Berry, a Life Coach who is finishing her doctorate work in Human Sexuality, and Sapp, a photographer, will be working their way across America. Although they are excited about and desire people's contributions such as financial resources, special talents, and in-kind gifts, they are dedicated to working in their areas of expertise as they travel.


They sport rainbow wristbands.  When asked "why," they reply, "We hope they lead to engaging one another in more meaningful conversations, creating a tipping point for awareness about the value of diversity of people in our world, and how we are all interconnected. Isn't it time?"

Visit our press room, for additional information and pictures.


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