Live Authentic...Whatever It Takes
Inspiring the Power of ONE in each of us
to access the Power of ALL of Us,
as we transform ourselves and our world, one person at a time!
You can't hate someone whose story you know.
The tiniest story in your life can deeply touch another.
You cannot know the effect your story might have.”--Sark
In this newsletter Update:
- News in the New Year
- Dr. James Dobson continues to distort research of professors
- We had fun hosting the Joe Teehan radio show, interviewing Jim Hunt (who recently completed his term as president) about the League of Cities' program on building inclusiveness in cities across America, as well as our neighbor, Michelle Willoughby
- Story Corps experience
- Feature story of our journey for GLBT magazine in midwest
- Speaking engagements since the new year...MCC in SEattle, PFLAG Bellevue, WA and PFLAG Walla Walla, WA coming up!
- Share your story...make it count!
1. News in the New Year
So much was happening during January, we found it difficult to create time for a newsletter! We are wishing you both Happy New Year and Happy Valentine's Day at the same time! A two for one deal! (: Tonight will be fun as five lesbian couples gather at our favorite restaurant, Sam's Cafe, in White Rock, Canada. The owners, Barbara and Hal, are wonderful friends of ours and huge allies.
If you missed our last newsletter, this is a picture of us after our legal marriage in White Rock, BC, Canada. Hal, one of the owners of Sam's Cafe is on the left. Kathy (WA State PFLAG chair & Robert Reim) are on the right. The roses and ballooon are part of how they made our evening special on November 23, 2006.
Click here for that last newsletter that had more of our wedding pics. GLBT Coach
In addition to our usual speaking and creating the new Stand UP Speak OUT website, Dotti was doing a lot of consulting and coaching, as well as an online class with Wayne Kelly of On Air Publicity, and revising her website,
. New features have been added such as questions, surveys, and message board.
We will travel to Seattle on February 24 to tape a show called SexLife Live! The show is dedicated to promoting a sex-positive culture through the production of a socially-relevant talk show. Balancing entertainment and education, they engage with both the serious and celebratory aspects of sex and sexuality. They will be interviewing us about our journey. It airs on SCAN network (Cable channel 77). They have also talked with Dotti about hosting some segments on relationship. Having hosted a TV show when she lived in Kentucky, she will have to go back and recall some of those skills.
Roby: I was making decisions about my future, realizing that going back to a 9-5 job was not going to work with us wanting to continue doing Whatever It Takes to live our passion and continue speaking throughout the country. I decided to take courses on real estate investing. That meant a trip to Sacramento for my first course. Dotti and I were looking for a financial avenue in which we could both participate for our future, as well as to help fund Stand UP Speak OUT. We travel next to Cape Coral for a course. We have just a one pager for our website thus far, but at least you will know what we are doing. Check our The Deal 4 U. And call us if you know of anyone who needs to sell their property fast. We offer cash for property, any situation, any condition. We have some great investors on our team!
An update on the screening of the BE REAL documentary...It has been rescheduled for May, rather than April due to scheduling conflict with producers and location...look for specific updates in next newsletter.
A story about our Gay Into Straight America journey is supposed to be in the March issue of Curve magazine. Let us know if you see it!
Why not take Valentine's Day to express love through one of our e-cards. Click here to send one! Perhaps the most loving action you could take today would be to share the gift of who you are and express love to others. BE REAL and LIVE AUTHENTIC...Whatever It Takes!
2. Dear Dr. Dobson
We did a podcast interview with Wayne Besen, founder of Truth Wins OUT, who was visiting Vancouver (he lives in Miami). It was a great interview...we will let you know when it is posted. In December, Wayne wrote the following about professors and scientists who are fighting back about their research being distored by Dr. James' Dobson.
"University lecturers left their classrooms this week to lecture Focus on the Family’s James Dobson to tell him he has no class. The tenured were teed off and staged a revolt because they were revolted by how Dobson had perverted their work in TIME magazine. In a guest column criticizing Mary Cheney, Dobson justified his trashing of gay families by citing the work of renowned researchers. But instead of allowing their work to be distorted, the scholars hollered and told Dobson to stop lying for the Lord."
The bottom line is that Dr. James Dobson continues to negate the ability of same gender couples to be parents. It makes sense that two loving people in a family can possibly offer more benefits than one loving person to a child. To claim that these two loving people must be one male and one female does not make sense, especially when Dr. Dobson is citing research in which no gay or lesbian couples were part of the study group. Several of those researchers, whose work Dobson has cited, have now stepped up to ask him to stop, refuting the claims he makes about their research. Click below to listen to those interviews.
Click here for video of interview with Dr. Carol Gilligan at New York University
Click here to hear an interview with Dr. Kyle Pruitt of Yale University.
Click here for video of interview with Dr. Judith Stacey at New York University.
The Spitzer Study of Ex-Gays by Ex-Gay Watch
Lisa Darden, conducted the interviews with Dr. Gilligan and Dr. Pruitt. Click here to read more about her documentary, For Such a Time as This, that is in production through her company, Hope Unlimited Productions. She is looking for funding for the final editing. Think about contributing...it is going to be an amazing film!
3. We hosted the Joe Teehan show
On January 2, 2007, we hosted the Joe Teehan show, called the Liberal Outpost, on KGMI 790 AM in Bellingham, WA. We had as our guest, Jim Hunt, who recently completed his term as president of The League of Cities, as well as our neighbor, Michelle Willoughby.
The interview with Jim was important. And the answers to some of our questions were both amazing and encouraging. Our next Stand UP Speak OUT project is The Great American Roadcast. Although we will officially kick it off in January, 2008, traveling to cities that are in partnership with the League of Cities' program "We are building an inclusive community," we will begin meeting with people in these cities as we travel around the country during 2007, podcasting and asking, "What does it mean to be inclusive?"
Cities such as Selma, Alabama, are already participants. In our home state of Washington, five cities have officially become aligned with this program. Please listen and consider encouraging your elected officials to take a look at this program, by visiting the League of Cities website. Click on this link and go to appropriate link to find out how you can encourage your elected officials to accept the proclamation and be a part of confirming, "We are building an inclusive community."
Remember how some of our neighbors were somewhat shocked to discover that their new next door neighbors were a lesbian couple? This discovery created some initial discomfort and fear, causing some to think, "What do we tell our kids?" Our suggestion then and now is, "Tell them we love one another."
Fear is a natural response to things situations/people that are different and that we don't understand. Acknowledging fear is the first step toward eradicating it. Submerging fear, and pretending it doesn't exist, doesn't solve anything.
From our perspective, Roby initially felt frightened and angry when she realized what was going on back in 2004. After all, we had thought we were moving into a welcoming neighborhood. After confronting our own fears, however, we decided that their fear was a call for love, and that we had a lot of love to give. We didn't want to live in a blind neighborhood, and we knew that if we matched their fear with our own, that is exactly what we would be responsible for creating. For the "rest of the story," click here to discover what we call "The Neighborhood Story" and what solution Dotti had in mind. It transformed, us as well as our neighborhood, and was a catalyst for our journey, Gay Into Straight America.
Our neighbors have shown us that we can all learn and grow together. Our neighborhood is just a microcosm of the bigger world. On every invitation to a neighborhood party at our home, we write, "How can we change the world if we don't know our neighbors?" The situation in our neighborhood, and the shift we experienced with people as we chose to meet fear with love, was one of the catylsts for our journey, Gay Into Straight America. We thought, "If this can happen here, this can happen anywhere." We adore all of our neighbors, and one special lady, Michelle Willougby, was on the radio show to share her story about us moving in the neighborhood, and the impact on her life. Click on the podcast link to listen.
4. Story Corps experience
Last February, when we were on the road in Florida, we had the opportunity to make history and tell our story as part of Story Corps. We finally have that posted to our podcasts, where you can listen. Just click on the logo to the left for the full interview. A five minute section was selected for playing on the NPR station in Miami. We encourage you to click on this link and learn how to record your story. Each of us is making history. Please share your story! Your interview will be added to the StoryCorps Archive, housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, As we have said repeatedly, if you are Standing UP and Speaking OUT, you ARE on the journey! There is another opportunity at the bottom of this newsletter to SHARE YOUR STORY! Remember...
The tiniest story in your life can deeply touch another.
You cannot know the effect your story might have.”--Sark
5. Feature story on our journey for GLBT magazine in midwest
"I have been inspired since you spoke at the Louisville PFLAG meeting. I have kept your Stand UP Speak Out Wind Changer handout on my desk. Of all the PLFAG meetings I attended last year, your meeting was the most inspirational for me. We had several good speakers, but yours was the most inspiring." He then requested an interview and said he wanted to use information about how to become a Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changer and our journey as the kickoff for January, and a commitment to non-violence around Dr. Martin Luthern King, Jr. Day.
6. We spoke at MCC in Seattle, PFLAG in Bellevue, WA...Walla Walla, WA is next!
We began our new year of speaking with an invitation from MCC in Seattle during the middle of January, once again to jumpstart their commitment to non-violence and celebration for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. DAy. This was our first time with our new signs on our suburban saying, Stand UP Speak OUT.com, rather than Gay Into Straight America.com, along with our Two Women & a Poodle Logo The old signs had been stuck for so long they had to be peeled off. We know that if they visit our website, they will be able to link to our first journey, as well as read about our upcoming one.
MCC meets at a beautiful Jewish synogogue. When Roby went out to the suburban at one point, a couple approached her. They LOVED what we are doing, asking lots of questions. It always feels great to sense people's excitement.
Bellevue PFLAG...We never speak at a PFLAG meeting where we aren't absolutely blown away by wonderful supportive parents...and friends. Thanks, Wendy, for gathering some folks together for dinner before the meeting.
Sometimes, we think that people forget how important the "F" is in PFLAG. Eight six year old Dorothy White is one of those wonderful friends. (She is in red behind Rylee Joy in the above picture). She doesn't have any GLBT kids, but has "adopted" many, and is very active in Bellevue PFLAG and in her church. After she heard Mary Lou Wallner speak last year at Love Welcomes All (counter to Love Won Out), she wrote this poem. Dorothy was thrilled to discover that Mary Lou introduced us.
Be glad for your son who is gay
And your lesbian daughter too,
And your heterosexual child as well,
For each is God's gift to you.
God knew us before we were born.
We're each made to God's own design.
God carefully put us together
(Reference: Psalm 139).
Who are we to critique God's creation?
To claim we can change what God made?
To refuse to be open and loving to all?
To let differences make us afraid?
Thank God for each of your children
As they live in their God-given ways,
And give them what God gives to each of us--
Unconditional love always.
The next week we received this note:
Dear Dotti, Roby and Rylee Joy,
Thank you so very much for sharing your incredible journey of "Gay into Straight America." I know that all of us were moved by your stories...but I was truly impacted by your courage.
You both have done something that many think about doing-sitting in their cozy chairs at home-but you actually did it!
As a parent, I thank you for opening up the hearts and minds of America.
Blessings and love, Ariane Kurita and all of Bellevue PFLAG
We will soon travel to Walla Walla, Washington to speak on February 27, after being in Olympia, WA, for Lobby Day on the 26th. Click here for details. We really missed talking with our legislators when we were on the road last year. Stay tuned for feedback on those conversations.
7. Share your Personal Story...
We can never do this too often. As we continue to deal with marriage equality in many states, but particularly here in our home state as we approach Lobby Day on Feb. 26, we remind you that now is the time to educate legislators and the public about marriage equality. Nothing is more valuable than your personal story-your testimony. Whether you are gay or straight, old or young, single or partnered, you have a story to tell about why you support marriage equality. Here's the link!
A diverse array of people around America are continue to order and wear our rainbow wristbands. Click here to order yours! Join us as we commit to creating authentic connections and having deeper conversations, in whatever way that works for each of you!
We love Italian sayings. As you know Ancora Impara (I'm still Learning) is one of our favorites. Our newest one? Fedelta, Compassione, Integrita, meaning "Be faithful, have compassion and have intergrity." These are indeed good words to live by.
We close with a great quote by Angie Paccione, PhD, Chair of the Democratic Majority Caucus in the Colorado House of Representatives, "You know what else is a threat to marriage? Infidelity is a threat to marriage. Domestic violence is a threat to marriage. Losing your job is a threat to marriage. Marriage is not a threat to marriage. I support equality." Thank you Angie for your insight!
Live Authentic...Whatever It Takes!
Every journey begins with a bold move, and every bold move is a journey. As we continue to make changes in our lives and grow toward our highest selves, we are transforming the world.
--Two Women & a Poodle, Dotti Berry, Robynne Sapp & Rylee Joy