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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On the road again, can't wait to get back on the road again
Nov 7, 2005

Yes, some lemonade was made this week!  It is amazing how that works when we let go of a specific outcome, such as wanting to travel from the Pacific Northwest to California last Monday.  After being delayed because of replacing the cracked hot water heater in the trailer, along with the concern about Rylee Joy, and some leaks in the trailer, we were in for some more surprises. Thankfully, the steady downpour of rain exposed the other leaks in our trailer that needed fixing!  Roby has done an unbelievable job with getting them resealed.  Three great guys in the neighborhood, Lynn, Steve, & Justin offered to help saw a board for one repair. Justin Wolloughby was there when the time came, but we appreciated the offer from all three.  Our neighborhood is incredible! Tests continued on Rylee (all negative!), and her energy is great, but Colleen, our wonderful vet, wanted to see her one more time before we travel to Sacaramento. In addition, our Outlook profile completely disappeared from the radar, and the computer was at the doctor for two days! That old song rang in my ears as we made lemonade, and now I am glad we are on the road again.  As they say, all is well that ends well.

As you know, we shared some thoughts last week regarding the death of our beloved Rosa Parks.  When we read Poet Audre Lord's quote (on home page of our web site), we feel this might represent what Rosa Parks felt when she dared to Stand UP and Speak OUT, claiming a seat that was denied many times in her life.

"When I dare to be powerful to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid."  --Poet Audre Lorde

We were blessed having this extra week, as it provided some truly special authentic connections, and that is the intention of our journey.  We had the privilege of meeting Lauren Ghio, age 7, and Riley Ghio, age 10, of Bellingham, WA.  Their parents, Karen and Kirk, who we had recently met, told them about our journey.  Karen, who owns Lauril's Loft, a business that offers dove releases for special occasions, offered us the gift of a full dove release (10 doves) should the Supreme Sourt of Washington rule in favor of same gender marriage.   We are flying back to Washington when that happens to be married (yes, again!). 

After hearing about Gay Into Straight America, Lauren & Riley said they wanted to meet us and deliver a letter.  How ironic that "our Rylee" got to meet Karen's and Kirk's Riley, but when you add to the mix that we discovered they also have a black Standard Poodle named Phi Phi, who is 2 years old (our Rylee turned 4 yesterday), and that our vet was the one who suggested they get a standard poodle, the syncronicity of the situation becomes obvious. There are no coincidences.

Front of card given to us by Lauren & Riely

Inside of card

In his letter, Riley says, "I know you that you will change a lot of lives!  I think you might even change history.  I wear your braclet with Pride."  Lauren is as supportive as her her brother,writing, "Gay people should be honored!" 

And kids need to "grow up?"  Why do kids so easily get the authentic connections created from reaching out to understand others?  Perhaps it is adults that need to grow up, and understand what kids often instinctively know. 

When Lauren & Riley delivered our card, we told them, "The power of one can occur through your daily actions, and together, we can change our world."

When asked how he became so accepting of all people, Riley answered, "I decided I wanted to think for myself, and not have others think for me." 

We encourage you this week to have a Rosa Parks moment, a Helen Keller moment, and an Audre Lorde moment.  Seize this moment, seize this day, and create authentic connections as you take the Stand UP Speak OUT Challenge.  Honor Rosa Parks in the best way possible... Take action! 


Purchase a bag of 25 Rainbow wristbands, and like Riley, wear them with pride. A great idea is to pass them out for whatever holidays you celebrate.  The Ghio family purchased a bag of 25 to give Karen's sister, who was in Seattle visiting.  She is with the Peace Corps in Nicaragua, and is taking them back for people in the village to wear. 

We hope these rainbow wristbands, a never ending circle of colors, help lead to engaging others 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? 


Lauren gave us one of her most treasured items...her bunny that she made out of scraps from her mother's old sweater.  Recycling at a young that's a good sign for our environment and future!  We named the bunny, "LoLo,"  Lauren's nickname. 



We honored Laren & Riley as  recipients of the first Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changers award.  Their willingness to claim the power of their voice, and doing so with love and compassion, earned them this acknowledgement. You too, can take the Stand UP Speak OUT Challenge, and become a Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changer.  People wanting to nominate someone for one of our Stand UP Speak OUT Wind Changer Awards can contact us.



 Riley Ghio, Karen Ghio (holding Rylee),
 Dotti, Roby, and Lauren Ghio

 UPDATE ON PFLAG carrying weekly updates through their Weekly Alerts 

I was fortunate to meet Judy Hoff, PFLAG national Safe Schools coordinator, as well as transgender issues coordinator, while in Atlanta in September presenting at Southern Comfort, a transgender conference.  That led to us discussing the possibility of Roby & me offering weekly updates about our journey as we speak at local PFLAG Chapters throughout the country during this next year.  The plan is now in action.  Visit the  PFLAG website. Just follow the links you see about our journey!  These updates will change each Thursday.

Until next week...

The light in us honors the light in you, Dotti, Roby & Rylee Joy 

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