Greeetings from Two Women and a Poodle! Looks like we will be spending Thanksgiving in Santa Fe, NM. Don't miss the story at the bottom of this newsletter. Trust us, it's worth reading. It's emphasizes the importance of the "everyday intereactions."
Please consider sending one of our e-photo cards to your friends to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving! Send one to friends in other countries just to say "Hi," even though it isn't Thanksgiving for them. Click here.
FYI...you can now purchase your books from Amazon through our website and support our journey! Consider shopping here for the holiday season. Check out a new link offering some of our favorite books you can purchase.
If you remember, we told you about Chuck Preimsberg, who was so kind to fix the trailer brakes. Here's a couple of pictures. This gift kept us from having to take the rig to an RV place, and pay for repairs! At least for the time being.
As we headed into Los Angeles, going over the mountains as we traveled through the well known "grapevine," we didn't realize, until it was too late, that the electrical cord (attaching from the car to the trailer) had been left too low and was dragging the ground. Roby felt sooooooooooo bad. It completely frayed and again, we had no trailer brakes halfway over the mountain. That meant finding a Camping World after our talk at PFLAG LA. We were not able to get an appointment until Thursday, and this time it wasn't free! ): I told Roby not to worry about it. Nothing happened to our rig, or us, and that was good.
See what a difference PFLAG makes in our lives!
Our opportunity to speak at PFLAG Los Angeles was great! We particularly thank Chris Haiss for the invitation. The warm hospitality from Steve and George, co-presidents, along with everyone we met, makes us want to come back.
L-R (Front) Roby & Dotti
L-R (Back) Dee & Chris
From Joellen Resare:
"I SO enjoyed your presentation at PFLAG. Honestly, I highly admire anyone who follows their heart to do what is right. You all are such inspirations to those who think one or two people can make a difference. I wish you nothing but well on your incredible journey." Joellen and her friend Melinda, both moms of gay children, have offered to send us care packages as we journey during this next year! PFLAG moms are incredible!
Some comments Chris received the day after we spoke at PFLAG LA:
"Barry said the speakers were VERY good. Sorry I missed the meeting."
"This was one of the best speaker events I've been to at PFLAG."
From Chris Haais:
Two AWESOME women and an AWESOME poodle!
It was such a delight having you at the PFLAG meeting here in Los Angeles! I was more than impressed by your experience with "Focus on the Family." Awesome!
Your journey is a journey of hope for all of us. You lit a spark inside of me that makes me believe that, in the end, we will overcome our differences. The perpetual suffering of families due to homophobia/transphobia has to stop.
Only in an ill-informed, misled society is it possible that we are willing to sacrifice human lives and talents. What a sad state of the union! Because it is not a question of being gay or straight, male or female - it's a question of how we treat each other as human beings. We CAN make this world a better place, but the magic word is "WE".
I can't tell you how I admire you and your courage to go on this journey! Especially at a time when the president is again trying to muster support for his amendment that would write discrimination into this country's great constitution.
Lastly, let me tell you that I'm already looking forward to having you back in Los Angeles in Spring of 2006!
Wishing you a safe trip,
Chris Haiss, Los Angeles
Yes, we will be back in California in 2006. Plans are to go there after we finish speaking at Northwest Regional PFLAG conference April 21-23 and before we head to Esprit, the transgender conference May 15-22.
Chris shared that the mayor of West Hollywood, Abbe Land, is interested in meeting with us. We had worked to put together that meeting before heading onto Arizona and New Mexico, but looks like it will now take place when we visit in 2006.
We have been in the Carlsbad, CA area since the PFLAG LA meeting. We had dinner with Dotti's godchild, and her boyfriend, Dan. They live only 15 minutes from where we had our brakes fixed on Thursday. We appreciate their support, and talked with them about the important role they play as allies. We encouraged them to honor the impact they can have with their friends and others as they educate them about GLBT issues, including same gender marriage. With California scheduled to vote next June 6 to decide whether or not they will become the 20th state in the union to add "one woman and one man" to their constitution, we must encourage everyone to stand UP and speak OUT, particularly those who are our allies. Like GLBT persons, their support is often strongest when in the midst of those who think like they do. What is most important is to speak to those who are "uninformed," and who constitute the movable middle. That group will bridge the divide and create a shift, so that being homophobic/transphobic will carry a stigma in our society, much like being racist carries a stimga. As we all know, racism has not disappeared (unfortunately), but the first step toward eradicating discrimination is for there to be a stigma.
We decided to go ahead and stay in Carlsbad over the week-end. Why? Two reasons. First of all, Michelle's parents, Linda and Hal, along with their daughter, Rachel, and her boyfriend, Roland, were flying in to be in Carlsbad for a week during Thanksgiving holidays. Michelle thought it would be a great idea to "surprise them." We were on the balcony of their rented condo when they entered. Do you think she was surprised? (:
Dotti: Linda was my big sister in our sorority at Georgia Southern College. She has been soooooo supportive of me over the years. Their family is "family" for me, and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to share time with them . They are all taking rainbow wristbands back to their home state of Texas. Linda was upset about the recent Texas amendment, which added the "one woman/one man" for marriage to their constitution. When telling people she was voting against this amendment, as she is supportive of same gender marriage and legal rights for us, she said that people told her, "We have to vote to make it 'one man/one woman.' Otherwise, we don't know what will happen next." To which Linda would ask them "What could happen next?" Disspelling this unwarranted fear, by creating authentic connections with people who are wrestling with their understanding, is the crux of our journey. Linda, Hal, Michelle, Dan, Rachel and Roland exhibit how important it is that our allies "Stand UP and Speak OUT." They directly hear these comments even more than our GLBT community does.
The second reason we decided to stay in this area over the week-end is that we wanted to complete the final outside painting of the Scotty while we are in warm weather. We are re-painting the stripes on the trailer to "spiff it up" a little. The colors were a little worn, and were brown and orange. We decided to make the brown stripes purple to match the suburban and then give the orange a new coat of paint as well! Check out Roby's work in process, and then get ready to see the final look!
Roby worked until sunset. Isn't it beautiful as we look toward the ocean?
Hey, nobody said this journey wasn't going to be fun!!
Michelle's driveway provided the perfect setting. Roby painted the wheels too! "Leave no spot behind" was her motto!
Now I ask you. Which rig would you rather have? There is NO comparison! We LOVE our Scotty home!
Here's the story we promised. Just as we prepared to hit the "send" button for this newsletter, a lady walking two poodles (a white Standard Poodle and a white Toy Poodle) approached our rig. She looked at the sign on our purple suburban, and just squealed, "Are you all going all over the country?" She then noticed Rylee sitting in the passenger seat of the rig and squealed again. Rylee loves to travel. The day we are "on the road again," she sits in the purple suburban, patiently waiting on us to finish packing. Dotti left the computer and went outside to greet the woman and answer her questions. We discovered that Carol, with poodles Molly and Jamie, never walks down Sequoia Street in Carlsbad. Today was different as her dogs led her down our street. Carol is a middle school teacher, and said she speaks up when one of her students says in a derogatory manner, "That's so gay," as a way of putting down another student.
Before she left, we offered her a rainbow wristband. She slipped it on her wrist saying, "Oh, I will give this to my friend who is gay." We offered another one for her to keep, and she graciously accepted. As she left, she looked at us and said, "You all just made my day!"
Carol, the truth is that you made ours! Roby looked at me just now and said, "Everytime I think 'Are we doing the right thing?' someone comes along who is inspired by our journey." That, in turn, inspires us to continue moving forward. Indeed the everyday interactions offer the miracles of our journey.
Last, but not least, the people next door to Michelle were wonderful. Guy & Elaine wished us well on our journey. Their boxer, Gracie, invited Rylee to come over and play in their courtyard several times. Today, Gracie and Rylee Joy said their "good-byes.
Molly, Jamie, and Gracie have all been added to Rylee's Picture Album. Although Michelle's cat, Gracie, was elusive, we finally caught her for a pic with Rylee Joy!
Our animals continue to be a bridge between humans. They have great lessons to teach us. Rylee has a new one...link here to read!
The adventures of two women and a poodles continues. Until next week...
The light in us honors the light in each of you. Dotti, Roby, and Rylee Joy