OutServe-SLDN — the nation’s oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) military organization — has teamed up with The OUT Foundation in production for the Murph + OUTWOD Challenge. This national fundraiser for the LGBTQ military community will be held on Memorial Day, May 28.
“We are thrilled to finally have an opportunity to join forces with The OUT Foundation,” said Kai Blevins, OutServe-SLDN’s director of Education, Chapter & Veteran Services. “One-hundred percent of the proceeds raised through this fundraising campaign will be funneled directly into our programming services, enabling our organization to continue to support and advocate for the entire LGBTQ military and veteran community, as we work towards an equitable and just system. At a time when our community, and particularly our transgender siblings, are under attack in the military and across the nation, this campaign affirms what we know to be true: we deserve to live healthy lives, free from discrimination.”
“Our partnership with OutServe-SLDN is something I am so proud to be a part of,” said Will Lanier, The OUT Foundation’s executive director. “The dedication that both of our organizations have to our community is unwavering, and this initiative is a testament to that fact. Now, more than ever, we must come together as a united front to protect the rights and lives of every single human in the LGBTQ community. We honor those who have served, those who currently serve, and we want to foster the future service members with the strength and tenacity to proudly serve their country.”
In addition to raising awareness about the LGBTQ military and veteran communities, the Murph + OUTWOD Challenge pays tribute to an LGBTQ servicemember killed in action earlier this month. Christopher “Tripp” Zanetis, a OutServe-SLDN member, was lost in Iraq after the helicopter he was in crashed into some power lines.
“Tripp was a brave and kind soul, always looking for an opportunity to help out the person next to him,” said Andy Blevins, OutServe-SLDN’s Law & Policy director. “An avid ‘CrossFitter’ himself, we can think of no better way to honor his legacy than by encouraging our entire community to participate in this challenge — for LGBTQ servicemembers and veterans, for our dear friend Tripp, and, most importantly, for themselves.”
This campaign comes in the midst of LGBTQ Health Awareness Week and follows intensive work from both organizations, focused on raising awareness for physical and mental health-related resources for the LGBTQ military and veteran communities. The health awareness week focuses on the cycle of discrimination and disparity that the LGBTQ community faces with respect to their physical and mental health, when compared to their straight and cisgender counterparts.
Participants will receive an exclusive Murph 2018 shirt, 30 days of free training, inclusion on the leaderboard and more. Learn more and register now at murph.outwod.com.