( WASHINGTON ) March 29, 2018 — The nation's oldest and largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer ( LGBTQ ) military organization is proud to join forces with The OUT Foundation in production for the Murph + OUTWOD Challenge. This Challenge is a national fundraiser benefiting the LGBTQ military community, culminating on Memorial Day, May 28, 2018. Additional information about the campaign can be found at www.murph.outwod.com .
"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," says 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. Our dear friend, and OutServe-SLDN member, Christopher "Tripp" Zanetis 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 ( non-transgender ) counterparts.
Participants 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 .
OutServe-SLDN ( OS-SLDN ) is a non-partisan, non-profit, legal services and policy organization dedicated to bringing about full LGBT equality to America's military and ending all forms of discrimination and harassment of military personnel on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. With more than fifty chapters and 6,000 members around the world, OS-SLDN supports a professional network of LGBT military personnel and strives to create an environment of respect in the military with regard to sexual orientation and gender identity. OS-SLDN provides free and direct legal assistance to service members and veterans affected by the repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law and the prior regulatory ban on open service, as well as those currently serving who may experience harassment or discrimination. For more information, visit www.outserve-sldn.org .
The OUT Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing, supporting and ensuring LGBTQ+ access to health and wellness thru fitness. With over 80 fitness events yearly and 4000+ participants worldwide, The OUT Foundation provides gym memberships, nutritional counseling and mental health services for underserved LGBTQ+ youth and young adults, creates a supportive space for gender identity and expression in the fitness community via grants for gender affirmation surgeries and fosters a philanthropic community of LGBTQ+ fitness professionals and enthusiasts alike. For more information, visit www.theoutfoundation.org .