We are Jenni and Lisa, and in June we leave our San Francisco home to travel the world for a year in search of gay people who are creating change for the LGBTQ community. Our project, Out and Around: Stories of a Not-So-Straight Journey, is a collection of our conversations with these individuals around the world.
We have launched this website to chronicle our stories. We interview these extraordinary individuals and tell their stories through articles, photos and videos. Our trip will cover 15 countries across Asia, Africa, and South America. We chose them because these are places where the LGBTQ movement is just starting to take shape, and we want to tell the stories of the people there who are leading the charge.
Watch our video introducing ourselves and our project.
We believe we’re at a pivotal point for gay rights in the world. Significant change has been made for gays in terms of civil rights and societal acceptance. To think that 10 years ago, there was not a country on this planet where we could get legally married as a lesbian couple. Now, 10 countries have legalized same-sex marriages.
Nontheless, more progress must be made. Gay youth still get bullied everyday, gays everywhere still face a tremendous amount of homophobia, and gay rights still don’t exist in much of the developing world.
With our project, we can change this:
The LGBTQ community desperately lacks role models and by telling the stories of the individuals, we hope to inspire gay youth by showing them examples of successful gay people around the world.
We also hope to decrease homophobia by showing that gay people exist and thrive in all walks of life and that gays have made immense contributions to society.
Lastly, we hope to shed light on the struggles of gay people in the developing world and raise support to fight for their rights.
More About Us:
Lisa Dazols is a licensed clinical social worker who is in her tenth year in HIV services. Lisa previously worked at UCSF’s Positive Health Program in San Francisco’s largest HIV clinic. She started her career as an international HIV social worker in Chile before getting her masters degree in social welfare at UC Berkeley.
Jenni Chang works as a business manager for eBay Inc, the online marketplace site. Jenni’s international experience includes volunteering with community outreach groups in Taiwan, Cambodia, and China. Jenni is an LGBT activist who is involved in the Asian American and Christian LGBT communities in San Francisco.
Jenni and Lisa have been together for three years. They first met in 2007 on the AIDS Lifecycle, a 500 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise money for HIV services. Jenni and Lisa have been happily cycling together ever since and are now engaged. This September in the Philippines, they proposed to one another!
You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use this contact form here.