We want to change the negative attitude some people have towards the LGBT community. Intolerance and discrimination towards the LGBT community can be overcome through education and awareness.
Also, it is important to protect people from being attacked and bullied because of their diffferences - we want to promote schools and other organizations that provide a safe environment for LGBT members.
We will focus on awareness and education - it is not enough to say "support LGBT rights!" we have to change the way people perceive the LGBT community, to market the members of that community as the dynamic, vibrant and essential members of society that they are.
We will create advertising campaigns, educational programs, and community outreach forums to bring the LGBT community to the general public in a way that has not been done before.
We will operate and fund capital campaigns to bring charter schools to major cities in the US that offer a safe environment for young adults to learn without fear of harrassment and bullying because of their sexual orientaton or lifestyle choice.
We will partner with businesses and for-profit organizations to fund and develop these initiatives.
Many LGBT rights groups focus on political action, and we support these efforts also - however, we believe wholeheartedly that nothing will really change until society changes how LGBT people are perceived - we are going to do that through marketing and advertising the LGBT community.
The currrent climate of change and increasing visibility of LGBT members gives us the opportunity to succeed in this endeavor.
My name is Robert Sandlin and I am one of the founders of this organization. I am a heterosexual male - a member of the group of people that harbors the most fearful, hateful and prejudiced perception of the LGBT community, particularly gay men.
Obviously, I do not share those feelings. I am ashamed of the way many heterosexual people, especially males, treat members of the LGBT community, and I have created this organization to do something about it.
I have many friends in the LGBT community. My former roommate from my college days in Long Beach is gay. The best teacher I ever had (in fourth grade, at a private Catholic school, no less!) is a lesbian. I was raised by my family to be openminded, and to accept people regardless of their differences, and I am glad I was able to grow up without the hate and prejudice that many heterosexual men seem to be indoctrinated with.
Professionally, my background is all business - I am an accountant by training, and have spent the last 20 years advising individuals and business entities in the areas of taxes, finances, legal issues, marketing, and structuring their various ventures. I have worked with many nonprofit organizations, and volunteered my services and time over the years, the highlight of which was going to Russia and working with orphans for 2 weeks in 2004.
I finally have the opportunity to create something that I am excited about, and to work to help a cause that I feel strongly about.
Of course, I am not working alone on this - my wife fully supports and will be working with me; my family and friends are on board; and I have networked with LGBT members and causes that are assisting in getting us off the ground. The actual organization will be governed by a board of directors that includes heterosexuals and LGBT's, and I have several associates with experience in marketing, investment banking, communications, IT, social media, graphic design, and other professional areas, all that support what we are doing and are willing to work towards accomplishing our goals. All of us are working on a volunteer basis. My twenty-two year old son and seventeen year old daughter will be acting as volunteers at various events for us also.