Startup GET//OUT provides creative ways to support LGBT equality, kicks off 50 state summer campaign connecting classic BLT sandwich to LGBT rights
GET//OUT, a recently-launched social enterprise creating fresh and fun ways to support LGBT equality, kicked off the BLgT USA Memorial Day weekend in Provincetown, Massachusetts. The organization is activating people locally to promote LGBT rights this summer – simply by eating a BLgT. Participating chefs across the country are creating classic BLT sandwiches with a twist, with proceeds benefitting partner LGBT community centers all summer long. The BLgT USA team is crossing the US to visit partner restaurants via the branded vehicle to host pop-up experiences in 50 states.
Co-founded by longtime friends Taryn Miller-Stevens and Peter Stolarski, BLgT USA is partnering chefs and restaurants with local LGBT centers. The group collaborates with CenterLink, the network of LGBT community centers, and its members to discover the best LBGT centers around the nation. Community center partners are receiving proceeds from BLgTs sold in partner restaurants throughout the summer.
“The US is at a critical moment in history – and marriage is only the beginning,” said co-founder Taryn Miller-Stevens. “We need more real talk about equal rights for all, with a comfortable approach. Get Out will be capturing stories and having conversations about what life is really like across the country. In 29 states you can still be fired for being LGBT. Queer youth are 4x more likely to attempt suicide – and that number skyrockets even higher for trans youth. BLgT USA is about connecting people who care about equality, and giving them something fun, local and delicious to do about it.”
With more than $150K raised through a Kickstarter campaign (which ran from MLK Jr. Day through Presidents Day 2015) as well as corporate sponsorship, GET//OUT has the seed funding for the 50 state tour. Supporters include DOMA Plaintiff Edie Windsor, Prop 8 Plaintiffs Sandy Stier and Kris Perry, and Top Chef Contestants Ash Fulk and Tiffani Faison. Backing corporations include Target Corporation, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Oma’s Pride, Embassy Row Hotel, A Destination Hotel, and many others.
“Supporting the LGBT community and our love for good food is an integral part of our DNA at The Embassy Row Hotel,” explained Shawn Jervis, General Manager of DC’s only lifestyle hotel. “We are ecstatic about celebrating both on the 4th of July.”
GET//OUT dubbed the BLgT as the first sandwich for equality. The “g” is chosen by partner chefs – gouda, guacamole, a side of gazpacho; the possibilities are infinite and chefs are encouraged to be creative. Vegetarian options are available.
Mac’s Seafood in Provincetown, Massachusetts sponsored the sold-out kick-off, playing host to supporters from Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York. Chef Vanessa Miller was excited about her twist on the classic: “Gourmet mozzarella, made with my own two hands,” said Chef Miller about her “g”. Owner Mac Hay agreed, adding, “I’m an advocate for equal rights and bringing people together with delectable food is a great way to bolster that. The event was about connecting people and we were ecstatic with the response from our community.”
BLgT USA has hosted successful events in Burlington, Vermont sponsored by Misery Loves Co benefiting Outright VT all summer; in New York City with 150 supporters at The Stonewall Inn sponsored by Hill Country BBQ and Top Chef Contestant Ash Fulk; and in Avon, Connecticut with 100 supporters at Miller Foods sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car and Metro Bis with BLgTs by Chef Chris Prosperi benefiting New Haven Pride Center.
Major upcoming events include: Saturday, June 6 sponsored by Sweet Cheeks with BLgTs by Top Chef Contestant Tiffani Faison; Saturday, July 4 at Embassy Row Hotel, A Destination Hotel in Washington DC with BLgTs by Station Kitchen & Cocktails; Sunday, August 2 at The Stutz on Loring in Minneapolis hosted by Kim Bartmann and sponsored by Target Corporation benefiting Avenues; and Saturday, August 29 at The Argonaut Hotel, A Kimpton Hotel benefiting the San Francisco LGBT Center.
All 50 stops on the tour for LGBT equality can be found here: blgt.getout.io.
The campaign continues to grow and bring on additional corporate sponsors, partner chefs and centers in all 50 states. More information about the BLgT USA Tour can be found online: blgt.us.