Original Founders - Kori & Becky Ashton
The yep Movement:
yep is one little word for one big cause. It's a simple word of acceptance - we accept ourselves, our difference & others.
The yep moment -
In 2012 Kori and Becky Ashton were having a conversation about the differences in their coming out stories. While both of them were raised in religious homes, their parents' responses were drastically different.
Kori had been kicked out of Bible college for being a lesbian and her coming out moment was very emotional and difficult.
Becky came out to her mom with simply, "Mom, I think I have a crush on this girl." Her mom's response was, "Okay, you may want to let your boyfriend know." And that was that.
As the two compared their stories they began to wish that all parents would reaction with the grace and unconditional love as Becky's mom did. "How amazing would it be if the conversation was, 'Are you gay? - yep.' and that was it? No drama. No judgement." This was the spark that started Kori thinking about a t-shirt with yep on it.
Kori's background is online marketing & her favorite outfit is comfy jeans and a t-shirt. It seemed like the perfect fit. But Becky started nursing school and Kori opened her web design company; however the yep idea was never out of their hearts.
In 2014 Becky gave birth to their son, Andy, and life would never be the same for these two moms. Kori had to go through the legal process of a Second Parent Adoption to be legally recognized as Andy's mom since their marriage was not yet approved by Texas.
"Between having to travel over 1,100 to be married in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, to having to stand in court to ask permission to adopt my own son, I was angry" said Kori. It was time for yep Threads.
With Becky's full support they launched yep Threads on Andy's first birthday June 3, 2015, and received an overwhelming immediate response from friends, family and strangers. The media quickly picked up the story of the little word yep and shirts started selling overnight.
The website has only been live weeks and already they've been seen:
I was outed by my third grade teacher before I even knew what "gay" was.
It was 1986, and I had handed in a poem I’d written about my best friend moving away. In the innocent rhyme I included the phrase “…in my arms you will always stay.” My teacher gasped when reading the poem in front of my entire class. She seemed shocked by my choice of words and asked me, "What are you - gay?" I didn't know what to say, but based on the faces staring back at me, I could tell it was something they didn’t want me to be.
It would take years for me to come to accept who I truly was. Suicidal thoughts, loneliness and depression plagued my teenage years. But with good friends, lots of love, and being more than blessed, I came through to the other side.
Now that I’m an adult, married and with a child of my own, I worry about him being teased for having gay parents. I never want him to feel fear or shame. Even as LGBT equality continues to expand, we still have a long way to go to truly "normalize" the conversation. We shouldn't have to come out. We should just be who we are and it be just as accepted as people who are straight.
I’m not much of a rainbow-wearing, pride-flag-waving gay person, but as a mom, wife, Texan (and yep—a lesbian!), I am so thankful to be a part of something I hope will spark conversations. This little word could ease "coming out" moments. It could challenge acceptance across all of our differences. - Kori Ashton