PFLAG advocates love, tolerance and support

by Ryan Mac Donald
Sports Editor

The members of this organization embrace differences and educate those who are misinformed and confused about homosexuality.

Parents and friends of lesbians and gays are among a minority, but their work to inform others is of extreme importance.

They welcome the challenge that is in front of them. The individuals who make up this organization are people who promote individuality and positivity within their family and communities.

PFLAG, a grassroots organization, is a growing network of people within the United States and abroad.

It is an organization that promotes educational discussions about being gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender.

“I am a member because it says to rest of the world that even though most people are not gay, lesbian or transgender it shows they support the cause because it is a normal and healthy way of life,” said Dianna Kendall, who has been a member for two years.

“We support an environment of sharing, love, acceptance and progress. We do not embrace judgement, shame, guilt or hatred,” Kendall said.

Kendall, whose has been openly gay for six years, joined this organization because she wanted people to become more aware about her community.

She, along with other members of the organization, is gay but not all supporting members are.

One of the goals of PFLAG is to create an environment to fight the hatred and fear that is often the results of ignorance and misinformation, to teach people of all ages about same sex marriage, hate crimes, schools and youth, reparative therapy and civil rights.

“We have created a place for parents and friends of gays and lesbians and transgender people to gather and support the community and movement,” said Kendall.

PFLAG offers support group meetings, community education and advocacy opportunities in over 460 communities across the United States.

Members of PFLAG form panels and groups that travel around to various local colleges and universities to meet with students of all sexualities and discuss experiences and feelings.

Members hold these open forums to field questions from students who might be confused about something.

These panels have held discussions at the Claremont Colleges, Cal Poly Pomona and the University of La Verne.

“The idea of what it is to be gay has been altered somewhat because of our work. There’s not as much of a stigma attached,” said Kendall. “It also helps that we see gay and lesbian characters on television shedding positive light.”

California chapters include those in Claremont, Pasadena and Los Angeles. For more information visit www.pflag.org.

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