You need to know, you’re not alone. PFLAG can help you understand your loved one’s sexuality or gender identity. Our chapter members come from many walks of life and we’ve most likely been though much of what you may be feeling. If you’re to a place of love and acceptance, then PFLAG can help take you to another step to advocacy. Each of us can make a difference by sharing our story and letting others know that you have a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered loved one.
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has been around since 1973 and is home to families and friends who are going through their own coming out process when they learn that a loved one is gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. But since its inception, PFLAG has taken on more than just a support role. Through its issue advocacy and education programs, the organization – which has more than 200,000 members and supporters and 500 chapters nationwide – has become a home for people who want to work for equality. But the needs of straight allies – those who don’t have a family member who is gay, but want to help the gay community – are slightly different and a support network for them is clearly needed. The work of these allies has become a powerful addition to the PFLAG voice. Making PFLAG a home for allies (whether they’ve identified as such or haven’t yet quite made it there) is why PFLAG has launched Straight for Equality.
PFLAG is family! We invite all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning people to be a part of our family because we understand and can offer unconditional support. People have been coming to our meetings for years because we can provide a safe space for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and questioning people and their families and friends. Some attend to figure out how to “come out” to their loved ones; others come to be with their family who stand by them; and still others come because their own biological family will not accept them. Whatever the reason, GLBT people are always welcome at our table. Sometimes, it just helps to have someone to talk to.
It can be very devastating when your spouse comes out or discloses being gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. When this happens, the straight spouse and children often go into their own closet. You need to know, you’re not alone.Straight spouse support is available through our chapter. Following our regular monthly program, we have a separate room and a group facilitator who has relevant experience to share stories and solutions with straight spouses and their families.