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December 15, 2019

Pride & PFLAG

by Lisa Koenecke

Welcome to the letter “P” in our weekly blog of LGBTQ Resources A-Z. This week we’ll talk about why the term Pride is so important to us, and why PFLAG is such an amazing resource, especially in Wisconsin!

June is Pride month for the LGBTQ community. According to Wikipedia, Gay pride or LGBT pride is the promotion of the self-affirmation, dignity, equality, and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as a social group. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements. Here is a link to one of my first articles on Pride.

https://www.wgtd.org/sites/wgtd.dev/files/images/news/GAY_0.jpg

Unfortunately, the rise of social media has spawned an increase in hate-filled attacks on virtually every marginialized group. It can be tempting as an LGBTQ individual to live a life hidden in the shaddows, not sharing who we are and who we love for fear of the types of social media attacks that are rampant across the Internet.

Pride plays an important role in sharing ALL of who we are as individuals. Pride to me means greeting my wife at the airport with all the affection and love that a straight couple shows. It means coming out to my students at the beginning of each semester without fear of losing my job for being gay. And it means being accepted by everyone, family and stranger alike. Unfortunately, not all of the above are true for me, and those are especially not true for all LGBTQ people both in the United States and around the world. Luckily, we have allies like you advocating along side us every day.

In the Madison area, we have one of the best farmer’s markets in the midwest. A staple on the farmer’s market square is PFLAG. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays = PFLAG. These people epitomize what unconditional love is all about, Charlie Brown! Check out their Facebook page! Thank you, https://www.pflag-madison.org/

According to http://www.pflag.org, PFLAG nationally has 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members. The concept of PFLAG began in 1973 when the mother of a gay man marched in New York’s Pride Parade to show public support, pride and love of her son. She urged parents to unite in support of their gay children. The Madison chapter started about 20 years ago.

PFLAG lives its three part-mission: First and foremost, to support parents and families of lesbians, gays, transgender, and bisexuals who are having problems accepting their relative’s sexual orientation. Additionally, they support the spouses of newly out LGBTQ people. Secondly, they strive to educate themselves and others about LGBTQ issues. Thirdly, they are visible advocates for issues affecting the LGBTQ family, such as discrimination in the workplace and housing. They work for equality of all their civil rights.

Your call to action this week? Thanks for asking! If you live in the Madison area and if you visit the Dane County Farmer’s Market on a Saturday, please thank the volunteers from PFLAG for their advocacy. If you don’t live in the Madison area, please spread the word about PFLAG and the Positive work they Provide! Reach out to them for yourself or a friend that needs their support — or to expand your ally-ship even further! Thank you!

My guess is that my mom would have been a Proud PFLAG mom! (I love you, Marlene!)

~Lisa from Wisconsin (Lady Rainbow)

Read more from LGBT Resources A to Z

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