PFLAG Twin Cities is a mixture of all the letters in PFLAG plus more (parents, friends, family and allies of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual persons). The Board of Directors are parents, members of the GLBT community and/or allies. Our members and donors are from all walks of life and we have some people that we see only at PRIDE (our booth and parade float), some people that come only for our support groups and some people that come to meetings, support groups and PRIDE or any combination of these. Some people are just financial donors and never attend meetings or PRIDE. We guess that for these people some PFLAG chapter made a difference at some crucial time in their life and now they are saying “Thank you and keep up the good work!”
We are trying to keep up the good work and we try to live up to our motto that we accept people wherever they are at. Our motto also means that we accept donations of time as well as money. Peer support and personal stories are an incredible donation to give!
Our meetings are different every month and change in focus to whether they are primarily to support, educate, or advocate. Many come to our meetings that are struggling with transitions and changes as well as people that are happy, healthy and well-adjusted and past most of the difficulties of coming out. If we could have a larger number of people donate their time for meetings that fell into the second category (happy, healthy and well-adjusted and past most of the difficulties of coming out), we would be better able to serve the LGBT community. It seems that when people are doing better, they often stop coming to meetings. While this is completely understandable, people who are struggling can feel like they are alone and that their situation seems hopeless. Seeing peers that are in the same stages and well as peers at different stages can make a big difference.
Sometimes being honest with relative strangers first and working through some thoughts in a safe setting makes a big difference. Things said in family settings can be risky and sometimes just asking questions and hearing from someone who has come out and managed well can make the process less scary. (Parents and family of LGBT people come out in their own way too.)
Our Twin Cities chapter of PFLAG is not affiliated with any religious organization, although we do meet in a church. We are a nonprofit civil rights organization with social justice and equality for all as our biggest goals. While we are not a religious organization, we do believe that people can make a difference (faith!) and that treating others with kindness and patience are great virtues.
Please join us for a program, meeting, support group, or at PRIDE (in June) or ask us about speaking at your school, business, church or social event!