Friday, December 19, 2008

PFLAG National speaks out about Reverend Rick Warren being chosen to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration

All of us at Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) have been inspired and empowered by your eloquent reminder that LGBT people are part of the fabric of our nation and that, as you so powerfully pointed out in 2004, “we have gay friends in the red states, too.” Rev. Warren, however, has not been a friend to our families, and his selection for this prestigious role in your inaugural ceremony is unwarranted and unfortunate.

Now, more than ever, our families need an ally in Washington who will stand up for us all. Unfortunately, Rev. Warren has stood against equality for all. We know our country, and our families, can do better.
Please read all of
A Letter to President-Elect Obama
John R. Cepek, PFLAG National President
Rabbi David Horowitz, PFLAG National Vice-President
Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director
Posted on the PFLAG National Blog on Thursday, December 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Harvey Milk: "You Cannot Live On Hope Alone"

Harvey Milk was the first openly-gay man to be elected to public office, in San Francisco in 1977. His amazing speech, "You Cannot Live On Hope Alone," was given in 1978, shortly before he was assassinated.

Watch a great video of that speech created by Causecast:

Got Hope? Harvey Milk.

"Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant's and John Briggs' are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says "Homosexual elected in San Francisco" and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said "Thanks". And you've got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us's: without hope the us's give up. I know that you can't live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope." - Harvey Milk, 1978

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Proposition 8 Protest

Olympia will join cities all around the world in protest of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, the measure that took away hard-earned equal marriage rights for gays and lesbians. The Olympia protest will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at City Hall. Please come, rain or shine.

For information contact Alec at or Anna Schlecht at or go to

Keith Olbermann on Marriage Equality and Prop 8

Adam R wrote today on a PFLAG National Blog post Olbermann on Marriage Equality:
Keith Olbermann of MSNBC commented on his show recently about the passing of Proposition 8 in California, and his dismay and disappointment with the results. He wonders why anyone would want to deny another person the right to the same things that they enjoy. Be sure to watch this clip...
Keith Olbermann is thoughtful, powerful, and wonderful. He said:

You are asked now, by your country, and perhaps by your creator, to stand on one side or another. You are asked now to stand, not on a question of politics, not on a question of religion, not on a question of gay or straight. You are asked now to stand, on a question All you need do is stand, and let the tiny ember of love meet its own fate. You don't have to help it, you don't have it applaud it, you don't have to fight for it. Just don't put it out.

Please watch & listen to the whole commentary.

Thank you, Keith Olbermann.


Please stand with us in Olympia on Saturday.
Olympia is joining in a nationwide protest of the passage of Proposition 8 in California, the citizens' initiative that took away the hard-earned right of gays and lesbians to get married.

Please join in the rally at City Hall, 8th Avenue and Plum Street, at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 15. Bring signs and umbrellas. There will be guest speakers. We'll meet on the south side of City Hall on the steps to Council Chambers.

Please help spread the word.

If you have any questions, local contacts in Olympia are Alec Clayton at and Anna Schlecht at

You can find posters, signs, and more information at


Also, see this post on my blog for a message from Rebecca Riots and a link to a free song to download: Rebecca Riots - A Thousand Hands (Wedding Song '08).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A statement from PFLAG's ED on the election of Barack Obama

Jody M. Huckaby, executive director of PFLAG, released the following statement on PFLAG National Blog following the election of President-Elect Barack Obama:

Lift Up Your Eyes to the Day Breaking For You

"All of us at PFLAG congratulate President-Elect Obama on his victory this evening. Tonight, our country has turned an historic corner, electing our first African-American commander-in-chief. As a United States Senator, and a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, Obama has been a steadfast friend to the LGBT community, our families and friends. We look forward to working with the new administration, and new Congress, in moving equality forward for our families and friends.

"Tonight, old prejudices have fallen, and outdated barriers have been broken. For those of us with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) loved ones, the significance of this moment cannot be underestimated. President-Elect Obama will arrive in the Oval Office as a remarkable advocate for our community and our families. He will be the first sitting chief executive to support repeal of the military’s prejudicial ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ ban on LGBT Americans, and the first occupant of the White House to support federal recognition of same-sex relationships. We believe our families have an invaluable ally in the White House, and LGBT Americans have a champion for ‘liberty and justice for all.’ We join our country in congratulating pro-equality candidates for Congress as well, as it appears we have obtained a significant majority of fair-minded candidates in both houses of Congress. Even as we await the results of ballot initiatives on marriage equality and adoption, we take great hope and inspiration in President-Elect Obama’s victory.

"In her 1993 inaugural poem to the nation, one of America’s greatest treasures, Dr. Maya Angelou, implored our nation to ‘lift up your eyes to the day breaking for you; give birth again to the dream.’ This evening, we have heeded Dr. Angelou’s call, and we embark on a new journey for America. PFLAG’s family, friends, supporters and volunteers are proud to join President-Elect Obama on that journey, and we salute his historic victory on this unforgettable election day in America."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

PFLAG at Olympia Pride 2008

Watch the PFLAG interview at Capital City Pride Parade with some parade footage and pancake feed.

By David Raffin, Olympia writer, filmmaker, raconteur, and owner of of Blissful Rememberances.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Q Voices Survey of 14-19 Year Old GLBTQ US Youth

The Q Voices Project is an anonymous online survey through the University of Washington's School of Social Work.
We are a group of researchers who want to better understand the experiences of teens in the United States ages 14-19 who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, transgender or questioning their sexual or gender orientation. Because we appreciate you sharing your time and experiences with us, you'll receive a $15 gift certificate (valid only in the US) after completing the survey!

Our team is diverse: we're queer and straight, racially/ethnically diverse, and we come from different professional backgrounds. Many of us have worked with LGBTQ youth in the past, and we're all committed to understanding the experiences of LGBTQ youth. That's why we designed this survey!

Once the survey is complete, we will compile people’s answer to document the strengths and challenges in the lives of LGBTQ youth. We will share this information in various ways such as by reporting to:
  • Agencies providing services and programs for LGBTQ youth
  • Schools so they can better attend to people’s needs
  • Other professionals who care about LGBTQ youth and are in a position to effect policies, services, education, and public compassion.
Take the survey: The Q Voices Project

Monday, September 1, 2008

GLBT youths bravely pave way for change

This article was written by Ruth Schneider who contacted a Stonewall Youth Representative who contacted me to do an interview. Ruth writes for The Olympian in the OUTspoken column. I hope you all enjoy the article as much as I did.

It's tough being a teenager. Period.

It's even tougher being a gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender teenager.

"It's kind of hard to be out there and try to be someone there for people to talk to when there's a lot of homophobia around," said Kaleigh Costello, a junior at Olympia High School and a member of Olympia's Stonewall Youth.

That's why it is up to schools to do their best to protect all students from discrimination.

A school district in central Florida failed to do just that last year.

In fact, the school so alienated the GLBT-supportive members of the student population that the American Civil Liberties Union was called on to help file suit against the district.

It all began with a lesbian student at Ponce de Leon High School in Holmes County, Fla. The student was being harassed about her sexual orientation by other students. She took the issue to the principal, David Davis.

The mission statement for area school district states, "The Holmes County School District shall provide a safe, nurturing environment and a comprehensive curriculum that will allow students to achieve their highest potential and become responsible, productive citizens."

Principal Davis' response falls disturbingly short of this mission. Davis told the student homosexuality was wrong, outed her to her parents and ordered her to stay away from children.

This is not exactly the "nurturing environment" the school district says it offers.

GLBT-supportive students responded by wearing gay pride T-shirts to school, including rainbows and pink triangles.

Then things began to get ugly. Students reported being singled out for harassment from school officials for wearing clothing with gay pride symbols. Some students were suspended.

One of those students was Heather Gillman, a senior at Ponce de Leon High who identifies as straight but staunchly defends GLBT friends. She was suspended for five days last school year, but had the gumption to do something about it. She gathered her peers and took the issue to the ACLU.

"I was upset by what the kids at school were going through and I felt wronged that the school board said I couldn't wear a shirt supporting the GLBT students," Gillman said in an online interview.

And it was the right thing to do.

Federal Judge Richard Smoak reprimanded Davis for what he termed a "witch hunt" against gays and lesbians.

The school district "probably had an opportunity, as the courts have pointed out, in the learning environment of schools, where not just comfortable issues are to be learned or debated, that this would have been an opportunity for leadership, it would have been an opportunity for understanding and an opportunity for civil discourse and a learning opportunity about tolerance and diversity," Smoak wrote in his order that forced the school to recognize the First Amendment rights of students. "Unfortunately, those opportunities were missed."

As the school year begins again, students at Ponce de Leon High School will be allowed to wear T-shirts expressing gay pride without fear of reprimands. Gillman said she already has worn her rainbow belt to school.

But the homophobia GLBT students face from their peers will persist. And it can be found in South Sound high schools as much as it can be found in schools in small towns in Florida.

Costello wears rainbow bracelets to school and walks around campus with a Parents and Families of Lesbians and Gays bag.

Just that is enough to incite taunts from peers.

"People always give dirty looks and whisper and act rude. And people yell 'Fag!' at you," said Costello, who has been out since her freshman year at Olympia High.

The barrage of homophobic insults pushed Costello to conduct a mini-experiment on campus. When a teacher would walk by, she or a friend would yell a derogatory comment to see whether the teacher would respond.

Of the 15 teachers she tried her experiment on, only one asked her to refrain for homophobic remarks. Costello maintains that with teachers allowing hateful rhetoric, it makes homophobia permissible and pervasive on campus.

The homophobia she deals with daily pushed her to become active in the GLBT community. As a youth board member of PFLAG, she is able to advise others on what it is like to be a GLBT student.

"I give them insight into the schools. It's helpful to have someone in high school and tell them what kind of bullying and harassment goes on," Costello said.

It's teens like Costello and Gillman who make a difference for other GLBT youths trying to survive the vicious teenage years.

And that deserves thunderous applause.

Ruth Schneider was not out in high school, but wishes she had been. Contact her at or 360-704-6873.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Join us for Our Annual Picnic!

Every August PFLAG-Olympia has a picnic outdoors instead of the usual monthly meeting & program.

We have reserved Shelter #2 at Priest Point Park in Olympia. That's on the water side of the park, not the rose garden side. See the map here for the location. A map of the whole park is here in pdf format. When you arrive at the park, look for the PFLAG-Olympia banner at the picnic shelter.

It's a potluck meal with the PFLAG-Olympia board providing some of the basics: BBQ, hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers and dogs, buns, condiments, soft drinks, water, ice, paper plates & silverware.

Please bring something like a side dish or dessert. You can leave a comment here on the blog if you know what you are bringing so that others can plan. Or just show up - please don't let not having something to bring stop you from coming.

Also bring folding chairs if you have them.

Invite your family, friends and allies!
See you on Sunday!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

AUCTION AUGUST 27 6 PM - to support our GLBTQQ Support Groups at Local High Schools!

Dear Friends,

We are really excited about this upcoming auction at our house. We hope you can attend or donate money, services or items. It's really going to be fun and there is no cost to attend. The proceeds go to support groups that Lynn has been involved with. These GLBTQQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer and Questioning) support groups are offered right at the students' high schools.

Please read the letter below and see the PDF file for further info and a donation form.

Love you. Lynn and Lisa


We are asking your help to raise money to continue our GLBTQQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Trans, Queer and Questioning) Support Groups at North Thurston High School, Timberline High and if we make enough money, South Sound High or maybe a high school in the Olympia School District.

Here’s the great news: We don’t need tons of money. We need enough to buy pizzas for the two weekly groups at each high school and enough to give a stipend to the facilitators. We’re talking about $2,500 - $3,500 total.

Here are a variety of ways you can help us…

1. Donate money (anywhere from $10-$1,000 will help). Make a check out to “PFLAG Olympia” and in the memo section write “pizza”. Send it to: PO Box 12732, Olympia, WA 98508-2732

2. Attend our relaxed and totally fun Auction at Lynn Grotsky and Lisa Brodoff’s house on Hick’s Lake, on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at 6 pm.

Lynn and Lisa will supply appetizers and other food to eat. Come yourself, and if you can, bring a friend or two with you.

The auction will be both silent and live with the wonderful auctioneer, Carol Watson, donating her services.

And, consider bringing a dessert to the auction that we will auction off there.

3. Donate a minimum of one item yourself (see below for ideas and a link to the donation form) and, if possible, get 2 or 3 others to donate too.

4. Send this information to who you think might enjoy the auction or who might like to donate money or an item to support the high school GLBTQQ support groups.

There is no cost to attend the auction.
(Please try to RSVP so Lynn and Lisa have an idea of how much food to make.) Email them at or see the PDF file for more contact information.

Steven Briggs, Jesse Bradford, Diana Corbin, Lynn Grotsky, Teresa Guajardo, Selena Kilmoyer, Lori Lawrence, Aimee Leggett, Kristyn Leach, Heather Lenox, Jeff Loyer, Karly Nelson, Rosalinda Noriega, Sandra Rowell, and Susan White.

Auction Item Ideas to Donate or to ask others to Donate:

Provide Services
  • Clean out a garage
  • Yard Work
  • Wash cars
  • Wash windows
  • House cleaning
  • Shop for someone
  • Put up yard signs
  • Help with a garage sale
  • Help you landscape
  • Etc.
Teach a skill
  • You’d be surprised what skill you may have that
  • others would like to learn. Examples include:
  • How to use a computer
  • How to use Excel or Powerpoint, etc.
  • How to knit
  • How to make cookies, lasagne, etc.
  • How to make glass beads
  • A water-coloring lesson
  • One photography lesson
  • How to sew
  • How to make necklaces, earrings, etc.
  • A voice lesson
  • Some other music lesson
  • How to water ski
  • How to garden
  • How to camp with children
  • How to scrapbook
  • How to make a great gift basket
  • Knot tying
  • How to juggle
  • Yoga
  • Etc.
Professional Services
  • Massages or other Bodywork
  • Car Detailing
  • Estate Planning or a will
  • Parenting Consultation
  • Accounting
  • Guide a hike
  • Chiropractic Appointment
  • Photography Session
  • Dog Training
Food Ideas
  • Offer dinners for as many people as you choose.
  • For ex. a gourmet dinner for 4 or 6 or 12. It could
  • be at your house or at the buyer’s house. Ideas for
  • dinners include:
  • Gourmet Salmon Barbeque
  • French Cuisine
  • Indian
  • Moroccan
  • Greek
  • Thai
  • A picnic lunch at a beautiful spot
  • Etc.
  • Provide a kid’s birthday cake
  • A wedding cake
  • 2 dozen cookies delivered e/ month for a year
  • Homemade pizza
  • Homemade bread
  • A cooking lesson
  • Cater a party
  • Etc.
  • Anything you can think of that is nice and in good shape:
  • Snowboards, ski equipment
  • Jewelry
  • Artwork
  • An antique book
  • Nice bowls or plates
  • Bicycles
  • Lamps
  • Handmade or/Knitted Items
  • Plants
  • Good DVD’s or CD’s
  • Movie Tickets
  • Tickets to a play or sports event
  • A vacation or condo offer
  • We’re open but some thoughts include:
  • A day sailing
  • Taking a group for a hike
  • A night of improv or other fun party
  • A card night
  • A wildflower tour


Please share it with others.

Thank you!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Article: Rainbow connection: PFLAG (Tacoma) offers support to parents of gay children

When gay children come out to parents, there is anxiety on both sides. PFLAG – Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays – is there to offer support.
Several members of the Tacoma, WA PFLAG chapter are featured in this article with photos.
The focus of the article on the closest chapter North of us is on support for parents when someone comes out.

Rainbow connection: PFLAG offers support to parents of gay children
by Debbie Cafazzo - July 20th, 2008 - in the SoundLife section of the Tribune.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bare is in Seattle! until July 26th

ArtsWest presents the Seattle Premiere of
July 10-26

bare is a gripping, provocative pop opera about students during their senior year in a private Catholic preparatory academy and their struggles with first love, sexuality, drugs, parents, and religion. A cross between Rent and Dead Poet's Society, bare tells of the relationship among a group of friends, including the secret lives of altar boy Peter and his roommate, the popular Jason.

by Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere
Directed by Christopher Zinovitch and Nick DeSantis (I Am My Own Wife)
Musical Direction by Jackie Koreski

The Seattle premiere of this hit Off-Broadway musical is performed by enormously talented students aged 17-20 who won their roles in a vigorous competition for 13 exclusive spots in ArtsWest's award-winning Musical Theater Apprentice Program.

Tickets: $15 (Under 25? Only $10!)
call or 206-938-0339
log purcase them online from:

For lots more information on bare, including the story anc clips from the songs, visit:

Alec and I are seeing it on Thursday, July 24th. From everything we've heard we don't want to miss it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The film "It's Elementary" was our program yesterday

We're so glad we had such a great turnout for our program yesterday when we showed "It's Elementary - Talking About Gay Issues In School"! We had a wide range of ages at the meeting from about 10 to 80, including teachers, students, a school psychologist, at least two mental health counselors, parents, and other interested people in our community. However, the school-connected people who attended were people already involved with PFLAG; none of the school people Jeff invited showed up, which was disappointing even though we understand that summer is a bad time to get attendance from teachers, administrators and school staff.

Most of the people who did come had never seen this first film, so we are glad we decided to show it at this time. We plan to show the sequel "It's STILL Elementary" at a later date.

We had a great discussion afterwards including a reaction from one person who talked about the importance of allies being visible and vocal in their support of glbtq people and issues; and one high school student who said seeing this confirms her commitment to becoming a teacher.

For those of you who want more information on the film and how to order it, go to It's Elementary.

GroundSpark (formerly Women’s Educational Media) creates visionary films and dynamic educational campaigns that move individuals and communities to take action for a more just world. Based in San Francisco, it is a small, Academy Award-winning media production and education organization with a strong national reputation for producing high quality documentary films that open up dialogue about prejudice and discrimination and spark shifts in attitudes, behaviors, laws and policies. Over the past 20 years, GroundSpark has pioneered a long-term social change strategy that pairs media distribution with political and community organizing, and offering professional development on how to use our films to make a difference.

A leader in the field of anti-bias education, GroundSpark’s primary current focus is its Respect For All Project (RFAP). Through the distribution of award-winning films, accompanying curricula, and a training program aimed at educators, youth service providers and parents, the project strives to create safe schools and communities by opening up dialogue about diversity, prejudice and discrimination. Through this work GroundSpark has been a national pioneer advocating for the inclusion of age-appropriate curricula that addresses anti-gay bias.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

'And Daddy Makes Three' is delightful.

On This American Life, Chicago's Public Radio, available online through their free podcast and heard on more than 500 public radio stations around the USA and seen as a television show on Showtime.

And Daddy Makes Three
Six-year-old DJ has two dads, Dan Savage and Terry Miller. DJ is being raised by two gay men, but he has a preschooler's understanding of what gay means. Which is to say, he doesn't understand it at all. Though he does oppose gay marriage. Dan, the author of the syndicated column and book Savage Love, tells the story. His latest book is Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America.
Listen to this American Life Episode 293: A Little Bit of Knowledge which originally aired 07.22.2005.

Click on 'Full Episode' to listen online. Act Two: 'And Daddy Makes Three' is 11 minutes long and starts at 18:02 of this podcast. There are several places where music might make you think it is over. Be sure to listen to the whole.

Friday, July 4, 2008

What love's got to do with it

Bauman is the co-chairman for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays for Blacksburg and the New River Valley. He lives in Blacksburg.

Jim Ludington's commentary "Gay marriage threatens our culture" (June 29, Horizon) raises again the grim specter of American culture threatened by marriage between two persons of the same gender.

He progresses from gay marriage to polygamy to pedophilia to "no legal standing against any form of perversion." The very foundation of our nation will crumble as "activist judges destroy the basis of our culture, and indeed, our civilization."

The final comparison is to Nazi Germany, where good people stood by while the nation fell into depravity.

Good grief. Chicken Little has run amok. Who knew that gay people had such power?
The value of a person is not determined by sexual orientation, nor is the quality of a family decided by the differing gender of the parents. Gay people, like straight people, can be good or bad, or like most of us, somewhere in between. As parents, they can be loving, kind, and exempalry of good character and high moral standards -- or not.

If there is the potential for demise of the American family, it will not come because of same-sex marriage. Heterosexual parents in America haven't exactly made the mold for marriage excellence. Divorce happens, like spousal and child abuse, in families of all persuasions. Gay marriage can strengthen families by providing two loving and care-giving parents by adoption to children who have no family, or by combining split families. It can be the tie that binds for committed couples.
Read the whole response to a commentary "Gay marriage threatens our culture" - What love's got to do with it
by Dick Bauman
July 02, 2008 - The Roanoke Times, Roanoke VA

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This is what courage looks like

The latest article posted on the Safe Schools blog -- -- is called This is what courage looks like. It is an article that should be read by anyone who has a glbtq loved one or most especially anyone who works with youth, such as teachers, school administrators, etc.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

PFLAG Protests Ex-Gay Love Won Out Conference

PFLAG speaks out against Love Won Out conference and other harmful ex-gay, reparative therapy programs in Orlando, Florida, on June 7, 2008.

Includes Ryan Skipper's stepdad and Sean Kennedy's mom.

Learn more about Ryan Skipper and Sean Kennedy on Wikipedia. Both were gay men murdered in hate crimes.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PFLAG Book List

This book list is for everyone who wants to read GLBTQ material. There's an assortment of coming out stories, non-fiction, fiction, research, etc, novels in this selection. Enjoy! :)

1. Every Woman I've Ever Loved: Lesbian Writers on Their Mothers by Catherine Reid and Holly Iglesias
2. His Hands, His Tools, His Sex, His Dress: Lesbian Writers on Their Fathers by Catherine Reid and Holly Iglesias
3. Gay Conservatives by Kenneth W. Cimino
4. Loving Ourselves by Kimeron Hardin
5. Side by Side by Andrew R. Gottlieb
6. Policy Issues Affecting Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Families by Sean Robert Cahill, Sean Cahill, and Sarah Tobias
7. Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress by Steve Endean
8. Activism and LGBT Psychology by Glassgold & Drescher
9. Shy Girl by Elizabeth Stark
10. Faultline by Sheila Ortiz Taylor
11. Beyond (Straight and Gay) Marriage by Nancy D. Polikoff
12. Creating Safe Environments for LGBT Students by Michael J. Bayly
13. LGBT Studies and Queer Theory by Karen Lovaas
14. Kinflicks by Lisa Alther
15. Regeneration by Pat Barker
16. Bastard Out of Carolina by Allison Dorothy
17. Ready to Catch Him Should He Fall by Neil Bartlett
18. By Night in Chile by Robert Bolano
19. Surprising Myself by Christopher Bram
20. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
21. Earthly Powera by Anthony Burgess
22. Stone Butch Blues by Leslie Feinburg
23. The Family of Max Desir by Robert Ferro
24. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
25. Curious Wine by Katherine Forrest
26. Boys on the Rock by John Fox
27. The Ladies by Doris Grumbach
28. Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
29. The Last Resort by Alison Lurie
30. The Object of My Affection by Stephen McCauley
31. Halfway Home by Paul Monette
32. At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O'Neil
33. Kiss of the Spider Woman by Manuel Puig
34. The Persian Boy by Mary Renault
35. The Coming Storm by Paul Russell
36. Sacred Lips of the Bronx by Douglas Sadownick
37. Rat Bohemia by Sarah Schulman
38. Funny Boy by Shylam Selvadurai
39. Loving Her by Ann Allen Shockley
40. The Man Who Fell in Love With the Moon by tom Spanbauer
41. The Story of the Night by Colm Toibin
42. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
43. A Boy's Own Story by Edmund White
44. Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
45. The Cut Sleeve by Ameng of Wu
46. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
47. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
48. The Girl with the Golden Eyes by Honore Balzac
49. Beebo Brinker by Ann Bannon
50. Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
51. Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
52. Two Serious Ladies by Jane Auer Bowles
53. The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
54. In Transit by Brigid Brophy
55. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
56. O Bom-Crioulo by Adolfo Caminha
57. Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote
58. Wapshort Chronicle by John Cheever
59. Claudine by Colette
60. More Women Than Men by Compton-Burnett
61. Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
62. Howards End by Gustave Flaubert
63. Maurice by E.M. Forster
64. Bertram Cope's Years by Blake Henry Fuller
65. The Well of Lineliness by Juan Goytisolo
66. The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley
67. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith
68. Berlin Stories by Christopher Ishwood
69. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
70. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
71. Better Angel by Ralph Meeker
72. The Bell by Irish Murdoch
73. The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson
74. Ernesto by Umberto Saba
75. Three Lives by Gertrude Stein
76. The City and the Pillar by Gore Vidal
78. Alf by Bruno Vogel
79. The Scorpion by Anna Weirauch
80. Portrait of Mr. W.H. by Oscar Wilde
81. Torchlight in Valhalla by Gale Wilhelm
82. Out Law: What LGBT Youth Should Know About Their Legal Rights by Lisa Keen
83. Respectably Queer: Diversity Culture in LGBT Activist Organizations by Jane Ward
84. One More River to Cross: Black & Gay in America by Keith Boykin
85. Living in Sin?: A Bishop Rethinks Human Sexuality by John Shelby Spong
86. An underground Life: Memoirs of a Gay Jew in Nazi Berlin by Gad Beck, Frank Heibert and Allison Brown
87. Homosexuality and Male Bonding in Prenazi Germany: The Youth Movement, the Gay Movement, and Male Bonding Before Hitler's Rise: Original Transcript by Harry Oosterhuis
88. The Pink Triangle: The Nazi War Against Homosexuality by Richard Plant
89. The Hidden Holocaust?: Gay and Lesbian Persecution in Germany 1933-1945 by Gunter Grau
90. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America by Charles Kaiser
91. Gay Men and Sexual history of the Political Left by Gert Hekma, Harry Oosterhuis and James Steakley
92. Straight Talk About Gays in the Workplace: Creating An inclusive, Productive Environment For Everyone In Your Organization by Liz Winfield
93. Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area by Susan Stryker, Jim Van Buskirk, and Armistead Maupin
94. The Men with the Pink Triangle: The True Life-and-Death Story of Homosexuality in the Nazi Death Camps by Heinz Heger, Klaus ller, and David Fernbach
95. Still Acting Gay: Male Homosexuality in Modern Drama by John M. Clum
96. Making Trouble: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and the University by John D'Emilio
97. Gay and Lesbian Studies by Theo Sandfort, Judith Schuyf, Jan Willem Duyvendak. and Jeffrey Weeks
98. Is It A Choice? by Eric Marcus
99. Always My Child: A Parent's Guide To Understand Your Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered or Questioning Son or Daughter by Kevin Jennings and Pat Shapiro

Friday, June 6, 2008

Congratulations to The Safe Schools Coalition!

The Coalition is proud to announce that The Seattle Out and Proud Board of Directors has chosen us to serve as a Grand Marshal of the (June 29) 2008 Seattle Pride Parade!!
Check it out ...

Safe Schools Coalition & Seattle Pride Parade 2008!
and Seattle Pride 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008

An interesting little book

I just finished reading a little book that I imagine a lot of PFLAG members would enjoy reading, so I’m going to donate it to the PFLAG library. It is Summer at the End of the World by Kristen Kingdon, a former executive director at PFLAG National.

The book is strange in that it is ostensibly a novel but really more of a memoir. In an introduction, Kingdon explains that everything that takes place in the book up until a certain point is a retelling of her own life story and that everything after that point is fiction. The part that she says is fiction reads like a novel, as it should. The reader gets wrapped up in the lives of the characters and can empathize with their feelings. The parts that are memoir are less captivating and too brief. Major events such as childhood sexual abuse and getting pregnant and putting the baby up for adoption are glossed over way too briefly. Reading those sections I felt as if I were reading a synopsis, not the real story. I wanted it fleshed out much more. I wanted to share her feelings not just hear her recite what happened. I wanted to read a palpable description of how she felt when her mother made light of the sexual abuse. She sums up: “…the worst was when (mother) became defensive, protective toward the neighbors (the abusers), and minimized what had happened and its impact on me.” If she had adhered to the old writing dictum “show, don’t tell,” that could have been powerful writing.

But then she gets to the heart of the story – the protagonist’s escape to the wilderness after the death of her husband, and the writing gets much better. Here she allows the reader to picture events and not just hear about them. Living alone in an isolated cabin in Nova Scotia with visits first from a sister and later from her son and his partner, she takes an inner journey to find meaning in life and strength to carry on, which leads to a new awakening during a mule-packing hike in the mountains with her son, his partner and a dog named Amber.

The more interesting parts of the story are her struggles to accept her son after he comes out as gay and her struggles with her church over the issue of ordination of gay pastors. Her journey to acceptance is similar to such journeys many PFLAG parents have talked about in meetings, and the part about the ordination is based on fact, as the writer is an elder in the Prebyterian Church and did take part in the church’s debates over the issue.

It is a very small book and an easy read.

- Alec

Saturday, May 24, 2008

PFLAG National Launches a Campaign with Calpernia Addams to Highlight Organization's Commitment to the Transgender Community


In September 1998 PFLAG became the first national GLB organization to include the transgender community when it added "gender identity" to PFLAG’s mission statement.

In 1999
Private Barry Winchell was murdered in a hate crime when two fellow soldiers decided that dating Calpernia Addams made him gay, and a candidate for execution in his sleep. Their story has been told in the 2003 film Soldier's Girl.

In 2002 the PFLAG board of directors adopted a policy to only support legislation that explicitly includes transgender people, and TNET became the first official 'special affiliate' with the same privileges and responsibilities as all PFLAG chapters.

In 2007 PFLAG became a founding member of
United ENDA to stand for fully inclusive employment non-discrimination laws.

And now in 2008...

"I am grateful to PFLAG for their deep commitment to the transgender community and excited about the opportunity to educate our community about PFLAG's important work on behalf of transgender Americans," Addams said. "PFLAG was the first national LGBT organization to include transgender people in its mission statement, and has adopted a landmark policy to only support legislation that includes the transgender community. They are a champion for equality and an irreplaceable ally for transgender people. Their love story with our community is long and significant, and I am proud to help them tell it through this remarkable campaign."

Addams announced the partnership today at A PFLAG website, titled Transform the Movement, will also be launched later this summer, in conjunction with the campaign, at The site, like the campaign, will highlight PFLAG's work in the community and showcase the stories of transgender people who have worked with PFLAG on equality issues.
Read the May 19th press release at PFLAG Launches New Ad Campaign with Calpernia Addams, Highlighting Organization’s Commitment to the Transgender Community ‘This is Our Love Story’ Campaign Will Debut This Summer.

Download the ad featuring Calpernia Addams and PFLAG.(pdf format)

Listen to an interview with Calpernia by Christine Burns: Half an Hour with Calpernia Addams.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Caution to the Wind

PFLAG’s mission is a three legged stool of support, education, and advocacy. In many ways they are hard to separate. Right now I want to focus on advocacy. Our next program speaker is Josh Friedes, Advocacy Director for Equal Rights Washington, who will talk to us about upcoming legislation in Washington that is related to the GLBTQ community we are a part of.

For more information about how this works and what we are allowed to do and not, you can read these documents (all in PDF format) from Alliance for Justice:
Permissible Election Activities Checklist
for more information as to how this relates to candidates, and
When Does Your Activity Become Lobbying?
and Public Charities Can Lobby: Guidelines for 501(c)(3) Public Charities
as to how it relates to lobbying on issues.

If you are not sure about how this works, ask us – the PFLAG-Olympia board. If we don’t know, we will help you find out, which will also educate us.

And remember that when you are not speaking for or acting as PFLAG, those restrictions do not apply.

So what about caution?

Self care is so important. Burnout is palpable and it is to be avoided. I experienced it once – before moving to Olympia and long before Bill’s death. But what I went through was complex, and it is defined both with the word burnout and with a word I didn’t know at the time: compassion fatigue. What’s the difference? Burnout is from working too hard and with too little - sleep, money, etc.. Compassion fatigue is from caring too much. It has been said it is the cost of empathy, but that casts empathy in a bad light which it does not deserve. Rather I believe it is a possible effect of losing too much of yourself to a cause – to the point where you don’t know when to say no, and you misplace other parts of what makes you whole. In doing so, while you probably do this believing it is necessary and a good thing, you lose sight of the fact that it means you bring less to the cause you are working for.

Why did I call this “Caution to the Wind?” While the wind can be frightening, it is a powerful and renewable source of energy, as are we. We need to take care of ourselves – AND each other, and sometimes we may need to pick up each other’s pieces. We need to know it is okay to say no sometimes so that we are able to also say yes, and so we can be in this for the long haul because while the changes we strive for are happening, it is not going to be a short sprint to reaching our goals.

It can be scary to take a stand and be vocal and visible on the issues PFLAG works on. Absolutely. And I am quite aware that ‘even’ for allies there can be safety concerns.

However, doing nothing is what really scares me.

When talking to people about this work, they say to do self-care you should “pick your battles” but I prefer to use words that don’t have a war connotation. So pick your strivings. Yes, do something!

Remember that none of us are acting alone. We have an amazing community to strive with, and we can lead and carry each other along the many paths to our goals.

And while we are doing that we should take the time to celebrate each other and our accomplishments, no matter how small they might seem, because they all add to the better world which we are still imagining.


See Take Action with PFLAG
You can help PFLAG move equality forward in just 5 minutes! That's all it takes to learn about an issue and send a letter to Congress or the media.
See Be a PFLAG 5-Minute Advocate

Monday, April 28, 2008

Follow-up on the April meeting

At the last regular PFLAG meeting we discussed ways to make PFLAG more exciting. With the exception of a few special programs that attract a lot of attention, participation in general meetings is down. Paid membership is also way, way down, and we’re having a much harder time recruiting board members and volunteers to do things like tabling events, providing snacks for the meetings, and stuffing and mailing the newsletter.

Everyone, it seems, thinks of PFLAG-Olympia as a vital organization, but without paid memberships (or generous donations) and not enough personal participation, we won’t remain a vital organization.

Among the things that came up with that meeting are that we need to dispel the myth that PFLAG is just for parents – or, as some put it, tissue paper parents who cry about having gay children. For the past two years our promotional materials at Pride, etc. have used the slogan “PFLAG is not just for parents anymore.” But that doesn’t seem to have sunk in yet. There were suggestions that we try to involve youth more and try to get youth and more other glbtq folks to help parents at tabling events so the public sees that a lot of different people are active.

There were discussions about sponsoring classes in some way, based partly on the success of the recent program on “Intersex 101” presented by Eric Dixon of South Puget Sound Community College. We plan to look into this, and would love to hear from others who have done it or would be interested in working on it with us.

Having more social activities was suggested, and we’ll be looking into ways to do that. Don’t forget our annual picnic every August.

The creation of this blog was also something that was suggested at that meeting too -- see, sometimes we don’t waste any time following up. We are looking for members and local allies who might be interested in blogging with us. We can have up to a hundred authors so let us know if you are interested.

Someone suggested we should have reviews of books and movies in the newsletter – those that are available in our library and others. We can do that if people are willing to submit reviews. Plus, we can publish them here and/or on the website. So, if you read a good book or see a good movie that may be of interest to the glbtq community, please write a brief review and submit it.

And please leave comments on the blog articles if you have a response or a suggestion. Those can be anonymous, but we hope you won’t want to be.

Friday, April 25, 2008

One day ... a first post

One day
society will accept
all its members as equals
regardless of their
sexual orientation
or gender identity.

One day
our sons and daughters,
brothers and sisters,
spouses, friends and parents
will be accepted
the valuable human beings
they are.

Until that day there is PFLAG.