Blog

Lori Hawkins April 20, 2015
How harmful is it for parent to reject the truth of their children’s sexual orientation?
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Aubrey Carrier April 19, 2015
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy ruled against gay marriage in 1985.
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Francesca Crawford April 14, 2015
For parents to say, “We’re OK with it” and dropping the subject is not being supportive. Here is how that looks from a gay daughter’s perspective:
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John Foertsch April 1, 2015
Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we are (a) living in a nice safe bubble here in the Bay Area (relatively speaking) and (B) it’s the youngsters who are going to be a huge force for change and (C) the massive ignorance and religiously fanned bigotry of this part of the county is appalling. Read some of the comments following the article – if you can stomach them.
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Julie VanSteeg Feb 6, 2015
Fairly far down in the article is a discussion of pronouns including the faculty initially rejecting they as being ungrammatical. They do come around with the argument that the English language is constantly evolving (and a lot of training).
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Phil Crawford Jan. 29, 2015

Recently I experienced an especially strong sense of frustration with my own inability to avoid mis-gendering my brother’s non-binary adult child. If I don’t intentionally think of their preferred pronoun, I often refer to their assigned at birth gender.  I spoke with Lux, my own NB (non-binary) kid, “I just don’t have a way of thinking about gender other than male and female. Those boxes don’t go away even though I know they are inappropriate and do not reflect your identity.” I may not have articulated my thought quite so clearly at the time.

 the full article

 

Francesca Crawford Jan. 29, 2015

As anyone who will listen knows, I love my kid.  I love that my 20 year-old, queer-identified, gender-neutral kid lives at home.  Lux makes me tea, hugs me and talks my ear off at the end of each day.  Usually Lux talks about interesting fish or cephalopods and about plans for the future in marine biology and conservation.

I am an out and proud parent.  In the last seven years, Lux has come out, survived panic attacks, learned to manage depression, revealed a new gender identity and taken a new name.   As a parent of someone going through so much, I lived it too.  I cried, worried, missed work, went to counselor meetings, and lost a lot of sleep.  But I also joined PFLAG.

I’ve stood up for my kid and myself.  I’ve listened to other parents’ stories.  I’ve seen first-hand what kind of damage is caused by family rejection.  I’ve read books, gone to conferences, and found myself standing up and speaking to groups of people.  I’ve marched in the Pride parade, and been interviewed for a documentary film.

How weird is that?  The truth is, once you become a parent, you start on a journey that can take you anywhere.  My journey has led to LGBT activism.  If I’m going to have gender-neutral kid, then that kid is going to have the most fervent parental support possible. I wouldn’t want to live any other way, and the love I have for Lux has burned away any fear that might become an obstacle for me.  I’ve seen my frightened, closeted, stressed-out kid grow into their own identity because of the support of family and friends.

My fondest wishes as a mother are for my smart, talented kid to be able to become a marine biologist and to be accepted as a person who can live outside our societal norms and still be a vibrant, valued member of our society.  And I’d be proud to talk to you about it.

 

Aubrey Carrier Jan. 14.  2015

What does the future of our community look like? Last month, I got a glimpse while running PFLAG San Francisco’s resource table at the annual Youth Empowerment Summit (also known as the YES Conference), a free event that brings together LGBTQ youth and allies for educational workshops, networking, strategy and support. I met students who had traveled from as far away as Monterey, northern Nevada, and the Oregon border. All were passionate, engaged and enthusiastically participating.
Even in a time of unprecedented gains for LGBTQ rights, we still have a long way to go to create a truly welcoming and inclusive society. Allies play a critical role in maintaining a healthy and supportive environment for queer youth. I invited conference attendees to fill out Straight for Equality postcards testifying to the importance of allies in the community, and created a wordcloud based on participants’ responses. Not surprisingly, the words that came up most frequently included LOVE, EQUALITY, and SUPPORT. “Coming out is NOT easy,” one student wrote. “I need solidarity,” wrote another.
Even more people stepped up to explain why they are allies. “Everyone should be,” one stated simply. “I’m a friend that will support you!” wrote another. One student expressed solidarity with the message, “We’re not free until we’re all free.”
Do you identify as an ally? Maybe you’re not sure what that means, or what to do about it. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the Straight for Equality project has resources for you! The next step on your ally journey starts now!

 

Brandon Brock

Here is a link to an article I wrote for the PFLAG National blog while Lori and I were at the 2013 convention about how PFLAG represents the ideals of America.

http://focusonthefield.blogspot.com/2013_12_01_archive.html?m=1

 

Kenda Horst Jan. 13, 2015

You heard it here first – the PFLAG SF theme for PRIDE 2015 is “Have fun, be safe!

 

Phil Crawford

Link to a write-up in the Bay Area Reporter about a talk I gave last year.

http://www.ebar.com/news/article.php?sec=news&article=69558

Link to a video of a similar talk – the one I mention in my first post.

http://www.humanists.org/blog/2014-10-05/

 

Julie Van Steeg Jan. 9, 2015

NPR recently produced two stories on trans gender issues. In light of the death of Leelah Alcorn they are especially relevant.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/teens-suicide-note-resonates-transgender-community-supporters/

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/cost-using-misnomers-comes-transgender-men-women/

 

Brandon Brock (reprint from Bay Area Reporter)

How lucky we are

It’s easy to sometimes focus on the injustices in life and, as a community, we LGBT Americans certainly have had our fair share. It’s also just as easy to step back and see how lucky we are to be living in today’s America. We have so many things for which to be thankful. After reading article after article on the current state of our movement, I stopped to write the following:  thank you

 

 

Phil Crawford Nov. 17, 2014

Recently I gave a talk to a progressive group on the Peninsula. I was sharing my experiences as a parent of a non-binary gendered child and talked about how I have learned to view gender differently. I flatly told the group “they” is my child’s preferred pronoun and I was not interested in discussing the issue. I said, “please accept that this is a simple matter of respecting the personal identity of my child.” This was said at the beginning of the talk as a part of the introduction. I went on to describe some of the milestones of my own education on this topic. I’ll post more about what I have learned later.
There was a q&a afterward and there were a variety of responses to the talk, some supportive, some good questions, and a couple surprisingly negative. One person came up afterwards as I was putting my laptop away to talk to me about grammar.

follow the link for the rest 

 

 

PFLAG’s mission is; support for families, allies and people who are LGBTQ, education for ourselves and others about the unique issues and challenges facing people who are LGBTQ, advocacy in our communities to change attitudes and create policies and laws that achieve full equality for people who are LGBTQ.

The goal of this blog is to support that mission and explore how it is being carried out in the San Francisco chapter.