By Mandy Giles
I am humbled to serve as the PFLAG Houston president for the 2021-2022 year, and I’m honored to have the opportunity to contribute to a community that has given me so much. I attended my first PFLAG meeting five years ago after one of my children came out as bisexual. While my husband and I were both fully supportive, I knew I would need a community to learn how best to support my child. The open and welcoming people in PFLAG shared their experiences of parenting and loving their LGBTQ+ children and relatives, and we gained a better understanding of LGBTQ+ individuals through conversations and education.
My child came out as non-binary a few months later, and we were so thankful to have the loving community of PFLAG ready to support and educate us on issues unique to parenting transgender children.
Through the confidence gained from PFLAG, I have invited friends to attend meetings with me, started to educate others by sharing my own experience parenting LGBTQ+ kids, and advocated at the state level for transgender kids. I owe PFLAG Houston a debt of gratitude for providing support, education, and advocacy for my family and the Houston community.
Mo Cortez of The Houston Intersex Society will present “Intersex 101” at our October general meeting on October 10 at 2 p.m. After our guest speaks, we will break into confidential small support groups. Small groups are the heart of PFLAG. It’s a time where you can meet other parents, allies, and LGBTQ folk. We share our stories and experiences and voice our concerns and triumphs.
The general meeting and subsequent small group will be held via Zoom. The meeting is open to everyone, but you must get an email invitation and password to attend. To get that invitation, email helplinePFLAGhouston@gmail.com and one will be sent out to you. You may also request a meeting link on our website, www.pflaghouston.com . Having a different link each week helps keep outside shenanigans at bay and keeps our warm circle of love safe.
Our weekly support groups are still being held online, as well. Until the danger of COVID-19 is over, we will meet safely through Zoom online meetings each Sunday at 2:00 p.m. Meeting announcements are sent out to our email list; subscribe at www.PFLAGHouston.org.
PFLAG Houston is committed to supporting families and educating the public about LGBT issues and invites all to consider the group’s numerous volunteer opportunities. PFLAG Houston is also passionate about advocacy to ensure equal human rights and end discrimination. PFLAG Houston invites all family members, parents, and/or youth who are having problems with coming out issues, and welcomes everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, ethnicity, or political persuasion. The group is proud of its rich history and the continued contributions of members and invites all to learn more about the organization and join in efforts to create a more diverse, accepting society. Find a home in PFLAG.
For information about support, upcoming events and meetings, as well as up-to-date news relevant to PFLAG Houston’s family and friends, visit PFLAGHouston.org, find us on social media @PFLAGHouston, email helplinePFLAGhouston@gmail.com or call the PFLAG Helpline at 713-467-3524.