By Janice Anderson
The summer is a great time to prepare for the upcoming school year. As a teacher, I spend my “time off” preparing or improving lessons for the upcoming fall. As parents, the summer gives us a chance to prepare and improve our children’s success in their school environment. This summer, our general meetings will help our students prepare for the fall.
When my son was entering high school, my husband and I met with the principal and counselors. We wanted to make sure they understood how we expected them to treat our transgender son. The school leadership assured us that our boy was welcome and would be safe there. We also learned that the school had a Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Club which would give him a chance to be part of a community at school.
Our experience was a good one. Sometimes, though, families need help opening doors for their children within the school. Our guest speaker this month on Sunday, June 13, is from the ACLU. The ACLU of Texas is there to give guidance, and even accompany parents to meetings with the school principal. We will learn about school safety and the rights our children have at school.
PFLAG Houston’s July meeting focuses on GSAs in schools, how they benefit our students and how our children can start a gender and sexuality club in their middle or high schools if there isn’t one already there.
Our general meeting begins at 2 p.m. After our guest speaks, we break into small support groups.Small groups are the heart of PFLAG. It’s a time where you can meet other parents and allies and LGBTQ folk. We share our stories and experiences, voice our concerns and triumphs.
The meeting, along with small groups will be held via Zoom, the online meeting platform. 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, PFLAGHouston.org. 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 has passed, we will meet safely through Zoom online meetings each Sunday at 2 p.m. Meeting announcements are sent out to our emailing list. Let us know if you would like to be added to our mailing list.
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, email helplinePFLAGhouston@gmail.com or call the PFLAG Helpline at 713-467-3524.