Wow, this spring has brought an essential change to how we support one another. The need to distance ourselves socially has made us find other ways to keep in touch. As we move into summer, we’ll take some of the precautions with us and apply the technological skills we have acquired.
During this time, PFLAG Houston’s meetings have moved to an online format using Zoom. We have safety settings in place to help keep our support meeting safe and secure, maintaining privacy and peace of mind.
This month, we celebrate fathers. The fathers in my life have had a profound effect on me. My husband’s support of our three LGBTQ children has made me see again and again why I chose him to be my helpmate. From day one of our transgender sons’s coming out and through his transition, Greg was there to help mow down any roadblocks and build ramps to get over any troubles or obstacles. My own father has been a wonderful support, as well. When my son came out, I called my dad. My uncle Dean had recently passed away and I wanted to make sure it was OK with Dad that we use his brother’s name for our son. You never know how someone will react when you come out, for yourself, or for your child. Dad’s reaction was heartfelt and warm and immediately supportive. “He must be so happy to be out,” I love my dad and my husband for the fathers that they are and the support and love they give.
How better could we celebrate Father’s Day than to bring in a family with two fathers? Our guest speaker on Sunday, June 14 will be KPRC2 Chief Meteorologist Frank Billingsley and his husband, Kevin Gilliard, and their son Morgan Gilliard. Frank and Kevin began their relationship in 1995 when Morgan was 7 years old. Not only did they instantly became a family, but a gay family. They’ll talk about the individual and personal challenges they navigated in those first years and where they are as a family now.
After our guests speak, we will 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 whole 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. This helps keep outside shenanigans at bay and keeps our warm circle of love safe.
Ordinarily, our support groups are available in Pearland, Katy, Clear Lake and at the Montrose Center near downtown Houston. When the safety precautions of social distancing are over, we will resume meeting in person for small groups in those areas. Until then, we will meet safely through Zoom online meetings. Meeting announcements are sent out to our emailing list. Let us know if you would like to be added to our mailing list.