Friday, March 6, 2015


https://www.facebook.com/pages/PFLAG-Central-Pennsylvania/276228812479055

Read our most recent newsletter here.
(It may take a few seconds for the pdf to get itself together.)

We will not hold our monthly meeting
in August but will enjoy
our annual picnic.
Details are contained in the newsletter.  
Join us for a fun afternoon! 




 Welcome to our chapter of PFLAG. 
Just who are we?



Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission. By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through:

  • 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
- See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission. By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through:

  • 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
- See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
ur Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. - See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. - See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. - See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. - See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. - See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf

The family voice of 
a just America  
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission. By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through:

  • 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
- See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission. By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through:

  • 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
- See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
We’re parents, family members and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning (GLBTQ) people. We know how to educate a misinformed society about homosexuality because many of us were once misinformed ourselves.
    
With more than 35 years experience of building bridges of understanding about LGBTQ people, PFLAG is the family voice of love, acceptance, celebration and justice for people of all sexual orientations. 

We learn from and support one another.
With lifetimes of myths and misinformation about homosexuality, many people don’t know where to turn when a loved one comes out.
  
PFLAG’s 500+ affiliates nationwide provide direct support to those needing answers to their questions. Confidential support group meetings offer a non-judgmental outlet for feelings. Meetings provide the truth about gay people through speakers, film/video presentations, book reviews and ongoing discussions. Those who initially come for help ultimately become those who help others. 

PFLAG’s publications, available online at www.pflag.org, address many questions asked by those who are on their journey to understanding and acceptance of a loved one’s – or their own – orientation.

We advocate for equality
Educating lawmakers with the truth about LGBTQ people and their family members and friends is crucial for public policy that is just an equal. PFLAG is active on issues of employment discrimination, same-gender marriage, hate crimes, bullying, and education. PFLAG advocates for equal rights by meeting, writing, calling, or e-mailing public officials.

We inform and educate our community
Making a safer world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) people and their family members and friends mean dispelling negative myths about LGBTQ people, including:

Safe schools - We carry out a commitment to safe and inclusive learning environments for LGBTQ youth by meeting with educators and counselors to create awareness about issues face by young people.

Safe and inclusive faith communities - We are not a religious organization but know that inclusive worship environments are important to LGBTQ people and those who love them. We reach out to faith community groups, community religious leaders, and congregations to encourage moral leadership in fostering tolerance and acceptance of a faith community's diverse makeup.

An informed speaker or panel of speakers is available for your school or church event dealing with diversity or inclusivity. Just drop us a line at pflagcenpa@yahoo.com to make a request.

Creating a safe and just world
PFLAG's family voice has a rich tradition, begun in 1972, when a courageous mother marched alongside her gay son in New York City' gay pride parade. She also called on society to treat all of its citizens with
understanding and to provide equality for all, and she has been joined by tens of thousands of voices over the years -- both straight and gay -- to make PFLAG the respected family voice on issues crucial to LGBTQ people, their parents, their families, and friends.

About our families
LGBTQ people come from families who live in all corners of the earth, from every culture, religion, and ethnic group. One of every four families has an LGBTQ member. Rejection of these people by their families is a tragedy for each person in the family unit.

LGBTQ people are naturally oriented
People's sexual orientation or gender identification is
neither chosen nor something taught. It's not just "a stage" they are going through or something that will change with the "right person." The LGBTQ child is often aware of his or her situation at a very early age. For LGBTQ people, their orientation is natural and normal.

Gay people are emotionally healthy
The American Psychiatric Association has long recognized that homosexuality is not a disorder. It has stated that there is no credible evidence that sexual orientation can be changed and that attempts at change can be harmful. LGBTQ persons establish stable, long-lasting relationships and have families.

Our Vision. PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission. By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through:

  • 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
- See more at: http://community.pflag.org/page.aspx?pid=237#sthash.qAKvA7fW.dpuf
Join us                                        
Membership in the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of PFLAG gives you a chance to meet others with family and friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ). In addition, we regularly have LGBTQ members and guests present to provide their advice and counsel

Perhaps you need to come and listen to the stories of "coming out" and acceptance. Maybe you feel the need to tell your own story. Our meetings give you an opportunity to do just that.
 
You'll be amazed as you see distraught parents grow into strong advocates for their children. You'll enjoy the fellowship of families who have come through some difficult times and emerged as closer and more loving than ever. You may want to just watch and listen at first, but when you're ready to talk, you'll find sympathetic friends who will help you along your way.

Our meetings sometimes feature speakers who tell us about their experiences as glbt people, as parents and friends, as educators, advocates, and champions of social justice. We have heard from local legislators and leaders of organizations with a mission similar to ours. We've had wonderful young people come to tell us about their efforts to bring justice to GLBTQ kids in their schools. We enjoy a period of fellowship at our December meeting and meet annually for a fun-filled picnic. Details on each meeting are found in the newsletter reproduced on this site.

We participate in the annual Pride Festival in Harrisburg and, when invited, speak with students and teachers in local high schools, colleges, and universities. We visit legislators who pass laws affecting the lives of our glbt loved ones. We march in the AIDS walk and lend support to younger glbt people through our Safe Schools activities and support of a youth group for glbt kids.

Your membership will entitle you to receive our monthly e-mail newsletter, keeping you informed of chapter, regional, and national news. You'll be able to borrow books and videos from our chapter library. And perhaps most important of all, you'll be able to lend your support in many ways to our goal of championing our loved ones, educating the public, and ending discrimination against glbt people.


Individual or Family memberships are $30.00 annually.
Senior or Student memberships are $15.00 annually.


Request a membership form by sending an e-mail to pflagcenpa@yahoo.com. Please write "Membership Request" in the subject line. 

Together, we can improve the lives of our LGBTQ loved ones. Join us today!


Attend our monthly chapter meetings 
We want to meet you!
We invite you to join us at 7:00 p.m. on the third Monday of each month for support, education, and fellowship. Our meetings are held at

Mechanicsburg Presbyterian Church
300 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County,  


one block west of Seidle Memorial Hospital. The church is located in the heart of town. There is plenty of lighted parking behind the church, and it is a facility where we can meet in confidentiality. Enter and follow the sign to the nearby meeting room. You need not identify yourself by name, but if you do, that information and everything you share is kept in confidence. See a map here.

Occasionally, we meet at an alternative location in Mechanicsburg for our holiday party and picnic. You will find the place and times of those events in your monthly newsletter.


What's it all about, anyway?
Learn more from books and Internet resources.
This page contains information on books about people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) and their families and friends. Many are available in our chapter library, and you may borrow them when you attend our meetings. Others are available in public libraries or in the Gay/Lesbian or Gender Studies sections of your favorite bookstore. Most will be available from online booksellers, too.

We're also providing links to other important Internet sites that will help you to understand LGBTQ people and show you how to advocate on their behalf for equal rights and social justice.

National PFLAG
www.pflag.org

Human Rights Campaign
www.hrc.org

Common Roads Youth Group, Harrisburg
www.commonroads.org

LGBT Community Center of Central Pennsylvania 
www.centralpalgbtcenter.org

Gay-Lesbian-Straight Education Network (glsen) 
www.glsen.org

PFLAG Publications
Several excellent foundational publications are available from PFLAG's national website. You can view and download free PDF versions or purchase them. Here's an example:

"Our Daughters and Sons: Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People." One of PFLAG's most popular publications, this is a "must read" for parents who are forming new and honest relationships with a loved one who has come out to them. This booklet answers several commonly-asked questions about having a gay child. It includes a list of related resources. Also available is a Spanish-language version.

Other titles include:
"Be Yourself: Questions and Answers for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth"

"Faith in Our Families: Parents, Families and Friends Talk about Religion and Homosexuality"

"From Our House to the Schoolhouse: A Safe Schools Publication"

"Bisexuality Resource Packet"

Basic reading from other publishers
You can shop for any of these titles on Amazon.com while supporting PFLAG at the same time. PFLAG will receive a minimum 5% rebate from your purchase. Simply click on           this link to find out more about PFLAG's corporate partnership with Amazon.com.

The Best Little Boy in the World 
John Reid/Andrew Tobias
When The Best Little Boy in the World was first published in 1973, Andrew Tobias could write about what it had felt like to begin to accept his homosexuality, but he couldn’t bring himself to sign his own name to the book, for fear of embarrassing his parents. And so it was “John Reid” who became a hero to the thousands of gay males who found in this memoir a mirror for their own experiences. Although the book appears rambling at times, Tobias always has a clear sense of where he wants to take readers with the story. He treats his closeted adolescence and college years, and his stumbling first attempts at “doing a thing” with other gay men, with a self-effacing humor that exposes his pain without descending into self-pity.

Beyond Acceptance  
Carolyn Griffin, Marian Wirth, Arthur Wirth
Beyond Acceptance deals with a variety of issues facing heterosexual parents of gay children, from facing what the neighbors will say, to worrying about AIDS and social ostracism, to feeling angry and guilt-ridden. Frank, informed, and filled with insights and practical suggestions.


Bi Any Other Name, Bisexual People Speak Out Loraine Hutchins, Lani Kaahumanu
The book is divided into four main sections that focus on a particular concern for bisexuals: coming-out; personal stories; community; and politics. Finally there is a history of bisexual activism in the USA. Most of the pieces are essays of a fairly personal nature but there are a few interviews, some poetry, and some visuals; there are even some non-bisexuals writing about their friends and family who have come out to them.

Different Daughters 
Louise Rafkin
Among the watershed books for lesbians in past fifteen years, Louise Rafkin’s Different Daughters provides support for the rainbow notion that love is what makes a family. Revised and expanded to include a few more contemporary issues like transgenderism, bisexuality, and gay parenting, these 30 brief memoirs by mothers of lesbians will comfort any mother who worries that her daughter will never be happy, or find a long-term, stable love, or be accepted by those around her. Even hostile parents can find some reassurance here in stories about mothers who were at first horrified by their daughters’ lesbianism and have struggled to achieve an uneasy peace with them.

Free Your Mind 
Ellen Bass, Kate Kaufman
This very accessible basic guide for youth and those who care about them includes many valuable, practical suggestions and pointers to additional resources. Bass and Kaufman cover it all in chapters from “Friends” and “Love” to “Religious Life” and “Living in Your Community.”

Homosexuality and Christian Faith 
Walter Wink
Issues surrounding homosexuality threaten to divide the Christian churches and the people within them. This unique resource presents short pieces from some of the nation’s most prominent church leaders—Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical—who address the fundamental moral imperative about homosexuality. Together they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to tolerance, and to Gospel values. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they provide much-needed clarity on the biblical witness and biblical authority, the nature or character of homosexuality and sexual orientation, and many related topics.

Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? 
Letha Scanzoni, Virginia Mollenkott
A classic work of gay spirituality—newly revised to reflect today’s issues, including gays in the military, the AIDS crisis, and genetic research on homosexuality.

Now That You Know 
Betty Fairchild, Nancy Hayward
If the coming out process is difficult for gay people, it is often equally difficult for their parents. Confusion, anger, and fear frequently cause fathers and mothers of gay men and lesbians to disavow, strike out against, and even resent their children. For many parents, a child’s coming out feels like the ultimate rejection—not only of their dreams and hopes but of their own heterosexuality. In Now That You Know: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Their Gay and Lesbian Children, Betty Fairchild and Nancy Hayward—the mothers of, respectively, a gay man and a lesbian—have charted the rough seas that almost every parent of a gay person travels.

The Other Side of the Closet 
Amity Pierce Buxton
Illustrated throughout by riveting personal narratives, The Other Side of the Closet traces the family’s journey from initial trauma to eventual transformation. This invaluable source of information for spouses, families, and professionals is based on Dr. Buxton’s eight years of research, including interviews with 1,000 straight spouses and children, her own personal experience, and her counseling work with spouses of gay, lesbian, and bisexual partners.

Parents Matter 
Ann Muller
The mother of a gay son, Muller makes two key assertions in this simply written and sympathetic exploration of families with homosexual children. The first is that lesbians probably have greater difficulty being accepted by their parents, which she attributes to rigid sex-role definitions that keep some people from approving of single, successful women. Second, she contends that Freudian and neo-Freudian psychology have sent the negative message that the combination of a dominant mother and weak father “causes” gay children. The author’s discussion of these arguments is strengthened by research and interviews with 71 parents, daughters and sons, and she concludes that parents’ attitudes matter greatly to their homosexual children because gay people are “harshly judged by the larger society.”

Prayers for Bobby 
Leroy Aarons
Very painful and personal, this is the story of a mother’s struggle to reconcile the tension between her deeply held religious beliefs and the suicide of her gay son. Mary Griffith came from a religious family and raised her four children to believe in God and live a Christian life. Their conservative Presbyterian church was the center of family life for every family member except Mary’s husband, Bob. When 17-year-old Bobby confided to older bother Ed that he was gay, the family’s life changed. Mary convinced Bobby to pray that God would cure him and to seek solace in church activities. Bobby did it all, but the church’s hatred of homosexuality and the obvious pain his gayness was causing his family led him increasingly to loathe himself. Excerpts from a diary he kept, family photos, and letters written by Mary to her dead son make the book intense reading for both high-school and public library patrons.

Straight Parents, Gay Children 
Robert A. Bernstein
The courageous and levelheaded Straight Parents, Gay Children, Armistead Maupin comments, “shows the parents of gay children how to stop merely tolerating their kids and start being their heroes.” Robert A. Bernstein made this essential move to “heroism” himself after his daughter Bobbi came out to him and her stepmother in the mid-1980s, when she was 19. Soon after, they attended a meeting of P-FLAG at a nearby church, and Bernstein realized that he had joined a small but powerful group of people unable to support the continued oppression of their gay loved ones.

Stranger at the Gate 
Mel White
This is the account of a deeply religious man’s coming to terms with his gayness and the impact that process had on his life. A former ghostwriter for Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Billy Graham, and other religious-right personalities, White offers a compelling story; gay readers raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment will find themselves saying, “That happened to me.” This is not really so much about being gay and Christian in America as it is the story of one individual’s struggles. To describe what it means to be gay and Christian is truly a difficult task; perhaps there is no one concrete definition.

There’s Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You 
Loralee MacPike
MacPike, an English professor at California State University, tackles the perplexing problems lesbians and gays face in coming out to their children. The first-person accounts she collects bypass typical psychotherapy parlance and intellectual analyses, cutting directly to the art of speaking—and listening—to one’s children. The stories, bittersweet, poignant or downright sad, provide a window on the remarkable diversity in the lesbian and gay community.

What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality 
Daniel A. Helminiak
Helminiak, a Roman Catholic priest, has done careful reading in current biblical scholarship about homosexuality. While cautioning against viewing biblical teaching as “the last word on sexual ethics,” he stresses the need for accurate understanding of what the biblical “facts” are and concludes that “the Bible supplies no real basis for the condemnation of homosexuality.”

Thank you for visiting our website. Please contact us at pflagcenpa@yahoo.com if you need more information or if we can assist you in any way. We're all in this together!