A real kind of love: Can you say PFLAG
“I thought I was all alone. I thought the world had turned its back on me. I stopped caring. I stopped believing in a love and began hiding for safety. All along you were beside me, fighting for me, showing your face to free me when all had been deafened by hate. I see you now, standing in front of me. Together we will change the angered walls into a roads of hope. My family. My friend.”
When I was 6 years old I had this massive crush on a girl named Victoria. She was so sweet and kind, I did not want to leave her side, she was my best friend. I remember telling my mom that I was in love with Victoria and that one day I would marry and take care of her. My mother smiled at me and gently whispered “that’s a long ways away but I bet you’ll do a good job!” My mom didn’t stop there, when I came out to her at 12 years old and told her I had all these feelings about being with a girl (actually I had already being experimenting, sorry mama!), again she surprised me with “love is a powerful emotion and you don’t get to choose the direction it’s grown in but you have the power to make it beautiful with whomever you feel it with.” If it wasn’t for her acceptance and love, I don’t believe I would be as proud of who I am today. That understanding and support is why I am comfortable in my skin and feel complete and whole as a Lesbian Woman. Unfortunately, I know not everyone is as lucky. I know for most of us that sharing who we are is a painful and sometimes isolating experience, and that’s why finding a support system that nurtures and protects us is one of the most important facets of a healthy human being.
My mother was a beautiful woman and if she were alive today I know she would be a proud mother of a Lesbian Woman, like so many friends and family that form PFLAG. Our support system is what makes us strong and helps us heal. To witness those we love the most in the world, fighting for our rights gives me goose bumps. There is no other love than someone standing up for you, letting the world know that who you are is important and deserves equality and a voice to be heard. Our support systems defines who we are and our environment, the less support the harder the journey. There are faceless people out in community that for no other reason then fairness stand beside you. Today, I want to thank all parents, family members, and friends who make that possible for us.
PFLAG stands for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer). It has more than 200,000 members in over 500 communities in the USA. These individuals offer helplines, support groups, and resources for the LGBT community. They work hard at promoting health and well-being, aid in ending discrimination, and help secure equal civil rights. Our Queen Bee and greatest supporter in Columbia is a Lady Harriet Hancock, she is the proud mother who started the PFLAG Chapter in Columbia and helped push forward the Pride Movement in our beautiful city. Since learning of her son being gay she has worked hard to promote our rights and freedom. She is responsible for a lot of the advancement in our community here, we have a lot to be grateful for because of her. If you want to help support or are in need of guidance from this wonderful organization I have listed them as a resource and here are some upcoming events that can be viewed at: http://www.pflagmd.org/#events.
Being gay is not a choice, it’s who we are, and it’s our loving support systems that increase this awareness and self-worth within ourselves, our community and society. In a state that still has a negative view-point of what gay really means it’s going to be the help of supportive friends and family that will ease the pain and move us forward. By educating our community, more doors can be opened, greater opportunities will lay ahead and we can create a safer environment for us to live in. Coming out is hard enough but it does not need to be isolating, pull on your community, your gay “Family“. In addition, for those parents and friends confused and at a loss there is an opportunity to learn and love your gay family member with support from organizations and individuals like Ms. Harriet Hancock.
We all need to pull together it’s what makes people stronger, we are all linked and there are multiple obstacles that attempt to drag down our community. We need to be conscious of our impact on each other and in our Columbian Community. We must stand visibly together, and you can start today by being kind and open because after all it is Gay Awareness Month!
This article is dedicated to my mother , you were an amazing teacher and you are still helping me grow into a full person, even in death. I’d also like to say to Ms. Harriet Hancock, thank you for all your help and support.
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