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PFLAG Westminster – Carroll County, Maryland Chapter

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Moving Equality Forward
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Families, allies gather in safe haven for LGBT community

Carroll County’s PFLAG chapter gathers Sunday for food, fellowship

Published in Carroll County Times, Monday August 18, 2014PFLAG

2014-08 PFLAG BBQ 1

 

June Horner, left, Jennifer Bock, center, and Krista Regester share a laugh as Sunday’s Westminster-Carroll County PFLAG Annual BBQ wraps up at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Westminster August 17, 2014. (DYLAN SLAGLESTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group / August 17, 2014)

By Heather Cobun, Times Staff Writer

11:28 p.m. EDT, August 17, 2014

June Horner was attending Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) meetings for more than six months before she got the courage to ask her son if he was gay.

It was 1984, and when she began suspecting her son was homosexual, Horner said she didn’t know who to turn to for advice.

“I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “I couldn’t think who to ask.”

She worried that if she asked her son, she would lose him. She worried that if she asked friends, they would judge. She worried that if she asked her minister, he would tell her that her son was doing something evil.

“I did know that my son was a wonderful son,” she said. “That he was kind and moral and scrupulously honest.”

Horner said she found out about what she termed a “gay bookstore,” got the phone number for someone with a PFLAG chapter in Silver Spring and attended a meeting.

“That was better than a psychiatrist,” she said. “It was my salvation.”

PFLAG officially formed in 1982 in California as a community of “safe havens” for parents with gay and lesbian children, according to the national organization’s website.

Sunday, members of the Carroll County PFLAG chapter gathered at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Westminster for their annual potluck barbecue to socialize with each other and discuss upcoming events.

Westminster resident Sarah Middleton said she attended her first PFLAG meeting in November.

“As soon as I came out of the closet, I realized I should probably have this inclusive environment,” she said.

Middleton brought her mother, Brenda Middleton, to the barbecue Sunday. It was her first PFLAG event.

“She loves it,” Brenda Middleton said. “Whatever makes her happy makes me happy.”

Before her daughter came out, Brenda Middleton said she did not know there was a PFLAG chapter in Westminster, even though she had lived in the community her entire life.

The Carroll County chapter took a few tries to get off the ground, but finally coalesced in 2011 after the bullying of gay youth gained national attention, according to steering committee member Judy Gaver. St. Paul’s agreed to host meetings and events for the group.

Gaver’s son came out when he was in college in 2001, and she found a PFLAG meeting in Columbia in Howard County because there was nothing in her hometown of Westminster.

“I struggled in the beginning,” she said. “All I knew was the negative stereotypes. It was easy for me to be around other people who were going through what I did.”

At the time, the AIDS crisis was not as big a concern as it had been in the 1980s in the gay community, Gaver said, but the murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man, was on her mind.

“Here was my kid in Carroll County,” she said, adding that she made it her goal to see that her son felt supported.

“It didn’t stop me from loving him,” she said. “I knew that I still loved him. I knew that God still loved him.”

Now, with more than a decade of PFLAG membership, Gaver said that she is seeing a great deal of progress.

“It’s been my salvation,” Gaver said. “I wasn’t always the cool PFLAG mom.”

At her first meeting, Horner said she was relieved to meet not only other parents sharing her experience, but also members of the gay and lesbian community who reminded her of her son.

“They had some pretty sad stories in 1984,” she said.

Horner said things have changed drastically in her 30 years as a PFLAG member, including Maryland becoming one of an increasing number of states to permit same-sex marriage.

“Things have gotten much better,” she said.

Horner and Gaver are both members of the Carroll County PFLAG steering committee and assisted in getting it started.

McDaniel graduate Jennifer Bock wanted to tell the story of Carroll County’s PFLAG chapter, so she made them the subject of her capstone film project for the cinema program.

“If you’re really going to go out there and make a difference through film, you really have to pick something that’s important to someone besides yourself,” she said.

Bock said the challenge in making her 20-minute documentary was finding room for all of the voices involved, including those who oppose homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

“It was hard,” she said. “So many people have so many different, emotional stories.”

PFLAG steering committee member Naomi Keppler was featured in the documentary along with her girlfriend, Krista Regester.

Keppler said she and Regester met with Bock and just talked on camera for hours about the organization and their personal stories.

“It was really Jen’s baby,” she said. “I think she did a good job.”

The film will be screened at the next meeting of Carroll County PFLAG on Sept. 21 at 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s, according to vice president Joy Fisher.

Also in September, the organization will march in Westminster’s Fallfest parade.

“Despite it being Westminster, we do have a great deal of support,” Fisher said.

Reach staff writer Heather Cobun at 410-857-7898 or email heather.cobun@carrollcountytimes.com.

Copyright © 2014, Carroll County Times

 

First Fridays @ St. Paul’s, a safe space for lgbtq and allied youth, is celebrating the 4th of July by hosting a picnic and games for the residents of some local shelters. This First Fridays will be from 5-7 so everyone can go to the fireworks.
Photo: First Fridays @ St. Paul's, a safe space for lgbtq and allied youth, is celebrating the 4th of July by hosting a picnic and games for the residents of some local shelters. This First Fridays will be from 5-7 so everyone can go to the fireworks.

Posted on June 2, 2014 by

Saturday June 7 – 39th annual Capital Pride Parade in DC

Pride Parade in DC ..

PARADE DETAILS
* PFLAG has been assigned to the ORANGE staging area. Our CALL TIME

IS 4 PM for a 4:30 PM kick-off on Saturday, June 7. Please refer to the map for our
meeting location on 23rd STREET, NW. We are located between the Batala Washington and Unitarian Universalists of DC groups.

Staging Area Map:

http://capitalpride_cdn.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/STAGING-MAP-2014.pdf

* The route is approximately 1.5 miles and takes about 25 minutes to
complete, ending at 14th and R Streets, NW. A map of the route is
available here: http://www.capitalpride.org/parade/parade-map

* Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water. The current
weather forecast is sunny with a high of 85 and no chance of
precipitation.

The 39th Annual Capital Pride Parade steps off Saturday, June 7, 2014, 4:30 pm, at 22nd & P Streets, NW, Washington, DC.   The Pride Parade travels 1.5 miles through Dupont Circle and 17th Street, passes by the Logan Circle neighborhood and ends along the revitalized 14th Street corridor at S Street.
This is an amazing and exhilarating experience!!! Easy to get there on the Metro. PFLAG & UU contingents have been right next to one another in the marching order in all past parades we’ve attended. PFLAG chapters from all around the MD, DC, & VA area march together. It’s OK to bring your signs & chapter banners. We Highly Recommend the Capital Pride Parade!! We’ll post PFLAG’s Parade lineup position here and on our Facebook page  sometime near the middle of the 1st week of June, when the information becomes available.  If you want further information about marching  in parade or volunteering at the Festival Booth,  contact  Matt Minora mattpflag2014@gmail.com.
Sunday June 8 – Capital Pride Festival in DC
   : Noon – 7 PM  -
The 2014 Capital Pride Street Festival continues along  historic Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets and is part of the 39th Annual Capital Pride Celebration. The US Capitol has served as the iconic backdrop of the Capital Stage for 18 years,

PFLAG at 2013 Baltimore Pride Parade

PFLAG at 2013 Baltimore Pride Parade

Saturday June 14 – Baltimore Pride Parade
Sunday June 15 – Baltimore Pride Festival

Baltimore Pride Parade and Festival
PFLAG Maryland Chapters have a long tradition if marching in Baltimore Pride Parades going back to 1986.  Sadly, this year we have a scheduling conflict and will not be marching in 2014 Baltimore Pride Parade, nor will we be able to have a space at the Festival.    However we look forward to once again marching & participating in 2015.  We encourage those who want to march to join with Baltimore PFLAG Chapter’s RYA contingent.  Parade steps off at 1 pm.
The Saturday Parade & Block Party, as well as the Sunday Festival will all take place at Mount Royal Avenue and Cathedral Street (2 blocks from Penn Station).  The origins of Baltimore Pride date back to 1975. In the decades since, Baltimore Pride has grown to become Maryland’s largest LGBTQ visibility event, providing an opportunity for the greater Maryland community to experience and learn more about the LGBTQ community through a weekend of wonderful events and exhibitions.

Saturday June 28 – 3rd annual Frederick Pride Festival --

Noon to 6PM in downtown Frederick at Carroll Creek Linear Park
Please Look for PFLAG table at the festival and stop by and say ‘Hello’.
PFLAG Westminster & Columbia Chapters look forward to sharing table with Frederick PFLAG Chapter !!

If you haven’t yet registered for this wonderful FREE conference , it’s time to do so now !
To Register Contact Gary Honeman at (443) 244-8654 or ghoneman@ccysb.org

Poster CCRE

 

 

This Friday May 2 , 2014  is the day for First Friday @ St. Paul’s.

tulipsFirst Fridays is a SAFE SPACE especially for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender youth and their allies.

6:30 p.m.-11:00 p.m
17 Bond Street, Westminster, MD

THIS MONTH WE WILL MAKE SPECIAL GIFTS FOR MOMS AND DADS,
AND TALK TO YOUTH IN CHINA
Count on the usual activities and HOFFMAN’S ice cream sandwiches!

Music, games, Wii, Ping Pong, popcorn,snacks..

Remember to bring $3.00 for Pizza!
Fun as usual!

 

If you have Questions…….Contact Lucy Brady –  410-848-5975
Pastor for Children and Youth Ministry
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ
17 Bond Street
Westminster, MD. 21157

Please Join PFLAG at our 3rd Sunday Monthly gathering for a FREE screening
of a  touching, highly acclaimed new film entitled ‘Bridegroom’.
Pop Corn and Drinks will be provided.
Opportunity for discussion will follow the film viewing.
ALL ARE WELCOME.
Sunday July 20, 2014 at 5 PM
at St. Paul’s UCC, at the corner of Bond & Green Streets, Westminster, MD 21157

 

  • Bridegroom Documentary“Bridegroom” tells the emotional journey of Shane and Tom, two young men in a loving and committed relationship that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story of what happened after this accidental death- of how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves completely shut out and ostracized- is poignant, enraging and opens a window onto the issue of marriage equality and human rights like no speech or lecture ever will.    80 Minutes

 

For further information, contact June Horner – junehorner@gmail.com or 410-844-1442

Saturday June 14 – 1 PM -  Baltimore Pride Parade
You are invited to March with PFLAG Maryland Chapters in Baltimore PRIDE Parade

PFLAG Chapter of Maryland  are  once AGAIN getting ready to continue our proud  tradition of marching in Baltimore PRIDE Parade.
All PFLAG members and friends  are encouraged to walk. Bring banners and signs if you like.
Sean McGovern, Vice-Chair of Columbia Chapter is point person & leader of this endeavor &  can be reached at daxmcg@gmail.com.   On Parade Day you can reach Sean on his Cell – 410-491-7326.

The Parade will kick off at 1 PM from  the corners of Eager and Charles Streets2014 Baltimore  Pride Parade Route in Mount Vernon and travel  four blocks north up Charles Street to Mt. Royal where it will turn right onto Mt. Royal, before ending at Oliver Street.   PFLAG’s Lineup position is # 7 on the Right (east) side of Charles St. between Eager & Read Streets.  We are instructed to line up starting at 11:30am  & no later than 12:30pm

The Block Party/Festival takes place at Mt.Royal Station -1400 Cathedral St.  (Intersection of Mt. Royal & Cathedral Streets) from 2 – 8 PM

The origins of Baltimore Pride date back to 1975. In the decades since, Baltimore Pride has grown to become Maryland’s largest LGBTQ visibility event, providing an opportunity for the greater Maryland community to experience and learn more about the LGBTQ community through a weekend of wonderful events and exhibitions.

PFLAG will be hosting  International visitors as we March in the 2014 Baltimore Parade..
Our Guests  are brave activists from the Ukraine.
Bogdan Globa  runs the LGBT organization,  Fulcrum, .. and his Mom, Helen,  who leads up Tergo, which is the Ukrainian version of PFLAG.

 Please try to watch this short  video of Bogdan addressing the Ministers of Parliament on “Shuster Live,” a well-respected Ukrainian political evening TV show. It is worth the two minute watch to provide the context and to share his courage and why we support Bogdan and his mom, Helen,  who has moved from rejection to acceptance and affirmation.
They remind us at PFLAG of Morty and Jeanne Manford so we have a very special place in our hearts for them.

Here’s a description of the program:
LGBTQ history is often invisible. Growing up in straight families, LGBTQ youth are not taught their community’s specific histories and schools often intentionally leave out mentions of LGBTQ history makers. This presentation will educate the audience on the basics of LGBTQ history in the U.S. and around the world, along with some little-known fascinating stories of individuals from different centuries. The presentation will also explain why it is so important that we teach LGBTQ history today.

Sarah Prager, a lesbian who created the mobile app Quist, will be the guest speaker at PFLAG-Westminster’s general meeting on May 18. The app (quistapp.com) was launched in July 2013 and has more than 16,000 downloads in 90 countries. Quist displays an event from this day in LGBT history and other features. According to Prager, “Quist strives to make LGBTQ interesting and accessible to the next generation.”
Quist_logoClick here to See more

 Sarah was raised in Connecticut, and began her life as an activist at age 14 when she came out as lesbian. By the time she moved to Boston, MA at age 17 she had been a keynote speaker at a rally of hundreds and founded the largest student group at her high school. Throughout her career so far she has worked and volunteered for several non-profit organizations including Boston Pride, Maryland Coalition Against Sexual Assault, and BGO Gemini (Bulgaria’s LGBT rights organization). Sarah moved to Prince George’s County, Md. with her wife, Liz, in May 2012.

Sarah’s writing has been published in The Social Media Monthly, Huffington Post, Hartford Courant, Gay Life, and various blogs. She has been a guest on “HuffPost Live,” “The Michelangelo Signorile Show” on Sirius XM Progress Radio, and “The List” on ABC2. GO Magazine named Sarah one of the 13 Red Hot Entrepreneurs of 2013.

Refreshments will be served.  All meetings are free, confidential and open to the public.

  • What: PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County General Meeting 
  • When: May 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  Corner of Bond & Green Sts., Westminster, MD 21157
  • Contact: June Horner, 410-844-1442 (call or text)    e-mail: junehorner@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

 

Trans, the Movie      **HEADS UP – PFLAG Westminster Meeting date for the month of APRIL   ONLY has been CHANGED to the 4th Sunday, APRIL 27th at 5 p.m. (Our 3rd Sunday regular meeting day happens to be EASTER this year, and we expect most of us will very likely be busy with Holiday activities)

We’ll be showing a film “Trans, the movie” with opportunity for discussion afterwards.

This documentary is an insightful portrait of trans folk, full of heart-warming and heart-breaking moments. It has been receiving rave reviews among the transgender community.
Please join us for a viewing, followed by opportunity for discussion.


All meetings of PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) are free, confidential and open to the public.

  • What: PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County General Meeting 
  • When: April 27 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  Corner of Bond & Green Sts., Westminster, MD 21157
  • Media Opportunities: PFLAG members
  • Contact: June Horner, 410-795-2418, e-mail: junehorner@gmail.com,

Released in 2012, Trans is a documentary feature that takes viewers on a journey into the transgender world through personal narratives, real life experiences, emotions and stories that have changed lives and will change lives. The film was made to raise awareness of transgender issues.

Inspired by the story of Dr. Christine McGinn and her important work as a transgender surgeon, Trans provides an up-close and very personal vision into the lives, loves, and challenges of a cast of characters of all ages and from all walks of life.

A discussion will follow the presentation.  Popcorn and beverages will be served.

          

About PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County:

PFLAG promotes the health and well being of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, their families and friends through:

Support - to cope with an adverse society

Education - to enlighten an ill-informed public

Advocacy - to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights

Author, Martha Johnson

Author, Martha Johnson

PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) will be presenting author Martha Johnson who will discuss her novel In Our Midst.
Note that one need not have read the novel to enjoy and benefit from the discussion.

Ms. Johnson is leadership speaker and writer who draws on the lessons learned as an executive from a 35-year career in public and private organizations.
She was nominated by President Obama and confirmed unanimously by the US Senate to be the Administrator of the General Services Administration, a position she held from 2010-2012.

In Our Midst was a quarterfinalist in the 2013 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Competition. Order a copy of In Our Midst on Amazon by clicking here.      It is also available through Carroll County Public Library.

Here’s a brief synopsis of the story:

It is 1990 and Stanton, Indiana is a typical town with a busy mayor, active churches, a Wood Carving Festival, aMartha Johnson - In Our Midst friendly diner, and a highly trusted mortuary.
But, it is not a Norman Rockwell world.  The Gulf War is breaking out, Ryan White lives nearby, and AIDS is sweeping the nation.
Despite all that, Stanton is also a town that doesn’t appear to have any gay or lesbian people, or so it seems to Victor Beck, who is anxious and scared because he isn’t attracted to girls.
As Victor gets acquainted with a new girl in town, a second story unfolds of a gay, Korean War soldier who died the day he returned home to Stanton.
The two stories become entwined and the good people of Stanton have to wrestle with their history, their secrets, their prejudices, and their commitment to the health and welfare of their children.

One need not have read the book to enjoy and benefit from the discussion.

Martha Johnson’s other  writing credits include On My Watch: Leadership, Innovation, and Personal Resilience, a best-selling book on Amazon published in October 2013.
Both titles are available through Carroll County Library System.
Johnson blogs at www.MarthaJohnson.com and her virtual readership grows daily.

About PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County:

PFLAG promotes the health and well being of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, their families and friends through:

Support - to cope with an adverse society
Education - to enlighten an ill-informed public
Advocacy - to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights

PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
We  welcome all people-gay, straight, bisexual or transgendered, as well as their families, friends and interested members of  the community.

.Together, we support each other, educate the broader community and advocate for equality.
Visit our website at www.pflagwcc.org, call  410-861-0488 or e-mail  pflagcarroll@gmail.com.

  • What: PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County General Meeting
  • When: March 16 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  Corner of Bond & Green Sts., Westminster, MD 21157

Contact: June Horner, 410-795-2418, e-mail: junehorner@gmail.com,

About National PFLAG: 

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is the nation’s foremost family-based organization committed to the civil rights of gays, lesbians, bisexual and transgender persons. Founded in 1973 by mothers and fathers, PFLAG has 200,000 members and supporters in more than 500 chapters throughout the United States. To learn more, please visit www.pflag.org

 

 

  • PFLAG

    LGBTQ Friends & Allies & Community

    You are invited  to

    A VALENTINE’S DAY DANCE  for ALL Ages!

    February 16th -  5PM-9PM

    at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ 17 Bond St., Westminster, MD 21157

    DJ ! Music!! Games! Food! Raffle! Prizes!  Games! Music!! Food! Raffle! Prizes! Games! DJ ! Music!

     

    Suggested donation – adults $5., Students $2.

    Sponsored by: Westminster-Carroll Co,Chapter of PFLAG LGBTQ Book Club St. Paul’s United church of Christ

         

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