Welcome to PFLAG Westminster - Carroll County, Maryland

PFLAG Westminster – Carroll County, Maryland Chapter

Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays - Moving Equality Forward
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Click on the Picture to Go Directly to PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County’s Page on Amazon Smile!

PFLAG Valentine’s Dance on Sunday, February 19th
was a Perfectly Delightful Event.
We’ll be sure to do it again Next Year!

 

 

 

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MLK Quote

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We will come together in the New Year to watch the film, ‘After Stonewall’.
We will then  discuss how we can connect the lessons of Stonewall to current LGBTQ+ issues in our nation, region, state, and county.

Please Join us for this laid-back movie night with snacks in a safe space
for LGBTQ+ folks, allies, families, and friends.

All ages welcome!

 

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Dear Participant:

 

We are a sexual minority research team from the University of Tennessee conducting an empirical study examining the religious attitudes and experiences of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) persons. This online survey will ask questions about religious attitudes and experiences you may have had as a sexual minority person, psychological well-being, and demographics. We sincerely invite you to participate in this survey to help us learn more about LGB persons in our communities!

 

To be eligible for this study, you must be at least 18 years old, identify as LGB, be currently affiliated with a faith/religion, and reside in the United States. The survey is confidential, and takes about 25-35 minutes to complete. As an incentive to participate, all participants will be given the chance to enter a raffle awarding $50 Amazon.com gift cards to four randomly selected persons.  If you want to be entered into the raffle without participating in the study, send an email to dszymans@utk.edu requesting to do so. For those interested in participating in this study, click on the following hypertext link (or cut and paste it into your browser):

https://utk.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bJwUPcteyebzzUh This will take you to the consent form and questionnaire.

 

Please feel free to forward this e-mail announcement to eligible friends/colleagues and other lesbian/gay/bisexual-related listservs. Thanks in advance for your help with this project!

 

Sincerely,

 

Dawn and Rachel

 

Dawn M. Szymanski, PhD (dszymans@utk.edu)

Rachel Carretta, BA (rcarrett@vols.utk.edu)

Department of Psychology, Austin Peay Bldg

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, TN 37996-0900

Phone: 865-724-4499

 

 

 

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Research Study

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Dear PFLAG Members,

You probably already know that Pence, who advocates anti-LGBTconversion “therapy,” is renting a house in Chevy Chase, Maryland, until January 20, and that a number of neighbors are flying rainbow flags in protest of his homophobic statements and policies.  They gave a rainbow flag to the local elementary school, which at first flew it and then, shamefully, removed it.  The principal said that the school sought to be inclusive but that she had decided that it was “too political” for the school to fly the flag– and show publicly to the community that children who might identify as LGBT should feel safe there.  This is the first instance I know of of what may be a wave of new anti-LGBT McCarthyism.

I sent the attached message to the principal.  I would be very grateful if you would circulate it as widely as possible.

Thank you for all the wonderful efforts you have made for so long to help LGBT children and families.  In the LGBT Studies courses that I taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges from 1992 to 2013 I always made it a point to discuss PFLAG’s contribution to equality for LGBT people.

With gratitude,

 

Eric Patterson
Prof. Emeritus
American Cultural Studies
Co-founder, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies,
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: “eric patterson”
Date: Dec 10, 2016 2:54 PM
Subject: OPEN LETTER TO PRINCIPAL CARRIE BROQUARD RE: REMOVAL OF RAINBOW FLAG AT CHEVY CHASE’S LAFAYETTE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL DUE TO FEAR OF NEIGHBOR, HOMOPHOBIC VP-ELECT PENCE, ADVOCATE OF LGBT CONVERSION “THERAPY” (TORTURE.)
To: <carrie.broquard@dc.gov>
Cc:

Principal Carrie Broquard, Ph.D.
Lafayette Elementary School
5701 Broad Branch Rd.
N.W. Washington, D.C. 20015

Dr. Broquard:

How very sad it is that you do not have the courage to continue to display the rainbow flag at your school to indicate to the public that it is a safe space for children who may be beginning to realize that they have same-sex feelings or gender difference.  Such children are a minority and are profoundly vulnerable to psychologically damaging homophobic abuse, and they undoubtedly are present in your school.  You have failed in the most public and damaging way possible to show that you will defend their interests and identities.

Displaying the flag also is an important part of teaching children (and all members of a community) who have majority orientations and identities to practice acceptance of diversity, respect for different identities, and inclusion rather than exclusion.  You have failed them as well, by being afraid to stand up against the horrifying homophobic bigotry of Pence and the many other haters of LGBT people that Trump is trying to give power in his cabinet.  Even if you claim to teach acceptance within your school, you now have sent a powerful message to everyone in your community, and everyone in the nation, that your commitment to them is limited by fear, that you are afraid to stand up publicly in your community for LGBT-identifying children against powerful leaders whose goal is to force them to “convert” to heterosexuality and gender “normativity.”

Professional psychological organizations have made it clear that the kind of “conversion therapy” promoted by Pence is a dangerous form of abuse and is highly damaging, especially to vulnerable young people.  Read the critical professional evaluations of this so-called “therapy”– it is a form of torture, whose intent is to eliminate LGBT people as individuals and as a group.  LGBT people are everywhere in our society, and as citizens they deserve equality and respect, as Justice Kennedy recognized in the Obergefell Decision, despite “religious” bigots who would impose their prejudices on our entire society and attempt to destroy LGBT people through “conversion.”  Despite what Pence may say or do, the United States still is a secular democracy, not a fundamentalist theocracy.

There is no law against displaying the rainbow flag at a public school– YET.  I have little doubt that passing such a law is on the agenda of homophobic bigots like Pence, and that your removal of the flag, whether you are aware of it or not, is a first step toward their goal of reducing LGBT people again to silence, invisibility, shame, and fear.  If this country were about to be led by men who advocated the forced conversion of Jews to Christianity, would you refuse to fly a Star of David flag to show that Jewish children were safe at your school?  Or would defending them from anti-Semitic abuse also be “too political”?  Many “good Germans” thought exactly that, and enabled the Nazis in committing the Holocaust.

Drawing such a parallel probably seems unjustifiable to you, but I ask you to reflect on the silent holocaust that goes on every day in this country, in which vast numbers of LGBT-identifying  children and adolescents are harassed, at home and at school, many to the point of suicide.  Read the many sociological analyses of homeless adolescents, and learn what a large proportion are LGBT-identifying and have been driven out of their homes by hostile families, often turning to drugs and prostitution to cope and survive, and often dying horrible premature deaths.  That also is a holocaust.

I pity the vulnerable children in your school and community who may be harrassed, intimidated, shamed, and even physically harmed by others, particularly now that everyone knows that you removed the flag out of fear of Pence and Trump.  That sends a clear, chilling message that LGBT people don’t matter, that your school is NOT a safe space despite what you may claim you teach there, and that you and other educators there will not really protect them.  The message is simple and brutal: Trump and Pence are in power, and we are afraid to publicly defend you.  I hope that the decent people in Chevy Chase who have had the courage to display rainbow flags on homes near the house that Pence is renting until January 20th will speak up even more now that you have failed their children.  Fearful, selfish acts of self-protection by those in positions of responsibility, such as educators, who avoid speaking up in defense of the vulnerable groups who have been targeted and attacked by men like Trump and Pence, is precisely the way repression of human rights begins.  I hope that throughout our country LGBT educators (and real allies, as opposed to cowards like you) can learn about your failure to defend the children in your care, and use this shameful example as a reason to display rainbow flags at as many schools around the country as possible.

When more vulnerable children are insulted, beaten, and driven to suicide by the homophobic bigotry that has been empowered by the Trump/Pence “election”, as they undoubtedly will be, their blood also will be on the hands of cowards like you.

Sincerely,

Eric Patterson
Prof. Emeritus
American Cultural Studies
Co-founder, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Studies
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, New York 14456

 

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This Sunday – December 18th !!!

Come join PFLAG as we have a meeting devoted to giving and receiving gentle support during this busy
and often stressful time of year.

5:00 p.m. at  St. Pauls UCC .. corner of Bond and Green Street, Westminster 21157 Got Questions?  Call or email Judy at 410-848-5705 or judygaver@hotmail.com

Cookies & warm drinks will be provided ……Bring some cookies to share if you like! ….

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Please join with PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County’s friends and family as we gather together to enjoy our annual Holiday Concert and Potluck Dinner on Sunday November 20th from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at St. Paul’s UCC (corner of Bond & Green Streets), Westminster, MD 21157
We hope that you will be able to bring a dish to share. The chapter will supply drinks and paper products.
NEW THIS YEAR:  We are looking forward to entertainment by musician,Georgie Jessup. 

georgie-jessupGeorgie Jessup’s songwriting is influenced by everything from old school country to Memphis R&B, placing her music firmly in the “cosmic” Americana Music genre. Her lyrics reflect her outspoken advocacy for animal rights, Native American issues, transgender rights and environmental sanity. The subject of an award winning documentary film, “Woman in A Man’s Suit,” Georgie also has four, well received, CDs available.

“Georgie sings from the heart, like a rare flower in a wilderness,” says blues diva Candye Kane. “She speaks to us about the deepest issues. Issues that all of us should care about, but so many of us pretend don’t affect us.
”She reminds us that we are all related in our human condition and struggle. And Georgie reinforces that we are all trapped by gender and physical being, and that the brightest life and light we have is our soul.” ..Candye Kane -r&b/blues singer/songwriter,   Sire Records, Rounder Records, Ruf Records
Visit her website to see more about Georgie: http://www.georgiejessup.com

 Georgie sings from the heart, like a rare flower in a wilderness. She speaks to us about the deepest issues. Issues that all of us should care about, but so many of us pretend don’t affect us.

We hope you’ll stay with us after our Thanksgiving Potluck for  a short Transgender Day of Remembrance ceremony at 7:00 p.m.

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