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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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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trans-flie2-2016

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You’re invited to a Special Free Event.

SONS OF  BALDWIN –  Spoken Word Poetry

When:   Thursday NOV. 3 , 2016   from 7:00-8:30PM
Location: Carroll Community College — in the theater

1601 Washington Rd, Westminster, Maryland 2115

sons-of-baldwin

PRESENTED BY:

The Alliance Club  

Maryland State Education Association

PFLAG Westminster/Carroll County

 

 

 

The Sons of Baldwin is a spoken word group made up of black men who love black men.
They are dedicated to using art to support positive social change.  sons-of-baldwin-2

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The Westminster Fallfest parade kicks off at 7 pm – meeting lineup time is 6:30 pm on Monroe Street by West Middle School.

PFLAG’s position in the parade is #38, directly in front of  St Paul’s United Church of Christ which is # 39.

We are permitted to hand out items, but we may not throw anything. Bring your signs.  Bring your enthusiasm.  Weather forecast is good.  We hope to once again  be able to have a good turnout of PFLAG marchers.  

If you have questions  here are 2 cell phone #s you can call:  
443-244-2477   or  410-599-4610. 

(Please note that the Parade begins at West Middle School, 60 Monroe Street and ends at East Middle School, 121 Longwell Avenue. Be mindful that it is a long walk back to West Middle – suggest you find a “buddy” to carpool with – with one parking at the beginning and another parking at the end!)

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The Eldersburg Library will be holding a FREE event on Sunday, August 7, 2016 at 2:00 PM with author Kim van Alkemade! Kim is the author of the historical fiction novel Orphan #8 (William Morrow August 4, 2015). Her creative nonfiction essays have appeared in literary journals including Alaska Quarterly Review, CutBank, and So To Speak. Book Orphan # 8She spent eight years researching and writing Orphan #8. Many of the characters and events in Orphan #8 were inspired by her family history. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Some of the themes within the book include Jewish Orphanages in the 1930s, medical ethics, and societal views of early 20th century women and lesbianism. Registration is free and open now at this link. See you there!
Carroll County Public Library
library.carr.org|By CCPL IT Dept
 
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Annual  Pot Luck BBQ — August 215:00 pm at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  Corner of Bond & Green Sts.,  Westminster, MD 21157

PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County’s August meeting will be our Annual Pot Luck Barbecue!  Everyone is invited!  The more the merrier!!  Rain or shine!
Judy - 2004We are asking our community to join us by bringing something that they would like to BBQ (hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, veggie burgers, etc.) and also bring a dish to share. PFLAG will be supplying paper products, ketchup, mustard and drinks.

The picnic will take place at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in the grassy area  outside next to the parking lot.  In case of Rain, we’ll bring our picnic inside.
There will be a grill to cook on. We want everyone to come out and grill their favorites with us and celebrate the end of summer.

We hope  that everyone will also consider bringing  a school supply that we will donate in the name of PFLAG to Shepherd Staff, a non-profit that helps low income families in Carroll County.

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Pride Festival 2016

Sunday, July 24, 2016 —  10 AM to 6 PM

Druid Hill Park in northwest Baltimore
Rain or Shine

Festival

To view a map of the 2016 Pride Festival, please click here:  Festival Map

PFLAG’s assigned space  is ‘D54’

We hope you’ll stop by at our PFLAG TABLE to say “Hello”!)

The Pride festival is held in beautiful Druid Hill Park. This year’s Baltimore Pride Festival features many regional and local performers, vendors, the Lady Lisa Memorial Drag Stage, a Family Zone, and plenty of fun for the whole community to enjoy. An estimated 5,000 celebrants come out on Sunday for the fun and festivities.

Click here for directions & Parking information :  Getting to Pride

Note that Baltimore City runs a paid parking area next to where the Pride Festival occurs.
Plus on street parking can usually be found without problems.

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Parade

PFLAG chapters from all around the area will be walking together in the  annual
Baltimore Pride Parade.

We’ve been instructed to try to be lined up and ready to go by 1:30 p.m.  Parade kicks off at 2:00 p.m.
PFLAG line-up position is #4 in Group B.
Look for the PFLAG contingent on the west side of Charles Street near the corner of W.Madison St..  This is near a grassy area on the north side of the Washington Monument.
PFLAG marches behind ‘Baltimore Youth Pride’ and in front of ‘Delegate Mary Washington’.
Click here to see a map of lineup area.

   Bring Signs if you like!  Wear your message shirt, if you like!
Don’t forget to bring water & sunscreen.

The route is certainly not arduous .. just a few blocks long.  The Parade kicks off at the corners of Madison and Cathedral streets in Mount Vernon, and travels north on Charles to Chase Street.

Following the parade, from 4:00 – 10 p.m.,  fun will be had by thousands at the 2016 Baltimore Pride Block Party on Eager Street. The streets of Mount Vernon will be transformed into a “nightclub without walls”!

Block Party

NEW THIS YEAR:  A special Youth Pride will take place on Read Street!!
(Just one block south of  adult Block Party)

Here’s a Map of the area where parade and Block Parties will take place:

http://baltimorepride.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/2016PrideFootprints.jpg

 

 

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Westminster 2011 Fallfest 5

A REMINDER THAT PFLAG WESTMINSTER-CARROLL COUNTY WILL NOT MEET IN JULY

AS WE WILL BE PRESENT AT BALTIMORE PRIDE PARADE AND  FESTIVAL  ON WEEKEND OF JULY 23 & 24TH

We hope you’ll join us on Saturday July 23rd  as we March in the Parade.
And please stop by to visit our booth at the Pride Festival in Druid Hill Park on Sunday July 24th

.
WE’LL POST MORE DETAILS ABOUT BOTH THE PARADE AND FESTIVAL HERE AND ON FACEBOOK DURING THE COMING WEEK AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE!

DETAILS OF OUR ANNUAL AUGUST PICNIC WILL BE SENT OUT NEXT MONTH.

HAPPY SUMMER / HAPPY PRIDE!

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Thank you Lori and Bob Hollander for beautifully expressing of what many of us who are parents are feeling at this time.

Hollander Family

Think you know what it’s like to be the parent of an LGBTQ kid? Think again.

I finally cried this morning. My friend Cathy reached out to ask how my husband, Bob, and I were doing after the horrific Orlando shooting. None of my other friends called.

I know they care. They just don’t understand what it’s like to be the parent of a gay child … and we have two gay kids.

Saturday we marched in the DC Pride Parade — proud parents of 2 gay kids. Marching with PFLAG has become a ritual for us. We march to send a message of love, to our son and daughter. To parents who love their kids but might be too shy to shout it out. To parents still struggling to accept their children and especially to the LGBTQ community of young people.

We want them to know they are loved, even if their parents or religion reject them.

We awoke Sunday to the tragic and devastating news that there had been 49 children killed and 53 injured during a terror attack in an Orlando gay nightclub.

We were horrified thinking about what the kids experienced inside the club, and traumatized by hearing the parents on the news, uncertain about the fate of their children.

What affected me most was the mom who received texts from her son, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, trapped inside the club.

ABC News

He then went silent. He was among the 49 who didn’t make it.

I can hardly stand to read this again.

That could be my son. That IS my son. That’s what parents of straight kids don’t get.

Here’s what I want parents of straight kids (and others) to understand: Our gay kids are innocent. They were born this way. They did nothing to deserve being disliked, hated or bullied — yet so often they are. No matter how high their self-esteem, they often feel hurt.

As parents, it KILLS us that we can’t protect them from the world.

Our own kids first came out before the Supreme Court upheld Marriage Equality. Like lightening, it hit me that they wouldn’t be able to get married. I felt outraged.

What do you mean I can’t dance at my children’s wedding? Being gay doesn’t mean you don’t fall in love and want to marry.

The message our kids heard from those against Marriage Equality:

You are different from your peers because of who you are. You are not good enough. You are a second-class citizen. You are unlikable. Photographers and bakers are sickened by the fact that you are who you are. You’re disgusting, a demon trying to ruin our traditional society and destroy families.

We fought hard for two years alongside Equality Maryland to attain the right for our kids to marry. We and our kids even testified before the Maryland legislature.

Many people who testified against the bill actually described gay people as “pedophiles, child abusers, lower than animals, and sexual predators.”

I was outraged. Those are my children you are talking about! And they are sitting right here. I still shake with rage when I think about it.

Last time I looked, the predators were a GOP House Speaker, a Penn State Football Coach and some Catholic priests.

Our son, more than our daughter, has been ridiculed, called derogatory names, had a friend who was severely beaten … for just being gay. The threat of violence, for just being who he is, is often on his mind.

Our kids can’t show any expression of love or affection to a partner in public, without fear of being ridiculed or worse yet violently attacked.

My kids can’t walk down the street with a partner holding hands on a date. Or give a hug or a kiss. Their public display of affection might make someone uncomfortable. They have to hide their affection. I’m furious!

Our son explained to us that one of the few safe spaces for their community is a gay club. It’s a place where they can fully be themselves. They can dance, they can touch, they can express affection without any judgment, without any fear, without feeling something is wrong with them.

Now even THAT has been violated.

Every time they meet someone new, our kids fear being judged. When a new co-worker, boss or doctor asks if they’re dating anyone, they have to lie or come out all over again. The fear of judgment and rejection is chronic.

Our children can be fired from a job or denied housing because they are gay. Sexual orientation and gender identity has not been added as a protected class, as are race, religion, color, sex, and national origin.

We can’t protect them from this. And my government won’t. What country do I live in?!

When we march at Pride, you can’t imagine how many young people approach us and say, “Thank you for loving your kids.” I don’t even know how to respond to this.

Thank you for loving your kids? I tell them they are our kids, and we love them!

When others talk about gay people, they are talking about our children.

It’s been quite a journey, one I wouldn’t change for anything in the world. Our two gay kids have brought more depth, meaning, love, understanding, compassion, warmth, joy and richness to our lives than I ever could have imagined.

Here’s what you can do:

  • Share this article with everyone you know. Post it on Facebook and social media.
  • Contact PFLAG or Straight for Equality and ask how to help.
  • Learn more about the LGBTQ community.
  • Speak up when you hear offensive jokes, language or comments.
  • March with us and PFLAG in a Pride Parade as an ally. 
  • Contact your Local and State representatives to: 
    • Support legislation that adds sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class. 
    • Speak up against legislation that discriminates against the LGBTQ community.

Thank you for your support.

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