Carroll County Times, January 2, 2014
The Carroll County Chapter of PFLAG — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays — sent Anne Stoner as its representative to the National PFLAG Convention held Oct. 24-27 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The keynote speaker was U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty, D-CT 5th District, a longtime advocate for equality. Her mother, Mitzi Henderson, previously served as president of National PFLAG.
There were workshops, speakers and a screening of the film “Bridegroom.” The documentary, directed by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason, tells the emotional journey of two young men in a loving and committed relationship — one that was cut tragically short by a misstep off the side of a roof. The story follows what happened after this accidental death, and how people without the legal protections of marriage can find themselves shut out and ostracized.
After the screening, there was a Q&A with Shane Bitney Crone, inspiration for this movie.
PFLAG’s work started with one mother in New York City, Jeanne Manford, raising a homemade sign and her lone voice in public support of her gay son. That simple gesture led to the founding of PFLAG in 1972 , which eventually became the nation’s largest organization for families and allies of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The work continues as more parents, family members and friends unite with lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people across the country to support civil rights and equality and fight discrimination and hatred. PFLAG is committed to advancing equality and societal acceptance of LGBT people through its threefold mission of support, education and advocacy.
PFLAG is a national nonprofit with more than 350 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters.
To learn about the local chapter of PFLAG, visit www.pflagwcc.org/. Regular meetings take place on the third Sunday of each month at 5 p.m. at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, Bond and Green streets, Westminster. The meetings are open to all, and confidentiality is observed.
For more about the convention, visit http://community.pflag.org/convention#sthash.S5SbWCBq.dpuf.