Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Why I Am a PFLAG Ally


Some of you may know that I’m a member of my local PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and do what I can to support equality. I currently have a book at Amazon, The Telling, that all proceeds support the local chapter. Recently I’ve had to honor to serve on the council.
I don’t attend to gain support or learn how to talk to my gay family member. I’m there to lend my strength to those who may need it. I’m referred to as an ally.
The other night during a meeting the question arose as to why I’m an ally when I don’t have gay children or close family members, and to be honest, I was a bit shocked and couldn’t think of an answer on short notice that encompasses all my reasons. So here I’ll attempt to put my feelings into words.
I am a mother who loves her kids dearly. I will not disclose their orientation, for that is not my story to tell. However, I fully realize that my kids could be gay, straight, bi, asexual, or any other color of the rainbow. Would that change how I feel about them in any way? No. But my maternal instinct doesn’t extend to my kids only. If a child cries in the store, some people will get annoyed, some will try to tune out, and others will seek the source to ensure the child is okay. Guess which group I’m in?
I’ve comforted other people’s scared kids on airplanes, amused them, even held them to give Mom a break. I've fed other folk's young ones, and made sure they had warm coats. In short, I am a mother. And kids who are facing coming out as gay are mine to worry about too. If my son or daughter identify as GLBT, I want anyone who comes in contact with them to be caring and understanding. I’ll lead by example.
I am blessed with many friends. Some identify as straight, some as gay, and some do not disclose their orientation and know that’s not important to me. They are…my friends. I don’t like labels applied to me, and imagine others don’t either.

I believe in a higher power, equality, caring for your fellow human, and that we’re all interconnected. If one of us falls, the rest should stop and lift up the fallen. Hurt one, hurt all. And most importantly, I believe in love. Love is love.
So if I must give a short answer of why I’m an ally, attend meetings and Pride parades and offer my time and support, it can all be summed up thusly:

It’s the right thing to do, and my heart would allow no less. 

12 comments:

  1. Eden,
    You are one of the most amazing people I know. You have quietly (and at times not so quietly) shaped your world with love and acceptance.
    You are an inspiration to all who know you and I'm grateful to call you my friend. Your goodness shines through in everything you say and do.
    Your tattoo says: Be The Change You Want To See In The World... well my friend you succeeded you are that change.
    I adore you... sister of my heart.
    Hugs, Z.

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  2. and that's why I love you so very much, dear friend

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    1. Hi, Lynn! Thanks for dropping by. I've been meaning to say this for a while, and encourage others to join their local chapters.

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  4. oh, Eden, your post almost moved me to tears. I'm honored to be your friend, really.

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  5. Thank you. I am the mother of one of those children and because I can't always be with my son, my husband and I live several hundred miles away. I rely on the hope that there are people like you near so that should he need help and I can't get to him time there will be good hearts there for him until I can. When I see things like this it helps because I feel like it's a reminder that my faith is not misplaced.

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    1. My son is in the military, and the first year he'd ever been away from home he was faced with spending Christmas alone, on base. A local family took him in. Although he wasn't with his own family, he wasn't alone. There are good hearts out there, and I'll treat anyone else's child like I'd want them to treat mine. Yes, there's good people out there. I try to be one of them.

      If he doesn't already, tell your son to introduce himself the local PFLAG group if he has one. They can be that "family away from home." And they have valuable information about local events and happenings. I love my group.

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    2. I remember my nephew bringing this lovely young lady to Christmas dinner at my house one year because she wasn't able to make it home for Christmas and he didn't want her to spend the holidays alone. Turned out that she was going to spend a lot of Christmas's with our family. They've been married for a number of years now and have two beautiful children. They truly were just friends and he was performing a simple act of kindness towards a friend at the time.

      My son's partner actually lived with us for a number of years and now it's her and her mom as well as some family and friends who live close by giving my kid love and support. I don't regret one moment of letting T live with us. We came to realize that she really was meant to be part of our family, she was the missing piece to our puzzle. I truly believe that you get back in this world what you give to it.

      PFLAG has been invaluable to my son. He and his partner sought them out before my husband and I even knew we would be moving out of the area. It's such an excellent support group not just for the LGBTQ community but for anyone who wants to truly understand and be supportive. It's just really hard for me because this is my first year ever that I won't be able to be with my kids at Christmas time, so thanks for letting me ramble on, it helps.

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    3. Hugs to you. It's hard not seeing your kids, particularly at the holidays. But it does my heart good to see them and know they're happy and living their own lives. I'm so proud of them. They grew up believing "It's the person, not color, gender, religion or anything else. It's who they are that's important." I was so proud when they told me that.

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