We’re entering the final days of Pride Month! We’ve enjoyed spotlighting important campus organizations and scholarships dedicated to making schools/campuses a safer and more inclusive environment for people in the LGBTQ+ community. Today’s spotlight goes to the organization PFLAG.
Founded in 1973 by a mother publicly supporting her gay son at a Pride parade, PFLAG is the nation’s first and largest LGBTQ+ organization comprised of family members and allies. After being begged by several participants of the parade to speak to their parents in hopes of understanding, Jeanne Manford knew she needed to create a support group, quickly. PFLAG’s vision is for there to be a world where “diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed…” Their mission is “to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ+ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people.”
In addition to the work and advocacy they provide for the LGBTQ+ community, PFLAG runs a program for schools -- Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All which is aimed at directly addressing the 9 out of 10 LGBTQ+ students who experience some form of mistreatment in school. In their words, for LGBTQ+ students, “...education can be a frightening experience. It’s incumbent upon parents, families, friends, and allies to make schools safer for ALL students. PFLAG chapters work directly with schools and stakeholders in their communities, providing support, resources, training, creative programs, and even model policy to create an environment of respect. Our umbrella program to support their efforts, work with our national partners and raise visibility of the issues facing LGBTQ youth in learning environments is our Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All program, with its supporting publication. Our advocacy work at the federal, state and local levels are an integral part as well. All of this work is designed to reinforce and support the work done by our local chapters to ensure that we all create and support learning environments that help all students find educational success. PFLAGers have spent decades on the front lines, fighting innumerable instances of bullying, harassment, and discrimination in our nation’s schools and communities.”
PFLAG has successfully created the largest safe haven for LGBTQ+ people with over 400 chapters and 200,000+ members and supporters nationwide. If you’re interested in joining this inclusive community, please check out their website to find a chapter near you.
Happy Pride Month to all of our Senior Class LGBTQ+ students and grads!