PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ALLIED WITH THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY
Westwood's Guest Speaker Series:
Español So Cal
December 19, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Shedding light on Transgender Youth
– Jonathan Skumik
Media coverage of controversial subjects has become increasingly pro and anti. The subject of transgender children gets particularly polarized coverage. Talking heads from the left and right scream at each other. There is a lot of noise, but little illumination.
Jonathan Skurnik is a much needed antidote to the sensationalizing of transgender youth. His Youth and Gender Media Project portrays ordinary people living everyday lives. Some of them just happen to be transgender.
His quiet, nuanced approach allows family, friends, teachers, principals, students, and even therapists to concentrate on the needs of transgender children and not the hype.
Making his second appearance at PFLAG Los Angeles, where he screened his short film "I'm Just Annika," Jonathan brings us an update on his work. He will be screening two short films one about a transgender teen called "Becoming Johanna," and another on safe schools.
As a filmmaker, Skurnik likes to tell the stories of people who are marginalized: a Native American forced into boarding school as a child, a Russian immigrant elevator operator, a stutterer, and most often gender non-conforming children.
Come and meet this documentarian who is changing the world one film at a time.
December 12th - 7:00pm
Sundance Sunset Cinema
8000 Sunset Blvd. West Hollywood, CA, 90046
Post Q&A Discussion with Director Travis Fine to follow.
Music Box Films Invites PFLAG to an advance preview screening!
Winner of 10 Audience Awards at film festivals around the country and starring the amazing Alan Cumming, ANY DAY NOW is a powerful tale of love, acceptance and family. When a teenager with Down syndrome (Isaac Leyva) is abandoned by his mother, a gay couple (Alan Cumming and Garret Dillahunt) takes him in and becomes the loving family he's never had. But when their unconventional living arrangement is discovered by authorities, the men are forced to fight a biased legal system to save the life of the child they have come to love as their own. Inspired by a true story from the late 1970s, ANY DAY NOW touches on legal and social issues that are as relevant today as they were 35 years ago.
Starring: Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt, Isaac Leyva, Frances Fisher
December 19, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Homelessness and LGBTQ Youth: Challenges and Solutions
– Dr. Brian Coughlin October 17, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Dr. Brian Coughlin, Director of Clinical Services at Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN), talks about this issue and how you can help.
In Los Angeles, there are about 9,500 youth under the age of 24 who will experience homelessness at some time during any given year. Many homeless youth self-identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and/or Questioning (LGBTQ). LGBTQ youth generally show higher rates of depression, suicide, and substance abuse as well as partner violence, engagement in survival sex, victimization by hate crime, and difficulty accessing appropriate healthcare.
The Los Angeles Youth Network (LAYN) is one of only two organizations providing emergency shelter for youth 12-17. LAYN provides long-term housing through its group home and transitional living program for youth 12-22. LAYN also provides case management, job development, life skills instruction, psychotherapy, educational support, mentoring, and tutoring.
LAYN tries to reunite families and runaway youth through its Family Reunification Program and offers extended support to those who have completed a Transitional Living Program by maintaining a relationship with these youth through an Aftercare Follow-Up Program. All these services contribute to the fulfillment of LAYN's mission to empower youth to become self-sufficient.
Dr. Brian Coughlin is a clinical psychologist who works as the Director of Clinical Services at LAYN, which is dedicated to offering these services to all LGBTQ youth. He is involved with training LAYN staff on how to best address their needs with both respect and sensitivity. Besides reconnecting youth with their family, parent or guardian, LAYN also supports caregivers by offering family counseling and education in-home for families whose children have recently “come out of the closet.” The goal is to help keep families together and enrich their capacity to provide a supportive environment.
Coughlin has been working with the homeless for over a decade and has extensive experience working with people dealing with severe mental illness and substance abuse.
Please join us on Wednesday, October 17, to hear about the challenges facing homeless LGBT youth and what you can do to help!
Visit their website: www.layn.org
October 13, 2012 / 8:30 a.m.
Models of Pride (MOP) is a free one-day conference that focuses on the concerns and interests of Lesbian Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth up to age 24, and their allies. Words like camaraderie, safety and a strong sense of belonging have been used by hundreds of youth to describe this annual conference.
Models of Pride is filled with workshops, a resource fair, exciting entertainment, food, a dance, and lots of new friends. The conference is divided into tracks, providing something for everyone including a Parent Track where parents and guardians can access information and resources, ask questions in a safe and supportive environment. Workshops are offered in English and Spanish.
For more information visit the Models of Pride web site at www.ModelsOfPride.org
September 19, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
HeartStrong Presents the New Youth Empowerment Project
– Marc Adams Returns to PFLAG Los Angeles
HeartStrong, Inc., is pleased to announce the launch of its Youth Empowerment Project. The Youth Empowerment Project provides educator's guides to every public, private and religious school counselor in the United States.
HeartStrong is a nonprofit social justice organization which provides support and advocacy services to GLBT students in religious schools worldwide. With a written request, HeartStrong will provide a kit of information to school counselors nationwide to help GLBT students on their campuses.
The project’s educator/counselor digikit will include an educator/counselor's guide, a copy of the modern coming out guide, “It’s Not About You: Understanding Coming Out & Self-Acceptance” and access to other valuable materials regarding issues surrounding gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth.
“I am so excited to be part of this project,” Marc Adams says. “With the unbelievable volume of bullying incidents in public, private and religious schools and the absurd number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth being pushed onto the streets, something has to change. I believe the Youth Empowerment Project is a tremendous opportunity to address this crisis.”
“We are making it so easy for every school counselor and educator to receive this information at no cost to them,” Adams continues. “In these times, it is much easier to distribute information and we are acting on that ease. I am thrilled that my book will be viewed by so many people who need to read it.”
Students are also able to receive/request free outreach materials for peer-to-peer outreach projects.
Come to the September 19th meeting of PFLAG Los Angeles to find out how we can help these young people in our own community and throughout the country.
Visit HeartStrong at: www.heartstrong.org
August 15, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Get Ready to Vote
– Bob Mason of HRC (the Human Rights Campaign) talks about LGBT issues on the ballot
Equal rights for the LGBT community starts at the ballot box. The candidates we elect will make a huge difference in advancing or restricting the rights of LGBT persons. Legislators from city councilmen to members of Congress, executives from mayors and governors to President, and officers of the court from district attorneys to judges have the power to improve or worsen the quality of life for our families.
And then there are the propositions. None of us can forget the bruising fight over Proposition 8. We're still living with the consequences of this narrow loss.
It's vitally important that we understand the issues before us in the November election and the positions of a variety of candidates on LGBT rights.
Bob Mason is the perfect man to help us sort things out. He was Co-Chair of the HRC Los Angeles Political Committee for six years. During his tenure, the committee earned national awards for five years. Bob himself won the Volunteer of the Year award two times in a row. Currently, he serves as a member of the National Board of Governors of HRC and as political liaison to the HRC Los Angeles Political Committee.
Mason earned a PH.D. in political science from Ohio State University in 1981. He taught at the university level before joining PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has worked on political campaigns since 2002 and became a volunteer for HRC in 2003. His understanding of LGBT issues in the complex world of politics is unparalleled.
Join us on Wednesday, August 15 to get a preview of important races in the 2012 election.
July 18, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
– Speaker, Writer, and Blogger to LGBT teens. Lee Wind talks about the FAIR Education act and why it's more important than you think.
Lee Wind knows the past but speaks to the future. He is the award winning blogger of "I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell do I Read!" The blog is for teens (queer or not), for librarians, for teachers, for booksellers, for people with teens in their lives and for anyone interested in young adult books with GLBTQ characters and themes.
As a person well versed in LGBT history, education, and teenagers, Lee is passionate about the FAIR Education Act and its potential for breaking down barriers and stereotypes.
From looking at who writes history, to focusing on same-gender love, he'll talk about how some surprising people in history were men who loved other men, women who loved other women, and individuals who defied the boundaries of conventional gender.
Lee holds a master's degree in Education and Media from Harvard, and his blog is one of only four sites linked from the American Library Association's Rain bow Project. It gets over 200,000 pages downloaded annually.
Come to learn why there's so much fuss about the FAIR Education Act,
and bring the kids: they'll have a blast.
June 20, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Voices From The Pews – Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish Chapter
- Members Speak About Their Personal Experiences of Religion
We’ve had a lot of speakers on religious issues over the years—ministers, priests, and rabbis. This time, we’re doing something different. Instead of the experts and authorities, we’re letting the people in the pews talk about what it’s like to sit in a sometimes hostile congregation. Stuart Huggins, Karen Mason, and Mariette Sawchuk will talk about their personal struggles to reconcile their own experiences of being or loving an LGBT person with the teaching and expectations of their faith community.
In a very interactive way, they’ll talk about what hurt and what helped, and discuss the pressures to stay in their faith communities and the forces that push them to go elsewhere. They’ll talk about religion as institution and religion as a spiritual orientation to life.
Religious institutions are gearing up to influence the next presidential, state, and local elections. They are preparing propositions and constitutional amendments that will embed their doctrines into civil law. Now more than ever the voices of people in the pews matter.
Come join us with your own experiences, questions, and feelings for a lively discussion.
June 8-12, 2012
LA PRIDE 2012
March with us on Sunday, June 10 and join the Care with Pride Campaign promoting respect and safe schools for all students
We invite you and your family and friends to participate in a one-of-a-kind experience you’ll never forget!
March with us on Sunday, June 10, 2012 in the annual LA PRIDE Parade in West Hollywood celebrating LGBT Pride!
We need your presence more than ever to make the Care with Pride campaign a success. You can show how much we care about safe schools and earn money for PFLAG Los Angeles and the regional PFLAG Safe Schools initiative. Be a marcher, a sign carrier, or an action pack distributer. Just BE THERE!
So please spread the word and participate with PFLAG-Los Angeles and other chapters.
Wear a red T-shirt or red clothing (not a requirement)
Our contingent will gather at Crescent Heights somewhere NORTH of Santa Monica Blvd.
Check back a few days before PRIDE to see if this info has changed.
For more information you can ask an event organizer at this intersection.
Please try to arrive between 9:30 and 10 a.m.
to help us set up. Parade steps off sharply at 11 a.m.
WARNING!!! Parade organizers have stated that they will strictly enforce this rule this year. Marchers are not allowed to throw any item into the crowd OR engage in any activity that causes or promotes spectators to enter the parade route (such as giving or receiving hugs ... sorry folks). Doing so will cause the entire contingent to immediately be removed during the parade!
Helpful Parade Day Tips
Eat a good breakfast that morning.
Bring water, sunscreen, a hat and snacks.
Parking and traffic congestion on Parade day in West Hollywood is impossible at best; any vehicles parked illegally WILL be ticketed and towed away. Consider carpooling. Suggested parking areas include East of Fairfax, Pacific Design Center, the Kings Road parking structure, and the Beverly Center.
Parking permits in West Hollywood are waived from 7:00 a.m. Sat., June 9 to 7:00 a.m. Mon., June 11.
Let us know if you plan on marching with us via E-mail or Facebook
What is the campaign?
A unique partnership with the Johnson & Johnson and Walgreens family of companies raising awareness to make schools safer and to raise funds for PFLAG's "Cultivating Respect Safe Schools for All" work in chapters throughout the country.
How does it work?
Chapters will deliver Safe Schools Action Packs at Pride celebrations throughout the country. The packs contain PFLAG's Top 10 Ways to Help Make Schools Safer for a All Students as well as $65 in coupon savings on Johnson & Johnson products. Care with Pride ads will appear in Family Circle and Ladies Home Journal reaching 6.7 million homes; 500 Walgreens stores will haveCare with Pride displays.
How will PFLAG benefit?
For every coupon redeemed, $1 will be donated to PFLAG with a minimum donation of $200,000, most of which will go to local chapters.
How can you be a part of this campaign?
• March with us at the Pride Parade on June 10th (see details on left).
• Hand out Safe Schools Action Packs on the parade route–we have 16,000 to distribute!
• Work at our booth during the Pride Festival talking to people about PFLAG and Safe Schools.
Sign up on Doodle, some time slots still needed - and we can always could use backups!
• Go to the campaign website, download the coupons and redeem them at any Walgreens.
• Pass the word about the Parade, Festival and our website on to your family and friends.
Download a Pride Map
Our Pride Photos!
May 16, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
What has the CA Legislature done for the LGBT Community?
– Assembly Member Betsy Butler speaks to PFLAG Los Angeles
Assembly member Betsy Butler has a history of working to make safe, healthy communities for all families. Representing the 53rd Assembly District located primarily in the South Bay, she has made protecting seniors, veterans, public education, and the environment top priorities. She serves on the Assembly Budget Committee, the Committee on Education and chairs the Select Committee on Aerospace to name only a few of her assignments. She is also a member of the California Commission for Economic Development.
Formerly a board member of Equality California, Butler is concerned with issues affecting the LGBT community. She is a strong support of marriage rights for LGBT couples, as this statement in response to the 9th Circuit Court's decision demonstrates.
“Today the 9th Circuit made the correct decision in ruling Proposition 8 unconstitutional. I have long believed that marriage is about love, not gender. So it brings me great joy that the court recognized to be true what many of us already know—that Proposition 8 served only to discriminate. It is my hope the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a similar fashion soon, so everyone who wants to marry can have the freedom to do so.”
In 2011, Butler was honored by the Long Beach Lambda Democratic Club for her services to the LGBT community.
She will speak to us about legislative issues affecting the LGBT community, including the impact of the 9th Circuit Court's decision to overturn Proposition 8 and the Fair Education Act.
Bring your questions about Safe Schools, rights of LGBT seniors, the future of marriage equality, and other LGBT causes to get answers from this dedicated and approachable legislator.
April 18, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Meet the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence
– Lighthearted, Satiric, and Controversial Crusaders for the LGBT Community
What is it like to meet a Sister of Perpetual Indulgence? Imagine a person wearing a wimple (nun’s headdress), in white face, dressed in a strapless cobalt blue taffeta gown. Oh and did I mention the beard? The Sisters are walking contradictions, often combining male and female elements, merging the sacred and the vulgar. They can be a shock. In fact, they are supposed to be a shock. They make us uncomfortable, they make us laugh,—and make us think.
Wearing their trade-mark veils and white face, the Sisters are members of a nonprofit charity organization that raise money for HIV/AIDS, LGBT-related causes and main stream community service organizations such as breast cancer research. They also promote safer sex and educate audiences about the harmful effects of drug abuse and other risky behaviors.
The Los Angeles chapter, founded by four members in 1995, has grown to a group of over 35 members several of whom will be joining us for our April meeting led by Sister Hava Nagila. They explain their outrageous costumes as a way of making the world safer for LGBT individuals: “If there's room for us to look like we do, then there's room for you to be who and what you are without shame.”
Their controversial “habits,” risqué names (Sister MissChevious, Sister Atilla Dnun), and protest against homophobic bigotry on the part of conservative religious groups have earned them harsh criticism, particularly for parodying elements of the Catholic Church.
But the Sisters themselves see their mission as essentially spiritual, as one member put it: “The lightness of everything, in addition to the white face and the nuns’ habits, are a mechanism to reach out to people. When we’re dressed up like that, kind of like sacred clowns, it allows people to interact with us.” Far from belittling women in religious orders, they believe their dedication to community service “honors and emulates the unstinting devotion” of actual nuns who work within their neighborhoods.
The mission statement of the founding San Francisco order has a distinctly religious flavor: “Since our first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday, 1979, the Sisters have devoted ourselves to community service, ministry and outreach to those on the edges, and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity and spiritual enlightenment. We believe all people have a right to express their unique joy and beauty and we use humor and irreverent wit to expose the forces of bigotry, complacency and guilt that chain the human spirit.”
Are they holy fools? Or, as detractors have called them, heretics?
Come to our April meeting. You may be converted.
Visit their website: www.lasisters.org
March 21, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
What California Law Says About Your Transgender Child
– Legal Expert Asaf Orr discusses your family’s rights
Can the principal search your child’s locker? Can he suspend a boy for wearing lipstick to class? Can a school employee call your child a fag? What are your child’s rights in these situations and how will you get the school administration to listen?
That’s what legal expert Asaf Orr will be discussing. Orr is an experienced advocate for LGBT rights, especially for the rights of transgender children.
Prior to starting his solo practice, Asaf directed the Rainbow Rights Project, a legal services program providing representation to youth denied an education on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or that of their parents, whether actual or perceived.
In his private practice, he specializes in helping families with issues of discrimination, school discipline, constitutional rights, and name and gender changes. He is also active in California and throughout the country, training educators, lawyers, service providers, parents and students on the rights of LGBT students in school.
His book, Law, Policy, and Ethics: What School Professionals Need to Know in Creating School Environments to Support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Students and Families: A Handbook for School Professionals, will be published later this year.
As part of his community service, he is a member of the board of directors of TransYouth Family Allies.
Parents of transgender children often feel like David facing the well-entrenched Goliaths of school administration and school boards Asaf Orr will help all of us learn how to stand with them and support them as they work to secure a safe education for their children.
February 15, 2012 / SPECIAL START TIME 7:00 p.m.
On These Shoulders We Stand
– A Film about the LGBT community in Los Angeles from the
1950s to the 1980s With Producer/Director Glenne McElhinney
Not everything began at Stonewall. For a long time—certainly from the 1940s onward--Los Angeles has had a large, vibrant gay community. It has also had laws, policies and institutions such as the police force, the criminal justice system and the courts intent on keeping that community invisible.
On These Shoulders We Stand tells the story of our history through the voices of eleven elders of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community in Los Angeles. The film brings to light Los Angeles' hidden gay history by interweaving first person accounts with narration and unprecedented access to seldom-seen archival materials.
People like the Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, and Maria Dolores Diaz tell their stories: from their early years, to their coming out, to their groundbreaking activism for the rights of all LGBT people. Contrary to popular belief that the struggle for gay rights was confined to New York City and San Francisco, the film profiles several Los Angeles activists who helped change the course of both California and LGBT history. Viewers will learn how Los Angeles' gay community has had a national impact on issues as diverse as the first amendment, the entertainment industry and the civil rights movement. On These Shoulders We Stand brings the marginalized and under reported history of Los Angeles' LGBT community to a new generation of American audiences.
Filmmaker Glenne McElhinney was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she grew up with a great sense of pride in the diversity of California and in the Golden State’s history. After viewing the documentary Paragraph 175, she was inspired to leave her automotive career and launch a statewide history project called Impact Stories.
Her first film is the Los Angeles history documentary On These Shoulders We Stand. Produced and directed by Glenne, with a predominately volunteer crew, it premiered at Outfest 2009, where it received the Special Programming Award for Freedom. In 2010 the film was awarded Best Documentary from the Long Beach Q Film Festival. In 2011 Glenne received the Pat Parker Arts Award from LA PRIDE. She has worked tirelessly to reach out to younger and older Californians, to interest them in their own state’s history and to do scholarly research and documentation in an area where very little is being done to preserve California’s culture and history.
Come see this important film and find out how deep our roots go in the Los Angeles community, and how hard our predecessors have fought for the rights we are now beginning to enjoy.
Visit the website: www.impactstories.org/film.htm
January 18, 2012 / 7:30 p.m.
Holding Families Together
– A Film About the Power of Parental Support
Parents of teens often feel that they can’t get anything right. Our clothes, music, jobs, rules are totally uncool. Our appearance at school can be a major embarrassment. Navigating these years is hard. When sons or daughters come out as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, it can be even harder. Surprise, strong emotions, cultural disapproval and confusion can make it hard to respond.
The documentary Holding Families Together makes a strong case that maintaining positive ties with your child benefits everyone. For the young person, parental support is critical. LGBT children who suffer parental rejection (sometimes to the point of banishment) are more likely to become homeless, engage in survival sex, drop out of school, and abuse drugs.
The film tells the story of three families: a teen who was forced by his mother to leave home, a family who is working through difficult religious issues with the help of PFLAG San Diego, and a family struggling to cope with a female to male transgender son. Experts in the fields of education and counseling provide insightful commentary
Telling their stories in their own words, these LGBT youth and their Moms and Dads give moving testimony about the costs and rewards of holding families together.
Join us and start the New Year with fresh enthusiasm for family life.