Wednesday, December 20, 2017 – 7:30 pm
A Holiday Gift – Extra Support
A beautiful family beams at each other across the food-filled table. The children's eyes are bright with excitement; the grandparents eyes twinkle with warm. Dad smiles proudly as Mom brings in the turkey.
Really? For many of us, the holidays do not bring family harmony. Our lesbian daughter wants to bring her partner to the holiday party. Our trans son is sporting his new buzz cut. An aunt in the family is prone to evangelizing. Help!
It's a December tradition at PFLAG Los Angeles to devote the entire meeting to support. Whether you have a specific holiday problem or just want a safe place to hang out for a little while, we'll be hear to listen and support.
SAVE THE DATE IN 2018!
Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 – 7:30 pm
An Opportunity: Tell Your Story
and Change the World
– Asher Lewis offers families chance
to make a difference
The Project: Mr. Lewis is currently producing a new documentary CLOSET DOORS which explores the other half of the coming out conversation—the one that LGBTQIA+ persons rarely get to hear fully. What do parents think and feel when they are plunged into a new reality? Suddenly, they have to reshape their world view, plans, and relationships with their child—and with other members of their families and friends. Having a child come out changes a mom or dad as a person, a parent, a spouse, a church member, and a citizen.
Through a series of interviews, this documentary fixes its lens on the mothers, fathers, grandparents, and guardians of LGBTQIA+ individuals who have come out of the closet. The film looks into the relationships that are healthy and healed, as well as those in which the coming out process has created fractures. It follows straight family members as they deal with their own coming out process.
The film also looks at the historical dimensions of coming out—from the devastating revelations during the height of the AIDS crisis to the more optimistic conversations in the new era of marriage equality. It also explores the reality that LGBTQ persons and their families share—coming out is a life-long process—a journey, not a destination.
Wanted: Lewis and his team are seeking to interview parents, grandparents, foster/step parents and guardians of LGBTQI+ people willing to share their experiences—good, bad, and everything in between. You will have a chance to tell your story on camera in a safe, non-judgmental environment and describe how your beliefs, relationships and views have changed on this journey.
Filmmaker: Asher Lewis, winner of two Telly Awards, and whose work received an Emmy nomination has worked across the range of entertainment media including films, television series, documentaries, and commercials. His documentaries have included candid conversation about acting with Dabney Colman, Peter Falk, Harry Dean Stanton, and Sidney Pollack to name a few of the luminaries he has worked with.
Recently, he has been working as Co-Producer and Editor on the groundbreaking documentary series
OUT OF THE BOX, a tour de force multi-part documentary series profiling the power of television to shape hearts and minds through the lens of the LGBT rights movement.
If you or anyone you know may be interested in telling their story
please send an e-mail NOW to:
Please include the following information:
Your name, age, and city where you live.
Are you the parent, grandparent,
foster/step parent or guardian?
A brief description of your story.
Have you yourself "come out"?
How would your child feel about you
sharing your/their story?
Your primary contact information
(phone & email address)
(be sure to scroll down)
Guest Speakers or Events:
Wednesday, November 15, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Messages from the Playground
— Life Coach Chris Tompkins talks about uncovering internalized messages to recover joy
"That's so gay." How many young people have heard that on playgrounds and cringed inside? How many have felt shame, humiliation, and a deep sense they are "wrong"?
Too many. Chris Tompkins has developed an effective tool that helps families deconstruct and eliminate these messages before they take root in the subconscious mind. His simple, but profound guides enable parents to prevent children from internalizing negative words, and to uncover labels that have already taken root.
In seven steps, children can learn to recognize these negative messages and release them. The process provides a safe space where parents can affirm their children for who they are and where deep communication can take place.
The guide is also helpful for adults, especially LGBTQ adults, who want to explore the damaging beliefs, communicated by society in a myriad of ways, that prevent them from living a rich, full, compassionate life.
Chris Tompkins, a passionate advocate for LGBTQ equality, has lived the steps for himself. A closeted gay man for his first 25 years, he has worked or volunteered for many of the major LGBTQ organizations–OUTFEST, Equality CA, the Trevor Project, Lifeworks, and the LA LGBT Center.
It was his mission to change the stereotypes people have of LGBTQ people. But over time, he learned that his fight to change everyone else's mind arose out of his own internal battle with himself. That started him on a journey he calls "the road trip to love."
Our November meeting will help you start a "road trip to love" in your own life and family.
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Camp Lightbulb–a Cure
for the Holiday Blues in Santa Monica
— Founder Puck Markham talks about
Winter Camp for LGBTQ Youth
It's almost that time again! Soon we will be hauling out Christmas decorations and polishing the Menorah. For teens, especially LGBTQ teens, the holidays can sometimes be less than merry. Loneliness, lack of opportunities for socializing, and gatherings with family members who don't know or don't support their identity can make the holidays difficult.
Puck Markham, founder of Camp Lightbulb, will show us an alternative: Winter Camp. Winter Camp takes place in Santa Monica, and offers activities such as guerilla film making, scavenger hunts, and film studio tours and a themed New Years Eve party.
Camp Lightbulb Winter Camp runs from Dec. 26, 2017 to January 2018, and registration are open now at www.camplightbulb.org/winter-camp. There are two groups of campers: those aged 14-17 and those who are 18-20.
The Camp Lightbulb programs are a labor of love for Puck Markham, who worked over two years putting designing the camp template and infrastructure. The first Camp Lighbulb opened in August 2012. Winter Camp launched in 2015, and 2018 will see the first session of Spring Break Camp.
Standards for the camps are rigorous. Counselors are members of the LGBTQ community, who are trained and have undergone criminal and sexual background checks. The camps comply with the regulations of the California Department of Health and the Massachusetts Department of Health. A board of directors and an active crew of volunteers supports Puck, Camp Lighbulbs manager.
Formerly with PaineWebber and Barclays Bank, Puck lived in Los Angeles and London, he has focused professionally on creating value-driven organizations such as Community Money, which teaches financial literacy to low income families and communities. He is thrilled to be managing the growth and development of Camp Lightbulb.
He describes his dedication this way: "Growing up can be tough. Growing up LGBTQ is that much tougher. I wanted to create a special place that is a stepping stone in life for the younger members of my community, as they figure out who they truly are, surrounded by peers, and role models and a supportive and embracing community."
Visit Camp Lightbulm's website at www.camplightbulb.org.
Have a great time while
supporting PFLAG Los Angeles!
Six Flags Magic Mountain’s annual
OUT ON THE MOUNTAIN
A private LGBTQ party for all ages. A night of fun, live performances, thrill rides, and multiple dance parties. (more info)
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Youth–LA LGBT Center
is the Place for You!
— Martel Okonji introduces the wide variety of programs available LGBTQ youth
For young LGBTQ persons, finding a place to fit in can be hard. Parents try to find resources, but it's a challenge. Some schools don't have GSAs. And even GSAs are not immune to cliques and mean kids. Let's not even mention evenings and weekends.
The LA LGBT Center might just have the answer for you. You may know about support groups and mentoring for youth at the Center. But did you know they have a martial arts dojo exclusively for LGBTQ Youth?
Additional groups cater to your other super powers. There's OutSet Film Class if you have the movie bug. Lifeworks Theater Program welcomes the drama set, and Pen Pushers writing workshops is the place for the wordsmiths.
Martel Okonji will share these and other opportunities with PFLAG Los Angeles. Active in community organizing for 11 years, he is currently the Youth Development Supervisor at the Center.
Highlights of his career include starting the first permanent Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center at Cal State Northridge. He has served as president in many clubs and organizations that held movements on campus for inclusivity and awareness, volunteered with Peer Health Exchange and College Summit, and was executive chair with the Queer People of Color Conference. He holds a bachelor's degree from Cal State Northridge in sociology and queer studies and a master's degree in education.
He is the founder and president of the non-profit organization "Go Leeds," and a new father!
Visit the Los Angeles LGBT Center's website at: www.lalgbtcenter.org
Wednesday, Aug 16, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Time to Talk
The PFLAG organization began with parents and LGBTQ people talking together about their experiences in a safe, supportive confidential group. Forty years later, support groups are still at the heart of what we do.
That's why, two or three times a year, we devote the whole meeting to support. The extra time allows us to go more deeply into situations, issues, and feelings that are challenging. This November's meeting is one of those sessions.
We hope you'll all come with your trials and your successes, your fears and your victories, your hopes and dreads. When it comes to issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, we're all works in progress, growing through tolerance to acceptance to celebration one step at a time.
Your story will enrich our groups and help all of us to grow.
Wednesday, July 19, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Teenline: Teens Helping Teens
for 37 Years
— Executive Director Michelle Carlson
Being a teen can be hard. In an unprecedented way, young people are pressured from all sides. Parents and teachers want them to perform well at school. College applications require multiple extracurricular involvement. Peers have shifting expectations. High school hierarchies and cliques provide ample opportunity for bullying and exclusion. Social media is everywhere and unrelenting. Even home is no longer a safe space.
Executive Director of Teenline, Michelle Carlson will introduce a safe, effective way for teens to talk about issues, ask questions, and get help from a trained, non-judgmental peer.
Since 1980, Los Angeles youth have had help in making sense of it all–Teenline. Begun by mental health professionals as a confidential hotline with a unique twist. When teens call, the person who answers is another teen.
How does this work? Research shows that teens often go to other teens to sort our problems and find answers. Elaine Leader, a clinical psychologist and Coordinator of Adolescent Group Therapy Psychotherapy Training at Cedars Sinai Hospital, found a safe and effective way to leverage this instinct. She began to train teenagers to staff a hotline with ongoing supervision by professional therapists.
The program has grown from a telephone hotline to include text-based and email conversations. The program fields nearly 16,000 calls, texts and emails a year, with over 38,000 teens participating in outreach events.
Recognizing that parents are a key part of the equation, Teenline offers a website for parents as well, helping them to understand and communicate better with their children.
Michelle Carlson has held various positions within the mental health sector over the last 17 years, including policy and advocacy, research and outreach. She has also served on the Board of Directors for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and since 2011, the Mental Health Association of Orange County.
Visit their website at: www.teenline.org
L.A. PRIDE 2017 June 10-11
Sunday, June 11, 2017 – 7:30 AM
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Public Service In
and Out of the Closet
— Retired Senator Roy Ashburn's
26-year career in government
At the age when some children are planning to be scientists or super heroes, Roy Ashburn was fascinated by politics. A precocious eight-year old, he talked his mother into taking him to see Richard Nixon at the San Louis Obispo train station during Nixon's whistle stop tour of the state in his quest to be governor. That experience started Ashburn on the path to becoming a state senator and a Republican.
Three years later he remembers a firestorm in the press, when a group of gay men–including his teacher–were arrested for indecent activity. The public humiliation and shame heaped on the accused was a searing experience for a boy just coming to awareness about his own sexual orientation. He knew he could never live openly.
As many LGBTQ people have done, he set out to live his life as a heterosexual, marrying his wife, raising four children, and forging a career in California state politics. Ashburn was a California State Senator and State Assemblyman from 1996 to 2010. He also was elected to the Kern County Board of Supervisors from 1985 to 1996. During his twenty-six years as an elected official, Ashburn was a leading advocate for tax reform and fiscal responsibility. He was deeply involved in human services issues and often joined in bipartisan efforts to change welfare laws, expand health services, reform the tax system and provide more public access to governmental services. He was the deciding “Aye” vote on the controversial 2009 budget deal and worked to establish a bipartisan, independent citizens redistricting commission.
Throughout his career, Ashburn balanced political success with the personal terror of having his secret discovered. The charade became increasingly difficult to maintain. In 2010 Ashburn came out during an interview on a Bakersfield radio station, making him the only openly gay Republican to serve in the California State Legislature.
Although term limits ended his tenure in the legislature, he has continued his career in public service. He now serves with the Office of Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang, and works with LGBTQ supportive groups.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 – 7:30 pm
— Jonathan Skurnik screens his latest
film on trans youth
There are a lot of challenges for a transgender teen in the best of circumstances. Johanna has had more than her share. When she began her transition, she was forced to leave both her home and her school. The story of her journey—and ultimate success—is told in this moving documentary by Johathan Skurnik.
Jonathan, an award winning documentarian, tells the stories of people and communities struggling to overcome oppression to reach their highest potentials. He deeply believes in the power of films to break down barriers and create understanding.
To facilitate this bridge building, Jonathan founded the Workfare Media Initiative, The Youth and Gender Media Project and The Cante Sica Foundation. These outreach and engagement projects provide transformational educational experiences through facilitated screenings and discussions and immersive digital resources on the web.
Becoming Johanna is one of four films in the Youth & Gender Media Project, which together can reach every member of a school community—students, teachers, parents and administrators—to help them create educational settings that welcome all young people, regardless of the where they fall on the spectrum of gender identity and expression.
Come and be inspired by Johanna's courage and Jonathan's commitment.
Visit his website at: www.youthandgendermediaproject.org
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Real life Inspires The Real O'Neals
— Creators David Windsor and
Casey Johnson talk about their
LGBTQ affirming sitcom
Families are messy–even the perfect ones. That's the premise underlying The Real O'Neals, a popular ABC comedy series created by David Windsor and Casey Johnson.
When sixteen-year-old Kenny comes out as gay to his faultless family, he blows the doors off of everyone's closet. The series explores the comic complications when each family members reveals their hidden secrets.
The series creators David Windsor and Casey Johnson draw on their own life experiences for the plots and quips of their episodes. David, whose father is gay, is keenly aware of the awkward realignments that take place when family members expose their deepest selves. He and Casey explore the emotional territory between comedy and sadness as family members struggle to stay connected while living their own truth.
David and Casey have been writing partners for over fifteen years. Casey, a native Hoosier, came to California to attend USC's film school. Her first job after graduation was on the series Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place where she met another young writer, David. The collaboration has been remarkably productive.
Writing credits for the duo include Galavant, Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23, and Mr. Sunshine. Together they have created a number of pilots for ABC, including Golden State, It Takes a Village, and their first series The Real O'Neals, now finishing its second season.
Both Windsor and Johnson have executive producer and showrunner credits on their series, and co-producers credits for 26 episodes of Don't Trust the B--- in Apartment 23.
Come and hear David and Casey talk about how art imitates life, what makes partnerships work in Hollywood, and why they are committed to LGBTQ equality.
Wednesday, April 24, 2017 – 7:00 pm
Special FREE Screening!
April 24, 2017 - 7pm
6360 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
RSVP confirmation is required for attendance. Please respond promptly. This invitation is non-transferable. Seats are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
This tragic-comic musical tells
the coming out story of a lesbian cartoonist
PFLAG Los Angeles will receive
10% of all tickets sold for this event
Wednesday, Mar 15, 2017 – 7:30 pm
Raised by Gays and Turned Out OK!
— Elizabeth Collins celebrates family in her
heartfelt and humorous way.
Elizabeth Collins will present a condensed version of her one person show, "Raised By Gays and Turned Out OK!". It is the story of how she went from having a traditional family, a mom, a dad, a big brother and a mutt dog named Bandit to living with her dad and his partner in Texas during the 90s. How she went from accepting her dad to questioning him when she joins a strict Christian church during college. And how she and her family today are an absolute miracle.
Elizabeth is a standup comedian and writer living in Los Angeles. She has performed in LA, New York, Chicago and Paris. She has published articles at Marie Claire, Salon, HelloGiggles and Narratively. Her show, "Raised By Gays and Turned Out OK!" premiered in Los Angeles and has since run in Houston and San Francisco. She also leads the LA Chapter of COLAGE (an organization for children of LGBTQ parents) and contributes to The Gay Dad Project blog.
Through telling her story and making jokes she and her family have found truth and healing.
Wednesday, Feb 15, 2017 – 7:30 pm
for LGBTQ persons
— Attorney Joseph Goldstein talks about our rights now and under the Trump administration
Joseph Goldstein is an attorney practicing in California, who drafted legislation that assists in protecting LGBT persons. The Bill AB 830 was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2015. It changed the definition of the word "gender" to include LGBT individuals in the Gender Violence Statute.
What does that mean for LGBTQ people and their family members? Goldstein, who conceived and help to draft the measure, will explain the legal intricacies.
In addition, he'll gives us an overview of potential changes to LGBTQ rights under a Trump administration. Changes in laws affecting marriage, immigration, and anti-discrimination in workplace and house may have a big effect on our community. He'll talk about how these changes might occur and what protection California law provides.
Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017 – 7:30 pm
"The Real Me"
— World-class jazz musician
Jennifer Leitham talks about
transitioning while touring
with Doc Severinsen
Jennifer Leitham, acclaimed jazz bassist, has worked with the most famous names in music, including Woody Herman, Bill Watrous, Peggy Lee, Mel Tormé, and Doc Severisen. While she was a standout on stage and in the recording studio, she was hiding her real identity. Jennifer, a transgender woman, was forced to perform as John.
Struggling with her gender identity, she found the courage to transition while still performing her music at the highest level. Her public transition led to a ground breaking CD, "The Real Me," in which she reveals her true identity as a person and an artist.¬
Now performing with her own trio, she has won extravagant praise form top music critics: "left handed virtuoso of the upright bass," Leonard Feather, Los Angeles Times; ". . . astonishing virtuosity with some exquisite soul," Brick Wahl,
LA Weekly, ". . . prodigious technique and improvisatory prowess," Robert Bragonier, 52nd St. Jazz
She is equally acclaimed as an advocate for the trans community. A documentary about Leitham, I Stand Corrected, blazed its way through the film festival circuit winning 11 Best Film Audience and Jury Awards and drew attention to the lives of transgender persons. In 2015, she was featured on U.S. newsstands as one of the top 20 pioneers in Vanity Fair’s “Trans America” Special Collector’s Edition.
Continuously involved with work on behalf of transgender youth, Jennifer's story demonstrates that the struggles of transgender persons can be crowned by success in their chosen professions and their lives.
Don't miss the chance to meet the outstanding Jennifer Leitham.
Visit her website at: www.jenniferleitham.com