PFLAG // Blog // A Letter from PFLAG Leadership & 2006 PFLAG Nashville Successes and Accomplishments
Dear friends of PFLAG Nashville,
Every day now we are bombarded by appeals to support all kinds of worthy institutions and causes. The high quality of the colorful brochures, and the email messages that come with video presentations attached, indicate that these folks have ample resources to use in raising funds. Well, here is another appeal but one you will surely be interested in even though it comes as a rather long email message without the bells and whistles. Our Nashville chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays has had another great year. We will share some of the highlights in this letter in the hope that it will move you to renew your membership dues and make a contribution along with it.
Our Great New Website, An Extraordinary Success
Through the efforts of our communications chairperson, Jeff Porter, we were able to launch our new website on January 1. It is loaded with information about PFLAG, but it also presents a broad range of resources directly available on-line. Any person with access to the Internet anywhere in the world can find the answers to many question related to LGBT issues. The site was immediately successful, averaging 1,166 visits per month for the first eleven months of this year. By comparison, our former website drew less than 300 visits per month in 2005. If you have not done so already check out the site at www.pflagnashville.org.
A First Ever Direct Communication With United Methodist Churches
Jim Strickland wrote an informative piece about PFLAG and secured permission to have it included in an e-newsletter that is sent each month to some 700 United Methodist churches and pastors. The impact of that effort registered immediately with a spike in visits to our website. Given that so many churches are either directly contributing to the problems we are trying to solve while others avoid speaking on our concerns at all, we think this was a major breakthrough.
A Diversity Training Event for High School Counselors and Professional Therapists
When Carolyn McFall, a therapist who works for Bradford Health Services, volunteered to chair a committee to put together an information packet for high school counselors, we did not imagine how fast and how big that seed would grow. It turned into a training event, sponsored and funded by Bradford, that involved 20 high school counselors and about a dozen other folks who work with clients on a range of issues. Our good PFLAG friends at www.diversitybuilder.com supplied the leadership for the day-long event. The counselors received their packets and a lot more as well.
And & Media Training for PFLAG Co-chairs H.G. Stovall and Don Shockley
After participating in a media training event sponsored by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), Don and H.G. put their information and inspiration into action. H.G. authored two recent letters to the editor in the Tennessean and got PFLAG mentions in other stories in the various media serving Nashville. Don wrote a guest commentary for the Tennessean seeking to rouse support against the marriage amendment, and was interviewed on the TV program “Out and About Today.”
PFLAG Folks Active During the Recent Political Turmoil
We were all inspired and fired up when Vanderbilt graduate student Sara Dykstra left her first PFLAG meeting determined to do something about the hateful pending legislation in state government that would prevent gay and lesbian folks from adopting children. Sara’s letter got such a dreadful response from Rep. Debra Maggert that she got the word out about the attitude of one of the persons who were leading the effort at discrimination and a bit of an uproar ensued in the media. This legislation did not pass and we believe Sara’s speaking out was a significant part of the resistance to it.
In our meetings and in various other ways our PFLAG folks were active in the struggle against the marriage amendment that was passed by a huge margin in November. A group of us attended an early fund-raising house party at the home of John Snyders, who worked very hard for months in behalf of the Tennessee Equality Project and the Vote No on 1 campaign. We had key players in the resistance movement in our meetings, and co-chair Don Shockley was one of the speakers at the big Vote No rally on October 16.
And There Is So Much More!
Gene Floyd was a panelist at an event on the marriage issue sponsored by the Jewish women’s organization, Hadassah. She and Bob and Gayle Stovall participated in a panel–as they have done before–in celebration of Pride Week at the Dell Computer Company. H.G. Stovall and Jason Hill represented us at the National PFLAG conference recently held in Chicago. We had a summer picnic this year, on a very stormy day! Of course we marched in the Gay Pride Parade as we always do. Most significant of all, we met every month of the year on the third Tuesday, welcoming and being good listeners for the many folks who turn to us for help and support.
—Submitted by Don Shockley on behalf of the leadership team, PFLAG Nashville, December 7, 2006
P.S. You can now contribute to PFLAG Nashville online using a credit card or Paypal.
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