PFLAG Nashville Co-Chairs Gene Floyd and Wayne Rosing Receive HRC Equality Award
Focus On All Families
March 6, 1999
Human Rights Campaign Tennessee Dinner
Equality Award Recipient
PFLAG Nashville was first organized in 1987 in the home of a mother motivated by love for her gay son and concern for his safety. The local lesbian and gay community soon joined the movement and PFLAG Nashville began its’ outreach of Support, Education and Advocacy.
New life was breathed into the group in April 1997, motivated by the Regional Director of PFLAG and inspired by the “Ellen” coming out episode. We received positive support from “The Tennessean” and The Center.
The response was overwhelming and about 50 people showed up for the meeting. Since that time we have responded to attacks by the religious right, established a telephone hotline; met with LAMBDA groups at Vanderbilt and MTSU; delivered packages of PFLAG information to school guidance counselors in metro, the surrounding counties and those at the Dede Wallace Center. We also found a new home in the Cohn Adult Learning Center and believe that we are the first gay-positive group to meet in a metro (tax supported) facility.
The billboard erected in September 1998 was the crowing achievement, when first discussed in the early spring it seemed an unattainable dream. With the inspiration and driving force of our co-chair, Wayne Rosing, the generosity and support of many interested people, the billboard became a reality. Our message “someone you know and love is gay” spoke the truth to all who passed through Nashville on I-40. The unexpected defacing of the sign brought a torrent of media attention. Many of the PFLAG Nashville parents were interviewed by TV, radio and newspaper reporters.
Now that our visibility is greater, our challenges will be greater. As Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, we look forward to new opportunities to promote the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons.
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