Continuing Virtual PFLAG Alamance Zoom Meetings

Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.

You're using Zoom in many places . . . why not Zoom in for our PFLAG Meeting next week?

  • What have you been going through these past months of the pandemic?
  • Are you or someone you love dealing with issues related to coming out as LGBTQ+?
  • Do you need information to share with a friend or loved one and don't know how to get it?

Helping with issues like these and others are what PFLAG is all about.

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If you wish to join in and haven't been with us before, just call (336-584-8722) or email (info@pflagalamance.org), giving us your FIRST name and your email address and we will send you an invitation. If you have previously participated in our Zoom meetings you don't have to call us.

Dr. Rachel Levine made LGBTQ History!

Dr. Rachel Levine made history on March 24 as the first openly transgender federal official confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and will serve as our next Assistant Secretary of Health.

With Levine’s confirmation, transgender people can finally see themselves reflected within the highest realms of politics in this country. She is a barrier-breaker in the truest sense of the word, and provides a role model for trans youth all across America.

Equality NC invites you to join us in celebrating the confirmation of Dr. Levine and the hope for a more equitable, inclusive future that her confirmation brings. We all win when LGBTQ people ascend into positions of power and leadership. Congrats, Dr. Levine!


Something to Think About . . .
by Cindy Davis
What is Conversion Therapy?
I think it’s fair to say that a large portion of our population is suffering. Daily we are exposed to ceaseless hate crimes and mass murders, motivated by ignorance, fear and racial disparity. Add to this the relentless battle with COVID-19 (in spite of increasing access to vaccines) and it is enough to drive one to take cover. And by that I mean seeking refuge in an attempt to shelter ourselves from the distress. It all feels so terribly difficult sometimes, doesn’t it? Yes, there are those amongst us who feel dramatically superior, awarding themselves license to absolute power and control. I find these ideas both archaic and terrifying and yet, they prevail. On one hand I am happiest when guided by the philosophy of idealism, wishing to believe that we are all inherently good. However, concurrently I must pay attention to the places in our society where the fabric has been, (and currently is) going up in flames. I wish to be a part of the solution by identifying injustice that I am passionate about and lending it my voice.
 
On September 10, 2019, PFLAG and Elon University's Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life hosted Garrard Conley, author of ‘Boy Erased’, his memoir telling the story of his survival from conversion therapy. Conley’s book, a New York Times best-seller, had been made into a film, featuring Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman, as Conley’s parents. Both the book and the film chronicled his childhood in Arkansas, and the emotional and mental struggles he faced undergoing conversion therapy. We viewed the film and participated in a discussion with the author afterwards. Conley told us that his memoir almost wasn’t written. “I waited ten years before I wrote it. I didn’t think anyone would be interested in it…I knew this was a story that needed to be told.”
 
 It was this exposure to ‘Boy Erased’ that educated me about conversion therapy, the practice of trying to change an individual’s sexual orientation from homosexual or bisexual to heterosexual, using psychological or “spiritual” interventions. I struggled to comprehend how this barbaric approach dares to call itself treatment – in this day and age. I found it to be so disturbing that it left me breathless. Often it includes physical torture, stimulating nausea and vomiting, electric shocks, and subjecting patients to ice baths or extreme heat, all while viewing homosexual photographs or videos. Verbal abuse and shaming, which include prophesies of deliverance to Hell are not uncommon. There is very little reliable evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, and over the past three decades medical professionals have largely begun to believe that these attempts at treatment are ineffective and potentially harmful. Many patients who have undergone conversion therapy have become depressed, anxious, drug dependent, homeless and suicidal. The American Psychiatric Association takes the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and therefore, there is no need for a cure. It is yet another form of oppression, motivated by self-righteousness, ignorance and hate. It is no different from other prejudice. Allow me to leave you with this phrase – “If I’m OK with me, I don’t need to make you wrong”.
 
Author’s note:
To date: CT,CA,NV,NJ,DC,OR,IL,VT,NY,NM,RI,WA HI, NH and DE have laws or regulations that protect youth from this abusive practice. A growing number of municipalities have also enacted similar protections, including cities and counties in OH, PA, FL, AZ, and WI.
Another film worth seeing is “The Miseducation of Cameron Post”.
 
 Cindy Davis is a retired Licensed Professional Counselor. 
She was an advice columnist for the Times-News, and is also a PFLAG Board Member.

Watch for Cindy's column each month on our Newsletter
From NBC News

Three-quarters of Americans support LGBTQ nondiscrimination laws


By Dan Avery
March 23, 2021

As the Senate prepares to vote on the Equality Act, a new poll released Tuesday indicates that an overwhelming majority of Americans across religious and political affiliations support anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people.

Seventy-six percent of adults favor laws that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodations, according to the 2020 American Values Atlas of the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, or PRRI, which surveyed more than 10,000 adults in the U.S. from January 2020 to December.

Less than 1 in 5 (19 percent) opposed such protections.
Support was strongest among Democrats (85 percent) and independents (79 percent), but it also included a majority (62 percent) of Republicans.

Things worth reading

Three Steps to Being a Better Ally to Trans and Nonbinary People (While You’re Stuck at Home) 

Learn: Check out this personal piece on Medium by PFLAG National Western Region Chapter Engagement Coordinator Rakhel Silverman about honoring nonbinary people by using their correct pronouns. Then visit straightforequality.org/trans to learn more about what you can do to be a better ally to individuals who identify as transgender or nonbinary, no matter where you are on your ally journey.

Watch: Check out this great PFLAG Academy Online On Demand learning session, Supporting Trans & Nonbinary Loved Ones: What Would You Do? In this session, we review the core learnings for people who want to be allies to their trans and nonbinary friends and family and then put what they’ve learned to work, navigating real-world interactions. 

Share: Use social media to share with your friends and family what you plan to do as a trans ally on Transgender Day of Visibility (TDOV) this Wednesday, March 31. You can use the “As an ally to the trans community I will…” cards from PFLAG’s Straight for Equality program to help you get started. You can also share last week’s Something to Talk About Live, where PFLAG leaders Diego Sanchez and Jamelle Dooley talked about the impact and significance of the FX show POSE.

From NBC Out . . .

How the pandemic economy has affected LGBTQ people

March 26, 2021
By Jillian Eugenios

It’s been over a year since Michael Bates, a massage therapist, has worked with a client.
One year ago, he was recovering from pancreatic cancer, and his doctors told him he was cleared to go back to work. Then, the pandemic hit, and the same week he thought he’d begin booking clients he was in lockdown inside his home.

“It was a rough time because I was healthy again. And then I couldn’t go anywhere. It's been an emotional roller coaster,” he said. “It's very difficult when you're a tactile person to begin with.”

A licensed massage therapist for a decade, Bates, 63, of Gainesville, Florida, has not been able to earn an income for the last year. Then, in December, his cancer returned, and he started treatment again in January.

“So even if they lifted lockdown now, because of my white blood cell count, they don't want me working,” he said. “So it's like, great, here we go again."

Campaign for Southern Equality called #NCIsReady to make it easy for you to contact your local elected officials and voice support for nondiscrimination ordinances. Head to www.ncisready.org to learn more! 
P.O. Box 623,
Elon, NC 27244
Phone Number:
+1 336-584-8722
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