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Letter: PFLAG Pendleton reaches out on National Coming Out Day

Published on October 11, 2017 8:53AM

For far too long members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community have had to hide in fear, living their lives “closeted” to protect their jobs, homes, families and relationships. Constant fear of being rejected by friends and loved ones, as well as the community of which they are a part, has led to many of them remaining in the proverbial closet. National Coming Out Day encourages all LGBTQ people and their allies to stand proud of who they are and to fight for a more equal tomorrow.

Twenty-nine years ago, National Coming Out Day was created by Rob Eichberg and Jean O’Leary as a result of the 500,000 person March on Washington DC for Lesbian and Gay Rights. The coming together of thousands of LGBTQ citizens and supporters energized many to establish this holiday.

Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual persons and their families and friends through support, education and advocacy in communities all over the United States. We are currently 400 chapters strong and growing.

Unbeknownst to many, PFLAG has been part of Pendleton and surrounding area since the late 1980s. PFLAG Pendleton envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. With a strong desire to help people live a healthy and happy life PFLAG Pendleton will be available on Wednesday, October 11 to take calls from anyone looking for personal coming out support, support for a family member, or for parents or family on how to support someone who has just come out.

Currently one out of every two Americans has someone close to them who is gay or lesbian. For transgender people, that number is only one in 10. Coming out — whether it is as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or allied — STILL MATTERS. When people know someone who is LGBTQ, they are far more likely to support equality under the law.

Your call is confidential and being answered by a PFLAG member who cares about you and your community. The number to call is 541-966-8414. You can also find us on Facebook- PFLAG Pendleton Oregon Chapter or email at pflag.pendleton.or@gmail.com

PFLAG Pendleton meeting information can be found in the East Oregonian under the community calendar or local meetings. Thank you.

Vickie and Lonnie Read



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