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Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
PFLAG is a grass-roots organization with local chapters that consist of parents, family members, LGBT persons, and friends who run the activities of a PFLAG chapter. In northern Illinois, there are seven PFLAG chapters, Hinsdale, Glenview, Oak Park, Palatine, Aurora, Woodstock, and Chicago, that are dedicated to the PFLAG mission. Information about our organization can be found at www.pflagchicago.com or www.pflag.org.
Because PFLAG meetings and activities are run entirely by its members, we rely on chapter membership to promote the activities of PFLAG. Monthly meetings are held so that people can gather and discuss and receive support for any LGBT issue. A typical PFLAG meeting consists of introduction of members, general announcements about LGBT events, a program speaker about LGBT issues, and a support group where members can share any concerns about their LGBT child, friend, or family member. Members consist of LGBT persons, parents of LGBT children, family members that have an LGBT relative, and friends who support their LGBT friends. Members donate their time to raising funds for chapter activities, visiting local organizations to inform the public about PFLAG, schedule speakers for chapter meetings, writing letters to officials that call for LGBT equal rights, and facilitating the support groups. PFLAG members donate their time to keeping PFLAG chapters active because when they first came to PFLAG, they realize the value of providing the same support to others that they once received when they first learned that their own child, family member, or friend was LGBT.
- Peter Ji
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