In 2008, our chapter began meeting in Ashfield. A small circle of families saw the need of a group to provide advocacy, education and support for their own LGBTQI children. Our members learned to support each other concerning LGBTQI issues.
The group became an official chapter of National PFLAG.
We started participating in parades, rallies and setting up educational tables at events throughout the Pioneer Valley. After some years in Ashfield, the group also expanded meetings into Northampton. As Noho’s attendance grew, the Ashfield meetings closed.
As the chapter grew, it recognized a special need for families with transgender children. This started with individual parents sharing their own children’s stories. In 2012, two parents started a spin-off, TransParents, which supports families of transgender and gender non-conforming children. In 2014, our chapter created the Eric Collins Memorial Award, which evolved as a way honor our youth, and to share our hopes to change the future for LGBTQI children.
Our chapter has a brief but rich thirteen-year history, with lots of growth and evolution. This vibrant, growing chapter remains faithful to the three core principals of advocacy, education and support.