PFLAG started in June of 1972 when the mother of an assaulted gay man met other parents of gay children who needed support, while participating in the NY City Pride. The first meeting of the group, Parents of Gays, has grown from a small group into what it is today, an organization with hundreds of chapters and over 200,000 members nationwide.
Today, that support is still needed, but how and to whom it is provided is constantly evolving.
One reason for the change in the type of support needed is that the world has changed. Many of these LGBTQI families are coming to PFLAG already accepting and supportive of their youth, who are coming out at earlier ages. While some people still need support working through their emotions toward acceptance, others need to learn how to best support their child/ren in their day-to-day lives.
PFLAG has a wealth of material available.
Parents need to know how to support their children in school, protecting them from potential bullying or making sure they have access to the activities and facilities that correspond with their identified gender.
For those that come out as LGBTQI in school, the sex and physical education curricula can be very difficult to handle or manage. PFLAG can support parents and schools who need help with those experiences.
As the types of support change, the methods in delivering that support have also changed. The internet didn’t exist at PFLAG’s inception; it is a quick, helpful, real-time and sometimes anonymous and comforting tool.
No matter where a family is, support will always be a pillar of PFLAG’s work, a core commodity of what is offered even as the type of support and method it is delivered continues to change.