PARENTS, FAMILIES AND FRIENDS ALLIED WITH THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY
Westwood's Guest Speaker Series:
Español So Cal
Wednesday, December 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm
The Process of Questioning
— Therapist and Client Kendall Evans discusses how counseling can help
Kendall Evans is no stranger to the process of discovery–from both sides of the therapeutic relationship. As a transgender woman, she has gone through the intricate and sometimes painful journey of recognizing and embodying her deepest identity. Seventeen years a therapist with a master's degree in clinical psychology from the University of Nebraska, she has also supported others through the process of questioning and coming out.
Evans is the co-founder of Open Pathways Counseling Center, where she has worked with perpetrators and survivors of domestic abuse and violence. This work has given her unusual insight into the relationship between societally imposed gender roles and domestic violence.
A skilled therapist, she trains and supervises interns, and is overseeing a new group at Open Pathways specifically for individuals who are in the process of discovering their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Her talk will draw on experiences with LGBTQIA clients and her own process. She hopes to stimulate a lively dialog with attendees about the place of therapy in supporting LGBTQ individuals and their families.
Previous 2014 Guest Speakers or Events:
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 7:30 pm
—The Southern Baptist Pastor who changed his mind and changed his church
Listening is a dangerous activity--especially when you listen with your heart. Southern Baptist Pastor Danny Cortez spent 15 years listening to LGBTQ congregants struggle with the conflict between their faith and their sexuality. Those stories changed him from a strict Southern Baptist to a gay affirming Christian.
Little did he know that his change of heart would have immediate application in his own family. Shortly after Danny's own internal realization, his 15-year-old son Drew confided that he was gay. It was a moment that cemented family love into an unbreakable bond.
An honest man, Cortez recognized the need to notify New Heart Community Church, his Southern Baptist Congregation. He told his story and awaited their decision on his leadership and the direction of the church. The outcome wasn't simple, wasn't predictable, wasn't easy and is still going on.
His courageous stand and articulate letter to progressive Christian blogger John Shore brought public notoriety and an invitation to the White House. But what Pastor Cortez is most concerned about is finding a way to heal the breach between LGBTQ persons and conservative churches. He writes: " "I pray that the church will no longer be segregated. I pray that those who have been marginalized would feel safe in our churches."
Come and hear him talk about the joys and difficulties of his peacemaking ministry.
Saturday, October 11, 2014 - ALL DAY
Wednesday, October 15, 2014 - 7:30 pm
The RISE Project–
Permanent Families for LGBTQ Children and Youth in Foster Care
- Dr. Sarah Vitorino talks about progress at the midway point of a multi-year grant
For a lot of LGBTQ youth, life is anything but stable. A staggering 26% of LGBTQ youth in the foster care system nationwide report being thrown out of their family home because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. It doesn't get any better once in the foster system. LGBTQ youth lose their placements more frequently than straight foster children. Multiple placements means multiple schools with many more school days lost and lower educational progress than students in stable situations. Lacking foster parents who understand and support LGBTQ youth, the system turns to group homes. But LGBTQ students–close to 100%–report abuse from caretakers or other students. Their situation is dire.
The RISE Project of the LA LGBT Center funded by the Federal Permanency Innovations Initiative aims to change through a research based, data driven program that can be replicated throughout the United States. Dr. Sarah Vitorino will talk about the strategies being used and the progress being made in this five-year project.
Dr. Vitorino, often called Dr. V., earned her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies from Emory University and holds a B.A. in Psychology from Westfield State University. In addition to working with the RISE Project, she is an educator, researcher, and motivational speaker. One of her passions is working with the prison population, helping incarcerated people overcome the many barriers to success. Fascinated by human potential, Dr. V spent the last decade studying how and why some people thrive in devastating circumstances and challenging environments. Sarah is also a member of the Speakers Bureau of PFLAG Los Angeles.
This meeting is a chance to learn about the challenges LGBTQ foster youth face, and to learn how they can be overcome.
Visit their website: www.lalgbtcenter.org/rise
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm
Catholic and Gay?
- "Yes!" Says the Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons
Frank McKown and other members of the Catholic Ministry with Lesbian and Gay Persons will speak to PFLAG Los Angeles about their mission of outreach and hope.
Inspired by a sermon of newly installed Archbishop Roger Mahoney, the ministry began in 1986 to help LGBT Catholics and their families "liv[e] a full, Catholic life in union with all the members of the Church."
Throughout the Archdiocese, many parishes, including Saint Monica's Church in Santa Monica, Saint Matthew Church in Long Beach, and Blessed Sacrament Church in Hollywood have active support groups providing safe spaces for LGBT persons to explore and deepen their spirituality. Activities include special liturgies, retreats, social events and community service opportunities.
Recognizing the importance of maintaining family unity, the Ministry also fosters support groups for parents in many community including Diamond Bar, Hollywood, and Santa Barbara. These groups provide peer support for parents, embodying the words of the Pastoral Letter Always Our Children: "This child, who has always been God's gift to you, may now be the cause of another gift: your family becoming more honest, respectful, and supportive."
From their own journeys, these speakers will share their work to "listen, ponder, and pray" with LGBT persons and their families.
Visit their website: www.cmlgp.org
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - 7:30 pm
Expand Your Understanding of Gender:
- One Person’s Experience at the 2014 Gender Spectrum Conference
Are you a little confused at all the talk about gender identity and gender expression? You're not alone. The concept that gender means one of two things–male or female–is gradually changing. Chris Angel Murphy will help us understand the newest approaches to gender in this wide ranging talk.
Chris recently received a Master of Social Work degree from University of Southern California and is working as the marking and research coordinator and LGBTQ outreach at TEENLINE. Chris also speaks from experience, identifying as both genderqueer and queer in terms of sexuality and using “they,” “their,” and “them” pronouns.
A member of PFLAG Los Angeles' Speakers Bureau for five years, Chris has been making presentation to groups from middle schools to graduate programs explaining that all people do not fall neatly into the categories of male and female and that a person’s gender identity is not inherently connected to one’s physical anatomy.
The Gender Spectrum Conference, which Chris will be reviewing for us, is the only event of its kind that provides presentations and interactive forums for gender variant families and professionals working in this area. Chris will describe research finds, resources and other nuggets of information taken from this conference that may be especially helpful to people attending PFLAG. To learn more about the conference and get more information about the presentation go to www.genderspectrum.org. Bring your questions.
Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 7:00 pm
Special Screening: LOVE IS STRANGE
Please join us for this special advance screening on
Thursday, August 21 at 7:00pm.
To RSVP email LosAngelesScreenings@gmail.com.
*Please include PFLAG Los Angeles as your affiliation when replying*
Confirmed RSVP Required for Attendance.
PFLAG Los Angeles and Sony Pictures Classics invite you to an advance Los Angeles screening on Thursday, August 21 of Love Is Strange, the groundbreaking new film by Ira Sachs starring John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a long-term gay couple who lose both a job and their apartment in the wake of their marriage. Already featured on The View, The Tonight Show, and in major magazines like Vanity Fair and Out, the film is poised to be a breakout commercial success, as well as an important new talking point for audiences, and voters, across the country, letting many see for the first time in film in an intimate way what a real “gay marriage” looks like. ... more info
Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - 7:30 pm
More Time, More Support!
- More time to talk and share at our July meeting
Sometimes an hour is just not enough. Every now and then we like to have a meeting where the clock isn't king. So we're devoting the July meeting completely to our support groups.
We'd also like to invite you to bring a friend, a family member or a neighbor who hasn't been to a PFLAG meeting. You may have guests who are in Los Angeles for vacation who would profit from a meeting. Many young people are home from college for the summer and might benefit from a chance to talk. Teenagers who are so busy during the school year may be able to fit a meeting into their vacation schedule. Everyone is welcome.
Come, relax, share your longer stories, ask your deeper questions, and enjoy the warm welcoming atmosphere of PFLAG.
We're also inviting you to check out the fabulous pictures of the Pride Parade and Festival available on our website. Take a peek and enjoy the fun.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 7:30 pm
"Out in Suburbia"
- Screening of a film about lesbian lives
We've all heard people talk about LGBT persons. "Well you know THEY ______." Fill in the blank "recruit," "are oversexed," "raise disturbed children," "are good at sports," "hate sports." The list goes on and on.
A lot of people seem to think they know what LGBT lives are like.
In this award winning documentary, producer Pam Walton lets eleven lesbians tell their own stories with frankness and humor. Ranging in age from 25 to 67, the women talk about their families, friends, and lives.
A teacher describes her struggle to come out to her students. A lesbian couple shows off the baby bedroom they have prepared for their new arrival–twins! As they share their difficulties and joys, it becomes apparent that lesbian lives are not very much different from their neighbors.
Landers Film Reviews sums it up: "In sharing their experiences about their lives, these women expose the shallowness of commonly held stereotypes and make an eloquent case for treating all people with respect.
Honored at a number of film festivals, the documentary won the "Audience Favorite Award at the SF International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and was a Finalist at American Film Institute's Independent Cinema festival in Washington DC.
Come see and hear the inspiring stories of women who have made a place for themselves and their families in bungalows and ranch houses out in suburbia.
June 7-8, 2013
March with us on Sunday, June 8!
and join the Care with Pride Campaign promoting
respect and safe schools for all students.
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
From Texas to California: One Young Man's Journey to Acceptance
– Rance Collins talks about his challenging coming out experience
Rance came to our attention via an article he wrote for the Huffington Post earlier this month. In it, he details his incredibly difficult coming out experience and how a chance meeting with his idol, actor Matt Bomer helped him put his life back on track.
In PFLAG support groups, we regularly discuss the coming out process and the importance of each of us maintaining some control over the process. Rance has experienced something that some of us has experienced. He was outted to his parents.
Rance is a writer, actor, model and producer from the central Texas town of Hillsboro. Having attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, Rance, now located in Hollywood, California, works by day as a tour guide. In addition, he is a creator and cast member on the web series "Movie Night," an usher at Hollywood United Methodist Church and volunteer for the American Cinematheque. Besides setting the entertainment industry on fire, Collins wants to be an LGBT youth advocate and classic film guru.
Come hear the details of his journey; where he’s been and where he’s headed. Bring a friend!
Read the Huffington Post article
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Keeping the Faith and Loving Your Gay Son
– Mormon Parents Wendy and Tom Montgomery talk about healing the breach.
When Wendy and Tom Montgomery went door to door raising support for Proposition 8, they were acting as faithful members of their church. Little did they know that within their own family someone was watching and concluding that he just didn't fit.
Their son Jordan knew he was different when he was attracted to another boy's "beautiful eyes" at the age of thirteen. Concerned about the depressed and withdrawn behavior of her usually sunny and exuberant son, Wendy found that statement in his journal, and her world changed in an instant.
How the family rallied to support Jordan is an inspiring story. Equally inspiring is their decision not to relinquish the faith that has always been such a meaningful and beautiful part of their lives.
They chose not to leave the Mormon Church and not to hide. They were open about Jordan's orientation. Consequently, they stand in the breach, a living bridge between their faith community and the silent,
Wendy and have had to give up their leadership roles. They have left their ward (parish) when the ostracism and harassment got to be too much. But they refuse to accept that they must choose between loving their child and practicing their faith.
In the past year, the Mormon church has taken a number of steps to support its LGBT members, including opening a website for dialog on the issue of sexual orientation and acknowledging that homosexuality is not a choice. Like the Catholic Church, it still condemns relationships between same-sex partners.
Wendy and are not daunted. "I have hope," she says. "We'll find a way."
March 19, 2014
Lori Duron – Author, Blogger and PFLAG Mom
- speaks about the happiness and hurdles she experiences raising a gender fluid child
Lori Duron is the author of Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son (Random House, September 2013). The first parenting memoir to chronicle the journey of raising a gender nonconforming child, the book is based on her blog of the same name. RaisingMyRainbow.com has more than one million readers in 173 countries, including gender studies students and faculty at more than 50 college and universities in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
Duron and her blog have twice been named one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year; one of Ignite Social Media’s “100 Women Bloggers You Should be Reading;” one of Circle of Moms “Top 25 SoCal Moms;” and one of Parents Magazine’s blogs that are “Most Likely To Change The World.” She and her blog have earned the attention of a variety of media outlets including: The TODAY Show, CNN, Time, Anderson Cooper, the BBC, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Psychology Today, Out, The Advocate, Bitch Magazine, Newsweek, Gawker, Babble and Jezebel.
Duron is a member of South Orange County PFLAG and PFLAG National’s Executive Director Jody Huckaby has endorsed her book. This will be Duron’s first appearance at PFLAG Los Angeles. She will talk about her family’s evolution of acceptance as they parent a gender creative child; her family history and how if she raises a straight son she will be the first woman in three generations to do so; and the response that her blog and book have received from supporters, opponents and the media.
February 19, 2014 / 7:30 p.m.
The Lavender Effect: A Museum of LGBTQ History
-— Visionaries Andy Sacher and Ken Taylor are making it a reality
Dream big. It's a motto that Andy Sacher and Ken Taylor take to heart. Here is their vision: a state-of-the-art LGBTQ Museum that will be among the foremost educational and entertainment institutions in Southern California. It will showcase the Southern California regional history of the LGBTQ movement and its place in world history, as well as the reciprocal influence on our region of LGBTQ contributions to civilization.
This world-class interactive Museum will use the latest in evolving technology to educate and inspire future generations. Coupled with a dynamic Cultural Center which will become a hub for our community, the complex will focus awareness on our contributions to society and our place in history, host lively programs to help define our place in the 21st Century, and provide positive role models for LGBTQ youth.
It's an exciting vision, and these are just the guys who can pull it off. Andy Sacher has been making interactive entertainment and educational experiences for over 25 years. He has been a Concept Architect and Exhibit Designer at Walt Disney Imagineering, where he developed master plans for theme parks, designed park attractions, and guest experiences for Disney's Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and California Adventures. His clients included Steven Spielberg's Game Works franchise, Jerry Bruckheimer Films, HBO, and FOX Home Video to name a few.
Executive Advisor to the project, Ken Taylor, has been an LGBT activist since he came out in 1985. In 1992, he helped found Gamofites, a gay fathers support group, later becoming their National Chair. He volunteered at the G&L Center of Long Beach as a pre-HIV-test counselor, and has been an active "walker" in AIDS Walk LA, where he achieved "Star Walker" status. A management specialist, with expertise in the software business, he brings practical organizational experience to the development of the museum.
Andy and Ken will talk about their plans for a venue that makes LGBT history and exciting and permanent part of the Southern California landscape. It's important work. If LGBT persons and their allies don't define our shared history, others will do it for us. The foresight, suffering, courage, and achievements of LGBT persons deserve a place to shine.
January 15, 2014 / 7:30 p.m.
Actor Bruce Davison, star of Longtime Companion
-— talks about his role as a spokesperson for AIDS awareness
Bruce Davison has been in everything. From his award winning performance in the film Longtime Companion (Golden Globe, National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle awards and Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination) to Willard and X-Men, he has played a vast range of human beings with impeccable authenticity.
He is no stranger to the small screen either, having starred in the television series Harry and the Hendersons and guest starred on shows as different as Police Story, Touched by an Angel, Seinfeld and Star Trek Voyager. He has appeared in almost every hit television series over the last 20 years—more than 60 different programs and mini-series.
His work, notably Longtime Companion, has brought much needed attention to the AIDS crisis, and he has remained a spokesperson for AIDS throughout his career. He served as a board member of Hollywood Supports, an entertainment industry AIDS and LGBT awareness organization.
Davison has long been an outspoken straight ally of the LGBT community. With an award-winning acting career that spans an amazing 4 decades, he is a model of perseverance and service to LGBT persons and straight allies alike.