All of us have heard a lot of myths about homosexuality and gender identity. Some of the following misstatements are things you may have heard or believed: "all gays are promiscuous," "gays 'recruit' younger people and make them gay," "gay men have weak fathers and strong mothers," "lesbians hate men," "gay parents damage their children," "gays choose their sexual orientation," "gays can become straight." Research shows all these statements to be false.
We absorb these myths almost without knowing it, from television and movies, from conversations with friends, from sound bites on the news, from political debates, and from our churches, synagogues and mosques.
As we begin to deal with sexual orientation (our own or that of a family member or friend), it is important to get reliable, fact-based information. That is why education is such an important part of PFLAG’s work. You will find a list of resources on this page that can help you sort out the facts about sexual orientation and gender identity from the myths and scare tactics. Our newsletters, available on the About PFLAG page of desktop version of our website, also provide current information about LGBT issues.
Schools, businesses and other organizations may need help in providing safe and welcoming places for LGBT persons to learn, work, visit, and socialize. At no cost the PFLAG Los Angeles Speakers Bureau offers panels of speakers, including straight parents of gay children, gay, lesbian, and transgender members who share insights from their own experiences.
As you have probably discovered, there is a lot of information circulating on the Internet about LGBTQ people and issues concerning their rights. While much of this information is factual and worthwhile, some of it is incorrect, biased, and even cruel and defamatory. Consequently, we urge caution as you search for information. Information provided by LGBTQ friendly organizations can be helpful. Such organizations include Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD, Lambda Legal, PFLAG National, The National Center for Lesbian Rights, Transgender Law Center, and the National Center for Transgender Equality to name a few.
At PFLAG Los Angeles, we know the power of telling our stories. That is why we have decided to begin a list of media and websites that can support and encourage LGBTQ persons and their families. It will begin small and grow over time. If you have a favorite, send us a suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check This Out!
TRANSFORMATION is a documentary about a group of transgender teens and young adults struggling to find the resources, safety, and confidence to express their gender identity. With 45% of young transgender people having reportedly attempted suicide in the United States alone, non-binary stylist Madin Lopez has made it their business to provide life-altering, gender-affirming makeovers. Afterwards, these individuals are hopefully able to be their true and best selves, looking on the outside how they’ve always felt on the inside.
We're Available Participate in
the PFLAG Speakers Bureau. Speak with students and parents to
our community about LGBTQ people in all of
our diversity? E-mail Melanie
for more info.
Dealing with issues of sexual orientation and gender identity can be hard. It’s particularly hard in today’s overburdened and highly scrutinized classrooms and workplaces.
At school, teachers and students, principals and parents, counselors and staff may need help to create a safe space where all students can concentrate on learning. PFLAG Los Angeles speakers are available for presentations to students in a classroom or assembly setting, to teachers and faculty meetings, and to groups of parents.
In the workplace, workers, supervisors, unions, and management are realizing it is good business to make organizations friendly to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender workers, customers, and investors. PFLAG Los Angeles speakers can discuss their experiences (both positive and negative) being out in the workplace.
The PFLAG Los Angeles Speakers' Bureau provides speakers free of charge to middle schools, high schools, colleges and businesses in and around the Los Angeles area. The engagements usually last one hour and panels can include a straight parent of an LGBT child , a gay man, a lesbian, and a transgender person. At the start of the panel, each speaker makes a three to five minute introductory statement in which they discuss their background, coming-out story, involvement with the community and/or involvement with PFLAG. The remainder of the engagement is devoted to a question and answer session. Audience members are encouraged to ask question of the presenters. However, we do NOT answer sexually explicit questions, or discuss sexually explicit topics.
To arrange a panel of speakers, contact Melanie at SpeakersBureau@pflagLA.org a minimum of two weeks prior to the engagement date. In your email, please include your name, day and evening contact information, school or business name and address, date, time, number of classes if more than one, duration of engagement, and information on the class/audience we will be addressing. Please include any information concerning topics of particular interest to your organization.
Knowledge promotes understanding. While there is much more to learn about homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgender issues than we can cover here, we have provided a few resources that give essential facts about sexual orientation and gender identity. If you are a LGBT person preparing to come out, print out one or two of the pamphlets and have them available for your family and friends. If someone you care about has recently come out to you, this information may answer some of the questions you have.
PAMPHLETS (click on images to view)
For LGBT or
Whether you know you're LGBT or are questioning your sexuality, you're not alone. Get answers here to questions you may have and find additional resources you can contact. (English) (Español)
For Transgender People
and Their Families
If you're a transgender person or have a transgender loved one, knowledge is power. This brochure provides basic facts to help you understand more about the complexities of gender identity. (English) (Español)
Questions and Answers for Parents of Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual People.
One of our most popular publications, this is a "must read" for parents who are forming new and honest relationships with a loved one who has come out to them. This booklet answers several commonly-asked questions about having a gay child. It includes a list of related resources. Available in English and Spanish. This link will take you to PFLAG National’s publication page where you can locate these pamphlets in PDF format.
Our Trans Loved Ones
Q&A for Parents, Families, and Friends of People Who Are Transgender and Gender Expansive.
Our Trans Loved Ones is a brand-new, updated resource. Written by PFLAG staff members, and created with the help of content experts, reviewers, and PFLAGers with experience to share, it is full of information, first-person stories, and expert input geared to those who have a loved one who has come out as trans or gender expansive.
Q&A for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth.
For many allies, familiarity with lesbian, gay, and bisexual people—and the issues that they face—is increasingly common. And yet, when we discuss inclusion of our transgender friends, that level of familiarity is very different. Continuing your ally journey to become an educated, out, and proud trans ally takes specific resources and support…and this is where you can start.
Discovering that a loved one is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can pose new questions about your faith and may prompt you to re-evaluate beliefs that you previously took for granted. By using personal experiences, this publication provides examples for reconciling your faith with the knowledge that a loved one is gay. This publication includes an updated list of gay and lesbian religious and spiritual groups to watch out for.
Published by the Mt. Kisko Presbyterian Church, www.pcmk.org, IS available as a free download. It provides detailed information on LGBTQ persons. Questions and answers are categorized into scientific, social, family life, and theological perspectives.
Many other publications
are available to download from the
PFLAG National website.
ABOUT OUR CHILDREN
This brief publication provides basic information about sexual orientation.
PDF files are available in:
Basic questions about homosexuality that you may have wanted to ask.
Why are people homosexual?
Is it a choice?
Homosexuality is not a choice, just as you did not make a choice in your sexual orientation. Current scientific evidence indicates that sexual orientation is determined at birth, probably because of hormonal balances during gestation and genetics. A study of twins showed that if one identical twin was gay, the other had a 55% chance of being gay. If the twins were fraternal, then the odds of the other twin being gay dropped down to about 17%, the same as the likelihood of other family members being gay. In families with many boys, the younger members have a higher probability of being gay.
What percentage of people
are gay or lesbian?
Estimates cited by the Human Rights Campaign are that about 5% of the population are gay men, and about 2-3% lesbians. Bisexuals, transgendered and intersex make up a smaller population. Actual numbers might be higher, as many gays and lesbians do not disclose their sexual orientation because of fear of rejection by family and friends, feared job loss, physical danger, etc.
Does same-sex attraction appear
only among humans,or is it evident
in other animal populations?
Studies have shown that same-sex attraction occurs in other animal populations. Dr. Joan Roughgarden’s book ”Evolution’s Rainbow” provides compelling evidence that over 300 species of animals demonstrate same-sex attraction and behavior.
What does the Bible say about homosexuality? What did Jesus
say about gay people?
Two sentences in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament, have been translated and interpreted to mean that if a man has sex with another man, it is an abomination. Recent interpretations imply that this was a proscription against rape, rather than a proscription against loving same-sex relationships. There is no mention of homosexual relationships or lesbians at all in the Hebrew Bible. In the past few years, more evangelical conservatives have changed their position against homosexuality. Prof. of Theology Emeritus Dr. Jack Rogers’ book “Jesus, the Bible and Homosexuality” is the latest to examine the issues. In the Bible, Jesus condemned divorce, but said not a single word about homosexuality.
Can homosexuality be cured?
Since homosexuality is not a disease, it cannot (nor needs to) be ‘cured’. Some TV evangelists and organizations such as Exodus International (an “ex-gay” ministry), promote the idea that gays can change their sexual orientation. They show a handful of people, who say that they are able to control their same-sex attraction through faith. Relapses of ‘cured’ leaders of Exodus International have made media headlines as they faltered in their struggles to suppress their natural orientation.
I don’t know anyone who is
gay or lesbian. Why should I be concerned with their issues?
This question is analogous to “I don’t know anyone who is Jewish, black, or Lebanese. Why should I be concerned about their issues?” Our basic humanitarian instincts call for treating all humankind with dignity and respect. There may be gays or lesbians in your family or among friends and coworkers who have not disclosed their sexual orientation out of fear, and have chosen to “stay in the closet”.
What really are “gay rights”?
Gay rights are NOT special rights. The rights being sought are the same rights that are granted to a citizen with heterosexual orientation.
Why would gay people
want to be married?
For the same reasons that straight people wish to get married. Besides the public commitment to each other, it provides social, financial, legal and other benefits. It provides legal protections when owning property or raising children.