PFLAG new ideas for 2010, (Watch this spot)
PLAG 10 YEARS
The beginnings of PFLAG in Dunedin were about fourteen years ago, with the suicide of a young gay man, after his family could not accept him. Out of their grief, his friends made a decision to start a group to support families as they learned to understand and accept their gay family members. The PFLAG group they formed had its first meeting in a church hall in 1999.
We were a mixed group; gay straight, old, and younger. The one thing we had in common, of course, was that we were all in families where someone was gay. Some of us who were at the original meeting have remembered how we felt; all shy, all uncertain of each other, and not knowing what we were meant to do at a PFLAG meeting
At our first meeting in May 1999 we were all asked to write our stories. At later meetings these were read. As we listened to each other we began to understand and trust one another. One story was published in a magazine which brought us the beginnings of some (rather scary) publicity.
In 2000, Marion Thomson, Euan 's mother, welcomed us into her home for meetings. Somehow, those meetings always began with hugs, and we began to feel more like a family. Once the group was bigger though, we moved to Community House where we have been ever since.
Achieved over 10 years:
This is not the place to write at length about the last ten years, but looking back, we are pleased with all the work that has been done:
Have we been changed by this?
In all of this we have felt our way, not at all sure of ourselves, often scared to death! What kept us going was that we wanted to make a difference.
What has made PFLAG worthwhile?
We remember with thanks: founders Marion Thomson, Euan Thomson and Malcolm Gould, Rev Eric Brodie, Yvonne Wilkie and Lisa Ward and Rod and Joan Madill.
We are also grateful to several groups overseas who advised and helped us in our early stages,and allowed us to use their educational materials , notably Manchester FFLAG, Parents Enquiry Scotland, PFLAG Victoria, PFLAG Sydney And Parents Enquiry Scotland.
In the last three years we have not been getting the numbers of new parents at meetings, that we had before.
A comment from an FFLAG group in the UK mentions they were finding the same and thought that perhaps the needs have changed, perhaps the climate is more accepting than before. We find that many parents don 't want to come to meetings, after their first enquiry, some are busy, others find information on the website.
So we are now offering to talk on the phone, or to meet parents individually in town for coffee or an email contact if they prefer it. We have decided to have for a support meeting just four times a year ,unless we find needs change.
Recently our efforts have been concentrated on providing a meeting place for gay youth. This has been a success.
Hopes and plans for future
1. To get the website properly updated and regularly supplied with new information and news.
Sue Thompson - Past president
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