What to expect at a PFLAG Long Island Meeting

When Do We Meet?

We meet one Sunday a month from 2 PM to 5 PM alternating between our Nassau and Suffolk meeting locations.

What should I expect?

PFLAG is all about Support, Education, and Advocacy. For people attending their first meeting, it is all about Support.

You will meet parents or family members of loved ones who have recently “come out” to them as well as others who have been members for many years and have gone through much of what you are just beginning to experience.

For some parents, this news is very difficult to deal with. Most of us have never had anyone tell us they have a gay, lesbian bisexual or transgender child and many just do not know what to do with this information. While some people find this news quite distressing; they may be angry or hurt, others are readily accepting, but all have questions. There is a lot to learn and PFLAG Long Island is the place to ask questions in a safe and confidential environment.

 

Why do we meet?

PFLAG is where we share our experiences in small groups and support each other as we go through the process of learning, accepting and celebrating our families. We include many social, political, religious groups and people.

Our meetings are not group therapy, seminars, or workshops. No one is called upon or expected to speak until they are comfortable doing so.

We know that listening is often all a new participant can do and when they are ready to talk, they are given all the time and attention they need. We do not probe or question ones feelings as we know that all feelings are valid. People share as much or as little as they are comfortable with, often opening up as time goes on.

PFLAG is the place to come where you know you will receive a positive reaction when you say “My child is gay, bisexual or transgender” or “I am gay,bisexual or transgender.” For many, PFLAG Long Island  is the place where those words are first uttered in public and here they are greeted with a smile.

Newcomers are often welcomed with such warmth and support that they are able to articulate for the first time, all the disturbing thoughts and fears they have been harboring since their loved ones came out to them.

They benefit from the experience of members who are further along in the process of understanding and accepting, as they learn facts that belie stereotypes and the negativity put forth by homophobic people seeking to marginalize our children.

They receive reassurances that our children are happy and healthy and can live wonderful lives with a life partners. They gather information, and guidance as to how to deal with less enlightened people.

We meet to discuss the political and social environment that affects our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) loved ones and learn how we can work to advocate for their equal civil rights. We enjoy the camaraderie of other families with LGBTQ  members, while we socialize, laugh, smile, share family photos, enjoy refreshments, and become educated by important guest speakers.

 

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