Please click this link for information on the Jersey Shore PFLAG support groups Monmouth County PFLAG info
While for some people
who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender holidays mean celebration, joy,
family, and togetherness, for others it can mean a time of stress, difficulty,
and even sadness or depression...especially if one feels that they aren’t able
to come out or are not out to everyone in the family. Many of you reading this
probably experienced one of these two options this past Thursday or some
variation on it on Thanksgiving. No matter what, PFLAG is here to help
provide you support and information this holiday season and beyond.
Sitting through a
family meal can be challenging enough, but what happens if you are not yet in a
position to be true to your authentic self as you make your way through the
Here are some
suggestions--both for people who are LGBTQ and for families and allies--for
getting through the end-of-year family celebrations unscathed!
IIf you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.......
· Don't assume you know how somebody will
react to news of your sexual orientation or gender identity--you may be
· Don't wait for your family’s
attitude to change to have a special holiday. Recognize that your parents and
family may need time to acknowledge and accept that they have an LGBTQ family
member. It took you time to come to terms with who you are; now it is your
If you are
transgender, be gentle with unintentional pronoun “slips.” Let your
loved ones know that you understand how difficult this journey may be for them.
a decision about which family
members you intend to be “out” to, and how you will do so.
If you bring your
partner home, don’t wait until late into the holiday evening to raise
the issue of sleeping arrangements. Make plans in advance.
· If you plan to come out to your family over the holidays, have support available, including PFLAG publications and the number of a local PFLAG chapter.
· Reassure family members that you are still the same
person they have always known.
· Remember to affirm yourself.
· Connect with someone else who is LGBTQ --by phone or in person--who understands what you are going
through and will affirm you along the way.
· If things went well with your family, be sure to follow up with them, post-holiday, to check in, see
if they have any questions, and thank them for their love and support.
things did not go as well as you had anticipated, be sure to contact your local
support system, whether that be close friends, or members from your local PFLAG
chapter. Reconnect quickly with those who love and affirm you as you are, and
give yourself an opportunity to discuss and process the family event.
you are the friend or family member of someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual,
transgender, or queer...
· Get support for yourself. Check out pflag.org -we know allies are on a journey too. Find the phone number of the nearest PFLAG chapter.
· Take your time. Acceptance may not
come instantly, but be honest about your feelings.
· Practice in advance, if you are going to be
discussing your loved ones sexual orientation or gender identity with family
and friends. If you are comfortable talking about it, your family and friends
will probably be more comfortable too.
If your loved one is
transgender, practice using the correct pronouns.
· Treat an LBGTQ person like you would treat
anyone else in your family.
· Don't ask your LGBTQ family
member to act a certain way. Let them be their natural selves.
If your LGBTQ family
member is bringing a partner, include them in your family traditions.
If you are uncertain
about how to address an LGBTQ family member, respectfully ask in private.
· If things went well with your LBGTQ loved one, be sure to follow up with them, post-holiday, to check in, see
if they have any questions, and tell them how glad you were that they could be
with you, authentically.
· If things did not go as well as you had anticipated, be sure to contact your local PFLAG chapter, and give yourself a moment to connect with those who will understand the challenges and support as you work toward something with your LGBTQ loved ones.
not let too much time go by before contacting your LGBTQ loved one, and let
them know that you are committed to trying again.
Thank you for your
continued support of your local PFLAG chapter - Jersey Shore PFLAG! We
wish you the happiest of holidays!
October was an exciting month for PFLAGers across our nation and particularly our chapter. Five of us from Jersey Shore PFLAG attended the PFLAG National Convention in Nashville. We participated in "Give Back to Nashville", where we volunteered our time helping out in a food bank, an animal shelter, and a safe place for homeless LGBT youth (see pics below). We then attended two full days of conferences, speakers, and an awards ceremony. We each learned quite a bit and are bringing that information back to our chapter. Our chapter also participated in "Red Ribbon Week", and provided faculty and staff with information and literature about our chapter at Wall Intermediate School and Wall High School, as well as spoke at Wall High School Parent's Forum on LGBT youth and alcohol/drug addiction. Seth Rainess, facilitator of our Transgender/Transfamlies group, has given presentations at various schools and participated in a workshop with GLSEN at the NJEA Convention this past week in Atlantic City. This coming Saturday, 11/14/15,
Jersey Shore PFLAG, together with PFLAG Collingswood, will be hosting a workshop at the GSA Forum, held in Ocean Township, NJ
, titled "In or Out: Parent, Child or Educator...PFLAG Can Help!"
We hope you will consider going to the NJ GSA Forum. It is a one day event filled with workshops and incredible speakers (see their web site for additional info: http://njgsaforum.com/