03 July 2013

Flying the PFLAG for Justice and Liberty for all

 Tonight I went to see Adam Lambert play at a small private party sponsored by AT&T as part of its outreach to the LGBTQ community. Lambert had graciously donated two tickets for Liberty Hill Foundation to auction off during our annual dinner and silent auction. Liberty Hill funds organizations fighting for social and environmental justice in Los Angeles and I’m very proudly on the board. Lambert’s manager invited me and I was eager to see Lambert perform since I love how powerful his voice is, and when I’ve interviewed him, I’ve found him warm and engaging. 

As part of the outreach, AT&T made a $50,000 donation to the Trevor Project, a really wonderful organization that provides crisis intervention and suicide prevention for the LBGTQ community.

As my friend and I were waiting for Lambert to go on, I was looking around the room and I realized that I’ve never been at a predominantly gay event where I didn’t feel, as a straight woman, welcome. I hate that I know some of my gay friends can’t say the same when they are in the minority at a function.

Lambert brought up and cheered DOMA’s repeal (before going into a very cool version of Tears For Fears’ “Shout”), but otherwise, focused on the music. 

My mind was also on a heartbreaking piece making the rounds today that I’d read just before I went out tonight on Huffington Post called “Just Because He Breathes: Learning To Truly Love Our Gay Son.”  I’m not going to be able to do it justice by explaining it, but it’s one woman’s journey to accepting her son’s lifestyle in light of her initial belief that in order to follow Jesus, her son had to denounce his own sexuality. You can read the piece here. 

This was all tied into my friend and I having a long conversation at dinner about what it means to be a Christian and why does it seem so confusing. He’d been going to a church that denounced same sex marriage and, intuitively, he felt that was the wrong message. He’s questioning and I have a feeling I made it sound like I had it figured out way more than I actually do, when all I think I know for sure is God is love....and even then, I’m not so sure what I mean by “God.”  I really try to focus on “love one another” and “help one another” and figure that’s really all I’m commanded to do, but who knows?  What does it mean to be a good person? 

I know this is rambling and I apologize for that, but it just seems like there’s something going on from today’s confluence of events—the Huffington Post article that I just stumbled upon, my friend’s questioning, and tonight’s concert — that is all of one piece. But I have no idea what it all means, if anything. I’m just thankful that I grew up in a home that taught me to be tolerant and accepting, but also allowed me to question and figure things out on my own. 

I’ve already given to both Trevor Project and Liberty Hill Foundation, but I found an organization called PFLAG that seems perfect for today. It stands for Parents, Families, Friends, and Allies United with LGBT to move equality forward. That’s a mouthful-- no wonder they call it PFLAG.

According to the webite, PFLAG was founded in 1972 by a mother who wanted to publicly support her gay son. PFLAG now has 350 chapters across the US, all united in their goal for parents, friends and straight allies to unite with the LGBT community to advance equality. I love its vision statement: “We, the parents, families and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons celebrate diversity and envision a society that embraces everyone, including those of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Only with respect, dignity and equality for all will we reach our full potential as human beings, individually and collectively.”  Makes sense to me. 

July 3: PFLAG

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