Remembering Anne Melle Hilgermann,
lifelong activist & PFLAG mom

 

It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of one of our most beloved members Anne Melle Hilgermann. She died at the age of 93 on Dec. 26, 2016.

Anne was an original, and by that I mean she stood up for gay rights with other parents even before she knew her own sons were gay. She was a pioneer and a lifelong activist for LGBT equality, becoming a member of PFLAG in the early 1970s and remaining a member until she died.

She was outspoken when it came to discrimination, inequality and social justice, but she was never disrespectful; she was always loving and kind. At PFLAG support meetings, she was everyone’s grandmother, imparting words of wisdom, understanding and providing hugs to all.

A few years ago, the West Seattle Herald published a wonderful article about Anne and her son Len that will give you a very good understanding of the treasure this world has lost.

Anne had been ill for quite some time, but it was her body that was failing her, not her mind nor her spirit. It’s that spirit that will live on within all of us who knew her.

In honor of Anne, let’s continue the good fight for social justice and equality for all.

Deb Dahrling
President, PFLAG Seattle Board of Directors

PFLAG’s Unity and Inclusion Policy Statement

PFLAG National’s Unity and Inclusion Policy Statement 
Approved December 2016

From its founding in 1972 to its work today, PFLAG’s membership of LGBTQ people, families, and allies have united in love, embracing each other and people whose communities are often marginalized, erased or ignored.

PFLAG reaffirms that unity and inclusion and a shared commitment to human dignity of all people are critical to fight discrimination and bigotry in any form so that all families can live free of fear. We commit to fight for fairness inclusive of people’s sex, race, ethnicity, national origin, socioeconomic position, religion, level of mental or physical ability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other perceived or actual characteristic.

PFLAG also reaffirms its commitment to this goal which requires us to learn to be the allies that communities need. We commit to better educate ourselves, listen to others, and engage in critical conversations, ensuring that we model the inclusive behavior we wish to see in the world.

We will be more inclusive allies to create space for voices that might not otherwise be heard and amplify personal stories so that the storytellers are visible. We will listen attentively and actively, and speak out with due diligence and clear conviction, across all barriers and borders, to ensure that all people are included, respected, and treated equally.

Donate While You Shop

Donate to PFLAG Seattle by shopping at some of your favorite places!

Amazon.com

Amazon will donate a percentage of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.

AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service – just shop through smile.amazon.com and specify that you would like to give back to PFLAG Seattle.

Fred Meyer

Fred Meyer donates over $2 million per year to non-profits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, based on where their customers tell them to give. Here’s how the program works:

Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to PFLAG Seattle at www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number 89557.

Then, every time you shop and use your Rewards Card, you are helping PFLAG Seattle earn a donation!  You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.  If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.

Note: Shoppers must re-enroll in the rewards program each year to continue their contributions.

All other online retailers

Every purchase you make at any one of Giving Assistant’s 1800+ popular online retailers can be transformed into a meaningful donation to PFLAG Seattle. Giving Assistant shoppers earn an average of $700 cash back on their purchases every year. Then, they donate a portion of their earnings to organizations they value.

Givva

Use Giving Assistant to save money and support PFLAG Seattle
Join Giving Assistant now and support PFLAG Seattle for free! Shop online at stores like TargetBest Buy, and Bed Bath & Beyond and earn 3-30% cashback donations.

Tips For The Holidays

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.  No matter what, PFLAG is here to help provide you support and information this holiday season and beyond?

Sitting through a family meal can, or visiting through and entire weekend or week, 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 meal or the week?

Below are some suggestions–both for people who are LGBTQ and for families and allies–for getting through the end-of-year family celebrations unscathed! And remember: if you need immediate support, you can find a PFLAG chapter here, contact us on Facebook or Twitter, or call a helpline for crisis support.

If 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 surprised.

  • 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 family’s turn.

  • 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.

Before the visit…

  • Make 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 do plan to come out to your family over the holidays, have support available, including  PFLAG publications and the number of a local PFLAG chapter.

During the visit…

  • Reassure family members that you are still the same person they have always known.

  • Remember to affirm yourself and take time for self care: read a book, listen to music, get out of the house and take a walk or see friends, whatever de-stresses you.

  • 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.

After the visit…

  • 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.

  • If 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.

If you are the friend or family member of someone who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer…

Before the visit…

  • 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.

During the visit…

  • Treat an LGBTQ 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.

After the visit…

  • If things went well with your LGBTQ 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 you as you work toward reconnecting with your LGBTQ loved ones.

  • Do not let too much time go by before contacting your LGBTQ loved one, and let them know that you are committed to trying again.

10 Things You Can Do to Be a Straight Ally

Looking for simple ways to start being amore engaged and active straight ally? Try using a few of these suggestions to build your ally skills and start creating change.

  1. Be open. Talk about having gay friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances. When you talk about them, don’t omit the fact that they’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT).
  2. Ask questions. Especially when you aren’t sure about the acronyms, terminology, or words to use when talking about your gay friends, family, colleagues, or acquaintances.
  3. Become informed. Learn about the realities, challenges and issues affecting the lives of LGBT people through websites, books, documentaries, and educational materials.
  4. Speak up. When you hear derogatory slurs or joke, like “that’s so gay,” say something – and don’t tell them yourself.
  5. Help your kids. Teach them about all different kinds of families. Be mindful of the day-to-day messages that they are receiving about gay and transgender people and issues in school, from friends, the web, and on TV.
  6. Reconsider your membership. There are many organizations that overtly discriminate against the LGBT community. Be sure to let them know why you are leaving or not joining in the first place.
  7. Think about where you spend. Support gay, lesbian, bi, and/or transgender-owned and friendly businesses that have policies in place to ensure equal treatment for all.
  8. Challenge those around you. Encourage your social club, workplace, or faith community to consider inclusive policies that protect the LGBT community from discrimination.
  9. Get loud. Write letters to the editor of your newspaper to comment as a straight ally on why you support respectful and equal treatment for LGBT people.

10. Become an advocate. Call, write, e-mail, or visit public policy makers and let them know that as a straight person who votes, you support laws that extend equal rights and protections to all people.

Don’t forget to visit www.straightforequality.org and read the guide to being a straight ally.

Free tickets to Freeheld

Interested in free tickets to Freeheld? PFLAG Seattle was offered free tickets, redeem using this link: http://www.lionsgatescreenings.com/PFLAGSEA for the showing.  Use code PFLAGSEA.

Location: AMC Pacific Place, Downtown Seattle, WA, October 6, 2015.  Arrive at 6:15 PM for the 7:00 PM screening.

 

Synopsis: Based on the Oscar®-winning short documentary and adapted by the writer of Philadelphia, Freeheld is the true love story of Laurel Hester [Julianne Moore] and Stacie Andree [Ellen Page] and their fight for justice. A decorated New Jersey police detective, Laurel is diagnosed with cancer and wants to leave her hard-earned pension to her domestic partner, Stacie. However the county officials, Freeholders, conspire to prevent Laurel from doing this. Hard-nosed detective Dane Wells [Michael Shannon], and activist Steven Goldstein [Steve Carell], unite in Laurel and Stacie’s defense, rallying police officers and ordinary citizens to support their struggle for equality.

Seattle Pride Parade

This page will be updated as we receive more information regarding the Pride Parade. Last update: Wed, June 24 @ 12:07pm


Thank you for your interest in being a part of the PFLAG Seattle Pride Parade 2015 contingent. This year the Pride Parade will be held the morning of Sunday, June 28th in Downtown Seattle.  The 2015 theme is ‘A Lifetime of Pride,’ and it serves to honor all those who serve the community — regardless of age, class, sex, ability, or status. Pride exists in us all — for a lifetime.  The parade route is 1.75 miles long so bring water and wear sunscreen.

Please review the following:

  • 2015 PFLAG Pride Parade T-shirts
    • T-Shirts are available for a suggested donation of $15.  Please make donations using this link, be sure to indicate the correct shirt size.  Pre-ordered shirts will be brought to the parade staging location by a board member.  If you would like to pick-up your shirt in advance, please send an e-mail to info (at) pflagseattle.org to make arrangements.
  • Registration
    • Please register in advance on our Volunteer Opportunities page.  If you’re part of an organization or group marching with us, only one person needs to sign up.  The sign up form will have a field for you to indicate approximately how many people will be marching with you.
  • Staging information
    • Our staging window is from 9:20a – 10:20a.  We will be in position 19 between University and Seneca streets on 4th avenue.  If you have any trouble finding us, ask a volunteer in a red Seattle Pride Volunteer t-shirt.
  • Transportation
    • WA-520 will be closed on Pride Weekend (11 PM Friday 6/26 to 5 AM Monday 6/29). Even if you’re not coming from the Eastside to Seattle, this closure may impact you as traffic is rerouted onto other highways.  We encourage you to take public transportation, carpool, or use a car sharing service as parking will be limited.

Happy Pride Month!

It’s that time of year again and PFLAG Seattle is excited to take part in Seattle Pride 2015! We’ll be participating in the following events this month, and would love it if you stopped by to say hello! We’re also looking for volunteers, please click the volunteer button above if you’re interested!

Pride Family Picnic (6/13)
The Seattle Pride Picnic is a chance for family and friends to come together in one of Seattle’s iconic parks and celebrate our amazing community. All the fun begins at 11:00 AM on Saturday, June 13th at Volunteer Park in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. There will be great food, live entertainment and activities for all ages.

Trans* Pride Seattle (6/26)
Trans* Pride Seattle is open to everyone who believes trans* and gender non-conforming people deserve to live lives free from violence, discrimination, stigmatization, poverty, hatred, rejection, medical abuse and neglect, and mental pathologization. We encourage the participation of groups, organizations, and individuals in the trans* and gender non-conforming community and those offering services directly to our community.

Seattle Pride Parade (6/28)
Seattle Pride will host its 41st Annual Pride Parade starting at 11:00 AM. The parade kicks off at 4th Avenue & Union streets, and will proceed north down 4th Avenue to Denny Way. It will last approximately two and a half hours and will be held rain or shine.

PrideFest at Seattle Center (6/28)
PrideFest is largest free pride festival in the United States, featuring 4 stages, silent disco, world-class entertainment, measurable action and advocacy for the LGBT community, and tens of thousands of annual attendees. Find us at the Seattle Center the last weekend of June every year to celebrate LGBT Pride.