Speaking Out – A Note from PFLAG-KC President

I had the pleasure of attending the Heartland Men’s Chorus for their presentation of Identify.  The inspiration for this performance is the story of Tyler Clementi, an 18-year old, extremely talented and gifted freshman at Rutger’s University, who committed suicide in 2010 after he became a victim of a horrible act of cyberbullying because he was gay.  The evening opened with an excellent panel discussion which included Tyler’s mother, Jane Clementi, Morgana Bailey, Debi Jackson, Barb Mares, Andy Scherman and Mitch Weber.  And then the concert began.  Tyler’s Suite was beautiful!  Songs of talent, songs of family, songs of hope and songs of love.  And heart wrenching!  If you are suffering from bullying, there is support available to you.  There is support available to LGBTQ individuals during their coming out process.  And there is suicide prevention available!  Jane Clementi said the stickers she had available were Tyler’s initials in gold to represent the Golden Rule:  Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.  Wikipedia also lists:  One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself (positive or directive form).  One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated (negative or prohibitive form).  What you wish upon others, you wish upon yourself (empathic or responsive form).  Not one of these definitions include hate.  There is no place for hate. Jane Clementi said parents of LGBT children need to speak openly of the love they have for their children to impact the world around them and create accepting environments.  So I will.  My daughter is a beautiful, smart, caring, and loving woman.  When she grows up she should be allowed to marry the person she loves.  And I love her.

After the powerful concert and hearing Tyler’s story, I am even more committed to providing support to the LGBTQ community.  PFLAG provides support for LGBTQ individuals during their coming out process.  PFLAG supports families and friends of LGBTQ individuals.  And, PFLAG will help you find whatever kind of help you need!  Please reach out for help.

  • American Foundation for suicide Prevention www.afsp.org
  • GLSEN www.glsen.org
  • It Gets Better Project www.itgetsbetter.org
  • Kansas City Anti-Violence Project www.kcavp.org
  • LikeMeLighthouse www.likemelighthouse.org
  • The Trevor Project www.thetrevorproject.org
  • The Tyler Clementi Foundation www.tylerclementi.org
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Gender Revolution

We had an amazing panel participate in the Question and Answer session after the National Geographic Gender Revolution screening on March 26th at LikeMeLighthouse!

Kathryn Boman completed her Masters of Social Work at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2016 and is a licensed social worker working in Kansas and Missouri. Kathryn’s professional purpose is to provide services with compassion and kindness while focusing on empowerment, social justice and advocacy.  Kathryn’s personal pronouns are she/her/hers.  She works at Children’s Mercy Gender Pathway Services Clinic.

Fiona Nowling is originally from England and moved to Kansas to marry her wife, Una, a transsexual woman over 14 years ago.  Since then, she has led the SOFFA group for four years, spoken at conferences and in schools, co-hosts Trans Talk, an episode of the Tenth Voice on KKFI, sings with Transfinity KC and is on the board of the LGBT employee resource group at McKesson, where she works as a software engineer.

Una Nowling is an out and proud transgender historian and activist who hosts the Trans Talk radio show on 90.1 FM KKFI, along with her wife, Finoa.  She is the director of studies at the Transgender Institute and the researcher behind the website transascity.org.  In her day jobs she is the chief engineer for combustion at Black & Veatch and a professor of mechanical engineering at UMKC.

Nancy Simons Bean is a licensed clinical social worker, Director of Adoption & Counseling Services for Families, Inc., an agency that is licensed by the states of Kansas and Missouri.  She is licensed at a clinical level in both Kansas and Missouri as a social worker.  Ms. Bean has been involved directly in working with families and children in therapy and consultation since her early days in the Child Psychiatry Department at K.U. Medical Center and later at the Johnson County Mental Health Center.  She has extensive training in family system theory, which guides her practice.  Nancy began her work in the adoption field in 1983, when her agency was licensed, and for over 30 years has worked with adoptive families.  She has worked with families of the gay and lesbian community to support them for the entirety of her adoption practice.  Nancy has been on the Board of Modern Family Alliance (formerly Midwest Alternative Alliance) since its inception in 2005.  She supports LGBTQ youth and adults and families headed by LGBT parents and their families, as we learn more about how to respect and nurture all people.  Nancy appreciates all that she has learned over the years from the clients that she has served, especially the children of adoption.  That information enhances the work that she presently does.

 

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April 9th, 2017 Meeting

Our April 9th Meeting at the Village Presbyterian Church will be at 3:00.  Our speaker will be Andy Schuerman.  Andy has been a high school counselor since 2005 and taught Business/Marketing prior to that. He graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration and Secondary Education. He holds a Master’s of Arts in Guidance and Counseling and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he is currently pursuing his Educational Doctorate in PK-12 Educational Administration. He has presented about working with and supporting LGBTQ students to hundreds of people, mostly educators. He is a board member for Jackson County Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and GLSEN of Greater Kansas City. He lives in midtown Kansas City with his husband, Jim, and daughter, Grace.

I know you will enjoy hearing Andy!  See you there!

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Gender Revolution Screening at LikeMeLighthouse Sunday, March 26, 3-5 PM

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PFLAG KC Meeting, March 12, 2017

Our speakers this month will be members of the Heartland Men’s Chorus. The Artistic Director, Dustin Cates, is also a father, husband and former high school teacher. The Development Director, Cliff Schiappa, will share his passion about the Chorus. Dustin and Cliff will share about the history and work of the Chorus as well as the upcoming concert, Identify, that will be March 25-26 at the Folly Theater. Part choral concert, part Ted Talk, Identify celebrates living lives of authenticity.

I have always enjoyed listening to the Heartland Men’s Chorus and cannot wait to hear more about them  What a talented group!  I am sure everyone will enjoy this meeting.  See you there!

Village Presbyterian Church, 3:00 – 5:00 PM

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