January 8, 2017 Meeting

January 8th Meeting

Our first meeting of 2017 is going to be a good one! On Sunday, January 8th at 3:00, at Village Presbyterian Church our speaker will be Rev. Beth Sonneville. I had the pleasure of hearing Rev. Sonneville speak at the “What Does it Mean to Be Transgender” forum at Asbury United Methodist Church in October. Many of us will benefit from what she has to share. Read more about our speaker:

Rev. Beth Sonneville is a Staff Chaplain in the Spiritual Services Department at Children’s Mercy 354-bed hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. She supports the patients and families who are seen in Gender Pathways Services, a multidisciplinary clinic for the treatment of young people with gender dysphoria. Beth served in the food industry for 15 years as a Food Scientist specializing in quality assurance and regulatory affairs. She retired from military service as a Lieutenant in the Naval Reserve Intelligence community.

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New Year 2017

Do you have expectations for the new year? Sometimes your expectations aren’t met and sometimes what happens can throw you for a loop. The news that your child or loved one is gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender can take your breath away. There are parents, families, friends and loved ones who could use some type of support. PFLAG provides support. We are there to talk with if that’s what you need. Maybe you need literature. We have it! If you know a parent, family member, friend or loved one with LGBT questions, let them know that PFLAG KC is here to help! Let’s spread the word!

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Safety Pins

I didn’t learn about the safety pins until after the election when the school district my children attended, Shawnee Mission, publicly announced a policy requesting staff members to not wear the pins.  After SMSD decided wearing safety pins was a political statement and that they could not be worn at school, the safety pins received local publicity.  So let’s consider a school, where a safety pin could make a difference.  A child who feels bullied or threatened can feel safe in a class room where a teacher is wearing a safety pin, where a teacher is willing to stand up against intolerance in that class room.  And maybe that could make a difference.

I felt it was an easy way to say, “I am an ally!” But then I talked to a friend of mine, who happens to be transgender, and she is not a fan of the safety pins because her friends are bullied and have been physically harmed.   She doesn’t think safety pins will make a difference. She is right; the mere presence of safety pins will not stop violence, but wearing a safety pin can communicate that you are willing to be part of the solution.

I want people to know that I am a safe person for them to come to and that if I see something happening, I will stand with them and I will stand up for them.  I have always taught my children tolerance.  And now more than ever, I am living tolerance because equality and acceptance for who we are and who we love is necessary.   Hate, hate speech and violence is not what I want.  I am educating myself and doing the work to be willing to represent and promote tolerance.
I wish we didn’t need to wear safety pins to show solidarity and intolerance for hate.  I am wearing my safety pin because I am ready to stand up and act on the promise my safety pin represents.  I want this safety pin that I am wearing to be a way I can communicate to people, especially those who are not openly gay or transgender, that I am an ally.

PFLAG has materials available to help you in your journey if you are a member of the LGBTQ community or an ally, parent or family member.  Educating people as to the appropriate language is a great starting point.

Lisa W., President

PFLAG KC Chapter

http://shawneemissionpost.com/2016/11/29/shawnee-mission-school-district-policy-on-safety-pins-roundly-criticized-at-crowded-school-board-meeting-58171

Here is a bit of history on the safety pin campaign:  The founder of the campaign, who tweets as @Cheeah, told the BBC ‘This is meant to be more than just a symbolic gesture or a way for like-minded people to pat each other on the back.If people wear the pin and support the campaign they are saying they are prepared to be part of the solution. It could be by confronting racist behaviour, or if that is not possible at least documenting it. More generally it is about reaching out to people and letting them know they are safe and welcome.’ she says.
Read more at http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/opinion/why-you-should-think-twice-before-wearing-a-safety-pin-today-4726#QuFfV5CY4YcC3k0y.99

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Fundraising Thank you!

Thank you so much for all of you who showed your support by joining us at Hamburger Mary’s for PFLAG Bingo!  It was a huge success!  We packed the house even though the weather was frightful and we competed with the Chiefs/Raider game!  Also, a huge shout out to everyone who contributed prizes to our event:  Bistro 303, Fashionista, Custom Climate, Rock & Run Brewery, KC Hopps, Chipotle, Phoenix Salon, Le Reve Nail Salon, several local artists, and many individuals.  Thank you to Hamburger Mary’s for making this event available to organizations!  And to Melinda Ryder and her staff for adding so much to our evening!  This type of community support allows PFLAG to have more impact and to better achieve our mission of providing support to LGBTQ individuals and their families!  Thank you!

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December Meeting PFLAG Pot Luck

Our December meeting is a Pot Luck!  Bring a dish to share and come enjoy an opportunity to visit!  See you at 3:00-5:00 Sunday, December 11th at the Village Presbyterian Church, Room 307!

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