I'm A PFLAG Mom

Posts Tagged "pride"

HARVEY STAMPS! Preorder now

These self-adhesive stamps are being issued in sheets of 20.

The U.S. Postal Service® is proud to honor the life of Harvey Milk, a visionary leader who became an iconic figure in the struggle for gay civil rights. In 1977, Milk was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, making him one of the first openly gay elected officials in the United States. His career was tragically cut short nearly a year after he took office, when he and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were assassinated.

The stamp art centers on a photo of Milk taken in front of his camera store in San Francisco. The colors of the gay pride flag appear in a vertical strip in the top left corner.

A commitment to serving a broad constituency, not just gay people, helped make Milk an effective and popular leader. He was an eloquent speaker with a winning sense of humor and was able to build coalitions between diverse groups. His achievements gave hope and confidence to gay people at a time when the community was encountering widespread hostility.Milk believed that government should represent all citizens, insuring equality and providing needed services. In the years since his death, there have been hundreds of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender public officials in America. In 2009, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Milk the Medal of Freedom.

Photographer Daniel Nicoletta took the photograph used in the stamp art, which was designed by art director Antonio Alcalá.

The Harvey Milk stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. This Forever stamp will always be equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.

Source: store.usps.com
Openly gay Eagle Scout a first since new Boy Scout policy
Pascal Tessier, left, receives his Eagle Scout badge from Troop 52 Scoutmaster Don Beckham on Monday in Chevy Chase, Md. Tessier became the first openly gay scout to reach the highest rank since a policy change to allow gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America. (Luis M. Alvarez / Associated Press / February 10, 2014)

Openly gay Eagle Scout a first since new Boy Scout policy

Pascal Tessier, left, receives his Eagle Scout badge from Troop 52 Scoutmaster Don Beckham on Monday in Chevy Chase, Md. Tessier became the first openly gay scout to reach the highest rank since a policy change to allow gay youth in the Boy Scouts of America. (Luis M. Alvarez / Associated Press / February 10, 2014)


Question from Anonymous

My 11 yr old just told me that he is gay. My feelings as a mom towards him don't change. I will be 100% supportive of his preference, but I am so scared, of anyone trying to harm him in any kind of way. It's just so hard for me. I never thought I'd be feeling this way. I want to get some type of counseling for him to get him prepared for those people who will not respect his preference.

PFLAG.org! It was created for parents exactly like you! Keep in mind, it isn’t a “preference”, like if he wants pb&j or mac and cheese for lunch. I will assume you are straight- do you consider your sexual attraction, romantic feelings, and identity preferences? If you think deeply about that, you will get a better understanding of who your son is. 

While I know it is hard for you, please always remember that it is 1000x harder for him. 

If he is having emotional issues, then counseling is great, but you didn’t mention any problems so don’t think he needs it because he is gay. Would you send your straight kid to counseling if he told you he liked girls?  If your kid liked classical music and his friends all liked rap, would you send him to counseling to prepare him for being bullied about that?

Suggest he get involved in a GSA at his school. Or have him start one! Teach him how to ignore the hate and to be proud of who he is. 

Most of all LOVE HIM and LISTEN and BE THERE and HUG HIM. That is what he needs from you. 

Question from Anonymous

I'm a mother of 3 & I think my youngest (he is 10) might be gay or transgender. I have no experience with this & am looking for any information I can find to help support him & help all of us understand a little more about what he is experiencing & will experience as he goes through puberty, adolescence and adulthood. I feel so lost & helpless, I want to help him & support him but I am so scared for him & his safety, especially now that he has shown interest in dressing more feminine. Any advice

Go to PFLAG.org and read everything you can find there. See if you can find a meeting near you. Your questions are all the things a parent would/should worry about. When my transgender son was female-identified and came out as a lesbian I felt SO clueless about guiding my kid through puberty etc. PFLAG (and my local friends) were the biggest help.

Don’t be “scared” for him, just keep an eye on him and make sure HE understands how to stay safe. He may face bullying so make sure he knows how to deal with that- whatever his school’s policy is. My husband was so afraid for our kid!  I swear, it was like he thought snipers were hiding in trees waiting for our kid to walk by. Safety is VERY IMPORTANT, do NOT get me wrong! Just don’t spend your life worrying- take action- make sure he is aware - and maybe a bit of martial arts might help.

This generation is much more accepting of our gender and sexual minority kids. The older generation makes up a great deal of the problem  (and solution- moms like you!).

Bottom line: READ READ READ and talk to other moms. Yay for you loving your boy unconditionally and only caring about HIS needs. You are awesome. 

Question from Anonymous

I just want to say thank you for everything that you are doing, you are an amazing and spectacular person. I am the daughter of a lesbian and it was hard to learn to live with the sudden change of scenery and how things work but I absolutely love it now. After spending some time trying to find myself, I realized that I had a strong liking for females and I'm nervous about it but hopefully it will be okay (Any Advice?) ! And your blog makes me feel ever so grateful for people like you :) Thanks!!

Just in case a troll or something is reading this- Research is clear that lesbian and gay parents are no more likely to have queer offspring than any straight couple. 

You are in a unique situation as a young lesbian, to have a mother who can understand and help you through your adolescence and young adulthood. When my son was female-identified and came out as a lesbian (at 14 or 15), I felt inadequate as a mom because I didn’t know what sort of advice to give. 

So be proud, tell you mom, then plan a fun trip to Pride next summer! 

Question from dannys-pics-deactivated20131228

Hi I was the anon who said I wished you were my mom, and what you wrote was very beautiful. I wish my mom saw it that way but she thinks my being gay is her fault like *what did I do wrong?* I mean I know she still loves me but its like I've disappointed her or made her feel like she did something wrong. I don't know. I told her and now its like ok, I know, and we just will not say anything about it again. Anyway thank you for what you said it made me smile.

I’m glad it made you smile. I smiled too.

Society, in general, blames mothers for almost everything. When my son, then female-identified, came out as a lesbian at 14 1/2, I was fine with that. But some people blamed me. Some outright- that I did something wrong to “encourage” it. Some subtly. Regardless, moms just feel it. (like when the kitchen is dirty here, even though that is my husband’s job, it reflects poorly on me as the woman of the house- which is archaic but still true).

It all started with Freud but that is a long story. We know that parenting does NOT set your sexual orientation or gender identity. I spoke to a justice systems professor at my university (I’m a developmental psychology professor) and he had the gall to look me in the eye and say that LGBT is a  (sinful) choice caused by early parenting and not genetic in anyway. I’m still SO upset about that. (aside: he is leading the opposing side in our town to get sexual orientation and gender identity protected by a nondiscrimination policy). My point is that while MANY uneducated and uninformed people still put all the blame on parenting and  moms, even some supposedly intelligent/educated people do as well.

I did spend time wondering if I should think about if it was something I -or we- did. But that only lasted a few minutes because I know better and what the hell difference would it make anyway?  What makes someone straight or gay, cis or trans, is of no importance to me.

Try to get your mom to read some books that will put her mind at ease. Start with the pflag.org site that I reference frequently for free downloads. Then look at the suggested reading on my tumblr page. They start out letting the parents know that we’ve all felt that way at some point but here is the real deal…

Encourage her to talk to people. My mom was totally freaked out about my son and wouldn’t tell anyone for years. When she finally did- she found that almost every friend she told had an LGBT person close to them in some way. That, along with Ellen and Oprah, helped her get over her issues.

Tell her you feel that you’ve disappointed her and it really hurts you. You are what you were born to be and if she finds that unsatisfactory in any way, it just hurts you so much. Remind her of the high rate of suicide among LGBT youth and let her know that she has done a great job raising you because you don’t feel like that- you just want to be reassured of her love AND that she is proud of you. 

People sometimes ask my why I’m proud of my trans son- like- am I proud that my daughter is cis? It isn’t something you can explain, only experience, but I know that my son has had a rough road to his identity, and always will to some extent. My daughter has other life issues but not her most basic identity as a straight  cis woman  (typical and not needing  support, not discriminated against, etc)

It takes bravery to be out. Strength. If you have those things, she should know it and that it is because she’s your mom. And you want her to be proud of you because you’re awesome. ♡