P-FLAG: Climate for Freedom Award Nominee
The local chapter of P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) provides many important services to its constituents and the community. Through its programs, regular meetings, outreach, and events, P-FLAG makes a clear contribution to the climate for freedom in Concord and Carlisle.
For some community members, the notion that LGBTQ rights should be included in the definition of “human rights” is a controversial one. During the past 16 years of its existence, P-FLAG has educated many people about the issues of sexual orientation and gender identity, which has strengthened the feeling of acceptance in our community for many LGBTQ residents and their families.
P-FLAG has initiated or participated in many initiatives in the last two years, including:
The Laramie Project at First Parish in Concord, March 2007; a performance based on the death of Matthew Shepard in Laramie, Wyoming
The Concord Project, May 2007; a panel discussion on safety for LGBTQ people, especially students
Marching in Gay Pride parades in Boston, June 2007 and 2008
Information tables at Picnic in the Park, July 2007 and 2008
The Safe Schools and Communities Project—ongoing
Monthly support and information meetings—ongoing
Attending student orientations at local colleges and universities
Attending high school health fairs
Underlying many human rights offenses/violations/transgressions is the notion of fear: fear of “the other” based on an assumption of “wrongness” because the other person or group is perceived or imagined to be different in a dangerous way. P-FLAG, through its advocacy and support, actively works to counteract fear and discourage discrimination. The members of this group may be different from their children or friends, but they want their children, and all children, treated with dignity and respect, and accorded the same human rights as everyone else.
Web site: http://www.gbpflag.org/