Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. PFLAG’s network of hundreds of chapters and more than 250,000 members and supporters works to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
Affirming the Straight Spouse Experience
Track: Raise Your Voice
Workshop Block 3 – Saturday, October 26 – 3:30 PM – 5:00 PM
Room: Lester Young A
How can straight spouses be supported and affirmed? Learn more about the straight spouse experience and perspectives, and best ways to include and support them as part of the rainbow family. Through handouts, PowerPoint, and discussion, we will share common experiences of straight spouses, and how they vary depending on the circumstances of their LGBTQ partner coming out, disclosing, or being discovered. We’ll cover the history of the Straight Spouse Network, our outreach efforts (including website and podcast), procedures for triage (the process of referring someone to the right person or group for help), and how we help through face to face gatherings and online secret communities.
Daphne Callen, Straight Spouse Network
Daphne has been involved with the Straight Spouse Network (SSN) since 2006 and previously served on its Board of Directors and also as Interim Executive Director. Daphne currently recruits volunteer group leaders and support contacts. Since 2007, Daphne has been a primary referral contact in Chicago, where she has been facilitating face-to-face meetings since 2008. Daphne and her husband, both straight spouses, mentor other Chicago area leaders and contacts and theirs is among SSN's most active groups nationwide. She has been co-host/organizer for multiple Chicago Gatherings. She and her husband have spoken on behalf of the Straight Spouse Network at local PFLAG chapters in order to increase awareness of the straight spouse experience with the LGBT community. She is also the moderator of a variety of online Straight Spouse support groups.
Janet McMonagle, Straight Spouse Network
Janet McMonagle is the Communications Director for the Straight Spouse Network (SSN). She has volunteered for the organization for many years as a contact, and has provided administrative support. She is a self-employed virtual assistant, specializing in website updates, social media connections, and sales support. Her background is in music, education, and real estate. Janet is a straight ex-spouse of a closeted gay man. She became involved with the Straight Spouse Network as a Support Contact for others who accept and live the truth, no matter how unbelievable it is to those around them. She edits the blog Straight Talk, and writes much of the content. She is also involved in the production of the Straight Spouse Voices podcast, and manages social media for SSN.