June 30, 2016

PFLAG Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and National Board member, Catherine Hyde and her husband, John, recently joined the Jeanne Manford Legacy Circle by adding PFLAG to their will. We asked them about their decision to support PFLAG.

Q. What brought you to PFLAG and how long ago was that?

A. I came to PFLAG nine years ago, when I thought my son was gay. A year later, when we came to understand our child was a trans girl, and not a gay boy, PFLAG connected my to the resources we needed. The support of the other parents in PFLAG was vital to my sanity. And my child found friends in the youth group. Even now, eight years later, I cherish my PFLAG family. I often say that my PFLAG family knows more and asks more about my child than does my birth family. And that's not unusual.

Q. You recently included PFLAG in your will. Thank you! Can you briefly talk about the process? How easy/difficult is it? What were some of the issues you and John discussed to help shape your decisions?

A. It was very easy to add PFLAG to our will. We were reviewing our legal documents and just made note that we wanted a certain amount to go to PFLAG National. John and I also included other charities at the same time. We talked about what causes we care about and had shaped our lives; and what we participate in that has made us better people and could help others.

Q. Specifically, why was it important to you and John to include PFLAG in your plans?

A. Most specifically, PFLAG kept our family together. Having a child transition eight years ago was almost unheard of. I could find no local providers, no local families to support us. It almost broke my family apart. My child was suicidal. I had no idea what to do or where to start. PFLAG helped me find and, more importantly, create resources for my family and the hundreds of local families who have come to us looking for support for their trans and gender creative children. It is not an understatement to say that PFLAG saves lives and keeps families together. We want to help keep that going, long into the future.

Q. How does it make you and your family feel to know that you have created a long-term PFLAG legacy?

A. It makes me proud to think that my life's work and my financial legacy will be about making PFLAG strong, so it can be there for other families long into the future. We have so much more work to do and so many more families need to know that having an LGBTQ child is a gift. And PFLAG helps families come to understand and embrace these magical and marvelous children.

Q. Many people think estate planning is something only older people need to do. Why would you recommend that folks take the time to do this earlier in life?

A. Estate planning is critical for everyone. Do it when you’re young and review it at every milestone. It's easy to do online, very affordable, and will protect your family and your assets. It's how you can ensure the work you do while on this earth can continue to pay it forward long after you are gone.

For more information about including PFLAG in your will or estate planning or the Jeanne Manford Legacy Circle, please contact [email protected].