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Barbara Pisetsky has been a proud PFLAGer for over 24 years, a journey that started when her younger son came out at age 16. Barbara shared her story at her first PFLAG meeting with PFLAG South Orange County and knew after that first meeting that she had found a safe place, free of judgment and full of guidance and acceptance.
Soon after, Barbara was nominated, and began to serve, as the chapter Vice President, eventually moving into the role of chapter president.
Under her leadership, the chapter created a scholarship program which thrives to this day, giving out thousands of dollars to worthy LGBTQ+ students. The chapter funds the program in a variety of ways, including partnerships with local retailers such as Barnes & Noble (through a holiday gift wrapping program); Bloomingdale’s (through a QR code fundraiser); and with the Los Angeles Angels where, on PRIDE Night, PFLAG South Orange County’s name was blasted on the Megatron for thousands of people to see.
One of Barbara’s proudest moments was speaking to dozens of legislative aids in Washington, DC as part of the Equality caucus.
After serving as chapter president, Barbara was elected to serve as the Southern Pacific Regional Director for PFLAG National, where she enjoyed visiting with chapters and helping them grow. After serving in that role for three years, Barbara resigned due to a family move to Honolulu. During her time there, she not only kept in close touch with her beloved South Orange County chapter, but also served and participated with organizations in her new local community. Just as she was asked to be on the Board for the LGBTQ Legacy Foundation, she and her family made the decision to move back to Southern California. Not only was she welcomed back by her chapter, but she was unanimously reelected as president.
Barbara finds great purpose in her work with PFLAG, and feels it is, “…a gift and blessing to see new families come into our meetings unsure of what they should do regarding their child and after just a couple of meetings to see the change and growth in them.” Barbara is excited at the opportunity to once again serve PFLAG National in a way that connects her with chapters across the Southern Pacific region.