WASHINGTON, DC—Today, PFLAG National makes public a new program called “PFLAG Connects,” extending its support, education, and advocacy efforts further into digital space. PFLAG Connects provides the organization’s large national network of local chapters with tools, training, starter kits, and dedicated staff support to transition chapter meetings, support services, and events online. Through this program, PFLAG connects communities, families, and their lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) loved ones now, and into the future.
“In the weeks that have marked dramatic and unprecedented changes for families the world over, the PFLAG Chapter Network continues to be a vital resource to local communities as the extended family of the LGBTQ+ community,” said Brian K. Bond, executive director of PFLAG National. “Families turn to us for support, and PFLAG continues to meet those needs by providing support meetings and virtual hugs, timely and topical education, training and technical support, and influential advocacy through PFLAG Connects.”
In addition to offering local support meetings and events for families online, PFLAG Connects includes a weekly live streaming event, “Something to Talk About Live!” to engage people on Facebook and YouTube in timely, topic-driven conversations. This Thursday, April 23 at 4:30 p.m. ET/ 1:30 p.m. PT, Something to Talk About Live! will feature a conversation with Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, and Pastor Jay Bakker, son of Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker and founder of Revolution Church who was honored in 2012 by PFLAG National with the Straight for Equality in Faith award. There are also a weekly “PFLAG Connects” newsletter, advocacy tools to engage with lawmakers virtually in educational policy roundtables and town halls, and PFLAG Academy Online learning sessions, both live and on demand.
“Making sure that PFLAG is there for families and our LGBTQ+ loved ones with support in times of crisis and times of celebration is core to our mission. We are grateful to the David Bohnett Foundation for their seed investment in PFLAG Connects. This financial commitment helps deliver the technology that enables our chapters to provide much-needed support locally,” said Kathy Godwin, president of the PFLAG National Board of Directors.
“Offering these great tools through PFLAG Connects is a giant step in meeting the needs of our communities in this new reality of social distancing,” said Jamie Curtis, director of chapter engagement. “Our job is not done, though. Having the tools and knowing or having access to use them varies from chapter to chapter, community to community. That is why we have built-in training and direct support for chapter leaders as they navigate virtual meetings.”
Sixty-seven chapters have begun offering virtual support meetings through PFLAG Connects, with more transitioning to the new service mode each day. Learn more about the PFLAG Connects program at pflag.org/connect.
PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities, and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed. To learn more, visit pflag.org, like us on Facebook (/pflag), or follow us on Twitter (@pflag) or Instagram (@pflag).