Frequently Asked Questions about PFLAG Support Meetings
Do I have to let someone know that I am coming to a support meeting, or RSVP to your Facebook events?
No. There is no need to RSVP. You can just come to the meeting.
Who can come to a meeting?
All are welcome – lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people (LGBTQ+) and parents, families and straight allies are invited. You are also welcome to bring someone who can support you – a spouse, child, relative, friend or neighbor.
Do I have to pay anything to attend a meeting?
No. PFLAG support meetings are FREE.
Who attends PFLAG Meetings?
People who attend PFLAG meetings are diverse – they come from different backgrounds, occupations, and age groups. Some people who attend meetings may have had similar experiences – in living their lives as LGBTQ+ people, or as being a parent, family member, or friend to LGBTQ+ people. Sometimes people who attend meetings are struggling – with coming out, with supporting an LGBTQ+ child, or with being in a church or temple that rejects LGBTQ+ people. Other people come to PFLAG to share stories and just enjoy the company of other PFLAG members. Whatever reason you have for attending a PFLAG meeting, we welcome you and support you.
Do I need to have a particular reason for attending a PFLAG meeting?
No. You do not have to have a pressing problem or crisis to attend a meeting. Some people come because they are having a problem, while other people come to share community, tell stories, or just listen.
What are some reasons why people attend PFLAG meetings?
LGBTQ people might attend a meeting:
- To learn from other LGBTQ people and their families how they can tell people in their own lives that they are LGBTQ.
- To help other families that are having trouble adjusting when a family member comes out as LGBTQ.
- To begin creating a chosen family to replace friends and family that were lost when they came out.
Parents and family members of LGBTQ people might come to get support from other families who have had similar experiences.
Transgender people and their families might come to learn how other transgender people and families have gone through the process of transition.
Spouses of LGBTQ people come because they want to support their spouse and family.
Allies come to meetings because:
- They want to support an LGBTQ friend
- They want to learn how to be better allies to LGBTQ people
- They want to become active in their community in standing up for the rights of LGBTQ people.
- They want to connect with other people in their communities that are also working to support LGBTQ people.
What happens at a meeting?
Meetings vary depending on the needs of the people who attend. We usually start by introducing ourselves and reminding everyone that PFLAG meetings are confidential, and that information shared in the meeting should not be shared outside of the meeting. We share announcements of events that PFLAG is organizing, and any other local events related to LGBTQ issues. If there are people with pressing issues or questions, we often spend time listening and sharing any stories that we may have that might help. Our meetings are often a combination of listening, sharing and socializing.
I get nervous in large groups or new groups. What should I do?
We understand that joining us at a meeting may be difficult for some people. We try to make it as easy as possible by keeping our meetings friendly. We won’t force anyone to talk, and you are welcome even if you just want to listen. If possible, we encourage you to bring a support person with you to the meeting so that you are more comfortable. Let us know if there is anything we can do to make the meeting work better for you.
How often do people attend PFLAG meetings?
People attend as often as they would like to. No matter how many meetings you attend, you are under no obligation to the Chapter. Some people come to one or two meetings because they are having a problem and then feel no need to come back. Other people end up enjoying the meetings and want to help other LGBTQ people and families, so they come month after month.
No matter how few or many times you attend, we hope you find our meetings to be welcoming and helpful. If for some reason the meeting is not what you expected, or if we were unable to address an issue you hoped to discuss, please contact one of our board members to let us know.