PFLAG chap­ters in more than 400 com­mu­ni­ties

GA Voice - - Outspoken -

The At­lanta group has two chap­ters with roughly 200 paid mem­ber fam­i­lies, and a ro­tat­ing cast of vis­i­tors; Voutos said while they don’t keep a tally of vis­i­tors, each of the sup­port cir­cles has been growing to upward of 30 at­ten­dees, she said.

Those range from men and women who are prac­tic­ing com­ing out them­selves to fam­i­lies an­tic­i­pat­ing a mem­ber com­ing out.

“On the other hand, we have par­ents com­ing in who are dis­traught and not un­der­stand­ing and in tears,” Voutos said. “[They’re] re­ally strug­gling to find a place where they can con­nect with their child.”

It was the de­sire to see her child ac­cepted that orig­i­nally led Man­ford to join her son march­ing down Christo­pher Street all those years go. Ac­cord­ing to PFLAG lore, so many gay and les­bian men and women ap­proached Man­ford to speak to their par­ents that she de­cided to be­gin a sup­port group.

The first meet­ing took place on March 26, 1973 in a Green­wich Vil­lage church, ac­cord­ing to the na­tional group. About 20 peo­ple at­tended.

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