Parents, Families and Friends United with LGBTQ+ People to Move Equality Forward
Dear Members and Friends,
Greetings from PFLAG Portland, Maine. We missed last year’s appeal, so it is past time for us to reach out and bring you up to date!
The past two years our chapter has been busier than ever supporting our community of LGBTQ+ allies and loved ones. We can’t do this important work without the support ~both in time and treasure~ of our volunteers, members and friends.
Our greatest achievement in 2021 was moving to an online zoom platform to continue and grow our Peer Support Meetings despite the pandemic shutting down in-person meetings. Every month both new and returning folks from across Maine (and beyond!) connect and encourage each other. This core element of our work succeeds through the dedication of our volunteers, and the willingness of participants to be vulnerable and supportive. In addition to monthly groups, we continue to respond to requests for one-on-one support from folks who aren’t yet comfortable in a group setting.
In 2021-2022 we were visible in education and advocacy, appearing on Derry Rundlett’s YouTube show to discuss PFLAG’s work, quoted in Time magazine after the Conor v. Makin decision, testifying at the Maine State House and speaking out in letters to the editor to defeat a bill that would have discriminated against transgender girls in sports, and writing to support DHHS rulemaking to prohibit discrimination against transgender youth and adults in their gender-related medical decisions.
We’ve also returned to some in person events. In 2021 we hosted the Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil and helped display a panel of the AIDS Memorial Quilt for World AIDS Day. Both of these events were joint efforts with our partners from the Equality Community Center and others. In 2022 we educated people tabling at Abbott Laboratories’ charity day and at the opening of the Equality Community Center. And of course 2022 saw the return of in-person Pride! Portland festival and parade where we shared our support and spread our message to so many young people and families.
With the financial and volunteer help of Schnitzer Steel, we hosted our first PFLAG Family Picnic this summer – what we hope to be an annual event. We received a complimentary update to our website from the folks at 48-in-48 this past spring. Over the next few months we’ll upgrade our email to better utilize the new website’s functionality and improve our communications with our membership about events and advocacy opportunities.
While around 200+ people receive our monthly newsletters and invitations to our support meetings, our financial support in 2021 and 2022 came from less than 20% of those households. As we look ahead to our programming for 2023, we would love to have your support too!
We need your help more than ever!
As I type this letter, we are pulling together the details for this year’s Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil (November 20). In 2023 we will be settling into our home at the new ECC location at 15 Casco Street, will again be a part of Pride! Portland festival and parade, and are considering a return to in-person, or hybrid, support meetings. We plan to have a more regular presence tabling at community events to broaden our reach. We would love your input and feedback on our programming, and are always interested in growing our group of volunteers.
Please join us today to financially support the work of PFLAG Portland Maine, so that we can continue strengthening the network of LGBTQ+ allies across Maine!
- Join PFLAG, or renew, with a $30 annual membership donation
- Consider making an additional donation of $25, $50, or $100 over your membership. Automatic monthly gifts are greatly appreciated!
- Visit: https://www.pflagportlandmaine.org/donate to be taken to our website for credit card and PayPal options
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,
Sarah, Muriel, Rebecca, Michael, Bill, and Cate
PFLAG Portland Maine Board of Directors
PFLAG Portland Maine
c/o Equality Community Center
511 Congress Street, Portland ME, 04101