New name for PFLAG marks new chapter for support organisation

The local branch of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) has announced the national organisation has launched a new name to emphasise their inclusive practices.

PFLAG is now PFLAG+ Australia: Parents in Pride. The new name aligns with the group’s mission to support all family members and loved ones of the LGBTQIA+ community, as well as LGBTQIA+ folks directly.

National directors Jane Hopkins and Jo Gilbert are spearheading the new chapter in the not-for-profit organisation’s 30-year history, updating the name to be more inclusive, to reflect its national focus, foster greater cooperation between states and territory branches, and to source tax-deductible funding to create resources to better support families.

Local spokesperson Kate Salinger said while the LGBTQIA+ community is more celebrated than ever, parents still need help to support and advocate for their gender and sexually diverse children.

“It takes a village and ours is a vibrant community with room for all!” Salinger said of the new name.

Salinger echoes Hopkins’ message, who says: “We have come so far in improving the rights of the LGBTIQA+ community but unfortunately there is still work that needs to be done, especially to support families in regional, rural and remote areas.

“We know there are limited resources for these families and they can often feel isolated and alone, living in communities where there is often increased stigma and discrimination.’”

Salinger says locally, parents of gender and sexually diverse children and young people grapple with the knowledge that their loved one’s path may be more difficult than average.

“I think the parents and carers, corporations and businesses who approach us all want the same thing – to make the world a more educated and accepting place. The more public we are, the more vocal we are, then LGBTQIA+ community members and their families who may not have support networks can reach out to us and build them – they’ll know they are not alone!”

“We look forward to working with PFLAG+ Australia to be a force of change for as long as it takes to ensure our LGBTQIA+ loved ones are safe and have the same human rights as all Australians.’’

Here in WA, PFLAG+ has been supporting our LGBTQIA+ communities since 1989, founded 33 years ago by John and Margaret Pugh and June Smythe.

The Perth chapter and PFLAG+ nationally have been major voices in campaigns supporting marriage equality, decriminalisation, and protections for LGBTQIA+ folks against religious discrimination legislation.

PFLAG+ Perth’s next meeting is on Saturday 22 October from 3 pm – 5 pm. Message PFLAG+ Perth on Facebook or Instagram to register your attendance.

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