PFLAG champion Shelley Argent announces retirement after 22 years

The national spokesperson for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG+), Shelley Argent, has announced she will be retiring from the role after 22 years.

Argent has been at the forefront of the fight of LGBTQIA+ rights in Queensland and across Australia for over two decades, with 13 years at the helm of PFLAG’s national operations.

“I have seen great changes in legislation, but also the mellowing of societal attitudes,” Argent says.

“I was volunteering at QUAC (Queensland AIDS Council) in 1998 when over 1000 cases of HIV/AIDS were diagnosed annually in Queensland. Now, approximately 150 diagnosed in 2020 and now it’s considered an STI not a death sentence, thanks to PEP and PrEP and excellent safe sex education.”

“Over the years, I have made some great friends in the LGBTIQ+ community, met many interesting people and been included in some great events, including leading Mardi Gras in 2011.

“Being part of PFLAG+ has been a huge part of my life. And, as my son James say “I am more gay than him” which is a compliment.”

Though Argent will be handing over the reins as national spokesperson, she plans to remain an active member of PFLAG.

“I have done more and accomplished more than I could have imagined. I feel I have been part of the many changes and been successful, along with others, while advocating for LGBTIQ+ rights.”

Argent has announced PFLAG’s new national spokesperson will be Jane Hopkins.

“Jane is already fantastic. She is keen and has fresh ideas on how to improve PFLAG+.”

“Jane’s enthusiasm, commitment and dedication to see a better world for her son and everyone else in this community is her best asset and something we should all appreciate.”

“So thank you all for your support of me over the years and if by chance you see me out and about, please come and say hello.”

OIP Staff

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