End of Summer 2015 Newsletter

Welcome to the end-of-Summer e-newsletter for PFLAG Gaston.

We hope you enjoy receiving and reading our newsletter.  PFLAG Gaston is a very busy and involved organization.  Through our newsletters, we will keep you informed of meetings, events, activities, and other items of interest.

PFLAG Gaston

Our Mission Statement:  Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promote the health and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons and their families and friends through SUPPORT to cope with an adverse society, EDUCATION to enlighten an ill-informed public, and through ADVOCACY to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights.  PFLAG provides the opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

Our Mission:  to assist the greater Gaston County community in understanding and accepting their LGBT citizens.  We seek greater education, support, and understanding in our community.

PFLAG National

Founded in 1972, PFLAG is a national non-profit organization with over 200,000 members and supporters and over 350 affiliates in the U.S.  Made of parents, families, friends, and straight allies uniting with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education, and advocacy.

PFLAG Gaston Speakers

If your organization would like to know more about PFLAG and its mission, we would be glad to provide a speaker for a meeting.  Please contact Ginger at [email protected] to make arrangements.

PFLAG Gaston T-shirts

These can be purchased for $12 at any PFLAG Gaston meeting or special event.  Sizes are available from small-6x.

Regular Activities

There are 2 activities that we have on a regular basis.

One is our 4 Seasons Suppers that are held quarterly at area restaurants. These are Dutch treat and provide a time for us to enjoy a meal together with no agenda, program, or meeting. In the past, we have visited Simonetti’s, Tommy’s, Round Bistro, Amber Jack’s, Passion Grill, and Tavern 24.

The other activity is called “Come If You Can.”  These, also, are Dutch treat and are held whenever there is an activity we think would be of interest to our group. In the past, we have bowled, attended a roller derby bout, played trivia, and visited the LGBTQ exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South in Charlotte.  In the near future, we plan to offer an outing to play bingo and to attend a show at The Comedy Zone in Charlotte.

These activities are offered in addition to regular meetings, activities, and events. Attendance is based on the interests of members and supporters and offers a variety of activities from which to choose.

Calendar

  • October 3—Zombie Walk canned food drive in downtown Gastonia, we will have a booth, and we urge you to attend and bring non-perishable food items to contribute
  • October 15—regular meeting, election of president, treasurer, and member representative—only paid members may run for and hold office
  • October 23—3rd. Annual Queer Youth Conference at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • November 4—all day fundraiser at Simonetti’s in Belmont, please put this on your calendar for lunch and/or supper/dinner
  • November 19—regular meeting
  • December 2 & 3—“Come If You Can” event, Fortune Feimster at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte with a private “meet and greet” with Fortune before the Wednesday show for PFLAG members and their guests, starting at 7:00pm
  • December 17—regular meeting & holiday social

Summer Activities

During the summer, we had 3 regular meetings, a multigenerational prom, a “Come If You Can” to Kate’s Skating Rink, a 4 Seasons Supper: Summer at Tommy’s in Dallas, and participated in Charlotte Pride and Gaston Pride.

Fall Activities

This fall, we will have the following meetings, events, and activities:

October, November, and December—regularly scheduled meetings the 3rd. Thursday of each month at 7:00pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Gastonia

The Zombie Walk booth, festivities, & canned food drive on October 3 in downtown Gastonia

The PFLAG National Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, October 16-18

Our 2nd. annual fundraiser at Simonetti’s in Belmont on November 4

“Come If You Can” Fortune Feimster comedy show at the Comedy Zone in Charlotte on December 2 & 3

Time Out Youth in Gaston County

Time Out Youth of Charlotte will begin a satellite program in Gaston County for LGBTQ youth ages thirteen-twenty. The group will meet monthly from 5:00pm-8:30pm on the 3rd. Tuesday of each month. Meetings will be held at All Saints Episcopal Church in Gastonia starting on November 17.

There are 2 things that we need to do to support this endeavor:

1.     Provide meals or see that meals are provided at 6:00pm before the start of the program at 7:00pm. It is projected that, at first, approximately 12-15 people will be present for meals. Individuals and groups, including churches, clubs, and other organizations, are asked to provide, prepare, and serve the meal once a month. Food may be cooked at home or in the church kitchen, it may be catered or delivered, or restaurants may be asked to donate.  Regardless, the people responsible for seeing that a meal is provided is asked to see that it is served promptly and the kitchen and dining room left as found.  Please let us know if you or your organization will provide supper for any month of the year so that a calendar may be made. Even if you want to do this during 2016, or this fall, please let us know as soon as possible.

2.     Anyone interested in being a group counselor, please let us know. A training session is required as well as a background check. As this point, 3 members of PFLAG Gaston have completed the training. You do not have to be a PFLAG member to be a counselor. Counselors will be present and assist as necessary during the meeting, but no preparation is needed. Only those who complete the requirements will be permitted by TOY to attend meetings. Those providing meals do not have to complete the requirements but neither may they attend the meetings that begin after the meals.

September Meeting

In an effort to hold gatherings twice a year in locations throughout Gaston County (other than in Gastonia), our September PFLAG Picnic in the Park was held in Bessemer City and was attended by 21 people.  The meeting and “meet and greet” were attended by area ministers and faith leaders who are open and affirming.  A program on the Affordable Care Act was presented by Kristine Guy of the Gaston Family Medical Center.  Assorted desserts and drinks were served. We thank Kristine, as well as all ministers and faith leaders who attended.

Meeting Schedule

Meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month at 7:00pm at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 258 West Franklin Boulevard, Gastonia.  In May and September, our Picnics in the Park are held at local public parks.

All those who are allies and advocates of the LGBTQ community, are LGBTQ, or are questioning their sexuality or the sexuality of a loved one, are welcome to attend.  We hold a confidential meeting with a different topic of discussion or program at each meeting.  For those who would like to share with us, know that we are there to listen and help in any way that we can.

Donations & Dues

If you are interested in becoming a member of PFLAG Gaston, please let us know.  We welcome all who want to help make a positive difference for our LGBTQ community.  Please contact our treasurer Cindy Buckley at 704-854-8994 to join and/or make donations.

Simonetti’s Fundraiser

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 4, when PFLAG Gaston will hold our 2nd. annual fundraiser at Simonetti’s restaurant in Belmont. The menu features appetizers, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, and salads.  All of their food is delicious, including a wonderful variety of desserts from See Jane Bake.  We will receive a percentage of the profits from both lunch and supper.  We would appreciate you helping us by eating at Simonetti’s on November 4.  As a non-profit organization, any money we have comes from fundraisers and donations.  The money we earn will be used to purchase literature, brochures, and business cards to distribute at public events as well as supplies needed for our chapter’s projects and activities.

Items of Interest

PFLAG Gaston welcomes your participation in any or all of our meetings, events, and activities.  Through our programs, we provide support, education, and advocacy for the LGBT community and allies.  We encourage you to “like” PFLAG Gaston’s Facebook page.  If you would “accept” or “join” our events whenever possible, we would appreciate that, also.

Welcome to All

PFLAG Gaston hopes to make a positive difference for the LGBTQ community through our interest and activism.  We invite you to join our organization and attend meetings, events, and/or activities in order to help us take a stand for equality for all of our citizens.  We offer a special thank you to St. Mark’s Episcopal Church for allowing us to use their facilities for our meetings and events.

PFLAG Thoughts

We would like to encourage advocates, allies, and members of the LGBTQ community to speak out, write to newspapers, and encourage others by word of mouth and on social media to support the work that is being done toward equality in Gaston County.

Have a safe and happy Fall!

Ginger Feimster

President, PFLAG Gaston