Fall 2014 Newsletter

Welcome to the Fall e-newsletter for PFLAG Gaston.  Starting in October, our newsletter will be sent out quarterly instead of monthly.

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.

Contact Information

We may be contacted at any of the following:

1.     e-mail:  info@pflaggaston.org

2.     Facebook:  Pflag Gaston

3.     website:  www.pflaggaston.org

4.     P.O. Box 550864, Gastonia, N.C.  28055


PFLAG Gaston T-shirts

These may be purchased for $12 at any PFLAG Gaston meeting or special event.  Sizes are available from small-4x and are available for purchase at our meetings.


October 16—regular meeting, election of vice president, secretary, and member representative, program presented by Jim Long for LGBT History Month, celebration for Marriage Equality in North Carolina

October 17—2nd. Annual Queer Youth Conference, UNCC

November 6—board meeting

November 12—all-day fundraiser at Simonetti’s in Belmont, please put this on your calendar for breakfast, lunch, and/or supper/dinner—4 Seasons Supper: Fall

November 20—regular meeting

December 4—board meeting

December 5 & 6—One Voice Chorus Concert, Charlotte

December 18—regular meeting, 2nd. Annual Holiday Variety Show


September Meeting

Our September PFLAG Picnic in the Park was attended by 23 people.  Our program was presented by Gastonia City Councilman Todd Pierceall, who discussed LGBT issues in Gaston County.  Also, poems and prose that had been presented at Gaston Pride were read and recited and lead by Jim Kellogg.

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 who support LGBT members, are LGBT, 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. Our Board meetings are open to all members on the dates on our calendar.

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 LGBT community.

c0ef2e300ee4cd4afa5a92d56f408b54Simonetti’s Fundraiser

Please mark your calendars for Wednesday, November 12, when PFLAG Gaston will have an all-day fundraiser at Simonetti’s restaurant in Belmont.  From 7am-11am, traditional breakfasts such as eggs cooked anyway, omelets, grits, home fries, toast, bacon, sausage, and livermush may be ordered.  Also, they serve corned beef hash, homemade pancakes, French toast, and breakfast pizza and sandwiches.  From 11am-9pm, the menu features appetizers, pizza, pasta, hot and cold subs, calzones, stromboli, panini’s, and salads.  All of their food is delicious, including a variety of desserts, beer, and wine.  We will receive a percentage of the profits for all 3 meals, including take-outs!  Kids’ meals are available.  Please tell the staff at Simonetti’s that you are supporting PFLAG Gaston, so they will know that we’ve done the groundwork for a very successful day!  We really would appreciate you helping us by eating at Simonetti’s on November 12.  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.

4 Seasons Supper:  Fall, will be held at Simonetti’s the evening of November 12, beginning at six.  Quarterly, anyone who would like to meet for dinner shares a Dutch treat meal at a local restaurant.  At these times, we get together for fun and fellowship, without a program, meeting, or agenda.  We hope you will join us!


October Meeting

Our meeting for October will be on the 16th. at 7:00pm.  Elections will be held for the positions of vice-president, secretary, and member-at-large.  Those who are dues-paying members of PFLAG Gaston are encouraged to nominate officers, run for office, and vote at our meeting.  The job descriptions include the following responsibilities:

Vice-President—conducts meetings in the absence of the president, stands in for the president at events where the president is not present, arranges programs/speakers for our monthly meetings

Secretary—keeps minutes of our meetings and reads them at meetings, acts as our liaison to the Gay/Straight Alliances at local high schools and Gaston College, as well as to newspapers, writes and mails thank you notes for the chapter

Member-at-Large—assists other officers and Hospitality chairmen as needed, greets arrivals at meetings, activities, and events, heads our “Run for the Money” annual fundraiser


November Meeting

Our high school and Gaston College GSAs and advisors are invited to join us in recognition of their service to the community and youth of Gaston County.  Todd Rosendahl and O’Neale Atkinson of Time Out Youth in Charlotte will present the program.

December Meeting

We will host our 2nd. annual Holiday Variety Show.  Please let us know if you have a talent you would like to share!

Thank You

We would like to thank members Amy and Mike Sifford, Cindy Buckley, and Jim Kellogg for manning our booth at the “Zombie Walk Canned Food Drive” that was held in downtown Gastonia.

Thank you to Elizabeth Cahill who has made the offer to perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples in our area.  Contact us for more information.

We thank Loray Media for managing our website and e-mail account.

Thanks, also, to Belinda Maier, Cindy Buckley, and Ginger Feimster for attending the conference at UNCC and sharing shifts at the PFLAG booth with PFLAGs from Charlotte, Davidson-Cornelius, and Concord.  All of these chapters, plus Salisbury-Rowan will provide literature for the booth.

Todd Pierceall’s program at our September meeting was interesting and appreciated.  Thank you to Todd.

Thank you to Fortune Feimster for starting a GoFundMe fundraising drive for our chapter and helping raise funds for our treasury.  A very special thank you goes to the people who showed their support of our chapter by making contributions.

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, too.  Please visit our website at pflaggaston.org

Welcome to All

PFLAG Gaston hopes to make a positive difference for the LGBT 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 

Marriage Equality is here!  It’s a wonderful day!!  We would like to encourage advocates, allies, and members of the LGBT community to speak out, write to the newspapers, and encourage others by word of mouth to support the work that is being done toward equality not only in Gaston County but also in the state of North Carolina.  The people who are active are in the minority and need your help.  Please do not sit back thinking that “somebody else” will advocate and support.  All of us must lead by example.  With Marriage Equality legal in North Carolina, we have many reasons to celebrate, but we cannot “rest on our laurels.”  Please remember that there is much to be done, such as working for equality in the workplace.  Now is the time to join a PFLAG, become active in local LGBT groups, and stand up for what is right.  Congratulations to all for a job well done!  Let’s continue to join hands, hearts, and minds to work for equality across the board!

Have a safe and happy Fall!    Ginger Feimster, President, PFLAG Gaston