By George T. Nicola, GLAPN
PFLAG Portland Black Chapter (PPBC) will hold its sixth anniversary celebration at Ambridge Event Center in Portland starting at 6 pm, Friday, April 24. It is billed as the “biggest, baddest, most love-filled celebration of our Black LGBTQ community.” All people of good will, regardless of age or identity, are welcome.
Mistress of Ceremonies will be popular local entertainer Alexis Campbell Starr. The gala will feature food, drinks, entertainment, moving performances, special guest speakers, and photo booth fun along with other attractions.
PFLAG was initially an acronym for Parents, Family & Friends of Lesbians & Gays. Now it emphasizes its inclusion of the full LGBTQ spectrum. Participants are generally half LGBTQ and half ally.
Locally, Parents of Gays (POG) was founded in 1976. In 1983, it incorporated as PFLAG Portland. PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, which is part of PFLAG Portland, was founded in 2009 as the first PFLAG chapter in the nation to be created by and for the African American community.
The group has worked extensively to advocate for LGBTQ equality in the larger black community and facilitate the organization of gay-straight alliances (GSAs) in schools. In fact, many PPBC participants have become leaders in the larger Portland black community.
Khalil Edwards, the energetic and skillful coordinator of PPBC, is the son of Antoinette and Keith Edwards. Antoinette is one of PPBC’s founders, and Keith is a strong supporter.
In 2013, PFLAG Portland Black Chapter added Youth Coordinator Leila Hofstein to expand their Youth Outreach Program and Support Development. In that role, Leila Hofstein has done an exceptional job working with the LGBTQ youth of our community.
Tickets for this very affordable anniversary event can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/PBCAnniv6.