By George T. Nicola, GLAPN
PFLAG Portland Oregon originated in 1976 as Parents of Gays (POG). In 1983, it joined a coalition of national groups to become PFLAG, which originally stood for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Today, it is fully inclusive, with about half its members LGBTQ, and the other half straight cisgender allies.
In the past few years, the organization has become a family of three chapter: PFLAG Portland, PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, and PFLAG East County. Every year the PFLAG National Network honors exceptional chapters in three categories: Support, Education, and Advocacy.
This year, the PFLAG Portland family of chapters shared the support award with PFLAG Columbia-Howard (Maryland) for its leadership in developing its network of community-responsive chapters to better serve the diverse Portland Metro area. The award announcement states:
After reflecting on the diverse and complex needs of their community, PFLAG Portland developed a family of chapters in the Portland metro region. This includes the PFLAG Portland Black Chapter, which serves the African-American community and PFLAG Portland East County which serves more conservative areas in Multnomah County. Each group works independently to meet the specific needs of the families that come to them for support and they also work together to creating real and lasting culture change in Portland area schools, religious institutions, governmental organizations, and more.
PFLAG Portland President Dawn Holt notes, “We don’t do this work for the recognition, but it’s nice to be one of the 4 most innovative chapters in the 350+ chapter PFLAG National Network.”