Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays
  October 1998 Newsletter

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Our Next Meeting:
Tuesday, October 13 at 7pm
Woodford's Church

Facilitators: Fran & Dan

My Brother's Gay, and. . .

What's it like having a sibling come out of the closet to you? Is it the same experience that parents go through? Sue Ward-Diorio talks about coming to terms with her gay brother, and the effect it's had on her life.

PFLAG invites you to join us 30 minutes before the start of each month's meeting for socializing and one-on-one support.

One year ago...



"In any city, gays and lesbians need some kind of place to call their own, young gays and lesbians especially. My feeling is in years to come the library will be a center for gays and lesbians to call home, to feel at home."

Bob Hobbs, an attendee at the induction of a new gay and lesbian library, located above Amigo's restaurant on Dana Street in Portland's Old Port, as quoted in the Portland Press Herald.

"Now, if you can help gay people become not gay, could you help Mr. Clinton become gay and then save the country? I mean, you could really help us out here."

Singer David Crosby, addressing Robert Knight, director of cultural studies for the right-wing Family Research Council, on ABC's Politically Correct.

"If God is telling us he can't do anything about starving kids in the Sudan but he has the time and energy to make gay people straight, God is one hurting Buckaroo."

Colin McEnroe, columnist for the Hartford Courant, in his August 10 edition of The Colin Chronicles

"As you see it, your son is a victim of satanic wiles. Yet the same Bible that is interpreted as forbidding homosexuality also forbids adultery, the disrespect of parents, and working on the Sabbath. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think you'd be as upset if your son's sin was that he mowed his lawn on Sunday afternoons."

Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, in a column directed at a mother who calls her gay son abnormal


Mark Your Calendar for these upcoming PFLAG Meetings

November 10

Guest: Gloria Vetro, Coordinator of Volunteer Services at the Peabody House.

Topic: Peabody House's past, present and future as it provides aid and comfort to those with AIDS.

PFLAG meets in the basement of Woodford's Church in Portland at 7pm, with gathering time from 6:30-7:00 for socializing and 1-on-1 support.


New National PFLAG President named

PFLAG has named as its new president National PFLAG Board Member Paul Beeman. An ordained minister who lives in Olympia, WA, Beeman is the father of four--a gay son and lesbian daughter--and two straight children. In addition to serving as a United Methodist pastor for many years, Beeman also has a strong background in fundraising, marketing and journalism. He has served on PFLAG's board since 1994. Paul and Betty, his wife of more than 40 years--who helped launch the PFLAG Olympia, WA, chapter--are also grandparents.

Beeman, who was elected Sept. 12 by PFLAG's National Board of Directors, says he is eagerly looking forward to lead the group as it presses ahead nationally and locally in its fight for equal civil rights.

"PFLAG is all about being able to give kids back to their parents," Beeman emphasized. "As with slavery and women's rights, barriers to equality will eventually fall in our communities of faith and in our whole society. It will happen as we family members tell the stories of our children and families and explain their commitment to stable family relationships," he said.

Among his goals are to assure safe space for all children in school and at worship and to enhance the education of the majority of middle Americans who don't yet understand how natural homosexuality truly is.

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Contribute to PFLAG through the United Way

Please keep PFLAG in mind when you sign up to contribute to the United Way. This year, you can earmark donations to PFLAG, either through direct deposit (a fixed amount taken out of your paycheck) or direct donations.

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Bring a photo of your loved ones to the next meeting

Every month we talk about or gay and lesbian loved ones. We'd like to start putting faces with the names. If you like, bring in a photo of yourself with your gay children or friends (and their partners) for a new PFLAG bulletin board. This is strictly voluntary and the board will be taken down after each meeting.
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New Telephone Helpline Offers Crisis Help For Gay Youth

The Trevor Project has launched The Trevor Helpline, the first round-the-clock national toll-free suicide hotline for gay and questioning youth. It's open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Teens with nowhere to turn can call 800-850-8078, where they can talk to trained counselors, find local resources and take important steps on their way to becoming healthy adults. All calls are free and confidential, and are handled by trained counselors.

The Trevor Helpline was established by the The Trevor Project to coincide with the HBO airing of TREVOR, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres. TREVOR is the award-winning short film about a 13-year old boy named Trevor who, when rejected by friends and peers as he begins to come to terms with his sexuality, makes an unsuccessful attempt at suicide.

When TREVOR was scheduled to air on HBO, the film's creators began to realize that some of the program's teen viewers might be facing the same kind of crisis as Trevor, and they began to search for a support line to help them. When they discovered that no national 24-hour toll-free suicide hotline existed that was geared toward gay youth, they decided to establish one and began the search for funding.

Thanks to a generous startup grant from The Colin Higgins Foundation, The Trevor Helpline was born, and the search for funding continues to maintain the site on a permanent basis.

The film's creators were also lucky enough to secure the services of Dr. Jay Nagdimon, an expert in the area of suicide prevention, to manage the hotline. Dr. Nagdimon is director of the Suicide Prevention Center (SPC) in Los Angeles. Prior to his tenure at the SPC, Dr. Nagdimon founded the Lambda Youth Network, a nonprofit organization providing outreach and HIV education to gay, lesbian and bisexual youth. In addition, he supervised the Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project for the Family Service of Los Angeles, and he authored Adolescent Suicide Prevention Project, a teacher's guide for presenting suicide prevention material to youth. Dr. Nagdimon is also a past contributor to Oasis Magazine, an online publication for sexual minority youth. The Trevor Helpline was designed to help those in crisis and, like the film, give hope where it's needed.

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"Is it a Choice?" Added to PFLAG library

There's a new book in the PFLAG library called Is It A Choice? Answers to 300 of the Most Frequently Asked Questions About Gays and Lesbians. It's written by Eric Marcus, and is available to check out free of charge.

The best way to overcome discrimination, hatred and violence against our gay and lesbian children and friends is to educate ourselves. PFLAG/Portland has an extensive print/audio/video library open to all. The materials can be checked out at any PFLAG meeting.

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We have accepted the situation (that our child is gay), but why must they flaunt it?

Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are often accused of "flaunting" their sexuality when they "come out" as gay, when they are publicly affectionate with a same-sex partner, or when they wear gay symbols and t-shirts or participate in gay parades. In a world that still assumes all people are heterosexual, "coming out" is the only way gay, lesbian and bisexual people can make their sexual orientation known. Coming out is often considered a positive way to avoid societal invisibility that can lead to internalized self-hate or lack of self-esteem.

You may be uncomfortable with your child's public displays of affection with his or her partner. Remember that all couples—straight and gay—often show affection in public because they feel love and appreciation for their partner. Stop and think—are you as uneasy about heterosexuals showing affection in public?

In these two instances, "flaunting it" may only be behaving in a relaxed, natural fashion in public. In other circumstances, it may be a political decision to assert one's sexuality by wearing a t-shirt or participating in a public event. In cultures that either ignore homosexuality or deride it, stressing one's sexuality publicly can be an important act of self-affirmation. If you worry about possible negative reactions to any behavior that identifies your child as gay, keep in mind that many gay men, bisexuals and lesbians will, of course, censor their own behavior because they share those fears. But it is up to your child to make those decisions for him or herself.

- From Our Daughters and Sons, published by PFLAG National and available through PFLAG/Portland


Learn more about PFLAG on the Internet

PFLAG National - WEB page:     Or Email:
Here you'll find the latest press releases and information from the national headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Portland PFLAG newsletter on Maine Gaynet-
Our own little home on the Net. Also lets you browse around the impressive Maine Gaynet.

And stay up to date on current PFLAG events! E-mail Pauline with your e-mail address:

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Michael Heath Resigns

Michael Heath has quit his post as director of the Maine Christian Civic League amid a flurry of controversy. He made the announcement on September 28. Heath led the successful (for now) February repeal of the gay rights law passed by the legislature May of 1997 and signed by Governor Angus King. Within a month after the vote, Heath came under fire from Civic League board members, who accused him of keeping financial records from being made public. Heath denied the charges. However, we haven't heard the last of Heath. He's accepted a position with another right-wing organization, the Family Research Council, a national group based in Washington, D.C. No word on Heath's replacement.
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Ogunquit Selectman Removed

John Miller, the Chairman of the Ogunquit Board of Selectmen, was recently removed from the position in response to charges of homophobia. While Miller will remain a member of the Board for now, he faces a recall election on November 3rd, the same day Ogunquit will vote on a local gay rights law. Miller caused a stir in June when he told two hotel owners to remove their rainbow flags, a symbol of gay pride. The owners accused him of harassment. The flags were allowed to stay put.
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Man Kills Daughter For Having A Gay Friend

A Frazier Park, Calif., man who shot his 19-year-old daughter before killing himself did so because he was angry at his ex-wife for marrying another man and at his daughter for having a gay friend, according to his suicide note, the Los Angeles Times reported. According to police reports, 63-year-old James Andrade was sitting on the couch with his daughter, Diana, Monday and then, for no apparent reason, shot her to death before turning the gun on himself. According to the note, Andrade said the fact that his daughter had befriended a gay man was too much for him to handle.
-Story taken from The Daily Advocate at
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NEW! Gay and Lesbian National Hotline:

This is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization that provides free and totally anonymous information, referrals, and peer counseling to the gay & lesbian community. You can call 1-888-THE-GLNH, or reach them on the Internet at
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Read Any Good Books, Lately?

Our PFLAG library has helped numerous people educate themselves about the many facets of homosexuality. Any donations of related books, magazines, or videos would be greatly appreciated. See Martha for details.
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Contents by permission from PFLAG-Portland Newsletter
Online editing and format: Paula Stockholm