If not, you may wonder what actually happens at our chapter support meetings. Do you have to talk? Do you have to announce that you are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender - or that your son or daughter or sibling or parent is gay or trans? Do you have to become a member, sign up for a committee, or march in the next Gay Pride Parade? Will we ask you for money?
In fact, there is no pressure to speak up, or reveal anything beyond your own comfort level at our meetings. There is no pressure to become a PFLAG activist unless it's something that you really are ready for and want to do. You may sign up to receive a complimentary copy of "Caring", our chapter's bi-monthly newsletter before deciding whether you want to join. PFLAG Hartford never shares its membership list with any other organization.
We are there to provide support for those in need. You'll find us a diverse, very friendly and sympathetic group with a variety of experiences. We were once in your shoes and approached our first PFLAG meeting with trepidation. As parents, friends, and/or LGBTQ people, we now share our journeys and learn from each other. Some of our stories may be helpful to you in sorting out your own possibly conflicting and painful feelings. Our speakers may give you helpful information and new insights.
We are also there to celebrate your successes, and to help galvanize you into action when you are ready to take an active role in making our world a safer and healthier place for all our families. So don't be shy - please join us! You'll be glad you did, and we will be too!
We generally number between 50 - 70 people at our monthly meetings. We begin our meetings with brief introductions, simply saying who we are and what brings us to PFLAG. You will not be obligated to say anything at all, but it helps the group support one another if we can learn a bit about each other at this time. Then we often have a ten minute speaker and follow that up with an announcement time. We pass the hat for a voluntary donation and then take a brief break. We then divide into smaller groups where we can more easily dialogue with one another and extend the support that is the main focus of our meetings. We usually end our meetings at about 9:30 p.m.
Before the meeting and during the break we urge you to browse our extensive lending library. It is filled with excellent up-to-date resources for you to borrow. There are also free pamphlets and booklets from PFLAG National.
Guidelines for Conduct at Monthly Meetings of PFLAG Hartford
- No youth (anyone under 18 years of age) shall attend a meeting unless accompanied by a parent or adult guardian.
- No adult shall ever be alone with a youth.
- All meetings of our chapter shall be free of drugs, alcohol and sexual contact.
- Violence or any threat of violence shall be strictly prohibited.
- There shall be no discrimination of any kind on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, race, color, national origin, ancestry, cultural background, religious affiliation, HIV status, disability or economic status.
- Any violation of any of the foregoing guidelines must be reported immediately to a PFLAG Hartford officer or board member and shall be grounds for expulsion.