Who are we? - We are parents of lesbians and gays who provide support for other parents, families and friends. We aim to help them cope when a gay or lesbian child initially comes out to them. We are also there to support the gay children themselves. PFLAG is not affiliated with any political or religious groups and receives no Government funding.
History - Kew Community House were the original people here in Melbourne who ran PFLAG such as it was. Basically, Lifeline and Gay/Lesbian Switchboard referred people to them. It was back in 1993 that an official committee was formed. It then moved from Kew to Family Planning Australia's premises in Flinders Lane, Melbourne. After a number of years it went to the ALSO foundation's building which was then in Cato Street, Prahran where we stayed for a number of years - then finally to Toorak Bowling Club where it is now. Before that, Committee meetings used to be held in people’s homes - they would alternate whose house each month. They used their own money to print and post information out.......then eventually applied for grants, which helped PFLAG to purchase books, videos, set up a phone line and all the other incidentals. Over the years there were meetings when we may have only had about 10 people and then there were times we had 40-50 people - but it didn't matter how many or how few - whilst there was even one person needing support - PFLAG was and still is there. Our dream was to see the day, when there was no longer a need for PFLAG because being gay was not an issue.........and society has come a long way - but there is still a long way to go!
Hotline - (03) 9865 6739 we run a telephone help line staffed by volunteers and that is often the first contact point made by parents who are having difficulties coping.
This is a message bank and will be checked each day by our phone volunteers who will call back as soon as possible or you can ask for a time period which they may be able to achieve, but will never leave a message for you with anyone or on a message bank in order to assure confidentiality.
Information - Our website has some useful documents you can download and read in Acrobat Reader (pdf) format also on the Resources page. These may be useful for you to print and give to your parents or friends to help them understand about being gay. One is the “Making Sense” Booklet and another is “Sexuality is not a choice”. The latter can be downloaded via Pflag Brisbane’s website from our link in 17 other languages also. Organizations can request pamphlets to be posted to them by emailing the secretary at email@example.com
Meetings - We conduct family meetings on the 4th Tuesday of each month at the Sol Green Community Centre commencing at 7.30 PM. Those meetings are for parents, extended family, friends and gay people and are a chance for people with similar experiences to meet in a friendly and non challenging environment to learn from and to help other people. We have supper half way through so that informal chats between individuals can occur and to give people a chance to browse our extensive library of books and videos available to borrow free of charge.
Guest Speakers - We occasionally have guests who speak to the group; for example Rainbow Families reps came with their babies one time, another we had Scott and Gaby, the Gay and Lesbian Liaison Officers from Victoria Police.
Midsumma We march in Pride March every year and get a great reception from the crowd and also have a stall at Carnival during Midsumma Festival where we are available to talk to and provide pamphlets and booklets to anyone who needs information.
About our children
Gay people are everywhere.
Lesbians and gay men come from families from all corners of the earth, from every culture, religion, ethnic group and occupation. Kinsey estimated that about 10% of the population is homosexual; gay people and their families represent over one third of the people in this country.
Gay people are naturally homosexual:
Homosexuality is not chosen, like selecting clothes or a line of work. No one knows how human orientation is determined. In discussions with thousands of families with gay children, we found that:
The gay child is often aware of his/her sexual orientation at a very early age.
None of the children are influenced or taught to be gay by any person.
In homes where gay children try to become heterosexual, all attempts fail.
Being gay is not just a stage youngsters go through:
Fears of 'catching' homosexuality or of being 'recruited' at school or elsewhere are unreasonable and '…utterly without scientific foundation.' (Statement of J. Weinstein, MD., President of American Psychiatric Association, 10/6/78). Gay people are part of the family. It is estimated that one in four families has a gay member. Our gay sons and daughters have parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews whom they love and care for. Rejection of a gay person by his/her family is a tragedy for each person in the immediate family unit.
The problem of silence:
In Australia today, there are many parents with gay daughters and sons who are victims of social, political and economic oppression. Gay People in many communities are still obstructed by prejudice in the pursuit of happiness, and in striving to live their lives with openness and dignity. Homosexuals are not the only victims of oppression; it also touches their friends and families. We as parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays feel that the time is right to join together to appeal to the public conscience in order to achieve equal opportunities for our lesbian daughters and gay sons by working for the same basic human rights, liberties and opportunities for them that are enjoyed by others. As proud parents of gay people, new windows of understanding have been opened to us which have enriched our lives. We want to bring this understanding to the community.
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