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May administration changes

It is with both sadness and excitement that we see an administration change this month. Diane Troy, our chapter president for the past 5 years, is stepping down and our vice president, Ashley Nurkin, will be taking her place. Diane will continue to be an active part of our group, and although we will miss her stalwart leadership, we are excited to welcome Ashley to this new post in which we are sure she will excel.

Click the “read more” link below to read Diane’s farewell address, and make sure to attend this Monday’s meeting to express your thanks for her time served.

Continue reading “May administration changes”

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WUNC releases documentary about HB2

WUNC, Chapel Hill’s public radio station, produced a radio documentary about the history of HB2 in North Carolina which aired on March 24th. If you missed the original airing, you can still listen to the program for free online at http://wunc.org/topic/state-divided-hb2-and-transgender-rights#stream/0. Also on that website are some interesting reports on the various effects that HB2 has had on our state including the economic, the legal, and political impacts of the bill.

It’s been a year since House Bill 2 advanced through the North Carolina General Assembly. The law requires people to use public bathrooms that correspond with the sex listed on their birth certificate. The so-called bathroom bill is an intersection of gender identity, religion, politics and power. “A State Divided: HB2 and Transgender Rights,” takes a look at the unintended consequences this complicated chapter in North Carolina history continue to present.

Reporters: Jess Clark, Jason deBruyn, Rusty Jacobs, Jeff Tiberii, Jorge Valencia
Music: Robin Copley
Photos: Matt Couch, AP
Editors: Elizabeth Baier, Dave DeWitt, Brent Wolfe
Host & Executive Producer: Elizabeth Baier

Belated updates from PFLAG Charlotte

Many apologies to our readers — the blog fell behind last month, but we’re back and ready to report on our PFLAG goings-on. Welcome to March!

Last month, we were proud to host Stephen Ratliff as our guest speaker. Stephen is a PFLAG board Charlotte board member and the head of our group’s faith community outreach planning team this year. His experience as a local pastor, his knowledge of Christian theology, and his personal anecdotes about learning to be an ally through his love of his gay son were inspirational. As an organization, we’re very excited to grow our connection with faith organizations in the area, and we’re already putting plans together for how we want to reach out to local churches, mosques, synagogues, and other religious institutions in 2017. If you’d like to join in our efforts, send us a comment or visit us at our next meeting!

Congratulations to our friends at Time Out Youth: they recently received a generous donation from a member of the Belk family for $1.5 million! This gift fulfills about half of what they need to make their new outreach location and LGBT+ shelter a reality. We hope this is only the first of many such donation to come! You can read more about the donation and what it means for T.O.Y. here.

Finally, we hope you’ll come out and join us tonight for our March meeting. We’ll be at Time Out Youth at 6:30, and as always, all are welcome!

Women’s March Charlotte

This Saturday, a number of PFLAG Charlotte members will be representing our group at the Women’s March in uptown Charlotte, and we would love for you to join us! This is a unity march that is bringing together groups of all backgrounds to celebrate our diversity and the need for full and equal rights among for ALL people. It isn’t just for women, and it’s not just about women’s rights!

Who: YOU!! Everyone is welcome.

What: Women’s March on Charlotte

When: Saturday, January 21st @ 10AM – 2PM

Where: Entrance to First Ward Park (across from 8th and Brevard)

Although the march officially begins at 10, you should plan on being downtown much earlier as police will be cordoning off the main streets for the march.

For more information, please visit the website below for rules, restrictions, parking information, and other need-to-knows:

http://www.womensmarchoncharlotte.com/event-details.html

 

Welcome to 2017!

We held our first meeting of the new year last night, and not only did we have a lovely turn-out, but we were honored to have with us Jamie Hildreth of MeckPAC (a political action committee focused on LGBT+ rights in Mecklenburg County). Jamie spoke to the group about what we as advocates can do in the year to come in order to affect the political process in our area for the better. As we move forward into a new presidential administration, we are encouraged to focus our efforts not on the national goings-on but rather on our local and state elections. Jamie urges us as members of the Charlotte (and surrounding areas) community to engage our local representatives through phone calls, e-mails, and personal office visits, expressing the concerns that we want to see addressed not to the powers-that-be in Washington but rather to the men and women who serve us directly.

As we look to the future, it will be important for our members who are interested in becoming politically active not to get bogged down by large, national campaigns. Instead, Jamie suggests that we focus our energy on individual issues for maximum impact, and that if there is change that we want to see in our community, we must seek out that change ourselves. As Diane said on Monday night, one of the best things you can do is “VOTE!”

Aside from Jamie’s visit, we also discussed our plans for the year. PFLAG will be submitting its annual grants, one of which will be focused on allowing us to continue our Healthcare Outreach Program — an amazing endeavor that strives to provide healthcare professionals in our area with information about better serving transgender individuals — as our major project for 2017.

We have also decided to attend the Women’s March on Charlotte on January 21st, and anyone interested in joining us are welcome to attend. The event itself is free, but our group will be donating $300 so that PFLAG Charlotte will be an official sponsor. We’ll have hats with our group’s name on them for those who attend, and we’ll be walking the (approximately) 2 miles uptown in the name of equality and togetherness. More information on where we’ll meet and when is forthcoming — please check back here as well as on the PFLAG Charlotte Facebook group and Twitter page (@pflagcharlotte) for more information in the next week.

For more information about MeckPAC, please visit http://www.meckpac.org or contact info@meckpac.org. To e-mail Jamie personally, direct your e-mails to jameshildreth@meckpac.org. To read up on the origins of the Women’s March, check out https://www.womensmarch.org. Specific information about the Charlotte event can be found at the event page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/womens-march-on-charlotte-2017-tickets-30958050362.

Congratulations, Time Out Youth!

It’s official: Time Out Youth has bought a permanent location!

Time Out Youth, which provides support for young LGBT+ people ages 11-20 in the Charlotte area, has made one of their dreams come true. This week, negotiations were finalized to purchase a permanent location for their center that will also double as a shelter, and PFLAG Charlotte couldn’t be happier for them! TOY does amazing work in our community, including providing free therapy, emergency housing, and trans support groups; they’re also the place that PFLAG Charlotte has called home for the last few years.

The new location (which can be found at 3800 Monroe Road and will house a 10 bed shelter facility) won’t be properly christened until April of this year, but it will be very exciting to watch the organization’s growth and we look forward to celebrating their ability to touch even more lives and help those whose needs are so often left unfulfilled.

toynewlocationPicture credited to http://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article124468509.html.

Holiday love from PFLAG Charlotte

 

This month’s meeting was cancelled due to our members’ busy schedules. We look forward to seeing everyone again on January 9th at Time Out Youth to celebrate the new year. We are excited to discuss what the new year has in store for us as a group and we hope that everyone will be able to make the first meeting of 2017!

As 2016 draws to a close, we look back at all that we have accomplished in the past year. From the rise of our TransParents group to our work at Pride and our tireless commitment to serving the LGBT+ community in our area, it’s been a busy year. We’ve protested against the passage of HB2 and spoken up at city council meetings, we’ve made an effort to reach out to area churches through our PFLAG Charlotte/Caldwell Faith Conference, and we’ve sent delegates to the Carolina Conference on Queer Youth. All in all, 2016 was an exciting and productive year, but we know there is always more work to be done, and we hope that you’ll join us in January to get started.

Have a wonderful, safe, and happy holiday season!