Dear PFLAG Supporter,

The recent tragedy in Oklahoma that took the life of a young transgender and indigenous student shows us that rather than making schools safe, laws that restrict transgender students’ freedom to be themselves, combined with dehumanizing language, can have deadly consequences. For chapter leaders, this tragic event has brought up feelings of fear, heartbreak and rage. 

In addition to Susan Thronson and Edith Guffy’s suggestions to channel those feelings into meaningful action, making schools safer for transgender and nonbinary youth is a good way to enact justice for Nex Benedict and all LGBTQ+ youth. GLSEN’s model school policies are a helpful guide. You can also find resources to speak out about anti-trans bans and threats to LGBTQ+ people, and avoid reinforcing trauma narratives in our chapter leader resources. 

As you do this hard, “heart” work—and legislative seasons wind up—it’s critical to make sure you and your chapter members are taking care of yourselves, for your well being and for the sustainability of your chapter’s efforts. Consider some of the questions below as you make your advocacy plans for the year ahead.

  • What events can you plan that are restorative for the community?
    • Resistance doesn’t have to be joyless. When bad actions are occurring, coming together intentionally can make a huge impact. Restorative activities and events mean something different for everyone. Here are just a few ideas to inspire your chapter:
      • Social events with a mission of connection and joy can make all the difference for a family feeling isolated or fatigued by the current political climate. 
      • Look for simple ways to connect through planned creative activities like collaborative art-making, writing affirming letters to local LGBTQ+ youth, or making friendship bracelets.
  • Which community partners can share the burden of work?
    • You can’t do this alone! Consider using our community mapping worksheet to find who your allies are in the community. Meet with them to hear more about who’s doing what, and how you can collaborate to ease the burden for everyone.
  • How are you taking care of yourself and your community, especially while facing losses like these?
    • Work debriefs into your support structure. Taking time to reflect and grieve legislative losses helps us process our thoughts and emotions. This can make moving forward (and making the next plan) easier.
    • Take time off. When the work gets hard, it’s normal to dig in. Sometimes stepping back gives us the rest and clarity we need to come back stronger. 
  • How can you plan for the long haul?
    • As we all know, advocacy is a marathon, not a sprint. Strategic planning with your chapter can help folks stay motivated, focused, and inspired to keep pushing in the face of harmful legislation.

I’m always here to be of help and support, however you need it. Please always consider me a resource as you make your plans.

2024 PFLAG National Pride Packs: Reminder!

We are once again providing free PFLAG National Pride Packs to fully replenish your supplies of all of our most popular branded items, including hundreds of PFLAG logo buttons, pronoun buttons, Pride flags, fans, pens, and more!

The deadline for signup is in just a few weeks, Friday, March 15th, so be sure to sign up now while it’s fresh on your mind.

We’ve got a whole box of goodies coming your way, landing on or around Monday, April 15th—but to get the goods on time, you’ll need to meet the deadline.

**If your chapter never received a personalized banner and table runner, we’re happy to get you one this year. Please note that in the sign-up form so we can connect directly with you for support in ordering.**

Ready to sign up for all of the great #PFLAGProud swag? Have one member of your board visit to sign up now.

Rural Think Tank: Our Next Meeting

We know that rural chapters have unique challenges, including connecting and collaborating with partners through community organizing. Whether community connections have been an obstacle or success, the upcoming Rural Think Tank on March 5th will provide an opportunity to discuss and share ideas.

Register to attend March’s Rural Think Tank, taking place from 5pm-6:30pm PT/8pm-9:30pm ET.

Stay safe,

Eddy Funkhouser (they/he)

Eddy Funkhouser  |  Chapter Engagement Coordinator
Western Region: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY
Pronouns: they/he
PFLAG National | P: (202) 467-8181 | |

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