Our history begins with Jeanne Manford, a mother whose love for her gay son and belief in his right to equality set into motion PFLAG National, our nation’s largest support and advocacy group for the LGBTQ community. Many PFLAG chapters begin similarly—a parent wants to help their child, meets like-minded parents, and a new PFLAG chapter is born.
Our chapter was founded by parents in April 22, 1996 as an outgrowth of Seattle PFLAG, to focus on LGBTQ people and their families and allies in the Eastside. Since then, we have held monthly support meetings in Bellevue, staffed our information table/booth for a wide array of events, spoken at schools, hospitals, and other venues, marched in Seattle Pride and numerous Eastside community parades, promoted safe schools, and advocated for legislation to bring equality. In 2018, we added a second monthly meeting located in Bothell to expand our services.
Our chapter members bring a special level of innovation, enthusiasm, and drive toward the PFLAG goals of support, education, and advocacy. Here are just a few highlights:
- We create our scholarship program in 1999. Conceived by chapter member Alex Pava, it continues to be one of our most rewarding services.
- We produced videos Love, PFLAG 1, and Love, PFLAG 2 with the gay adult child of PFLAG members and his family, friends, and supporters, all standing for equality marriage. Conceived by PFLAG former chair Lori Brown in support of Referendum 74, they remain compelling testaments.
- We constructed our well-known Closet Float for our parade contingent, based on the idea of former chair Wendy Wartes, one of our chapter’s founding member.
- We created our neon-colored “I’m Loved by PFLAG stickers”, designed by several PFLAG moms, which we widely distribute to participants at parades, festivals, and other events.
- We celebrated our 20th anniversary with a successful musical benefit featuring the nationally known ensemble Captain Smartypants. From the proceeds, we rewarded three additional student scholarships in 2017.