A Message from PFLAG's New National President,
Rabbi David M. Horowitz
November 15, 2010
Dear PFLAG Family,
I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am to have been elected as PFLAG’s National President. You see, I’m a PFLAG dad. I can still recall vividly the day Toby and I walked into our first meeting at PFLAG Akron, Ohio. I was sure I was the only parent in the world who had a gay child (our daughter had come out about a month before). I don’t know whom I thought birthed gay children. I believed I was the only clergy person to have a gay child. I was confused and knew almost nothing about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
PFLAG introduced me to people who were just like me; parents and even clergy parents. I began my education and moved forward with some fear. What would people think? What would the members of my congregation think? It was all so new.
But on the course of my personal journey, something incredible happened.
As I came out as the parent of a lesbian daughter, so did more than 200 families in my congregation who had a close connection to the LGBT community. As I learned more and found myself around this new and expanding family, I became comfortable with my daughter’s sexual orientation and was able to reach out to others. That ability to connect with people – especially those in the very start of their own learning and acceptance process – keeps me an active part of my local chapter today.
PFLAG is much more than simply a support for LGBT people, their friends, and relatives. It is a powerful organization that is helping us shape and change our culture every single day, in hundreds of communities around the country.
Our work is led by PFLAG National’s wonderful executive director, Jody Huckaby, and the talented and dedicated staff he has gathered in the PFLAG National Office based in Washington, D.C. The staff works to bring our message of education and advocacy to the world. With them, PFLAG members tirelessly reach out to make our LGBT children safer in schools and in society, and to help them achieve full civil rights in our nation. Our Straight for Equality program brings new allies – those who don’t even have a traditional family connection to these issues – into our support network.
Together, PFLAG is the family voice of the LGBT community, and our voice is heard from our meeting rooms, to corporate boardrooms, and to the offices in the White House and on Capitol Hill. I am pleased to be a part of that effort.
You, the PFLAG members and supporters, are vital to our future and to the future of the celebration of our LGBT family. We need our members to become engaged in all facets of our work if we are going to be successful. We must expand our network of straight allies. We must actively and bravely engage our faith communities. We have chapters almost everywhere. We need those chapters to spread our message and champion our cause. It is to these ends that I dedicate my time as your national president.
My thanks to Jody and the PFLAG National staff, and to our outgoing president, John Cepek, for their help and support.
Now, let us all move equality forward together!
P.S. I look forward to meeting more of you in the upcoming months. If you want to reach me, please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me how I can represent you as we continue on the journey to achieving equality together.