Dave and Joan Parker
We are both retired, living in North Carolina. We have a 46 year old male to female (MtF) transgender child, Rachel, who lives in Las Vegas, NV. Our first involvement with PFLAG was learning our second child was transitioning MtF, beginning in 2001.
Dear Abby published a letter from a transgender person talking about loneliness. She had been ostracized by her family when she transitioned. We looked at each other, appalled at such treatment of one’s child, and swore we would never do this.
Dear Abby suggested PFLAG. We called, talked with a local leader and went to our first meeting in late 2001.
We were amazed to find that PFLAG Greensboro had an MtF transgender member. Between the wonderful support of all the PFLAG Greensboro members and the specific help of the transgender member, we gained acceptance and learned how to support our transgender child. The transgender member introduced us to the Triad Gender Association, where we are still active members.
In October, 2002, we represented PFLAG Greensboro, NC at the PFLAG National Annual Conference in Columbus, OH. There, we met many wonderful transgender people; this began our journey as activists and advocates. We volunteered for PFLAG Transgender Network (TNET). We joined the TransFamily Parents list, a support group for parents of transgender children, where Joan is a moderator.
We belong to HRC, Equality NC, and the Triad Business and Professional Guild, a GLBT organization in north central North Carolina. We lobby on GLBT issues at the state and federal levels.