Letter published inUSA Today--2/15/2007
Steve Charing, media relations, PFLAG-Howard County - Clarksville, Md.
USA TODAY's cover story "Gay teens coming out earlier to peers and family" presented an accurate overview of the issues surrounding gay and lesbian teens' acknowledgement of their sexual orientation at an earlier age than previous generations did.
But while several key support groups were identified, one of the leading gay and lesbian support groups for parents and gay individuals was omitted: PFLAG, or Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (News, Feb. 8).
This venerable organization has been a valuable source of support to families for more than three decades. PFLAG's goal is to keep families together, and with the help of parents who have experienced their child's coming out, PFLAG members offer guidance and support to other parents in a similar situation. Many chapters provide support to the teens as well.
The article discusses how problematic it could be for teens and their parents in rural areas. PFLAG has grown to more than 500 chapters nationwide, and its reach extends into all areas of the country.
Parents who are trying to come to terms with their child's sexual orientation would be well advised to visit www.pflag.org to locate a chapter in their area. Nobody should feel that they are alone.