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Four Decades Along the Rainbow Road

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dinner embodied the love at the heart of the holidays

Letter to Howard County Times--Published 12/22/05

Amidst the silly furor over how retailers should be marketing their products during their November-December sales, the Dec. 13 holiday potluck dinner by the Columbia/Howard County chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) captured the true joy of the season. The embracing of diversity and humankind is what most people come to expect and love about the December's holidays, whether you are Christian or not.

The event at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center, which attracted over 150 people, mostly from the local community, including several elected officials, was a celebration of great food, camaraderie and warmth with all of the customary Christmas colors, poinsettias and decor serving as the backdrop.

The two facilitators of the chapter's Rainbow Youth Alliance - a support and social group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender teens and young adults - were justly honored for their efforts in helping these young people who are coming out and acknowledging their sexual orientation to cope with a sometimes hostile environment.

Chapter chair Colette Roberts received recognition for her leadership and tenacity in guiding the chapter to the success it has achieved in its 11 years in strengthening so many families.

Moreover, this dinner and celebration was enjoyed by actual families. People of all ages who are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered were on hand. Parents who have GLBT children shared in the joy. Same-sex couples who are raising beautiful and happy children were there as well, proud as can be.

The Baltimore Men's Chorus provided the musical entertainment by performing traditional Christmas and other holiday songs of the season and a few that were, let's say, not as traditional. With their talents and spirit the chorus led everyone with a rousing sing-along to conclude the festivities.

The event was the true embodiment of the Christmas and holiday season where love, support and diversity triumphed over hate, division and discrimination.

Steve Charing
Steve Charing is media coordinator for PFLAG- Howard County.

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