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P.O. BOX 19634, CINCINNATI, OH 45219-0634
http://www.pflagcinci.org
NEWSLETTER - AUTUMN 2001
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Our regular meetings are always held on the second Tuesday of each month at Mt. Auburn Presbyterian Church, 103 William Howard Taft Rd., from 7:30 - 10:00 PM. Our next meetings will be on October 9, November 13, and December 11, 2001. Meetings are open to parents, friends and family of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons, as well as to gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons.
Board meetings are held on the same night as regular meetings, starting at 6:00 PM. Please contact a Board member for information about attending meetings
MISSION STATEMENT: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families and friends, through support, to cope with an adverse society, through education, to enlighten an ill-informed public, and through advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure civil rights. PFLAG provides an opportunity for confidential dialog about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human dignity. Meetings are open to all and are completely confidential.

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FROM THE PRESIDENT . . . .
Linda Arnest

I am thrilled to report that PFLAG Cincinnati is thriving. In June, we awarded a record number of scholarships to seven GBLT students and five other who received a stipend. The total amount we gave out was $8,000. This was possible due to the tremendous generosity of the GBLT community through direct donations and the support of our banquet held in March.

Thanks to the efforts of our secretary, Marti Kwiatkowski, we were awarded a $5,000 grant from the Josephone Schell Russell Charitable Trust early this year. This money will be used to produce a video about our chapter. The video will be distributed to local schools, libraries, churches and service organizations as a way to promote our chapter.

We are very excited that Reverend Dr. Mel White, author and gay activist extraordinaire, has agreed to speak at next year's PFLAG banquet. So mark your Palm Pilots for Saturday, March 2, and prepare for a deeply inspirational evening.

In addition to these exciting events, our monthly membership meetings are growing by leaps and bounds. Our scholarship award meeting is always a record breaker, but this year we had SIXTY people attend in June. Also, first time attendees are common these days, which has not always been the case. Our May meeeting set another record with TWENTY new people in attendance. If you don't feel a need to attend PFLAG monthly meetings, you can support a wonderful organization by becoming a member. Many of you on our mailing list are not members of PFLAG. An individual membership is just $25 annually. Household memberships are $35.

Membership dollars help PFLAG continue our annual scholarship program. Since 1992, we have awarded over $29,000 in scholarships to talented, deserving GLBT students. Our funds are also used to keep our library current adn to maintain a stock of free GLBT literature for those who attend our meetings. We also support local GLBT organizations by advertising in event programs or making direct contributions to cover specific needs. The PFLAG Board is careful to spend our funds to support GLBT activities and causes. The benefits to becoming a member are that you are put on our email list, receive a hard copy of our newsletter mailed right to your house, and your membership donation is tax deductable. So become a member. Send in the application at the bottom of this newsletter. Have a great autumn!!!

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OFFICERS 2000/2001
President: - Linda Arnest
Vice Presidents: - Jim and Beth Bliss
Secretary: - Marti Kwiatkowski
Treasurer: - Joe O'Flynn

DID YOU KNOW?

-there are new PFLAG chapters in our area? Oxford Ohio now has a PFLAG chapter and has had over 30 people attend meetings. More information on this chapter is on the PFLAG national web site.

-Maryland recently became the 12th state to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation? In Indiana, Gov. Frank O'Bannon recently signed a policy that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation in state employment.

-according to the Gallup News Service, 52% of Americans now say that they beleive homosexuality is an acceptable alternative lifestyle? Along the same lines, according to USA Today, a recent Zogby survey found that 85% of high school seniors think gay men and women should be accepted by society.

-Paris and Berlin receltly elected openly gay mayors?

-that when you become a paying member of PFLAG Cincinnati, you receive a copy of the PFLAG National Newsletter? It is full of all kinds of information on what is going on around the country from all PFLAG chapters, which now total over 470 strong.
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PFLAG Honors Record Scholarship Winners

At our June meeting, we honored our new 2001 scholarship award winners. As in the past, the majority of the funding for the scholarships was raised at our annual banquet/fundraiser back in March. The money raised this year was enough to present seven scholarships to deserving area students. This is a new record for one year.

Amy Ashcraft is a recent graduate of Oak Hills High School. While there, her accomplishments included helping to start the school's gay-straight alliance, one of the few in this area. Amy is going to Mt. St. Joseph's where she will major in music education with a concentration in the tuba.

NKU student Chrissy Langsdale will use her scholarship so that she can afford to continue her studies in computer science. Chrissy is an active participant in the GLBT student group at NKU, Common Bond, and maintains the group's web site.

Marie Hedrick, who says she has been out since she was 12, is a recent graduate of Princeton High School. Like Amy Marie helped to start her high school's gay-straight alliance. Marie will be using her scholarship to begin her studies at massage therapy school.

Kelly Morris is a part-time student in social work at Mt. St. Joseph's. Kelly funds her schooling by working at the local YWCA.

Nick Sakkurai recently began his junior year at the University of Illinois at Urbanna-Champaign. Nick led a campus protest against an appearance by rapper Eminem that garnered wide attention, including an appearance on Court TV. He also spent a semester in Amsterdam in a program to study sexuality issues.

The final scholarship winner, Mark Williams, is a senior at the Cincinnati Art Academy. Mark already has an associate's degree in design and is currently completing his bachelor's degree in painting. Congratulation to all of our winners!!!!

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STILL "CRAZY" FOR CRAZY LADIES

So you are wanting to find our more about Lesbian and Gay issues? Want a bookstore to go to where you feel right at home? Want a place where events and activities are happening all the time? Well, in case you do not know, we have such a place right in Northside.

Crazy Ladies Bookstore has been in operation now for over 22 years. It has been an invaluable resource to many people coming out for the first time, to parents seeking education on the subject of GLBT issues, and a friend to PFLAG for years. Susan Pelle, who has been manager of Crazy Ladies for four months, shared with us some of the great things gong on now. "We get a lot of people coming in for the first time and we invite them to just relax and browse and sit down and read a while if they want." If you are there a while, they might even offer you a cup of coffee or tea while you peruse the bookstore. "We are glad Crazy Ladies can be a resource center, but also be part of the connection to the Lesbian Community in general."

They state in their publications that Crazy Ladies Center is a center for the lesbian and feminist communities. Their goal is to provide information that will improve the status of women in the greater Cincinnati area. By building bridges with other progressive community organizations, they educate anyone with an open mind working toward improving women's lives.

One of the most recent things they started is a Lesbian Film Studies Night, which has been drawing more and more people each month. Check it out! On Saturday's, they have a Kid's Story Hour, they have First Fridays where you can be entertained by local talent, all kinds of spiritual, health, relationship and meditation groups that meet there, social groups, and a great newsletter filled with all kinds of great information. And oh yea, they sell great books as well!! They even have local artists display their work for sale.

We can't do justice here to how great Crazy Ladies is. Check out their website for more information at www.crazyladies.org to get more information on specific events, activities, history, volunteer opportunities, and much more. Or get in your car and to over to 4039 Hamilton Avenue in Northside and go in, browse, read, have a cup of tea. We are lucky in Cincinnati to have such a great bookstore and resource center for our community.

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AND THE REST OF PFLAG NEWS

Congratulations to our PFLAG and GLSEN members that brought about a change to Cincinnati Public School's policy regarding gay and lesbian students. Students can now be expelled or suspended for intimidating others because of sexual orientation or disability. Our own Linda Arnest said it was great to participate as PFLAG President and speak, and Marian Wedge spoke and used here great sense of humor and candor to win the members of the board over. GLSEN spearheaded this effort and Kathy Laufman and Andy Ruffner and Mindy Sandfort among others deserve great praise. Remember, GLSEN meets the first Thursday of the month. More information about GLSEN can come from Kathy at 221-1670 or Andy at 321-8790.

PFLAG Cincinnati once again joined in and as a group marched in the Cincinnati Gay Pride Parade this summer. We had over 30 PFLAGer's both with our group in front and also with other groups throughout the parade. Our treasurer, Joe O'Flynn led the way, baton in hand(and air) going from Burnett Woods Park to an afternoon of fun in Northside. It was great to see the streets lined with supporters and thousands at the rally at the end. Thanks to everyone that came and helped and participated and to the organizers of the event, you did a great job!!!

We wanted to share with you a letter that was sent from someone who recently came to one of our meetings. Jaime McCauley, who is a student at UC and is the LGBT (Q)uestioning Coordinator on campus wrote a great thank you letter. It reads, "Hi friends at PFLAG! I'm writing to tell you what a wonderful experience I had at my first PFLAG meeting. It was amazing and exhilirating to be around so many parents and family members of LBGT people who are so suppportive. The parents ther are so courageous to take that step towards love and acceptance of their child or children, particularly those parents who were obviously struggling. I have never been in a room so filled with parents who are determined to love their child no matter what and want more than anything for thier child to be happy. It was amazing and, truthfully, fairly emotional for me because I was cut-off after coming out to my parents and, although they have since grown leaps and bounds in acceptance towards me and my partner, I still feel that they think less of me because of my sexuality. Hopefully, I can get them to a PFLAG meeting sometime. I think meeting other parents who have been through it would help them tremendously. My point is that your group is awesome and the parents deserve the highest of accolades, they have my utmost respect." Thank you Jaime for a great letter!!

Just to let you know, our newsletter is mailed out now to over 500 households on our mailing list. If you ever want an actual copy(as our website version is slightly different) just drop us an email and we will be happy to send you a copy for free. Thanks for all the great feedback. If you ever want to include something, our next newsletter will go out sometime in December, drop us a line also, be glad to hear from you.

Everyone have a great autumn!!

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