in the news
church hosts first PFLAG meeting
By Lanz Christian
Bañes/Times-Herald staff writer/timesheraldonline.com
POSTED: 03/05/2014 12:52:49 AM PST
Some were there because their children
were gay. Others were straight, but wanted to show solidarity.
Whatever their reason, about 35 people
showed up Tuesday to what could be the first of many PFLAG
meetings held in Vallejo.
"To get a chapter going, I think
you need to have a lot of passion for the organization ...
and more importantly the cause," said Rosemarie Vertullo,
president of the PFLAG Napa chapter and facilitator of the
PFLAG, originally an acronym for "Parents,
Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays," is a national
organization for families and allies of the lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender community with hundreds of chapters
around the country.
Vertullo gave a brief presentation
on the history of PFLAG before drilling into the details of
what Vallejo would need to start its own chapter. For now,
Vallejo will operate as a satellite
of the Napa chapter until a local chapter is established.
The Napa group meets monthly, and a
typical session might include an educational presentation
before moving onto PFLAG's key component -- member support.
"We're not therapists in the sense
that we're going to give anyone advice. We're only here to
listen," Vertullo said.
Confidentiality is an important part
of the organization -- attendees only write their first names
on their name tags -- and those who wish to participate tell
their stories as a way to help others relate to similar issues,
Tuesday's meeting was held at Ascension
Episcopal Church, led by the Rev. Bayani Rico. Rico's son
is openly gay, and it was he and members of his church who
pushed to establish a local PFLAG chapter.