5 questions with Kathy Collier
Kathy Collier is co-president of PFLAG Dallas. Her husband, Gary, is a member of the group’s board of directors. The couple, who live in Heath, have a 28-year-old gay son who lives in Dallas. Collier got involved with PFLAG about five years ago when she and her husband moved to Texas from Illinois. Their son came out to them about 10 years ago when he was a student at Oklahoma State University.
Why did you wait five years after learning your son was gay to join PFLAG?
I have a gay brother so when my son told me he was gay it didn’t come as big, overwhelming, emotionally upsetting news. I didn’t feel the need for any kind of support group because I have a very loving family. My feelings for my son remained absolutely constant.
Why did you finally decide to join PFLAG?
I did develop a need about five years ago to become an advocate for the LGBT community. I didn’t join for support. I joined looking for a way as heterosexual person to be an advocate. I had just moved to Dallas. It was a change in my life, and I thought there was no better time than the present to become active. If you’re changing things, you might as well change everything.
How has your involvement with PFLAG affected your relaltionship with your son?
I’m very out there, but I’m very protective of him. Sometimes, I think I’m gayer than he is. That’s our joke.
Does PFLAG’s mission become more important during the holiday season?
This time of year is always exceedingly important to us. We work hard to consistently remind families of the importance of this time of year and many gay and lesbian people don’t have familes that are as supportive as we are. We try to reach out to others during this time of year. I look at all of us as one big extended family.
What plans do you have for PFLAG’s outreach?
This is a time of planning for PFLAG for 2008. We want to make sure that our time, energy and resources are best spent to truly move things around. As far as my personal goals, I’ve been thinking a lot about where we are going to get straight allies to push things forward. I’ve decided in my heart that the faith communities have got to be a place where we start bringing about change.
Soundout is a weekly column featuring people whose jobs and interests have an impact on the daily lives of members of the LGBT community. It features those who often go unnoticed by the press and community. If you’d like to recommend someone to cover in this column, email@example.com.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 23, 2007