Lisa Daly is the co-president of the Fort Worth Chapter of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). She has held the title, along with her husband for four years. The group meets the first Thursday of the month at First Jefferson Unitarian Universalist Church.
1Why did you become interested in PFLAG?
Our son came out to us right after he graduated from high school, in June 2003. I wanted to meet other parents of gays and lesbians to talk to them about their concerns, fears, worries. At our first meeting, some other moms came up to me, and asked "How long did you cry?" Seems I skipped that part, because our son being gay wasn’t traumatic for me! We’ve gone to every meeting since then because it’s the one place where we can be totally honest and open.
2 Why is PFLAG important?
PFLAG is important because it’s a place where parents (and friends and family members) can go and talk honestly about their fears, confusion or pride in their gay/lesbian/bi/transgendered loved one. Family members go through a form of "coming out," too.
3 What are the different types of members you have?
Our chapter of PFLAG has a number of parents (mostly moms, for some reason), gay men, a couple of lesbians and some transgendered members.
4 What are some of the big topics discussed in a PFLAG meeting?
We try to have speakers at our meetings, so the topics discussed vary. Some other recent topics have been adoption by same-sex couples, harassment of transgender teenagers in local high schools, gays in the military and 2204′s anti-gay-marriage "Nonsense in November."
5 Is there a particularly touching story that you’ve encountered this year though PFLAG?
A mother came to a meeting a while back. She has a 16 year-old son who told her he’s gay. She’s fine with that, since she has many friends who are gay and lesbian. But they live in a small community outside of Fort Worth, and he’s harassed some at school. What really struck me, and worried me, was that this boy’s father is extremely anti-gay. The parents are divorced, and the dad lives in another state. But the constant criticism of homosexuality, or anything not "normal," is damaging this kid’s self-esteem. The dad has gone as far as to say he’ll refuse child support if his son is a "fag." I think about her and her son often.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 11, 2008.