We are back at the Supreme Court

On Friday, January 16, the Supreme Court of the United States said they will hear arguments in the four cases regarding same-sex marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee.

Our stories have been changing hearts and minds for decades. For the past 18 months, PFLAG National has shared powerful PFLAG stories in amici briefs in every circuit.

From now until marriage for all is the law of the land, we must continue to raise our voices and tell our stories about why the freedom to marry is urgent.

Our message is clear: PFLAG’s values are America’s values and that means recognizing that love is love, family is family, and marriage is marriage.

Stay tuned and stay strong on this march toward equality!


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OpEd: How to be a Transgender Ally

Jean Hodges wrote a great op-ed for the Daily Camera in response to their “Living trangender” piece and Leelah Alcorn’s suicide. Read it here.

“For the sake of the survival of people like Leelah Alcorn, it is imperative that we start to demystify the not-at-all secret world of people who are transgender. They are, after all, just human beings like we are, trying to do their best in this world where being different is, for many, a burden of imposed shame and rejection.”

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PBS Newshour segment about Transgender suicide

Watch this great PBS Newshour segment about Transgender suicide. PFLAG is mentioned as a resource for families!

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Dr. Paula Williams: Christian counseling on gender dysphoria rarely occurs

This letter to the editor of the Longmont Times Call, was published on Jan. 6, 2015. The full text is below and the article can be found on-line here.

Dr. Paula Williams: Christian counseling on gender dysphoria rarely occurs

On the day the Times-Call published its excellent article on transgender issues, halfway across the country a tragedy was unfolding. When she stepped in front of a truck on an Ohio highway, Leelah Alcorn brought the world’s attention to one of the ugliest realities of American religion – the Evangelical Church’s mistreatment of transgender people. Her parents have been vilified, but Doug and Carla Alcorn were doing what their church taught them to do. As a result, they will suffer for the remainder of their lives.

I wonder about their ministers, the Christian counselor who saw their child and the church leaders who guided them. Are any of those people having sleepless nights? They should be. Unfortunately, Christian counseling instruction on gender dysphoria is virtually nonexistent. A counselor unacquainted with transgender issues has one single moral imperative when someone presents as transgender — to show compassion and immediately make a referral to a professional acquainted with this complex reality. Anything less is malpractice.

I am acquainted with the religious fellowship that included the Alcorn’s church. Their pastor received his master’s degree from the same seminary from which I received one of my degrees. The church is part of a movement of churches woefully ignorant about gender dysphoria. Too often the church categorically rejects what it does not understand. Leelah’s death is testament to the efficacy of such a response.

I was a national leader who preached in scores of megachurches. When I came out as transgender, the rejection was immediate and almost universal. But I was an adult. I had resources. Leelah did not. It is devastating when you realize you are transgender. No one asks for this — no one! What this young woman heard from her parents, counselors, and church leaders was unbearable. God have mercy on those who drove Leelah to her tragic death.

Dr. Paula Williams


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January Program: One Colorado Presents the 2015 LGBT Legislative Agenda


Sunday, January 11, 3:00 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 350 11th Avenue, Longmont, CO 80501.

RSVP on Facebook:

Daniel Ramos, Political & Organizing Director at One Colorado, will be discussing this year’s legislative agenda for LGBT equality. After winning significant victories over the past few years – including anti-bullying legislation, employment protections, civil unions and marriage, One Colorado knows that it work towards full equality continues. Daniel will also discuss One Colorado annual “LGBT Lobby Day.” Held on Monday February 9th, One Colorado will bring together hundreds of LGBT Coloradans and our families to learn about the issues important to our community and how to talk to our legislators about those issues. To RSVP for Lobby Day, go to or e-mail Daniel at

About One Colorado’s LGBT Lobby Day: LGBT Lobby Day is an important chance to make your voice heard by telling your legislators what matters to you. When it comes to advancing equality, nothing is as powerful as an in-person visit to the elected officials who represent you. That’s why each year, our community and our allies gather at the Capitol for this event. Together, we get trained on how to discuss our concerns with our legislators, and then we all head to the Capitol for personal lobby visits. It’s a day you don’t want to miss!

A confidential support group meets an hour before the program, at 2 p.m.

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Living Transgender in Boulder County: Self-love is the easy part, but true alliance can be hard to find

From TYES of Colorado: TYES is grateful to Alex Burness at the Daily Camera for his well researched, sensitive and thoughtful article that featured adults, youth, parents, siblings, and allies of the Boulder trans* community, including TYES. Our outreach is statewide and our wonderful families support each other through the network of Colorado PFLAG chapters. For more information, conact your local PFLAG, or reach out to us by email ( or on our support line (720-443-7708). An excerpt from the article:

Shannon Axe, 14, left, laughs with her friend Emily Soder, 15, while shopping at the FlatIron Crossing mall in Broomfield on Tuesday.

Shannon Axe, 14, left, laughs with her friend Emily Soder, 15, while shopping at the FlatIron Crossing mall in Broomfield on Tuesday.

Before her third birthday, Shannon Axe already had an inkling that something was off.

She was born male but, even as a toddler, never felt comfortable with gendered clothing or toys, and didn’t like being called by her birth name.

The word “transgender” was still years away from entering her lexicon, but, by kindergarten, she was certain that’s what she was.

“People say, ‘Oh, that’s too young,” said Shannon, now 14 and midway through eighth grade at Boulder’s Horizons charter school. “But if you realize something this important, you know who you are. And I knew I was a girl.”

As Shannon’s self-awareness grew, so did her suffering, even if she couldn’t articulate it as such. She was angrier and hobbled by self-doubt. Her mother, Karen Axe, recalled those early elementary years as “a drowning.”

One day shortly after Shannon turned 7, her mother, who’d been researching gender identity and piecing together clues, turned to her on the ride home from gymnastics practice and asked point-blank, “Are you a girl?”

Shannon knew the answer to that one.

“I said, ‘Mommy, I am a girl!,’ It was in our minivan, and I was in my gymnastics uniform. I was 7 years old, and I’d known since I was 5.”

The two drove back to their home in Highlands Ranch, and a euphoric Shannon rushed upstairs to throw on one of her older sister’s dresses.

“I’ve been trying for seven years to try to put into words the experience of being in a room when a transgender child is permitted to be themselves for the first time,” Karen Axe said, “and I can’t do it because it is so overwhelmingly powerful. It’s like going to Disneyworld for a month, and amplifying it times a million.”

“It’s like fireworks,” Shannon added.

That feeling is one to which many transgender people say they can relate. However, the elation often precedes a period — and, for some, a lifetime — of struggling to fit into a society still barely warm to the idea that one’s gender identity and physical appearance do not always mesh.

Even in Boulder County and other progressive pockets of Colorado, where 2014 will be remembered as a year of enormous progress toward “L”, “G” and “B” equality — through same-sex marriages, most notably — many communities are still nowhere near ready to broach the matter of “T” with much literacy.

Read more here:


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