September 30, 2016

Next to June, October is one of the busiest months of the year in the LGBTQ community, and by extension, for PFLAGers. These dates give us all an opportunity to elevate PFLAG’s mission and support our LGBTQ loved ones and ourselves in ways that only PFLAGers can.. Take a look at all that’s on deck for the next 31 days.

LGBTQ History Month

That’s right, a full 31 days to commemorate the history of the LGBTQ rights movement, as well as LGBTQ people who have made a difference. Founded in 1994 by a Missouri high school teacher who believed there should be a celebration of the movement for full equality, the month of October was specifically chosen because schools would be back in session--allowing conversations about equality to be brought into classrooms--and because National Coming Out Day (see below) was already set for October 11th. Want to learn more about activities and events in which you and your chapter can participate? Visit lgbthistorymonth.com/ for listings of events and people who have made a difference!

National Bullying Prevention Month

Traditionally held the first week in October, the event has been expanded to a full month of activities, education, and awareness building. There is a plethora of resources available, starting of course with PFLAG National materials. Cultivating Respect: Safe Schools for All is PFLAG’s signature safe schools program, filled with resources to create safe school environments in your local community. Visit pflag.org/safeschools for more information and to get your own copy. There is also PFLAG’s Claim Your Rights initiative, providing guidelines to youth and their families for reporting discrimination and harassment in their schools. Visit pflag.org/claimyourrights for more information. Beyond PFLAG materials, visit stopbullying.gov for additional resources.

National Coming Out Day

Each year on October 11th, the LGBTQ community commemorates the anniversary of one of the largest equality marches on Washington, DC by celebrating National Coming Out Day. It’s a day to celebrate the many positive possibilities of living life openly and authentically, with the support and celebration of friends, loved ones, and allies.

Remember: only come out if you are able to do so safely. Support from family or friends--and for youth, a trusted adult--is crucial to your health and wellbeing. We celebrate all those who choose to take this important step on October 11th, but we also recognize that many people--especially youth--are not able to do so. We support and honor everyone’s decision to come out or disclose in their own time, in their own way, and when it is most safe. Also, for parents, friends and allies of LGBTQ, always remember if someone has come out to you, it is not your news to share and the decision on how widely someone comes out is theirs alone.

Spirit Day

October 20th is the date of this year’s Spirit Day, sponsored by GLAAD with whom PFLAG National proudly partners every year. On this date, we go purple to show support for safe schools and anti-bullying efforts...and PFLAG is there every step of the way. Visit glaad.org/spiritday to learn about other ways to show your PFLAG spirit.

Ready to engage? Check out one of our great on-demand recordings from PFLAG National’s PFLAG Academy Online, like this one on helping to create safe schools for LGBTQ youth.

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