this issue
Coming Events Akron Membership Form 2 3 4 5 Theater/Media News Chapter News
By Ed Kancler, Akron chapter president


National Coming Out Day App
The Human Rights Campaign has introduced a new app so you can send a message to friends and family that you want your elected officials to come out in support of LGBT equality this Coming Out Day (October 11). The NCOD Facebook App lets your friends and family know that you vote for candidates who will fight for equal rights for all Americans. The app also allows you to drop a pin on a national map to show that people from coast to coast are standing up for equality this election season. On Facebook, search “NCOD App.”

Polling numbers on marriage equality
Where do people stand on marriage equality? On September 23 The Plain Dealer published poll results regarding the presidential candidates. Of most interest was the question: What effect does the candidate’s position on gay marriage have on your choice? Fifty percent said, “It makes no difference.” Wow! Fifty percent! Recent polling clearly indicates the continuing shift of public opinion regarding marriage equality. In votes coming up on the issue: In Washington, 52 percent in favor, 40 percent opposed. Marriage equality is also ahead in Maryland and Maine while close in Minnesota. But beware, these are elections and the polls may not reflect what the actual result will be. On a national level, the Gallup Poll says 53 percent favor marriage equality, while Pew says 48 percent favor it and 44 percent do not. Digging down into a vital and equally important LGBT issue, 51 percent of our fellow Americans believe a person’s sexual orientation cannot be changed, compared to 42 percent in 2003. The attitude is people “are just born that way.” Is LGBT becoming equal or what? Finally, getting back to marriage equality, it is the law in 20 countries, six of our states, and the District of Columbia. Likewise, civil unions are the law in 20 more countries. (But that distinction, to me, is a rose that doesn’t smell so sweet. A rose is a rose and marriage is marriage.” Overall, there is every reason to believe that when straight people are made aware of the facts regarding LGBT, and separating church from state, reasonable people will conclude that inequality is wrong and cannot be tolerated.

PFLAG invites Boy Scouts to learning session
Cleveland chapter president Sharon GrohWargo recently sent a letter to the editor of The Cleveland Plain Dealer, inviting the Boy Scouts of America to visit PLFAG to gain a better understanding of how the organization’s policy of excluding gays as members and leaders hurts both gays and BSA. “We are saddened by the refusal of the Boy Scouts of America to open the wonderful world of scouting to all boys, regardless of their sexual orientation,” she wrote. “At our monthly support group meetings, we see firsthand the harmful effects of ‘living in the closet’ and the healing that takes place in a family when all members live an open and honest life,” she wrote. “We feel certain the experience would change hearts and minds [at BSA].” She also congratulated United Way of Greater Cleveland for taking a stand on the controversial policy (see page 3).

Queer Symposium
Our Mission
PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends through SUPPORT to cope with an adverse society; EDUCATION to enlighten an illinformed public; and ADVOCACY to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.

Global Queerness: Sexuality, Citizenship, and Human Rights in the 21st Century
The College of Wooster is hosting an interdisciplinary conference designed for students, scholars, creative writers, performance artists, allies and advocates October 4-7. The departments of Sociology/Anthropology, Communications, and Theater/Dance will engage participants on themes of identity, belonging, race, gender, and human rights in an academic and social context. Scholar panels, roundtables, international film screening, keynote performances, and gay athletes’ forum, are featured activities. The conference is free and open to the public. For info contact John Finn at 330-2632145 or jfinn@wooster.edu.

PO Box 5471 Akron, OH 44334
P F L A G A K RO N . O RG pflagakron@aol.com

Elder legal workshop
Estate planning for LGBT families
Attorney, estate planner and PFLAG member Maria Shinn will host a legal planning workshop for non-traditional families with an LGBT elders focus on Weds., October 17 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Gordon Square Atrium, 6600 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. The workshop is free and open to the public. It aims to provide useful information and suggestions on what steps are necessary for nontraditional couple and family estate planning. Maria Shinn has over 15 years of practicing estate planning. She is a member of PFLAG, Family by Design Cleveland, Plexus, and Cleveland Couples Together. For more info: lgbtcleveland.org.

LGBT Center Benefit
“Come out of your shell” Clambake
The LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland will host a benefit clambake in Euclid on Sat., October 13 at 6:00 p.m. Menu features homemade New England clam chowder, clams, fire-roasted chicken, sweet corn, sweet potato. and dessert, plus wine, beer, coffee and assorted beverages. DJ, dancing, and 50/50 raffle. Tickets $55. Limited to 100 guests. Order tickets at lgbtcleveland.org.

INFO & HELPLINE: 330-342-5825
Executive Board
President-Ed Kancler; VP-Bill Libby; Secretary-Joe Gardner; TreasurerSue Magilavy; At Large-Chris Goldthorpe, Bob and Valerie Hempel, David Horowitz, Marie Libby, Audrey Kancler, Kim and Joe Mosyjowski, Bob Menapace, Joy Watts

Committee Chairs
Membership-Chuck Magilavy, Publicity-Marie Libby; Library-David Greene; Hospitality-Rada Jenkins; Newsletter-Audrey Kancler

615 Prospect St. Berea, OH 44017

Akron U’s LGBTU
Events open to non-Akron students
The LGBT Union at Akron U. offers discussion, LGBT speakers, fun nights, and networking events. Meetings are Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m. in the Student Union during fall and spring semesters. Meetings and events are open to non-Akron LGBT students and allies. Facebook or email lgbtu@akronu.edu.


INFOLINE: 216-556-1701
Executive Board
President-Sharon Groh-Wargo; VP-Jeanette Nemcek; Treasurer-Art Thomson; Secretary-Marianne Buccini; At Large-Alan Cohen, Bill Franklin, Craig Hoffman; Legislative Coord.-Tom Roese; Newsletter-Pat Brandt; Snacks-Rebecca and Carl Schultz; Technology-Corey Glaze and Quentin Jamieson

LGBT Heritage Day
4th Annual awards and reception
Join the celebration on Tues., October 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Cleveland City Hall Rotunda, 601 E. Lakeside Ave. Info: lgbtcleveland.org.



The Community AIDS Network/Akron Pride Initiative offers these ongoing support groups: Trans Pride support for transgender individuals.

Boy Scouts supporters pull out amid controversy
In the wake of the Boy Scouts of America’s reaffirmation of its discriminatory policy excluding gay adults and youth, United Way of Greater Cleveland and Intel have both announced that they will no longer provide financial support to the organization. Last month, the United Way board voted to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy and said it cannot fund an organization that stands in opposition to its own policy. The two organizations had worked together since 1913. According to news reports, Intel made its announcement after a 20-year-old Eagle Scout urged the company to take action. Intel gave BSA more than $700,000 in volunteer matching grants in 2010, making it the BSA’s largest corporate sponsor.

New Pride support for adults going through the coming out process. LGBT AA sanctioned Alcoholics Anonymous for LGBT individuals. More info: 330-252-1559 or info@canapi.org.


Our chapter membership runs from October 1 to September 30. Your membership is important to us. Membership fees help cover mailing expenses for this newsletter and other expenses. Your membership also helps our advocacy with persons in political office. Please return this form with payment to the PO Box listed below.


Membership Application

Please make any corrections to your contact information below. If you also wish to become a member, please complete the membership section and return it with your payment. If you do not wish to become a member this year, please complete the non-membership section at the bottom.



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Bring this form with payment to the next chapter meeting or mail to: PFLAG Membership, PO Box 5471, Akron, OH 44334. Membership and contributions to PFLAG are tax deductible. All information will remain confidential.


The Normal Heart, seminal play by Larry Kramer about the dawn of the age of AIDS, through October 21. Ensemble Theater of Cleveland, 2843 Washington Blvd., Cleveland Hts. 216-321-2930 or ensemble-theater.org.

Journalism award honors defenders of LGBT voices
Students at a Kentucky high school who overcame administrative censorship by launching their own independent publication, and a Tennessee yearbook adviser who was reassigned after defending his students’ right to publish a candid article about being gay, are the winners of the 2012 Courage in Student Journalism Award. The Red Pen was launched by student staffers at duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Ky., after their principal ordered them to refrain from mentioning controversial topics, including homosexuality. The students used their own off-campus time to build a website, www.theredpen.org, and raised the money to distribute a print version. James Yoakley, the former newspaper and yearbook adviser at Lenoir City High School, Tenn., was reassigned to teach seventh-grade English teacher at Lenoir City Middle School. Yoakley was named the nonstudent winner for his outspoken defense of press freedom in the face of two censorship incidents, one of which involved a student’s coming out story in the school yearbook. “Even though the outcome was not ideal, right, or perhaps, even finished, I hope that students are inspired to continue to write the stories that deserve to be told, to tackle the difficult subjects with zeal, and to give voice to students who are so often kept silent,” Yoakley said. The awards are given annually to student journalists and school officials who have demonstrated exceptional fortitude in defending freedom of the press. The Courage award is cosponsored by the Student Press Law Center, the National Scholastic Press Association, and the Center for Scholastic Journalism at Kent State University, which underwrites a $500 cash prize plus travel expenses for the winners. The awards will be presented on Nov. 17 at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Antonio.

Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, October 420. The Cleveland Public Theater, 6415 Detroit Ave. 216-631-2727 or cptonline.org.

“8” , a powerful account of the court battle to overturn the Proposition 8 gay marriage ban in California, which included a star-studded cast (Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Martin Sheen and Jane Lynch) was streamed live on YouTube, where it has received over half a million hits.

Filmmaker focuses on Gen Silent
Coming out was once thought to be a permanent step in the lives of LGBT individuals. Now a filmmaker has featured how many LGBT seniors are being forced back into the closet. “Gen Silent,” from award-winning director of sufficient support deeply impact seniors. The film is being shown at the Case Western Reserve University’s Mandel Center, 11402 Bellflower Rd. (Room 115) on Weds., October 10 at 4:00 p.m. A panel discussion will follow. This event is free and open to the public.

Link: http:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=qlUG8F9uVgM

Stu Maddux, follows six Boston LGBT seniors for a year to show how the generation that fought hardest to come out is now going back in the closet to survive. Discrimination, abuse, neglect, isolation, and lack



The LGBTQ Neighborhoods Project is a multiyear, multi-pronged research study that will analyze LGBTQ populations in

PFLAG Regional Conference a huge success
By Pat Brandt, Cleveland chapter The bright lights of Cleveland were shining the weekend of September 7 for PFLAG. Yes, they were the downtown city lights that we, Northeast Ohioans, are used to. But there were many other bright lights seen by the over 70 attendees to the PFLAG Great Lakes Regional Conference. PFLAG board members had been busy for much of 2012 planning and implementing this conference at the downtown Radisson Hotel where they showcased many of the bright lights our city has to offer— especially themselves! Members in the Great Lakes Region included participants from Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and of course all parts of Ohio. The weekend started off with a docent-guided tour of the Art Museum in its freshly renovated splendor. Art with an LGBT connection was the focus of this bit of afternoon fun. This was followed by a dinner where Ken Lanci and his family were informally honored for their unwavering devotion to LGBT causes here in Cleveland and throughout the state. The Lanci family generosity has particularly benefitted our organizations here in Northeast Ohio with their printing of our newsletter and educational materials, including the stunning program guide for the weekend! The North Coast Men’s Chorus Coastliners group serenaded us with their vocal talents and included a surprise performance by our own Jane Daroff during the group’s performance of “Isn’t She Lovely?” Capping off the evening were film shorts from award winning Cleveland International Film Festival selections. What a great start to this great weekend! Workshops in breakout sessions included varied topics, such as: technology tips for incorporating social media, smart boards and skype into an organization; a transgender youth and their parents; African American youth coming out stories; sexual identities in popular music moderated by a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame educator; and “Our Whole Lives” sexuality curriculum de-

Ohio’s seven major cities (Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, Toledo and Youngstown). It will focus on gentrification of LGBTQ urban populations, demographic and economic impact, and oral history interviews with former and current residents. The project is the first of its kind to research and document LGTBQ populations in an entire state. It will establish a unique collection of research material that will eventually be accessible worldwide. PFLAG chapters will be contacted about supporting the project and promoting involvement in the interview portion. Oral history interviews for Akron and Cleveland are scheduled for spring 2013 and will be on display at the 2014 Gay Games.

PFLAG Regional Conference (l-r): Cleveland PFLAG Secretary Marianne Buccini, President Sharon Groh-Wargo, and Cleveland chapter co-founder Jes Sellers Saturday provided a lot of information to digest, beginning with PFLAG National staff favorite Jean-Marie Navetta, who rolled out the new Straight for Equality for Faith (straightforequality. org/Faith). The program addresses how to initiate conversations in your own faith community to promote tolerance and equality. veloped by both the UCC and UU churches that looks at sex as one part of a whole being. One breakout session was of special interest: “How to tell your story in two minutes.” This session was used as a primer for an afternoon activity that allowed participants to make their own It Gets Better video. Later in the afternoon, approximately 20 It Gets Better


In Memoriam
The Akron area lost two PFLAG pioneers in the past few months. Don Preslan, Minister at the First Congregational Church of Ravenna, and his wife, Jean, were longtime active and valued members of Akron PFLAG. A few years ago they moved to Loveland, Colo., to be near family. Don died this past May. Alice Cromwell passed away on Sept. 4 at age 91. Although she had no close LBGT family members, she was a devoted advocate for social justice issues and helped run Alliance PFLAG for several years. Both Alice and Don are missed!

videos were professionally recorded to be sent home and used by their local groups! There was no relaxing at the lunch table, as “Lunch and Learn” sessions provided the opportunity to learn about moderating support groups, the current “lingo” for LGBT conversation, finding faith homes, fundraising, safe schools, PFLAG National, Fortunate Families Support Group, straight spouse networks, and newsletters. The dynamic afternoon sessions started out with a presentation by Rob Smitherman from the Gay Games 2014 being held in the Cleveland/Akron area. Rob wowed us with offerings of everything from water polo to same sex ballroom dancing to be held at venues right here in our backyard.

Cleveland chapter co-founder Jane Daroff with members of the NCMC coastliners Amistad Chapel. Rev. Hoffman’s theme of PFLAG as a safe harbor was visible in the altar enhancements of a miniature lighthouse and the backdrop of a painting of the Amistad ship at sea. Many at the service shared stories of finding safe harbor in their lives or offered up prayers for those yet to find it. The very talented Diana Chittester performed a touching original composition to end this moving start to the day. Once again politics took center stage when Cleveland City Councilperson Joe Cimperman and Cuyahoga County Executive Dale Miller discussed their odysseys on the way to getting domestic partner registries and benefits packages accepted. A very powerful and informative session ended the whole weekend with Dr. Henry Ng, director of one of the nation’s few PRIDE Clinics here in Cleveland, and Dr. Daniel Medalie, a plastic surgeon, both from MetroHealth. These two fine doctors walked us through, in a very brief and very basic manner, some scenarios a transgender person might experience in a health care setting. These ranged from the office visit to the end result surgery and what lies in between. The depth of their knowledge and sensitivity left those of us who reside here in Cleveland feel very lucky to have such high quality practitioners here in our midst. Great things happened here and we are extremely grateful to our dedicated board for their hard work. Despite the loss of the home opener by the Browns later that day, this group brought home a winner with the Great Lakes Regional Conference Weekend.

Volunteer! The 2014 Gay Games will need thousands of volunteers to make this event outshine previous host cities.
And there is no need to sit on the sidelines for the Gay Games—the only restriction for participants is that they be 18 years of age. If you don’t feel qualified to be part of an event, VOLUNTEER! Gay Games 2014 will need thousands of volunteers to make this a premier event that can outshine previous host cities. Rob sold the audience on making this a great success. The afternoon’s final presentation was a panel of officials letting us all know how things stand in each of the states on LGBT issues and what to watch for in the upcoming elections. Our final day commenced with a beautiful service led by Rev. Craig Hoffman in the stunning

Oct. 18, Nov. 15 - 7:00 pm
N. Springfield Presbyterian 671 N. Canton Rd.

Cleveland PFLAG
Oct. 9, Nov. 13 7:30 pm
Trinity Episcopal 2230 Euclid Ave,, 44115

Wooster PFLAG
Oct. 18, Nov. 15 - 7:00 pm
Universalist Fellowship 3186 Burbank Rd.
Please call ahead to confirm.

Youngstown PFLAG
Oct. 9, Nov. 13 - 6:30 pm
St. John’s Episcopal 323 Wick Ave.

Cuyahoga County Executive Dale Miller and Cleveland City Councilperson Joe Cimperman speak at the PFLAG Regional Conference.