This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Buffalo / Niagara
PO Box 617 Buffalo, NY 14207 716-883-0384 PFLAG@bfn.org www.PFLAG-buffalo-niagara.org
We meet because we have learned that someone very close to us is Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgendered. We try to help one another deal with this information in a positive manner. Although we do not agree at all times, we try to be understanding. We offer help to those who seek it, but do not force ourselves on others. We strive to maintain anonymity while sharing on a level that is comfortable for all of us. We encourage all to attend meetings for their own benefit as well as that of the group. It is our hope that when each of us reaches a point of understanding and acceptance, we realize that this is when others need us the most.
Monthly Meeting Schedule
Sharing Sunday, September 15, 2013 2:30–4:30 PM Kenilworth United Church of Christ 45 Dalton Drive - Tonawanda, NY 14223 Parents will be invited to share their personal stories. As always, newcomers will be offered the alternative of meeting privately with a PFLAG parent. The church is located two blocks west of Niagara Falls Boulevard at the corner of Decatur Rd and Dalton Dr. Decatur runs off of Niagara Falls Boulevard about 0.8 miles south of Sheridan Drive and about 0.8 miles north of Kenmore Ave. Our monthly meetings are in the library, which is near the parking lot entrance. The facility is handicap accessible. Time to Stop Bullying – Time to Take Action Special Event! Bully Sunday, October 20, 2013 2:00–4:30 PM Central Library 1 Lafayette Square – Buffalo, NY 14203 Mark your calendars and plan to bring family and friends to watch the powerful documentary Bully. This screening is free of charge and appropriate for all ages. The presentation will be followed by a group discussion. Please note this event will take the place of the October members’ meeting!
New Parents Meetings are scheduled as needed at a location convenient to
those involved. These self-help one-on-one meetings deal with the concerns of parents and family members who have recently learned that a loved one is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender.
Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Buffalo/Niagara, is a non-profit, all volunteer, community-based organization not affiliated with any ethnic, religious, economic, or political group. Membership is open to all. PFLAG membership lists are kept confidential and mailings are sent in plain envelopes.
White House to Host Meeting on Bisexual Issues
By Trudy Ring, The Advocate
The White House will host a roundtable discussion of issues facing bisexuals, in “an apparent first for the Obama administration,” the Washington Blade reports. The meeting, by invitation only and closed to the media, will be held September 23 at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. According to an invitation obtained by the Blade, “Participants and administration officials will discuss a range of topics including health, HIV/AIDS, domestic and intimate partner violence, mental health, and bullying.” Human Rights Campaign spokesman Michael Cole-Schwartz said the HRC will be in on the meeting, and he praised the effort. “It’s a testament to this administration that they are focusing on all elements of the LGBT community, and they should be applauded for hosting an event focused on some of the specific issues impacting bisexual people,” he told the Blade. Lindasusan Ulrich, author of the “Bisexual Invisibility” report released by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, also commented positively on the initiative. “I’m very excited that the White House is holding this roundtable — it feels like a turning point in the needs of the bi community finally being taken seriously,” she told The Advocate. “Given all the disparities bisexuals face in terms of health, suicidality, funding, and a host of other issues, we’ve got an opportunity here to start a national conversation that could have a positive effect on the largest segment of the LGBTQ community. I hope this will be just the beginning.” Albany pols push for ban on gay ‘conversion’ therapy for teens, citing new N.J. law
By Kenneth Lovett, New York Daily News
Three New York lawmakers are using the controversy over a New Jersey law banning teen anti-gay therapy to push similar legislation in New York. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made national news when he signed a bill abolishing the therapy that attempts to turn gay teens straight. Now, State Sens. Brad Hoylman (D-Manhattan), Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) and Assemblywoman Deborah Glick say New York pols should swiftly pass a similar bill they introduced earlier this year that stalled in Albany. “Conversion therapy is among the worst frauds in history and has been discredited by the American Psychological Association and other ... leading mental health organizations,” said Hoylman, the state’s only openly gay senator. The New York bill would bar mental health providers from trying to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18. If enacted, a licensed mental health provider who ignored the law would be cited for unprofessional conduct and subject to licensing sanctions. Similar legislation has been enacted in California. Christie, who is eyeing a GOP presidential run in 2016, endorsed it.
“This is not a hyperpartisan issue,” said Gianaris, the senate’s deputy Democratic leader. “This is about protecting young people who are being forced to believe that the way they are is wrong, when it’s not.” Glick said conversion therapy “adds to a hostile environment” at a time when the gay community has been subjected to increased bullying and gay bashing. The Daily News reported that the NYPD is on pace to investigate about twice the number of anti-gay incidents in 2013 — from slurs to felony assaults — compared to 2012. The crimes include the May 18 murder of a 32-year-old man in Greenwich Village. Melissa Ingraham, a licensed mental health counselor with the Christian Counseling Center in upstate Johnson City, argued that the bill would keep some teens from getting the help they want. “If someone has an attraction to someone of the same sex that they don’t want, they should have the ability to pursue counseling to work it out,” Ingraham said. GLAAD Finds Movies Lag Behind TV in LGBT Roles
by Jocelyn Noveck, AP National Writer
We may be seeing more prominent gay and lesbian characters on TV shows, but the movie industry lags well behind the small screen, an advocacy group reports. In its first study of LGBT roles in major studio releases, GLAAD found that compared with TV, where there has been a significant shift over the past decade, "Major studios appear reluctant to include LGBT characters in significant roles or franchises." In its , GLAAD, formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, found that of 101 releases from Hollywood's six major studios in 2012, just 14 included characters identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Most were no more than cameos or minor roles, it said — and none of the films tracked had transgender characters. "Until LGBT characters appear more regularly in these studio films, there will be the appearance of bias," said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's national spokesperson, in an interview. He added that his organization will be meeting with studio executives to discuss the findings. There were some bright spots in 2012, and some more ambiguous ones, the group said. For example, "Skyfall," the hugely successful installment of the James Bond franchise, featured a main villain, played by Javier Bardem, who was apparently bisexual. "It was great to see an LGBT character in such a significant role," said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment media at GLAAD, also in an interview. "But unfortunately the character was also devious, psychotic, and untrustworthy — it fell into that trap." As genre films like comic book adaptations consume much of the studios' capital and promotional efforts, the report says, such films have a striking lack of LGBT characters. In "The Avengers," it notes, there is a gay news anchor, but his appearance is "so brief it was likely missed by many viewers." The report — called the 2013 Studio Responsibility Index — rates each of the six studios according to the LGBT-inclusive films they released. Faring worst: 20th Century Fox and Disney, which each receive "failing" grades; the other four — Paramount, Sony, Universal and
Warner Bros. — receive grades of "adequate." But Universal fared best, with four of its 16 releases considered LGBT-inclusive. Studios had no comment on the study. As part of its index, GLAAD also developed criteria to measure the quality of the LGBT roles. They included: whether a character was identifiably LGBT; whether it was not solely or predominantly defined by its sexual orientation or gender identity; and whether it was tied into the plot in such a way that its removal would have a significant effect. One of the best examples of an LGBT-inclusive film in 2012, according to GLAAD, was, interestingly, an animated family film: "ParaNorman," about a misunderstood boy who can communicate with the ghosts of dead people. In the film, which came from the Portland-based studio LAIKA, Norman's cheerleader sister asks the hunky football hero Mitch for a movie date. He casually makes a reference to his boyfriend. The film's writer and co-director, Chris Butler, said the filmmakers, while determined to include the scene, had worried that it could cost them a PG rating and get them a PG-13 instead, which would have been inappropriate for the movie. In the end, they got their PG rating. Butler said he was disappointed with some negative commentary about the scene — including one viewer's online review that praised the film for its anti-bullying message of inclusion — but said it ruined matters by making a character gay. "I was surprised at all the fuss," Butler said. "But on the flip side was the positive reaction." The movie was the first animated film nominated for a GLAAD award. As a filmmaker, Butler said he was not optimistic that there would be an inevitable wave of more onscreen LGBT characters as time goes on and society changes, as on TV. "It's a mistake to assume it's inevitable," he said. "The only way to make change is to do something about it. It takes hard work." "We are moving in the right direction," Butler said. "But not nearly quick enough. It's not enough." Kane, at GLAAD, said the new report would help reinforce its longtime claims that Hollywood studios need to do more. "Over the years we have met with studios, and it's always a point we make," Kane said. "Now, we have the numbers to take to them." Russia defends anti-gay law in letter to IOC
by Stephen Wilson, Associated Press
The Russian government assured the IOC it will not discriminate against homosexuals during the Sochi Olympics, while defending the law against gay "propaganda" that has provoked an international backlash. The IOC received a letter from Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak giving reassurances the host country will comply fully with the Olympic Charter's provision against discrimination of any kind. "The Russian Federation guarantees the fulfillment of its obligations before the International Olympic Committee in its entirety," Kozak said.
However, Kozak did not back down on the issue of the new law, which penalizes anyone who distributes information aimed at persuading minors that "nontraditional" relationships are normal or attractive. The law applies equally to everyone and "cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," Kozak said. The letter still leaves open the question of what would happen to Olympic athletes or fans if they make statements or gestures that could be considered propaganda. The law has provoked harsh international criticism ahead of the Feb. 7-23 Winter Olympics in the Russian resort of Sochi. Some activists have called for a boycott of the games, though President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron have ruled that out. Kozak's letter came after IOC President Jacques Rogge asked the Russians for further clarifications on the law and how it could impact on the Sochi Games. "We have today received strong written reassurances from the Russian government that everyone will be welcome at the games in Sochi regardless of their sexual orientation," Rogge said in a statement. The letter was addressed to Jean Claude-Killy, the French IOC member who heads the coordination commission for the Sochi Games. It's still not clear if an athlete or spectator could be prosecuted for wearing a badge or rainbow pin or waving a small flag in solidarity with gay rights. Political gestures of any kind are also prohibited by the IOC. The issue attracted attention at the world athletics championships in Moscow last week when Swedish high jumper Emma Green Tregaro painted her fingernails in the colors of the rainbow to support gay rights. The gesture prompted Russian pole vault star Yelena Isinbayeva to complain that Green Tregaro was disrespecting Russia. In his letter, Kozak said the legislation does not impose any restrictions on sexual orientation, and stressed the Russian constitution prohibits discrimination against anyone based on sex, race or religion. The law on gay propaganda, he said, centers on the "restriction of information that promotes non-traditional sexual relationships among children." "These legislations apply equally to all persons, irrespective of their race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, and cannot be regarded as discrimination based on sexual orientation," he said. The letter added: "These requirements do not attract any limitations for participants and spectators of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi on their legal right of residence in the territory of the Russian Federation or participation in any events stipulated in the Games program that are contradictory to the Olympic Charter or universally recognized standards of international law on human rights." Homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993 and Russian officials have been at pains to emphasize that the law does not penalize gay orientation or activity. However, the law reflects widespread animosity toward homosexuals in Russian society and its vagueness troubles many. It appears possible that anyone wearing a rainbow flag on the street or writing about gay relationships on Facebook, for instance, could be accused of propagandizing.
On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, ‘Who Am I to Judge?’
by Rachel Donadio, The New York Times
ROME — For generations, homosexuality has largely been a taboo topic for the Vatican, ignored altogether or treated as “an intrinsic moral evil,” in the words of the previous pope. In that context, brief remarks by Pope Francis suggesting that he would not judge priests for their sexual orientation, made aboard the papal airplane on the way back from his first foreign trip, to Brazil, resonated through the church. Never veering from church doctrine opposing homosexuality, Francis did strike a more compassionate tone than that of his predecessors, some of whom had largely avoided even saying the more colloquial “gay.” “If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?” Francis told reporters, speaking in Italian but using the English word “gay.” Francis’s words could not have been more different from those of Benedict XVI, who in 2005 wrote that homosexuality was “a strong tendency ordered toward an intrinsic moral evil,” and an “objective disorder.” The church document said men with “deep-seated homosexual tendencies” should not become priests. Vatican experts were quick to point out that Francis was not suggesting that the priests or anyone else should act on their homosexual tendencies, which the church considers a sin. But the fact that he made such comments — and used the word “gay” — was nevertheless revolutionary, and likely to generate significant discussion in local dioceses, where bishops are divided over whether to accept priests who are gay but celibate. “It’s not a great opening in terms of contents, but the fact that he talked about it that way is a great novelty,” said Paolo Rodari, a Vatican expert at the Italian daily La Repubblica. Francis would probably agree with Benedict’s writings on homosexuality, he added, “but it doesn’t interest him.” “It interests him to say that the problem in the end isn’t if someone has this tendency, the important thing is to live in the light of God,” Mr. Rodari said. “Said by a pope, it’s enormous.” Francis also told reporters that while Pope John Paul II had definitively closed the door to female priests, he sought a “theology of women” and a greater role for them in Catholic life, news reports said. The pope’s comments on homosexuals and women in the church were yet another sign of the different directions from which Benedict and Francis approach doctrine. While Benedict, the shy theologian, focused more on ethics and advocated a purer church, even if it might end up being smaller, Francis was elected for his belief that the Catholic Church must engage in dialogue with the world — even with those it disagrees with — if it wants to stay vibrant and relevant.
“At a certain point, tone becomes substance if it’s seen as revitalizing the prospects of the church,” said John L. Allen, Jr., a Vatican expert at The National Catholic Reporter. In Benedict’s more subdued 2007 visit to Brazil, where Evangelical churches are making rapid inroads in the Catholic majority, he delivered speeches to bishops about how to respond to postmodern society. In contrast, Francis spoke on the beach, engaged with the masses and was greeted like a rock star by followers entranced by his approachable style and homespun folksy adages. (“You can always add more water to the beans,” he said at one point.) More than a million people gathered for an open-air Mass on Copacabana Beach. At one event, bishops danced on stage to upbeat music. The spectacle was clearly aimed at competing with Evangelical churches that have a more “pop” style. “We can see the figure of Peter so near to us,” said Milena Rocha, 20, a Brazilian student who slept on the beach Saturday night along with thousands of others in a vigil before the pope’s final Mass on Sunday, comparing Francis to St. Peter. She said that the vigil, in which many camped on the sands on pieces of cardboard, showed the energy that Francis was bringing to the church in Brazil, which has more Catholics than any other country, an estimated 123 million. Despite missteps by organizers, including one that compromised security, the visit unfolded peacefully, giving many people a chance to glimpse or even embrace Francis. “This pope keeps renewing the church,” said Claudia Brandão, 30, a housewife who traveled from Angola with her 9-month-old daughter. In 2007, “Benedict came and played the standard classical nocturne that he was famous for, and his devotees loved it. Francis came and played the guitar in his very accessible style and the crowds went wild,” said Mr. Allen, who traveled to Brazil for both trips.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK
Before he resigned in February, Benedict’s papacy had been marked by scandals — a sexual abuse scandal, a leaks scandal and trouble with the secretive Vatican Bank. Francis, with his style of radical simplicity and his direct manner, has shifted things. “He’s completely changed the narrative about the church,” Mr. Allen said. “In five months, now the dominant Catholic story is ‘Charismatic Pope Takes World by Storm.’ ” During his papal trips, John Paul II loved to walk to the back of the plane and chat with reporters, while Benedict only responded to a handful of preselected questions. Francis, on the overnight flight back to Rome from Rio de Janeiro, spoke freely to reporters for 80 minutes about everything from the Vatican Bank troubles to his decision not to live in the Apostolic Palace but rather in a Vatican residence.
Francis did not dodge a single question, even thanking the person who prompted his comments on homosexuality, asking about Italian news reports of a “gay lobby” inside the Vatican, with clerics blackmailing one another with information about sexual missteps. “So much is written about the gay lobby. I have yet to find on a Vatican identity card the word ‘gay,’ ” Francis said, chuckling. “They say there are some gay people here. I think that when we encounter a gay person, we must make the distinction between the fact of a person being gay and the fact of a lobby, because lobbies are not good.”
PFLAG BUFFALO/NIAGARA 2013–2014 Board of Directors President: Kristian Rickard Vice-President: Brian La Bella Secretary: Michele A. Perry Treasurer: Brian Carrier Directors: Liz Ball Ann Carrier Julie Christiano John Covert Suzanne Evans Rebecca Ligman Phil Salemi, Jr. Newsletter Staff Editor & Design:Brian La Bella
An article in the Italian weekly L’Espresso this month alleged that one of the advisers that Francis had appointed to look into the Vatican Bank, Msgr. Battista Ricca, had been accused of having gay trysts when he was a Vatican diplomat in Uruguay. The pope told reporters that nothing in the documentation he had seen substantiated the reports. He added that such a lobby would be an issue, but that he did not have anything against gay people and that their sins should be forgiven like those of all Catholics. Francis said that homosexuals should be treated with dignity, and that no one should be subjected to blackmail or pressure because of sexual orientation. “The problem isn’t having this orientation. The problem is making a lobby,” he said.
Buffalo Gay Men’s Chorus
OPEN AUDITIONS: Tuesday, September 3, 2013 at 6 pm St. John’s Grace Episcopal Church 51 Colonial Circle – Buffalo, New York 14222
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Counseling for Change
5820 Main Street, Suite 203, Williamsville, NY 14221 Phone: (716) 838-1236 Cell: (716) 583-4902
Tickets & info: 883-1277 www.buffalogaymenschorus.com
Please circle item(s) JOIN US! PFLAG BUFFALO/NIAGARA Please join our PFLAG chapter to support our mission at whatever level membership you can: Lifetime Membership .......................... 500 New Renewal Change of Address www.buffalogaymenschorus.com$ BenefactorMembership ….................. $ 250 Sponsoring Membership ……….……. $ 100 Advertising member (Business Card Advertisement Supporting Membership ....................... $ 50 $100. Annually for 10 issues) Household Membership ………………. $ 30 Newsletter Subscription Only ……….. $ 15 Please contact me about volunteer opportunities Donations of $50.00 or more can be included in the chapter newsletter. Please circle. OK to publish Do not publish
Your National PFLAG membership is included in your local chapter dues. You will also receive the quarterly PFLAG-Pole Newsletter delivered to your home or by email from the national office. Circle here if you don’t want to receive the PFLAG-Pole Newsletter
Make checks payable to PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara and mail to: P.O.Box 617 Buffalo, NY 14207
PFLAG Buffalo/Niagara is a non-profit 501(c)3 and donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. Please write clearly
Name (s) ___________________________________________________________________________ Date ________________ Address ______________________________________________ City _______________________________________________ State _____ Zip ______________ Phone (____) __________________E-mail address___________________________________
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.