Tommy Craven

The student said, “My friend is struggling with his sexuality. His parents said they would disown him if he is gay, and so would his church. What can I do to help?” It was obvious to me that the students had pressing questions that needed to be answered. I was glad to be there to help…

My name is Tommy Craven. I am a full-time freshman at NYU and a part-time intern at PFLAG NYC. I wanted to do an internship at PFLAG NYC mainly because of the Safe Schools Program, which I wish we had had in my high school in Indiana. The Safe Schools Program aims to eliminate intolerance in city middle and high schools by engaging parents and other straight allies, as well as members of the LGBT community, to share their personal stories. These stories of coming out and of accepting LGBT family members help to make tangible to students the life experiences and struggles of LGBT people, their families, and friends.

I spoke for the first time last Wednesday, and my hope was to share my story and connect with at least one student on how they see the LGBT community. Sitting in the auditorium of Columbia Secondary School in Harlem, I was a little nervous about telling my story in front of teenagers I had never even met. The most overwhelming pressure was not knowing what to expect. What would the children think of me and my choices? How would they respond to my deeply personal story? Maybe they would laugh and mock me right in front of my eyes. I was not certain what would be coming through the auditorium doors. Read more »

Marc Adams

Marc Adams is the author of nine books including his award-winning autobiography, The Preacher’s Son, five collections of poetry, and his most recent book, It’s Not About You: Understanding Coming Out & Self Acceptance. His awards include the Silver Pen Award and Lambda Literary Award.

Marc Adams is also the founder and executive director of HeartStrong, an educational non-profit organization that provides support and outreach to LGBT students from religious educational institutions who are struggling with feeling that they are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT). The HeartStrong Outreach Team has driven over 327,000 miles in the past nine years. Read more »

Get tickets now for the PFLAG NYC Awards Dinner on October 10

Please join us at the PFLAG NYC Awards Dinner on Monday, October 10, as we celebrate the many ways in which families and allies are creating a more accepting, more equal world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. Tickets are available now.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sandra Lee of the Food Network and Semi-Homemade Magazine will be recognized as family allies for marriage equality. Both spoke out passionately about their gay relatives and why marriage equality was important to their families. PFLAG has long held that sharing our families’ own stories of having LGBT loved ones is the most powerful way we have to increase understanding and fight for full equality for all our family members. Read more »

The Steinman-Iacullo FamilyWayne Steinman, Hope Steinman-Iacullo, and Sal Iacullo at the “One Island, One Pride” Awards Ceremony (Photo by James Hanlon)

PFLAG NYC salutes Wayne Steinman and Sal Iacullo, who were jointly awarded the first-ever “One Island, One Pride” Award by the Staten Island LGBT Community Center in Tompkinsville on August 22, 2011. Residents of Staten Island for more than 20 years, Steinman and Iacullo have been involved in virtually every LGBT initiative in the borough during that time and have contributed mightily to making Staten Island more hospitable to LGBT people. Their involvement has run the gamut from political struggles in the fight for equality, assisting LGBT youth and their families on the island, to creating a supportive environment for same-sex couples raising children. Read more »