Volunteer with the Safe Schools Program

Come to New Speaker Orientation on February 1

Anthony Kratunis at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning SchoolRapt students listen to Anthony Kratunis at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School

The Safe Schools Program brings community speakers into classrooms throughout New York City to share their personal experience of LGBTQ loved ones in their lives, or being an LGBTQ person themselves.

Community speakers make the Safe Schools Program powerful, because it is unlike any other experience students have in their classroom. Ordinary people from the community — parents, other relatives, and LGBT people themselves — share their own stories of having an LGBTQ loved one, or of being LGBT themselves. These personal stories make the Safe Schools Program uniquely powerful in reaching students. As one educator told us, “The event was absolutely fabulous! Students commented that you never hear parents’ reactions and family stories. It was a new perspective for them. It was a really great program and led to great conversations!”

"If only my son, who years ago had sat in classrooms just like these and felt so alone with his feelings and concerns about being gay, had had the opportunity to hear presentations like these, I believe that it would have helped him so much."

Last school year, we reached more than 9,000 students. In order to reach every school, we always need more volunteers to be speakers in the program and go into schools to share their story. Whether you are a parent of an lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) person, someone with an LGBT loved one in your life, or an LGBT person yourself, your story can help others learn what it means to be LGBT and help change the climate in schools for young people growing up LGBT. You may not think your story is remarkable, but even the most ordinary stories told honestly and proudly can spark revelations and change behavior. Read more »

Last month PFLAG NYC’s Safe Schools Program received this note from a student at a school where we’d just made educational presentations to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. It’s a thank-you note from one of the student to one of our community speakers. Here it is:

Hello! :-) I’m a part of the GSA and I really appreciate you coming out to our school and speaking cause it’s really isolating sometimes being in the LGBT+ cause it’s like ‘am I ever gonna find someone?’ and am I a freak? So it’s nice seeing cool people representing. From: :wave: — 7th Grade Student, Middle School in Flatbush, Brooklyn

It’s really isolating… Am I a freak?… This short note captures just why even as there is unprecedented acceptance and equality broadly, PFLAG NYC is working harder than ever to expand the spaces where young people can feel safe and affirmed no matter what their identity. LGBTQ people of all ages can still feel alone and under threat — in families and schools in our local communities just as much as on the national stage. Read more »

PFLAG NYC in collaboration with The Center launched a weeknight meeting of the TransFamilies Project as one more option for parents, family members, and friends of transgender and gender nonconforming loved ones to come to a PFLAG NYC family support group. We are pleased to announce that our continuing partnership with The Center will allow these meetings to continue indefinitely. The group will continue to meet on the last Tuesday of every month from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Meetings will take place at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center.

Like all TransFamilies Project meetings, the group is open to all. No matter when your loved one disclosed his/her/their gender identity, or what stage of transition he/she/they are in, join with others to meet understanding friends, share information, and get and provide support. Read more »

PFLAG NYC in NYC Pride 2019 - Photo by Robert Johnson

This year, NYC Pride marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. PFLAG NYC is excited to take part in the very special occasion, because our own history has ties to that night in June 1969 when the course of LGBTQ history changed.

On June 28, 1969, Morty Manford was among the patrons at the Stonewall Inn the night it was raided by the police and he participated in the uprising. Three years later his mother, Jeanne Manford, joined him in the March that had already become an annual civil rights demonstration marking the anniversary of Stonewall. When Jeanne marched in 1972, it set in motion the coming together of parents that became PFLAG NYC. With that, the biggest family-based organization in the LGBTQ community was born.

PFLAG NYC will have a large contingent of parents, kids, families, friends, and allies all marching together in the NYC Pride March celebrating Stonewall 50-World Pride NYC on June 30. We will proudly show the world we are standing up for our LGBTQ loved ones as visibly, vocally, and vociferously as ever! Read more »

Gabriel Blau of Equality New York reacts to the passage of GENDA, flanked by Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Dick Gottfried, and Senator Liz Krueger

In a day of historic progress for New York, both houses of the state Legislature passed civil rights protections for trans and gender non-conforming New Yorkers and banned anti-gay, anti-trans “conversion” therapy. Governor Andrew Cuomo will sign both bills into law in coming days.

GENDA, the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act, was 16 years in the making and had been passed by the New York Assembly 11 times. With the change in majority after November’s election, the Senate today joined in approving the bill.

PFLAG NYC salutes and thanks Assembly Member Dick Gottfried, lead sponsor of the legislation in the Assembly, and Sen. Brad Hoylman, sponsor in the Senate. They were joined over years by others, including Assembly Member Deborah Glick, Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell, former Sen. Tom Duane, and many more, in pushing to make protections for the trans community a reality in New York state. Read more »