PFLAG Bucks County Leads with Love in Supporting the Local LGBTQ+ Community

Pride is being able to showcase the beauty of diversity and at the same time feeling comfortable and safe to do so.
Photo courtesy of PFLAG Bucks County.

June is Pride month and PFLAG loves celebrating the many contributions made by the LGBTQ+ community to history, society and cultures.

PFLAG has been leading with love for 50 years and we continue to do so now in 2023.  Pride 2023 means remembering the legacy and leadership of Jeanne Manford those 50 years ago. Jeanne proudly and lovingly stood with her son Morty in the Christopher Street Liberation Day March in June 1972. This proud and public support given by parents to their LGBTQ+ loved one was not often seen and people began to notice. Jeanne and Morty were being asked to give support and LGBTQ+ folks were asking Jeanne to support their own parents. The first family and ally meeting took place in March 1973 with the help of her son Morty and Morty’s father Jules. There was a need for allies and families to come together, support their loved ones and a place to connect and share about their LGBTQ+ loved one.  

Here in Bucks County, seeing the bravery of Jeanne and all the parents before us, with how they took a stand for their LGBTQ+ loved ones, helps give our chapter the courage to keep moving forward and continue that legacy. It was difficult and hard for them to stand up for what was right then and at times hard for us in Bucks County to stand bravely today. Jeanne inspires us to stand proud, bravely and echo the same sentiments she did those many years ago. Today we continue leading with love, providing support, education and advocacy.

At PFLAG Bucks County we have found each core value that began with Jeanne – leading with love by giving support, educating, and providing advocacy – is all needed now more than ever. As negative sentiments grow around the trans community about equality for gender, restricting access to health care, banning books, and limiting sport participation, we want to remind our communities that all people deserve the right to learn, receive health care, read books with LGBTQ+ representation, and to play on teams where they feel most comfortable.

READ: Anti-LGBTQ Hate, Threats, And Violence Are On The Rise This Pride Month

PFLAG Bucks County leads with love and supports by remembering these truths about each other. Just as Jeanne Manford was brave and stood up for Morty, today we feel the same as PFLAGer’s we are proud of our LGBTQ+ loved ones and we want to stand behind and uplift them through advocacy. There are many ways to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and one big way is by using your voice. At the Bucks County Chapter we show up to school board or township meetings and let our opinions be heard about creating safer and more inclusive spaces in our community. This is brave and needed. We know making things fairer for everyone hurts no one. Another way to uplift through advocacy and education is through reading. This year, PFLAG Bucks County wanted to remind and share our value in reading books with LGBTQ+ representation by holding a book drive. PFLAG Bucks County, with the help of local family – Project Uncensored, The Doylestown Bookshop, and GLSEN Bucks County, have raised money to buy LGBTQ+ books to put back onto the shelves for everyone to enjoy, learn, and feel affirmed.  Check out our favorite books here on our Amazon Read With Love Book Wish List.

In the month of June, what pride means to PFLAG is being able to showcase the beauty of diversity and at the same time feeling comfortable and safe to do so. Pride celebrations provide the opportunity to be visible in large numbers. These events can show LGBTQ+ youth that they are seen, heard and loved and there is a bright future ahead. There are many opportunities to join in and celebrate pride whether you identify within the LGBTQ+ community, are an ally or you just want to support the progress and happiness the community brings to all. Many towns have pride parades or pride festivals that allow the LGBTQ+ community to celebrate in this way.  PFLAG Bucks County celebrated at the New Hope Pride Parade, Abington Public Library Pride Festival, Doylestown Pride, and Bucks-Mont PRIDE Festival.  We felt immense love and pride throughout it all!  

READ: Stand In Solidarity With Trans Americans

We also want to remember that leading with love is year round with our families and LGBTQ+ communities. June is not and should not be the only time to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. At PFLAG Bucks County we appreciate and share the accomplishments of our LGBTQ+ loved ones 12 months a year. PFLAG holds two support meetings every month! Each month of the year a PFLAG participant can find connection, support and learn either virtually or in-person at our Doylestown meeting. Each month and each meeting we support our LGBTQ+ loved ones and members by offering a place to feel connected, feel less alone, share the emotions that come with learning about or LGBTQ+ loved one. We are a place to celebrate and share all the joys and accomplishments that our loved ones are celebrating – through feeling accepted and loved. Perhaps this is from changing their name, expressing their gender publicly and openly, gaining a job with an affirming employer, or gaining independence through stable and accepting housing. At our meetings we all gain further understanding and deepen our awareness of the challenges and joys our loved ones experience and face throughout the whole year. LGBTQ+ awareness is important because it brings attention to the issues that many members face. By recognizing and sharing these moments with each other and our community, it gives allies and other folks the opportunity to listen and learn about experiences that they might not be aware of.   

READ: Diverse Books Promote Self-Worth, Unity, And Empathy

Pride allows us to showcase our love and pride for our LGBTQ+ community that Jeanne Mannford began those 50 years ago. We remind ourselves and remind our community of the values that we hold true of all people whether they are LGBTQ+ or not. We value that leading with love is year round, every month of the year. PFLAG leads with love 50 years ago, today and into the foreseeable future each and every day.

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Picture of Rachel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Dziobecki

Rachel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Dziobecki

Rachel Fitzpatrick and Jessica Dziobecki (pronouns she/her/hers) are PFLAG Bucks County leaders.

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