The mission of our PFLAG chapter is to offer support to cope with an adverse society, education to enlighten an ill-informed public, and advocacy to end discrimination and secure equal civil rights. Please contact us! We like to hear from you.
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PostHeaderIcon March 2017 Newsletter

The latest edition of our dynamite newsletter for Oregon Central Coast PFLAG can be found here.
In our newsletter you can find information and photos about our 5th Annual Love is Love Community Valentine Party!  Thanks again to Nel Ward, our dedicated editor!
And take this opportunity to read the article in the newsletter about our new co-chair, Nickey Collier.  We’re delighted to welcome her to our dynamic team.
At our March 8 PFLAG meeting we’ll watch and discuss Katy Couric’s exploration into the subject of gender in the National
Geographic documentary, “Gender Revolution: A Journey with Katie Couric.”  Don’t miss this opportunity to share this important information with the larger community.  Following the showing, the film may be borrowed to show to other groups in schools or the community.

PostHeaderIcon Love is Love 2017

Photos from Love is Love 2017



PostHeaderIcon February 2017 Newsletter for PFLAG-OCC

This month’s newsletter is filled with important info about our efforts to support and advocate for LGBTQ folks and other vulnerable groups in our county.  Thanks to Nel Ward who uses her remarkable skills and experience to help us share our local news in the context of national and state LGBTQ issues.  The newsletter is found here.

Stay informed and connected–and please support PFLAG by attending the 5th Annual Love is Love Community Valentine Party.  It will be held on Saturday, February 11th, 2:00-4:00 pm at the Oregon Coast Community College in South Beach (Newport.) Share the flyer at this link and come with friends.
Love is Love Poster:

PostHeaderIcon Love is Love 2017

Our 5th Annual Love is Love festivity will be Saturday, February 11, 2:00-4:00 pm at the Oregon Coast Community College in South Beach (Newport.) Come for live music and fun! See poster at link below for details.

Love Is Love Poster 2017



PostHeaderIcon Here’s What It Really Means To Be Intersex

Here’s What It Really Means To Be Intersex

International supermodel Hanne Gaby Odiele recently spoke out about her gender identity.

Hanne Gaby Odiele, a 28-year-old Belgian supermodel, recently became one of the first public figures to be openly intersex.

The globetrotting model, who’s walked the runway for designers such as Chanel and Prada, has found a new role as an advocate for perhaps the most misunderstood and stigmatized gender identity. This week, Odiele announced that she will be working with InterACT http://interactadvocates.org/, an organization that advocates for the rights of intersex youth.

“It was important for me to make this declaration now, based on where I am in my life,” Odiele told Vogue in an interview published Monday, “I want to live authentically as who I am and help to break down the stigma that intersex persons face ― but also to use the profile that I’ve built through modeling to give back to those without a voice.”

“I want to be there for people who are struggling, to tell them it’s OK,” she added. “It’s one part of you, but it’s not who you are.”

What does it mean to be intersex?  Although being intersex is relatively common, there remains a startling lack of awareness among the general population. Even as our culture has made strides toward greater understanding and acceptance of transgender rights, intersexuality remains under-recognized and taboo.

“This model coming out as intersex is really brave,” Elizabeth Reis, a professor of gender and women’s studies at Macaulay Honors College at CUNY and author of /Bodies in Doubt: An American History of Intersex , told The Huffington Post. “People have such a misunderstanding about what intersex is, or more accurately, they often have no understanding of what intersex is.”

So what does it mean? Intersex people are those whose biology does not meet our society’s traditional definitions of sex and gender. At least 1 in 2,000 babies ― and possibly as many as 2 in 100, according to some estimates 
― are born with ambiguous gender traits. For some, the condition is clear at birth, while others don’t discover that they’re intersex until puberty or later.

“The simplest way to explain it is somebody who is born with atypical sex anatomy,” Reis said. “Their genitals can look different, or not ― sometimes their genitals look like any other boy or girl. They may not find out that they’re intersex until puberty because their internal reproductive anatomy is atypical.”

Odiele was born with a condition called androgen insensitivity syndrome https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/androgen-insensitivity-syndrome, meaning that while she is genetically male (having one X and one Y chromosome), her body is resistant to male hormones known as androgens. As a result, her physical makeup more closely resembles a woman ― she 
was born with internal testes, though no uterus or ovaries ― but her genetic makeup resembles a man.

This is just one of many forms of intersexuality, and other intersex people have very different traits from Odiele. The designation of intersex actually refers to more than 30 different variations in which a person’s reproductive anatomy and/or genetic makeup doesn’t fit their gender.

For instance, an individual identified as a girl might be born with a larger clitoris or without a vaginal opening, and an individual identified as a boy may be born with a micro-penis or a scrotum that resembles a labia, according to the Intersex Society of North America <http://www.isna.org/faq/what_is_intersex>. A person could also be born with “mosaic genetics,” meaning that some of their chromosomes are XX (female) and others are XY.

Fighting for intersex rights:  As a child, Odiele was forced into a surgery to have her internal testes removed, because doctors told her parents that she would develop cancer otherwise. There is no scientific evidence to suggest this is true. Odiele wasn’t informed of her surgery’s actual purpose ― she had been told the surgery was for a bladder problem.

Unfortunately, this sort of experience is commonplace among intersex youth, who are often subjected to genital surgeries without full consent in order to “normalize” them into one gender or the other.

But growing evidence suggests that the surgeries can be traumatic and unhealthy for these children in the long term. Nonconsensual genital surgeries on intersex children are irreversible and sometimes unsafe, and the United Nations children’s rights committee has condemned these traumatic genital surgeries as human rights violations 

“The basis of wanting to do these surgeries has really been based on cultural values as much or more than medical or scientific values,” Reis said. “There’s not a lot of evidence that these surgeries are good for the children who undergo them.”

Reis is optimistic that Odiele speaking out about her own experience as a member of the intersex community can pave the way for positive change.

“We need to be more accepting in our society of all kinds of difference so that parents don’t feel so pressured to have their child undergo some kind of surgery that they would not have wanted themselves,” Reis added. “Intersex people need to make the decisions about their bodies for their own selves.”

“I hope that by telling my story,” Odiele said in an InterACT campaign, “more people get outraged at the human rights violations suffered by intersex children around the world.”



PostHeaderIcon January 2017 Newsletter for PFLAG Oregon Central Coast.

The January 2017 newsletter for PFLAG Oregon Central Coast can be found here.

Our January Schedule is below and for more information see the newsletter at the link above.

–January 9, 4:00-6:00 pm: LGBTQ Happy Hour, All Welcome!— Georgie’s Beachside Grill, Newport

–January 11, 6:00-7:00 pm: Monthly PFLAG Meeting, trans activist
Zoyer Syndel—at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 9th & Hurbert, Newport–January 14: LGBTQ Social for Teens and Young Adults! 634 NE 7th Street, Newport

–January 15, 3:00 pm: Kirsten Collier, speaker—Driftwood Library, Lincoln City (See p. 4 of the newsletter at the link above.)–January 21: March in solidarity with the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. (See p. 1 of newsletter. Also more information below. )

–January 22, 11:00 am: OUT OR Coast Women’s Coffee – Café Mundo, Newport

–January 29, 10:15 am: C.M. Hall, an LGBTQ activist will speak at Central Coast Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  The Title of the presentation is–“A Journey of Questioning, Identity, Truth, and Spiritual Activism:  How One Queer Chick Became a Flamboyant UU.” The UU fellowship meets at the Visual Arts Center (the VAC) on the Second Floor, on the Nye Beach Turnaround, 777 Northwest Beach Drive. Enter the building from the west entrance on the second level.  For more information and a longer description of her presentation, see https://ccuuf.org/




January 21    STRONGER TOGETHER MARCH in Newport, Oregon and we are hoping you will join us.  Bring your daughters and sons, your grandchildren and your friends as we march to protect civil rights, protect vulnerable communities and the earth. We march in solidarity with the National Women’s March in Washington D.C., the March in Portland and across the USA.  

Our expected schedule is this:

  • 11:30 am Meet up at City Hall
  • 12 Noon Begin March, walking south along 101 sidewalk
  • 12:15- 1:00 Arrive @ Hallmark gathering between 12:15 and 1:00pm
  • 1 -2 pm Rally at the Hallmark Resort, lower level







PostHeaderIcon December 2016 Newsletter

PFLAG Friends,
Our colorful and news-filled December newsletter can be found here  –and we appreciate Nel Ward for another year of great issues!
Please join us for the Annual World AIDS Day Candlelight Vigil at 6 pm on Thurs., Dec. 2 at the entrance to Oregon Coast Community College on 40th St. in South Beach.  Two panels from the AIDS quilt are on display all this week in the OCCC library–take a few minutes to sit with the quilt and reflect on the lives that were lost in this epidemic.
Our Holiday Dessert Potluck happens on Wed., Dec. 14 at 6 pm at St. Stephen’s Church in Newport at SW 9th and Hurbert.  Hope to see you there!

PostHeaderIcon November 2016 Newsletter

PFLAG Friends,
     The latest edition of our excellent newsletter can be found here. Thanks again to Nel Ward, editor extraordinaire!
     Lots of news and update on the lesbian couple who was evicted from their low income housing.  BOLI is working on appeals and we hope that there will someday be reimbursement for the huge financial loss they have suffered in losing their furnishings, clothing, deposits–not to mention their pride and sanity as they have struggled to stay afloat and indoors during these colder days.  It’s not too late to help with donations–contact Ineka Estabrook at inekae@charter.net for how you can help directly.
     Lots of activities underway for young people–see the calendar on page 7.
     Drop us a line of encouragement–and send in your membership! (see the form on the last page of the newsletter)–your commitment to our work means a lot.

PostHeaderIcon September 2016 Newsletter for the Oregon Central Coast PFLAG

The September edition of our newsletter can be found here. Thanks again to Nel Ward, our tireless editor.

Two upcoming events:

A memorial service for Kae Bates, co-founder of PFLAG OCC is Saturday, September 10, at 1:30 p.m. at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church just south of Waldport on Hwy 101 near Range Dr.  A party will follow at Shelter Me on Hwy 34 in Waldport.  Please wear colorful / rainbow colored attire!

At the Wednesday, September 14 meeting, we will honor longtime LGBTQ activist and leader, Nel Ward and Oregon Central Coast PFLAG co-founder, Jeanne St.John at our 6:00 pm meeting at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church at 9th St. & Hurbert St. in Newport.  Please join us to honor these LGBTQ legends!

PostHeaderIcon August 2016 Newsletter for PFLAG – Oregon Central Coast

The latest edition of our outstanding newsletter can be found here.
It is a great  collaboration between Nel Ward, Editor, and Ineka Estabrook, PFLAG OCC Chair.  Thanks to both of them for a great effort!
Don’t miss all the news from our local chapter as well as throughout the country.
And don’t miss our annual picnic on Sat., Aug. 13 from 2-4 pm at Toledo’s Riverfront Park.  Bring a potluck dish to share and come enjoy fun in the sun with family and friends.