The Atlanta chapter of Parents, Families & Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG) will host the “Leading with Love” Conference Saturday, April 20. The conference is a meeting of leaders and members from PFLAG chapters across the state that will feature guest speakers, seminars and tips for creating local chapters of the LGBT support group.
Conal Charles, co-president of the Atlanta PFLAG chapter, told GA Voice the upcoming conference will give attendees the chance to network with other allies for equality while giving them the tools necessary to start their own LGBT supportive groups.
“We only do this once every three years,” Charles said. “You won’t get this information anywhere else. These are the experts in their fields. Everything you need in a box.”
The main goal, Charles said, is to provide resources to LGBT people in the state who may live away from the larger cities, like Atlanta, Athens, Savannah or Macon. Many PFLAG members are supportive and want to know how to become more involved with the organization, Charles said.
More local groups will mean more opportunities for outreach, Charles said.
“Basically, if there is a parent or a few parents looking to get involved, they can get together, get the training and get everything they need to start a PFLAG chapter. We’re trying to cover Georgia in a network of support groups,” Charles added. “We’re trying to fill in that map.”
Sessions will cover a wide array of topics, from legal and cultural progress on equality to safe schools and transgender issues.
“We’re going to have six sessions,” Charles added. “[Georgia Equality Executive Director] Jeff Graham is going to do the marriage piece and update us on that. We’re going to have speakers talk about websites, transgender issues, facilitation skills, religions and faith, and safe schools.”
The conference will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. A breakfast and lunch are included with the event. Tickets purchased before April 14 will be $25. Tickets purchased after will increase to $30.