“New” Parents To PFLAG Tackle Local Talk Radio . . . And Live To Tell About It!
From the August 8, 2005 "PFLAG
Weekly Alert" from the national office of PFLAG in Washington,
A Message from PFLAG's President, Sam Thoron
Dear PFLAG Family,
Over the last three years I have spoken and written often on
a few recurring themes, among them that our own personal
stories are our most powerful tools and that it is
imperative that we be willing to tell them, to speak our truth,
even at considerable personal risk.
I can think of no better example of how this can work than a
posting I read yesterday from our Chapter in Phoenix. Here it
"New" PFLAG Parents Tackle Local Talk Radio
. . . And Live To Tell About It!
"My husband, Rex, and I were asked by PFLAG
Phoenix co-president Mike Crum if we would like to speak on a
local radio station program here in Phoenix about our son's
"coming out" and how we struggle with our faith on this issue.
We decided that we would speak about it and, just a few days
later, we arrived early at the radio station. My husband and I
had never been on a radio show before, so this was a whole new
experience for us.
We met the host, Reverend Walter F. Wieder, a minister for the
Unitarian Universalist Church, and his co-host Jaime. The name
of the show was "A Different View."
We also met another PFLAG Phoenix couple, Rudy and Dolores
Livernois. Their son "came out" to them 20 years ago. Our son,
Jack, came out to us only nine months ago.
The hosts decided that Rudy and Dolores would go on first. I was
so thankful that they did because I was so nervous to begin
with. I didn't think it would be that big a deal really. I mean
after all, this is AM radio early on a Saturday morning. Who in
the world would be listening at 8am in the morning to an AM
I soon found out when the lights lit up on the callers' panel.
There were so many callers that they had to put some people on
hold so the show could present itself with the guest speakers
from PFLAG. We listened to Dolores and Rudy speak. They answered
all the questions so intelligently and gave such informative
answers. They were truly prepared to the max. Rudy even had his
notebook full of notes and also handed out PFLAG bookmarkers and
pamphlets to the hosts.
All I had brought was the phone number for PFLAG and the web
address. So I thought, "When it is my turn, I am dead meat!"
In between guest speakers, the host would take calls.
I became even more anxious as I heard one particular caller. He
was comparing being gay to pollution. I couldn't believe what
I was hearing. This caller sounded like he was an
intelligent man. But his logic and comparison made absolutely no
sense to me at all. He really believed in what he was saying. I
could feel butterflies in my stomach and I began to feel
nauseous. I was nervous about the experience, but I was sick
about what I was hearing.
This is what my gay son has to deal with. This stupid,
foolish utterance from this idiot. So my nerves were on edge
before I even got to the microphone.
It was then my and my husband's turn to speak. We had no idea we
would be feeling so many emotions in such a short time. What I
thought was not a big deal turned out to be just that: a big
deal. When the Reverend began to ask me a question, all these
emotions and the topic just came to a head. In my mind, I knew
the hosts didn't have a lot of time left.
I really was fighting back the tears, but I couldn't hold back.
I began to cry. I thought about my son, how he and his father
and I have struggled with the church. Also, I thought about
what the callers had said.
And this is what I said next. "In going to church for over 30
years, when my son came out, the church turned their back on us.
When we found PFLAG and went to our first meeting, we found more
acceptance, love and support in that one meeting than we did in
going to church for 30 years."
"New" PFLAG parents Pat and
going "live" with
KXXT 1010 AM
Rev. Walt and Jamie.
PFLAG "veteran" parents Rudy and Dolores,
going "live" with KXXT 1010 AM radio hosts
Rev. Walt and Jamie.
My husband then said that the church had forgot one main thing.
That the greatest gift of all is God's Love. I have to
say that I was petrified when the Reverend took the next call. I
thought "here it comes."
A lady had called in. She said that when she had heard me cry
that she had cried. And this caller had more compassion and
I was really hoping that the other callers were listening as
When the show was over, my husband and I felt renewed. We felt
like everyone there had made such a big difference in such a
short amount of time. So even though it was at 8:00 on a
Saturday morning on an AM radio station, it was a big deal.
And we would like to thank Mike, Daria, Dolores, Rudy, Jamie and
the Reverend for an unforgettable experience on KXXT 1010 AM in
Phoenix on Saturday from 8-9 am.
Pat and Rex Gullick"
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of similar stories in
our PFLAG Family. This is our voice, this is our strength.
To bring equality for loved ones all we have to do is change the
world. We do it, one heart at a time. We can all do this.
We must tell our truth.
My hat is off to Pat and Rex. My hat is off to all of you who
have spoken out in large and small ways. You are our voice, you
are our power. Keep telling your stories. Keep changing
hearts and minds. We are changing the world.
PFLAG National Office