PFLAG National Partners with Gender Spectrum

Beginning May 20, parents and caregivers of transgender and gender-diverse children who previously found support through the nonprofit Gender Spectrum can once again connect in community through PFLAG National. This new partnership comes on the heels of Gender Spectrum’s announcement in Sept. 2023 of its imminent closure.

PFLAG National’s Gender Spectrum Parent Community is the most recent addition to the PFLAG Connects: Communities program, launched in 2021, which hosts community-specific monthly virtual support meetings for Asian American/Pacific Islander, Black and African American, Latino, and Military families.

“For years, whenever a family with a gender-diverse child or teen attended a local PFLAG chapter support meeting, we would also introduce them to our friends at Gender Spectrum. So, when this trusted partner announced they were closing, there was no hesitation,” said Brian K. Bond, CEO of PFLAG National.

“PFLAG National needed to ensure families with transgender, nonbinary, and gender-diverse children continued to have wraparound support,” Bond added. “It was also critical that we launch the PFLAG Connects: Gender Spectrum Parent Community in time for June and Pride Month. Joining these kinds of support meetings is one way love takes action, and it tells a gender-diverse kid that their parents’ love takes pride.”

Founder of Gender Spectrum Stephanie Brill shared, “Gender Spectrum has been a source of community, education and support for parents, families, educators, and providers who love, support, teach and provide care for gender-diverse youth since 2006.”

Brill added, “In September 2023 we made the very difficult decision to close our doors. When our friends at PFLAG National heard the news, they reached out and proposed partnering with us to make our most essential services available to a bigger and wider network of people across the country.”

PFLAG National Chair of the Board Susan Thronson shared her personal commitment.

“When my then-teenager came out seeking my help with his gender identity transition, I turned to my local PFLAG chapter’s trans-family support group and Gender Spectrum’s trusted online resources,” Thronson said. “Over the years, I found that Gender Spectrum had an essential role in building an affirming community of families with transgender and gender-diverse children, extending and complementing the reach of PFLAG’s chapter network.”

According to data reported by the Movement Advancement Project, nearly one-third of LGBTQ+ people live in states that have passed or enacted anti-LGBTQ+ policies.

“PFLAG’s work to support, educate and advocate for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them is critical in this increasingly divided and hostile environment,” said Bond. “Our families face some of the most egregious anti-LGBTQ+ attacks in our movement’s history, and PFLAG is not backing down.”

Best known for the PFLAG Chapter Network, comprising hundreds of local chapters across the U.S., the organization also operates a robust ally education program called Straight For Equality. In 2020, PFLAG National added virtual support group programming through PFLAG Connects, and launched a broadcast called Something To Talk About Live.

Beginning in 2022, as political threats to the lives and safety of PFLAG member families with transgender kids escalated, PFLAG National joined lawsuits as a lead plaintiff in TexasMissouri and North Carolina. PFLAG National has also produced a suite of short films by filmmakers from traditionally marginalized communities, including the recently released Pieces of Me, which was written, directed and produced by PFLAG’s long time filmmaking partner, Nick Oceano-Armendariz.

The PFLAG Connects: Gender Spectrum Parent Community will launch end of May. The group is for parents and caregivers of gender-diverse young people to meet, ask questions and learn virtually in a welcoming, informative and confidential online environment each month.

As with all PFLAG support groups, there are no dues, fees, or membership required to join, but advance registration is required in order to provide a high level of safety and support to attendees. 

“We are proud of this new addition to our programming, and most of all, we are excited to welcome families to this new community. Together, we can ensure every LGBTQ+ person is safe, celebrated, empowered, and loved,” said Angelina Leon, Sr. Manager, Partnerships and Communities at PFLAG National.

The PFLAG Connects: Gender Spectrum Parent Community will meet for 90 minutes on the third Monday of each month, at 8pm ET/5pm PT. The first meeting will be held on Monday, May 20.