Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

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Members of FFLAG speaking in video Parents Talking c. 1990

Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG) is a voluntary organisation and registered charity[1] in the United Kingdom which offers support to parents and their lesbian/gay children. They have over 40 telephone helplines across the country, as well as several parent support groups and are a recognized support group by the UK Government.[2] FFLAG also works outside the UK with other LGBT family support organisations particularly in Europe and the USA.[3]

Formation[edit]

The national organisation was established in 1993, although the earliest of its constituent support groups were established as previous as the 1970s. The organisations roots are in 1965 when Rose Ellen Robertson set up Parents Enquiry, Britain’s first helpline to advise and support parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children. The help line ran for three decades. FFLAG was created as a response to the high number of referrals from the police and social services.[4]

Although FFLAG had been in existence a long time before its first web site only went live in 1997.[5] Subsequent to the publishing of the first web site FFLAG gained sponsorship from Procter & Gamble for its printed publications and gay.com who offered the organisation free web hosting and subject to gay.com web design.[5]

The organisations aims and objectives are to provide support to parents and their Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual sons and daughters and is a central hub in a network of local parents groups providing support and friendship across the UK. The organisation supports equal human and civil rights of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals. Parents meet at groups in their local area and at FFLAG conferences/networking events.[3]

Support Resources[edit]

One of the organisation's publications in 1990 was the video 'Parents Talking' featuring an introduction by Sir Ian McKellen. The video is a support resource exploring the thoughts of parents of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual people, the video was first broadcast and available free of charge via the internet from 1997. Other free resources include booklets titled ' A Guide for Families and Friends' and looks at issues,emotions and reactions that parents and families may face when a loved one 'comes out'. The second is 'How Do I Tell My Parents' which discusses ways of telling parents and some of the issues that often worry lesbian, gay and bisexual people when they want to talk to their family about their sexuality. The booklets, originally written by Rose Robertson, were rewritten by FFLAG Parents in 2012. The booklets contain quotes and experiences of parents and LGB young people There is an annual printed Newsletter with articles and information of events held by Parents' Groups and individuals across the country. There are FFLAG promotional postcards - four designs - used to help raise awareness of support offered by FFLAG. There is a FFLAG monthly ebulletin. [5]

Patrons[edit]

Long standing Patrons of the organisation are Dame Angela Mason CBE of the charity Stonewall, Sir Ian McKellen, British Actor, Michael Cashman MEP and member of the House of Lords Baroness Massey of Darwen.[6][7] The number of patrons increased to seven by 2012 and now also include Ian Rivers PhD, an award winning psychologist, academic and author, Deidre Sanders otherwise known as Dear Deidre, an agony aunt from The Sun newspaper and Peter Tatchell of OutRage!.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Registered Charity no. 1079918 at the Charity Commission
  2. ^ "Directgov". Useful contacts. DirectGov. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c "International Support". FFLAG Official Web Site. www.fflag.org.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  4. ^ Tatchell, Peter. "Rose Robertson - FFLAG President (28 October 1916 - 10 August 2011)". Obituary. www.fflag.org.uk. Retrieved 7 April 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c Lacey, P. "FFLAG Archive". FLLAG Archive. FFLAG. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 
  6. ^ "Patrons". 
  7. ^ "Mission Statement". FFLAG News Letter. FFLAG. Retrieved 8 April 2012. 

External links[edit]