On Sept 8 I picked up a copy of the Reader. I came home with the express purpose of reading the feature; as I had previously spoken to Jim Healey; I am the president of PFLAG Sandpoint. After speaking to Jim about the need for getting the word out of the services and groups that are available to the youth; as well as others in the community, and telling him a bit about PFLAG and the goals of the organization, I was deeply touched by the things he told me, and the article he did about Adam Ferris. In fact, as I write this letter I have to stop occasionally and wipe away a tear.
As a gay man, as I read the article, I could see glimpses of my life throughout Adam’s story. I never had the pleasure of meeting Adam, but I can relate to the feelings he was having. The sense of being alone, using Facebook as a social tool, being in a room full of people and still feeling isolated. Using music as an escape. Coming out later in life as I did, I still had a lot of the same feelings that Adam went through: the aloneness, questioning my sexuality, and yes, sometimes wondering if I would be missed if I just ended it all.
Over two years ago I did a Google search and found PFLAG Coeur d’ Alene. I started attending meetings; finally feeling a sense of belonging, being accepted by like-minded people. While attending meetings, I met others from Sandpoint who wanted the same thing here. Laura Bry had attempted to revive the PFLAG chapter here; but her untimely passing stalled the efforts. I and a group of my friends picked up the pieces. In January, we received our official affiliation paperwork from the national office, and PFLAG Sandpoint was reborn.
It is the mission of PFLAG to offer support, advocacy and education to not only the LGBT community but the community as a whole. We meet the third Thursday of each month at the Gardenia Center, from 6-7:30 p.m. We are also working on other social events to be held throughout the year. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with all our activities and events.
Finally, personally speaking, it is my hope that PFLAG can offer a safe, reassuring space where both kids and their families, and anyone else who may be questioning their sexuality and looking for a place to belong can come, hang out, relax and be themselves. We would also welcome anyone else who wishes to be an ally and support the mission of PFLAG.
I am not making any assumptions about Adam’s passing, but if we lose one person, for what ever reason, that is one person too many. It has to stop. Please, reach out to someone. You are not alone.
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