You are invited to march with PFLAG on Sunday Oct 12th to show your support and love for our LGBT sons, daughters, family and friends!
Christopher Coleman is our featured speaker for September.
He writes,” My struggles began at birth because I was born dead and did not breathe for fifteen minutes. Once I started to breathe doctors diagnosed me with cerebral palsy and said that I would never move, talk or think for myself. My six siblings and I fought hard to defuse the stereotype and labels that came with a black single parent home. Being a black disabled Christian made it difficult for me to come to grips with my sexuality. I knew the reality of being attracted to the same sex would open the door for me to experience more segregation and heartbreak. I know first hand what its like to be stereotyped because of a label, belittled for your physical appearance and an outcast for your sexual orientation. There was a period in my life that I felt guilty for loving the very thing that made me who I am, because society looked down upon it.”
Come listen to Christopher Coleman as he speaks about his life, unconfined.
When: Sunday, September 21, 2014 02:30 pm – 5:00pm
Where: St. Mark United Methodist Church (UMC) Church Bldg (entry from halfway down 5th St)
Free and plentiful parking is available in the St. Mark UMC on-site parking lot. Traffic is generally very light in town on Sunday afternoons. Look for signs to indicate parking locations during PFLAG meeting times. Parking entry from 5th street (elderly/disabled parking only) and from Juniper south of 5th St (general parking).
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Many authors and theorists have written about the Coming Out process. There are many models and many different stages proposed. What follows is a good basic model for this process.
More than just an awareness of attraction to members of the same sex, it involves confusion, some attempt at denial and repression of feelings, anxiety, trying to “pass,” counseling, and often religious commitment to “overcome” sexuality. Eventually, acknowledgment and acceptance of one’s sexual orientation develops. There may be some grief over “the fall from paradise” and feelings of loss of a traditional heterosexual life.
Gay and lesbian people may be fairly closeted at this point. However, most seek out information about being gay.
Sharing one’s sexual orientation with a close friend or family member is the first step in this stage. Rejection may cause a return to the Self-Recognition stage, but positive acceptance can lead to better feelings of self-esteem. Usually disclosure is a slow process.
Some gays and lesbians come out in “gentle” ways, admitting they are gay if asked but not volunteering it. Others do it in “loud” ways, proclaiming their sexuality to others to end the invisibility of being gay. As this stage progresses, a self-image of what it means to be gay develops, and the individual studies stereotypes, incorporates some information about gays while rejecting other information.
Socializing with other gays and lesbians provides the experience that the person is not alone in the world, and there are other people like him or her. A positive sense of self, indeed pride develops, and is strengthened by acceptance, validation, and support. Contact with positive gay or lesbian role models can play a big role in this stage.
This stage entails feeling good about oneself, seeking out positive relationships with other gays or lesbians, and feeling satisfied and fulfilled.
Entails an openness and non-defensiveness about one’s sexual orientation. One may be quietly open, not announcing their sexual orientation, but available for support to others nonetheless. Couples live a comfortable life together and generally seek out other couples.
Openness is often mitigated by age. Older men may be less open in their lives, and may see no need to change. Younger men may be more open, politically active, and visible in the gay community.
This article was reposted from PsychPage.com.
Link to this article: http://www.pflagatl.org/2011/12/the-stages-of-coming-out/