Bring in the new year by promoting tolerance in Southern Kentucky!

Bring in the new year by promoting tolerance in Southern Kentucky! This message is sent on behalf of Mr. James-Clifton Spires. James-Clifton Spires and his partner, Robert Cox, live in Middlesboro, KY. He is a retired professional journalist and currently is a freelance writer and employee of a private contractor that handles federal contracts. James is the father of two sons --- and serves Kentucky Equality Federation as political advisor to the president, and is a member of the General Advisory Council.

From James-Clifton Spires: As you probably know, gay rights and gay culture is an important interest in my life. In the year and a half Robert and I have been living together in Middlesboro, Kentucky, we have been fortunate to make many friends who are either gay or gay-supportive. Some of you who are receiving this may identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered. Some of you have beloved family members who fall into one of these categories, and still others identify as just plain gay supportive, or "friends of the family."

In my life before moving to Middlesboro, I was involved in several different branches of PFLAG, a nationally recognized support group with an acronym that stands for Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. After giving the matter some thought and prayer, and after discussing it with Robert, I have come to believe it is time that a Middlesboro/Cumberland Gap Region chapter of PFLAG was started to serve the diverse GLBT people of this area and their families and friends.

According to PFLAG's mission statement, the organization "PFLAG promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity."

I am hoping that some members of Kentucky Equality Federation may be interested (or know people who may be interested) in helping organize a local PFLAG group in or around Middlesboro, KY.

The PFLAG - Berea Chapter assisted Kentucky Equality Federation during our community reception for the Soulforce/Equality Ride visit to the University of the Cumberlands on March 27, 2007 (
pictures). Kentucky Equality Federation sponsored the Soulforce - Kentucky visit, and paid for their lodging.

To send James an email, click here, or copy/paste his email address: jamescliftonspires@commonwealth-equality.org.
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