More About Us
We promote 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 secure equal civil rights. PFLAG New Orleans provides opportunities for dialogue about sexual orientation and gender identity, and acts to create a society that is healthy and respectful of human diversity.
Community support spells the difference between a well-adjusted LGBT human being and a struggling one. Our monthly support meetings provide a safe, loving, non-judgmental, and supportive environment for the parents, family, and friends of LGBT people as well as members of the LGBT community and those who wish to learn more about them. Currently, we host two in- person meetings every month and one virtually through Zoom.
The PFLAG Student Scholarship Program
LGBT students are particularly vulnerable while transitioning into higher education. Celebrating our 500th scholarship recipient this past year, PFLAG tracks hundreds of former students who live full, happy and "out" lives today because of the boost we gave them as students. Each year, we review 40-50 new applicants and rate them on rigorous criteria. It is a universal truth that for many of these struggling students, it's the community support and "vote of confidence" that makes more of a difference than the scholarship funding.
PFLAG New Orleans has provided LGBT sensitivity training for the New Orleans Police Department, schools, churches, hospitals, and businesses such as Shell and the the Louisiana chapter of nation's largest charity, The American Red Cross.
Additional educational information is also found in our monthly newsletter, The PFLAG Banner.
We also host a weekly radio program on 102.3 FM, WHIV, a local radio station that services the area. The program is available world-wide over the internet - whivfm.org.
PFLAG New Orleans has worked tirelessly to secure the dignity and equal rights for LGBT persons by working for the New Orleans LGBT Civil Rights Ordinance, the Safe-Schools Initiative, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). We have testified before the state legislature in Baton Rouge and the Orleans Parish School Board to advocate for LGBT rights.
PFLAG New Orleans has been on the forefront for the incorporation of transgender people in the broader struggle for LGBT equality by fighting for the inclusion of transgender people in the mission statement of PFLAG National and in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
While we speak out forcefully on policy at the federal, state and local level, as a 501c3 organization, we do not advocate for or against particular candidates. We do, however, work to get out the vote, which is an important part of the process.
Jacob Sotsky, Class of '01, to Return to NOLA for the "Parade of Hope" for the Class of '23.
What could possibly give more hope to a struggling student than meeting LGBTQ doctors, lawyers, and corporate executives parading past them? As our alums seek their lifelong dreams out in the world, many return home to invest in the next generation. It's a common refrain that back at that vulnerable stage in life, the social and emotional support far exceeds the monetary benefit.
Jacob Sotsky was one of those students. During his sophomore year at Tulane he was grappling with what it meant to come out and the impacts it was having on his life. He was in the Naval ROTC program and the Don't Ask Don't Tell program was still in force, so he made the choice to leave the NROTC and seek out aid from the friendlier folks at PFLAGNO. That scholarship was one of the first steps allowing him to move forward on his own. Today he's leading a successful life working in aviation and has a happy, healthy home life. Meanwhile, during the heart-stopping Tulane victory in the conference championship game, he ran into several friends who he shared his PFLAG gift plans with and those three dear friends have joined him in supporting full scholarships for the Class of '23.
"PFLAG gave me to hear the sacred stories of LGBT+ individuals and families and to understand that we are all guardians of these stories. Every person on this Earth has a story and it is a privelege to hold a space for these sacred stories. As we hold the space, we hold the honor and dignity of each story.
Thank you, precious souls of PFLAG, for allowing me into your world and for having the patience and grace to teach me your stories. You have changed me, and, therefore, you have changed the world."
---Proud PFLAG Mom, Barbara M.
"The financial and moral support given to me through my scholarship meant the difference between failure and success in my life!"
~Former PFLAG New Orleans Student Scholar, Alaiyia Williams, LSCW