Wednesday, October 12, 2016

It is a beautiful Fall week ahead...get out and GO!

It is time to get moving and enjoy the fall!

Next weekend, Oct 14-16, Camp Tockwogh is the location for a Rainbow Family Retreat organized by the Rainbow Families of DC.  Really sounds like a lot of fun!

All the registration details are there! is held right here near us on the Eastern Shore every other year! (We didn't know about it till this year!)

And we need YOUR presence with your fellow community leaders...

Next Tuesday, Oct 18th there are two important opportunities, one at 6 pm and the other at 7 pm, both in Chestertown. (And it is the last day to pre-register to vote in November!)

Heads up!  On Tuesday Oct 18th at the Kent County Commissioners meeting room on High Street in Chestertown at 6 pm there is a special meeting called addressing the consolidation and future quality of organizational leadership among our local county schools.  Some PFLAG leaders will be attending the school related (expect crowds!) meeting.  Others from PFLAG will be at UUCR for our monthly Chapter meeting which will begin at 7 pm. It is possible to do both!

Here are comments from a parent as well as a local business owner in Kent County asking for just a few minutes of your time to consider showing your support for Kent County Public Schools...

"You don't have to be a parent of a KCPS student to understand that having a high-performing public school district is a factor in economic development. Great schools should be part of the package to attract workers and families to Kent County. Please let the Kent County Commissioners know that you support our schools and ask them to show their support for our schools at their upcoming budget meeting on October 18. I am working with a group of parents who are encouraging other parents and business owners to be advocates for our school. You can read more about our initiative by visiting our website here -

I hope you will take a minute to read our petition and sign if you agree -

Our local PFLAG Chapter monthly meeting WILL take place also on Oct 18th beginning at 7 pm at 914 Gateway Drive, the home of the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River (UUCR.)  We may do some organization related planning first, then move into topics of interest and concern to our attendees focusing on specific LGBTQ topics. YES, we will be holding our 5th Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil (TDOR) on Saturday November 19th!  
There is always time for support and new friends are most welcome in our safe and confidential group setting. Did you visit our first Harry Potter Festival booth? Did you get to purchase a " HP Puff for PFLAG?"  We had a good fun day.

Linda Dutton, Board Member

PFLAG Chestertown Maryland Chapter

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

PFLAG Chestertown Events September through November 2016

PFLAG Chestertown Volunteer Sept through Nov 2016 Events

Please visit, email or call 443 480 3138 for more information about any of the following events. 
Please keep us going by mailing your donation (fully deductible) to: PFLAG Chestertown 914 Gateway Dr. Chestertown, MD 21620

Friday Sept 16, 11am -2 pm Washington College Community Connections Fair, PFLAG Info Table, Hodson Hall.

Saturday Sept 17, 11am – 1 pm Making more “HP Puffs for PFLAG” call or email for more info and to join the fun. We will have at least one more prep session.

Saturday Sept 17th, Out of the Darkness Suicide Prevention Walk, Kent Island, MD
Saturday Sept 17th, Mental Health First Aid for Youth Training, Easton

Tuesday Sept 20, 7 pm PFLAG Chapter Monthly meeting UUCR, Program focus is the Gender Spectrum in school settings and GLSEN Ally week. Support, new faces and friends are always welcome. 914 Gateway Dr., Chestertown, MD

Monday Sept 26-30, GLSEN Ally Week for school settings.

Saturday, Oct 1, 10 am – 4pm Fountain Park. Chestertown, Harry Potter Festival Vendor of “Puffs for PFLAG.”

Thursday Oct 13th, 10 am – 2 pm Cecil County Community Connections PFLAG Info Table, Elkton, MD

Fri-Sun Oct 14-16 Rainbow Families Weekend at Camp Tockwogh, Kent Co. MD

Tuesday Oct 18th, PFLAG Chapter Monthly meeting, details TBD

Thursday Oct 20th, PFLAG Info Table at Home Ports Health Fair at Kent County High School, Worton, MD

Saturday Oct 29th, Chestertown Halloween Parade 10 am. Who is in?

Saturday Nov 12, GenderEast Conference,

Saturday Nov 19th, Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil, Garfield Center for the Arts, Chestertown, MD          

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Links you may enjoy...the WCTR local interview, PFLAG National Webinars for a limited time and more....

Stay cool!....even as you age...

Our PFLAG Chestertown Chapter speaks to all ages…especially to our Senior Citizens on the new WCTR radio podcast (and in October where we will have a table at the Home Ports Health Care Event.)
Go to our local radio station website,, and discover the creativity of the new station owners, the podcasts available and how community is empowered to share widely without cost over this basic communication medium!  Remember radio? It’ great! Listen to our hour and see what you think! 

The Monday, August 8, 2016 hour of the “Senior Class” program features our local chapter’s work!  Follow this link or paste it into your browser to find the show.  The program starts out with big band music and then quickly Sam Ricketts, the moderator of the show, introduces Jane Ayers and Linda Dutton from PFLAG Chestertown.
Families and Professionals working with our YOUTH….The GENDER CONFERENCE EAST 2016 Early Bird Rates are ending soon…so register! And…We are excited to announce 

Find Professional Day Programming HERE
Find Family and Youth Day Programming 

Register NOW to take advantage of
Early Bird Rates.
These rates expire August 19th!

Professionals Register HERE for Friday's Professional Symposium
Families Register HERE for Saturday's Family and Youth Day

DATES: Friday Nov 11 - Saturday Nov 12
NEW LOCATION: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Newark Airport  Newark NJ

Our PFLAG National Organization is getting better all the time! The new website is almost complete! Take advantage of these webinar links as they are available now for all for a brief time only.  Future membership benefits will give you access to many more!  Remember to visit our local chapter website too!  Regular monthly meetings will begin again in September. 
Here are the webinar links:

In this session, we review the Straight for Equality basics and discuss how our unique understanding of allyship informs the work we do in faith communities. We will also discuss demonstrated, positive changes happening among people of faith when it comes to LGBTQ equality using public opinion research and examples from the PFLAG chapter network, recognizing the real challenges that still exist at the intersection of faith and equality, especially in terms of state-level policy and law changes in 2016. We'll also help you to understand how to use our publication be not afraid – help is on the way! straight for equality in faith communities to address these issues in everyday conversations and through chapter programs.
In 1998 PFLAG became the first nationally-based LGBTQ organization to include the transgender community in our mission statement. Since then, the organization has been dedicated to providing support to trans people and their families, educating the community about the issues that trans people face, and advocating for trans inclusive policies at the local, state, and federal level.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Getting together in August! So many opportunities for fun, support and prepping for fall festivals


And a special invitation to you students who are looking for some fun and social time in August….Help PFLAG Chestertown prepare for participating in theHarry Potter Festival. Get together the next 3 Mondays with your friends and help up make Pygmy Puffs which will be featured item for our booth in the Festival. We have started making these cute critters as you can see in the photo below, we need many more and your creativity!  Materials and instructions will be supplied and the good company of your friends and/or family are really most welcome. 
WE have three more MONDAY AFTERNOONS to “create” together planned so far.
Monday August 8, 1-3 pm at the UUCR location, 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown
Monday August 15, 1-3 pm at the UUCR location, 914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown   AND
Monday August 22, 1-3 pm at the Yellow House by the library parking lot, 107 Calvert St, Chestertown

The locations will be open from 12:30-3:30 for set up and clean up, so if you need to come early or be picked up later, we can work that out…rides are also available.  Just email PFLAGChestertown@gmailcom or text 443 480 3138 (Linda) if you need more info. 
Big Thanks to Holli M, Pat C and Barbi B for getting our creative juices flowing and managing the materials.  We also thank the Harry Potter Festival organizing friends for welcoming us to their crowd of fans.

Another opportunity for connections with our community is over the air waves of WCTR!  Listen in Monday August 8th at 1 pm for the Senior Class show when PFLAG members Jane Ayers, and Linda Dutton will be interviewed by show host Sam Ricketts about topics of interest to our senior citizens. (the older seniors, not you high schoolers!)  Gosh we can listen to this when we are together on Monday….oh my, I hope it turned out well! (  A podcast of the talk will be available later the same day. You might also be interested to know that we will also have a table at the Home Ports Community Health Fair held at KCHS later in October. 

And if you happen to be in Salisbury next Monday evening...attend their chapter meeting!
Please join Salisbury friends for our August PFLAG meeting on Monday the 8th, from 6:30 to 8pm. We will be watching and discussing the short CNN film "Raising Ryland," which chronicles a family's journey parenting a young transgender child. 

We will be meeting at our usual location, Delmarvalous Occasions, located at 213 W. Main Street in downtown Salisbury (in the building which houses Roadie Joe's). Free parking is available on W. Main Street, or in the lot between Route 50 and Church Street. Those in need of an elevator should enter from W. Main Street. Follow the signs to the meeting.
Light refreshments will be served. Michele, Salisbury PFLAG organizer
Find us on Facebook: SalisburyPFLAG

There are many great new things happening at the National PFLAG Office and on their website…as well as other area PFLAG Chapter picnics taking place. More on those developments and opportunities below...thanks June for sharing them with us.  Also note that PFLAG Wilmington Chapter is needing extra leadership support asap...if you live up that way, go to their website and see what you can do to help!  Also check out this great new group for the young trans community:
PFLAG-Wilmington, Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children & United Way of Delaware PRIDE Council announces a new support group for Parents of Trans KIDS.
Monthly Meetings - 3rd Thursday of the month
at Nemours duPont Hospital, 1600 Rockland Rd, Wilmington DE 19803
Meetings will start at 6:30 pm
(stop at the Welcome Desk for directions to our meeting room)
Parents will be able to network with other families that are going through similar experiences while raising a transgender or non-gender conforming child. The goal of the group is to provide parents a safe space where they can discuss what issues are important to them. They will have the chance to raise questions, share resources, network and listen to the experience of other parents whose children are gender diverse. Issues explored will include school, legal matters, privacy, siblings, extended family, and medical.
If you would like to attend our first meeting on Thursday, August 18, 2016 at 6:30 pm, please email your name along with the age of your child to
Directions to Nemours duPont Hospital - upon entering the campus at 1600 Rockland Road continue on the driveway. After the playground, make your first left to a surface parking lot. Once parked proceed to the front of the blue glass section of the hospital where you will enter the Fusco Atrium.  The Welcome Desk will be on your right.

Here is the info on Maryland area PFLAG chapters:
Rehoboth Beach , Delaware  Facebook Page
York, PA  website
Central PA (Mechanicsburg)  facebook page  or  website
Another good place to find all kinds of helpful information isNATIONAL PFLAG WEBSITEHere, you can find links to download all the materials we displayed on our table at the festival !!
The following chapters are having Picnics soon, and
You’re Invited!!
Sun 4 PM · Crofton


Sunday Aug.21- PFLAG Westminster’s 5th Annual Pot Luck BBQ – You’re Invited!

Annual  Pot Luck BBQ — August 21 – 5:00 pm at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ,  Corner of Bond & Green Sts.,  Westminster, MD 21157
PFLAG Westminster-Carroll County’s August meeting will be our Annual Pot Luck Barbecue!  Everyone is invited!  The more the merrier!!  Rain or shine!
We are asking our community to join us by bringing something that they would like to BBQ (hot dogs, chicken, hamburgers, veggie burgers, etc.) and also bring a dish to share. PFLAG will be supplying paper products, ketchup, mustard and drinks.
The picnic will take place at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in the grassy area  outside next to the parking lot.  In case of Rain, we’ll bring our picnicinside.
There will be a grill to cook on. We want everyone to come out and grill their favorites with us and celebrate the end of summer.
We hope  that everyone will also consider bringing  a school supply that we will donate in the name of PFLAG to Shepherd Staff, a non-profit that helps low income families in Carroll County.
Columbia-Howard County Chapter Picnic– October 1st
Each year, PFLAG’s picnic brings together families, friends and allies to share an afternoon of food and fun.
16th Annual PFLAG Family Picnic 
 Saturday, October 1, 2016
Centennial Park South Pavilion D (off of Rt. 108)
Noon to 3:00 p.m.
What to Expect
  • Parents, family members, friends, LGBTQ+, allies and children of all ages
  • Games for all ages
  • Lots of seating for relaxing and chatting
  • A large pavilion to protect us in case of rain
  • NEW this year:  Musical entertainment (more information to follow)

Wow....there are lots of great groups around!  Thanks all!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Vigils for Orlando victims planned for both Chestertown and Easton on Thursday June 16

Kent County and area residents are invited to a vigil for the victims of the Orlando massacre.

On Thursday June 16th at 7:30 pm area residents are invited to gather at Wilmer Park near the Chester River in Chestertown. In case of the predicted rain, we will move into the Lelia Hynson Pavilion, adjacent to Wilmer Park. Our hour will begin with brief remarks followed by a reading of the names of lives lost in Orlando.  Our local PFLAG Chapter thanks the volunteers from several partner organizations who are assisting as we create this vigil. We are proud to support all of our citizens and organizations and hope you will share your support by joining us on Thursday evening. 

Also on Thursday in Easton, MD another vigil is planned.
In response to the heinous murders in Orlando this weekend, the Talbot Association of Clergy, under the leadership of chairman Rev. Sue Browning, will sponsor a community vigil of solidarity on Thursday, June 16, 6:30 PM in Idlewild Park. The event will at the Peace Pole located in the park.
Participants may RSVP at the Temple B’nai Israel office at 410-822-0553. In case of rain, we will conduct the vigil in the sanctuary of the temple at 101 West Earle Ave. 

Linda Dutton for the PFLAG Chestertown Chapter.  

Sunday, June 12, 2016

A time of shock and for mourning among all communities

There are no words to describe the feelings and complexities we share today as we learn of the horrific events targeting our dear families and friends.  We must dig deep into our hearts to send out as much strength as possible to those most impacted and then again gather our pride and energy for the important work that continues to be needed in EVERY corner of our great country.  Change only happens one person at a time. Whether it is a conversation about weapons, love or hate in general or specifically, we must come together in real conversation and intention to begin to address the extremes.

When we are able to put together a sensible plan for sharing with one another, we will announce this on the bcc list and here. Until then, please simply hug those you love and care for and send your best spiritual strengths out to the rest of our dear world.

While I personally don't participate in FB,  I will ask our volunteers who manage that page to share this message there as well.

LD for PFLAG Chestertown

Sunday, April 3, 2016

April is the month for political focus in Maryland! Try to smile and be part of the process. We have FREEDOM.

Hi folks,

April is the time to focus on politics in Maryland!* April 5th is the last date to adjust party affiliation!
MORE STATEWIDE Election INFO BELOW…AND THIS WILL BE THE MAIN TOPIC OF OUR APRIL MEETING. Tuesday April 19th, our regular monthly chapter meeting (at UUCR, see the website) will focus on politics! (YES!....PFLAG is a non-partisan non-profit organization, we are respectful and careful about the related guidelines!)

At this meeting we will have FUN discussing the topics of the day using a “random” tool…a card game that brings up many “topics of the day.” I will leave the rest to your imagination. The INTENT is to provoke thought and conversation…as well as try to learn from one another about the complexities of the ballot issues and position of individuals running for various positions in various parties….A free for all conversation to be sure! (We intend to set a tone of dark/silly humor and info sharing/respectfulness side by side.)  Should be interesting!

We will also hold our own annual local chapter officer elections…as required by our chapter bylaws.

The chapter officer ballots will be pre-printed, anonymous voting, in person only and will include a write in space.  These positions are real and require work and commitment.  The results will be tabulated, checked independently and announced that evening.  More details are available about the individuals proposed for the offices…as are thanks for those who have served our chapter with their generosity.  (Kendall Ruffatto, our Chapter President since our inception in 2011 is stepping down. We appreciate your commitment and ongoing support in new ways Kendall!)
The PFLAG Chestertown Chapter proposed 2016 Officer ballot overview is:
President:  Linda Dutton (currently serving as Chapter Secretary since 2011.)
Treasurer: Jonathan Chace (has served in this same role since 2011.)
Secretary: Barbi Bedell (Long term member and Chapter leader, bio available)
These roles are our three required Chapter Officer positions.  We also welcome other leaders to less formal (but vital!) roles that are being swapped out…and those details will also be announced at our meeting.)….please check out our website for several other opportunities for to involve yourself in our work.  I don’t want to post them all as it is overwhelming…but note where they are from and involve yourself!  PFLAG is a resource for support, education and advocacy….a link among many, but from your closest local connections….help us continue to be simply that!
The main program of the meeting on April 19th will focus on the Maryland State wide process!
What are the dates and details about elections in Maryland this year?
May I change parties? Yes. To change your party affiliation you can use Maryland's Online Voter Registration System (OLVR) or submit a new voter registration application or a signed written request to your local board of elections. The deadline to change your party affiliation is April 5, 2016 for the Presidential Primary Election and October 16, 2016 for the Presidential General Election. If you request a change in party affiliation after these dates, your request will be held at your local board of elections and processed when registration reopens after the elections.