Friday, October 30, 2015

Halloween Parade in the morning and promotion of TDOR with Kristin Beck begins!

I hope you consider joining the Halloween parade (literally) tomorrow morning kicking off at 10 am up on High Street in Chestertown. Details can be found in a previous post on our website. With posters in the parade to be followed by articles in the media, our November energies will be focused on promoting our TDOR taking place Nov 20th with special guest, Kristin Beck coming to Chestertown!

To that end, I want to share with you one of several press releases you may see about the event. This one is special as it was written by our chapter member, Pat Chance, based on the story of her relationship with a transgender soldier.

I will also share a version of the wonderful poster which may be used in your local newsletters and social media. Remember we are an all volunteer group!  Please support our efforts by pitching in anyway possible and thanks to those who have been so generous!. (We still  need to replenish our non profit bank account, renew chapter memberships, buy more PFLAG materials to give away, and continue to be visible positive advocates in our community activities...such valued work never really ends!)  

First Friday and Third Tuesday usual meetings won't take place this month because of Nov 20.  In December we hope to plan a time to celebrate one another with a holiday gathering TBD.

Questions or problems?  Please send an email to and we will get back to you as soon as possible...(after this fun weekend ahead!)

Enjoy and thanks! 
Kristin Beck, former Navy Seal, to Speak in Honor of the Transgender Day of Remembrance November 20, 2015

PFLAG Chestertown Chapter is proud to sponsor special guest, Kristin Beck, for their annual Transgender Day of Remembrance event.  Kristin was a decorated Navy Seal for over twenty years.  Having been deployed thirteen times to areas including Iraq, Afghanistan, and Bosnia, she earned the Bronze Star with "V", and the Purple Heart, among many other honors.

Kristin currently is working as an advocate and to help military members with PTSD through art therapy and rescuing horses. She has been outspoken in her support of the transgender community, both civilian and military.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance ( is a time to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of a hatred or fear of transgender and gender non-conforming people.  It brings attention to the continued violence endured by this population worldwide.

This has been a particularly important issue for Pat Chance, a native Kent County resident.  Pat shares that she supported an Army Sgt. through a soldier support group, starting in 2006.  Through care packages, snail mail, and eventually through e-mails, they became friends. ”He would call me "Mom."

Two years into the friendship the soldier wrote Pat a letter, disclosing that he was transgender. He said that he had written these "coming out" letters before and would understand if Pat did not write back to him. Pat wrote back and told him that she had gotten to know a real person, not a label, and, of course, she still wanted to continue to be his friend!    

Pat began to learn how difficult it is to be transgender by reading a book that her soldier suggested, Wrapped in Blue by Donna Rose. Since then, Pat has continued to learn more about the complexities of being transgender. The recent worldwide spotlight on this topic has made it easier to find all kinds of information. Unfortunately some sources continue to communicate misinformation and fear based ideas which reinforce existing discrimination. This is why she joined the local chapter of PFLAG (Parents Families and Friends of the LGBT Communities). This organization offers expert education, mutual support and equality based advocacy to everyone willing to participate.

Sadly, the pressure of trying to be the person that he was (a female in a male body) was too much and Pat’s soldier committed suicide in January of 2010 and she was one of five people that he called before he took his life. At the time of the call, Pat did not realize that she would never talk to him again.

Pat’s experiences with her soldier are why she has followed Kristin Beck's story in social media. When the local PFLAG chapter was beginning to plan our TDOR event for this year, Pat shared her interest in Kristin’s advocacy work.  The result is that the local chapter is proud to have organized opportunities in Chestertown for Kristin to share her story with us in person.  She will speak at Washington College from 4 to 5 pm in Decker Auditorium and the public is invited. This will be followed by evening activities with Kristen at the Garfield Center for the Arts. Doors open at 6:30 pm with the TDOR vigil beginning promptly at 7 pm immediately followed by the film “The Lady Valor, the Kristin Beck Story.” Kristen will then be available for more conversation and questions following the film. All events are free of charge thanks to the donations of PFLAG supporters, the C. V. Starr Center, and Washington College. At the Garfield, a tax deductible donation of $10 per person for our local PFLAG Chestertown Chapter will be suggested.  For more information online visit or the 

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

This Saturday Oct 24 is Prep day for the Chestertown Halloween Parade and TDOR Vigil! Join us at Fountain Park

We had a fine group of energetic souls at our monthly meeting this week.  They had not experienced marching in one of our many local, when the Chestertown Halloween Parade was mentioned....they were ready to go! So...

THIS Saturday Oct 24 (and next Saturday Oct 31) save your midday hours for some fun with us! We will be in Fountain Park at the Farmer's Market from 9-12 with our usual information table and Rainbow Umbrella. Then we will continue creatively making posters, buttons and decorations for use in the next Saturday's Halloween Parade from 12-2. If it is too cool or windy outside we will go upstairs above the Nearly New Shop (also in Fountain Park)...find our umbrella!
TDOR Vigil posters will also be available for distribution.

NEXT Saturday Oct 31 dress for the weather and add some Halloween and colorful fun to your morning.  Parade line up is from 9-9:45 sharp on Dixon Drive in Chestertown. We will provide you with decor to wear, throw and enjoy...but feel free to dress yourself too!  Simply look for our Rainbow flag to find our spot in the line up. This is a great way to promote our important work and our upcoming TDOR vigil!

At 10 am the fun parade will begin moving down High Street ending at the Chester River.  There will be music, food and Downrigging happenings at the riverfront as the parade ends.  We must remember to get a good group photograph!  Don't miss it! Family and friends are welcome to join us from the sidelines as we march, but give yourself an extra smile by proudly joining us from the start. Remember PFLAG is all about Parents, Family and Friends! Questions? Call Linda 443 480 3138.

Presenting Our Nov 20, 2015 Transgender Day of Remembrance Vigil with special Guest, Kristin Beck!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tuesday October 20th is our monthly Chapter Meeting, 7 pm

Next Tuesday, October 20th at 7 pm we hope you will join us at our monthly Chapter meeting.  We will be in Chestertown, MD at the Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River, 914 Gateway Drive.  Our meetings consist of time for socializing, a program and support opportunities as needed.  Drop in and bring new friends. Everyone is most welcome.

This month we will be doing some prep work for our Transgender Day of Remembrance vigil to be held on Friday, November 20th 
at 7 pm at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  Our special guest for TDOR this year is Kristin Beck, formerly a Navy SEAL and the focus of the movie, “The Lady Valor.”  SAVE THE DATE NOW AND TELL YOUR  FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

Next Tuesday we will be prepping the name cards to be read at our vigil and making plans for poster distributions to advertise our big November event.  (The TDOR event will be our monthly meeting in November.) 

There is always a lot to catch up on with one another as well as fun new ideas to share. We want to plan some social and supportive occasions for the winter holidays ahead.  Any thoughts are welcome.  The National PFLAG meeting taking place in Nashville TN this coming weekend will also be a good topic for conversation and sharing.

Thanks to all who are helping to organize these activities and carrying on with our outreach to area schools and local organizations. Together we are all making our Eastern Shore a safer and happier place for many families and individuals. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Changes in Oct 2-3 weekend plans due to weather

Rain, rain, go away!...or not.

After the beautiful fall weeks we have enjoyed so much, now the rain clouds are dominating!  We did need the rain, yet the predictions (including a possible hurricane arriving on Monday) are making many plans change.

So, both the First Friday evening reception and Saturday morning information table will not be set up this weekend.  (Best wishes to the Harry Potter Festival folks, go support them instead!)

Another change is affecting plans for our Tuesday Oct 20 7 pm monthly meeting.  We will be meeting but our speaker will be rescheduled for another month due to a conflict.  Don't fret, we have plenty of things to talk about!  More details later.

Fall is definitely here.  Find a friend and share some cider.  Go ahead and do the Out of the Darkness walk on Kent Island.  I haven't heard of any cancellation plans from them.