Faith Moeller (left) and Jodi Jacobs Chadwell (right) are two friends who have children who came out as gay. They wanted to be supportive of their children, but they couldn’t find many resources in the community to help them. They found out about PFLAG and decided to start a Riverview chapter of PFLAG. PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents, families and allies.

Founded in 1973 after the simple act of a mother named Jeanne Manford publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG is the nation’s largest family and ally organization.

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents, families and allies. With over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued and affirmed.

The organization recently started a Riverview chapter.

“We originally started as just a book club a little over a year ago,” said Jodi Jacobs Chadwell, vice president of the Riverview chapter of PFLAG. “We really were just reading books on the LGBTQ+ community to educate ourselves and build relationships within our community.”

PFLAG Riverview President Faith Moeller and Vice President Chadwell are two friends who have children who came out as gay. They wanted to be supportive of their children, but they couldn’t find many resources in the community to help them.

“I was doing research and found out about PFLAG and saw that they had a Tampa chapter, so I went to one of their meetings,” Moeller said. “After going to the meeting, I called Jodi and told her we needed to start a chapter in here in Riverview.”

PFLAG Riverview offers a safe, judgment-free zone for the LGBTQ+ community, their families and their allies through monthly meetings and community outreach events. It celebrates diversity and aims to educate and advocate for others until our world is a safe place for all.

“What I love about our group is that it’s just not for parents, LGBTQ+, it’s everyone together,” Moeller said. “I feel like that really helps because we can really learn from one another.”

If you would like to learn more about PFLAG, you can visit their website at www.pflag.org. If you’d like to learn more about the PFLAG Riverview chapter, you can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/PFLAGRiverview. PFLAG Riverview is currently holding Zoom meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Libby is a writer for The Osprey Observer/The Christian Voice. She started as an intern in 2009 and upon finishing her internship, she was asked to stay on as a permanent writer for both papers. Libby lives in Brandon with her two rescue dogs, Olive and Bogey.