Show Up: A Reflection on PFLAG Event

Show Up!   by Linda Braxton

Five minutes late again. As I rushed into fellowship hall with my pie everyone was still milling around. A few minutes later the leader brought everyone together, made a couple of announcements and invited everyone to grab a plate and start the line. Another potluck at PLC. Is there anything more wonderful or more Lutheran!

But there were only three PLC members out of the 40 or 50 present. Just another community group using our building? Perhaps. Or, was it, more accurately, a community group that also includes PLCers among its hard-fought ranks. A group that is currently marginalized, often rejected, and whose young members are bullied. I don’t recall the AAUW (American Association of University Women) or members of the yoga class, all groups who use our building, being currently marginalized, rejected or bullied.

I’m talking about PFLAG of Las Cruces which had its fall kick-off potluck on Wednesday, September 6. Everyone was invited; it was in our bulletin insert the Sunday prior and the entire PLC list serve received an invitation on Aug 29.

The Superintendent of the Las Cruces School District, Dr. Gregory Ewing, showed up. The President of the School Board of LCSD, Maria A. Flores, showed up. The local head of the NEA, National Education Association, showed up. A local high school teacher and sponsor for GSA, Gay/Straight Alliance, showed up. The head of the new Transgender Resource Center showed up. The head of Reform Family/Youth Incorporated showed up.

All spoke movingly to the group about the issues facing LGBTQ+ adults and youth in our community, and their families. When the mom of a transgender student asked Superintendent Ewing about a pressing issue he not only answered the question with insight and empathy but sent three emails after he sat down, received answers to his emails within 19 minutes, and resolved the issue before the end of the night.

I can’t send an email and have anything of consequence happen that will help our LGBTQ+ community nor can I speak eloquently and with expertise about LGBTQ+ issues. But I can show up.

Showing up says you are not marginal to me. Showing up says our Christian body does not reject you as some do. Showing up says I stand with you when bullies seek to harm you. All that, and all we have to do is show up.

We don’t have to speak. We don’t have to send emails. We don’t have to carry a sign and we don’t have to bring a dish. We just have to show up.

PFLAG Las Cruces will be hosting a Rainbow Hub Gathering on Wednesday, November 8th*, 6:00-7:30 at Peace Lutheran Church, 1701 E. Missouri Ave.  Our topic of discussion will be domestic/dating violence within the LGBTQ community, with our special guest Natalie Smith from La Casa who will help us understand dating violence in general and some of the specific challenges for the LGBTQ community.

As with all our Rainbow Hub Meetings, we try to build community within the LGBTQ and Ally community by coming together around food!  There is no charge for the educational presentation, but please do bring a dish to share with others.  If you are unable to, we usually have enough food to go around, so come as you are able–we’d love to have you!!

 

*Date change from the flyer.  The correct date is November 8th.