Thursday, October 04, 2007

An Honor Bestowed

Hello Family, Friends & Allies,

It is an honor for me to announce my recent election to serve a two- year term on the PFLAG Transgender Network (TNET) Board of Directors.

Since the early 1970's PFLAG has been pre-eminent in their support of equality and justice for lesbian, gay and bisexual people. TNET, having been founded in 1995, officially joined forces with PFLAG in 2002 as a "Special Affiliate" chapter and began working together to advocate on behalf of transgender and gender non-conforming people.

TNET Mission Statement:
The purpose of this chapter shall be to support the mission of PFLAG; to 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 to secure equal civil rights.

PFLAG TNET focuses on support for transgender people and their parents, families, and friends; education on transgender facts and issues; and advocacy for equal rights for the transgender community at local and national levels.

I have also been appointed TNET West Coast Sector Coordinator. Among my responsibilities in that role are to oversee the efforts of Regional Coordinators and PFLAG Chapter Coordinators and to assist wherever and whenever possible in outreach, education and advocacy initiatives.

Many of you who know me will understand that I've accepted this honor and responsibility in order to make a difference.

As evidenced by the recent maneuvering in Congress over whether or not to pass a trans-inclusive version of ENDA, we are at a point in transgender community history where it has never been more important to educate and inform people (including our allies) about the damage that prejudice, homophobia, marginalization, ignorance and violence can do to transgender people, especially children and youth.

My dedication to working on behalf of transgender and gender non-conforming children, youth and their families will continue to remain my #1 priority and I will continue that work along with other Associate Advocates through my organization TransActive Education & Advocacy, much as I did in my role as Founder and Past President of TransYouth Family Advocates.

I look forward to continuing to receive your support and cannot begin to thank you enough for that support through some very difficult times.

I have learned so very much from this journey I'm on. Sometimes I get a gold star, sometimes I get a "time-out" and sometimes I get a rap on the knuckles from the teacher we call Life. And even though I sometimes get rapped on the knuckles when I don't deserve it (and also receive un-deserved gold stars), I learn something from each of those experiences.

The most treasured lesson I've learned is that true friends are the rarest of commodities. True friends stand by your side in the dark, even though they are terrified too. True friends are able to move beyond disagreement and pain into compromise and joy. True friends are family.

I hope that I can always be a true friend to each of you. It is my great good fortune to be able to say that so very many of you have been true friends, and family to me.



Jenn Burleton
West Coast Sector Coordinator
Portland, Oregon

PFLAG Transgender Network (TNET)

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