Thursday, July 31, 2008

A PFLAG Dad Takes to the Stage

All of us at PFLAG see plenty of evidence, every day, to remind us about just how serious the work of fighting for civil rights and equal opportunity can be. But we know the power of a laugh, too, and few people know how to put a PFLAG spin on comedy quite like our national vice president, Mike Neubecker (pictured).

This morning's Flint Journal profiles Mike ahead of a Friday stand-up performance in Michigan, which follows routines he's performed at the Comedy Store in West Hollywood, Calif., Acme Comedy Co. in Minneapolis and Funny Bone in Newport, Ky.

"It will be the parents whom Neubecker, 55, will most try to amuse and inform as he performs a comedy routine he's honed in venues across Michigan and the country," reporter Jim Larkin writes. "A good chunk of his routine is about having an openly gay son, and his humorous message is intended primarily for parents of gay children."

"I like to connect with the parents, ... to tell them you can be visible as a parent and your world won't fall apart," Mike, a proud PFLAG dad, told the paper. "It makes the world a much better place to live."

And Mike's comedy is rooted in his family experience, and his time spent working with PFLAG.

"He gleans his newest material from his own experiences with his son Lee, 36, who came out when he was 19," the paper reports. "Lee, who lives in Chicago with his partner, jokes that he came out in a sock drawer -- with his mother discovering a Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays newsletter among his socks."

"Now," the Journal notes, "he translates much of that into the public speaking he does through PFLAG and in his own comedy."

"Anytime I give a speech, I put humor in there. ... As long as they're laughing, they're learning," he said.

Mike takes to the stage this Friday, at 8:30, at The Good Beans Cafe in Flint. For more information, and to read the full profile of Mike in the Journal, click here.

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