Monday, March 16, 2009

"A Champion for Diversity"

Sunday's Skagit Valley Herald included a terrific profile of Kathy Reim, president of the local PFLAG chapter and the recently-elected PFLAG Regional Director for the Pacific Northwest. Calling Reim "a champion for diversity," the paper notes that she "is well-known in Skagit County for her efforts to promote tolerance and fight discrimination."

“That’s what I love about her,” Michael Bonacci, treasurer of Skagit County PFLAG, told the Herald. “She just doesn’t believe in good things, she makes good things happen.”

Reim's dedication to civil rights and the movement for LGBT equality, the paper points out, came about in an un-conventional way.

Before becoming the mother of an out daughter, Kathy's "mother was a flying trapeze artist who also worked with elephants," reporter Codi Hamblin writes. "Reim and her family were surrounded by a plethora of different cultures and people, from dwarfs and gypsies to talented athletes."

"Children of the circus often were teased by other children in the towns they visited," Reim told the paper.

That teasing "shaped her life for years to come and helped cement her foundation as a tolerant and understanding teacher."

"It framed my opinion to know that people are different,” Reim said.

And today, Reim is a leader for PFLAG at the local and national level.

"As regional director, Reim will communicate with 50 chapters and serve as a liaison between the Pacific Northwest and the organization’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C.," the paper writes. "In addition, she will participate in four annual meetings with other regional directors."

“For me, it’s an opportunity to bring all the skills in every aspect of my life together,” Reim said. “And I get to meet many wonderful people who share common interests and goals.”

Kathy, as one person in the comments section on the paper's website says, "is a local heroine. She has brought so much understanding and compassion to so many in need."

And all of us at PFLAG National can attest that her heroine status goes far beyond the boundaries of her chapter or region . . . and that all of our families are very luck to have Kathy Reim fighting on our side.

To read the full profile from the Skagit Valley Herald, click here.
Photo by Scott Terrell for the Skagit Valley Herald.

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