Tuesday, June 30, 2009

PFLAG Family Joins President Obama at White House Reception to Commemorate Stonewall

PFLAG Mother and Son Ask President and First Lady to Speak Out for Families and LGBT People to Create Safer Communities

A PFLAG mother and son asked President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to support equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals and their families at the White House today.

[Pictured left to right: Carmen Robello of PFLAG's Families of Color network, her son, Louie, and PFLAG National's Jody M. Huckaby]

"A supportive environment makes a world of difference, and we are hopeful the President and First Lady will take the initiative in making our country a safer place for all of our family members," said Carmen Robello, a member of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG).

She is a member of PFLAG's Families of Color and Allies of New York City and Newark, New Jersey chapters, both dedicated to providing support for families across diverse communities.

Robello and her son Louie, were invited to a special reception at the White House to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, the event identified as the starting point for the LGBT equality movement in the U.S.

"We were incredibly honored to meet with the President and First Lady, and tell them our story, and how anti-LGBT violence and harassment create problems not just for LGBT people, but for their families and communities," said Robello. "My son and I asked the President and First Lady to speak out and become more visible in denouncing anti-LGBT discrimination."

Louie Robello experienced anti-LGBT harassment in his high school years. He later founded his high school's Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) and went on to be elected his class president.