Wednesday, May 28, 2014

PFLAG National Honors the Life and Light of Dr. Maya Angelou

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2014
Contact: Beth Kohm | bkohm@pflag.org | (202) 467-8180 ext. 211

PFLAG National Honors the Life and Light of Dr. Maya Angelou
Leader and Honoree Celebrated for Contributions to Equality for All

WASHINGTON, D.C. — PFLAG National—the nation's largest organization for parents, families, friends and straight allies united with people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)—has issued the following statement from Executive Director Jody M. Huckaby responding to news of the death of Dr. Maya Angelou:

“One of Dr. Angelou’s most famous quotes was this: ‘I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’

As PFLAG members reflect on her passing, we will remember her for how she made us feel as a staunch ally for equality for people who are LGBT. But for PFLAG, it will also be alongside all that she said on behalf of all people who are disenfranchised, and her lifelong actions to bring attention to the need for compassion and understanding to close the gaps that injustice creates.

At PFLAG’s first-ever Straight for Equality Gala in 2009, we had the tremendous privilege of recognizing Dr. Angelou as our inaugural Straight for Equality honoree in the area of Arts & Humanities. That evening, before she accepted the award, she sang, ‘This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine...’ to the audience. While the song served as the introduction to remarks about courage and equality, PFLAG will remember it as Dr. Angelou’s signature. She was a powerful woman who brought her light – shining attention on how we ought to treat each other – wherever she went.

While Dr. Angelou will be sorely missed, PFLAG will always cherish the memories of the time that we had with her and the lifelong lessons she taught us about the quest for equality and the bold courage to love.”

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Founded in 1972 with the simple act of a mother publicly supporting her gay son, PFLAG National is the original family and ally organization. Made up of parents, families, friends, and allies uniting with people who are LGBT, PFLAG is committed to advancing equality through its mission of support, education and advocacy. PFLAG has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 supporters crossing multiple generations of American families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas in all 50 states. To learn more, please visit pflag.org.

Straight for Equality is a project of PFLAG National. It was launched in 2007 to invite, educate, and engage straight individuals to have the discussions necessary to move equality forward for their lesbian, gay, bi, and transgender friends in simple, nonpolitical ways. Learn more at straightforequality.org.

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