A note from the editor:

Friend, it’s hard to believe 2021 is nearing its end. This last newsletter of the year highlights events for both celebration and reflection. This edition also marks a full year of issues since I started as editor in January, 2021, although it truly is a group effort, with content coming from a core group of dedicated volunteers. I hope you have gotten value out of the newsletters, and I’m always open to ideas on how to improve the offerings for our readers. Here’s to moving forward into 2022. (And if you’d like to have a say in shaping the direction of PFLAG locally, please consider running for office! Details below.)

Also note: there will be no support group meetings in December for San Diego Metro, South Bay/Imperial Valley, and East County, and no January meeting for North County Coastal. All other support groups will meet at their usual schedule. We hope you will join one of those meetings; see support group listings at the end of the newsletter for contact info for Zoom links.

— Louise Julig
PFLAG SDC Newsletter Editor

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday Is November 30th

Giving Tuesday is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Nov. 30, and continues through the holidays when we are all feeling grateful. It is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

PFLAG SDC is here to offer support, education, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ individuals, their parents, families, and allies in our community. Your generosity is much appreciated as we approach 2022, when we celebrate PFLAG SDC’s 40th birthday and as we continue with our vision and mission to make the world a better place for all of us following the challenges of the pandemic.

You and your generosity are very much appreciated.

World AIDS Day Tree Of Life Celebration 🕯

On December 1 at 6:00 pm, please join Mama’s Kitchen and Village Hillcrest to commemorate World AIDS Day by recognizing and remembering those affected by AIDS, as well as the ongoing leadership efforts made to end the epidemic. The ceremony will take place at the Village Hillcrest Retail Center, 3965 Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest.

You can attend this free event in person. Please bring your own candle for the candlelight vigil. The Tree of Life Celebration will include: tree lighting, candlelight vigil, holiday musical performances, special guest speakers including local elected officials. If you wish to attend the virtual ceremony, you may do so via Facebook or YouTube.

You can dedicate a Tree of Life personalized heart ornament in memory of a loved one, in honor of a friend, or as a message of support. One heart is $15 and two are $25. The ornaments will hang on the tree in the center of the Village Hillcrest Plaza on the night of the event and throughout the month of December. To purchase, visit www.mamaskitchen.org/events/tree-of-life/.

GLSEN’S Annual Ice Skating Out-ing ⛸

GLSEN’s 9th Annual Ice-Skating OUTing is taking place on December 4, 1:25 – 3:55 pm at the UTC Mall Ice Skating Rink. It is open to middle and high school youth and school GSA (or similar) club advisors. GLSEN is formerly known as Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network.

There is no cost; however, adults that are not GSA club advisers will need to cover their own cost of entry and skate rental.

Waivers must be signed for entry. Spots are limited. To register: https://tinyurl.com/glsenskating.

Come Home for the Holidays

Come Home for the Holidays 🏡

On December 11, please join the San Diego LGBT Center for the community celebration, “Come Home for the Holidays.”  The Center has been closed for remodeling, and this is part of their grand re-opening! Food will be the theme of the day, along with camaraderie and resources on partner organizations, including PFLAG SDC. The celebration is free and family friendly.

The event is from 4:00-6:00 pm at The Center, 3909 Centre Street, Hillcrest.

Unfortunately, Santa won’t be visiting this year.  Masks are required. This event also includes a COVID-19 vaccine and/or flu shot opportunity.


🧑‍🎄 Jingle! 🔔

The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus will be performing live for the first time in more than 18 months. Concerts are on December 11 at 8 pm and December 12 at 3 pm at the Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Avenue, downtown San Diego. You can order tickets online below.

As always holiday favorites will be featured, along with new music, and the usual surprises you’ve come to expect from the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus. Safety protocols will be in place.

🙋 Help Lead PFLAG SDC in 2022! ✅

In keeping with PFLAG SDC’s bylaws, PFLAG SDC officers are elected every two years.  Our election will take place at all support group meeting throughout January and early February. If you are interest in running for a position, please contact Bobbi Harwood by December 15, 2021: bharwood@pflag.com. Here is a brief description of each officer:

President (or co-Presidents): Supervise, direct, and control the business related to PFLAG SDC; preside over and present report at board meetings; attend community outreach events, public speaking engagements; public relation contact and networking.

Vice-President: In the absence of the president, perform all the duties of the president; assist president in carrying out duties; attend board meetings and present report.

Secretary: Record minutes of the board meetings; prepare and send copies of the minutes to board members prior to the next scheduled board meeting; maintain minutes on PFLAG Google Drive.

Treasurer: Keep account of all monies received and expended; make disbursements as authorized by the board; maintain check register and financial ledger; prepare monthly financial report for distribution to the board.

Diversionary's next play is Azul

There is Still Time to See Azul!

The production of Azul is continuing at the Diversionary Theatre though December 19. Synopsis: Memories of Yadra’s childhood in Castro’s Cuba come flooding back as Alzheimer’s sets in, inspiring her daughter Zelia to connect with her heritage. With her wife by her side, Zelia sets out on a journey to excavate family secrets and discover a love that led her mother’s beloved tía-abuela to remain in Cuba. Spanning two countries and three generations, Azul fuses music and memory to explore a romance for the ages and the true language of love.

To purchase tickets: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/cal/33385. The Diversionary Theatre is located at 4545 Park Blvd., San Diego. Box office: 619-220-0097.

Why Our Members Are So Important

By Nancy Colbert, she/her/hers
Treasurer and Membership Chair

We love our members! Your membership strengthens our efforts to provide support, education and advocacy on behalf of our LGBTQ+ community, their families, friends and allies.

Thanks to your support, we are able to provide 6 monthly support group meetings, an info line, newsletter, and educational brochures. We attend community events, showing our support for the LGBTQ+ community and reaching out to people in the greater community. We collaborate with and support other LGBTQ+ groups.

Memberships are for the calendar year. If you are a current member, please renew your membership. If you are not yet a member, we would love to have you join!

You can renew or join by clicking on the link below. Any donation you can make is tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

🌈A Groovie Movie Revioo …

By Vicki Luna (She, Her, Hers)

Let It Snow!   2019…Romantic Comedy PG13

Cast: Isabela Merced…Shameik Moore…Keirnan Shipke
Directed by Luke Snellin, available on Netflix

Being the Southern Cali babe that I am, I don’t have a clue about living in a LOT of snow in the winter. In Let It Snow! a holiday high school kids’ crush story takes on a whole new feeling in this freezing Laurel, Illinois Christmastime setting. Brrrrr!!

This is a sweet story of young love, big decisions and family love and commitment that most of us can relate to from some point in our lives. Very well done by all the young actors, also by a particular one of a question mark age who seems to keep very cozy and young at heart in her special insulation!

I was kind of amazed at the casual ease that everyone in this town just sails on with their lives as if it’s not 20 degrees or worse out there. They seem just as comfortable outside as in. It’s a wonder to me and fascinating. Have fun with this one!

I’ll be taking a break for the winter with my groovie revieoos. But below is a link to a list from OUT Magazine of great holiday movies/shows you can enjoy to tide you over. Happy Holidays Everyone!

Vicki Luna, She/her/hers

Let It Snow
Let It Snow

USNS Harvey Milk Christened

In early November, San Diego proudly hosted the christening and launching of a Navy ship named for slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk, who served four years in the Navy before being forced out, part of that time in San Diego.

Former Navy officer Paula M. Neira, Clinical Program Director for the John Hopkins Center for Transgender Health, had the honor of smashing a bottle of champagne on the bow of the ship.

Milk’s nephew, Stuart Milk, and Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, watched the traditional ceremony. Del Toro said in part, that as Secretary of the Navy, he needed to be there, not just to amend the wrongs of the past, but to give inspiration to all LGBTQ community leaders who served in the Navy, in uniform today, and in the civilian workforce, as well as to tell the community that they’re committed to them in the future.

Connor Maddox Day

🏳️‍⚧️ Transgender Remembrance Awareness Week/Day

In November we honored the memory of transgender people whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence. The numbers are staggering in themselves, but People of Color are disproportionately targeted.

November 2, 2021 was proclaimed Connor Maddox Day by the City of San Diego. Maddox (upper left) led The San Diego LGBT Center’s Transgender Programs for more than 18 years and is still active with The Center.

Naya Velazco, Transgender Services Coordinator at The Center (upper right), was the emcee for the kickoff of Transgender Awareness Week beginning on November 13. The community gathered for the Flag Raising Ceremony at the Hillcrest Pride Flag Pole. One of the highlights was to see 13-year-old transgender youth, Avery (lower left) holding the transgender flag (photo used with permission from her mom, Summer). Also pictured is Toni Duran, Field Rep at Office of Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins, with transgender activist Chrissy (lower right).

Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration held at Waterfront Park
County Administration Building was lit with the Trans flag colors
ceremony was again emceed by Naya Velazco, Transgender Services Coordinator at The LGBT Center
Mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria

On November 20, PFLAG San Diego County proudly tabled at the Transgender Day of Remembrance commemoration held at Waterfront Park (upper left). As part of the commemoration the County Administration Building was lit with the Trans flag colors (upper right). The ceremony was again emceed by Naya Velazco, Transgender Services Coordinator at The LGBT Center (lower left). There were many dignitaries present, including Mayor of San Diego Todd Gloria (lower right). PFLAG SDC President Tiffany Gonzalez served on the planning committee for all TDOR events.

Another honor bestowed by the City of San Diego was to proclaim the week of November 13 Transgender Awareness Week. It will officially begin next year.

PFLAG SDC Scholarships Are on the Way

Once again, PFLAG San Diego County will be offering scholarships to LGBTQ students who reside in San Diego County. The application, requirements, and other scholarship-related info is at pflag.com/scholarships. The deadline to apply is March 21, 2022. 

Our goal is to maximize the amounts of the scholarships and to award more scholarships. You may donate any time: www.pflag.com/support-our-students/ and either donate to the General Scholarship Fund or a specific scholarship. New this year, we are offering a recurring monthly donation option.

We are maintaining our commitment that 100% of funds donated for scholarships goes to students. All donations are 100% tax deductible (tax ID# 33-0512868). For 2021, we awarded a record 14 scholarships totaling $35,000. Two out of the 14 were specifically designated for community college students. We will be offering at least as many scholarships in 2022.

We appreciate you spreading the word to LGBTQ high school seniors and full-time undergraduate/graduate students to apply for PFLAG scholarships. Half-time applicants will be considered with an explanation of the circumstances that prevents them from attending full-time. A minimum of $2,000 will be awarded per scholarship.

Our motto is “Change a life, change the world.” Please help us continue to change lives. For questions, contact scholarships@pflag.com.

Let’s Hear it for Our San Diego Queer Youth Chorus

The San Diego Queer Youth Chorus (SDQYC) is welcoming new members for the only chorus in the State of California of LGBTQIA2+ and allied middle and high school students.

SDQYC encourages and fosters artistic expression, personal development, and leadership in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning intersex and allied youth, and presents musical performances that provide an opportunity and space for young people, however they identify, to say “this is a place where I am accepted for who I am and everything that I bring.”

SDQYC is led by Founding Artistic Director Lindsey Deaton. It operates under the guidance, support, and direction of a committee comprising representatives from San Diego Pride, San Diego Women’s Chorus, and the SDQYC AD, Lindsey Deaton. Contact https://sdpride.org/sdqyc/ to apply.

PFLAG SDC Newsletter Editor's favorite LGBTQ+ Memoirs

PFLAG SDC Newsletter Editor’s favorite LGBTQ+ Memoirs

By Louise Julig

Memoirs are my absolute favorite type of book to read, and I recently curated a list on my Bookshop storefront of my favorite memoirs by LGBTQ+ authors. Since we’re entering holiday gift-giving season I wanted to share them with PFLAG SDC readers. Full disclosure, Bookshop is an affiliate site, but from now through the end of 2021 any earnings from my store will be donated to the International Women’s Media Foundation Emergency Fund for Female Journalists. I hope you find something you or a loved one would like, and please feel free to respond with your own favorites.


PFLAG T-Shirts for Sale!

Make a fashion statement! For sale are PFLAG San Diego County 100% cotton T-shirts. It’s a mauve shirt with the PFLAG SDC logo on the back and a heart with the word “family” in different languages on the upper right on the front. Shirts can be purchased for $10 each. Sizes are Small through X-Large. To purchase, please contact scohenrichards@pflag.com.

Thank You To Our Donors!

Thanks to the following who have donated to our general fund since last newsletter:

Maria Al Shamma
Linda Cronquist
Robert Gleason
Bobbi Harwood
Craig Humphreys
George Muldrew
Bill Patten
Douglas Saylor
Michael Wasilewski

Support Groups

❗️Note: some support group information has changed since last month

Support groups will continue to meet virtually until further notice. Check individual group for details. We encourage you to contact your support group facilitator at any time, as they will remain excellent resources for information. The support group locations, dates, and times will continue to be posted on the PFLAG San Diego County Facebook page. You can join in any of the digital meetings. For Zoom links, contact each support group.

Do You Shop On Amazon?

If you have an account with Amazon, you can help our chapter every time you shop. Go to smile.Amazon.com and search for PFLAG San Diego County. For every purchase, our chapter will receive .05% of the dollar amount of the order. This may not sound like a lot, but it adds up. So turn your Amazon habit into support for PFLAG!

Our Vision
PFLAG envisions a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.

Our Mission
By meeting people where they are and collaborating with others, PFLAG realizes its vision through: Support for families, allies and people who are LGBTQ+; Education for ourselves and others about the unique issues and challenges facing people who are LGBTQ+; Advocacy in our communities to change attitudes and create policies and laws that achieve full equality for people who are LGBTQ+.