Shuck and Jive

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"These Are Our Mountains, Too"

What an incredible evening. Fifty people crowded around a classroom table at ETSU for our first PFLAG Tri-Cities meeting. I didn't expect the large turnout and was moved many times by what was said there. We respect confidentiality and so do not share who was at the meeting, but I can say that it was a time of healing.

We heard about the experience of rejection. We heard about the pain of alienation from family and faith communities. We heard about reconciliation and courage and a shared commitment to end the hurt and to make our community safe for all people. There were tears and laughter.

One person said that it was easier being gay when he lived in California. But his home is East Tennessee. "These are our mountains, too," he reminded us.


We heard the story of how this chapter started, with several people individually sensing the need for PFLAG and coming together. Now we are here.

Some folks come for support. Some are ready for advocacy and activism. All are welcome. Our next meeting will be May 15th somewhere on the ETSU campus. We will need a larger space. More to come about the location and our next steps.

Visit our website for information. Visit our weblog for news updates. E-mail us to receive e-mail updates.

On the way home, I happened to hear this song that a family member had left in the car stereo. It sums up this evening pretty well, as well as what PFLAG is about, as I see it.

It is Celtic Woman,
One World.


  1. Wasn't it great!? I am excited about May 15!

  2. I've waited up for the posting. So glad the night was full of positive energy! Thanks to you, and everyone, for all of your efforts!

  3. Hi John, it's Michelle. I decided to make a Blogger account to post replies to you.

    This evening was WONDERFUL. I really was impressed and encouraged by the turnout and everyone's stories. Thanks so much!

  4. Way to go you. I wasn't there in person but I was there in spirit. Thanks for all your hard work on this and for making our area a better more compassionate place to live.

  5. Hi John,

    I just linked to this great post at my new blog here at Blogger. I recently discovered that I have been wasting a lot of time using HTML in my old blog and Mary told me it was too cluttered. So check out my new format and please change your link under Progressive Blogs. My new URL is Please note that Abundancetrek is one word, not two. Thanks. You can go to my cluttered old blog at

  6. Congratulations all! Well done, and keep up the good work!