Documentary helping Southwest Florida PFLAG members accept sexual orientation of loved ones

Imagine being called an abomination by Anita Bryant or Jimmy Swaggart.

Life hasn’t been easy for members of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders (PFLAG) anywhere, including Southwest Florida, but “For the Bible Tells Me So,” an award-winning documentary released in 2007, indicates that it has vastly improved.

The Rev. Bishop Desmond Tutu, the Rev. Bishop Gene Robinson and former U.S. Congressman Dick Gephardt all defend divine and human rights to exist as one chooses.

PFLAG of Naples [FL] President Gabrielle “Gaye” Gilmore said she had seen the movie before it was shown at a recent PFLAG meeting but continues to be thrilled by scenes of the organization’s members marching in Gay Pride Day parades.

“They love us. They always call out ‘Thank you,’” Gilmore said.

Gilmore said she always finds herself especially moved when Gephardt and his wife talked about accepting their daughter Chrissy’s dissolved heterosexual marriage and declaration that she is gay.

It almost always comes down to other parents’ messages of acceptance, Gilmore said after a recent PFLAG meeting held at the Naples United Church of Christ.

Conversation and attendance at PFLAG meetings are strictly confidential, much like an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting.

It is at these chapter meetings around the world that family members get to work through their issues with a loved one’s sexual orientation.

The PFLAG viewing was co-hosted by Naples Coalition of Progressive Voices Chairman Ron Patterson, who is also the pastor of the Naples United Church of Christ. Other coalition members include the Revs. Rick Sosbee, Kathy Korb, Bruce Frogge.