The Second International Conference of Parents with LGBTQI Children in Kiev

Bruce and Janet Kent were privileged to represent FFLAG at this two day conference in November. Their presence was generously made possible by the British Embassy in Kiev.
Representatives from 13 countries gathered in Ukraine’s capital city to focus on tolerance in religion and education for LGBT+ people.
Parents from as far apart as Belarus, Canada, Great Britain, Kyrgyzstan, Malta, Portugal, Russia, Sweden and Ukraine shared their deeply moving stories and professionals from various disciplines contributed up to date research highlighting ways to improve life for those affected by restrictive legislation and prejudice around the globe.
One lady told Janet how reading one father’s story on the FFLAG website was life changing for her and motivated her to begin to speak out on behalf of her gay son.   
Janet and Bruce also addressed the conference, describing the work FFLAG does, highlighting principles of best practice that we’ve learned over the years, and indicating where we believe more work needs to be done. 
We can easily take for granted the freedoms we enjoy in the UK to enjoy equality and the protection of law and also the access we have to information and support of all kinds.  Many of the parents at the conference came because they are starved of support for themselves and their LGBT+ loved ones and long to enjoy the freedoms that we do. 



Pride Cymru Youth Conference 2016

FFLAG was invited to participate in this year’s conference on the 15th October. Two trustees, Virginia and Jenny took part in a very interesting and challenging day focussing on coming out safely.
A variety of organisations representing parts of the LGBT+ community, such as Trans*form, Bi Cymru, Stonewall Cymru, Spectrum Project/ Rainbow Bridge were in attendance.
There were stimulating sessions on children’s rights, anxiety awareness, self-help and Wise Kids promoting positive and safe internet use for children, young people and those who support them.
In the afternoon we adjourned to a nearby cinema to watch the 2016 Iris Prize Youth Shorts nominations and vote for the film we considered best – well those in the audience under 25 could!
In FFLAG’s session Virginia and I talked about our work and plans for the future and then we had a Q and A. It began with a very moving tribute to FFLAG by a member of the audience and then the questions – stimulating, provoking, not always easy to answer, many from the young trans people present. 
So it had certainly been an interesting day – we learned a lot, met some lovely people and would like to thank Cath Harrison from Pride Cymru very much for inviting FFLAG to take part.


FFLAG Strategy

Over the summer, Bruce and Hugh visited the groups that had agreed to help FFLAG identify the key issues and challenges that face us nationally and locally. This consultation has been invaluable in clarifying what people believe should be FFLAG’s role nationally, internationally and, most importantly, in relation to affiliated groups around the UK, as shown by the diagram below.
Work is now under way to translate the feedback received from the consultation into a strategic plan. 

In 2017 we  will update everyone on the plan and our progress towards achieving it, when we will also seek further input on key issues such as diversity and trans where we have identified different approaches between affiliated groups that we think should be shared and reconciled.
A key message from our consultation is that local groups must decide for themselves what their priorities should be. FFLAG’s strategy respects that autonomy and recognises that our role at local level is essentially to support and co-ordinate resources for our “front line” groups to meet the continuing and the changing needs of families and friends.


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