Whidbey island Pride December 1, 2019

Oak Harbor, WA needs a PFLAG(parents and friends of lesbians and gays)


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Anita Johnston, Whidbey Island Pride booth on July 4th, 2019 Oak Harbor, WA

I found PFLAG over 20 years ago in Houston, TX when  I had three siblings that were finding their way to happiness.   When they came out I felt fear for their safety, anger of their lack of rights.  The Houston PFLAG was a great support organization that helped me manage my feelings and learn how to be an advocate.  In Oak Harbor I have felt a lot of the frustrations and seen it with families of LGBTQ.  Our families need support in the schools our active Navy LGBTQ need to know they have allies on Whidbey Island.  And it’s just time all the allies stopped being bashful.

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island at LGBTQ Pride Event

PFLAG started more than 40 years ago

PFLAG started more than 40 years ago, they have been providing peer-to-peer support, publications, toolkits, and other resources to make sure that the family members of people who are LGBTQ get the support they need in the way that best serves their needs. Therefore, this allows families to then further support, affirm, and advocate on behalf of their LGBTQ loved ones.

What I have found to be true from my multiple pride events in Oak Harbor that there’s a great need a to have a spectrum of diverse voices expressing their support for equality and inclusion—and that includes people who are not members of the LGBTQ community.  Allies have a unique power to send the message that inclusion and equality aren’t just things that people in the group affected want (in other words, LGBTQs), but something that everyone wants.  I have found that the teachers, counselors, physicians and parents need a support organization.   They are in need of literature on how to be an ally and how to help parents understand what their child is going through and in addition, help for children when a parent is transitioning.

Anita Johnston, LGBTQ advocate

Anita Johnston, with Real Estate clients at pride event.

I hope many of  you have hopefully started taking an ally journey of your own. Maybe you’re rethinking how you personally understand the term “ally.” Maybe you’ve even started thinking about what some of your barriers might be to becoming an out and proud ally.  If you’ve thought about these things—or thinking about them now—we’re on the right track. Why not get started by visiting the Ally Spectrum?  https://pflag.org/allies

We have had one PFLAG meeting in Oak Harbor and are in the infant steps of organization.  If you are interested in reaching PFLAG Whidbey Island you can reach out to https://www.facebook.com/WhidbeyPflag/ or directly to me.  Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month.

PFLAG meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month.

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island, LGBTQ Advocate

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island, LGBTQ advocate and ally. Anita at a Pride Event in Oak Harbor, WA

What I have learned from my Pride booths in Oak Harbor is greater empathy for my LGBTQ family, friends and community.  To get up and face my anxiety and fear of the individuals that don’t support equality for the LGBTQ that I might encounter is definitely a real thing.  To think I’m planning an event and I’m going to put myself directly in the face of people that don’t believe in equal rights has brought me to a deeper level of understanding.  A deeper understanding of what it means to stand up and face fear of judgement.

To my family and my friends, I love you and my heart aches at what you experience on a daily basis to just simply be who you are.

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island

Anita Johnston Realtor Whidbey Island, LGBTQ advocate and ally. Anita at her Pride Booth in Oak Harbor, WA