The Mankato chapter of PFLAG may be small, but the group has a powerful commitment to make a difference. For this reason, South Central Minnesota Pride is pleased to dedicate Pridefest 2014 to PFLAG Mankato.On a national level, PFLAG is the largest family and ally organization for the LGBT community in the United States. As noted on the PFLAG National website, the group is focused on “advancing equality and full societal affirmation of LGBT people through its threefold mission of support, education, and advocacy.”
PFLAG Mankato is one of over 350 PFLAG chapters across the country and is part of unifying over 200,000 members nationwide.Though the Mankato chapter of PFLAG has a large mailing list, their meetings on the first Thursday of every month at the Emy Frentz Art Guild are cozy and conversational. “Though people come and go, we’ve always had the same core group,” said member Carol Hanson. “Every so often someone new will attend—sometimes a young person looking for community. We love it when this happens. We do our best to connect that individual to local people and resources.” “The fact that our group is small is a good sign,” added fellow member Rochelle Major. “As acceptance grows, the need for groups like this seems to be less. But we would love to add some more young people as members. Everyone is welcome!”
Along with monthly meetings, PFLAG (pronounced “p-flag”) Mankato has maintained regular involvement in the local community. They sponsor an annual cheer team at the Mankato Marathon, and when possible they participate in LGBT Center events at Minnesota State University, Mankato. During the 2012 Minnesota marriage amendment vote, PFLAG Mankato participated in the door-to-door campaign and sponsored a prominent “Vote No” billboard in downtown Mankato. “We met so many wonderful young people during that time,” said Major. “They were a big reason the campaign was successful.”The group has been a mainstay of Pridefest for years with a prominent booth as well as an energetic presence in the parade.