MASON CITY, Iowa – A local organization is looking back at ten years of service in North Iowa.
And they are very proud to share their memories.
The “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” or “PFLAG North Iowa” for short is celebrating in Mason City.
It’s all about determination.
And those are still the main goals 10 years later.
For Dean Genth, this 10 year celebration is an event he calls significant.
“Because we have spent ten years of hard work with education, advocacy and support of lesbians, gay bisexual, transgender individuals as well as their family members and friends,” said Genth.
Genth says looking back, the PFLAG meetings and people a part of this organization have come a long way.
“The Globe Gazette here in town ran an article about us co-founding this chapter and we had 35 people at that first meeting and we were prepared for 8 or 10 to show up,”said Genth.
Jody Huckaby, is the Executive Director of PFLAG National and is happy to help everyone celebrate.
He says what this chapter in North Iowa is doing is critical.
“It’s most especially important when it’s in a small area because that the opportunity to build community when it doesn’t exist. So in this great community 10 years ago there was nothing like a place for parents, family members, straight allies, gay, lesbian, bi, trans people to gather together. Now, 10 years later they have a rich community, diverse community,” said Huckaby.
Huckaby says what important is that those in the community and in the chapter never give up on their mission of diversity, equality and support.
“So this is a marathon not a sprint and its just really empowering for me to come and here the successes, and hear the inspiration about why people are doing what they’re doing and for me to encourage them to keep up the fight,” said Huckaby.
“I think one of the biggest takeaways for this 10th anniversary is the job is not done. There is a lot of work to be done yet,” said Genth.
Dean and his husband Gary started the group.
Many of those who were there for the first meeting are still attending.
PFLAG’s newest project is to help raise funds for the women’s homeless shelter
The PFLAG North Iowa meets on a regular basis.
The meetings are held once a month at 1st Presbyterian Church, in Mason City.
They begin at 7:00 p.m.