Group to provide local LGBT support

When an individual outs themselves as gay or lesbian in Cache Valley, it’s never easy for them or their friends and family, according to members of local support group Cache Gay Families.In about a month, family and friends of lesbians and gays should have a new local support group, if everything goes according to plan, said Amy Bailey, assistant professor of sociology at USU and vice president of Cache Gay Families.”We’ve had meetings since October — monthly meetings — and every single meeting we’ve had new people show up we didn’t even know were coming,” Bailey said.Cache Gay Families has held a series of organizational meetings to discuss plans to create a local chapter of a national organization — Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). Group organizers have submitted the final applications necessary to make the chapter official.Now, she said, they just have to wait. Bailey said her efforts are those of a concerned member of the community and have nothing to do with her university affiliation.”There are amazing resources with the PFLAG national that we can rely on,” Bailey said. “In our discussions, we’ve identified safe schools as a real critical issue in Cache Valley. There are LGBT students in our schools who don’t feel safe. There are gay and lesbian parents … who don’t feel like their kids are safe.”Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students attend Cache Valley middle schools and high schools, as well as at USU, and several members of the LGBT community have experienced unsafe conditions at school, Bailey said.

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