The members of PFLAG: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) commend the producers of ABC's sitcom, Roseanne, for painting gay, lesbian and bisexual family issues as simply a part of a typical Thanksgiving dinner. On the show, a gay couple discusses adopting a child and Roseanne's mother inadvertently comes out as a lesbian. While both of these do spark family discussion, it is the absence of her husband, and the lack of blisters on her hands -- not these issues -- that make Roseanne feel a sense of sadness.
"Roseanne's Thanksgiving show sends the message that gay people, along with pregnant daughters, eccentric grandmothers and over-organizing sons-in-law, make up the fabric of our families," said PFLAG President Nancy McDonald. "The families and friends of lesbian, gay and bisexual people are particularly pleased that Roseanne chose a holiday episode to showcase these issues, since many people choose this time of year to come out to their families. Roseanne's fictional example could ease tensions and facilitate discussion at real-life dinner tables across the country."
For many PFLAG families, the show struck a personal chord in their lives. "As a mother who just came out to my family and my community, it was particularly moving for me to see a family accept a mom as she comes to terms with being a lesbian," said Pat Stone, co-president of PFLAG Dallas. "That the character was obviously dealing with some internalized homophobia also struck me as important. I have had to twice face society's negative stereotypes of gay and lesbian people -- once when my daughter came out eight years ago, and then again while coming to terms with my own homosexuality. Each time it was easier knowing that others have traveled the same journey."
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, and bisexual persons, their families, and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and secure civil rights. PFLAG provides opportunity for dialogue about sexual orientation, and acts to create a society that is healthy, and respectful of diversity. Founded in 1981, PFLAG is now organized in 400 communities in every state, with 65,000 household members.