Area leaders should see PFLAG play


Imagine, if you will, being completely removed from everyone you know and love because you tell them you are gay.

Personally, I can’t imagine it, because although I am bisexual, my mother and father still love me unconditionally.

Sometimes I think I confuse my father, but that’s another matter altogether.

My family life supportive. I am convinced my grandmother would defend me to the end, even if I went on a murder spree down Poyntz Avenue.

She would say I had a reason.

And Larry Fry, pastor of College Avenue United Methodist Church, would come visit me in jail.

Yet, there are people who risk everything when they tell their families and churches they are homosexual, bisexual or transgendered.

That issue will be addressed on the stage at 7 p.m. March 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. March 10 and 11 at the Manahttan Arts Center.

The play “You Belong To Us” presents first-hand dialogue from parents of lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgendered people who discuss the struggle some parents have with the knowledge their children are not heterosexual.

Coming out to your parents is hard, and dealing with children who admit they are LGBT would be just as difficult.

Luckily, the Flint Hills Chapter of Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays brought this dialogue to Manhattan.

The group facilitated a discussion with area pastors at a luncheon last week, and Fry said those who went were very supportive.

Those attending were allowed to hear part of the play, and Fry said he felt it was beneficial for not only religious leaders to see, but also for the public.

“I think it would be a very helpful play for anyone to see,” Fry said.

Leaders from the campus ministry, Ogden Friendship House, the First Congregational church and the Manhattan Jewish Congregation attended the luncheon in addition to his own church, Fry said.

No one there dissented or had questions about the play. That’s sad.

This play is supposed to foster discussion and support a healing atmosphere for people who need it most. While Manhattan has a plethora of churches, only a few reach out to embrace people in crisis and who face discrimination.

I understand some churches disagree with homosexuality on moral grounds, but I would think the need for Christ’s forgiveness and love would take precedence over unreasoning bias.

It doesn’t surprise me that Larry Fry and a few other pastors attended the luncheon.

College Avenue United Methodist Church and Ogden Friendship House apparently preach inclusion of everyone, as do the Manhattan Jewish Congregation and First Congregational Church.

But something this important, something that talks about an event that could change someone’s life so completely, should be attended by more than just a few pastors and religious leaders.

This is an important play, not just for those who are struggling with the issue of coming out to their family, or their family’s struggle to cope with the knowledge.

Those church leaders who didn’t take advantage of the opportunity to attend the luncheon should attend the play itself.

Lola Shrimplin is a senior in journalism and mass communications. Please send your comments to