History of PFLAG- Panama City Chapter
What does a mom in need of support do to feel supported? She creates a support group! On July 9, 2006, Cathy Rifenburg, for the first time, declared herself a PFLAG Mom. She nervously and excitedly extended the hand of friendship to 20 people that gathered for this auspicious moment.
PFLAG Panama City was launched when the local community and surrounding area had no need, no time, and no tolerance for a group that promoted the civil rights of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered) citizens.
The chapter members aggressively sought visibility at a local street festival by proudly displaying an identifying banner and a rainbow flag. The volunteers monthly dispersed brochures and hand-outs, engaged in conversations and welcomed the jeers, cheers, and sometimes tears, with a growing sense of purpose. This small but determined group of LGBT activists made a strong statement of acceptance and tolerance that would not be deterred. They forged ahead with an early mantra of "we can change one heart- one mind- one at a time."
Countless family members, friends, and LGBT community members have been supported and encouraged by the devoted PFLAG Panama City members. These faithful trailblazers opened their hearts and homes to encourage a vital support group that would continue to expand and gain relevance for years to come. The PFLAG journey is abundant in a promise of a better tomorrow and a commitment to make that tomorrow better. Lives have been forever changed by simply creating a support group.