June 28, 2023: Embrace and Empower


Uniting Communities for LGBTQIA+ Inclusivity

The LGBTQIA+ community and their families are facing hostile legislation in some states. Join us to learn what can be done to build more inclusive and understanding communities.

In honor of Pride Month, The Bellingham City Club is honored to present our next program to help broaden the understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community and issues, including where Whatcom County members can get support and to build a more inclusive community for everyone.

At least 490 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year per the American Civil Liberties Union, some limiting speech and some limiting health care.  Acceptance of gay marriage for adults is newly under question and children are being vilified for who they are. At the same time, a recent CDC study found that only 75% of high school students identify as heterosexual and our understanding of the complexities of human sexuality keeps growing.


Francie Gass (she/her) is a retired public health nurse and parenting educator. She is the parent of a cisgender lesbian daughter and a transgender lesbian daughter. She joined PFLAG in 2015 to learn and become an LGBTQ+ ally. Drawing on her vast educational and health background, Gass devotes her time as a public health educator.

Jena Lopez (she/her), a gender nonconforming, queer person of color, mother of a trans daughter, lover of nature, and an emergency department physician.

Henry Ohana (he/him), a queer person. He came out in the late 70’s and has seen many changes in the movement and in popular culture. He has 4 children and all are queer in varying ways.

Constance Murphy (she/her) made her career in blue collar work. After 12 years of experience in the plumbing and building industries she became a contractor designing and building residential and light commercial construction projects. She has been involved with PFLAG since 2019. She is currently on the board as Treasurer. She participates in tabling and presentations to support the work of PFLAG, building a more inclusive community for everyone.