Greensburg’s Pride in the Park Picnic welcomes all |

Greensburg’s Pride in the Park Picnic welcomes all

Mary Pickels
Facebook | PFLAG Greensburg
PFLAG Greensburg supporters march in an earlier Pittsburgh Pride Parade.

Jean Slusser, president of PFLAG — Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays — Greensburg welcomes anyone to the annual Pride in the Park Picnic.

Slusser is a founding member of the group and of Westmoreland LGBTQ Interfaith Network, co-hosts of the picnic from 2-6 p.m. Aug. 18 at Hempfield Park.

“Last year was probably our biggest year. We had over 100 people,” she says.

Guests of all ages can enjoy games and music, raffles and food. The Heavenly Biscuits will perform at 2:30 p.m.

As in the past, the picnic will serve as a collection site for a nonprofit. This year, those attending are asked to bring nonperishable or canned goods to benefit the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

Previous recipients have included the Union Mission and the Welcome Home Shelter.

Tending to others

The organization supports other groups as well, Slusser says, including participating in the Blackburn Center’s annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event and walking in marches and parades.

Some of those organizations, including the Greensburg-Jeannette branch of the NAACP, are expected to offer information tables at the picnic, Slusser says.

“So many people of color who are LGBTQ can’t come out in their communities. Anything we do with other organizations is a plus for everyone,” she says.

PFLAG, she says, stands for “education, support and advocacy.”

The support group meets at 2 p.m. every third Sunday of the month at the Trinity United Church of Christ in Greensburg.

“What we are seeing pretty much across the board is more transgender people of all ages. I think in some ways because of the political situation, they feel like they need a lot of support and help,” Slusser says.

The volunteer group makes people aware of resources, including Pittsburgh’s Persad Center, she says.

Some people pose questions on the local chapter’s Facebook site, such as asking how one can change one’s name.

“I think we are useful to a lot of different people for a lot of different reasons, long-term and short-term,” Slusser says.

Mary Pickels is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-836-5401, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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