Growing diversity contributes to city’s vibrancy | Guest View

By Marlene Lund | Apr 08, 2017

The March 30 edition of the Beacon contained a letter to the editor expressing concern about an article regarding the start of a new satellite meeting of PFLAG Seattle, which would also serve the Edmonds area.

While the focus of the complaint seemed to be about the placement of the article within the paper, I wanted to comment on a couple of arguments within the body of the letter. First, there was a concern that the majority of the citizenry in Edmonds consists of conservative seniors.

While it is true that there are many seniors living in Edmonds (I count myself as part of that demographic), what makes Edmonds exciting and vibrant is its growing diversity. There are young families and young professionals.

Many artists and writers call Edmonds home, as well as people within the LGBTQ community, who are active contributors to the rich culture and diversity of our community.

They help to make Edmonds a fun place to visit, and a wonderful place to live. The characterization of Edmonds as consisting of a single aging, conservative demographic does not reflect the Edmonds that attracted me to find a home here.

The second point I wanted to address is the idea that covering news of a support group for part of our community who are frequently the victims of discrimination and cultural erasure suggests a political bias to the paper.

Whether some people care to acknowledge us or not, LGBTQ individuals and their families are a part of all communities. I am the mother of a wonderful daughter who identifies as queer, and I feel I can speak on behalf of many parents who need a safe place to process the changes in their family dynamic when a child comes out as gay or transgender or any other color of the rainbow.

Many of the usual support systems are not equipped or are unwilling to provide the necessary support needed by LGBTQ individuals or their families, and PFLAG provides a vital service to this community.

It seems to me that the Edmonds community at large will only benefit from the contributions of members from all parts of our community, and the community concern should be to provide support for all of our citizens, whatever their specific needs may be.

Marlene Lund, an Edmonds resident, founded the north Seattle chapter of PFLAG, a support group for friends and family of LGBTQ individuals, as well as the individuals themselves. Her efforts were profiled in a front-page story Edmonds Beacon story March 30 titled “Local woman starts LGBTQ support group.”


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