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June 15, 2023

Tanya Baumgart

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.

To honor Pride Month, Bellingham City Club is pleased to present our next program to help broaden understanding of the LGBTQIA+ community and issues, including where Whatcom County members can get support and to build a more inclusive community for everyone. The in-person event includes a catered luncheon taking place at the Bellingham Yacht Club, 2625 S Harbor Loop Dr. on Wednesday, June 28 from 12 noon – 1:30 PM. 

Registration is required by June 25, 6:00pm. To register:

At least 490 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures this year per the American Civil Liberties, some limiting speech and some limiting health care.  Acceptance of gay marriage for adults is increasingly 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.

Panelists include:

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.


Bellingham City Club’s mission is to inform, connect, and engage our community to strengthen the civic health of our region. Membership is open to all who support our mission and involves modest annual dues to pay speaker expenses and support operations. More information is available at bellinghamcityclub.org.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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