WAMU 88.5 : News

Loudoun's First LGBT Family Support Group To Meet Sunday

Play associated audio
Potomac Falls High School students Charley Smith and Riley Schappell, as well as Schappell's mom, Lori Stevens, are three driving forces behind LOL.
Jonathan Wilson
Potomac Falls High School students Charley Smith and Riley Schappell, as well as Schappell's mom, Lori Stevens, are three driving forces behind LOL.

In Virginia, some students and parents in Loudoun County say there are few places for the families of gay and lesbian teens to turn for emotional support and guidance.

Riley Schappell is a 16-year-old sophomore at Potomac Falls High School in Loudoun. She's straight, but started attending meetings of the school's GSA, or Gay-Straight Alliance, to support her gay friends.

"So I started going, and I was really disappointed...there was probably only...four or five, maybe six people in it," she says.

Schappell's mom, Lori Stevens, the wife of current school board president John Stevens, thinks participation in Gay-Straight Alliances might increase with more support and education beyond school walls.

"There needs to be a place where kids can come outside of the hallways, have more of a sense of anonymity, and be just with their peers and their straight allies and friends," says Stevens, a board member of Metro DC PFLAG.

Stevens hopes Loudoun Out Loud, which holds its first meeting on Sunday, can be that place.

Charley Smith, a senior at Potomac Falls and the president of its GSA says she thinks LOL could eventually help things inside schools as well.

She's hoping for a big turnout this weekend.

"I'm very nervous that it's going to be a lower turnout than I want it to be," she says, "but I'm also very excited to see anybody turn up."

Smith also says she thinks the parents and relatives of teens who show up may be even more important than the teens themselves.

She says adults often underestimate the kind of impact they can have on their children.

Loudoun Out Loud's first meeting takes place on Sunday at Unitarian Universalists of Sterling, 22315 Davis Drive at 4 p.m. Meetings will continue on the fourth Sunday of every month at the same time and place.

NPR

A Biography Of Your Cubicle: How This Became The Modern Workplace

The office has long been seen as a symbol of boredom: It's a killer of spirits, a destroyer of spontaneity. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says a new book brings out its entertaining side.
NPR

California Farmers Finagle A Fig For All Seasons

Two growers are competing to harvest fresh figs earlier and earlier in hopes of transforming the industry for year-round production. But some fig lovers say they can hold out for summer fruit.
WAMU 88.5

On National Mall, Native Americans Protest Keystone XL Pipeline

Native Americans from across the country are visiting Washington this week to protest the construction of a controversial pipeline in the Midwest.
NPR

Life Outside The Fast Lane: Startups Wary Of Web Traffic Plan

The Federal Communications Commission's proposal would let Web companies pay for faster access. But entrepreneurs, like Reddit's co-founder, are wondering how they would have fared with such rules.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.