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PFLAG Spokane

About Us

The Spokane Chapter of PFLAG was organized in 1984 by Helen Bonser, who after her daughter Terri came out as a Lesbian, was moved to act after witnessing the lack of civil rights for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) persons at the local and national levels.

By organizing the PFLAG Spokane Chapter, Helen began her advocacy for LGBTQ+ rights and recognition as well as women’s rights and civil rights for all citizens of the United States. Helen put her training and skills in Mental Health Counseling to support the local LGBTQ+ community by providing discount cost and sometimes free counseling services to its members. She organized a team of other counselors to work within the community providing mental health as well as physical health services. She achieved her goal of providing wellness services to the Spokane LGBTQ+ community without cost becoming a hindrance to those services.

Helen, along with her friend Katie Urbanek, organized the first ever Gay Pride March in Spokane in 1992. The March received threats of gun violence which prompted Helen to step out in front of the participants to offer protection and show solidarity for the event. Her husband, Tom Bonser, was a security officer on the first march as well as years of marches that followed.

The AIDS epidemic that was ravaging the gay community beginning in the early 1980’s prompted Helen to advocate for compassionate care for those men who were dying from the disease. She would visit them in the hospital, touch and hold them when no one else would out of fear of contracting the disease. She provided grief support to the families to cope with the pain and loss. There is a story of the first man she encountered during her visit at the hospital. The dying man was estranged from his father, yet still loved him. Helen wrote a letter to the father, telling him about his son and what a wonderful person he had become. This compassionate act of reaching out to the man’s father brought forth a reconciliation for the father and son before the son passed.

All this activism from organizing the PFLAG Spokane chapter to organizing Gay Pride Marches and working tirelessly to improve the wellness of the Spokane LGBTQ+ community through community organization, wellness promotion and compassionate care for those community members dying of AIDS and related illnesses was brought to reality by Helen Bonser and her partner organizations out of a sense of community spirit and a desire to make Spokane a safe place to live for not only her out and proud daughter Terri but also for the entire LGBTQ+ community.

Helen Bonser was active in supporting the Spokane PFLAG Chapter from its inception until her death in 2021. Her 37-year association with the organization created numerous relationships with other community groups including The Inland Northwest Business Alliance and TOPS that brought about positive changes for the LGBTQ+ community. She was an inspiration to her family and community for her dedication to PFLAG Spokane. Helen was honored for her work during the AIDS crisis.

Picture of PFLAG in Spokane pride
What We Do

Provide Support – PFLAG facilitates separate monthly in-person and online support groups, as well as a weekly support group for parents and allies of transgender folks. We also provide periodic programs for special topics and events.

Offer Education – Each month, as part of our support groups, we provide a different education topic relevant to the time of year (back-to-school, coming out, etc.).  For the parents / allies of transgender folks, we provide a faith-based discussion one week, book club the next week, sharing our stories, and trans-specific education topics. We also do periodic special programs like suicide prevention training, name change clinic, and others.

Advocate – PFLAG strives to partner with other local and National organizations to educate key decision-makers about the issues that affect our loved ones and families, and to teach others how to use their voices to amplify our efforts toward a more equitable, and just world for the LGBTQ+ community.


Local Individual Membership $20.00
Local Household Membership $30.00
National Indvidual Membership $35.00
National Household Membership $45.00

Picture Of Spokane with LOGO

Meet Our Board

Meet Our Board


Tabling with PFLAG
PFLAG Prides at event
PFLAG tabling with Christina St james
Picture of our Miss Pride 2024
Leonard, Paradise. Derik