Local LGBT Groups Discuss Inclusion in NWA

ROGERS, Ark. -- - Local LGBT support groups held a discussion on Wednesday about inclusion for the LGBT community in Northwest Arkansas. 

The discussion was sponsored by Walmart's Pride  Associate Resource Group, NWA Center for Equality and PFLAG of Northwest Arkansas. 

Susan Hartman, Executive Director for NWA Equality said, "We're all neighbors. We all live together. Work together. Recreate together here in Northwest Arkansas. And when we are united we make Northwest Arkansas a strong community. " 
PFLAG is a national organization started in 1972 by a mother who wanted to publicly support her gay son. 
The Fayetteville PFLAG Director is a mother of a transgender son named Noah. Noah Meeks said having his mother's support means everything to him. "It's just...I don't really have words to express how amazing that is and I mean how proud I am of her and also...how supported that makes me feel. "
Jane Behrends, co-founded "Dress For Success" in Northwest Arkansas. The organization provides clients professional attire to secure employment and gives them a sense of confidence. 
Behrends said she recently helped dress her first transgender woman. She said the woman later called and said she was being harassed in her workplace. The woman decided to leave the state of Arkansas and that's when Behrends said she felt there was something more she needed to do. 
"We have actually serviced transgender women, and it's been a great privilege for us to have done that a couple of times now   And that has opened our eyes to how much education and awareness is still needed in the community to do that effectively, " said Behrends. 


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