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Patti Boman is an active member of San Diego's chapter of PFLAG - Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a group that she credits with helping her become engaged in the LGBT community after her son came out.
Boman can be regularly seen around town representing PFLAG at various community events and meetings, and enjoys being involved with PFLAG and other community organizations to increase visibility.
Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Boman is 55 years old, and has been married for 37 years. She moved to San Diego in the late 1970's.
What organization(s) do you volunteer for, and why?
I volunteer for PFLAG because it was my lifeline after my youngest son came out.
Even though I couldn't talk for the first year or two (too emotional to speak), I listened and read and saw the excellent people that ran the meeting. Little by little I understood, felt better and wanted to give back to the new parents that come feeling like I did.
What motivates you to do the volunteer work you do?
The people I have met here at PFLAG are my role models and motivators. The lack of understanding that exists out there, especially in the religious communities that I used to be a part of, drives me to work harder.
Do you volunteer because of your work, or not? And what do you do for a career?
I have been a real estate agent since 1985. I started selling resale homes and eventually started working for a new home builder (McMillin Communities, DR Horton/Continental and Concordia Homes). I am now back at selling resale homes.
What is something that many people do not know about you?
My Dad was a US diplomat and we moved from country to country every 2-4 years (Thailand, Spain, El Salvador, Mexico and Australia).
What would you like to see change in the LGBT community?
I would like to see more people involved in advocacy (and I mean my son and his friends, for example) as well as the children of other PFLAG members. Also, maybe more communication among the groups, so we don't all have different events at the same time and instead can all attend each other's events, which would create more visibility.
What do you like most about the local LGBT community?
I like the friendliness and accessibility, and the network of fantastic people that give so much of their time to so many organizations, like those I have met through FLAG and keep me motivated.
What sorts of things do you do to enrich your social life other than volunteering?
Movies, step class and ceramics (which I'm still not too good at at all!).
The local PFLAG Chapter holds meetings in various parts of San Diego County each month.
The first San Diego Central meeting of 2012 will be held Monday, Jan. 23 at 7 pm at the First United Methodist Church of San Diego in Mission Valley. For more information click HERE.
You can also folllow them on Facebook.
If you or someone you know should be featured in an upcoming community profile, e-mail Ben Cartwright at firstname.lastname@example.org.