Meeting People Where They Are with Advocacy, Education, and Support

 

Our Vision

Based in Shenandoah County VA and founded in 2022, PFLAG Woodstock is here to meet people  where they are to build a world and community where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed inclusive of their sexual orientation, gender identity, ad gender expression. 

 

Our Mission

Our mission is to build on a foundation of loving families united with LGBTQ+ people and allies who support one another, and to educate ourselves and our communities to speak up as advocates until all hearts and minds respect, value and affirm LGBTQ people.

 

                   Meet The Team

Susie wilburn (she/her)

president

Susie is a retired potter/artist who has been an advocate for many things over the years. She worked in printing to pay the bills and put her sons through college before retiring but, was on the board of Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River, advocating for a cleaner and safer Shenandoah River.

 

She is currently a council member for the town of Tom’s Brook, loves to garden and shares many plants with friends and neighbors, goes for walks with her dog Sadie and recently illustrated a children’s book for Seven Bends State Park. The book features Sadie and a chihuahua named Kiko exploring the park. Proceeds from the book sales will benefit the park.

 

Susie helped with the founding of PFLAG Woodstock and saw the need for a local chapter when there was a local book challenge against gender specific books at her husband’s elementary school. Following the Buddhist philosophy of “Do No Harm”, she felt that many folks in the LGBTQ+ community would experience harm from having those books removed from the library shelves and wants to stand up and stand with them. It is her goal to provide a safe environment for the queer community.

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Regina wardwell (she/her)

vice president

Born and raised in Washington DC, Regina has dedicated her life to helping others over the past 40 years as a nurse and then as a nurse practitioner. She has had many diverse work experiences from caring for patients on an AIDS hospice unit at Georgetown Hospital in the 80’s to providing gender affirming medical care in Asheville NC. She currently works at both the Shenandoah County Community Health Center and Skyline Terrace Nursing Home.

“Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s in a strict Catholic family of 10 children, I was acutely aware that being gay, being open about who you loved came with damaging, hurtful stigma. This PFLAG Chapter is important to me because I want to continue the work of courageous folks before me by ensuring an environment where those in our LGBTQ community can feel the full embrace of pride and joy in simply being exactly who they were created to be.”
 

Regina lives in Edinburg VA with her wife, a therapy Basset Hound named Harlan, another hound Auggie, as well as 2 cats.

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steve shaffer (he/him)

treasurer

“In my Christian upbringing I was taught that all people have value… that God doesn’t make junk! Although I struggle with this at times personally, as a community leader, teacher and coach, I look for the value in every child, every person. I agree with the Contemplative Monk that says, “Some people need to be told that they are worthy and that they are loved, not because no one told them before, but because someone told them that they werent.” I recognize how easy I have it as a straight white guy… I joined PFLAG Woodstock to locally support individuals and families whose path is more difficult.” – Steve

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Levi miller (he/him)

secretary

Levi is a proud transgender man who is happily married to his wife Shari with their six children (ages 2-27), 4 cats, and 2 dogs.

 

He has nearly 2 decades of managerial experience in the retail industry as well as experience in instructional training and design. He is a Certified Life Coach and a writer. He has been involved in transgender advocacy for over a decade, including assisting in the development of transgender-related policies within the HR departments of Fortune 500 companies.

Outside of work, he loves spending time with his family, working on projects around the house, and hiking.

“Founding and serving on this board is important to me because we have a great need in our county. I want to make sure that we have the resources and support available for the LGBTQ+ community and their families.” – Levi

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laura moon lapuz (she/Her)

board member

Laura is a bisexual woman who is the proud parent to two children who identify within the LGBTQ+ community and has been married to her husband Rick for 21 years. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology that she received from the Eastern Mennonite University. Laura dedicates herself to her two children and her pets, including the strays that come along.

This PFLAG chapter is important to Laura because she feels that the LGBTQ+ community here needs support and access to queer-friendly resources and that the community as a whole needs education so that we can foster an inclusive community for everyone.

Laura can be seen pictured above with her two children who have since grown and are proud members of the LGBTQ+ community.

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gael shaffer (she/her)

board member

Gael makes everyone smile just being around her and she listens with open ears but isn’t afraid to be bold and fierce when needed.

She is a lifelong educator, most recently as a teacher for the deaf and blind. She has been a long-standing ally of the LGBTQ+ community.

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karen casperson (she/her)

board member

“As a Lutheran pastor I feel it is essential to take a stand for social justice and be a voice for those who have none or who are afraid to speak. I am appalled at the stance taken by ‘Christians’ and clergy who openly condemn anyone who is different from their perceived norm. When I learned of the formation of the PFLAG-Woodstock I was honored to be included in the Board of Directors and to add my voice to theirs.” – Karen

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amy cooley (she/her)

board member

Amy is a fighter and a brave individual who has found herself and her passions. She’s not afraid to stand up for the things that she believes in and does not shy away from using her voice to call for justice and human rights.

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