Mark Mettler, Board Chair of PFLAG (formerly Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), is on leave from a corporate retail career; he left a Senior VP position at Staples to focus his energy on advocacy and support of the LGBTQ+ community. He and his wife have two children, Dan and Maxie.
As his children were growing up, his younger child demonstrated unique creativity and individualism. In high school, Maxie came out as gay. As a college adult, she came out first as ‘gender queer’, and then as transgender. Maxie, now 23, uses female pronouns and takes hormones to support the identity that is hers.
“This isn’t a choice,” says Mettler. “This is who she is, where she falls on the spectrum.”
Over the last four years, Mettler has noted increasing awareness of transgender issues, and believes this may have strengthened acceptance of lesbians and gays.
Mettler serves on the Massachusetts Commission for LGBTQ youth, and on the Safe Schools Committee. “There are so many transgender and gender-queer stereotypes that need to be corrected,” Mettler says. “One of the most notable is that this person is trying to fool people. The transgender or gender-queer individuals are not trying to deceive anyone, but are just trying to live their lives as their authentic selves.” He will speak on November 19 at Lexington’s Temple Emunah Sabbath service, which begins at 9:30.