Julie Thomson and Joe A. Melcher


Trailblazer Award

Julie Thompson has been active in PFLAG for 25 years. A Regional Director for PFLAG National, Julie oversaw PFLAG chapters in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas from 2008-2012. She has served as Secretary, Vice-President, President, and co-president of PFLAG New Orleans. She has also served on the PFLAG Scholarship Committee for many years. She has been honored with LAGPAC Community First Award, HRC Equality Award, The LGBT Community Center’s Founders Award, and Equality Louisiana Legends Award.

Joe A Melcher received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Speech Pathology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, near his home town of Slaton. He received his Ph.D. in audiology from LSU. He began his academic teaching career at Xavier University, a Historically Black, Catholic Institution, in 1969 and forty-four years later retired as professor emeritus. He has served on the PFLAG New Orleans scholarship committee for over 20 years, and has served as committee chair since 2003. From 2012 to 2018 he served as co-president of PFLAG New Orleans with Julie Thompson.

He has represented the Chapter at regional and national conferences and participated in numerous local activities for the LGBTQ community. He has regularly attended the monthly PFLAG support group meetings for the past 20 years.