Thank you for visiting Jeanne Manford's tribute site.
Jeanne Manford passed away on January 8, 2013, but her legacy lives on with each act of changing hearts and minds about full equality and acceptance of people who are LGBT.
Please take a moment to leave a message about your experiences with PFLAG, how they have affected you and your LGBT loved ones, and how they have been inspired by Jeanne's work.
Your personal messages will be shared with Jeanne's family.
In 1972 America was a different place...
Being gay was a crime, over half of the U.S. population deemed homosexuality morally wrong, vicious attacks on gay people were commonplace, and the idea of equality for gays and lesbians was a radical notion. But this didn’t stop Queens, New York schoolteacher Jeanne Manford from ensuring that her gay son, Morty, received the same treatment as her straight daughter, Suzanne.
Following a brutal attack on his life at a rally, Manford stood alongside her son in a protest through the streets of Manhattan, carrying a sign that read “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.” Begged by observers to speak to other parents, she started support groups teaching parents to accept and support their LGBT loved ones and become, like her, brave advocates for equality. As demand steadily increased, Manford founded PFLAG, a national organization with a mission of support, education, and advocacy.
Today, PFLAG chapters can be found in all fifty states, in communities big and small, with over 350 chapters serving thousands of people with volunteer support, education outreach, and a call to advocate at local,state and federal levels for equality for their LGBT loved ones. Manford’s simple act of love and courage for her son has given voice to a population and their families, empowering them to come out and speak out for family values for all families.
In America’s civil rights history, Manford is the mother of the straight ally movement, creating a space for straight people to unite with LGBT people and take a public stand for LGBT equality.
And what a year it has been! From Jeanne being honored posthumously with the Presidential Citizen's medal to a beautiful memorial plaque placed in her honor at the site of the very first PFLAG meeting in NYC. From the DOMA Section Three and Prop 8 strike downs at the Supreme Court to ENDA passing in the Senate...historic!
There is still so much more to be done but, today, in honor of Jeanne's birthday, leave a message and let us know how you've been inspired this year!