It’s not often we single out someone on Queerty for a happy birthday, but Jeanne Manford deserves the honor. Manford, 92 years young today, was the founder of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays back in 1972.
Jeanne originally was just planning on marching with her son, Morty, in New York’s Christopher Street Liberation Day March. But when so many people ran up to her during the parade and begged her to talk to their parents, she realized there was a serious need for a support group that enabled friends and family to process their feelings while still being supportive to their LGBT loved ones.
The first formal PFLAG meeting took place in 1973 in a New York City church, attracting only about 20 people. But the group’s popularity quickly grew, and regional chapters popped up nationwide throughout the 1970s and 80s. Today, PFLAG is a vital ally in the struggle for equality and dignity, especially for young gay people often unable to fight for themselves.
In honor of Manford’s birthday, PFLAG has created a special email account where you can send her birthday regards.
Happy birthday, Jeanne—may you have 92 more!