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PHOTOS: Remembering PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford

Morty-Jeanne-Manford-2

PHOTOS: On Tuesday we bid a sad farewell to Jeanne Manford, the founder of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, who passed away at 92. But our friends at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation reminded us that this year also marks PFLAG’s 40th anniversary.

It was at the Christopher Street Liberation Day March in 1972 that Manford was inspired to launch the straight-ally movement. Walking with her son, Morty, Jeanne was stunned by how many paradegoers came up and asked her to talk to their parents. PFLAG held its first official meeting on March 11, 1973, at the Metropolitan-Duane United Methodist Church, now known as the Church of the Village.

From Off the Grid, the GVSHP blog:

Forty years ago, not many churches were willing to host groups dedicated to advocating for greater acceptance of lesbians and gay men, and not many people publicly embraced the identity of parents of lesbian and gay children.

But the Village had a long history of promoting acceptance of lesbians and gay men, and a considerable track record of embracing pioneers in fields from social justice to preservation to the arts and literature, and thus was fertile ground for the kind of organizing and culture-shifting Jeanne sought to undertake.

The simple gestures Jeanne Manford made forty years ago — calling upon families and society at large to understand and accept their gay and lesbian children, and to afford them equal rights and opportunities under the law — may seem quite mundane and obvious now.  But they were in fact brave and radical at the time.

Jeanne Manford is gone, but her legacy is immortal.

Check out images of Jeanne and the early gay and allied movement in the West Village

Photos: PFLAG National, GVSHP

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jan 11, 2013
Tagged: , , ,

  • 3 Comments
    • balehead
      balehead

      Jeanne Manford should be everyone’s mom!

      Jan 11, 2013 at 7:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mike777
      mike777

      clearly the kids didn’t help the parents sense of style.
      whole thing is questionable.

      Jan 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • 1EqualityUSA
      1EqualityUSA

      Jeanne Manford, you are one beautiful mother! 1,000 Hormonal moms could learn a great deal from you. If your image were put on a forever stamp, I’d buy it. God bless you. You were a hero at a time when it wasn’t easy to be one. I hope that you and your son are together in peace and laughing at the impact you had on this shaking, quaking, homophobic world.

      Jan 14, 2013 at 8:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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