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RIP Jeanne Manford, PFLAG founder, early parent to march with gay son in NYC pride parade




Jeanne and Morty Manford marching in a 1972 gay rights parade in New York City
Jeanne and Morty Manford marching in a 1972 gay rights parade in New York City
Courtesy PFLAG

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Jeanne Manford died Tuesday in Daly City CA. She was 92. Manford was one of the heroes of the gay rights movement because she founded PFLAG: Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.   P-Flag is now an international group, with 200,000 and 350 chapters, and has dedicated the front page of its website to Manford:

It is truly humbling to imagine in 1972 - just 40 years ago - a simple schoolteacher started this movement of family and ally support, without benefit of any of the technology that today makes a grassroots movement so easy to organize. No Internet. No cellphones. Just a deep love for her son and a sign reading “Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children.”
 

I spoke with Manford in 1997 when she was living in Rochester, Minnesota. She told me it all started for her when her gay son Morty got beat up -- as police stood by -- when he was protesting for gay rights, and she wrote an angry letter to the New York Post.

There's much more of her story, including video, over at Frontiers LA.