Huell. Off-Ramp for January 12, 2012

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

Courtesy PFLAG

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

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.


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