Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Jeanne Manford, PFLAG Founder And Pioneering Gay Rights Ally, Dead At 92

The founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and an all-around pioneering straight ally in the LGBT rights movement, Jeanne Manford, passed away at her Daly City, Calif. home. According to her daughter Suzanne Swan, Manford was 92 and had been in declining health for some time. 

“She is known to thousands of people as the mother of the straight ally movement, but to me –- she was my mother," Ms. Swan said in an email statement. "She was someone who would always do the right thing, the good thing. She supported all people, and that meant so much to us growing up.”

Manford's son was badly beaten during a Gay Activists Alliance demonstration in 1972. Manford wrote to the editor of The New York Post, declaring "I have a homosexual son and I love him."

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Manford joined her son in the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade (predecessor to NYC's LGBT Pride Parade), carrying a placard stating "Parents of Gays: Unite in Support Of Our Children." The first meeting of PFLAG (which was then known as "Parents of Gays" or "POG") was held the following year.

Here is the announcement on the PFLAG website.

The family requests that any donations be made to the Jeanne Manford Legacy Fund to support the ongoing work of PFLAG National: 1828 L Street, NW, Suite 660, Washington, D.C. 20036.

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