Jeanne Manford loved her gay son so much that she founded Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). She died one year ago today on Jan. 8, 2013, at age 92.
Her son, the late Morty Manford, was beaten during a gay rights protest in April 1972. She responded by writing a letter to the New York Post stating, “I have a homosexual son, and I love him.” A couple months later she and her son marched in New York's Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade. These actions and the support she received led to the founding of PFLAG in 1973.
PFLAG has grown to 350 chapters with 200,000 members, and Jeanne Manford is an inspiration to many. President Obama talked about her in his 2009 speech to the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner in 2009.
Thank you, Jeanne, for your courage and your love! You are counted among the LGBT saints for the huge positive impact that you had on queer people and straight allies everywhere.
Jeanne Manford, 92, Who Stood Up for Her Gay Son, Inspiring Others, Dies (New York Times)
PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford Dies at 92 (Advocate)
Patron saints for straight allies of LGBT people: Adele Starr of PFLAG and others (Jesus in Love)
This post is part of the GLBT Saints series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. Saints, martyrs, mystics, heroes, holy people, deities and religious figures of special interest to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) and queer people and our allies are covered on appropriate dates throughout the year.
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