Forty years ago, Jeanne Manford wrote to the New York Post, angry that city police had done nothing to prevent her son Morty from being assaulted during a gay rights march. “My son is a homosexual, and I love him,” she asserted—after which her son told her, ”No mother has ever announced to the world her son is gay.” The next year, at the urging of members of the gay and lesbian community, she founded the organization that would become PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Manford turned 92 today. PFLAG is encouraging people to send her their best wishes.
Over the years, PFLAG has not only provided support to parents, friends, and other allies, but has also helped pass safe schools legislation, countered anti-gay rhetoric, worked to end military discharges of lesbians, and prompted First Lady Barbara Bush to state her opposition to anti-gay discrimination. They now have 350 chapters worldwide, with more than 200,000 members and supporters.
All that from one loving mother. Happy birthday, Jeanne!