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PFLAG Founder Jeanne Manford Dies

By Charlotte Robinson, January 09, 2013
We were sad to hear from PFLAG National Executive Director, Jody Huckaby that Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays) & the Mother of the Straight Ally movement had died at 92. Huckaby stated, “Jeanne was one of the fiercest fighters in the battle for acceptance & equality for LGBT people. It is truly humbling to imagine in 1972 - just 40 years ago - a simple schoolteacher started this movement of family & 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.” This simple & powerful message of love & acceptance from one person resonated so strongly it was heard by millions of people worldwide and led to the founding of PFLAG, an organization with more than 350 chapters across the U.S. & 200,000 members & supporters & the creation of similar organizations across the globe. Jeanne’s work was called “the story of America…of ordinary citizens organizing, agitating, educating for change, of hope stronger than hate, of love more powerful than any insult or injury,” in a speech by President Barack Obama in 2009. All of us - people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender & straight allies alike - owe Jeanne our gratitude. We are all beneficiaries of her courage. Jeanne Manford proved the power of a single person to transform the world. She paved the way for us to speak out for what is right, uniting the unique parent, family & ally voice with the voice of LGBT people everywhere.” Rest In Peace....

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