Span Dates: 1972-1995
Volume: 1 linear foot
The collection contains Manford's correspondence, administrative files, photographs, posters, speeches, printed material, and sound and video recordings related to her work on behalf of gay rights.
Jeanne Manford, mother of gay rights activist Morty Manford, is best known as co-founder of Parents of Gays (POG), the predecessor to Parents and Friends of Gays and Lesbians (PFLAG).
Manford had always supported her son, gay activist Morty Manford, but became active on behalf of gay rights after the police failed to intervene while he was kicked and beaten during a Gay Activists Alliance demonstration in April 1972. She wrote a letter to the editor of the New York Post, which was published in the April 29, 1972 issue, expressing her outrage at the incident. Her statement in that letter, "I have a homosexual son and I love him," drew attention to violence against gays.
In June of 1972 Manford joined her son in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade carrying a placard stating, "Parents of Gays Unite in Support for our Children." Positive encouragement from this prompted the Manfords to organize a support group for parents of gay children in 1973. The group called itself Parents of Gays or POG. Groups developed nationally, and Jeanne and husband Dr. Jules Manford spoke out for their cause through television, newspaper, and radio interviews.
By the early 1980s, the group formally established itself as a national organization fighting against discrimination against gay people in employment and housing. At about that time the name of the organization was changed to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). PFLAG is now an international organization of parents, family members and friends working for understanding and support of their gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual loved ones. Their mission includes support, education, and advocacy.
A finding aid is available at the New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division. An excellent online finding aid is available at the following web address.
The Manford Papers are held in the New York Public Library Manuscripts and Archives Division.
PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) | New York | New York City