Author-activists Dan Savage has
described PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford as critical to the gay rights
Manford passed away last Tuesday in her
Daly City, California home at the age of 92.
In 1972, Manford, a school teacher,
founded Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PLAG) as
a response to the brutal beating of her gay son, Morty, at a protest
She complained about police inaction in
a letter to the New York Post.
“I have a homosexual son and I love
him,” she wrote.
The reaction to her speaking out led to
the creation of PFLAG.
Former National Football League
Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, whose son is gay, joined the group.
“She thought it was just a normal
thing to do as a mother,” he told NPR,
“and that's true of most all the parents that get involved.”
Tagliabue,, wife donate $100,000 to Maryland pro-gay marriage
Savage said the group helped his mother
understand what it means to be the parent of a gay child.
“What Jeanne Manford did was she put
it in people's heads that gay and lesbian people had parents, that we
were somebody's children, and that was the first real big step in the
movement toward full acceptance of lesbian, gay, bi and trans
people,” Savage said.