Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG was 92 and lived in Daly City, California. In 1972, she was a Flushing, Queens schoolteacher who got a call one night that her son Morty had been arrested (which had been happening a lot since his participation at Stonewall). The police officer informed her that her son was (gasp) a homosexual. Her response was "I know. Why are you bothering him?" Soon after, she and her husband Jules were marching in the early Gay Pride Parades. When Morty was beaten at a gay rights demonstration in New York and police failed to intervene, Jeanne wrote a letter to The New York Post that said "I have a homosexual son and I love him." When she carried a sign that said "Parents of Gays Unite in Support for Our Children." she began a revolution. PFLAG has grown into an international organization that has allowed countless parents and friends of gays and lesbians let go of their prejudices, come to terms with their loved ones, and and forge strong, loving bonds. Jeanne truly did God's work.
Jeanne said of herself:
"I considered myself such a traditional person. I wouldn't even cross the street against the light. But I wasn't going to let anyone walk over Morty."
Here is President Obama's tribute to Jeanne Manford:
Jeanne's beloved son Morty, became an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York. He died of complications from AIDS in in 1992 at age 41.