In 1972, Morton Manford was physically attacked at a gay
rights demonstration in New York. Morty’s parents,
Jeanne and Jules Manford, saw the attack on a local
newscast and witnessed the failure of the police to
intervene. Their outrage turned them into activists.
The concept of PFLAG began in 1972 when Jeanne Manford
marched with her gay son in New York’s Pride Day
parade. After many gay men and lesbians ran up to
Jeanne during the parade and begged her to talk to their
parents, Jeanne decided to begin a support group.
Approximately 20 people attended the first formal
meeting held in March 1973 at a local church.
In the next years, through word of mouth and in response
to community need, similar groups sprung up around the
country, offering “safe havens” and mutual support for
parents with gay and lesbian children. Following the
1979 National March for Gay and Lesbian Rights,
representatives from these support groups met for the
first time in Washington, DC. In 1981, members decided
to launch a national organization. The first PFLAG
office was established in Los Angeles under founding
President Adele Starr.
In 1982, the Federation of Parents and Friends of
Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), then comprising some 20
groups, changed from a federation to a membership-based
organization and was incorporated in California and
granted non-profit, tax-exempt status. In 1990,
following a period of enormous growth, PFLAG hired an
Executive Director, expanded its staff, and consolidated
operations in Washington, DC. In 1993, the word
“Families” was added to the name.
got it's start in November, 1978 when a group of local
parents incorporated what was then called "United
Parents and Friends Support Group", which today is known
as "PFLAG Phoenix".
Mrs. Jean Manford marching with her
son, Morton Manford
Pride Day Parade, New York City, 1972
The above caption reads
"Dick Ashworth, a founding member of Parents and
of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) marching on June 3, 1974."
Montgomery & Mrs. Jean Manford
Pride Day Parade,
New York City, 1974