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Remembering Jeanne Manford and the Founding of PFLAG

On this date in 2013, GVSHP and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) unveiled our plaque to memorialize and celebrate Jeanne Manford at the Church of the Village at 13th Street and 7th Avenue. Jeanne had died a few weeks earlier at the age of 92, but forty one years earlier in 1972 she held the first meeting at what was then known as the Duane United Methodist Church of what would become an international organization.

Jeanne Manford, center, with her son, Morty Manford, left, at the Christopher Street Liberation March in 1973, the precursor to today’s Annual Gay Pride March. Dr. Benjamin Spock, with glasses, is directly behind Morty.  image c/o PFLAG National

A Queens schoolteacher, Manford was committed to ensuring that her gay son received the same treatment that her straight daughter did. At a time when being LGBT was still considered criminal in many states and categorized as a mental illness, Manford’s action was undeniably bold and important. With that first meeting in March of 1972, Jeanne helped launch a worldwide movement, and a national organization which now has over 350,000 members.

Working in partnership with PFLAG and the Church, on April 3, 2013, GVSHP unveiled a historic plaque marker which was later affixed to the exterior of the church in June, memorializing the site of the very first PFLAG meeting, and  Jeanne Manford’s work.

Later that year in June, a public unveiling was held when the plaque was affixed to the exterior of the church.

Members of Jeanne Manford’s family, representatives of PFLAG, the Church of the Village, and GVSHP, attendees of the first PFLAG meeting in 1973, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler and City Councilmember Danny Dromm attended the ceremony and joined in the unveiling of the memorial plaque.

You can read more about Jeanne Mamford and PFLAG here.  Find out more about our plaques program here.  And stay tuned for our next unveiling in June!

Here is a cool map of all our Historic Plaques.


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