Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2012)|
|Founded||1972, New York City, New York, United States|
|Method(s)||Campaigning, Advocacy, Support groups, Public speaking, education|
PFLAG has more than 350 chapters across the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 11 other countries, with more than 200,000 members and supporters.
The acronym PFLAG, pronounced "P-FLAG" //, was originally stood for Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, but in 2013 the organization switched to using only the acronym to be more inclusive of all in the LGBT community. Until removal of the hyphen in 1993 the organization was officially styled in that manner.
In April 1972, Jeanne Manford, an elementary school teacher, and her husband were at home in Flushing, Queens, when they learned from a hospital's telephone call that her son Morty, a gay activist, had been beaten while distributing flyers inside the fiftieth annual Inner Circle dinner, a political gathering in New York City. In response, she wrote a letter of protest to the New York Post that identified herself as the mother of a gay protester and complained of police inaction. She gave interviews to radio and television shows in several cities in the weeks that followed, sometimes accompanied by her husband or son. On June 25, she participated with her son in the New York Pride March, carrying a hand-lettered sign that read "Parents of Gays Unite in Support for Our Children". Prompted by their enthusiastic reception, they developed an idea for an organization of the parents of gays and lesbians that could be, she later said, "a bridge between the gay community and the heterosexual community". They were soon holding meetings for such parents, with her husband participating as well. She called him "a very articulate person ... a much better speaker than I. He was right along with me on everything."
In time the scope of the organization – which turned into POG (Parents of Gays), later P-FLAG, and beginning in 1993, PFLAG – expanded to include bisexuals, and ultimately, transgender people. In particular, in 1998, gender identity was added to the mission of PFLAG after a vote at their annual meeting in San Francisco. PFLAG was the first national LGBT organization to officially adopt a transgender-inclusion policy for its work. In 2002, PFLAG's Transgender Network, also known as TNET, became PFLAG's first official "Special Affiliate," recognized with the same privileges and responsibilities as regular chapters.
In 2013, a bronze plaque was installed at The Church of the Village in Greenwich Village, memorializing the fact that the first meeting of what came to be PFLAG was held at the church in 1973. The plaque reads, "In 1972, Queens schoolteacher Jeanne Manford walked alongside her gay son, activist Morty Manford, at the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade, carrying a sign that read 'Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children.' The overwhelming response to that simple act led Jeanne, her husband Jules, and early pioneers of the LGBT equality movement to create a support group for LGBT people, their parents, family, and friends. The first meeting of that group - now known as PFLAG - took place on this site in March 1973. Placed by the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation in partnership with PFLAG members everywhere, in honor of the legacy of love that began here".
In the mid-1990s, "Project Open Mind" caused some controversy from Pat Robertson. He threatened to sue PFLAG and any television station that aired the project's ads, which showed clips of anti-LGBT quotes from several people, including Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and United States Sen. Jesse Helms. The ads can currently be seen on the Commercial Closet webpage.
Outside of the United States
Similarly-purposed (and sometimes similarly-named) organizations have been established outside of the United States since PFLAG's 1972 establishment, although the majority of such organizations are unaffiliated with each other or with the US PFLAG. Most recently, a PFLAG organization in People's Republic of China, PFLAG China was established in June 2008 by Wu Youjian in Guangzhou after accepting her son's homosexuality.
- Tehila (Israel)
- Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (United Kingdom)
- PFLAG Canada (Separately originated, similarly named)
- Children Of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere (United States)
- Family Equality Council (North America)
- Tels Quels (Belgium)
- Families for Sexual Diversity (Latin America)
- CONTACT (France)
- BEFAH (Germany)
- AGEDO (Italy)
- Association of Fathers and Mothers of Gays and Lesbians (Spain)
- FELS (Switzerland)
- PFLAG Vietnam (Vietnam)
- PFLAG China (People's Republic of China)
- PFLAG in Australia
- PFLAG-South Africa
The organization is featured in the TV movie Prayers for Bobby.
In the US version of "Queer as Folk", characters Debbie Novotny and Jennifer Taylor are members of the organization with Debbie serving as chapter president and Jennifer joining soon after finding out her son is gay.
- "See banner styled P-FLAG". PFLAG. Retrieved 2010-06-30.
- Lambert, Bruce (15 May 1992). "Morty Manford, 41, a Lawyer And Early Gay-Rights Advocate". New York Times. Retrieved 10 September 2012.
- Lii, Jane H. (3 November 1996). "Unlikely Supporter of Gay Rights Recalls Pivotal Night". New York Times.
- Eric Marcus, Making Gay History: The Half-Century Fight for Lesbian and Gay Equal Rights (NY: HarperCollins, 2002), 170-1
- Marcus, Making Gay History, 172
- Marcus, Making Gay History, 173
- Marcus, Making Gay History, 175
- Marcus, Making Gay History, 174-5
- "History". Retrieved 2012-04-09.
- "PFLAG: Policy Statements". PFLAG. Retrieved 2010-06-30.[dead link]
- "Stay Close::Pflag". Stay Close.
- Gallagher, John (November 12, 1996). "Making airwaves". The Advocate. pp. 30, 32. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- P-FLAG vs Pat Robertson
- Carmody, John (November 10, 1995). "The TV Column". Washington Post. p. F8. Retrieved 6 September 2012.
- "'PFLAG' China meets in Beijing". Global Times. 10:33 November 01 2010.
PFLAG-like organizations in other countries:
- PFLAG UK (United Kingdom)
- FFLAG (United Kingdom)
- CONTACT (France)
- TelsQuels Parents (Belgium)
- BEFAH (Germany)
- TEHILA (Hebrew: תהל"ה) (Israel)
- AGEDO (Italia)
- FELS (Switzerland)
- AMPGIL (Spain)
- EuroFLAG (Europe-wide)
- LİSTAG (Turkey)
Asia, Africa and Oceania
- PFLAG VIETNAM (Vietnamese)
- PFLAG China
- LOOK (Ireland)
- SAFE (Singapore)
- PFLAG Brisbane (recipient of prize-money) website
- PFLAG Australia
- PFLAG South Africa