Big Change Begins with Small, Radical Acts of Love
PFLAG is an organization of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and allies who work together to create an equitable and inclusive world. We are hundreds of thousands of people and hundreds of chapters from coast to coast who are leading with love to support families, educate allies, and advocate for just, equitable, and inclusive legislation and policies. Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure LGBTQ+ people everywhere are safe, celebrated, empowered and loved.
PFLAG supports each individual and their journey by standing beside them and providing guidance along the way—activating an energetic love that is constant and steadfast.
Since our founding in 1973, PFLAG works every day to ensure the LGBTQ+ community is safe, celebrated, empowered and loved.
- In 1973, disownment of LGBTQ+ people by their families was commonplace.
- Today, the gold-standard advocated by PFLAG parents and families—and set forth by pediatricians and therapists—is to support and affirm LGBTQ+ people; parental rejection is widely understood to be abusive and damaging.
- In 1973, parents regularly subjected their children to traumatic therapies and so-called “religious treatments” to try and change their LGBTQ+ children.
- Today, PFLAG’s local and statewide work to end damaging and dangerous so-called “conversion therapy” has been highly successful; we continue to build on that success.
- In 1973, schools expelled and punished LGBTQ+ students, turning a blind eye to bullying, discrimination, and harassment.
- Today, PFLAG parents continue to advocate for the right to accurate, honest, and inclusive education and to create safe educational experiences for all students, including LGBTQ+ students.
- In 1973, marriage equality was unimaginable.
- Today, PFLAG leaders provide critical leverage for local, statewide, and national wins on marriage, including a friend of the court brief to the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case that won the nationwide freedom to marry, and advocacy that ushered in passage of the federal Respect for Marriage Act.
- In 1973, hotels, health clinics, and shopkeepers regularly refused service to LGBTQ+ people.
- In 2018, PFLAG parent Debra Munn and her son Charlie took their case all the way to the Supreme Court in Charlie Craig v Masterpiece Cakeshop. On the steps of the Supreme Court, Debra said: “PFLAG saved our family 15 years ago. We wouldn’t be here without you.” PFLAG continues the advocacy anywhere discrimination, harassment, and harm occurs.
When PFLAG founder Jeanne Manford marched with her son Morty in the 1972 Christopher Street Liberation Day March, she was overwhelmed by the number of weeping, rejected LGBTQ young people who embraced her along the route, each of them begging her to speak with their own parents and families. Morty knew that Jeanne’s presence caused a stir—and inspired others to ask her for support, or ask her to support their own parents. Over the next few months, it became clear to Morty that a meeting of like-minded people could help not only LGBTQ+ people get the support they needed, but would really help the parents and families learn how to support their loved ones. PFLAG was born out of this need.
Morty urged Jeanne (and his father Jules, who was very much a part of the PFLAG story) to hold a meeting; without Morty’s encouragement it likely would never have happened. And Morty knew, as a smart activist, that Jeanne and Jules HAD to be the ones to start the group; it could not be Morty because it needed parents and families—ALLIES—to meet other people, potential allies, where they are and bring them along. Without Jeanne and Jules, PFLAG could never have happened.
The continued power of PFLAG was born from the unified front of this family. It is the continued unified front of LGBTQ+ people, parents, families, and non-family allies that continue to fuel PFLAG 50 years later.