The idea for PFLAG was conceived in 1972 when its founder, Jeanne Manford, walked with her openly gay son, Morty, in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade. Angered by the fact that the police had done nothing to help her son after he had been beaten at a gay rights protest two months before, she carried a sign that read “Parents of gays: unite in support of our children.” Since she was one of the first parents in the United States to openly support her gay child, many gays and lesbians approached her, asking if she could speak with their parents. That convinced her of the need for a support group, and PFLAG’s first meeting was held in March 1973.
In the following years, PFLAG grew to become a safe haven for families of LGBTQ people to seek information and support. Similar independent groups began to form around the country. In 1979 they came together for a national meeting in Washington, D.C., at the National March for Gay and Lesbian Rights and decided to join together as one organization. They were among the first organizations to distribute accurate, positive information about gay people to educational institutions and communities of faith. PFLAG gained serious attention from the public in 1981 when the “Dear Abby” advice column mentioned it as a resource to a concerned parent. In the following weeks, PFLAG received more than 7,000 letters requesting information and help.*
In 2014, the organization officially changed its name from “Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays” to, simply, PFLAG. This change was made to accurately reflect PFLAG members, those PFLAG serves, and the inclusive work PFLAG has been doing for decades.
PFLAG celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2023.***Banales, M. (2018, September 13). PFLAG. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Parents-Families-and-Friends-of-Lesbians-and-Gays
**Our story. PFLAG. (2023, January 30). Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://pflag.org/our-story/
A group of caring and intrepid individuals got together to make their community better when they realized there was no PFLAG Chapter in their area. As of Fall 2022 - that group is now PFLAG Milledgeville, an official chapter of PFLAG National, and is working to make the Milledgeville / Baldwin County community a more inclusive and welcoming place. We hope you will join us.