2014-04-16 / Features

Street Co-Naming Of Jeanne, Jules, Morty Manford PFLAG Way

Saturday, April 26, 2014
12:30 PM - subject to final approval
Corner of 35 Avenue and 171 Street
Flushing, Queens
This event is being co-sponsored by
Council Member Paul Vallone.
by calling Yessi Giraldo at
(718) 803-6373 ext. 205
or email ygiraldo@council.nyc.gov
In 1972, Jeanne Manford broke ground when she marched with her gay son, Morty, in the New York City Pride March.  She was the first parent to publicly support a gay child.
Later, Jeanne and Jules Manford founded a support group for parents of gays and lesbians. This turned into a national organization called Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), a movement that now has more than 350 chapters and 200,000 members worldwide.
Jeanne was awarded the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal by President Barack Obama. Jeanne passed away in January of 2013.
Morty Manford was a gay rights pioneer.  He was a founding member of the Gay Activists Alliance and served as its third president.  Morty was best known for his role in the 1972 indictment and trial of Michael Maye, then president of the city's Uniformed Firefighters Association. Morty accused Maye of assaulting him at a gay-rights protest at an Inner Circle benefit.  When Jeanne heard that Morty had been assaulted she wrote a letter to the NY Post supporting her son. Morty continued in the movement until his death from AIDS in 1992.
Jules also loved and supported his son. He made many television appearances with Jeanne and, often times, with Morty, too.  Jules was a dentist and he would fix many young, poor gay activists’ teeth for free.  He became fully involved in the struggle for gay rights until his death in 1982.
The Manfords lived on 171st Street off of 35th Avenue, which will bear their name in recognition.

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