The Manfords’ door on 171st Street in Queens was always open, especially if you were a young gay man whose own family had closed the door on you. The rambling three-story house between 33rd and 35th Avenues doesn’t look like a cradle of the gay rights movement. But it became just that in 1972, when Dr. Jules Manford and his wife, Jeanne, publicly supported their son Morty, 21, a member of the Gay Activists Alliance who had been badly beaten for his political advocacy. They also offered themselves as informal counselors to gay children and their parents. Their initiative led to the creation of a group called Parents of Gays, which grew over time into the national organization Pflag (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).
- our work