My brother forwarded a link to this to me today - I read it on my iPhone as I waited for the subway - freezing today - I read this and smiled
about a family in Queens - not too far from where I grew up - that were way ahead of the gay is ok curve
The story was triggered by the death of the mom in the family, who supported her gay son Morty and opened up the family home to gay youth who had been abandoned by their families. It's a fascinating and uplifting story - here's a few snippets but I recommend a full read - it will make you smile
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)After her son Marty was assaulted at a pro gay rally while police watched, Mrs. Mumford responded“It was a very Ozzie-and-Harriet-type house,” recalled Allen Roskoff, a friend of Morty Manford. “It was a great feeling of warmth for people involved with the gay-rights movement to be in a house with parents who embraced them.” Ethan Geto, another friend, reached for a different homey analogy. “Jeanne,” he said, “was like the den mother for a lot of gay young people who were thrown out of their homes, who were rejected by their parents, who were having terrible anguish over what to do or who were eager to come out but terrified of the consequences.”
I'm not doing the story justice - I can tell as I read thisMrs. Manford wrote a letter to The New York Post, then a liberal newspaper. She criticized the police for allowing the attacks at the Inner Circle. Even more important was her simple declaration: “I am proud of my son.” The letter, published April 29, 1972, placed the Manfords under a national spotlight. It is among Mrs. Manford’s papers at the New York Public Library.