Students at I.S. 289 have one question after another for PFLAG mom, Johanna Antar

The 2013-2014 school year in New York City wraps up on June 26, and this year PFLAG NYC was busy bringing the Safe Schools Program into schools right up to the end. Our last school engagement of the year was to the 7th Grade at I.S. 289 in Manhattan. Talk about going out with a bang: we had our biggest single team for the year at that one event — 13 people. And the event capped off the most successful year yet for the Safe Schools Program: we made 30 school visits and reached over 4,600 students.

The Safe Schools Program is now PFLAG NYC’s most far-reaching activity, sending teams of speakers into classrooms all around the city to teach respect and create safe learning environments for all students, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ).

The Safe Schools speakers are all volunteers — either parents, other relatives or straight allies, as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people of all ages. These volunteers share with students their personal stories about learning to accept themselves or their child for who they are. The school visits create a safe space for students to ask questions, and hear a perspective many of them were never introduced to. Read more »

New York's Pride March is where PFLAG had its beginning. In 1972, Jeanne Manford marched in the Christopher Street Liberation Day Parade carrying a sign that read, "Parents of Gays: Unite in Support for Our Children."

The Pride March is still the premier event demonstrating the size, strength, and diversity of our community. Last year, more than 300 groups and 50 floats took part in the march. This year Heritage of Pride has announced that the Pride Grand Marshals will be Laverne Cox, Rea Carey and Jonathan Groff.

PFLAG's Pride Month activities are again supported this year by the Johnson & Johnson family of consumer companies and the Care with Pride™ campaign to make the world a more caring and accepting place for all. This includes taking on Safe Schools issues like bullying, which impacts all families and their children.

On Saturday, April 26, 171st Street between 33rd and 35th Avenues in Flushing, Queens, will be named "Jeanne, Jules, Morty Manford PFLAG Way" in honor of PFLAG and its founding family. All PFLAG supporters are invited to a naming ceremony at 12:30 p.m. co-sponsored by City Council Members Daniel Dromm and Paul Vallone.

The former Manford family home
The former Manford family home on 171st Street, Flushing (Photo by David W. Dunlap/The New York Times)

PFLAG NYC is deeply honored that the PFLAG movement is being recognized in the street name along with Jeanne, Jules and Morty Manford. The Manford family home was a safe space and shelter for many LGBT young people for 30 years, so it is a fitting tribute that the block on which it stands will be named for the family. The New York Times collected moving recollections about the home last year in an article, "How a Queens Home Became a Cradle of the Gay Rights Movement."

The idea for PFLAG began in 1972 when Jeanne Manford marched with her son, Morty, in New York's Christopher Street Liberation Day March, the precursor to today's LGBT Pride March. She became the first parent to publicly march in support of a gay child. Read more »