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Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a group of family members and friends of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. According to PFLAG's mission statement, the organization "promotes the health and well-being of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons, their families and friends through: support, to cope with an adverse society; education, to enlighten an ill-informed public; and advocacy, to end discrimination and to secure equal civil rights."[1] In 2002 PFLAG welcomed intersex persons and their families as fully participating members.[2]

PFLAG has more than 400 affiliates throughout the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 11 other countries.[3]

The acronym PFLAG is pronounced as P-FLAG, and was once officially styled in that manner.


The event that sparked PFLAG was in 1972 when Jeanne Manford was watching a TV news report and saw her son "being tossed down an escalator during a gay rights protest while the New York City Police Department stood by and watched."[4]

The idea for the organization arose out of Jeanne Manford's marching with her gay son Morty, carrying a sign saying: "Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children" in New York City's Christopher Street Liberation Day Gay Pride Parade (now known as Heritage of Pride) which started two years prior. People came up to Manford during and after the parade, applauding her actions and inspiring her to form a support group for LGBT people and their families, which turned into POG (Parents of Gays), and subsequently PFLAG. In 1993, PFLAG added the word "Families" to the name, and added bisexual people to its mission and work.

PFLAG has continued to grow since then, and now comprises 500 chapters and 250,000 members in the United States.


"Stay Close" is a national campaign started in 2006 by PFLAG that encourages the family and friends of a LGBT persons to give them support.[5]

In the mid-1990s, "Project Open Mind" caused some controversy from Pat Robertson. He threatened to sue PFLAG and any television station that aired the project's ads, which showed clips of anti-LGBT quotes from several people, including Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and United States Sen. Jesse Helms.[6][7] The ads can currently be seen on the Commercial Closet webpage.


The PFLAG Northeast Regional Conference for family, friends, and allies from across the region took place October 27 to October 29, 2006.[8] The venue was the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. It was held in conjunction with the Transcending Boundaries Conference.

The 2007 PFLAG National Convention, sponsored by IBM, was planned for October 11 through October 17, 2007 in McLean, Virginia. The theme is "Family Voices Moving Equality Forward."

Popular culture

  • PFLAG was mentioned in Chuck Palahniuk's novel, Invisible Monsters.
  • A PFLAG meeting is shown at the end of the 1999 film, But I'm a Cheerleader.
  • A PFLAG rally is shown at the end of the 2000 LGBT-related television movie "The Truth About Jane".
  • Sharon Gless' character, Deborah Novotny, is the president of the local PFLAG chapter in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on the American version of television series Queer as Folk.
  • PFLAG was also mentioned in the 1994 film Reality Bites.
  • PFLAG was also mentioned in the FOX television series The War At Home.
  • In the 2006 television series Brothers and Sisters, the character Nora Walker is a member of PFLAG.

Parents and Friends of Ex-gays and Gays (PFOX)

Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays (PFOX), no relation to PFLAG, formed in 1998 as what P-FLAG's then Executive Director Kirsten Kingdon called "a counter to PFLAG".[9] PFOX maintains that homosexuality is a choice, not a product of biological determination.[10] The organization provides support for the ex-gay community and is considerably smaller than PFLAG, having only 32 chapters vs. PFLAG's 500. Whereas PFLAG's agenda could be broadly characterized as liberal, PFOX trends towards more conservative views and is supported by "right-wing Christian organizations" including the Family Research Council.[9][11] PFOX voiced opposition to "grade-specific sex education and information about HIV/AIDS" on the basis that "the standards are not age-appropriate and would undermine abstinence-only messages."[12] PFOX opposed "legislation to protect transgender individuals from discrimination" with a stated concern that it would give "male cross-dressers access to women's restrooms".[13][14] In 2005, PFOX was barred from presenting a workshop at the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) Convention.[15] They have also been denied participation at events held by the National Mental Health Association, the National Education Association, and the American Association of University Women. P-FLAG, which has been an invited guest to the National PTA convention in recent years, responded to PFOX through PFLAG’s executive director Jody Huckaby:

PFLAG and others also find the basic premise of PFOX’s rationale confusing. If someone is not gay or bisexual, they are heterosexual. Since this is the case PFOX should have no concerns. P-FLAG supports safe schools for all sexual orientations - gay, bisexual and heterosexual.[16]

See also


  1. PFLAG: Vision, Mission and Strategic Goals
  2. PFLAG: Policy Statements
  3. About PFLAG
  4. Rankin, Richard (Oct/Nov 2006, Issue #3). Talking Tolerance. Wo! Magazine. Retrieved on 2007-07-13.
  5. Stay Close :: Pflag
  6. PFLAG: History
  7. P-FLAG vs Pat Robertson
  8. Transcending Boundaries Conference
  9. 9.0 9.1 O’Bryan, Will (10 September 1999). P-FOX Shift Bodes Badly for ‘Ex-Gays’: Ousted director reveals fiscal shortfalls. Washington Blade. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  10. PFOX - "About Us"
  11. Sanchez, Casey (15 December 2007). Christian 'Ex-Gays' Brainwash Thousands: Can the anti-gay Christian Right's "sexual reorientation therapy" be stopped?. Intelligence Report. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  12. Across The Nation: Washington, D.C., Board of Education Approves Health Education Standards That Include HIV/AIDS Information. Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation (17 December 2007). Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  13. Marimow, Ann E. (22 November 2007). Leggett Signs Bill For Protection of Transgender People. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  14. Davis, Janel (21 November 2007). Leggett Signs Transgender Discrimination Ban Into Law., Maryland Community Newspapers Online. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  15. Westen, John-Henry (20 May 2005). US Parent Teacher Association Allows Gay Activists but Refuses Ex-Gays. LifeSite News. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
  16. PFLAG Returns to NPTA Convention, from PFLAG website

External links

PFLAG around the world :

Other links:

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