Rest In Peace

12 01 2013

Today we celebrate a champion. She never won an Olympic Gold Metal and most people wouldn’t even recognize her name. She is a champion none the less. Jeanne Manford was a mom. I will be the first to admit that moms are not perfect, but with the exception of a few crazies out there, moms are unique in the love that they give their children. Just get in between a Mama grizzly bear and her cubs if you want an example, although you would probably not live to tell that tale. Moms love their kids like no one else. Jeanne was this kind of mom. In 1972 Jeanne found out that her son, Morty,  had been beaten at a Hilton Hotel in New York City. Morty was gay. People stood by as he was beaten, including New York City Police officers.

Let’s be honest, in 1972 people still thought that if someone “chose” to be gay that they deserved whatever they got. Unfortunately, there are still ignorant people today who think the same way. On the good side, there are far fewer of them and they are decreasing all of the time. This change is brought about by heroes and champions like Jeanne Manford. Jeanne had never been an activist of any sort prior to this event. I can SO identify with that. If someone would have told me that one day I would be championing for a cause, ANY cause, I would have just laughed. It is that love of a mother thing that will get you every time!

So, after Morty recovered Jeanne started what is now PFLAG. It started with about 20 people and has now spread all over the country and even other parts of the world. If you are going to bet against something – probably don’t bet against a mother’s love. We moms are tough old birds when it comes to our kids. We will do things for them that we wouldn’t do for ourselves.

Jeanne sadly passed away this past week, but she will never really “die”. Her legacy will live on in parents around the world who rally with their kids. Not just LGBT parents, but all parents who begin to fight for what they feel will make this world a better place for all of our children. Making this world a better place is a group effort and it will take all of us. Let’s get to work!

Here are Jeanne and Morty in a New York City parade! Thank you Jeanne for standing up and showing us the way to show the world that we love our children unconditionally!

JeaneManford

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