social sciences
special features
about glbtq

Advertising Opportunities
Press Kit
Research Guide
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
site guide
search tips
research guide
editors & contributors
contact us
send feedback
write the editor
Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter to receive a spotlight on glbtq culture every month.
e-mail address:
Popular Topics in Literature
García Lorca, Federico García Lorca, Federico
The works of García Lorca, internationally recognized as Spain's most prominent lyric poet and dramatist of the twentieth century, are filled with thinly veiled homosexual motifs and themes.
Musical Theater
There has always been homosexual involvement in American musical theatre and a homosexual sensibility even in straight musicals, and recently the Broadway musical has welcomed openly homosexual themes and situations.
Michelangelo Buonarroti Michelangelo Buonarroti
Best known for his genius in art and architecture, Michelangelo was also an accomplished author of homoerotic poetry.
African-American Literature: Gay Male African-American Literature: Gay Male
The African-American gay male literary tradition consists of a substantial body of texts and includes some of the most gifted writers of the twentieth century.
Camp Camp
Combining elements of incongruity, theatricality, and exaggeration, camp is a form of humor that helps homosexuals cope with a hostile environment.
Hughes, Langston Hughes, Langston
Langston Hughes, whose literary legacy is enormous and varied, was closeted, but homosexuality was an important influence on his literary imagination, and many of his poems may be read as gay texts.
Baldwin, James Arthur Baldwin, James Arthur
James Baldwin, a pioneering figure in twentieth-century literature, wrote sustained and articulate challenges to American racism and mandatory heterosexuality.
Wilde, Oscar Wilde, Oscar
Oscar Wilde is important both as an accomplished writer and as a symbolic figure who exemplified a way of being homosexual at a pivotal moment in the emergence of gay consciousness.
Topics In the News
Dr. Jill Biden Keynotes PFLAG Convention
Posted by: Claude J. Summers on 11/05/11
Last updated on: 11/05/11
Bookmark and Share

Dr. Jill Biden.

On November 4, 2011, Dr. Jill Biden, wife of the Vice President of the United States, opened the biennial National Convention of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Alexandria, Virginia.

PFLAG traces its origins to New York City in 1972, when the parents of Morty Manford saw their son assaulted at a gay rights rally on their local television news and were appalled that the police had failed to come to his aid. Jeanne Manford decided to take action. The following year she marched alongside Morty at the Pride Parade, carrying a sign that read "Parents of Gays: Unite in Support of Our Children."

The emotional response to her participation in the Pride Parade led her to establish a support group for other parents of gay and lesbian children. From a meeting of about 20 parents in New York City, the organization has grown to become one of the largest glbtq organizations in the world, counting hundreds of chapters and hundreds of thousands of members.

In recent years, the organization has lobbied on behalf of safe schools and in favor of marriage equality.

Dr. Biden began her remarks with an inspiring story:

"I recently read an open letter written from a PFLAG father to America's youth. He wrote, 'My wife and I have two sons. We think that they are the best kids in the whole world. They're very different, with very diverse personalities, talents, and interests. One of the other things that makes them different is that one is straight and one is gay. But the important thing is this: we love them equally.'"

"At its core," she continued, "it's such a simple message--'we love our sons'--both of them. But that acceptance and support can make all the difference."

"And as you all know well--acceptance by those you love is the greatest acceptance of all."

In her remarks, Dr. Biden paid tribute to Jeanne Manford, saying, "As a teacher and a mom, I know what Jeanne Manford knew--that there is a direct connection between acceptance and positive, healthy outcomes in every important area of life, including education, mental health, and physical health."

She also rehearsed the achievements of the Obama administration in furthering equal rights: "I'm proud of the progress the Obama-Biden Administration has made in the last two years for the LGBT community--including the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The White House also held a Conference on Bullying Prevention, and the Department of Education has held summits on this issue as well, and issued guidance to help combat bullying in schools and support Gay Straight Alliances."

"This progress is important," she said, but added, "there is still more to do. At this critical time for education in our country, we need to ensure that our schools are producing the next generation of American leaders and heroes. We must insure that our classrooms are safer for all students to learn, grow, and thrive."

In her conclusion, she urged members of PFLAG to continue their much needed work: "I want to say to each of you here today: thank you for raising your voice and working together to open minds, shift attitudes and support all of our sons and daughters, students and neighbors. Some of you come from places where yours is the only voice of support and acceptance--but when you speak, people listen. And we need you to keep speaking out, to keep shining a light on this important issue."

Dr. Biden did not mention it, but in November 2010, her husband contributed a moving video to the "It Gets Better" channel established by Dan Savage.

Related Encyclopedia Entries
Related Special Features
browse:   arts   literature   social-sciences   discussion boards
learn more about glbtq       contact us       advertise on glbtq.com
Bookmark and Share

glbtq™ and its logo are trademarks of glbtq, Inc.
This site and its contents Copyright © 2002-2015, glbtq, Inc.

Your use of this site indicates that you accept its Terms of Service.