Past National Presidents Honor Adele Starr

Several of PFLAG's National Presidents have offered their personal tributes to Adele Starr. We will add more of these heartfelt comments as they are received:

"Nearly forty years ago a Methodist minister talked about how one of his teachers said we all have to identify our saints if we want to live fully realized, fully conscious lives. Sometimes, the teacher said, we have to dig deep to find our saints, difficult work indeed. Adele Starr's death made me do a little digging, and, of course, I wasn't surprised to find her in my heart and mind.


Here's what I wrote after reflecting upon her immense contribution to me and everyone else:


Adele Starr lives! She lives in our minds, hearts, and work. Big-hearted and hard-headed, our George Washington realized her son wouldn’t achieve full equality if other LGBT sons and daughters were denied their rights. She didn’t settle for a private accommodation or personal comfort. She organized us—parents, family members, and all other straight allies—taught us, and led us. And she’ll continue to lead us as we move equality forward. Indeed, Adele lives!"


John Cepek

Past President

PFLAG National

“We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us. Adele Starr was a pioneer, she went where none had ventured before her. There were no shoulders for her to stand on. A small and slight person of great humility, she would be truly astonished at how broad and strong we have found her shoulders.


Perhaps her greatest accomplishment and that of the other pioneers who sat around her dining room table creating PFLAG was the creation and liberation of the family voice in the movement for full equality for all LGBT persons. 


Walking in the path she charted is always challenging and humbling.”


Sam Thoron

Past President

PFLAG National




“Adele Starr, in creating the organization, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbian and Gays, had a vision to enable parents of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender children to support one another, to educate themselves and their community, and to become the advocate for change to enable equal rights for all our nation's citizens.  She worked tirelessly to this end and her leadership for PFLAG and her commitment to our children's equal rights will be missed by all.”


Nancy N. McDonald

Past President

PFLAG National