Scope and Content of Collection
Language of Material:
ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, USC Libraries, University of Southern California
Title: Adele Starr collection on Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)
Identifier/Call Number: Coll2009-012
Identifier/Call Number: 122
24.1 Linear Feet
9 archives boxes + 5 archives cartons + 15 flat archive boxes + 1 map drawer + 1 trophy + 1 oversize banner.
Date (inclusive): 1960-2010
Abstract: Correspondence, minutes, photographs, clippings, manuscripts, financial records, pamphlets, education materials, flyers, posters,
audiocassettes, textiles, ephemera and a banner from Adele Starr, documenting the activities of the Federation of Parents
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc. (PFLAG), and of Parents and Friends of Gays (1976-1981), the predecessor to PFLAG's
Los Angeles chapter (PFLAG/LA). Starr was founder of Parents and Friends of Gays and first president of PFLAG. The bulk of
the material dates from 1977 to 1996, and includes the Federation's incorporation papers; correspondence from parents and
children; records of the annual international conferences; educational materials; and records of outreach activities to schools
and religious communities to support, educate and advocate for the rights of gay men and lesbians.
Adele Starr was born as Ida Seltzer in Brooklyn, New York on February 10, 1920. When she was a teenager, she changed her
name to Adele. In 1941, she married Lawrence Starr, an accountant, and remained in New York till the 1950s. Moving to Los
Angeles, the Starrs settled in Brentwood, where Adele helped her husband establish a private accounting practice. Adele and
Larry had four sons and a daughter.
In 1974, their son, Philip Starr, told Adele and Larry that he was gay. Adele was initially upset, but Philip encouraged
her and Larry to join a support group. By 1976, Adele and Larry began hosting a support group for parents and families of
gay men and lesbian women. That year, they founded Parents and Friends of Gays in Los Angeles, which is the predecessor to
the Los Angeles chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). In 1979, Adele Starr spoke at the National March
on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, and also met with similar groups from around the country. In 1981, Adele and Larry
Starr hosted the national organizing conference of PFLAG at their home in Brentwood, and Adele was named the organization's
first national president.
Throughout the rest of her life, she continued to be an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civil rights,
with a particular focus on support for gay and lesbian youth in schools, communication with religious institutions, educational
outreach, and support for families and friends of GLBT individuals.
Adele Starr died on December 10, 2010 in Los Angeles at the age of 90.
Gold, Scott, "Adele Starr dies at 90; unflagging gay-rights activist,"
Los Angeles Times, December 12, 2010.
The impetus for the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) began in the early 1970s, when a New York
mother, Jeanne Manford, marched in the New York City gay pride parade with her gay son and a sign that read, "Parents of Gays:
Unite in Support for Our Children." Following the parade, Manford began speaking to many gays and lesbians, parents and community
groups, and in March 1973 organized the first meeting of New York City Parents of Gays (POG). Members of POG met with other
parents throughout the country to provide support and information. As a result of one of those meetings, in March 1976, Adele
and Lawrence Starr launched Parents and Friends of Gays (PFG) in Los Angeles, which became the first parents' group to apply
for tax-exempt non-profit status.
In 1979, representatives of POG and PFG, and parents and other parents' groups from across the country gathered at the first
national March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights. Two years later, more than 30 people met at the Starrs' Los Angeles
home for a national organizing conference to draw up bylaws and articles of incorporation. The organization created was named
the Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), with a five-member Board of Directors. Adele Starr became
PFLAG's first President. In 1982, PFLAG, then comprising some 20 groups, was incorporated and granted non-profit, tax-exempt
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, PFLAG provided support and information to educational institutions and religious communities
nationwide. In addition, it continued to do advocacy work for gay and lesbian rights at the local and national levels. In
1988, following a period of enormous growth, PFLAG employed an executive director, expanded its staff, and consolidated operations
in Washington, D.C.
As of 2009, under the leadership of a nationally-elected Board of Directors, over 500 affiliates and contacts in the US and
abroad continue to provide education and support for families and friends of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.
PFLAG: Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays, http://community.pflag.org/Page.aspx?pid=279, last accessed October 26, 2009.
The collection is open to researchers. There are no access restrictions.
Researchers wishing to publish materials must obtain permission in writing from ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives as the
physical owner. Researchers must also obtain clearance from the holder(s) of any copyrights in the materials. Note that ONE
National Gay and Lesbian Archives can grant copyright clearance only for those materials for which we hold the copyright.
It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright clearance for all other materials directly from the copyright
The majority of the manuscript materials were donated by Adele Starr, date unknown. The majority of the audiotapes were donated
by Lyle Henry, date unknown. A portion of this collection was donated by Larry Starr in 2011.
Adele Starr collection on Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Coll2009-012, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives, Los
Formerly in boxes 104-131, 104-132, 104-133, 104-134, 104-135, 104-136, 104-137, 104-138, 104-139, 104-140, 104-141, 104-142,
104-143, 104-144 and 104-145. Collection processed by Loni Shibuyama, January 2012.
Scope and Content of Collection
This collection comprises correspondence, minutes, photographs, clippings, manuscripts, financial records, pamphlets, education
materials, flyers, posters, audiocassettes, textiles and a banner documenting the activities of the Federation of Parents
and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and related organizations. The materials date from the founding of the Los Angeles
Parents and Friends of Gays (PFG)--the predecessor to the Los Angeles chapter of PFLAG--to 2010, when Adele Starr died. The
collection is divided into ten series: (1) Adele Starr personal material, (2) Parents and Friends of Gays (PFG), (3) Federation
of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), (4) Events, (5) Financial Records, (6) General Correspondence, (7) Resources
and Reference Materials, (8) Audio and Video, (9) Photographs, and (10) Posters, Memorabilia and Ephemera.
The Adele Starr Series includes personal materials relating to the first President of PFLAG. The Parents and Friends of Gays
(PFG) Series contains the records of the Los Angeles parents' group first organized in 1976 by Adele and Lawrence Starr. The
Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Series contains records from PFLAG after its foundation as
a national organization in 1981, including the national federation's articles of incorporation and bylaws, as well as records
of the Los Angeles chapter (PFLAG/LA). The Events Series contains material relating to PFLAG's annual international conventions
and various fundraising events. The Financial Records Series includes financial statements, accounting ledgers, tax returns
and other materials for PFG, PFLAG and PFLAG/LA. The bulk of the General Correspondence Series comprises correspondence between
Adele Starr and a variety of individuals and organizations. The Resources and Reference Material Series contains articles,
manuscripts, reports and other papers used in research or distributed as part of the organization's educational outreach.
The Audio and Video Series comprises audiocassettes and videocassettes, primarily recording discussions and lectures at PFLAG's
annual international conventions. The Photographs Series comprises photographs and negatives. The Posters, Memorabilia and
Ephemera Series contains posters, award plaques, ephemera and textiles, including a large PFLAG banner.
The following publications have been separated from the Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays collection and entered into
the ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives' database:
ACLU Gay Rights Chapter Newsletter
Clinard, Marshall B.
Sociology of Deviant Behavior. Rev. ed. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1963.
Lambda Legal Update
Lazarus Rising, the Newsletter of the Lazarus Project
The Lesbian News
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
At the Village
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
Open Hands: Reconciling Ministries with Lesbians and Gay Men
PFLAG-San Diego County Newsletter
Project 10 Update
Soaring with Wingspan: A Newsletter of Wingspan Ministry
That All May Freely Serve newsletter
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Family life education
Gays -- Services for
Homosexuality -- Law and legislation -- United States
Homosexuality -- Social aspects
Homosexuality -- Youth
Homosexuality and education -- United States
Lesbians -- Services for
Parents and Friends of Gays
Federation of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Inc.
Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays