Straight ally Francis Goldin has been attending New York Pride for the last 30 years with a sign that reads: “I adore my lesbian daughters. Keep them safe.”
The nonagenarian has been a supporter of LGBT people since her two daughters came out shortly after New York’s first pride parade in 1970. She even attends on her own when her daughters can’t make it.
Standing at the same spot every year (the corner of 18th and 5th Avenue), in recent years she has taken her wheelchair to take a break if it gets too hot.
Francis told BuzzFeed that she had been attending New York’s pride parade “since the beginning”.
“Since the beginning of the parade, I’ve been going and waving my sign,” she said.
“It sort of hit a nerve with people, particularly those whose parents rejected them. The response to the sign is always so great, it urges me to keep going.”
The original sign which simply read, “I adore my lesbian daughters” had “keep them safe” added to it in 1993, when Francis attended a historic LGBT march in Washington DC.
She said this was because a protest sign must have a demand.
The back of the sign reads, “a proud parent of lesbians”.
In 1997, she told the Washington Post that “society allows discrimination against gays and lesbians…difference enriches us all.”
Francis’ daughters added that when young people see the sign and ask her for support, she often writes to their parents and encourages them to support their kids.
“I think I changed a few people’s minds and I’m glad about that,” she said.
“Everyone should support their gay and lesbian children, they’re missing a lot in life if they don’t.”