For more than three decades, 92-year-old Frances Goldin has displayed the same placard at New York City’s Gay Pride march, as well as at other demonstrations, including the LGBT March on Washington in 1993.
The now-iconic hand-lettered sign, that reads ‘I adore my lesbian daughters’ and ‘Keep them safe’ on the front, and ‘A proud parent of lesbians’ on the back, has been captured countless times in photos by admirers and widely shared on social media, but it took until now for Buzzfeed’s Sarah Karlan to track down just who this beloved standard-bearer is. And when she began to research her identity, she discovered even more to admire about this one-woman powerhouse.
Goldin’s daughters, Reeni, 68, and Sally Goldin, 70, now live in New Paltz, New York, and San Francisco, California, but were raised by their parents on New York City’s Lower East Side, coming out as lesbians soon after the city held its first Pride Parade in 1970.
Her sign reads "I adore my lesbian daughters, keep them safe" she hasn't put it down once pic.twitter.com/ImIE93DDG7
— Nina Godlewski (@NinaGodlewski) June 26, 2016
“Since the beginning of the parade, I’ve been going and waving my sign,” Goldin told Buzzfeed. “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.”
“Everybody would come running up to her and cry, kiss her, and say, ‘Would you call my mother?’ or ‘Would you be my mother?’” Sally said. “She’s met people who she is still very close to at the parades. She’s a model for how parents should be behaving towards their kids.”
“She’d take down names and addresses and write letters to these kids’ mothers!” said Reeni.
As well as being a champion for gay rights, Goldin (who is a literary agent — having established her eponymous agency in 1977) is a passionate advocate for a variety of other causes. She attended an Occupy Wall Street protest in 2011, carrying a placard that read “I am 87 and mad as hell!” and is central to a forthcoming documentary, It Took 50 Years, about her fight with developers to preserve part of downtown Manhattan in the 1960s.
Read the full story at BuzzFeed.