“Mom, I’ve met someone, and I need you to be okay about it.”
These words, spoken by a child to a parent, are often the beginning of the end of a lifelong bond. But according to author/activist Sara Cunningham, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Sara is the founder of the non-profit, Free Mom Hugs. Her journey began in conservative Oklahoma, when her son, Parker, came out as gay. As a woman of faith, she struggled with this admission. “I didn’t take the news very well,” she admitted, ”and I said and did some things I regret even to this day.”
She found strength through the love she had for her son to begin to examine the conflict between her religion and what she felt in her heart. Sara began to study, research, and reconcile the two worlds. She found herself on a journey “from the church to the Pride parade”, falling in love with the LGBTQ+ Community.
In the process of navigating through beautiful, glitter covered hugs as well as heart-breaking, horror stories, the mission of Free Mom Hugs began. It is now a national organization made up of, and supporting parents of LGBTQ+ children and their allies. These parents are spreading love for the LGBTQ + community and "Building a Better Tomorrow, One Hug at a Time".
Their updated mission is to go Beyond the Hug, to educate and advocate. “When we know better, we can do better,” Sara teaches. Her passion is to change the narrative so that we as a society, not only learn to affirm the LGBTQ+ community, but celebrate them.
To make this happen, Sarah and Free Mom Hugs president Katrina Kolb hit the road for a cross country tour to spread their positive message. During a stop in Phoenix, Arizona for a get together with the Safe Out LGBTQ Youth Coalition, Event Coordinator Isaac Akapnitis summed up his appreciation for the impact Free Mom Hugs is having. “I think that the work of Sarah and Katrina is incredible, because they really are spreading messages of love and hope and positivity for LGBTQ+ youth.”
Come, join the tour, and see the power of conversation and a personal experience in action.
Learn more at: https://www.freemomhugs.org
Find more about Safe Out at: https://safeoutaz.org/
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