Deciding to come out as LGBT+ to their family is one of the most difficult things a queer person can do. And when their parents and other family members struggle to accept their sexuality, it can become even harder for them to feel loved and supported. However, a lovely group of moms, dads, and church members have set out to change the narrative, armed only with much-needed hugs.
When Two Communities Clash
For several decades, there has been a rift between the LGBT+ community and religious groups. Many who are a part of the queer community who come from conservatively religious families often face the fear of backlash when coming out to their parents. Unfortunately, this is sometimes the case. However, an open-minded Christian group is out to change the narrative. They’ve already begun to spread some incredible amounts of love and support!
Struggling To Embrace Her Son
Sara Cunningham is the woman behind a new movement of “mom hugs”, though she wasn’t always a crusader for LGBT+ rights. When her son first came out as gay, she struggled immensely to accept his sexuality. Considering she had been raised in a conservative and highly religious environment, she felt as if her child was contradicting her faith and that they could not co-exist. However, after months of doubt, her son transformed her mindset with a single statement.
Learning To Love The LGBT+ Community
One day, her son asked to talk to her and said, “I met someone and I need you to be okay with it.” Recognizing that her child’s happiness was more important than outdated values, Cunningham began to become more educated about the LGBT+ community. Eventually, she and her husband found it in their hearts to begin attending Pride events! However, Cunningham discovered an upsetting truth at these colorful and joyous celebrations.
Free Mom Hugs: Both Heartbreaking And Heartwarming
Many people who were attending Pride events had been rejected by their families. Cunningham decided to form an organization called Free Mom Hugs: a group dedicated to being “stand-in” parents to LGBT+ individuals who had been shunned by their parents. Many of the members are from her local church, and they took to Austin Pride this year to offer mom, dad, grandma, and pastor hugs to LGBT+ people who had been neglected by their families. And the responses to their hugs were more grateful than they ever could have anticipated.
Healing Through Hugs
After giving out hugs “like it was [their] paying job”, Cunningham and other members of Free Mom Hugs were showered with words of both heartbreak and thanks. “My dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years,” one person told them, while another simply asked for “one more hug.” “We told them…that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious,” another group member, Jen Hatmaker, reinforced. And for many at Austin Pride, those hugs were the perfect reminder.
No Retreat, No Surrender: The Soldier Who Fought In World War II For Over 30 Years
World War II and the destruction it wrought on the planet had ended long ago, but for some reason, on a remote island, peace was yet to be felt. Perpetrated by culprits who nobody had been able to catch, fields were burned, airport runways were ransacked, and gunfire would occasionally spray out of the forest. As the body count began to climb, the question remained: who on Earth was this soldier still convinced the war was on?
The Once-Popular Purchasing Habits That Most Millennials Are Refusing To Buy Into
There’s no debate about it, times are changing. And with changing times comes changing demands for some of the products that used to be considered essential. For millennials, the age group born between 1981-1996, some of the products America used to not be able to live without are now being ditched all together. From household appliances to popular food products, read on to see some of the surprising effects of millennial buying habits.
Are You Tuning In? These Are The Most and Least Trusted News Anchors On Television
With so much going on in the world, the news anchors who deliver the latest updates have become practically celebrities themselves. But who do the people of the United States trust? Morning Consult asked viewers who they trust “a lot” or “not at all” and came up with a list of the most and least trusted people in news. How many people feel the same way about your favorite host that you do?