(CNN)Four years ago, when Sara Cunningham came home from a pride festival in Oklahoma City, she was covered head to toe in glitter. She had spent the day offering free mom hugs or high-fives (“Not everybody’s a hugger,” she says) to passersby, and the love and joy she felt was palpable.
“That day, I went home with real horror stories,” she says. “I was broken from hearing from the community — kids who had been living out of their cars, kids who had been kicked out of their churches or homes for just for identifying as LGBT.”
Cunningham’s son is gay, and her experience at that festival led her and other ally mothers to form what is now “Free Mom Hugs,” a nonprofit organization that offers mother-like support to LGBT youth.
In July 2018, that spark of support and celebration became a flame. Cunningham, frustrated with continued stories of parents rejecting their gay children, sometimes during the most important times in their lives, wrote a simple Facebook post.
“PSA. If you need a mom to attend your same sex wedding because your biological mom won’t.”Call me. I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles.”
In a matter of days, the post went wildly viral. Cunningham knows exactly why.
“When people ask us about Free Mom Hugs, they usually say, ‘How can I join,’ ‘What can I do,” Cunningham says. “That’s what made the post go viral. It was people all over the world saying, I want to do that, I can do that, I’ve been doing that,”
Since the post, Cunningham has been asked to attend several weddings, and the post sparked something of a movement — one that ties back to the most important goal of Cunningham’s work: Acceptance.
“Everyone needs acceptance,” she says. “And when we fall in love, it’s a profound, sacred special time of our lives. To not have the validation for recognition from your parents, from people who are so important to you, You may think you can handle it.”
“But when it comes to the final blow,” she continues, “To them saying, ‘I’m not coming to your wedding, it’s just devastating. And I can’t imagine hearing those words out of a mother’s mouth.”
Before, a difficult journey
Cunningham knows what kind of pain can come from not being accepted by your own family, because initially, she and her family struggled to come to terms with her own son’s sexuality.
It’s a pain Cunningham is trying to relieve from other children, and their parents.
“We must learn to celebrate our LGBTQ children, or we will suffer with them,” she says.
“My biggest regret is not celebrating him and what was important to him, earlier — even during his high school years, and not being able to look past my own fears and my own ignorance to see him.”
She says the key for parents who are struggling is education — and an open heart.
“There is so much information out there, so many ways to get educated, so many ways to learn [about LGBTQ issues]. To be honest, the only other choice is to remain in fear and ignorance. And I use those words respectfully, because I was there once.”
And now, a new one of love
Honestly, Cunningham wishes Free Mom Hugs didn’t exist. She wishes her presence at weddings, either as a stand-in mom or an officiant (she got ordained in 2016 to officiate the same-sex wedding of two friends), wasn’t necessary.
“I hope some day that our organization won’t be in existence anymore, that we can help change the social norm,” she says.
And to all of those people who commented or shared her viral post, she has two words of advice: Show up.
“That’s the key,” she says. “Just show up. And when I say showing up, I mean we as parents, as friends or allies. I’m not the first mom to offer free mom hugs or attend weddings as a stand-in. But when we show up for any group that’s marginalized, that’s how we can make sure they really know they are loved and celebrated.”
Once you have the developer and agency rights to WP GDPR Fix all you have to do is tell your clients you have something that makes GDPR compliance easier.
Next legally implement it on your client’s website. You can charge them a one time fee or a monthly r
Dragon Download ProtectorThis powerful download management system will stop hackers and thieves stealing downloadable products from your thank you pages and give you an easy way to record and manage all your product sales...
Video Cash ConsoleVideo Cash Console is Todd Gross' and James Knight's secret YouTube video ranking weapon. PLUS, it ranks regular links, too! Special algorithm backlinks your videos, then backlinks THOSE backlinks, giving you optimized link juice. Get page-1 SERPs within
Viking MPLR Annual 2017Viking PLR is an awesome collection of internet marketing related PLR packages each including a free report, an ebook, and a video course. These packages come with full private label rights and can be rebranded if you so choose. :)
InstaNiche AcademyAdvanced training course on how to rank the sites, generate traffic to them using the software, A TO Z course, with case studies.
Commission Sumo - Sumo My List70+ Squeeze pages, reports and email sequences - plus 2 per month with lifetime access. These are all great quality content lead capture funnels that turn your visitors into subscribers - and then customers
OwlHQ Online Marketing SuiteTrack everything. Boost conversions. Works better than any other Analytics platform out there (yes, including Google)
List Building Formula PLRThe New Opportunities That Can Skyrocket your Offline or Online Business Success and generate more income With "List Building Formula With PLR" In Just A Few Hours From Now. Get This Basic Package With Full Private Label Rights !!
VidCuratorFX - Single User LicenseVidCuratorFX is a desktop software to create videos quickly and efficiently by simply entering a keyword. The software finds and curates images and video clips related to the keyword to create a video which you can further customise. PLUS you can create 1
One Time Hosting Triple Up Nickel 12Upgrade your One Time Hosting Nickel 4 Plan to Nickel 12 Plan includes hosting for 12 websites with 12 GB storage. (Note: this is an upgrade to the One Time Hosting Nickel 4 Plan - this is not a standalone product)
Clipmagix LITE | Pretty LITTLE Things That Gets You BUYERSClipmagix LITE : The MOST Powerful Creative and Captivating Pretty LITTLE Things Creator For HIGH Converting and HIGHLY Engaging Clipmagixs That Command, Mesmerize So You Can Get Paying Customers, FASTER. LOWEST One-Time Launch Special Price Today ONLY!
P1 Targeting App Get It StartedP1 Targeting App Get It Started is a MUST-HAVE cloud based keyword research and mapping application that helps you to quickly discover lucrative and easy to rank keywords, so you can get lots of traffic from Google and make serious profits with your sites.
FeelSocial White Label (500 Licenses)Get your very own white label license to FeelSocial. Now you can rebrand this brand new technology as your own and re-sell it for 100% of the profits and keep all of your own leads!
WP Master Developer - Code Editor for WordPressWith WP Master Developer code editor for WordPress, you get to easily create plugins, add-ons and themes. 7 new built-in tools for rapid WP development: templates, Intellisense, auto-complete, 2500+ auto-popping WordPress function lists, and instant help.
EZ Reputation ManagementLearn how to increase your profits by offering high-converting reputation management services to businesses.
(UD) (Pro) X Ranker 360 2.0The ONLY Web-App Guaranteed To Rank More Of Your Videos On Page 1 of Google in 48 hours or less - See a LIVE Case Study here.
LeadFunnelCloud ResellerGet this Cloud Based App That Creates INSTANT Done-For-You UNLIMITED Profitable Lead Funnels To Build A HUGE List,Drive Targeted Social Traffic and Affiliate Commissions In Just 60 Seconds
Whiteboard Video PacksMassive bundle of full colored Whiteboard Video Packs to craft your own story from start to finish easily!
ConvertProof AgencyLive conversion proof on your offers brings you more sales and more conversions.
Funnel Boss - BASIC TRAINING COURSEFunnel Boss is a video training course that teaches you the most powerful sales funnels and lead attraction funnels on the planet. Attract customers build your list and create sales funnels that go viral!
TigerPress Previous Volumes Second Chance 9Premium one of a kind wordpress themes that do all the onpage seo for you including image seo, with TigerPress themes you can also generate an unlimited amount of geo targeted landing pages in any language.
TigerPress Volume 2 Theme ClubGet all Tigerpress themes added each month, including the HTML versions and white label functionality, members also receive FREE updates and support, and also receive access to our Optimizepress 2.0 new templates added monthly for one low price.
PBN Blueprint - Personal EditionBuild your own Google Rank busting Private Blog Network safely and securely and get #1 Rankings for any links you want to promote! Turn on Page #1 and #1 Rankings with this easy to follow blueprint for ranking success now!
Tappit Pro CommercialGet this Breakthrough Automated Software Builds Self-Generating and Buyer-Driven Funnels Using AI Analysed Links and Generates Leads and Profits On The Way Without Lifting A Finger