More kids than you might want to know are rejected by their friends and families when they come out. And happily, there are some AMAZING moms and dads out there who are willing to offer a hug when these kids need it most.
Author, blogger, and public speaker Jen Hatmaker posted on her Instagram to share the impact “Mom Hugs” made at last year’s Austin Pride Parade. (Since posting Jen has gotten over 50,00 likes on the images below.)
“We ‘happy hugged’ a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said;
‘I miss this.’
‘My mom doesn’t love me anymore.’
‘My dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.’
‘Please just one more hug.'”
Pastors gave out hugs, which can be really emotional for LGBTQ kids who have been rejected by their churches.
The initiative was organized by the Free Mom Hugs Organization. The group states that its members are moms who
“Love and affirm LGBTQ kids fully.”
OMG. (Sniff.) No, I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying.
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My beloved little church went downtown to the #AustinPrideParade and gave out Free Mom Hugs, Free Dad Hugs, Free Grana Hugs, and Free Pastor Hugs like it was our paying jobs. And when I say hugs, I mean THE KIND A MAMA GIVES HER BELOVED KID. . Our arms were never empty. We “happy hugged” a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said: . “I miss this.” “My mom doesn’t love me anymore.” “My Dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years.” “Please just one more hug.” . You can only imagine what “Pastor Hugs” did to folks. 😭 So we told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off. This is what we are doing here, what we are here for. . The last pic is what you look like at the end of Pride covered in glitter, sweat, and more than a few tears. . Thanks to Sara Cunningham and the @freemomhugs tribe for the wonderful inspiration.