We’re back for more of our Being Seen and Heard series! In a time where it feels like we are struggling to really see and hear one another, there are some bright lights who make it their mission to help one another understand each other a little better. Our guest today, Sara Cunningham, the founder of FreeMomHugs.org, is one amazing example of what can happen when we really see people for who they are and begin to hear their stories. Sara was on the show right at the beginning of her journey with Free Mom Hugs, and now the org—which started with the simple idea of attending Pride parades and holding up a sign that said “Free Mom Hugs,”—has become a national and world wide phenomenon. She uses her own experience as a guide to how she advocates, and is absolutely passionate about connecting with faith, civic, business, and government leaders in efforts to make the world a kinder safer place for our LGBTQIA+ family.
Sara and Jen touch on these topics:
- Sara’s roots in conservative evangelicalism and how she found herself moving “from the church to the pride parade” after she reckoned with her son’s admission that he was gay and going to live in his identity
- The stories of people who, after coming out, lost their families, were kicked out of their churches, and felt completely alone and found solace and comfort in the simple act of a mom extending a hug
- Sara’s son Parker’s (as well as her own) journey of self-discovery and then coming to live authentically after seeing others, who had come out in faith environments, survive and thrive after loss
- How we can affect change with our voices as it relates to legislation that targets the LGBTQIA+ community