Yelpers kicked off Pride Month with a visit from OKC’s own Sara Cunningham, Founder of Free Mom Hugs. Sara’s journey into activism and advocacy began when her son Parker came out. Sara attended Oklahoma City’s Pride parade and wore a homemade button that read “Free Mom Hugs,” and offered a hug to anyone who asked. The response she received was amazing, and she quickly ramped up her efforts, attending Pride in other cities.
Soon after her first few Pride events, she penned a social media post, offering to attend in place of an unsupportive parent at LGBTQIA+ weddings across the country. The post went viral, and soon after, Free Mom Hugs became a non-profit organization with chapters in every state in the U.S. Now the organization has a small staff and advocacy has become a central focus of their work.
On June 2, 2021, during a virtual event, Sara told Yelpers all about her journey from mom to activist, and about the plans for the organization moving forward. She talked about how an organization rooted in hugs at in-person events survived during a pandemic, and answered Yelpers questions about how they can be better allies for their families and friends. It was an incredibly moving event, as you can see from these reviews.
To learn more about Free Mom Hugs, or to donate or volunteer, head over to their website.