Mother’s Day means hugs for everyone

Remember that you never know if your children are LBGTQ or straight until they come out to you officially. Photo provided.

by Bruce Hartley 
Life Issues Columnist 

May is a month that is full of many special events and holidays. The holiday that stands out to me is Mother’s Day and I am so very thankful for all the moms in the world that support their kids no matter whom they love.  

Remember that you never know if your children are LBGTQ or straight until they come out to you officially. My mom has told me that she never thought I was gay. When I was a teenager she heard me and a friend in the shower and she told herself that “we were just boys being boys.” After living as a straight man for 28 years, I wish times were different in the 80’s.  

A few years ago, I had the pleasure to meet a very special mom, Sara Cunningham. Her passion for giving “free mom hugs” impressed me. A few months before meeting Cunningham, I came out to my own mom and she immediately accepted her 50-something son with nothing but love and support.  

I shared Cunningham’s book, How We Sleep at Night, with my mom. She connected with Cunningham on Facebook and has followed her example since. She calls my partner Bill and me “her boys” and loves spending time with us. She never is embarrassed and tells her friends about “her boys” whenever she has the chance.  

Recently, my mom shared that she has started giving out “free mom hugs” at the hospital where she volunteers. She has met a variety of LGBTQ people and many of them depend on her for free hugs when they see her at the hospital. Mom has told me that she is amazed by how many LGBTQ people don’t get hugs from their own moms and she credits Cunningham for encouraging her to give free mom hugs in her town of Springfield, Missouri.  

I dedicate this article to all the moms in the world who have LGBTQ children. I encourage moms and dads to follow in the footsteps of awesome mothers like mine and Cunningham. Our world would be a better place if all parents would accept their children and welcome anyone that they choose to love into their families.  

We have all come a long way since the 80’s and the one thing that remains is that fact that we all need our moms to love us unconditionally. If your mom doesn’t give you free hugs, seek out someone like Cunningham and my mom. I’m sure they will give you more hugs than you can imagine. I love you, mom. 

Copyright The Gayly - 5/13/2017 @ 9:09 a.m. CST. All right reserved.