The Mom Who Went To Pride


A few years ago, I was scrolling through my social media feed and I stumbled across an unexpected treat. A friend of mine had attended Pride. But not just her; her mother had attended with her.

I remember thinking, “Wow. That mom’s a hero. My mother would never do that.”

Now, I don’t want to dismiss the heroism that comes with changing diapers, feeding littles, and coordinating soccer games.

As mothers, we are constantly called to be heroes. Motherhood is heroism incarnate, but we don’t get the credit. Sometimes though, there’s a space where mother after mother fails. And suddenly, doing the normal thing, the mundane thing, the obvious thing – celebrating your child’s identity – suddenly makes you exceptional. Suddenly that makes you a hero who sticks out.

Not because it’s more heroic than going to (God-I-hate-this-sport) baseball games. But because no other moms came. It was an easy no-brainer, but you’re still the exception to the rule.

I attended my first Pride in the spring of 2019.  It was one of the first times in my entire life I was freely myself.

My mom didn’t come.

But another mom did.

If you don’t know who Sarah Cunningham is, she’s the founder of Free Mom Hugs.  Her story starts in that familiar rut of failure and rejection. But, she didn’t stay there. (And she didn’t wait for her baby to commit suicide before changing her mind either).

She became the Mom who went to Pride.

So if your babies are still babies or fledgling adults or moms of their own…if you bore them or adopted them…if you hate baseball but love them…be the Mom who went to Pride.

I was lucky.

I got one of those free mom hugs.

For half a minute, I had a mom.

Me hugging the founder of Free Mom Hugs


I wish I’d had the real thing.


***My mom passed away after I submitted this post, but shortly before it was published.  I’ve debated whether it should be published at all.

I am here, mourning the life of my mom, realizing that I’ve been mourning this loss since long before she was physically gone, and drowning in the knowledge that she will never be there.

We don’t have a chance to be anything other than what we were.

So please, I beg you. Be a mom goes to Pride.

I am alone, and I am empty.

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Hannah Parker is a queer mom living in the center of Oklahoma City. She enjoys spending life with her partner and toddler. She loves making politics, philosophy, and sociology accessible to everyone possible. She aspires to one day cook by feel rather than by recipe (a.k.a. experiments on the family members). Oh, and Insomnia Cookies or Pie Junkies any day of the week.


  1. I have a 15 year old daughter who is bisexual and a 10 year old transgender son.
    Accepting them was never an issue because they are my kids and I’ll accept them no matter what.
    I have a Free Mom Hugs shirt that I wore to Tampa Pride and St. Pete Pride. Sooo many hugs were given out. If, in that moment, that hug helped someone, it was worth it.

    • This letter touched my heart as so many have before.Remembering how my son told me he was bi-sexual, by writing it on a pice if paper, i read it as he watched me and i hugged him and told him how much i loved him..a few years passed and i was cooking dinner and he came up to me again and said momma i wanted you to know that “Im Gay” and i again said okay honey, do you want to talk about it? He is said did you here what i said, and i said yes honey, that doesnt change anything about the way I feel about you!! He hugged me tight gave me a kiss and said I Love you, thanks for being here for me..Always will be i love you unconditionally always and forever….So yes attend Pride with your child, for your will be the most Amazing day for you and your child? Love going every year and hugging the kids ,parents friends whomever is in will receive so much in return i promise you that!!

  2. My 18 year old came out as transgender last year. My husband and I made the decision that albeit not what we expected or envisioned we needed to love the child we have – not the child we envisioned!
    We love him (previously her) more than ever. Her bravery has inspired us all!
    I’m so sorry for your loss! We need our moms! They may not be biological moms but moms none the less!!
    Your story really touched me. I wish you all the love you deserve!

    We Moms Need To Keep Hugging!! ?️‍?


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