We welcome our guest blogger, Sunshine West, who will give us a behind the scenes look at one person’s experience with the Free Mom Hugs Don’t Hide Your Pride Tour.
The Free Mom Hugs family gathered in Knoxville, Tn today in a queer owned coffee shop full of pop culture memorabilia and rainbows. I didn’t consider that there may be protesters outside, but when I walked up to the door there were two young men sitting by the entrance, bibles open. Before I could decide how to feel about their presence, I noticed a mom talking to the boys, and in the next moment another mom was welcoming me with rainbow stickers and pronoun pins. The next thing I know, I’m in line to buy a lemonade from a nice queer lady. I didn’t know anyone at the event so I decided to sit with someone new. I ended up meeting Allison, who was at her first Free Mom Hugs event. We had a great time getting to know one another.
Sara told her story and then a couple other people talked about their community, and next was told the best engagement story I’ve ever heard. It all felt like a family reunion where I was meeting a bunch of distant cousins. Mundane and simple, yet the air was flecked with gold, and time stood still as we all laughed and celebrated our community together.
Here, I don’t have to defend my existence.
Here, I don’t have to hide any part of me.
Here, I feel safe to be myself.
Here, I feel valued and loved for who I am.