Our Ohio chapter is so fortunate to have Amy Lowe as part of the team. They have been a part of the transgender resource fair and many other events in Ohio.
I hope you enjoy learning about Amy as much as I did!
Tell us about your journey and how you came to a place of support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
I have always had LGBTQ+ folks in my life since I was a child. My mom had friends who were gay and and being LGBTQ+ was never something that was different to me. I was raised to accept everyone.
If you have an LGBTQIA+ child, your “reason”, tell us about them, him, or her.
I have a 19 year old daughter who came out to us as bisexual when she was 13 years old. She made an adorable card with rainbows on it that said, “I’m bisexual! (that means I like boys AND girls)” I still have the card she made us and we still tease her about how she gave us the definition of bisexuality thinking we didn’t know what it meant.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your “reason” for getting involved in advocacy work?
I am known as the rainbow mom at the local university. There are so many kids who don’t have accepting parents – I call them my bonus kids. Many of them have been kicked out of their house or can’t live authentic lives when they are around their parents. They are kids who just need a hug. Everything I do, I do for ALL of them. I will advocate and be there for them until I take my last breath.
What makes you proud to be their mama? I am proud of my daughter and all of my bonus kids too. They have overcome so much whether it is related to health, mental, learning or family challenges. My daughter is a big advocate of mental health awareness and wants to be a youth and young adult psychologist. She has a big heart and an amazing amount of compassion for people. One of my bonus kids recently started to transition, another kid moved out from an abusive home and several are graduating this year. How can I not be proud of everything that these kids accomplish? They have my heart and so many have been through unimaginable situations.
When did you first hear about Free Mom Hugs and what motivated you to get involved as a volunteer for the organization?
I joined Serendipitydodah for Moms after my daughter came out and it was in that group that I learned about Sara and what she was doing. I wanted to get involved, so I reached out to some local organizations. When I first started, I just showed up and gave out hugs or high-fives. But people started telling me stories of what they were going through including rejection, hurt and betrayal from family members. I don’t know how anyone thinks that it is okay to treat others like that. Everyone deserves to be loved and accepted. I knew that as hard as it was for me to do, I needed to keep showing up and holding space. When I heard that FMH was looking for chapter leaders I threw my hat in the ring and here we are.
What excites you most about being involved with FMH?
The opportunity to bring unconditional love and acceptance to people who might not otherwise have it.
What brings you the most fear?
The state of our country and the amount of hate against people who deserve equal rights and who just want to live their lives. The idea that human rights that were clearly granted to all of us can be taken away on a whim. Also, the idea that people can treat their own family members like dirt and legitimize this behavior in their mind. This is NOT OKAY. People not acknowledging their own privilege.
What brings you the most joy?
Seeing the joy on the face of someone who realizes you accept and love them for who they are with no strings attached. I love hearing stories from those we hug, as well as our huggers. There are so many people who show up to our events and have extraordinary stories of their own too!
Tell us about some of the exciting things the chapter in your state is working on.
We are working on supporting the community as much as we can during this time. Prior to the pandemic, I worked with Wright State on the area’s first-ever Transgender Resource Fair. The event has been rescheduled but it will still be great! I recently worked with and supported Equitas Health’s online Transgender Health and Wellness Event. We are also working on other ways we can connect with the community to support other organizations and bring joy to others. And of course, we are also getting ready for Pride however they may look this year.
You can help the Ohio chapter continue all the great work they are doing for Free Mom Hugs by supporting them with a donation. Please consider a donation, you can donate directly to the Ohio Chapter and make a big impact.