Moms Offer Free Hugs at Pride Parade for Kids Whose Parents Rejected Them

mom hugs at pride parade

In the LGBTQ community, there are many, many kids who are rejected by their families and friends when they decide to voice their identities. It can be extremely difficult for some kids, teens, and even adults to gain acceptance by their parents, their churches, etc. -- and some unfortunately never do. Luckily, there are some amazing moms and dads out there who are willing to offer a loving hug just when these kids need it most. 

  • Author, blogger, and speaker Jen Hatmaker recently took to Instagram to share just how much of an impact "mom hugs" made at the Austin Pride Parade. 

    On August 12, Jen shared on Instagram that her church recently went to the Austin Pride parade for an important reason. "[We] gave out Free Mom Hugs, Free Dad Hugs, Free Grana Hugs, and Free Pastor Hugs like it was our paying jobs," she wrote. "And when I say hugs, I mean THE KIND A MAMA GIVES HER BELOVED KID."

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  • Jen shared that their arms were "never empty." 

    She wrote: 

    "We 'happy hugged' a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I’d spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms. These were the dear hearts who said:

    "I miss this."
    "My mom doesn’t love me anymore."
    "My dad hasn’t spoken to me in three years."
    "Please just one more hug."
  • Even the pastor gave out hugs, which can be especially emotional for LGBTQ kids who have been rejected by their churches. 

    Jen explained that unless you were there, you can only imagine just how powerful a 'Pastor Hug' was to those who needed the unconditional support. "We told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off," she says. "This is what we are doing here, what we are here for."

  • At the end of the parade, Jen shared a selfie of herself "covered in glitter, sweat, and more than a few tears."

  • The initiative was organized by the Free Mom Hugs Organization. The group states that its members are moms who "love and affirm LGBTQ kids fully."

    We can only imagine how much a seemingly small gesture like this means to people who feel unloved by their own moms, dads, and pastors. It's really amazing how much love can be spread with a simple hug! 

    To learn more about the organization, visit its website,

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