Episode 118: Free Mom Hugs for LGBTQ+ Kids w/ Sara Cunningham

March 29, 2021

I imagine many of my listeners are regulars at pride parades. If that’s you, you’ve probably seen the moms who offer free hugs to LGBTQ kids who may not have a supportive or loving family. There is something so simple and yet so profound about that act of kindness. It communicates a love that is basic to human dignity but often denied to LGBTQ kids.

The idea behind those free hugs comes from today’s guest, Sara Cunningham. She is the founder of the nonprofit, Free Mom Hugs. Sara comes from a faith tradition, so when her own son came out as gay, she really struggled. In this episode, we’re discussing her journey from that point to her current place of acceptance and affirmation of her son.

Show Highlights:

  • The experiences Sara went through when her son came out.
  • How she has rebuilt trust with her son.
  • What drove her to change her perspective on the LGBTQ+ community.
  • How our culture and legal system have progressed over the years.
  • What Sara’s mission with Free Mom Hugs is.
  • What it is like for Sara to work with secular gay rights groups as a woman of faith.
  • Why love and education are the keys to a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • The best parenting practices of affirmation and love.

Links (affiliates included):

Free Mom Hugs –

Parenting Forward Conference Sessions –

Join us at the Parenting Forward Patreon Team –

Parenting Forward, the Book –

Additional Resources:

How We Sleep At Night: A Mother’s Memoir by Sara Cunningham:


QCF – Queer Christian Fellowship:

TRP – The Reformation Project:

Geeky Justin – on faith, culture, and nuance:

Canyonwalker Connections:

Serendipitydodah – Home of the Real Mama Bears: