The North Carolina chapter of Free Mom Hugs is one of our strongest. I love when Diana is on a call with us. I know that her voice is lifted above others and is always, always, one of the most supportive people we encounter. She works hard and makes Free Mom Hugs better in so many ways. For her leader spotlight we asked Diana to send us a little bit more about her and what Free Mom Hugs means to her.
I was raised by a very strong liberal mother who happened to have several gay friends. It wasn’t talked about much in the 70's but it was no secret in our house that some of her male friends had boyfriends. I really didn't think alot about it and I didn’t realize how gays were viewed by mainstream America until the HIV/AIDS epidemic. To see them being viewed as "less than" and "unnatural" shocked and saddened me. My friends, my band teacher and the owner of a local grocery store were the major influencers of my life.
I am the lucky mom to a beautiful daughter who came out to me as a lesbian when she was 14 years old. I wasn’t extremely surprised by this news, but I did have to take a deep breath. As she got older, her friends would hang out at our home because they couldn’t be their true selves and they knew that they were safe and loved there. Not all of her friends had the acceptance at home that my daughter did. I think that is one of the reasons I am drawn to advocate for the community.
She makes me so proud. She and her wife are two of the most kindhearted young ladies that I know. They both go above and beyond to share love and light to all that need it.
Free Mom Hugs is more than just a charity where I volunteer my time. It is my passion. It represents my values and it is my way of trying to make the world a better place. There is nothing in the world like locking eyes with someone and seeing the hunger for love and acceptance and being able to give that to them. My fear is that no matter how much I give there is still so much to do to change the hearts of unaccepting parents and family members. But together, we can at least make our part of the world a better place.
Our North Carolina chapter is working hard to do one on one outreach during these trying times. We host Zoom meetings for our chapters, as well as, daily/weekly check-ins for some of our folks who are not dealing with these times as well as they would like.
If you want to volunteer your time with the North Carolina chapter email [email protected]