Chasney who is a member of our Georgia team has a wonderful way with words. Reading over her article made me fall in love with Free Mom Hugs all over again. She says, "I’m proud to be everyone’s mama because that’s what a mama’s love means. It means pride, unconditional love, support, and hugs." Thank you Chasney, for your words, your time and all you do for Free Mom Hugs.
Tell us about your journey and how you came to a place of support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
I was raised by pretty amazing parents in a very loving, open, and accepting household. From the time I was a little girl, I remember being taught that love always wins and that it’s people that matter in this world. So, I never really came to a place of support - I’ve really always been in and around a place of support. It’s a nature thing to me. It’s like breathing.
What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think about your “reason” for getting involved in advocacy work?
“Be the change you want to see” That’s what comes to my mind. I could talk all day long and for the rest of my life about how terrible things are for the LGBTQIA+ community including how sad it is that mothers, fathers, siblings, and grandparents turn their backs to their family members who are gay. I can grieve at home to myself about another murder or suicide in the LGBTQIA+ community or I can be an ally and advocate. I can be a voice on the other end of the telephone and I can be a face on the other side of the table at a coffee shop. I can be a hand to hold. I can be a loud voice screaming for those who no longer have one. I can be a warm hug and I can be a mama.
What makes you proud to be their mama?
I’m proud to be everyone’s mama because that’s what a mama’s love means. It means pride, unconditional love, support, and hugs. It means giving advice like take your vitamins, wash your hands, get plenty of sleep!
When did you first hear about Free Mom Hugs and what motivated you to get involved as a volunteer for the organization?
I don’t remember exactly when or how I first heard about Free Mom Hugs but I do remember that it was through Facebook about a year ago. I joined the state chapter first, and then joined the Atlanta Group and the Woodstock group after that since I live in Acworth. Not long after I joined, our chapter leader, Erin, posted on the Woodstock page looking for additional admins/moderators. I volunteered for Woodstock and Atlanta and I also volunteered to help with our Gwinnett page. Once I became admin of those pages, I got really excited about being involved with such an amazing group of people. So really, being a part of Free Mom Hugs motivated me to become even more involved!
What excites you most about being involved with FMH?
EVERYTHING! I put together my first meet up as a chapter leader in early March. A small wedding expo was also my first FMH event. I was overcome with every emotion possible. Vendors were asking for our information so that they could contact us to attend other wedding expos with them. Other vendors joined our group and shared their story with us. Even during this pandemic, I still share Free Mom Hugs whenever possible. I was wearing my FMH shirt and met the kindest lady at Publix one day. Both of us had masks on and we had the best conversation. She thanked us for being such a bright light in what can be a dark time for so many people. She took our information and we gained another member.
What brings you the most fear?
Uncertainty and sadness
What brings you the most joy?
Laughing, happiness, my kids, my grandmother, my mama and my niece.
Tell us about some of the exciting things the chapter in your state is working on.
Right now, I think we are in a limbo about Pride since Atlanta Pride is so late in the year. We will get to have something this year? And also – the virtual tour coming up!
Is there anything else we need to know about you and what makes you, you?
I’m Georgia born and raised. I talk pretty fast so sometimes you have to listen in a hurry. I have a big heart and cry over just about everything!
You can make a huge impact for the Georgia chapter by making a donation to help them further their goals. Every dollar counts and we appreciate all of your support.