She's Offering To Be A 'Stand-In Mom' At LGBTQ+ Weddings Where The Biological Mom Isn't Present

"I'll be your biggest fan. I'll even bring the bubbles."

For many people in the LGBTQ+ community, coming out can be difficult, and even risky. It's not always a given that family will love and support them, and for some, coming out even means being all-out rejected by family members. When this happens, it's nice to know that there are allies and others in the LGBTQ+ community willing to rally behind you as "stand-in" family members. This was made especially clear on July 20 when Oklahoma mom Sara Cunningham, 54, posted a PSA on Facebook to the LGBTQ+ community. 

She offered to be a "stand-in mom" at same-sex weddings where the biological mom isn't present. She included a photo of herself raising her hand and stated, "I'll be your biggest fan. I'll even bring the bubbles."

The post was quickly shared online with many members of the LGBTQ+ community thanking Cunningham for her support.

Others are even offering their services.

"I am a gay mom who came out at 33; now 48," explained one Facebook user. "I too, am available to anyone who needs "MOM" stand-ins, hugs, support."

Another offered their services as a grandma. "I love the love spreading around the world. I can be the stand-in grandma in Phoenix, AZ," she said.

One user wrote, "Dayton OH! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜 I'll gladly be a mom or crazy aunt or whomever you need!"

"I'm not even old enough to be someone's mom that's getting married but as a mother, I'd so be down," stated one woman.

Another person wrote, "How inspirational you are! I'd be honored to volunteer for whomever in whatever role - mother, sister, friend, cheerleader, chair-filler - in the NYC tri-state area, and I'll bring the champs too!!!!!!"

After seeing the reactions to her comments, Cunningham posted a message on July 21 thanking everyone for the support and offering up resources to help people.

Cunningham is an ordained minister who has officiated 12 ceremonies so far. She told NBC that the viral Facebook post was actually "posted out of frustration" after she heard stories from LGBTQ+ couples about parents not being supportive of their weddings.

She is thrilled with the positive response from Facebook, however. 

"I had no idea I would hear from so many in the community, including 'parents' from all around the world that are willing to stand in," the mom-of-two said.

Cunningham's advocacy started in 2014 after her son, Parker, came out as gay. She said, at the time, she struggled to be OK with it. "I'm a woman of faith ... We live in a conservative town," Cunningham told CBS News. "It sounds bad to say it, but I felt like I had to choose between my child and faith. I was under this impression it was the ultimate offense." 

She told BuzzFeed," I thought, If my son is going to hell for being gay I'm gonna fight for him like my hair is on fire. Since then I've gotten educated and no longer believe that — so now I've [been] fighting for him and the LGBTQ+ community like my hair is on fire because I've seen the power of what fear and ignorance can do."

During her quest for information, the Oklahoma mom was unsure where to find resources. She discovered a private Facebook group and it led her to starting her own group, Free Mom Hugs. The Facebook page aims to educate parents about the LGBTQ+ community and offer advice. 

After the outpouring of support for her stand-in mom Facebook post, Cunningham is trying organize groups of stand-in people on the Free Mom Hugs Facebook page.

(H/T: PopSugar)

Cover image via  DGLimages I Shutterstock and Sara Cunningham Facebook

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