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This woman offered to be the ‘mom’ at any gay wedding. Her post went viral. – The Washington Post

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Starlet Jamie Lee Curtis, left, takes a selfie with Sara Cunningham in September

in Oklahoma City. Curtis got the film civil liberties to Cunningham’s publication,”How We Rest during the night.”(Jamie Lee Curtis )By Cathy Free After Sara Cunningham’s youngest kid told her in 2011 he was gay, it took years for the Oklahoma City assistant as well as mother of 2 to approve it. At some point, she started to withstand her conventional Baptist church’s position that homosexuality is scandalous.”We tried to ‘pray the gay away’ for many years,” claimed Cunningham, 55. “And I seemed like I needed to pick in between my son and also my belief.”

She picked her son. In July she determined to take a stand in another method. Literally.

Distressed on learning of a same-sex pair whose parents rejected to attend their wedding, Cunningham wrote a short post on Free Mommy Embraces, a nonprofit that gives support and resources to LGBTQ people and their households.

“Sara constantly says to border yourself with people who like you as well as want to commemorate you,” stated Tabatha Cash money, 28, who saw Cunningham’s Facebook blog post and asked her to stand in for her mother at her wedding event. She and also Marlee Castillo, 25, were wed in November in Spearman, Tex.

. Cunningham happily accepted. For the Texas wedding celebration, Cunningham purchased her very own airplane ticket as well as claimed Castillo’s mommy paid for her hotel area.

“There are hundreds like me who in some cases seem like we do not be entitled to [love] due to the issues with our families,” Cash money stated. “To feel liked and invited by complete strangers– people that aren’t bound to like us– is a various sort of pleasure and also warmth.”

An additional individual that saw Cunningham’s blog post, Rob Panos, prepares to marry his companion, Jonathan Salazar, 24, in New York City in the fall. He said as quickly as he read it, he knew she was indicated to attend their wedding event.

“It struck home with me,” claimed Panos, 40. “My future husband has a very ragged partnership with his mommy. Mine is also a little bit rough. They, regrettably, don’t supply us with the genuine love that we require and also are worthy of.”

He included: “We truly can’t wait to hug her.”

When Cunningham’s kid came out to her in 2011, she never ever imagined she would certainly connect to LGBTQ strangers, not to mention share their wedding events, she claimed. Her very own journey of approval was rough and unpleasant.

Although she had lengthy suspected her child was gay, “I assumed it could simply be a stage,” she stated. “And then when he transformed 21, he ‘appeared’ to me and also stated that he ‘d fulfilled somebody and also required me to be alright with it.”

At the time, she was not. Her kid fought with it, too.

“Not just was I living in continuous concern as a gay youngster in traditional Oklahoma, we were combating a spiritual fight inside the walls of a non-affirming church,” Parker Cunningham stated. “My mom and I were both struggling with what we assumed was a literal ‘life or death’ scenario when it came to my soul as well as just how I ‘d invest eternity.”

He said they both felt as though lightning could “strike them down” after he disclosed he was gay. “We had no idea just how to discuss it,” he claimed.

Ruined by her kid’s news, Sara Cunningham came under an anxiety.

“I hoped, I not ate, I burned incense and reproached my son into shedding his journals,” she stated.

It was only when she and also her partner, Rex Cunningham, started to reconsider what was crucial to them that they ended up being much more open up to their boy’s sexuality.

“After Parker appeared, our household experienced alienation and separation,” Sara Cunningham said. “We ‘d remained in our church for twenty years, and we all of a sudden had to absorb this suggestion that our child was unworthy. They really did not understand just how to minister to us.”

Cunningham desperately desired somebody to speak with yet did not recognize where to turn. So in 2014, shocked to discover the high rate of self-destruction among young LGBTQ people, “I ended up being an unexpected protestor,” she stated.

She and also her husband attended a gay pride parade in Norman, Okla., with their son.

“It was my first experience with the LGBTQ community, as well as it was as gorgeous as maybe,” Cunningham stated. “I understood that I would certainly been estranged for many years by very own ignorance and also worry.”

The following year, Cunningham attended the ceremony once more, this time around putting on a homemade switch that reviewed, “Free Mother Hugs.”


Sara Cunningham with her son, Parker, at a 2018 Pride Day occasion in Norman, Okla. (Katrina Kalb)

“Whenever I made eye contact with any person, I ‘d use to provide a hug or a high five,” she claimed. “I went house covered with glitter.”

Parker Cunningham stated his mommy’s simplest gift is likewise one of the most effective: “It’s simply appearing and also advising people that they are loved unconditionally.”