- Jeff Greenberg/ Getty
- Several parents have gone viral for supporting LGBTQ children.
- One mom called a local gay bar to ask for advice after her son came out.
- Another mother voiced her support for her son who loves to do drag, while a dad went viral after he offered strangers free hugs at Pittsburgh Pride.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For an LGBTQ person, a supportive family can make all the difference.
“Family support makes a transformative difference in the lives of people who come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer,” PFLAG – the largest organization for LGBTQ people, their families, and friends – wrote on its site. “And when parents and families share their stories, they not only bolster them but embolden others to do the same.”
Not only do these LGBTQ children love the support, but so does the internet. When parents have shared their stories online, thousands of people have commented, liked, and shared them.
Here are some of the best stories about parents supporting their LGBTQ children.
A transgender man was surprised to learn his parents got matching tattoos of the trans flag after he came out.
- Courtesy Drew Price
Drew Price, a trans person from Australia, took to Twitter in May when his parents surprised him with matching tattoos of the trans flag in the shape of a heart.
“My parents got trans flags tattoos to represent their trans son (i.e., me!!!),” Drew wrote. “My heart is bursting.”
In another tweet, he explained how much this gesture meant to him. “You wouldn’t believe how much we’ve grown as a family,” Price wrote. “When I started to come out, things were so horrible, we didn’t know how to communicate. I’m as proud of them as they are of me.”
The tweet went viral and people sent Price messages of love and support.
“I felt incredibly loved and accepted,” Price told Insider. “It was overwhelming actually, I know I am incredibly lucky to have parents that love and accept me for who I am. There were ups and downs, but they are both my No. 1 supporters.”
A mother called a gay bar for advice after her son came out.
- Courtesy Kara Coley
In 2018, Kara Coley was bartending at Sipps, an LGBTQ-friendly bar in Mississippi, when she got a strange phone call. Coley said the woman on the other end told her that her son had just come out, and she needed some advice.
The woman asked, “What was the one thing you wanted from your parents when you came out?”
“I think that you should just make sure he knows that you love and accept [him],” Coley told her.
The anonymous woman then thanked Coley and hung up. When she posted the exchange on Facebook, the post went viral.
“It’s simple,” Coley told Insider. “You love someone one day and just because they come out doesn’t mean that they are any different the next day, so you love them just the same. I think it’s important for people to see that we’re all human beings and we all just want to be treated just like everyone else. I feel like if there was a little more compassion in this world, then the world will be a little bit the nicer place to live in.”
Scott Dittman went viral for offering free hugs to anyone who needed them at the Pittsburgh Pride Parade.
- Yana Paskova/ Getty
In June, Scott “Howie” Dittman (not pictured) attended Pittsburgh Pride wearing a T-shirt that read “free dad hugs.” At the end of the day, he had given out over 700 hugs to strangers at the event.
“I went on Amazon Prime and ordered a shirt and went down on Sunday just to try to put a smile on people’s faces,” Dittman told KDKA. “You’d see people that were completely happy in the middle of this festival and then they’d see that ‘free dad’ shirt and it was like a switch was flipped.”
After Dittman’s actions went viral, the father urged parents of LGBTQ children to accept their loved ones.
“Imagine that, parents. Imagine that your child feels so lost from you that they sink into the arms of a complete stranger and sob endlessly just because that stranger is wearing a T-shirt offering hugs from a dad,” Dittman wrote on Facebook. “Think of the depths of their pain. Try to imagine how deep those cuts must be. Please don’t be the parent of a child that had to shoulder that burden.”
Sara Cunningham offered to act as a stand-in mother at any LGBTQ wedding if the mother refused to attend.
- Tommaso Boddi / Getty
In 2011, Sara Cunningham’s son came out as gay, and she had trouble accepting it because she was a conservative Baptist. After choosing her son over her religion, Cunningham went viral on Facebook for offering to act as a stand-in mom at LGBTQ wedding ceremonies.
“PSA. If you need a mom to attend your same-sex wedding because your biological mom won’t, call me,” she wrote in the post. “I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles.”
The post went viral and actually worked. Cunningham has attended many same-sex weddings, and she has even officiated some.
The post caught the attention of actress Jamie Lee Curtis, who spent several days with the Cunningham family.
“I saw the impact that her movement has already had, in and around Oklahoma City,” Curtis told The Washington Post. “It’s exciting to watch something that was born out of such conflict develop into something of such deep compassion and expansive acceptance.”
A proud mom went viral for supporting her son, who is a drag queen.
- Barcroft Media/ Getty
Randi McDowall’s 17-year-old son, Brett (not pictured), loves to perform as a drag queen known as Amberlea Fruitville. He participates in drag queen competitions in Sarasota, Florida, which Randi loves.
She even took to Twitter to express her support for her son.
“My son is a drag queen,” she wrote. “This means he likes to dress as a woman for performance purposes. He is not transgender, he identifies as a male and does not want to be a woman. It’s hurtful to be rejected by family who don’t take the time to educate themselves.”
After prompting her followers to retweet, the tweet went viral.
“What I love most about my son is that he has never been ashamed of his sexual identity or going out in drag,” she told Gay Star News. “He is funny, an amazing singer and dancer, and he owns it whenever he performs. I could not be more proud of him.”
This mother created a documentary about her daughter’s right to use the bathroom she chooses.
- Santiago Felipe / Getty
Vlada Knowlton made headlines in 2018 when she released her documentary, “The Most Dangerous Year,” which chronicled her child’s transition from male to female. The film also focused heavily on the “bathroom bills,” which were proposed laws that would ban gender-neutral bathrooms and would not allow her daughter to go to the bathroom in the one that she preferred.
“I think that’s what’s missing a lot from the media narrative about transgender people, too,” Knowlton said. “And it’s really important for us to start thinking about this. This is crucial: These are just regular, everyday kids. They’re no different from anybody else.”
While some have called her an activist, some view her as a hero.
“Vlada Knowlton is the kind of mother every queer person would be lucky to have: determined, creative, vocal, and loving of her queer child,” Queerty wrote. “Knowlton’s activism helped defeat the bathroom bills in Washington and broadened the debate over transgender equality on a national scale.”
A father overheard his son talking to his boyfriend on the phone, so he wrote him a heartwarming letter.
- George Frey/ Getty
An unidentified dad overheard his son, Nate, talking to his boyfriend on the phone about how he is scared to come out to his dad. Instead of talking to Nate, the father wrote him a letter.
“I overheard your phone conversation with Mike last night about your plans to come out to me,” the father’s note read. “The only thing I need you to plan is to bring home OJ and bread after class. We are out, like you now.”
The letter ended with a cheeky note: “P.S. Your mom and I think you and Mike make a cute couple.”
The letter quickly went viral after a company that sells social justice-themed items posted it on its Facebook page.
“We hope it sets a good example for fathers to love their kids the way they were born,” the company said in a statement to Gawker. “The fact that it has been shared by so many sadly means that this kind of acceptance is both too rare and deeply craved by LGBT people so used to being rejected by families.”
When a teenager came out to his mother on video, she had a heartwarming response.
- Mattewac1/ YouTube
Matthew Christian came out to his mother in an emotional video in 2017. In the now-viral video, you can see Christian tell his mother that he’s gay and then immediately burst into tears. She quickly tries to soothe him by telling him there’s nothing to be sorry about.
“I love you no matter what … Don’t you know that?” she says in the video. “I just want you to be happy.”
After the video went viral, she told HuffPost that even if it’s a surprise, you should still welcome your child with open arms.
“Although it may or may not come as a surprise, and it may be a lot to take in all at once, your child is still the same person they were before they told you, and it doesn’t change your love for them,” Christian’s mother said.
- Read more:
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- 30 inspiring photos of same-sex weddings around the world
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