Sara Cunningham lgbt stand in mom

Sara Cunningham/Facebook

This lovely woman is volunteering to be stand-in mom at LGBTQ weddings

She says she was inspired by absent parents at LGBTQ weddings she officiated.


Alex Dalbey


A woman in Oklahoma has the internet crying tears of joy after offering to be a stand-in mother at LGBTQ weddings in which the parents won’t attend.

Sara Cunningham, who is an ordained minister with a gay son, said she became an advocate for LGBTQ families with her organization Free Mom Hugs, but she wasn’t always. “I thought ‘if my son is going to hell for being gay I’m gonna fight for him like my hair is on fire,’” she said to BuzzFeed News. “Since then I’ve gotten educated and no longer believe that—so now I’m fighting for him and the LGBTQ community like my hair is on fire.”

Cunningham has married people throughout Ohio, including many LGBTQ couples. In the process of ministering these weddings, Cunningham says she’s met lots of LGBTQ couples whose parents were unsupportive or in denial, saying, “Their parents refuse to attend their wedding, or even acknowledge their relationships.” It was the experiences shared by these young couples that inspired her to make a Facebook post on Friday, offering to be a stand-in mom at same-sex weddings if the mother won’t attend. “Call me. I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles,” she wrote.

Cunningham was inspired not just by the couples she’s officiated for, but also by her relationship with her son. “I’m simply doing what I wish someone would have done when I was trying to figure things out,” she said to BuzzFeed News.

Since Cunningham put up her offer on Facebook, her post has been shared over 7,000 times. Many people in the comments are LGBTQ folks eager to take her up on the offer, but that’s not all. From places as near as Indiana and as far as Australia, moms are volunteering to be there for LGBTQ couples on their wedding days, to supply all the tears and love and pride a good mom should. There are also people volunteering to come as other supportive family members, such as siblings, cousins, and grandmothers. The post has even already united several LGBTQ people with potential stand-in moms, and we can only hope more are likely to follow.

H/T BuzzFeed News

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