I stood today literally on the pedestal of the Native American Woman statue that sits in front of the Oklahoma State Capitol Building holding high above my head a sign in loving support of my LGBT child.
Who’d have thunk it?
My spiritual journey since I put God in the driver’s seat has been a crazy one. Today, it took a pit stop at the state capitol building along side 15,000 of my closest friends. As part of the Women’s March on Oklahoma, several of us moms of LGBT kids wormed our way through the crowd of mostly progressive Okies holding high a banner reading “Free Mom Hugs; Moms who love LGBTQ Kids.” The reaction was crazy — kids, adults, grandparents all came to us, needing that touch. Needing a Mom hug, even from a total stranger. Many had tears flowing.
“My mom won’t hug me.”
“Both of my parents are dead.”
“I haven’t had a hug from my own mom in years.”
“I’m afraid to tell my mom I’m gay.”
Tears. Heartbreak. Loneliness. I got where I could see it in their eyes. People would look across and see our sign, and the need and longing showed clearly on their faces. I watched people literally pushing their way through to get to us, so much was that need. Some would even seek us out for another round of hugs. When my kids were younger, I read in a book once that you should hug them until they started to pull back — you shouldn’t pull back first. I did that today. I held on as long as they wanted to. That’s often when the tears started — when the hug lasted longer than a couple of seconds and they felt that connection.
My own maternal instincts were on high alert all day at the yearning these kids felt. Let me clarify — “kids” as defined as someone’s child, not by age. The woman who told us her mom won’t hug her was probably 60 years old. The hurt was palpable. I was constantly amazed by comments about how awesome the five of us moms were for being there. All we were doing was loving our kids unconditionally. Isn’t that what all moms should do? What all parents should do? What all Christians should do?
Early afternoon, I gave my aching shoulders a break and stood in the very lengthy food truck line. While waiting, I pulled out my phone to see what was going on in Facebook world. I was proud at how many of my friends were at Women’s Marches here or in their own states, or showing their support in their own ways. And I was appalled by the comments about people boycotting the marches because of the connection with Planned Parenthood. What? I don’t get that. I am pro-life and I know many if not most of those 15,000 people there today are pro-choice, but so what?? I don’t feel the need to agree with everyone around me in order to have peace. If I did, I would never find a church home, I wouldn’t have a job, and I actually wouldn’t be married! If our country doesn’t start to understand and embrace the concept of unity despite our differences, we won’t be a country for long.
Today’s March wasn’t specific to policy. It wasn’t a Trump protest. It was a chance for people to take a positive stand for what they believe in and to make a strong statement to our local and national politicians that we are going to take our rights seriously, and we want them to as well. I stood today for the rights of my gay son and his friends. I stood asking for respect as a female. I stood for other races that I believe are being bullied. I wasn’t commenting on specific laws or policies. I was just standing for equality. Today was about solidarity and moving in a positive direction.
I stood in a large crowd of marginalized people, and I shared love. I didn’t ask anyone who wanted a hug if they were Christians, or what their political affiliation is, or what they believed about abortion. I didn’t preach or pass out fliers. I hugged them. Plain and simple. I hugged people. I hugged men, women, children. I hugged homeless people. I hugged black, hispanic, asian, native american and white people. I hugged straight, gay, trans and people who I really wasn’t sure what their gender is. I didn’t care.
And I’m confident that Jesus been alive today, he would have been right there with me. Actually, I’m confident he was.