“I thought it might just be a phase,” she said. “And then when he turned 21, he ‘came out’ to me and said that he’d met someone and needed me to be okay with it.”
She wrote that she became depressed and wasn’t exactly the perfect PFLAG mom for her son when he initially came out.
“I prayed, I fasted, I burned incense and shamed my son into burning his journals,” she wrote.
“We were fighting a spiritual battle inside the walls of a non-affirming church,” her son Parker said. “My mother and I were both struggling with what we thought was a literal ‘life or death’ situation when it came to my soul and how I’d spend eternity.”
Things started to turn around when she went to pride with her son in 2014.
“It was my first encounter with the LGBTQ community, and it was as beautiful as it could be,” Cunningham said. “I realized that I’d been alienated for years by own ignorance and fear.”
The next year, she went back and offered “Free Mom Hugs.”
“Whenever I made eye contact with anybody, I’d offer to give them a hug or a high five,” she said. “I went home covered with glitter.”