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Your wedding day is obviously a major life event, and most people who are about to get hitched look forward to sharing the joy of their special day with their parents. Sadly, of course, some brides’ and grooms’ parents cannot be there for them because of death, illness or other circumstances beyond their control.
However, some people’s parents are not there for them at their weddings by choice: Some same-sex couples have to deal with parents who are not accepting of their sexuality and refuse to attend their weddings. For those heading down the aisle who find themselves in this heartbreaking situation, Oklahoma mom Sara Cunningham has volunteered to be their “stand-in mom” for the big day.
Cunningham made her generous and public offer via a now-viral Facebook post:
Alongside a photo of herself raising her hand, Cunningham wrote, “PSA. If you need a mom to attend your same sex wedding because your biological mom won’t. Call me. I’m there. I’ll be your biggest fan. I’ll even bring the bubbles.”
How sweet! Cunningham’s July 20 post has now been shared more than 8,000 times. People from all over the world have left comments praising Cunningham for her kind offer, and others even chimed in to make their own offers to be stand-in moms, dads or whatever other supportive roles those about to tie the knot may need.
An ordained minister who has officiated several same-sex weddings in which the couple’s parents refused to attend, Cunningham has witnessed this situation herself. She also has first-hand experience as a mom who initially struggled to accept her gay son’s sexuality.
Despite what she describes as her “own ignorance and fear” that at first held her back from fully accepting her son and his relationship with his male partner, she is now an LGBTQ activist. She even wrote a book on the topic, “How We Sleep at Night: A Mother’s Memoir.”
“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 told BuzzFeed News when asked about how her views have changed. “Since then I’ve gotten educated and no longer believe that — so now I’ve [been] fighting for him and the LGBTQ community like my hair is on fire because I’ve seen the power of what fear and ignorance can do.”
According to Yahoo News, Cunningham has already had a lot of requests from her offer to be a stand-in mom, and she told Yahoo she hadn’t even had a chance yet to get to the 130 private messages from brides- and grooms-to-be.
Meanwhile, her offer continues to inspire others to do the same. One woman left a comment on the post, “I’m in central Ohio. I’ll be a stand-in mom, too!!” Another replied, “I’m in Colorado Springs! My husband and I would love to be your wedding parents!!!”
What an awesome bunch of moms!