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Christian Group Offers 'Free Mom Hugs' At Austin Pride Parade

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Christian Group Offers 'Free Mom Hugs' At Austin Pride Parade

It's still an unfortunate truth, even in 2018, that there are people in the LGBT+ community that have been rejected by their parents.

In fact, there's thousands of people that have been unable to get any acceptance from their parents after coming out.

However, for all those lacking parental love in their lives, there are groups of people who are standing waiting to give out 'mom hugs'.

At Austin Pride Parade, Christian author Jen Hatmaker organised an effort to give out ''free mom hugs, free dad hugs, free grana hugs and free pastor hugs like it was our paying jobs'.

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Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker

Sara Cunningham, executive director of Free Mom Hugs, was credited as inspiration for the initiative, in an Instagram post by Jen.

On the post she commented: "We 'happy hugged' a ton of folks, but dozens of times, I'd spot someone in the parade look our way, squint at our shirts and posters, and RACE into our arms.

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"These were the dear hearts who said: 'I miss this', 'my mom doesn't love me anymore', 'my dad hasn't spoken to me in three years', and, 'please just one more hug'."

Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker

Even the church's pastor gave out free hugs - which can be especially emotional for youngsters who have been rejected from their church.

Jen explained that unless you were there, you can only imagine just how powerful a 'pastor hug' was to people who really need that unconditional support.

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She said: "We told them over and over that they were impossibly loved and needed and precious. And we hugged until our arms fell off.

"This is what we are doing here, what we are here for."

Many people took to Instagram to repost Jen's images in support.

Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker
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David Paksoal, coordinator of Youth Ministry, reposted the pictures with the comment: "I love this post that shows how a bunch of folks showed up during pride parade and instead of stand in judgement, there were there to give hugs.

"They gave acceptance to many persons and many were moved with tears. We Christian should be known by our love not our judgment. Cause God's judgement has been poured down with hot anger on the cross of Jesus Christ. We're now free to love!"

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We can truly only imagine what a small gesture, such as a hug, can mean to those missing the support in their lives from those they love most.

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Featured Image Credit: Instagram/JenHatmaker

Topics: Pride, LGBT, US News, Community

Rachael Grealish
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