Free Mom Hugs is a 501(c)(3) organization, that has a newly founded local chapter here in Memphis, TN. The group has chapters in all 50 states and can be described as a radically loving group of parents and allies committed to supporting LGBTQ youth and adults who have been turned away from other places such as families and churches. Free Mom Hugs TN, the local chapter, has worked with OUTMemphis multiple times, including volunteering for Queer Youth Field Day.
“Free Mom Hugs is a group of affirming parents and allies who love the LGBTQ+ community unconditionally. We are dedicated to educating families, church, and civic leaders encouraging them to not only affirm the LGBTQ+ community but to celebrate them.”
Chris Pepple, a member of the local Memphis, TN chapter, had this to say about what it is that they do:
- Support Pride events and other community events across the nation;
- Offer hugs to anyone who requests one;
- Work closely with homeless youth shelters, whose percentage of LGBTQ+ youth in their population is staggering;
- Help with the process for name changes and gender markers for our transgender friends and family;
- Stand with local organizations requesting support to help educate our communities on issues of equality and full inclusion and encourage all members of the LGBTQ+ community;
- Build relationships;
- Provide assistance to those in the LGBTQ+ community who find themselves in crisis;
- Stand in at weddings, graduations, or other special events for anyone requesting our presence. Many people who are rejected by their biological families appreciate the chance to build new relationships and have people stand with them during special events.