George Takei tells the story of GLAAD Media Institute alumni giving "Free Mom Hugs"

Actor, LGBTQ advocate, and GLAAD Media Award honoree, George Takei, has shared the story of Sara and Parker Cunningham. The mother and son duo participated in the GLAAD Media Institute course in Oklahoma City in March, hosted and co-sponsored by Freedom Oklahoma. Since then, Sara and her organization, Free Mom Hugs, have been getting significant media attention for her support of LGBTQ people who have faced family rejection.

Look at how Takei tells the story:

Free Mom HugsSara and Parker were highly engaged in the GLAAD Media Institute course, according to trainer Scott Turner Schofield. “They came to learn how to represent Free Mom Hugs as best they could, to really promote its mission. They even took me out for dinner and grilled me for more, and I did a whole extra how-to-interview session with them because they were so hungry for what we do.”

Since their time attending Engagement 101: Media & Messaging Tools for Today's Activist, the mother and son team have out the training to great use, and it’s paying off. Sarah went viral for her offer to stand in as a parent for LGBTQ people getting married, who have been rejected by family. Their story was featured in The Independent, CBS News, BuzzFeed, and outlets in France and Germany.

Her outpouring of love has even inspired similar actions in Austin, TX, and is becoming the subject of a documentary titled “Mama Bears.”

Sara and Parker are just two examples of GLAAD Media Institute alumni who are accelerating acceptance for the LGBTQ community. Join them by attending a GLAAD Media Institute course or workshop near you. Check out glaad.org/institute to learn more.