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Free hugs ain't it.

What LGBTQIA+ people REALLY need this Pride season

By Dane BHPublished 2 months ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024
a typical "free mom hugs" shirt

It's gotten fairly popular to make some declaration during pride month that, "If your parents don't accept, support and love you, then I'm your mom/dad/uncle/family/parent/guardian now," and make some vague declaration about your willingness to offer emotional support to young (always young; never the trans person coming out in their 30s or their 50s, never the divorcee who realized he was gay at 62) queers.

Generally, in the form of hugs. Always offering the hugs.

Well, my mom gave great hugs. Dad's are pretty good. But you know what parents are really good for?

  • I can always do my laundry at their place, for free.
  • If I was behind on my rent, I could ask them for help and they would give me the money.
  • They send birthday cards and presents without being reminded or asked.
  • They take a deep-seated interest in my life, listen to me, and support me even when we don't agree.
  • They are there when I call any time, day or night. They are never too tired or too busy or too involved in other things to take time for me.
  • They know my favorite foods. They know what music I love. They think of me when I'm not around.
  • They showed up to every concert, performance, recital, show or game. Every one. Even though there are few things more stupefyingly boring than watching five year olds try to play soccer, and few things more painful than an elementary school orchestra.
  • They help me make big decisions when I'm not sure what to do. They're a sounding board without judgment.

Hugs aren't even a drop in the bucket.

And frankly, most kids get plenty of good hugs from their friends.

When people get disowned from their families, they don't want hugs from strangers. They want long term solid people they can count on. People who will support them in mundane and annoying ways.

When people get disowned from their families, they don't need a selfie with a beaming mom in a t-shirt. They need people who understand that the most fundamental form of trust has been shattered at their feet. People who've been disowned from their families are not cute. They're not always grateful. They're often dysfunctional in any number of ways. And they still need support. They still deserve support.

Think about how much you're willing to offer. Think about what mundane and inconvenient things you'd be willing to give a stranger, even one who wasn't cute, or had plain brown hair, or was disabled in a way that didn't lend itself to making you look like a big damn hero.

Offer THAT.

I'd love a proliferation of "SEND ME YOUR GOFUNDMES THIS PRIDE SEASON" posts.

I want straight white moms using their very best Karen powers to help broke and disabled queers get health insurance, co-sign apartment leases, accompany people to the doctor's office and MAKE THE DOCTORS LISTEN. I want an army of notary publics making it clear that their services for name changes are offered gratis. I want a cascade of lawyers showing up to offer their name-change filing services pro bono.

And if you do show up to be a mom in the streets, BE A MOM. Bring sunscreen and snacks and water bottles and hand them out. Cheer like you're at the best peewee soccer game you ever went to. And yes, if you want: offer hugs. But let that be the cherry on top of a big time Support Sundae with a LOT more substance and a LOT less photo op.

Anyway. Glad we got that ironed out. Now go forth, moms. And if you personally help someone get housed, clothed, fed and cared for (medically, legally, or otherwise) you can come right on down to Dane's House of Affirmation and I will PERSONALLY give you all the cookies. Pinky promise. I got you.

Now get to it.

Pride Month

About the Creator

Dane BH

By day, I'm a cog in the nonprofit machine, and poet. By night, I'm a creature of the internet. My soul is a grumpy cat who'd rather be sleeping.

Top Story count: 19

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Comments (17)

  • Denelsia Walkerabout a month ago

    Dane's you writing is both poignant and pragmatic, offering a blueprint for allies to transform good intentions into impactful actions. By urging readers to move beyond performative acts and engage in meaningful contributions, "Free Hugs Ain't It" ignites a crucial conversation about the true essence of allyship. This article is sure to leave a lasting impression, inspiring readers to reflect on how they can offer genuine support to the LGBTQIA+ community, not just during Pride Month, but every day of the year. Congratulations on Top Story! 🌈🏳️‍🌈💐We need the link to purchase the adorable shirt at the end.

  • ROCK about a month ago

    Just wanted to add that parental alienation and rejection based on their child of any age coming out to them is psychological abuse. It's narcissistic assholes. Who can truly love their own child and turn their backs on them. It makes me ill. Sad. Angry.

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Congrats on your top story.

  • I love your story! I am an ally of LGBTQ forever! I hear you! I am sharing my video I shot and edited for PRIDE MONTH in Santa Ana CA several years ago.

  • ROCK 2 months ago

    I'd love to have that sweatshirt! Grateful this made top story! Congratulations!

  • The Dani Writer2 months ago

    Real deal support always goes to the depths. Congratulations on making top story!

  • L.C. Schäfer2 months ago

    You make lots of good points here. Hugs are cheap. They're "thoughts and prayers" for the left 😞

  • Anu Mehjabin2 months ago

    True support means more than just hugs.💝💝💝 And congrats on your top story🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉

  • There is a lot of unrecognised privilege here! Some of us never had ANY of that. And that had nothing to do with my sexuality or identity. I would love someone to be offering me regular hugs. That would make a huge difference in my life and I would have nothing but appreciation for them. I would not be demanding them to “do more”. (But I have made this awful mistake in the past!!!! Please don’t learn this lesson the hard way like I did) Let people love you however they are capable of loving you and damn well appreciate that love. If you want more? First consider how much love you are GIVING out, rather than just demanding to be given more…..

  • shanmuga priya2 months ago

    Congratulations 🎉

  • Belle2 months ago


  • Andrea Corwin 2 months ago

    Fabulous story! I liked all the things you listed and how insipid it sounds to say, "I'm your mom," just for support! You nailed it! Great job.

  • Luksi Bayou2 months ago

    Keeping it 100! 💯

  • Cat Leigh2 months ago

    Thank god queer people and pride are diverse because if this is what most people’s attitudes and personalities were like we’d be in a lot of trouble 🙄

  • Alexander McEvoy2 months ago

    This is an incredibly important message that more people need to hear. They don't need our hugs, many of them are likely touch sensitive for various reasons and might not even want them. They just want a world that accepts them and protects them. And just like everyone else, they deserve it. Congratulations on Top Story, and Happy Pride.

  • Dr. Jason Benskin2 months ago

    Awesome read, keep it up.

  • Christy Munson2 months ago

    The only point I disagree with is your use of “this Pride season” in the subtitle. LGBTQIA+ don’t need support in June. The need is sustained and long term. I think you know that, too. But it bears repeating. Great article. Likely destined for Top Story honors.

Dane BHWritten by Dane BH

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