By Jill Rowe – As a mom with an LGBTQ child, Mama Dragons has been a source of strength and support for me from the very beginning.
After my son came out in 2011, I felt completely alone and misunderstood. Everything that I thought I knew or had been taught about the LGBTQ community was now in conflict with my own motherly instincts. Over time I met other moms whowere blessed with an LGBTQ child. They were going through this journey just as I was. They instantly understood my heart and became my safe place to share my heartache. They were a sounding board and safe place for my questions.
Before my son came out, I had heard time and again that being gay was an abomination, that being gay was against God’s plan, that being gay was a choice that someone made. After my son came out, I instantly knew that everything I’d been taught on the subject was incorrect. I learned that my LGBTQ brothers and sisters were created perfectly by their maker. This journey brought me into the lives of so many incredible mothers whowere being given the same answers. We ate together. We cried together. We literally held each other in some of our darkest moments. This little band of women created the group Mama Dragons.
At the beginning we messaged each other in group chats on Facebook. We communicated with each other every night. We shared our deepest and most sensitive feelings. We shared experiences about our families, church members, and other situations that were bringing pain into our lives. We also shared the happy moments and how our kids were doing. The connections I’ve forged with these women is very sacred. We were there for each other 100 percent. We were also there for each other outside of our conversations on Facebook.
One particularly poignant memory was when two Mama Dragons showed up at my door on one very difficult Sunday. They came into my home where I had been crying for hours and just sat with me. They validated a lot of my feelings and were just present. I knew that I was safe. I knew that I was not being judged. The strength that we get from each other is very powerful.
In the beginning Mama Dragons was a small group and we all knew each other. Women were added to the group who we’dmet in person or had met through Facebook or on other social media. Because we lived in different areas of the country, we didn’t get to see each other often enough. I decided to organizeour first Mama Dragon Retreat. We gathered in St. George and spent a week together. We formed forever relationships. We were truly becoming sisters.
When we moms find support and affirmation in our feelingsthere is a direct and uplifting effect on our children’s well-being. We are also available for the LGBTQ community at large to offer support. My own son doesn’t seem to care about my advocacy, but I have been blessed with the opportunity to offer support to many LGBTQ individuals who do not have thesupport of their own families. I have always tried to reach out. I have tried to make the circle of safety larger than my own family. I have made some of the most beautiful friends. I have heard their stories and my heart has changed for the better. I thank everyone that has taught me and has helped me become abetter person. I also thank everyone for being patient with me as I have learned to look at the world through a different lens.
In conclusion, I am amazed at how our group has grown. Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed this little support group of women would grow to over 3000 in a few short years. We add new moms to our group every week. The need for this group continues to grow. I feel humbled to have a front row seat to our beginnings. I believe it was time for this group to be formed. God was counting on us. If it wasn’t us it would have been another group of women. The time is now for us to stand up and protect our children.