1 Mama dragons HISTORY timeline

One of the things that makes the Mama Dragons organization unique is that it is that it started with a small group of mothers who found support in eachother as they navigated the waters of supporting their LGBTQ children in a culture that was otherwise not supportive. The power of mothers uniting to support and educate eachother through sharing their experiences, their highs, thier lows, has now grown beyond a simple message thread. It has become a group of mothers who across the world, over 7000 strong, who fiercly love and defend their beautiful children.  

2012

Meg Abhau, now Meg Drix, blogged that she had always been a mother bear but when her 13 year old son Jon came out she became a "mama dragon"

“I have always been a mother bear. Once I found out about Jon, that didn’t seem a fierce enough title. There is a whole new level of protection that has come over me. I now call myself a Mama Dragon. I could literally breathe fire if someone hurt my son. Dragons have talons, scales, claws, fangs and they can fly. I will use all of these resources if someone were to hurt Jon. So, we are circling our wagons around him, but I know we can’t protect him from everything. And as a Mama Dragon, that is the hardest part of this. I don’t know what the future holds. I just know that there will be love.” 

Gina Crivello blogs about creating GSA club for a highschool in American Fork, UT

2013

JUNE

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A private Facebook Message thread is started by Gina Crivello with a handful of moms with LGBTQ kids to provide support to one of her students.

The name Mama Dragons is adopted from from Meg’s 2012 blog as the message thread members grow

Wendy Montgomery and her family are featured in Families are Forever video by Family Acceptance Project

OCtOBER

2014

JANUARY

2014 Jan 23 first post in private group.jpg

The first Facebook group titled Mama Dragon Council (MDC-Secret) is created by Gina Crivello. It is set up as a secret group to maintain privacy of members. Members joined by personal invitation only. The image above image is the first post in the group.

June

Mama Dragons table at Salt Lake City Pride Festival

2014 SLC pride.jpg
2014 August 25 Baby Dragon tshirt design.jpg

Kathy Carlston illustrates graphic of Mama Dragon with baby dragon - to be used on tshirts and pins.

2014 October Tshirt Baby Dragon.jpg

AUGUST

2014 Nov 20 Lori Burkman dragon pin.jpg

Lori Burkman illustrates
fire-breathing dragon for pins

NOVEMBER

September

2014 September Signs.jpg

Jen Blair and XXXX meet at a local gathering in ????

2014 Feb 21 Maybe Mama Dragons with Wendy Montg.jpg

FEBRUARY

Some of the original Mama Dragons gather in person for a lunch

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2015

MAY

2015 Retreat.webp

Jill Rowe organizes the first Mama Dragons Retreat. 

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Article about Mama Dragons is published in the Salt Lake Tribune

2015 Sept New Egg Logo for sticker TRANS.png

September

Logo designed by husband of Mama Dragon Sarah Irish Nicholson features black dragon holding rainbow egg. This logo was made into bumper stickers, magnets, pins.

november

2015 November Spectrum Article.png

Mama Dragons article appears in The Spectrum.

FB icon 2014.png

Jen Blair creates a new closed Facebook group "Mama Dragon Main Group" to support growth after article in the Salt Lake Tribune came out. 

Mama Dragons creates subgroup for Spanish speaking Mothers called Madres Dragones

FB icon 2014.png

DECEMBER

2016

MARCH

2016 March 9 Official Logo with Mission Fire.jpg

First official logo is adopted for Mama Dragons, representing courage, protection, and love. Mission of Mama Dragons is also presented. 

FB icon 2014.png

Facebook changes rules for how groups are managed and allow for admin to change main group from hidden to private, allows for greater growth

AUGUST

Kimberly Anderson self publishes the Mama Dragon Story Project, a photo journal project that features twenty mothers who share essays of love and support to their LGBT+ children.

2016 StoryProject.jpg

SEPTEMBER

2016 September Retreat group photo.jpg

Mama Dragons gather at the annual retreat in Heber, UT

2016 Equality Award October.jpg

october

Mama Dragons awarded Equality Utah, Ally of the Year

NOVEMBER

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

1,000

2017

JUNE

2017 June Retreat Presentation.jpg

Mama Dragons retreat in Las Vegas

2017 Love Loud.jpg
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AUGUSt

A group of Mama Dragons read mission statement on stage at LOVELOUD, founded by Dan Reynolds to bring communities and families together to help ignite the vital conversation about what it means to unconditionally love our LGBTQ+ youth.

November

Neca Allgood is elected as first Mama Dragons President, with Julie Packer elected as President Elect. Bylaws are drafted for Mama Dragons.

2017 August MD Vision OLD 20645408_10212626279806341_6216306725972145856_o.jpg

Mama Dragons president with Board implement no advertising on Facebook groups. Logo can't be used without approval.

December

2018

March

After weeks of work stemming from the first leadership summit, Mama Dragons reveals new mission and vision statements.

Mama Dragons Logo – Rainbow Circle.png

MAY

Mama Dragons name and new logo get trademarked.

2018 Love Loud Tim Cook.jpg

JULY

Mama Dragons applies for a grant from LoveLoud and becomes a charity partner for the LoveLoud concert.

JUNE

Mama Dragons is set up as a 501c3 nonprofit organization and IRS approves status

MD Group - not sure when.jpg

FEBRUARY

Mama Dragons holds it's first Leadership Summit in St George, UT

JANUARY

July Packer elected as Mama Dragons President, Wendy VonSosen elected as Mama Dragons President-Elect

Mama Dragons Board of Directors clarifies Mama Dragons is not an LGBTQ support group or allies group, but instead a support group for mothers of LGBTQ children intended to build mother allies

We support, educate, and empower mothers of LGBTQ children.

MISSION:

We envision a world in which all mothers fiercely love and advocate for their LGBTQ children.

VISION:

Mama Dragons gets set up with GuideStar and Amazon Smile

September

Paper Hugs program originates after Mama Dragons member Lindsay Kinman's child received cards of encouragement. She collects names of Mama's LGBTQ children that could use a little lift by receiving cards/notes in the mail.

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Facebook Regional Groups are setup

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2019

MAY

Mama Dragons is featured
in Oprah
O-Magazine

Oprah Image.jpg

Winter Leadership Summit in Santa Clara, UT

February

JANUARY

Wendy VonSosen serves as Mama Dragons President, Lisa Dame elected as Mama Dragons President-Elect, Julie Packer elected as Mama Dragons Treasurer

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June

Mama Dragons is featured in an episode of CNN's United Shades of America show

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Mama Dragons leadership invited to attend Facebook sponsored invite-only event at the Stonewall Inn, NYC

2019 Love Loud July 2 5707122_10219368983924498_4922560737768898560_n.jpg

JULY

Mama Dragons is a charity partner for the LoveLoud Concert

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

3,000

OCTOBER

Wrapped in Hugs is proposed after a Mama Dragon saw a quilting article about Shannon Downey using her Instagram community to build quilts.

APPROVED Sunni Toomey Wrapped in Hugs Nessa cropped.jpg
2019 Come out and play final invite 68465529_10219673029005435_949385203472662528_n.jpg

Mama Dragons hosts our first major fundraiser! A fun evening filled with food, games, drinks and entertainment. Funds raised supported suicide prevention QPR training, education programs and community outreach.

2020

MAY

Mama Dragons and LoveLoud collaborate on a merchandise line for Mother’s Day benefiting Mama Dragons

2020 May Loveloud MD merch.png

JANUARY

Wendy VonSosen continues as Mama Dragons President until Executive Director is found. Board of directors removes President-Elect position.

Mama Dragons Board of Directors hires Celeste Carolin as paid Executive Director in 15 month contract

SEPTEMBER

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

4,000

2020 january Group photo.jpg

FEBRUARY

Winter Leadership Summit

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NOVEMBER

Mama Dragons Education Director, Jennifer Howell, begins work to roll-out Parachute, a new e-learning program from Mama Dragons

Director of Marketing, Wendy VanSosen, trademarks Parachute, Wrapped in Hugs, and Paper Hugs

december

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

5,000

october

Fall Leadership Summit occurs in Park City, UT (in person and virtual). Focus on planning new e-learning program Parachute

2021

MAY

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Mama Dragons launches first course on Parachute e-learning platform: Intro to Understanding Your LGBTQ Child

Mama Dragons develops DEI plan

which is approved by Board of Directors

JUNE

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

6,000

2021 August Facebook Accelerator.jpg

August

Mama Dragons is accepted into Facebook Community Accelerator Program (31 US orgs selected out of the 2,600 applied)

MEMBERSHIP REACHES

7,000

JULY

Mama Dragons redesigns website

FEBRUARY

Executive Director Celeste Carolin joins

Sara Burlingame from Wyoming Equality to talk about Mama Dragons

2021 February Facebook Live with Wyoming Equality.png
GREEN COUCH.jpg

MARCH

Winter Leadership Summit occurs in Salt Lake City, UT (live and virtual). Video Assets for Parachute are shot during the retreat.

2021 August Leadership group photo.jpg

Fall Leadership Summit occurs in Herriman, UT

(In person and remote). Leadership focuses on DEI and developing 3 year plan