7 on 7 is a photographic blog circle of friends posting 7 photos on the 7th of the month. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and walk through our circle with us. It will do your heart and soul some good.
The past few weeks I have been making no sew fleece blankets. These are two sided, tie together blankets. They are super easy to make and I’ve been making them for years.
These are for Mama Bear Blanket Project.
The Mama Bears are a group of nearly 5000 moms whose children are part of the LGBTQ community. We support each other and we are supportive and affirming of the LGBTQ community. Our special focus is on those who have been excluded from their families because of their family’s belief that being LGBTQ is wrong or sinful or a “lifestyle choice”. Some have been literally kicked out of their homes and cut off because parents and family believe this person is so sinful that they cannot be allowed to live in their home anymore. We Mama Bears are here to say you are seen and you are loved just the way you are. We do not believe you are an abomination. We do not believe you are unworthy of love and respect and basic human rights (looking right at you, Texas and Tennessee).
I’ll try to stay focused on the blankets today. What do we do with the blankets? Kids who have been rejected by their family, their church and their community need to know they are whole just they way they are. The blankets are a small way for us to say “We accept you. We affirm who you are.” People can email Liz Dyer, the big chief Mama Bear and the founder of Serendipitydodah (Mama Bear Central), at firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate an LGBTQ person who is in need of love. And we can send them a blanket. In its first year alone, the Mama Bear Blanket Project gave away over 50 blankets.
The blankets are meant to wrap someone in a hug that they can take with them and keep with them and feel whenever they need it. We are not so vain as to think they are preventing self harm, but it is our hope that in a dark time the recipients will feel the love with which the blankets are made. Mama Bears are about so much more than this, but like I said, I’ll focus on the blankets for now.
What about other kids? All kids are worthy of love. Our focus is on the LGBTQ youth. According to The Trevor Project (a suicide prevention foundation):
- Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death among young people ages 10 to 24.
- LGBTQ youth seriously contemplate suicide at almost three times the rate of heterosexual youth.
- LGBTQ youth are almost five times as likely to have attempted suicide compared to heterosexual youth.
Stay. Please stay.
A couple of the mama bear blankets have recently made the news. Sara Cunningham, a member of the Serendipitydodah group and the rockstar founder of Free Mom Hugs, gave one to Seth Owen at the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Time to Thrive conference in support of LGBTQ youth. Seth was kicked out of his family and they cut him off financially after he came out to them. You can see his interview on the Ellen DeGeneres show here. He is now at Georgetown on scholarship and has since started a scholarship fund for kids like himself.
A blanket also made its way to Jeremiah Harmon who’s competing currently on American Idol (see his beautiful rendition of Landslide here). However, it isn’t about the celebrity of these people. It’s about the fact that these men have both been told by their families that they need to be something different. Sometimes it’s not about how much you love someone, but whether or not you accept them. And we moms want to let them know that we think they are wonderfully made.
If you are a mom of an LGBTQ individual, I invite you to join us. Check us out at the Serendipitydodah page for contact information. You can check out Sara Cunningham’s amazing work at Free Mom Hugs. Free Mom Hugs has individual state pages on Facebook as well. Whether you are a struggling member of the LGBTQ community or a parent who needs support of other parents, know that you are not alone. We are here for you.
Whew! That was a lot. Time to continue around our circle and take a look at what good things the lovely and talented Kristina Rust has for you. She was out at the Antelope Valley super bloom this month with her daughter. I’m just a teensy bit jealous.
See you in May!!