“I love what I’m doing, because I just love this community, and I know what it’s like to be a mom in this position. And I just want to help other people so that they don’t have such a hard time navigating this.”
Wendy VonSosen is referring to her role as president of Mama Dragons, an organization whose mission is to support, educate, and empower mothers of LGBTQ children. They support all moms, of course, but focus primarily on those who are religious or conservative. Why? “Because it’s more difficult for them.”
Like all Mama members, Wendy knows of what she speaks. Raised Mormon, her beliefs became severely challenged when her own son came out at a young age. In her attempts to process her child’s sexual orientation, something she’s come to accept as being “as natural as having 10 fingers and 10 toes,” she found the organization and the resources/support she needed.
For those who listen to this podcast on a regular basis, you’ll know that I’m passionate about women supporting women. This organization, however, raises the bar. Not only for what they do for each other, but also for the rippling effect into the LBGTQ community.
According to Wendy, LGBTQ youth who are rejected by their families are 8 times more likely to attempt suicide, 6 times more likely to experience depression, 3 times more likely to use illegal drugs, and 3 times more likely to be at high risk for HIV and STDs. Encouraging love and acceptance is a critical need.
“Everyone’s journey is different, and everyone has their own path, but if we can just support one another as women and mothers so that these kids can have the most loving environment for growing up, I think that that’s a really good thing.”
I couldn’t agree more, Wendy. Cheers to that!
If you’re a mother who is struggling with her child’s sexual orientation, Wendy and her fellow dragons have a message for you:
“You don’t need to know the answers. You don’t need to know how this happened or why this happened or what the future holds. The only thing that is necessary is for you to love and accept your child without condition. And you’re welcome to join Mama Dragons.”
You can hear my interview with Wendy VonSosen on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.
It’s time again to reinvent
To shed the skin of old,
Shake off any lingering fears
Start visualizing bold
Who’ll emerge when all is done
Is simply hard to tell,
Regardless, I shall not resist
For stagnant equals hell
I trust my soul when call it does
For me to do its bidding,
Cast off external nonsense played
By gratefully forgiving
For each time that the whispers build
Into a cry to alter,
I’ve found the wisdom of the change
A gift that never falters
So come again, this time and next,
And challenge all I am,
To shift perceptions of the whole
And find the grace to bend
~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 28, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-nine of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Nadi Whatisdelirium
I won’t lie (because this girl won’t let me). I loved this week’s interview.
Adrienne Mullins has learned a thing or two about authenticity, and it all started with some brutally honest blog posts about dating. What she discovered was that people got on board. They loved it when she wrote about what matters; they loved her being real.
If there’s one thing we’re burdened by in this culture it’s secrets. Now, I get that there are some things better left unsaid, but we’re hiding the most honest versions of ourselves, and it’s taking a toll. I’d like to say it’s for good reason, but it often comes down to fear of being judged, or, as Adrienne confirms, fear of being vulnerable. Oh, but vulnerability is where true connection begins!
I certainly connected with Adrienne when she was in the studio. She’s a shining example not only for her generation but for anyone who is struggling with self-concept and emotional baggage. Her advice? Let it out, and tell it like it is.
“It’s very difficult to be ashamed of something that you’ve put into the light.”
I so agree with this. In the majority of cases, our fear of reaction is far worse than what we’ll actually face, boiling down to the fact that we have more of a problem with who we are than others do. If people think about our honesty after the fact at all, it’s only for a few minutes, and then they’re on to something else.
You can catch a wealth of Adrienne insights by listening to her interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.
And don’t forget to pick up a copy of her book, Just Being Honest. It’s a great read that fully supports her mantra: “It’s time to live free.”
Unique instead of different
Together not alone,
United not divided
A common sense of home
Acceptance versus judgement
Kindness trumping fear,
Words of affirmation
Impoverished wait to hear
Love triumphing hatred
Healing versus pain,
Children knowing comfort
Families safe again
Growth over stagnation
Prejudice be damned,
An opening of hearts and minds
A sisterhood of man
~ Leana Delle
Sunday, July 21, 2019
2019 Sunday Poetry Challenge – Number twenty-eight of fifty-two
Photo Credit: Shane Rounce
Here’s a story: 30-something female smoker qualifies for 2020 Olympic marathon trials. Okay, she quit smoking, but not until after she started running.
When her sister signed up for her first marathon, Stephanie Andre dutifully stood in the sidelines, cheering her on. She left that experience feeling inspired to do the same, having seen every variety of human finish the 26 mile challenge.
Stephanie is a marvel. She wasn’t a couch potato going into this, but she sure didn’t like running.
“It was always used as a form of punishment.”
And what a huge AHA moment for me! Remember those horrible laps we had to maneuver in gym class when we didn’t do something right? Could this be where my own personal loathing for the sport began?
As for the smoking – she continued when she started running, but eventually, she felt compelled to give it up. In fact, it’s when she decided to excel that she felt the most motivated.
“I started reflecting on my lifestyle and changes I could make to move toward that goal.”
She specifically wanted to qualify for the Boston marathon, and that she did. Her best time since this all began is 2 hours and 41 minutes in the Chicago marathon in 2017. That’s the time that qualified her for the upcoming Olympic trials in February in Atlanta, GA.
I get this. Not that I run marathons, but I have certainly made some tough decisions and given up things for a passion. If it’s holding you back, ditch it!
And her advice for people who say, ‘Oh, I could never run a marathon’?
“Go watch one. Not the people in the front. Just stay and watch the ones in the back. You’re going to see people out there that, in your mind you’re thinking, ‘That’s not a stereotypical runner.’ They’re all ages, there are much older people, all shapes, all sizes. You can absolutely do it. Yeah, it’s difficult, but that’s part of what makes it great – because it is a challenge.”
I am a firm believer that challenge equals growth. If running isn’t your passion, figure out what is, and take a look at who’s finishing in your chosen race. And, for God sake, listen to Stephanie when she says . . .
“Don’t put limits on yourself, that’s what I’ve learned. You just don’t know unless you try. Also, it’s taught me that moving forward, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing in seven years, who knows. It’s just taking it one day at a time, learning from the experience, and trying to better yourself.”
Thanks, Stephanie! We girlfriends needed that.
You can hear Stephanie’s interview on iHeart Radio, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, or by clicking HERE.