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The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears

Katie Burwell4
June is an exciting month for Serendipitydodah Mama Bears as they dress up and get together to go out to Pride events to offer hugs and high fives, and share words of encouragement, support and affirmation.

This is nothing new …  instead, it is a tradition that is being carried on.

Moms of LGBTQ kids have always showed up in support of Pride Protests and Parades.

Jeanne Manford, the founder of PFLAG, was among the first moms of LGBTQ Kids to March and show her support. In 1972 she marched alongside her son, Morty, in what would eventually become New York City’s gay pride march, and she continued to show up and march in many Pride Parades throughout her life. She even served as a Grand Marshal in 1991 and 1993.

Serendipitydodah Mama Bears are proud to continue the tradition that Mama Bear Jeanne Manford started. They love Pride and what it represents. They are honored and proud to show up, march and hand out hugs and high fives. They consider Pride to be an important element in helping to make the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all lgbtq people to live.

Katie Barnes Burwell is one Serendipitydodah Mama Bear who went out to a Pride event this month …

I CAN’T SEE MY FEET!!! by Katie Barnes Burwell

I made this skirt as poooooofy as I could manage.

I was going for silly and approachable this year and IT WORKED!!

I got to give and get tons of hugs!!

This picture was me before heading out to Sacramento Pride for the Parade.

It was a good day!

Good and heartbreaking at the same time.

So many whispers in my ear mid hug, “thank you…my mom won’t hug me.”

I have a personal rule about hugging kids.

I don’t let go first.

I let them hang on as long as they need … my kids, my bonus kids, the kids at the festival, and a couple adults too.

It can be awkward, but, when my huggees realize I won’t let go till they do, it breaks the dam and the tears come.

It’s good work we Mama Bears do.

We are needed.

Happy Pride!


Serendipitydodah for Moms – Home of the Mama Bears is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The official motto is “Better Together” and the members call themselves “Mama Bears”

The group is private so only members can see who is in the group and what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 5,000 members. For more info about the private Facebook group email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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