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MUM/DAD HUGS - Parents giving Free Hugs at Malta Pride 2019 - the interview

Get to know the amazing group of people that will be giving out free hugs at Malta Pride 2019 in this touching interview. A big special thank you to Lynn McCormick, the wonderful woman behind MUM/DAD HUGS for sharing her thoughts and information.

- A brief overview of what you'll be doing at Malta Pride:

- Love is the basis of every human being and the love that a parent can give is pure and unconditional. Unfortunately, certain circumstances make us forget the unconditional part and this could be blurred by things that sway our better judgment or we get influenced by our upbringing or what other people might think. Ignorance in a particular matter could also be a deterrent to this. I like to believe that all parents want what is best for our children or rather what we think is best for our children. Some people can manage to accept change more easily than others in absence of the acceptance and embracing of this change, society is obliged to give to our children the support and love they lack from those who are considered as family.

- Who and how came up with the idea?

- I was reading an article about how a father went to pride in America and gave hugs to those there who needed to feel the love of a parent. I strongly believe that the hug of a parent can be felt as different even if people are strangers. I approached Clayton and the idea was taken on board without hesitation.

- Who is going to be involved?

- It started off as a few friends of mine and myself but it has been mentioned in some Facebook groups the number of people joining has been growing ever since. The love and comments that I have been receiving have been very encouraging to me as I am really not the kind of person to be going around hugging people. I am not much of a hugger myself but there is really the power of love in this.

- Why did you decide to do it, what made you say “ok let’s do it!”?

- After speaking with people who are exposed to this spectrum of society more than myself, I was shocked to know that in 2019 we still have parents who decide to disassociate themselves from their kids because of their sexuality. I felt it was very difficult for me to understand this as a parent of an 18-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy and I have always told them that they should be the change they want to see in the world and to act upon what they believe in. Wouldn’t it have been hypocritical of me to just know that there is this situation right behind my door, our own kids, and do nothing about it!

- How do you hope/expect people’s reaction will be?

- I have already been getting mixed reactions from the “I’m proud of you” to “Aren’t you ashamed or scared?” and, to be honest, I expected this because people do not expect me to go and hug random people, as I am not a very physical person. This said, I am hoping that there will be many hugs given at Pride, but most of all that many people know that they are loved no matter what! Unconditionally! No ifs, no buts, no unless!

Society has to realise that our children are not just the ones who live under our roof. They are not just the ones we financially support, they are not just the ones who have us named on their certificates. Our children are all those who need our help, who need our protection, who need our support, who need our love and we are all responsible for these, irrelevant of age, sex, religion, colour of skin, or anything else. I strongly believe that if we start seeing each other in a different light, as who people are and not what people do, or who they love or what they wear, we really move forward into what I am sure will be a very bright, exciting and colourful future.


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