This month, the Mama Bear we are highlighting is Dana Blankenship! She is a strong, compassionate leader and mother. We are so thankful that she shared her Mama Bears experience with us. We are excited for you to learn more about her!
Why did you originally join the Mama Bears online group?
When my oldest child came out to us as transgender about 5 ½ years ago now, I immediately dove into research to understand everything I didn’t know! I got all of my factual knowledge pretty quickly from books and internet research, but the lingering challenge for me was emotional support. I searched for a private facebook group that might offer support and I found Liz and the Mama Bears group.
How has Mama Bears positively impacted your life?
The Mama Bears group gave me strength and wisdom in areas I didn’t have it initially, alone. I am a Southern Baptist preacher’s daughter and I needed to create a new safe space for me and my family. Our group gives a place to share, ask, teach, celebrate, and support. Moms who are further along the journey are there to help newer Mama Bears get their footing and find their voice. Liz and I both live in Dallas and so we have had the opportunity to meet in person a few times. It always feels so good to be with other moms who get you and love and accept you and your children.
What does it mean to you to be a Mama Bear?
When I first joined Mama Bears it was about getting the support I needed, and as I grew and evolved in my own journey, it became about helping others get there too. At first it felt like I was overwhelmed with the change in front of me and I was full of confusion and honestly sadness. As other people in the group said “every day it gets easier”, I found that hard to believe but I held onto it with all I had. I realized pretty quickly that those words were so true. It was such a mark of personal progress when I realized I could help someone else. I could actually comment and offer lessons learned instead of just asking others for help. I now am a double mama bear with a transgender daughter and a bisexual daughter.
What compelled you to join the Mama Bears Giving Circle?
There are so many unique needs among our LGBT children and their communities. No one knows better than us Mama Bears how many unique needs our kids have! I want to be part of providing solutions and that is what motivated me to participate in this giving circle.
Did any of the nonprofits in the giving circle specifically stand out to you? If so, which one?
I really liked the City House charity that provides transitional housing for homeless LGBT youth. When I read about that program, I knew it would be my number one vote. The need in this area is so great.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Legacy community?
One other thing that is unique about me but doesn’t answer these questions and may or may not be interesting to you is:
I own a Change Management consulting firm, which is pretty ironic. I help clients manage change for a living. In this case, I had to rely upon all of the things I teach my clients about managing change to get through the hardest change of my life. Doing things like get informed, find community, get involved – don’t wait for things to happen to you really helped me move through my own change curve.
Share your story!
If you or a Mama Bear you know is interested in being our Spotlight Mama of the month, we would love to connect! Please note that Spotlight Mamas may be anonymous if this makes the person sharing their story more comfortable. It is important to us that we honor the privacy of those in our community. To get involved please email Juliana Jordan at email@example.com. We appreciate you sharing your journeys with us!