This month, the Mama Bear we are highlighting is Jeanne Jarrell! She is a thoughtful, compassionate 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?
I needed support, education and ideas for advocating for my daughter and communicating boundaries with my family. My daughter told me she was a lesbian when she was 15 years old. I lived my life as 2 different people depending on who I was around. I celebrated my daughter openly with my friends and my daughter’s friends, but didn’t say anything when around my conservative family. I wanted to be authentic to my daughter and I wanted to speak truthfully to my family.
How has Mama Bears positively impacted your life?
I read stories of brave mamas putting healthy boundaries in place with their families. I found the right words to speak to my family without hurting me, my daughter or my family. Real Mama Bear stories gave me courage to state clearly what my daughter and I needed the family to say and do around us. It took some time, but being consistent and coming from a place of love and not bitterness brought us all closer.
What does it mean to you to be a Mama Bear?
I feel supported, hugged, loved and free to be the best version of myself being a Mama Bear. I also feel safe sharing my story and supporting other mama bears.
What compelled you to join the Mama Bears Giving Circle?
I totally believe in what Mama Bears is doing! The care packages, the Christmas cards, the blankets, ALL the support to not just Mama Bears but the LGBTQ+ community is amazing. Now with the Giving Circle I believe there can be more widespread support through more organizations. This support is needed more and more in our communities. We are all responsible for being part of the change the world needs.
Did any of the nonprofits in the giving circle specifically stand out to you? If so, which one?
They all stand out for me. I hope to see the list grow and the funds continue to support more states and more individuals.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the Mama Bears community?
My daughter loves that I found a group that I can bond with and support and advocate for all LGBTQ+ individuals. I love how excited she gets when I tell her I am going to meet up with a group of Mama Bears for an event or share I am sending cards / treats out. It’s nice for her to see my growth through having Mama Bear support and love.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate you sharing your journeys with us!