Francis says she has been attending Pride “since the beginning”. She attends even when her daughters are away.
Since the beginning of the parade, I’ve been going and waving my sign. It sort of hit a nerve with people, particularly those whose parents rejected them. The response to the sign is always so great, it urges me to keep going.
It’s a simple gesture, and a powerful statement — a mother who stands with her daughters, declaring to the world that she loves them. Just as they are. It is a testament to unconditional love — the only kind a parent’s love should be.
Every year, she stands at the corner of 18th and 5th, holding up this sign, hoping to change a few minds, and bringing hope to kids whose parents have turned their backs on them. Now 92, Francis brings a wheelchair along for when she gets tired.
Her knees may have gotten weaker over the years, but her determination remains rock solid.
I think I changed a few people’s minds and I’m glad about that. Everyone should support their gay and lesbian children, they’re missing a lot in life if they don’t.
If only more parents stood with their kids and loved them for everything they are, what a wonderful world it would be! Here’s hoping a different world isn’t all that far away. A world where love and support come with no strings attached. We should all be so lucky!