Sunday, March 19, 2-5pm, Columbus Museum of Art, 480 E. Broad St.

PFLAG Columbus, Columbus Museum of Art’s Loud and Proud, and Stonewall Columbus invite you to a screening of the award-winning documentary, Mama Bears. Following the screening, you are welcome to join a discussion with leaders from PFLAG, Stonewall, Loud and Proud, and special guest/film director, Daresha Kyi. March 2023 marks PFLAG’s 50th Anniversary; what better way to celebrate than to join LGBTQ+ and ally leaders from around the city and beyond for an afternoon of reflection, dialogue, and inspiration as we continue advocating for the most vulnerable in our community, LGBTQ+ youth.

Spread across the country but connected through private Facebook groups, over 30,000 mothers in America — many of them from conservative, Christian backgrounds — fully accept their LGBTQ+ children. And they call themselves “mama bears” because while their love is warm and fuzzy, they fight ferociously to make the world kinder and safer for all LGBTQ+ people. Mama Bears explores the journeys of two mama bears and a young lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance exemplifies why the mama bears movement is vitally important.

Synopsis: Mama Bears is an intimate, thought-provoking exploration of the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears” — conservative, Christian mothers whose profound love for their LGBTQ+ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community — and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African-American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important. Mama Bears is the story of women who have allowed nearly every aspect of their lives to be completely reshaped by love. Although they may have grown up as fundamentalist Christians, these two mama bears are willing to risk losing friends, family, and faith communities to keep their children safe — even if it challenges their belief systems and rips their worlds apart. Once Kimberly accepted her transgender daughter, Kai, she quickly transformed from a Tea Party Republican to an award-winning “LGBTQ Activist of the Year” as she joined forces with the ACLU and Equality Texas to battle the anti-trans bathroom bill that would prevent her child from using the girls’ bathroom in their small Texas hometown. Sara went from repeatedly forcing her gay son, Parker, to deny his sexuality to not only embracing him, but founding Free Mom Hugs, a national movement of mothers offering love, acceptance, and hugs to the LGBTQ+ community. With the support of the mama bears, founded by Liz Dyer, Tammi — who knew she was gay as a little girl — went from marrying a man to “earn the promise of heaven” to learning to live her truth as a proud lesbian. Shot in a poetic, deeply intimate style, Mama Bears uses social media posts, home movies, photographs, personal journals, blogs, interviews, and cinema verité footage to explore the complex intersections of politics, religion, faith, and true, unconditional love.

About the director: Daresha Kyi is an Emmy-Award-winning director who also writes and produces film and television in Spanish and English. She most recently directed a short documentary for Time Studios and the SpringHill Company called Georgia Going Blue about the Georgia-based grassroots organizations working to fight voter suppression in Georgia and throughout the country. She is currently in post-production on Black Voters Matter, a feature documentary that chronicles Clif and April Albright’s and LaTosha Brown’s rise from aspiring acolytes to game changing civil rights leaders and the critical role they played in helping Georgia flip from red to blue in 2020 and 2021. In 2018, Daresha was commissioned by the ACLU to direct Trans In America: Texas Strong which garnered over 3.5 million views online, premiered at SXSW, and went on to win the News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Documentary as well as two Webby Awards. In 2017 she co-directed and co-produced Chavela, a multiple award-winning Spanish-language documentary about iconic, lesbian ranchera singer Chavela Vargas ranked the “Number One Latin American Documentary of the Decade” by CineArte magazine and produced Dispatches from Cleveland. Daresha’s films have been funded by IDA, ITVS, NEA, NYSCA, and numerous others. A former fellow in the Firelight Media Documentary, Chicken and Egg Eggcelerator, Creative Capital, and A Blade of Grass programs, Daresha has an extensive background producing content for FX, WE, AMC, Telemundo, and Fuse, among other networks.

About the event: Proceeds from ticket sales will help to offset the cost for the event. With your support, our organizations are able to produce events and programs for the LGBTQ+ community in central Ohio and beyond. Thank you for attending and for supporting multiple, LGBTQ+-serving, non-profit organizations.

Support: If the ticket price is a barrier to you attending the event, please email us and receive a comp-code: <>.

RSVP for this event by using this link.

Hosted by PFLAG Columbus.


Sunday, March 19, 2023 - 2:00pm

Event Type: