Introducing a cool new organization: “Gay Sons and Mothers” and founder Rick Miller!

I got introduced to “Gay Sons and Mothers” through my friendship with out Olympian figure skater Adam Rippon and his mother Kelly.

As a diversity consultant and trainer with several areas of deep expertise including LGBTQ+, I always enjoy discovering new groups that are doing innovative work within the diversity and inclusion space. And recently I discovered this unique organization focusing on the relationships between gay sons and their mothers. I thank Kelly Rippon, mother of Olympian figure skater Adam Rippon, who invited me to a webinar discussion on her new book “Parent Up,” with Gay Sons and Mothers’ founder Rick Miller. Please enjoy this brief introductory interview I recently had with Rick:

STAN: First Rick, can you tell us a little about yourself?

RICK: I am a gay man, who was the youngest of three kids , and used my status of mom’s favorite with my siblings throughout our growing up years, and maybe into adulthood as well. On a more serious note, I am also a psychotherapist, author and Executive Director of the nonprofit Gay Sons and Mothers.

Gay Sons and Mothers founder Rick Miller


STAN: What inspired you to start “Gay Sons and Mothers?”

RICK: Aside from wanting to share my special status with the world, while writing a book for mental health and medical providers about working with gay men, I was surprised to see that no literature about this topic existed about this. I decided that I wanted to share the message with people of all cultures, races and ethnic groups that a mother can be a savior to her gay son. This is especially important since historically, in the psychiatric and medical field, mothers were often blamed for making their sons gay.


STAN: What exactly is the mission of “Gay Sons and Mothers?” What do you hope to accomplish?

RICK: The mission for Gay Sons and Mother is to collect, curate, celebrate, and preserve narratives that educate, inspire, and bring hope to audiences about the significance of this emotional bond.


STAN: What kinds of programs and resources does “Gay Sons and Mothers” offer?

RICK: We offer education via workshops and lectures at the workplace or community settings, we share videos through our social media pages and Youtube page, we hold special live events throughout the year sharing how this unique mother son bond is profoundly significant in promoting LGBTQ+ acceptance, and we also provide support to individuals struggling with being gay or having gay family members community members.

 

My own loving mother and I enjoying dinner and wine while attending a figure skating competition.

STAN: Would you like to share an example of a positive impact that “Gay Sons and Mothers” has had?

RICK: One of the stories I feel most proud about is how a teenager in high school was leery to come out to his class mates, and his mom who he had already come out to and was affirming, suggested he chat with me and follow our instagram page. From seeing our posts, he was brave enough to build up his courage and come out to his classmates! I consider this a triumph!

Another incredible story which was beyond moving was that a 74 year old psychiatrist who lived in CA drove 7 hours to attend my Gay Sons and Mothers workshop at an international conference, and said “I never ever thought I would say this out loud in my lifetime, I am a 74 year old man who has never told anybody else before this moment, that I am gay!”

Rick Miller with his loving mother


STAN: Do spend full time with “Gay Sons and Mothers,” or do you have another vocation?

RICK: It feels like running gay sons and mothers is a full time job because it is always in my mind and the energy behind it is positive and exciting. But, actually, I work full time in my psychotherapy practice and my writing!


STAN: How can people learn more about “Gay Sons and Mothers” and how can they be in touch with you? Are there ways people can support this work?

RICK: Please follow us on Instagram or Facebook gaysonsandmothers, or visit us at our website www.gaysonsandmothers.org, or view a sample of our videos on our Youtube channel Gay Sons and Mothers and view our playlist content. Or I can be reached directly at [email protected]


STAN: Is there anything else you would like to share?

RICK: Just reminder to share your love with your mom, or if you are a mom, with your children!

STAN: Thank you for this inspiring chat! I love what you are doing to bring love and understanding into our world, and I wish you and Gay Sons and Mothers the very best of success.

Three Trump “Diversity Wrongs” for President Biden to Quickly Correct

NOTE: I drafted this blog prior to the January 6th horrific happenings at our nation’s Capitol building.

UPDATE:  President Biden addressed all 3 of these items within the first few days of his presidency!

The past four years has seen an unparalleled assault on diversity and inclusion under the Trump administration, and throughout this time I have written about some of the areas Trump attacked. In this blog, I highlight three areas I have blogged about that hopefully the new President Biden will quickly address after his inauguration.

1) Reversing Trump’s attacks on transgender Americans. Throughout his tenure, Trump has relentlessly attacked the rights of transgender people, effectively denying transpeople actually exist. Trump started the ball rolling in the Fall of 2019 tweeting that gender should be defined as a biological immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, and directing the US Dept of Health and Human Services in an effort to establish a tight legal definition of gender under Title IX.

The US Dept of Health proposed that “the sex listed on a person’s birth certificate, as originally issued, shall constitute definitive proof of a person’s sex unless rebutted by reliable genetic evidence,” which led to the US Health and Human Services publishing a final rule interpreting the Health Care Rights Law (§1557 of the Affordable Care Act) removing explicit protections against trans exclusions in health insurance on June 19, 2020.

Click and go to the bottom of this earlier blog to find links to multiple blogs and resources I have written about supporting transgender people in the workplace.

2) Rescinding Executive Order 13950 which tries to stop workplace training that deals with systemic racism in our country. Actually, the way the executive order was written, it is still possible to deliver meaningful diversity, equity and inclusion training that does address our systemic issues, but it may just need to be toned down a little. Unfortunately, the mean-spirited intentions behind the executive order frightened a lot of organizations to stop all forms of diversity training out of fear of losing government contracts.

The NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the National Urban League and the National Fair Housing Alliance have filed a lawsuit arguing that this executive order violates free speech rights and strangles workplace attempts to address systemic race and sex discrimination.

Link to the blog I quickly published when this executive order first hit the news, “Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong.”

Let’s restart the process of getting Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill

3) Restart the machinery to place Harriet Tubman on our $20 bill. With nothing but white men on all circulating US coins and paper money, everything was aligned to finally place a woman on one piece of major circulating currency. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of women suffrage in 2020, a poll was taken and African-American abolitionist Harriet Tubman won the vote to the first woman placed on our paper money. Everything was set and ready to go.

But then Trump and his Treasury Secretary Steven Mnunchin cancelled the effort, stating that this cannot happen before 2028 (!!) You can read the complete story in my blog “Black Lives Matter and our $20 Bill – An Awful American Travesty.” Now with President Biden about to take office and his appointment of our country’s first female Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, perhaps Ms. Tubman can much sooner grace our $20 bill.

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I know there are probably 1,000 awful horrible things Trump as done over the past four years like enabling the polluting of the earth, allowing hundreds of thousands to die from COVID, permitting Russia to hack into our national security systems, and more, but these are the three I have blogged about in the past.