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.

Happy New Year! My Top 7 blogs of 2020

2020 saw a renewal of the Black Lives Matter movement superimposed with the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Every Year for the past several around New Year’s, I share my top 7 most read blogs of the year. It is really fun to go back and pull my website stats to see what people read the most. And interestingly enough, once again a few blogs I wrote several years even ago made it into the current “Top 7” List.

Quick stats about his year’s list:
• Four of the top 7 were published this year, and 3 are from previous years
• Six of the 7 dealt with some kind of diversity topic and one was around career development
• Three of the 4 blog published this year had a connection to Black Lives Matter

Here are the seven most read of 2020, starting with number 7 and working up to number one.

7) This year’s number 7 was last year’s number 3 – a blog published way back in 2011 on using career mapping as a tool for career development. This performance of a 9-year old blog certainly signals an ongoing focus on the importance of investing in skills and career development as a way to recruit and retain the best employees. You may also want to check out my 11-question Skills Development and Career Road Mapping organizational self-assessment.

6) Published in late September, Trump cancels federal racial sensitivity training – Five reasons why this is so wrong discusses Executive Order 13950, which basically attempts to curtail any discussion of the USA’s historic systemic racism.

5) Published this past June given the intersection of June being LGBTQ Pride Month and the recent protests around racism and police brutality following the killings of George Floyd and other Black and Brown Americans; Five Intersections – LGBTQ Pride Month and Black Lives Matter.

4) Also published in June, yet another example of blatant racism and sexism in American life and politics. Black Lives Matter and the $20 Bill – An Awful American Travesty. What happened to the plans to place African – American abolitionist Harriett Tubmam on our $20 bill? This story is a slap in the face to “Black Lives Matter” and women’s rights.

3) And published in July, another blog that deals with our nation’s racism and connection to our monetary currency. In “A Black Lives Matter and an American Coinage Travesty – blog 2,” I recount the sad story of a Ku Klux Klan-inspired coin.

2) With the growing number and visibility of Hispanic Americans, Number 2 for the third year in a row was “Seven Misconceptions or Stereotypes of Hispanic People”, a guest piece written in 2016 by my part-time bilingual consultant on staff, Elsa Maria Jimenez Salgado.

1) And finally, With over 5,500 hits across the two blogs were 2018’s Seven More Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating (and One Bisexual Woman) and my 2016 personal labor of love which included several personal photos that I took, “Seven Fabulous Out Gay Men of Figure Skating.”

I wish all of my faithful readers a happy 2021 and hopefully a return to normalcy both with a new more inclusive President and with multiple vaccines leading to an end to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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