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Transforming the Conversation

Hi, my name is Heather Hester. Welcome to Chrysalis Mama.

You have probably landed on this page because your child or a loved one (grandchild? niece? friend?) has recently come out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual orientation or gender identity and you are looking for resources and tools. I know the joys and challenges of parenting an LGBTQ child.

Or, maybe you’re here because your company or organization is looking for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) speakers or consulting. I can help you with that!

Don’t panic. Take a deep breath. You are in the right place. I’ve been where you are. I’ve felt the shock, the joy, the terror, the growth, the unconditional love, the fierce mama bear response. It’s A LOT! And, it can be challenging to find support, guidance, resources, and education. That’s why I’m here.

Chrysalis Mama is the product of our family’s journey with depression, anxiety, and embracing our son, who, among many wonderful traits, is gay. It is my desire to pass on valuable information and offer support to those who are on a similar journey of loving and raising an LGBTQ+ child.

My mission is to transform the conversation around embracing, education, empowering, and loving LGBTQIA+ adolescents, teenagers, and young adults.

You may be asking – how do we change this conversation? I believe it starts within each one of us, blossoms within our families, and then grows within our communities and beyond. My principles are simple yet effective – To embrace, educate, empower, and love.

I am grateful for this opportunity to connect with parents, allies, advocates, and all who are, among all of their many wonderful traits, LGBTQ!

Nestled in this site you will find:


Do you have a child, teen, or young adult who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or another sexual orientation or gender identity?

Do you feel alone in your effort to support them on their journey or navigate your own?

Do you want to learn how to make your work environment more inclusive and well-informed?

Using a combination of solo episodes on in-depth topics and interviews with fascinating guests. Just Breathe: Parenting Your LGBTQ+ Teen helps calm you, educate you, inspire you, and support you on this beautifully unpredictable journey.


Covering topics ranging from the LGBTQ+ coming out process to mental health to improving diversity, equity, and inclusion in corporate spaces - the Chrysalis Mama blog is a space to learn, grow, and become empowered.

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Parenting with Pride

April 17, 20244 min read

“We don't have to do it all alone. We were never meant to.” - Brene Brown

Welcome back my friends! If this is your first time here, I am delighted you’ve found me! We talk all things loving, raising, and empowering LGBTQ people, but at the core, this is a space for you to take a breath, quiet all of the noise around you, and just be. 

8 Reasons

The past few weeks I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about my upcoming book, Parenting with Pride: Unlearn Bias and Embrace, Empower, and Love Your LGBTQ+ Teen. So, I thought I would answer them in today's blog as well as next week's podcast episode.Tune in a couple weeks from now to hear Connor and Gray interview me about the book, our journey, and a few surprise questions that you will definitely be either entertained or enlightened by - or maybe both!

Over the past few years I know I’ve mentioned little details about my book on the podcast. I talked about the deeply organizational process of creating a book proposal pre-pandemic. I referenced journaling and compiling research. I shared my gratitude for my podcast guest for introducing me to her publisher and the subsequent delight when they offered me a contract. And then there was the intensity of the writing process as well as the mental, emotional, and spiritual processing, the catharsis, and the personal evolution that took place over those 18 months. And finally, the editing. Oof. That was a tough seven months. Partially because I never quite knew when the deadline was as it moved from June to September to the end of November. Partially because, as all creatives can attest, it can be brutal to have something you’ve invested your heart, soul, and life into be shredded. And partially because I felt very alone in the process. I didn’t have a writer’s group or an agent to turn to to ask questions or just vent. 

However, at this moment in time I can tell you two things: 

  1. I am very grateful for all I learned from my editor through my publisher, Familius Publishing. She pulled beautiful work from me.

  2. I am ridiculously proud of this book and I cannot wait for it to be available for you on May 14 - that’s less than four weeks away!!

Most of the questions I’ve received can be filtered into two categories - WHY and WHAT.

Broadly, my why for writing Parenting with Pride is consistent with all I do - I do not want ANYONE to feel alone on this journey. I want parents, allies, and those who are curious to have the tools, strategies, and accurate information to transform. I want to provide a light and empowerment in a world that is chaotic and messy.

The WHAT covers the topics, the stories, the tools and strategies, the research, the process, and so on.

The entire framework of the book is the four pillars - Embrace, Educate, Empower, and Love. As I was developing the Educate pillar we (my editor and I) realized that much of the work and sharing there actually revolved around unlearning our biases, so that became part of pillar two. Because the word "bias" can be activating for some, I want to be clear that WE ALL HAVE BIASES. It is not an attempt to point fingers or shame anyone. Unlearning bias is something every one of us has to do.

So in a nutshell, this is what you’re going to get. Self-care and grounding tools in embrace. Lots of specific stories, research, and strategies around the coming out process for your child and for you; dialing in on the kind of support you and your family need; understanding mental health, self-harm, suicide risk, and substance use. Again - each of these is presented with lots of actionable tools. You’ll have a deeper understanding of empowerment, effective communication, and leaning into your intuition. And finally think of love as not only what encapsulates the other three pillars, but what cannot be felt or given unconditionally without those pillars. 

I feel like that needs to be repeated. ...think of love as not only what encapsulates the other three pillars, but what cannot be felt or given unconditionally without those pillars.

The appendices include a super in-depth glossary and several pages of additional resources.

This book is my heart, my family’s gift of vulnerability and truth. I cannot wait for you to read it!

I’m actively working to get it into as many independent bookstores as possible, so if you have a favorite let me know so I can reach out!  (

Pre-order it for yourself, your family members, and anyone you know it would benefit. 

Parenting with Pride: Unlearn Bias and Embrace, Empower, and Love Your LGBTQ+ Teen available May 14!

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