A Tennessee "dad" is making headlines for being a "stand-in" parent to help LGBTQ+ couples celebrate special occasions.
"Those of us that are older, like myself, are there for them, as well as our allies, and in whatever capacity they need us, we're going to be there for them," said Dan Blevins.
Blevins, the founder of the group Stand In Pride, said he was inspired by Sarah Cunningham, the founder of the group Free Mom Hugs.
"She had a viral post on Facebook, offering to stand in as a mom for couples whose mom wouldn't attend their wedding," Blevins told ABC News. "So I said, 'I want to do that as a dad.'"
Blevins said he first took to TikTok to ask if anyone needed a "dad." After an overwhelming response, he founded Stand In Pride, a Facebook group created in 2021, to connect members of the LGBTQ+ community with "stand-in" family members for life events and virtual support.
"Not everyone who comes to Stand In Pride has got an event or a wedding coming up, lots of times they're just alone in the world and they're looking for someone to connect with, whether it's by text message or by phone call, just to know that somebody cares."
Blevins said, at the end of the day, family are just those who are willing to show up and support you.
"I've had the privilege of having accepting parents and family," he said. "So, I realize not everyone has that and I just want the LGBTQ+ community to know that they're not alone."