Aaron grew up in a small Oklahoma town with attentive, loving and strong christian parents with traditional values. He earned a degree in marketing from a private university that was also conservative and christian in nature.
“I spent most of my life accepting the things that I was told when it came to church,” he said. “I didn’t really have to form my own opinions about many things because they just didn’t apply to me most of the time. Don’t misunderstand, I chose not to study for myself. I was lazy and accepting.”
Things got personal for Aaron – who has been married to fellow board member Dena for nearly 30 years – when one of their two children came out to him as gay in 2014 and thought Aaron would kick him out of the house. That caused him to examine everything he had believed. He now is fully affirming and is helping to grow the Free Dad Hugs portion of the organization.
As a career, Aaron is a sales rep for Capital One, and has recently gotten involved in the company’s extensive program of LGBTQ+ inclusiveness. He spends his off hours working out, boxing, modeling and helping lead a disaster relief team for his local church. On weekends in the summer season, Aaron raft guides at Oklahoma City’s Riversport Rapids, usually donning silver toe nail polish in support of both his son and of individuality.
“My passion is showing that a strong, heterosexual man can be a wholesome father to an LGBTQ+ child,” Aaron said. “That he can embrace, celebrate and defend the LGBTQ+ community and give them the love that their own fathers may not have been willing to give.”