Dena grew up in a conservative christian environment and faced a major spiritual crisis when her then-17-year-old son came out as gay. After a year of prayer and intense introspection, she immersed herself in study – biblical translations, ancient culture, sexual and religious practices of ancient Greece and Rome. She is now fully affirming, and advocates for the LGBTQ+ community.
A sales rep in the commercial interior design industry, Dena has a gift for writing. She holds double bachelor’s degrees in journalism and interior design, and shares her story through her blog, “My Road to Damascus.” Dena is currently finalizing her first book that shares in real time her journey from panic to peace.
Dena has been married to board member Aaron Edwards since 1990, and the couple has two children – a daughter who is a nurse in Nashville, and a son who is working his way toward Broadway. She enjoys writing, reading, studying, Netflix binge watching, flower gardening (when time allows), and sharing her story every chance possible. Her passion and ministry with Free Mom Hugs is working with christian LGBTQ+ kids and parents, and non-affirming churches.
“I remember still so clearly the fear and loneliness we felt when we first found out our son was gay,” Dena said. “And we were most afraid of our church community finding out. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. I am very public and transparent in my journey so other christian parents will know that aren’t alone, and other christians will see it IS possible to be affirming and still be a person of faith.”