In honor of Mother’s Day, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Rob McElhenney has offered up a loving tribute to his moms. The women appear in a new ad for GLAAD sharing their love story.
McElhenny, who plays the gay character Mac on the sitcom, released a statement to coincide with the ad offering some context to their relationship. He also shared memories of growing up with two moms at a time when gay couples raising children remained a rare phenomenon.
“By the standards of 1984 South Philadelphia, our upbringing was unconventional, but my brother, sister and I were able to recognize early on that not every family looked exactly the same or like what we saw on television,” McElhenney said in a statement. “Yet we had nothing but love and support and compassion and empathy. And I think that that allowed us to flourish.”
As for Helena and Mary, Rob’s two moms, the two have known each other for 37 years. After a brief courtship, they decided to get together and raise Helena’s three children (including Rob) together. Of course, living as an openly gay couple with children at the time was still considered scandalous, and had its own share of dangers.
“I was afraid not only for my children but for myself,” Helena says in the ad. Still, the couple has no regrets, and offers a message of hope to other LGBTQ parents.
“If I could go back, I would tell me to not be afraid,” Helena says, “to be strong. Know that because you are who you are with a loving family, that they will support you.”
“Don’t worry about other people,” she adds.
And just like that, we’re reaching for the tissues. Moms like Helena and Mary give us hope.