To Christian Parents of Gay Children

Neil Patrick Harris and momYou want to shove those words back in and put the lid on. But you can’t. Your child is gay. This goes against everything you’ve been taught. It was not what you had in mind, and you instantly wonder where you went wrong.

When you become a parent, you know to expect the unexpected. But for many Christian parents, nothing can prepare them to hear that their beloved child is gay. This is the child you have cradled, spoon fed mashed bananas, and dreamed a beautiful future for. How could this be? What will the church say? What will your friends say? What does the future hold? You can’t even get your head around this.

If you are a Christian parent, family member or friend to whom your loved one has come out as gay or lesbian, then this is for you. I invite you to sit down, relax, maybe get a cup of tea, and soak in what I’m about to tell you. My hope is to guide you as we walk for a bit through this maze of confusion, to help you find your way to wholeness.

In most Christian circles, this is not good news, and you may begin to spiral into reflection and self-searching. We’ll get to that. But at the bottom of it all, this is not about you. Most parents’ first mistake is to make it about them instead of about their son or daughter. So let’s talk about some of the major stumbling blocks for Christian parents.

1. This is not an offense against you. This is not something your child did to you. They did not “choose gayness” to rebel against you, get back at you or make your life miserable. In fact, it really has nothing do with you. You did not cause this; it’s not a failure on your part. As a younger Christian, taught that homosexuality is a sin, I believed that trauma somewhere in someone’s past caused homosexuality, even if they didn’t remember it. To my surprise, God completely shifted my understanding and revealed to me the many people who had a great childhood and are still gay. He also reminded me of the many straight people who had traumatic childhoods, yet remained straight. Your expectations may lay shattered at your feet. But those are your expectations for your child. Quite simply, they may not be God’s expectations. Ask God to replace your vision for your child with His.

2. This orientation is not news to your child. They likely did not tell you the first time they noticed their same-sex attraction. In fact, they have probably lived with this quite a long time. They had to discover how true it was. They had to watch other young teens grow into puberty, and realize they weren’t developing the same feelings. Perhaps they dated the opposite gender to see if passion might develop, and yet none did. By the time they come out to you, they are pretty sure of what they’re saying. You may have to work through a slate of brand new emotions about this, and your emotions will affect them, but theirs are not brand new. Do not ask them if they are sure, if maybe they want to take a little time and see what happens. Instead, consider the journey they have been through. Ask them things like, “When did you know?” “How long have you felt this way?” and tell them how you are grateful that they are including you, that they don’t have to go through this alone anymore.

3. Now is a key time to embrace your child. Imagine for a moment the courage it took to tell you about their sexuality, especially when they know it seems to contradict your core beliefs. In this moment, your child needs to know he did the right thing by telling you. You may flood with fear, doubt, anger, grief, disappointment, shame, anguish or guilt, but do not let those hinder you from expressing your unconditional love and admiration for your child. Your child will have their own list of emotions to deal with; don’t hand them yours. Give yourself time to process all of your own emotions. Be kind to yourself and your child through this.

4. They were terrified to tell you. The risk they took is very real. Some gay teens have been shamed, banished, threatened, beaten, and shunned. They know that once it is said, it cannot be unsaid. They took this chance either because they trusted you and hoped for the best, or because they could not stand to live inauthentically any longer. You have a strong child. Be proud. You have the opportunity to make the most of their trust and come through for them with the unconditional love of a parent. That’s your job as a parent and a Christian — to love unconditionally.

5. Praying, wishing and believing will not make your child straight. If doing these things meant that homosexuality would not visit a Christian home, then we wouldn’t see it cropping up so often. I have heard countless stories of people who prayed without ceasing, but nothing changed. Picture with me the false faith-healers who pray to heal audience members’ maladies; when there is no result, those charlatans tell the poor kid in the wheelchair, “Maybe next time you’ll have enough faith to be healed.” Where does that place the blame? If anyone has ever been healed in that setting, it is God’s choice, not the one in the wheelchair. Has anyone prayed themselves straight? I don’t know. Meanwhile, countless stories of those who prayed, did everything right, followed every suggestion, and poured themselves wholeheartedly into being straight–only to experience disappointment and self-loathing. Your child does not deserve this.

6. For teens, there are still many changes to come. Don’t panic! Let them discover themselves. What did you know at 18 that you feel the same about today? Come to think of it, sexual orientation is probably one of the few things you were sure about. Do not require a certain life path for your son or daughter at this time when the world is their oyster. Haven’t we yet learned how crippling it is to have to please someone else? Do not tell them that it is a phase that will wear off. Acknowledge how far they have come, that they have an exciting future, and that you will be with them every step of the way. If they discover that their orientation may not be what they thought, then they alone will discover that. Telling them you are praying that they change, or that they will likely “straighten out” as they get older, will only distance them from you. Worst of all, do not send them to “reorientation” camp. This traumatizes countless teens, cementing deep shame and self-hatred.

7. Adult children are out of your hands. Even more than teens, adult children are beyond your parental authority. You have done your best as a parent, however flawed you were. (We all were!) You must trust God with this child you have raised. Embrace them and love them as a fellow believer–Jesus asks that of you. Do not shun them or take other action, which will only alienate you from their lives. Instead, look forward to the many major life events ahead, and be there for them as you wanted your parents to be there for you.

8. Put other peoples’ responses aside. The opinion of your pastor, your Bible group, or your extended family are not as important as your son or daughter’s well-being. Put others’ opinions aside and focus on how God would lead you specifically. If you can’t say in your heart that your child is more important than others’ opinions, then seek the Lord about this and ask Him to restore your priorities.

9. Bear your son’s or daughter’s burdens. Let the weight of unanswered questions and discomfort rest on you. You are not the one being pressured to change your identity. Your child has the whole rest of the world to navigate; you are uniquely equipped to help bear their burden and so fulfill the law of Christ, as Galatians 6:2 tells us. Your relationship with your child calls for that much. Don’t press for answers or easy solutions. As with other big events in life, get comfortable with not knowing, and patiently let God reveal answers in His timing.

10. Finally, remember that we are not responsible to change people’s behavior. Not our job, even with our children, especially as they get older. If you think you’re going to make your pianist into a football player, give it up now. Jesus is not about behavior modification; He is about life, His life flowing through us. That is what grace (kharis) means — to let Jesus’ love flow through us instead of feeling obligated to fix everything. Your job is to love people, especially your child. Let God use this situation to show you what it means to love unconditionally. While we love others, God is at work in ways we can’t see.

This road is likely not one you would have chosen, nor initially welcomed. But if you seek Him, God will show you the beauty of the journey. Perhaps God has chosen you for such a time as this, to shine His love amidst all the anger and hate (even if your beliefs about it never change). Perhaps He will work through you to restore His name that has been so maligned to a group of people who need Him — as we all do. God is good at giving us quandaries we didn’t expect, to rock our little tiny worldviews. He shakes everything that can be shaken until all that’s left is what is unshakeable. Cling to Him in this time, and He will bring about something wonderful — for you and your family.

Please feel free to comment below on your experience of your child coming out, or email me directly through the contact page. God bless you on this journey.

Book PresentationSusan’s new book:  “Mom I’m Gay” – Loving Your LGBTQ Child Without Sacrificing Your Faith is NOW AVAILABLE! Just click here for more information.



Categories: Parents, Family & Friends

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

364 replies

  1. Hi Anonymous,

    Well, that’s just the thing: We already *have* put words in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, by having umpteen translations of the Scriptures. We put the word “homosexual” in God’s mouth, proverbially speaking, as it was not in the original Hebrew and was not added to the KJV until the ’40s. There is quite a bit of scholarship on this.

    One other thing I wanted to say regarding your example is that, while I agree that we can pray for an adulterous spouse to change his/her BEHAVIOR and marvel at the work that God is able to do in his/her heart, I disagree that praying for God to change the core of someone’s sexual attraction (which is neither a choice nor a behavior) is going to get anyone anywhere. Exodus Int’l is the “poster boy” for the failure of reparation therapy. You mention this: “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality.” How do you know this? Because Alan Chambers of the former Exodus would disagree with you. He would also tell you that sexual orientation is 99.9% fixed, so those who are same-gender attracted but who are living straight lives are still same-sex attracted. Can you imagine, as a straight person, being married to a same-sex attracted partner simply because that partner is trying to do what s/he believes God would have him/her do? (That’s bondage). Can you imagine the misery for both of you? Yes, there are same-sex attracted people who are living straight lives, but they will tell you that it is often times fraught with depression and extreme loneliness. I’ve wondered how it would be if I thought God were telling me, a straight woman, that being straight is evil, so I needed to suppress my longings and remain alone and lonely. Would I despair of life? Would I feel like I was living in bondage? You bet I would. And I’d wonder why I was even created in the first place.

    I’m not trying to come off as angry, here – just resolved. I’m a mom who prayed for YEARS for my gay child to be straight. I’m friends with many, many other moms who prayed for YEARS for their gay children to be straight. Our gay children have prayed for YEARS for God to “make them straight.” If God hasn’t answered a single one of those prayers, does that make us bad pray-ers, or does that make God a bad, unconcerned god? I think it’s neither of those. Instead, I think that He is a good God who wants us to love our gay children and to direct our prayers to ask that they will live in relationship with Him as gay people. If He really wanted to change them from gay to straight, He’d have done it, and we’d all be hearing about hundreds of thousands of these miracles every day. To me, the real miracle is that gay people are reaching out to God at all, given the way the Church (as God’s representative) has misinterpreted scripture verses that have everything to do with antiquated purity codes and temple prostitution and nothing to do with sexual orientation. The fact that my son is a follower of Jesus and loves the Church as He does is the *real* miracle to me.

  2. People. The English Bible you read today has been translated so many times. Do not be narrow minded. Think for yourself. In the original languages of the Christian Bible, homosexuality wasn’t mentioned. The passages you read now are just English men’s interpretations of the Bible. Even in today’s version, people are still interpreting the homosexuality part so that it fits today’s society. If you do a little studying of the history of today’s Bible, and possibly realize that everything you’ve been brought up to believe, might just be a little smeared in it’s truthfulness. Educate yourself on all of the worlds religions, and the origin of each. You will see that almost all religions have a base common between all of them. A higher spirit, 3 forms, and prophets. Christianity is just another version of our spiritual sides, and I’m not saying that Christianity is wrong at all! But you people take it so serious in parts that doesn’t matter the most that you get caught up in the small details rather than the bigger picture. And trust me, there is a much bigger picture besides only western Christianity.

  3. Bonnie, I have no doubt that God can and does deliver people from wanton sin, as you described. He’s done it for me! Without a doubt God can heal, but in actual lived experience, he does not seem to change homosexuality. The numbers don’t stack up. You say, “There are MANY people who are living healthy, STRAIGHT lives because they were delivered from the bondage of the sin of homosexuality. Many of them credit the fact that they knew a faithful praying parent was crying out to God for them.” I have not seen that, though I have looked. If you know those stories, I’d like to see them. I do know, personally, many people who have poured their lives into prayer and submission, whose parents have prayed just as fervently, and they are still as gay as they always were. Indeed, the main purveyor of “reparative/reorientation therapy” shut its doors last year because it does not work. For 37 years they tried with all their hearts, but even the “success stories” admitted they were not “cured,” they’d just chosen celibacy. That’s not deliverance from bondage. Instead, I suggest your assumption that homosexuality is a sin is faulty. I know that doesn’t make sense to you when you believe it is, but I strongly recommend Brownson on this or Vines’ soon-to-be-released book. Or simply read Justin Lee’s story in Torn to get an inside view of a journey I’m pretty sure you have not personally walked [link]. Or you can read What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality right here. I love your heart, I love your fervor, but it doesn’t bear out in the real world. So we must back up and reevaluate our interpretation of the passages we have quote without any real understanding. The Pharisees did that and badly misled people they were charged to lead. We owe this demographic more than that. Thank you, Bonnie.

  4. Thank you for writing this blog. My 13 yr old son just came out to us this week and to say we were taken aback would be an understatement. My husband and I have gay and lesbian friends and I always thought I’d be much more at ease if one of my boys were gay. I am going through all of the previously described emotions that so many here have shared. Grief for the picture of what I imagined his life would be like and sorrow for the persecution that can be handed out by those who are ignorant. All the while, acting as if everything is absolutely normal and offering nothing but support for my son. I don’t want to share with my family for fear of their reactions and at 13 I probably still hold out some bit of “hope” that this may not be real. He has several friends that are gay and that I had strong ideas were gay from early elementary school. How did I miss it in my own son? I love him more than anything in the world. I just don’t want him to be hurt.

    • We too have been dealing with our 13 year old son questioning his sexual orientation since September of 2013. Since that time my wife and I educated ourselves and prepared ourselves for the possibility. Well, yesterday, April 4, he told me he was gay. He said simply that he does not want to live a lie and he does not want people to keep on asking.

      This will be a process for you and your son. I am the first one in our family that he has told. I told him to tell my wife and his siblings when he is ready. He says that life may be hard but he does not want this to be a big deal.

      I encourage you to be there for him and love him. You loved him before he told you so must continue to love him. It is not easy to understand, but your son is probably like my son. They are scared and want acceptance and love. We as parents need to not only offer our unconditional love but knowing that we are there with them!

  5. I’m speechless, left without air in my body and my soul is torn into pces… I have always wanted the best for my princess and now today I find out that shes “dating” a girl. I cant accept tthat and I dont think I will ever agree with that. The pain I have is destroying my thought, actions,and my motivation to move forward in life. I hope to my Lord Jesus that he helps us and guides my baby thru the right path , more because of salvation. I love my princess so much and I want her in heaven..

    • Sir, I can imagine some of the pain you go through. But I can’t we are all different, I can assure that you seem like a nice person and goes the same for your daughter. Just please hang in there and if this is something your daughter really wants you can’t change it I’m sorry to say. Just if it comes down to it don’t force your daughter to stop being herself. This will push your daughter from you making it your relationship different and distant this will ruin your princess trust me. May The Lord bless your days, just continue to love your daughter no matter what.

    • Heather, Jesus will guide your princess. Her dating a girl will not keep her from heaven, I promise, because she’s a whosoever. “For God so loved the world that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” :) That’s what the Bible says. It’s not about being gay or not. Rest easy, Heather. You let Jesus guide your baby, and let him guide you too. Let him give you the peace that is beyond all understanding. He will. Bless your heart.

      • Heather- From what I understand, grief is a typical process for everyone involved in someone’s coming out because something or a perceived/former identity has been lost. Feeling grief may include denial, anger, bargaining, depression, etc. We, as people, are made to feel & we, as Christians, should take what we feel and experience and tell God about it. Good, bad, & ugly. Tell, yell, whisper it to God. Then ask God for peace.

        Susan- I’m writing down this “whosoever” line for a sermon. Good word. Let me know if I owe you royalties! ;)

    • Hi Heather, I feel for you. I’ve been where you are. My best advice is to pray. Pray for God’s understanding, Pray for the Holy Spirit to move in your and your daughter’s lives. And pray you have ears to listen. Sometimes we ask God for help and the help he sends isn’t what we were expecting and we reject it. Pray that he won’t let you do that. I think you’ve already made a good start, he brought you here! Also pray for protection for your daughter. Protection from our brothers and sisters in Christ who will be cruel to her in Jesus’ name. Pray for her faith be strong even as she is being shown hate.

      My other advice is to remember how much you love your daughter and remember that she is still that same girl you’ve always loved more than your own life. You just know her better now.

      In the meantime, I’m sending a link to one of my favorite videos on the topic.

      Blessings on you dear mother!
      Sharon

  6. My son and I are very close , I raised him as a single parent for most of his life after my divorce. I’m a believer and my son is saved also. Ever since he was 2 years old I notices he like pink stuff and girly stuff, and it just got worse so I had a feeling he might be gay but didn’t wanna believe it, his mother said he was gay but I refused to believe it . We my 13 year old son just told be their is a chance he might be Bi….I will always live my son , but I need advise ..I fear more for his salvation and him getting aids then anything else … Pleas help

    • Dear Lawrence, there is no reason to fear for your son’s salvation. Seriously not. Please, please read Brownson or Vines’ upcoming God and the Gay Christian. What we’ve been taught about those verses is not what they say. Cooler heads must prevail on this issue to overcome fear. You know your son didn’t choose this, don’t you? He was little. It bubbled up from within. I’m writing a series of posts, probably to post in a week, to answer a letter I got from another dad in your shoes. Keep an eye open — I hope it will help give you peace. Best to you and your son.

    • Hoag, I’m a 22 year old that came out to my mom just recently. Please do not focus on the “diseases” that he can get by being gay. Anybody can get the same diseases gay or straight. It’s a matter of cleanliness and possessing the knowledge of how to have safe sex. Please educate your child on safe sex somehow, maybe it shouldn’t be you as a mom but he should have a lesson sometime..

      Just trust me here I’ve lived this life and know I’m right in this subject. You mean the whole world to your son, just like your son means the world to you. That will never go away, so be accepting of who he is and help him every step of the way!

  7. This is a topic that is near to my heart…
    Many thanks! Where are your contact details though?

  8. I’m glad I stumbled to this article. I have 14 year old daughter and she didn’t come out and say she was a lesbian. I had to find out on her Instgram page. She went to a friends house which is a another 14 year old girl and posted them making out. My daughter is a tomboy has been since little, but I never thought she would turn lesbian. It doesn’t help that me and my wife are 33 years old, we are young ourselves and having her young didn’t give us the opportunity to mature ourselves and be able to help her more. Not to take away from her but I will be graduating in July of this year from seminary and I feel like a total failure as a parent. Me and my wife are just in tears not because we are worried what people will think of us, but were did we go wrong? I feel like I need to quite the ministry and minister more to my daughter. I have taken her iPhone and won’t allow her to see these girls or at least be here in the house or over at their house. So now I worry about suicidal thoughts for her. It is tearing me up inside. The bible does say if you cant rule your house then how can you run the house of God, so i guess I wasted my life in pursuit to love God and love people. we love my daughter with all our heart. Thanks again for the advice and article. I will pray for her but not drill to her. Sorry for the post.

    • Dear Billy, I am so glad you wrote. So, I hear your thought process, and I know it well. It is the teaching of the church. But let me ask you this: does your Christian life rest on you or on God? If you have sought him with your whole heart — and you sought him enough to go through seminary — then what happened? Do you think it was some secret sin in you that created this situation? Some kind of unknown mistake or negligence on your part? Or is it possible God sees things a different way? Remember that Job’s friends were certain that he had some kind of undisclosed sin, but they were completely wrong… and they were chastised for it. The world doesn’t stack up the way we see it. I know you’re willing to take the responsibility on yourself for this, we’re trained that way as faithful Christians, but Billy, please ask God to show you if he sees this a different way. I ask you to read Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality. He will illuminate your thinking. He has completely studied it all in the original language and context. Also read, Mel White’s What the Bible Says and Doesn’t Say About Homosexuality http://www.psa91.com/pdf/whatthebiblesays.pdf, also on my resources page. You owe it to your daughter as well as to yourselves to learn more than the party line on this. It’s not what it’s been handed down to mean. And think about this: I have met scores of parents who regretted their initial response of taking a stand on their child’s homosexuality, taking away phones, grounding and otherwise trying to change their child. But I have never met a single parent who regretted their initial embrace and acceptance of their child. You can always draw lines later, if God tells you to. But you don’t want to make your daughter feel rejected or unaccepted. Make no mistake: those who commit suicide are the ones who don’t feel accepted by family. Even if others reject, family is the make-or-break. So if that’s your concern (and it should be), then accept her, 100%. Don’t try to change her. Instead, give God time to show you his view on this — not your church, not your seminary, but that still small voice that leads you in all truth. Set your learning aside, and seek the teacher himself. He didn’t allow this into your life because you’ve made some grave, unknown mistake. So find out from him what he DOES want to tell you. Also, Billy, even if it were a sin (and I don’t believe the context of scripture supports that), what kind of faith from a loving God would tell you to somehow “change” something as nuanced and layered as someone’s sexuality? How much power do you think he’s giving you? You see what I mean? I know it’s the Christian teaching, to take responsibility for everything, but it leaves us trying to do God’s job! We’re just not up to it, even with seminary training. :) Please stay in touch with me and let me know what happens. I hear your broken heart, and I pray for God to reveal something to you intimately in this journey. Who knows? If God wanted to make some headway and break into the traditional church teaching on this topic — which he seems to be doing everywhere, doesn’t he? — who better to give a gay child than someone with your heart and training? Love to you, brother in Christ. Susan

    • Have you studied Biblical Hebrew including idioms and eupamisms in seminary? I was shocked to learn how many pastors never have, but they base their whole lives and work on a book they have never read in the original language. If you haven’t, please do. The Hebrew Bible never condemned homosexuality, and never once in the Old Testament does it mention sarisim yeleed, homosexuals. So why does the English version differ so greatly from the Hebrew? To answer that I invite you to read Bart Erhman’s “Misquoting Jesus”. To start you out, please look up every time the King James mentions “sodomite(s) in the Old Testament. The original word is kodesh, the Hebrew word for holy. How can this be? You’ll find out in a Biblical Hebrew class.

      • Thank you so much. You are right about that. So much has been badly misinterpreted and so much added, that to pull out a couple of verses and condemn a group of people with them is the complete opposite of what God asks us to do. can’t help thinking that like Lucy Ricardo, “we got a lot of ‘splaining to do.”

    • That’s only going to hurt her. You’re rejecting her and treating her like she’s actually done something wrong. I’ve got friends who have come very close to succeeding in committing suicide because their religious parents shamed them and treated them like trash, even criminals, for falling in love. So what if she likes a girl? Do you really think taking her phone and telling her she’s not allowed to hang out with other girls is going to stop that? No, it won’t. It will make her feel like you’re ashamed of her or hate her. I wanted to scream and cry my heart out when my mom tried to tell me I wasn’t bisexual. She told me it would pass. Well guess what? I still like girls, too. It hurt me and was one of the last straws that drove me into selfharm. My own mother, who I felt very close to, was trying to tell me how I felt and that it was wrong. She wouldn’t accept it. About two years later, I finally managed to try it again, and she still wasn’t happy. She had a look in her eyes like I was a demon. Because of that, I’ve tried to hide any relations I’ve had with girls. I’ve dated two and she still doesn’t know. I’m not ashamed of my sexuality, but I’m scared to show it around my family because of how they feel about same-sex relations. I don’t want to be yelled at and put down and told I can’t love who I want. How would YOU feel if your parents had done that to you for liking women? Pretty sure you would’ve hated it and hated them for doing that to you. So, if you want your daughter to hate you and hide things from you, some things that could be life or death, because she’s afraid of being punished and shamed, then keep on that path you’re on. I was raised to believe in God, but I don’t. But what I DO believe is that, if he’s real, he loves ALL of his children. That’s what the bible says. Or did you forget that because you think he’s going to hate one of his children for falling in love with someone of the same sex? Nope. Alright, I think I’ve made my point, and I’m going to be quiet now. Good day, sir.

      • Hello Raynebow. I am very sorry for the pain you have had to endure. No one should have to feel ashamed of who they are. You know that’s what my book is about – helping parents embrace their children and not shame them. That beginning of the book that you read… I ask parents not to do that for all the reasons you mentioned. I want to help and suffering like you’ve gone through. I’m glad you wrote, & I hope your mother comes around.

  9. So I’m 16, I did the unthinkable I came out to my very religous mom and she didn’t take it well at all. I need advice please

      • Joseph,

        My heart goes out to you my friend. I will be praying your relationship with your mother. As a mother of a 16 year old daighter that came out when she wad 15, please know that your mother is also struggling with the pain of your orientation. It affects parents in so many ways including somany losses and grief. She loves you, she is praying, I am sure for herself and for you. I am also very religious and even told my beautiful daughter that this way of life is a perversion. The Lord has brought me to a place to just love on my daughtet and the struggles that will come her way. God made you and makes no mistakes. The man that you are today is not the same man you will be in another minute, one year, 10 or 50 years. Keep ahold of God, and know that through your decision to share with your mother,she will eventually appreciate your trust, your honesty and your integrity to be true to yourself. God is in control, I would act that you consider what I ask of my daughter… give me time to understand my needs, love me when you dont want to, respect me and bear the rules while you live in her home. She will outreach to churches for support groups for her own pain and find people to help her, as she is the only person experiencing pain.

  10. I need help…my son just came out to me then my husband, I’m devastated never I let my son know I fully supported him! My question is why can’t I find any help for the shocked parent….I can’t sleep at night, I’m depressed all day, why is there no sympathy for the parent who bore the child??? after all it is a HUGE shock!!!! crying writing this…

    • Dear Kori, I am so with you. My daughter came out to us before Thanksgiving. I am still in reeling. I wish I could rewind life and just snip out that part of the tape. I hate this new reality and the fact that I have no power to change it. I have experienced feelings of anger, sadness, fear, shame, annoyance, helplessness, and on and on…..All I can tell you is take it to the Lord in prayer. In my daily devotions of a few days ago, I read the following words that the writer has Jesus saying to us: “I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them.” I encourage yo to hold on to these words and trust God to bring some good out of this.

  11. Whilst this blog post doesn’t appear anti-gay, it fails to acknowledge the damage that the apparent ‘word of God’ has had on many people. The Bible has been used to propagate racism, to subjugate women and to give people the go-ahead to treat LGBTQ people appallingly.

    I came out to my parents just before Christmas and I’ve given them three months to get their head around it. I broached the subject again the other night, saying that it was hurting me that they ignored anything I had to say about my girlfriend (who I love dearly and has made me very happy) and that they refuse to accept my sexuality. The response I got back seems loving, but it actually breaks my heart:

    “Summing up I am attempting to say that we are not judging L , or yourself for that matter – it is not our place to do that. It must be impossible for you though to understand how we feel about the relationship you describe as you have never walked in our shoes and have never been a parent. Obviously also we also hold
    convictions as christians that would be impossible to alter as it would involve changing what we have believed for 47 years (i became a christian when I was 21). We cannot make you happy (as much as we would like to) by just agreeing with your beliefs when ,in fact , we do not. We have no desire whatever to disassociate with you whatever, quite the reverse but you cannot make people agree with you all the time as it is totally unrealistic. We will continue to love you and care about you – that will never change. Lots of love, Mum”

    Firstly, this e-mail is judgmental Previously they referred to my girlfriend as a good friend (she has always been my girlfriend), which completely invalidates our relationship, and secondly the line, “the relationship you describe” and the implication that I am hurting them intentionally and that I couldn’t possibly understand that hurt… it cuts incredibly deep. I have had to hide who I am for years. My dad is a retired minister and my entire family are devout christians. At least they haven’t cut me off, but am I expected to be grateful for that? Their love for me is blatantly conditional and their refusal to accept me is slowly eroding my sense of self-worth. What’s more, they have complete double standards – they have forgiven people for the most atrocious things and they haven’t always protected me, and yet me being happy with a woman, and not being able to change my sexuality.. it seems like the last straw for them. It’s messed up.

    This is the nicer of the e-mails – most of them completely invalidate me and make me feel that they will never accept me or my girlfriend, that we’ll never be welcome around the dinner table at Christmas and that they won’t support me if we get married and have children.

    They refuse to acknowledge how much they are hurting me. And instead I’m made to feel bad for being myself and for loving someone who doesn’t have a penis between their legs. It makes me sick to the stomach.

    So many people in the LGBTQ community kill themselves because of homophobia and families refusing to accept their gay son or daughter. Knowing this, I can’t understand why anyone would put their faith in a God who encourages bigotry.

    • Dear queercatlady, I DO get it about what you’re experiencing and your perspective of the Bible, especially as you’ve been taught it in a toxic way. The only way NOT to see it as toxic is to understand a whole lot more cultural context than we learn at church, and that’s also the only way to read it accurately. So much has been misinterpreted. Jesus was actually a feminist who championed women in a terribly patriarchal and misogynistic culture. But that may be hard to see looking back 2000 years. He actually saved me from so much, so personally, that I see him differently than you do. I’m very sorry about your parents’ response, and of course it hurts. They are not there yet. I hope they get there — by there, I mean truly accepting — but they may need longer than three months, considering how long they were taught a different view. Their response to you has little to do with you. That’s true throughout a lot of our parenting, by the way! Because we’re sorting through our own wounds while our poor kids are saying, “Really?” That’s the way it is, for whatever reason. As much as you can separate yourself from the hurt you’re receiving, that will help you not take it as having to do with you. You know? They’re sorting through stuff, and unfortunately, you’re having to suffer through that. If you’d like to email me, please do.

      • Thanks for your response. I know they need more than three months. I’ve tried to talk to them about this for years however, and I told them the issues were important to me because of my gay friends. I also tried to come out when I was younger, but my mum told me it was a phase and that I wasn’t to tell my dad. I guess I feel a sense of urgency because they are older than most parents, and it isn’t guaranteed that they will be around a long time (my mum has cancer and although she is (amazingly) ok now, there is that worry that it won’t last). I just know them, and I know they won’t get there, which is why I’m hurt and upset, because I do blame Christianity for this. I think the bible can be so damaging for young and impressionable people who are told what to believe from childhood. I’ve tried a lot with them over the years (I’ve asked them to watch “prayers for bobby” and “for the bible tells me so” and I’ve asked them to research what it is they are talking about and to actually listen to people in the LGBTQ community, but they won’t), and since I came out we’ve drifted further apart, and everything is ok providing we don’t talk about anything real. And because my girlfriend is a huge part of my life, I can’t really tell them what I’ve been up to or how I’m getting on, and I feel that not mentioning her is lying by omission and then I feel angry.

        I know parents aren’t perfect, and I’m trying to empathise, but it’s wearing thin. I feel they should me making the effort now, now me. Thanks for listening.

        • Darlin, I wish I could tell you something that would fix this. As much as I tell parents they CANNOT choose for their kids… I say to you, you cannot choose for your parents. They may, or they may not, come around. I’m sorry all this has pushed you away from faith, I really am. That’s the tragic end result. Parents, are you listening? This response of rejecting is NOT appealing and it’s NOT Christ…

          • Thank you Susan for your book I am anxious to read it. My daughter came out years ago I have always been un judgemental. but unfortunately my world came crashing down. I was so worried about what everyone would think.< my mother , my family, her stepfather, society and so on. That was my primary concern .Would they think ide failed as her mother.. I loved her dearly and refused to give her up. After grieving and processing her lifestyle for awhile , I got some counceling and started listening to her. I made it a priority to include her girlfriends . some I loved because they loved her . and some I disliked because they hurt her. As time went on and she matured in her relation ships I did too. It was a process but I felt like we were growing together. She is a grown women today and has e wonderfulpartner and family . They are lucky to have a family that accepts them because grandkids are involved. What society doesn't understand its not the fact that they are two women that have a deep relationship . It is about the people they are. their values ,their honesty, how they treat other people and their love for family and eachother. I am no longer worried about their relationship and life style … I want them to know that they are as worthy as anyone else to have the Lord in their lives and he loves and understands why and where they are in there journey. people who don't live it don't understand it. They need to educate themselves about it just as they do if their child is diabetic ,mentaly handicapped or has Autism or so on. Gay children don't bear gay children . Normal families like yours and mine have gay children .I as her mother have the right to want everything for my daughters life and her families life as any other person wants for their children. We as Christian women should be ready to share our love and understanding with a mother and father who are facing this difficujt time in anyones life .

          • It’s a shame. Really, the fact that our first concern re this is what other’s will think shows that the response to this topic has been way out of whack. Doesn’t it? Thanks so much for sharing, Barbara, and best to you with your daughter.

          • Maybe put this on your blog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnOJgDW0gPI I’m doing a lot of research, I don’t want to give up on my parents, but it’s hard.

            I really admire what you’re doing. Thank you.

          • Thank you. I know it’s hard. Maybe instead of giving up on them, you can trust God to show them. Sorry it’s such a struggle.

        • Dear Queercarlady: Get your parents a copy of Justin Lee’s TORN. 16 years after my daughter came out to me and all those years of acting like your parents do, this book changed me. It drove me to do my own research. I learned gay is a latent trait like left handedness and red hair. I asked God how could He condemn people for the way He made them. Then I stumbled accross Biblical Hebrew schollars and learned that the original language doesn’t say what the English translations say at all. I will be praying for your parents that the Holy Spirit will be preparing their hearts for this new information. You are wonderfully made by the God who loves you. Your gayness is a gift from Him.

  12. Susan, your words are full of compassion, but I did not read any references to scripture. What would Moses, Paul or Jesus teach about the correct biblical response to fornication of any type?

    I think Moses would have taught stoning, (Deut 22:20) Paul would have taught disfellowship until repentance if the adult child claimed to be a Christian (1 Cor 5:11) and Jesus’ teaching on this subject would parallel either Moses or Paul, and I would say Paul as Paul said his revelation came from Jesus Christ (Galatians 1:11). Is there any such thing as tough love from a biblical perspective any more?

    • Well, let’s start with Jesus, because frankly, if we get into the OT laws, we’re going to be talking about stoning a child who talks back to a parent or has a tattoo or eats bacon, so we can’t just pull a verse out of Deuteronomy. Besides, Jesus tells us that if we think those things, we’re sinning the same as if we did them. So where would we stop the stoning? Let’s take a peek at how Jesus deals with this issue of fornication. Interestingly, Jesus let the woman go! He did. Now, before you tell me that he told her not to sin anymore, please, read my blog The Woman Forgiven for Adultery http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ Jesus was saying to her, “You don’t have to live like this! I have such a better life for you!” But even if you don’t agree with me on that (and again, I ask you to read my post on this), he did, in fact, let her go. Even if he said not to do it again, that’s still not enforcing the law, is it? Her release was not conditional. How does Jesus respond to real issues in our lives? He offers himself. Always. It’s from within the relationship, free and clear, full acceptance, that we come around in any area of our lives. Paul tells we are no longer under law but under grace, which means the powerful presence of God! It’s a completely different system that exists outside the transgression/punishment system, something that’s hard to grasp — but that’s what Jesus brought, something impossible to grasp! And Paul spent a lot of time redirecting people to Christ, the very thing we should do! Those guys who hung out with him for three years had no idea what he was talking about. Only much later did it make sense. I do believe that hard lines must sometimes be drawn, but they must come in relationship, with people who know us and love us, people who know our lives. Paul was a speaking into communities of people who knew each other. He wasn’t writing a new Deuteronomy or a new Leviticus. Listen, I honestly have been living this way, in the freedom of Christ outside the “legalistic” system for about 12 years, and I am a much better wife, mother, friend, Christian, than I ever would have been otherwise, because I am motivated by the love of Christ, not a rod. There is so much more available by living on the tree of LIFE than the tree of Knowledge! That’s another good post! http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/07/02/a-tale-of-two-trees-why-we-are-all-asking-the-wrong-question/ Lance, thank you for your question. Best to you.

  13. This is so true, I am not a parent but I am a teenager. I am so glad that you fellow Christians believe it is okay. I have recently come to a point into life where I met someone I truly loved. But her father, being a man of Christ, is not okay with her being gay. Yet my parents are completely fine with it. It has been very hard for me to comprehend all of this honestly. I was very shocked when her father said we could not see each other anymore. It actually hurt quite a lot. I wish there was some way I could show him this, so maybe he would get a grasp on “It’s okay to be gay”. She has went through a great deal of her life with her parents,
    Mostly father disapproving of her being gay. I know it has been very hard for her. I wish all Christians had the same mindset as you Susan! God bless you(:

  14. This is fantastic! Thanks, Susan!

  15. Thank you so much for this blog. As a parent who may have a gay child, I am confronting this issue as proactively as I can with much prayer and much research. After doing an in-depth study of the topic of homosexuality — reviewing all 8 or so of the Old and New Testament passages that mention it and studying the etymology(?) of the word(s) translated “homosexual,” I have come to learn and believe 1) You CAN be born gay. To think that experiencing same sex attraction is a choice defies heterosexual experience. I do not know of one single heterosexual that “chose” to be attracted to people of the opposite sex…myself included. I just discovered that I’m sexually attracted to the opposite sex. 2) “Homosexuality” in the Bible refers to men and women that engage in same-sex sex and has nothing to do with one’s orientation. God is speaking to both heterosexuals and LGBTQ’s when He says “don’t have sex with the same sex.” Heterosexual men and women engage in same-sex sex. These heterosexuals are not “gay” but are considered “homosexual” from a Biblical standpoint in their actions — like one is only considered a “liar” if one lies. I am only beginning to understand the damage that has been done to gay Christian and non-Christians by “Christian” teaching that someone is aberrant, ungodly, and “going to hell” solely based on their sexual orientation. I believe Satan himself has used this bad teaching to destroy many Christian brothers and sisters due to the condemnation coming from the Church. To Christian parents of a gay child (still living at home) you DO have some very difficult questions to answer. Do you believe it’s a sin, and an unforgivable one at that, to “be gay”? If you do, do you believe that God wants you to love your child or hate your child? If you love your child, your actions should reflect those found in I Corinthians 13, “Love is patient. Love is kind..” You DO need to make some ground rules around what’s considered acceptable behavior from your gay child in your home. For instance, you probably wouldn’t allow your teenager to have an opposite sex friend sleep over, so you’ll need to decide if your gay teen can have same-sex friends sleep over. Your gay teen’s dating another gay teen is touchy, but again, you need to provide some guidance or parameters for your teen. Don’t try to navigate this alone. You will need to engage with other Christian parents — and not just read blogs — to help you work through whatever you need to surrounding you and your gay child. What are you going to do if/when your child is in love and wants your blessing on their gay marriage? Should you give your blessing? Should you actually attend the wedding? My advice to parents is to pray for God’s truth and pray for God’s love. He loves us unconditionally, but He also refuses to accept sinful acts as good ones just because we do them with good intentions or in the name of love. At the end of the day, recognize that God loves you and loves your child more than you do, He can make a way.

    • Charles, that was absolutely beautiful. Every word, right on. Thank you for taking such a deeply thoughtful approach. Much love to you.

    • I agree. The few Bible versus that bring up same-sex encounters all have very specific contexts that don’t have anything to do with orientation, so I’ve become really squeamish about assuming those verses apply to attraction. Even Romans 1 is talking about the loose sexual practices of the Romans, not homosexuality. If you study the Roman culture, sexual depravity ran rampant and they had no respect for the bond of marriage. People had sex slaves, they paid homage to temple gods and goddesses with temple prostitutes, they had orgies and EVEN engaged in homosexual sex when they weren’t gay. The more people you bedded, the more powerful and vigorous you looked. So God gave THEM over to a depraved mind and let them become consumed and destroyed by their own lusts. This is not the same as some kid knowing they’re gay at age 6. Why would God give kids over to a depraved mind, especially those who grow up in church? That doesn’t make any sense.

      I’ve become more and more convinced that Mercy is the way Christians should be dealing with homosexuality rather than condemnation. I just think, my goodness, what if we’ve all been wrong? Consider how many people have been shoved away from God because of spiked clubs and the lack of compassion held by Christians. The Pharisees thought they were right adhering to the letter of the law. Jesus stressed mercy over legalism. I can’t tell you how many Christians I’ve heard say you can’t be gay and a Christian. This is crushing and it makes me ill. We should be beacons of light above all else and let God handle the rest. Some things are beyond our control or understanding. Christians have this notion that when a gay person accepts Christ, that everything will be fine, their sin will be left at the cross, and they’ll, ta da, suddenly be hetero. Probably because most believe it’s a choice. Orientation is something that is entwined in a person’s identity, not something that is easily scrubbed off at will. I think it’s more likely that a person will always be gay, But if a gay Christian is seeking Christ and his will, I believe that God will work everything out for his glory and perhaps give that person the right sexual attraction for the one he intends for them to be with or the peace to be celibate. I don’t really know for sure, I just know that God has a plan for everyone, and He will lead an earnest person down the path he has chosen for them. I’m just going to be kind and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting..

    • I have to disagree with being born gay, but I don’t believe we’re born straight. I think as we age our chemistry and our experiments, or how we entertain out thought’s chooses their sexual preferences.

      With that said, I struggle with something that’s just as sinful as homosexual acts or premarital sex. Because let’s not say sin is okay. God is God and who are we to argue with his word? It will not change his mind because something changes in my life.

      I know drug addicts that went to rehab, was it easy to quit… No! Do they still sometimes fall back into drugs, sometimes:/ But God knows they’re trying.

      Hebrew
      26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.
      As Christian, we should never water down God’s law’s. Sin is sin, and Christ said we are to die to our flesh. He even went so far to say it’s better to cut your arm off if it causes you to burn. I do agree you should love your son. You shouldn’t cut your son out of your life. If your son has a partner? Yes , treat him well. But, you should tell your son you stand by God’s word. And homosexual acts are NOT allowed under your roof. At Christmas time, spend the same on his partner as you would your kids. Love them both. God is first! After you show him scripture, never bring it up again. It’s his choice to follow the word of God. I have told my kids if they chose not to follow God, that’s them. In my house God is first. I cannot pray my kids into heaven. If that was true then we all would go.

      • I will add, my eldest child does have premarital sex and experiments with drugs. I’m not saying anything I didn’t say to her. I understand and know it’s tough. We have a great relationship. I don’t preach to her, because she knows what the word of God says. When she asks what I think, I tell her sin is sin. I cannot change God’s laws. When I struggle with flesh, I repent. I keep trying and Christ does say constantly “go and sin no more.” Even to man he healed and told to carry his mat. Paul struggled in the bible, he prayed for God to remove the thorn. Just because we live in a imperfect world and sin flows through our blood stream doesn’t mean we rearrange the word of Christ to fit our sins. The thought of my child in Hell hurts, but who’s to say what is in her heart or head. I do know if she does go to Hell it wasn’t my fault or Christ. It was her own will. Same goes for me.

      • Lynn, thank you for your comment. I hope you will consider 3 important elements. 1. LGBTQ people do not experience this as any kind of choice. They repeatedly tell us that this is an orientation they had no experience of choosing and cannot change though they have poured their heart, soul and prayers into trying. This is their lived experience, and to continue to deny what they’re saying is not to love them. They cannot choose otherwise — they have tried with their blood, sweat and tears). In no meaningful way is it not a choice. 2. The Bible does not condemn homosexuality. The Bible did not have the concept of same-sex committed relationships, and the word homosexuality did not appear in the Bible until 1946 http://carm.org/word-homosexual-english-bible-1946. [It does condemn temple prostitution and brutal rape.] 3. Hebrews 10:26ff does not mean that to continue to sin condemns you to hell, even though it may read that way. (Who does not continue to sin?) Hebrews 10 actually means that there is no longer a sacrifice for sin because that system has been torn down, alters are torn down, the veil is torn! Christ brought in a new system, which is his life! If we continue to look for a sacrifice for our sins (our own works), we will not find it. Naturally then, we are left with the experience of a furious God. Aren’t we? The author is saying, “Jesus is the way out of your situation, not ritual sacrifice (or law-keeping).” The sin the author has been talking about is the sin of unbelief. It’s a beautiful study on the new covenant. This link will give you the whole background of it. http://services.media.xenos.org/teachings/heb/ryan/2012/heb10-1.mp3

      • Lynn, please Google “sexual orientation research”. What we have learned so far is that homosexuality is the probable result of markers on the 7,8, and 10th rods of our DNA that are activated by prenatal maternal hormone levels. Scientific research is aquiring more data daily, and we will know more and more as it progresses. Think of it this way, it’s just like being red haired or left handed; minority genetics that have been persecuted by the Church in various centuries and eras. The Church in the past has preached that the sun revolved around the Earth, the Earth was flat, left handed and gay people were demonically possesed. Every time science proved dogma wrong, the Church at first denied it and persecuted the scientists. Eventually the Church scollars went back to the scriptures, discovered that they were mistaken and changed their tenents. This is what is happening with sexual orientation. Science says it’s natural. The Church is holding fast to old dogma. And Biblical scollars are discovering that the English translations were mistranslated and misinterpreted. Homosexuality isn’t sin. No where in the original language does it say that. Homosexuality is a minority genetic. And the Church is losing people and causing the ongoing pain and suffering, and sometimes death, of people who are no more sinners than are left handed people.

  16. I have a precious 16 year old daughter. She disclosed to me around her 15th birthday that she was attracted to women, she previously had a boyfriend and stated she was “bisexual.” At first, I was grieving for the losses… of a “normal” child, and future family hopes and dreams. I was not the Godly woman that the Lord asked me to be at the time of disclosure. I thought generational sin was to blame, my poor parenting skills, being single most of her life, and the lack of male trusting figures in her life added to this “decision.”
    After ALOT of prayer and seeking God, I started praying for my heart to change and the Lords will to be done in both of our lives as well as God placed on my heart 3 things: Love her, Dont cast your pearls before swine and truth will set you free. I have met her girlfriend and I have found a support group at my church monthly. The support group does not consist of any parents with teenage children, nor any child that has “come out” in a 3000 member church. The pastors are encouraging. I initially felt that I cannot bear much more, as this news came one year after my newlywed husband passed away unexpectedly. I weep before the Lord often and I am able to say that I have drawn even closer to God than ever as I have been blessed with this circumstance. I encourage my daughter to be honest, stand for the cause, understand consequences and do it all knowing how much God loves her. I have made terrible decisons in my life and my daughter knows of them all. Through others responses, I am able to minister that those who have been forgiven much are those who love much. And we have all been forgiven much, just keep loving. My struggles now are what do I allow in my home? How do I allow her to experiment? Can she snuggle on the couch? Kiss in my presence? I am not able to find answers and I am concerned that the last two weekends my daughter is at her girlfriends house and I am missing her.

    • Dear Christine, thank you for your beautiful letter. My heart goes out to you with the loss of your husband. My sincerest condolences to you, my friend. And I’m so grateful you are loving and embracing your daughter. What a gift to her… and yourself. How God must have been carrying you all this time for you even to be standing. Please don’t blame yourself for causing any of the issues your daughter may be dealing with. You did the best you could, and you did not cause this in her; as you said, those hard circumstances drive us to know God more clearly than if everything had always been peachy. (And whose life is like that anyway?) As I read your questions, I wonder how God is leading you in this. You said he clearly gave you those three thoughts, which completely resonate to me as what I hear of him doing in family after family. Love her. Don’t cast your pearls before swine. Truth will set you free. How freeing and NON-performance based those three things are, hm? So much of the church teaches us draw lines for behavior, and I don’t really see God doing that. He is about changing hearts. So I encourage you to stick with him and let him guide your heart on your questions. I have no doubt that God will lead you. After all, he has given us a personal counselor to guide us in all truth! We like to draw lines because it feels safer, but there is no safer path than the one God leads you on. You might ask yourself if you’d rather your daughter kiss and snuggle a girl on the couch or be gone all weekend. (I know what I’d prefer.) My sense from Jesus and my own heart is to choose relationship. You cannot come close to guiding your girl the way God can. Let him guide you for her, let him guide her directly, and always choose the relationship. You won’t regret that.

  17. Susan, I just wanted to let you know that you’re doing a positive thing here. You’re wiping away tears and elevating will being true to your convictions. I just want to say that even though I’m gay I’ve never came out the closet even though I know my parents would be okay with it. I guess I’m just ashamed. I am not pro gay but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it I just let myself be ashamed and it ruined my adult life. I’ve never been in love and I guess I have self-esteem issues I’m trying to resolve with my counselor. I’ve been in therapy for over a decade and am just now inching forward to some understanding.

    What I’m saying is that we need to get away from ideology and politics and focus on the person because everyone’s different there’s no cure-all for the masses. However I do believe spirituality is universal and is ancient and that is a very good foundation to be caring and elevate the way you’re doing.

    I just wanted to put in my 2 cents.

    • Thank you so much, Luka. I’m so sorry that you have struggled with so much for so long. I’ve been having some real revelation about what you’re saying, which I will blog on soon. About real people versus ideology. Or, objectification of people. Very sad. I’m a big fan of Brene Brown who says shame is never the way to peace and healing. I hope you find real peace, my friend. Much love to you.

  18. I am so elated to read this book. I am a mother of a gay son. He came out shortly after he went away to college. There were many times I thought he was gay but my husband would always say that I was wrong and to not say those things. I am also a christian who like many thought gays were NOT born this way but made a choice. I can unequivocally say I was wrong. There was nothing that made my son chose to be gay because if he could chose anything he would chose to be straight. I recently listened to a pastor preach a message about our “identity” in Christ that made more sense to me then anything. I think you are on to something that I believe I have already grasped…I need God to change my heart and help me to love and support my gay son the way He would want me to…God never said I could change anything anyway…only He can change us or our circumstances in life….I am not sure at this point I even need anything to change. I just need to continue to grow in my relationship with my Father God….knowing only His love is enough for any of us. In knowing and feeling His love for us we can offer that same love to our children!

  19. I’m a fifteen year old gay boy who’s parents are trying to change back to straight. When they found out, they thought I was confused and blamed my school and my friends for it. They said what I am is a freak of nature, and I’d go to hell because its a sin. They used to be against me having a girlfriend because it interferes with my studies, but now they go none stop about me getting a girlfriend hoping it would help me become normal. They called me a lot of hurtful things, one of them is a fag and a freak. They said that me being gay would ruin my future. They told me that being gay would lead me to get diseases, do drugs, commit suicide because of the discrimination, and I won’t have a family of my own and I won’t be able to give them grandchildren. The only discrimination i get right now are from my parents. My school and friends knows about it and they supported me a lot because it is who I am. I don’t get bullied because my sexual orientation by anyone but my parents. I tried talking to them about being more open about it and disprove their theories on gays, but because of their narrow minds, they just yelled at me and get my s*** straight because its not a healthy and good lifestyle. And then, they threatened to kick me out if I don’t become normal. Because of the way they treated me, I thought about to commit suicide or running away, but that would just magke them right about gays, so I decided to prove them wrong by working hard and become a successful gay man with a wonderful family. But the thought if suicide still goes through my mind. I just hope that everything would turn out fine eventually.

    • Dear friend, I am so sorry for all your having to go through. I really am. You do not deserve it. I wonder if you can find support from a counselor at school or anything? I’m sure you’ve looked into your options. Well, my heart is with you. Please, please do not let the enemy pull you down with thoughts of suicide. Remember, God has SO MUCH MORE than these few years until you leave home. Check out It Gets Better, The Trevor Project, and other resources on my resource page. Don’t try to go this alone, but please hang in there. You’re right that you don’t want to give bullies the satisfaction of being right, and you will have time to prove them wrong about you. I am also going to email you a resource. Much love my friend, and thank you for writing. :) Susan

    • I just want to say from a mother’s perspective of a 21 year old daughter who recently came out. It is very very hard to comprehend when a child first discloses their sexual preference to their parents. It is overwhelming and the parents immediately feels like their whole world has fallen apart. I get that it is not about the parent, that it’s about the child but it is not easy for a parent to understand and immediately accept. After a while a parent may choose to research or talk to someone and become knowledgeable in the subject and come around to accepting the fact. But regardless give the parents a break and allow then the time needed to go through the various emotions that we are confronted with when a child first comes out. It’s been approximately a year since my daughter disclosed her sexual preference and I will admit it has gotten easier in accepting it but sometimes I have my meltdowns. At those times I pray (beg) to God that helps me with those negative emotions and accept it. I love my daughter and I want to be there for her which i am trying very hard to do but I also know there is a lot more breakdowns in the future for me and I keep reminding myself with God at my side he will help me through this.

      • To the reader “My Daughter’s Mom”…
        I know exactly how you feel. I feel the same way and it has been just a year for me as well. I love my daughter and want her to be happy, but she needs to take a step back and realize where I am coming from, and give me time to process everything that has gone on over the last 2 years. You see, she had been going with a young man for about 3 years. In 2009 she moved back home for about a year and one-half while going to school, so I saw her boyfriend on a daily basis. We would cook out and hang out on our deck when the weather was nice or just hang out inside and talk, fix/eat dinner, watch TV, etc. He was like a son to my husband and me. One day in June of 2011 my daughter just up and said she did not want to see him anymore, which was a shock because they seemed to get along and had talked as if they were going to marry some day. Just 2 weeks before the breakup she told him she wanted to get an apartment with him but he said no; he wanted to wait. He had planned on proposing to her in July, this was June 2011. They broke up in early June, 2011. For the next 2-3 months I experienced my daughter’s ‘running around’ with other guys and girls and heard the details via her ex-boyfriend who had become very depressed at this point and did not understand what was going on with her. She had told him she had been with other men and women during this time which hurt him deeply. Unfortunately, all of her escapades were detailed on her Facebook page, which she de-friended me from early on. It pained me to see what was happening and the hurt she had caused this young man but the worst was yet to come. I would talk to with the ex-boyfriend, receive e-mails from him, and was torn because I knew in my heart that they would probably not get back together. The ex-boyfriend even stopped over a few times to try to work things out with my daughter but she did not want to see him and was done explaining her decision to him. On August 29, 2011, my world and the world of many others came crashing down when this young man ended his life by shooting himself in the head at his home. This devastated my daughter, this young man’s family, myself, my family and everyone else who knew him. I believe my daughter has tried to ‘protect herself’ by blocking everything out and not wanting to talk about it. I, on the other hand, have been grieving for the last 2 years and 7 months. Whenever I would try to talk to her about the breakup, in an effort to understand and move on, I was shut out. A couple months after the suicide my daughter went out with a couple guys for a short time. She eventually moved out and it was a year ago when she finally ‘came out.’ Now she is ‘engaged to a woman.’ This is an incredible amount of change and trauma for me to deal with at this time and she acts like it is no big deal. I am thankful that I have found God recently and that my husband and I kept the Pitt Bull puppy my daughter moved back home with over 4 years ago. To everyone out there who is afraid of, or has heard nothing but bad things about the breed, I would just like to say that this dog is the absolute best dog I have ever known! She is truly the most loving, intuitive dog ever. As I sit here typing this to you I have started to cry. Upon hearing me cry, she has come over to comfort me and is lying at my feet to help console me. She is 60 pounds of unconditional love and has been a real comfort to me and my family. A true gift from God. I know it will take a while to come to terms with all of these changes and I pray my daughter will realize how difficult all of this is for us and give us time to adjust.

        • I am so sorry for your tragic story. Heartbreaking. My condolences to you, as I pray for God’s comfort and peace. Thank you for sharing.

        • Thank you for reaching out and expressing yourself. It helps when I hear other moms going through the same thing so I know it’s not just me having such a hard time with this. Trusting God and believing in his Will gets me by. I had a conversation with my daughter a few days ago as I am trying to understand why there are so many young kids now a days choosing this type of lifestyle almost as it is an epidemic or something. Her response was that it is this generation, they don’t care what people think therefore allowing them to be open about their feelings. I am still struggling about telling family members, friends. I just know there are so many opinionated people that will say my daughter is committing a sin and I just don’t know if I am strong enough to fight that battle so I choose to change the conversation when the topic of my daughter comes up. My daughter too bad boyfriend that I liked very much but she said she went out with them because that’s what we wanted. A complete shocker to me when I find out through Facebook that she broke up with her boyfriend and when I immediately call her to make sure she was okay I find out its because she likes a girl. I keep reliving those words over and over. I Will pray for you as i ask the same from you that God help us accept this and bring us peace in our hearts and in our minds as it is not easy for us to do it on our own. God Bless my friend. …

          • To My Daughter’s Mom,
            what you wrote speaks directly to me. My daughter disclosed to us before last Thanksgiving. She is in her early 20s and had not been in a relationship with anyone, male or female, until she revealed that she had recently broken up with a girl. She says that she is bisexual. I don’t quite understand that. I have been praying without ceasing for God’s grace and peace to deal with this. The strongest emotions that haunt me are sadness, irritation and fear.
            I am sad that I cannot look forward to my only daughter bringing a son-in-law into our family, and grand-children born of her and his loins.
            I am irritated that I will probably have to deal with figuring “how to be”, should she decide to enter into a same-sex marriage and possibly surrogate parenthood.
            I am fearful about revealing this whole thing to my relatives. I come from a culture that is very disdainful of homosexuality.
            I have my good days and bad days. However, even in the best day, I just have this feeling of profound loss.Things will never be the same again. deep down inside, I my heart cries out, “I hate this! This is not what I want!”
            But at the same time, I know intellectually that we don’t get to decide who our children become. I don’t get to decide what I get. I must choose to see everything as a gift from God, and look to Him for the grace and peace to accept whatever comes my way.
            I am so thankful to know that there is at least one other mother out there with whom I can identify.
            Thank you for your words.

          • I am so sorry Sue that you too have to deal with such a tough situation. My advice to you is trust in the Lord and know that there is a bigger plan. Ask for peace in your heart to be able to accept his will in your daughters life. Ask for that everyday and I promise you after a while you will be able to accept the situation for what it is. You’ll still have your moments of weakness but through his Grace you’ll have an unexplainable sense of peace. God Bless you my friend

          • Thank you for your encouraging words. I can feel God working on me already. I have always been a very critical/judgemental person. Now, readily shut down those kinds of thoughts as soon as they arise.

        • You have no idea how much I feel for you. My daughter came out @ 15 yrs ago and I thought my world crumbled. Nevertheless with time and difficulty I dealt with a girlfriend she lived with for 7 years. She broke up withe girlfriend and starting dating guys. I thought my prayers had been answered. That lasted for 3 months. She moved to another city shortly after that and after only 2 months of knowing her they’re getting married. I could deal with the living together but the marriage I will not accept. I will not be attending the wedding which by the way will be an all out affair with bridesmaids, etc at her fiancées parents home in a different state to the one they live because it is not legal in the state they live in. I consider this action unnecessary since they do not like children so they will not have any. On top of all she brought the fiancée to my mothers funeral without warning and proceeded to introduce her to all our friends as such. I find this additionally disrespectful and not the place to do so. She has not had any communication with her father or myself since then. She’s a grown woman and I have no control, but by the same token expect respect.

          • Maria, thank you for your comment. If you don’t mind my observation here, you want your daughter’s respect. Yet, you don’t respect the presence of her girlfriend in her life, which was important enough for her to bring her to her grandmother’s funeral. You don’t respect her desire to get married, not even enough to attend, even though it’s a all-out affair. You don’t respect her desire to get married because you see it as unnecessary since they don’t want children. This is your daughter’s big event, and you have turned it into being all about you. Rather than respecting her enough to hear who she is and what she wants, you’re all about your own opinion. Yet you’re the one who feels disrespected. You want her respect, yet you don’t respect her; that’s not how respect works. Given your rejection of her and the desires she’s expressed, maybe the most respectful thing she can do right now is NOT to be in communication with you and your husband. You say you don’t have control — which is true: you don’t and you shouldn’t — but rather than surrendering into that and letting her be who she is as a grown woman, you’re complaining that she’s not doing things your way. I suggest that if you turn your heart toward her, turn your eyes onto what she wants for her event, and help her get that, you might find that in the end not only that you feel more respected, but you may also find a restored relationship. Wouldn’t that be nice? I think that is well within your power to have if you make the needed changes in you. I hope you will, not only for the wedding, but for your relationship with your daughter and her family. She may have children, and I’m sure you would be very blessed to be in their lives, and very sad not to be. I hope you find your way to peace on this road before you, Sister. Life is extremely short. Choose well! <3

          • I understand what you are saying that Maria should be more accepting or she will lose out on having a relationship with the daughter but as a parent perspective I feel her struggle. Everyday I ask God for the peace and comfort to be able to accept the path my daughter has chosen. I love her but I still can’t face the girlfriend situation. I don’t want to meet her, talk to her etc. I don’t know if I ever will. I was recently in the same room with the”girlfriend” and it was the most uncomfortable feeling ever a mother could feel. I look for signs to see if perhaps she will change but I only see more masculine characteristic developing. The way she dresses, walks, acts, no makeup, no eaRrings. I will never get my girl back and it is killing me inside. I read this site daily looking for comforting words and ib hope one day I where some of these parents are but I’m not there yet. Resist in my God that he knows what he is doing and let go that’s alk I can do for now. LET GO LET GOD.

          • I understand, too! It’s a challenge to let go of the hopes we already had, and it helps to grieve. Once we can allow God to replace our lost hopes with what HE has in mind, that’s when we’re golden. You accidentally typed, “Resist in my God that he knows what he is doing…” :) I know you meant REST, but I smile because that is exactly what it boils down to: RESIST what God is doing or REST in God. That’s exactly what the journey is all about. Part of why I write this blog is to help shift expectations, so people don’t get so bent out of shape about their son or daughter being gay. The more we can see it as one of the options on the spectrum, the more it can just become something we adjust our expectations for without totally dismantling all our hopes and dreams for our kids. All the rhetoric that “gay is not okay” only makes it that much harder for parents to adjust. Keep up the good work, My Daughters Mom, of letting go and letting God. It’s a process. Bless you and thanks for writing in.

          • Thank you so much Susan. When I read back at I wrote this morning I too was amazed because I felt God was telling me to stop resistng he indeed knows what he’s doing. I woke up depressed this morning as my daughter has not called in three days. I tried calling her and sent her a message and still nothing. I don’t know if she is trying to pull away. I feel like she is shutting me out. I am confused, depressed and just not sure if I should continue to attempt to make contact or wait for her to call. LET GO LET GOD that’s all I can do. Thanks for this site – it helps reading all the comforting words of parents going through the same thing

          • You’re so welcome! I’m glad you wrote again. God will tell you whether to continue to reach out to her. I do know this: when we know that someone we love is only accepting us partway, we sometimes have to draw back for our own inner peace. I’ve had to do that just as an ally, much less what your daughter has gone through. I would seriously recommend you continue on this path God is showing you to LET GO LET GOD, let him remove any “cancerous” pieces (of conditional acceptance), and then go into our next encounter with her expressing your complete love and acceptance. It will be a breath of fresh air for her… and for you! Bless you and I’d love to hear how it turns out. <3

          • I keep seeing this “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing” When people say choose, do you mean that their child is choosing to be attracted to people of the same sex or that they are choosing not to be alone? I just find this very hard to swallow.
            My daughter came about about 5 years ago. It wasn’t anything I had ever imagined would happen or anything I would have wanted. But I could see from the difficulty she had in telling us and the things she said that it was no choice she was making. Also, very few of us are called to a life of celibacy. And so many who are fail. I would rather my daughter find a wonderful person who loves her and who she can make a life together with than make an attempt at a solitary life and slip up and fail and lead a life of shame.

            Something I figured out is that how I react, is my choice. And if you are suffering and being made uncomfortable, maybe it is you who are choosing that.

            Maybe it is your chosen lifestyle you need think about.

            Sharon

          • Sharon you sound a bit offensive. This is a site to be encouraging and help parents who are confronted with this type of situation. It is uncomfortable for me because it is not what i was expecting.while I was raising her. It was a complete shocker and something I pray hard that I can accept one day. It is great you so readily accepted it but some. of us have to work, struggle through accepting it. So please give us a break and instead of insulting why not pray for us

          • I sure appreciate your response, My Daughters Mom. I can’t speak for sejb, but perhaps she is responding toward so much that has been said about “the path she has chosen” or “the lifestyle he’s choosing,” words slung around without any thought behind them, what they are implying and the pain they may inflict, not to you personally. I know it is a complete shocker to many parents, and not so much to others. I join you in pray that you can accept it. For all your sakes. <3 Bless you on your road.

          • I did not find it easy and I do feel for other parents who have to go through this and I do pray for other moms and dads. Really.
            I’m sorry you were offended but I was trying to point out how many parents seem to think that their child is making a choice, and a bad one, but their own feelings are justified. It took me a while and a lot of soul searching before God convicted me that my reaction was a choice, and a destructive one at that.
            I wasn’t singling anyone out and if you look you will see this in many posts.

    • Hello there Victor! I felt really touched by your story and your situation. I have been with this struggle for too long, and for too much. I remember when I had 15 years old (I’m 19 now), and I was celebrating my quinceañeras in a Cruise and I met my third girlfriend. One shocking thought that never wears off, is that moment when I was dressed up with my dress, and on stage, with the other girls, and I looked to the crowd of parents and said: “Wow, all this parents are expecting just the purest best from us, yet, I know that won’t happened… starting from me.” At your same age, I felt ashamed, and I was very afraid of what people would say about me, how they would be looking at me, but I have to be thankful to my fourth girlfriend, that I had a while later that opened my eyes. She was a psycho, totally mindless, but she did helped me to accept the truth of who I was, and that I shouldn’t allow people to destroy my self esteem, cause’ I was beautiful just the way I was. Being gay doesn’t make me, you or anyone, a worse or better person. Just human. As I said, I’m 19 now, still with the same struggle just a little more different. I don’t feel ashamed anymore, not at all, all my friends now about it, and they support me a 100%, but I recently came out to my parents, and they are trying just the same as yours. We haven’t talked about it anymore, but I know they just keep filling their mind that I’m gonna’ change back to straight if we don’t talk about the subject. I haven’t left home (I’m desperately dying to do it), because I have a scholarship for my college studies, and I know that if I leave home now, I will have a terribly hard time to pay for my studies, since they are so expensive. I currently have a relationship with the best woman in the world. I’m deeply in love with her, and so is she. We are having quite a hard time to see each other, but we’re getting by. Since you’re so young, I have to say, there are a lot of things that you will not understand about being gay. Some of them you’ll understand them when you grow up. My advice, is that you get surrounded with people that truly care about you and loves you. There’s nothing worse than having hard times with your parents, and having no one there for you to help you or listen to you. DON’T THINK ABOUT SUICIDE! NO SIR! I thought about it many times, a couple of years back, and as soon as I accepted myself, and just ignored my parents humiliation, and brain washing comments, I never thought about it again. Life is too beautiful young man. You have a lot, and I mean it when I say A LOT! ahead of you! This is just a dark cloud, but it will soon get cleared again. Just hang in there little buddy. Keep yourself positive, never give up on your dreams, always follow your heart, and just BE YOU. I love you for being the way you are. Take good care of yourself. There are a lot of people that will try to destroy you. Please don’t let them. They are probably jealous, cause’ they don’t have the courage you have. Fight for your happiness, and pursuit like a high speed chase of a Fast & Furious movie. Don’t get mad at your parents, they simply don’t understand. Mine don’t and I don’t hate them. I just pray and hope that they opened their eyes someday, when they see their daughter happy, with a successful career, and a beautiful wife. Bless to you Victor. If you ever need any help or advice, feel free to contact me via Facebook: PG Arce

  20. Susan thanks for your writing. There is one thing I want to point out I am going through similar rejection with my family not because of being gay, bi or lesbian but because I came out of the broom closet. I am not Christian but my parents are. However at the same time I am not a Satanist. My parents have asked me to explain what I believe and every time I do or try to have a conversation I never get to talk before hearing how evil I am. Now I get invited to family outtings on the last minute with in 20 minutes to an hour. I am just saying your page could apply to that situation too.

  21. I am so glad that you have found a way to combine christianity and being gay. Although I’m neither sure about my sexuality nor my faith, I am so sick of “christian” people who tell gay people that they are going to hell or that it’s a choice or even that “only the act is a sin”, it’s such a shame to consider that as God’s love or being faithful, because faith is loving and not judging. I am 16, I’m from Germany, I’m an exchange student in georgia and I met people in the United States with those homophob-christian believes the first time here and was shocked. Because I know that god loves me, I feel it, and that it is not right to judge or to hate. After I couldn’t get along anymore with the homophob views of my host family, I changed host families and I’m living now at a new house and my host brother is gay but his family, except his mom who accepts it and loves him so much, doesn’t know. I think it’s very painful to know that your dad would think about kicking you out of the house because you are yourself. It’s something you can’t change and it’s not necessary to change because God lives everyone.
    I think I’m bisexual but I’m not sure about it. I was raised Catholic but my parents are very open, middle-left winged and they will always love me, and that’s the greatest gift I have. Being loved as the person you are
    That’s what I tell every parent. Don’t be so selfish and think about you, because it’s not about you. I pray for every one to find the best way for them and their child.

    • my pastor always tell us to hate the sin not the person. I don’t believe in dating the same sex but I believe in my family and friends. it has taken me a while to realize that what life they live is the life they have to deal with, just the mess I have made of my straight life. I have several gay that are much better friends than the others. I have told my children that if they are gay don’t let the streets tell me. they know I will rap and rave for a few days but as usually we will work thru it. If they were under 18 we would deal with it like any relationship. If they are adults, pay their own bills and live in their own home that is there life. I will not be mean to either one and will love them both. straight couples cannot live in my house. My goal is to treat people the way I want to be treated. WITH LOVE

  22. I am leaving this comments in the hope of help and love I am a 15 year old girl. I have been pushed and pulled in the path of life. I consider myself to be Bi, as well as do some of my friends. I have not put my real name for private reasons, (thank you for understanding) Me you my girlfriend have not been dating very long, but have known each other for over 4 years and are very close. I have been very worried about her for she went through a breast cancer scare a few months back. And I was left out for a few days only to be brought into an email stating she was depressed and saying she messed up everything in her life and wanted to kill herself on the day previously and was now going to let god lead her. I had thought maybe her parents had found out sense we had been keeping it from them {for the religious background} (I don’t know if I’m wording this right). I have lost some friends to these dark thoughts and had them my self, my girlfriend is my sun the only thing keeping from sinking into darkness, I didn’t want her becoming like me so I prayed to god that he lead her the right way and not let her slip into guilt, shame, and self-hatred. Her parents are not her birth parents they have their other kids that are grown up and living normal lives being straight, so they may not get it with ease or short amounts of time. (I’m going to call my girlfriend J) J’s mother found out about us and was angry not bother talking with her own daughter: J’s father doesn’t know, er mother is to embarrassed to tell him. After a day with no contact with her I get a text message late at night. This message states that J, went to go to bed with hearing the words “I hate you” from her own mothers mouth and we needed to break up. This message puts me and her into tears, my life has its ups and downs, but has left me with depression. To me with out her is just another day in the darkness, I love her and want the best for her so I have agreed to this so she doesn’t lose the only mother she has. My mind just doesn’t know what to do, or how to make things okay. I miss J dearly and wish we could be excepted so that neither of us have to feel pain. My only problem towards her mother is, she just thinks it’s all a phase and after hearing those words, she thinks nothing of it. From what I’ve heard it seems not to care she has hurt her daughter in that way. I just want help for the both of us, because being found is being better than, being lost.

    Sincerely,
    Linx

    • Hi Linx. I’m glad you wrote. I wonder, do you or J have any person you can talk to where you live? A counselor at school? I’m worried about you both having no one to talk to. If you look up Trevor Project, you might find them helpful to you. Also, It Gets Better. Look at my resources page for help. I hope you can at least find someone to talk to.

      I’m sorry J’s mother said she hates her. No one deserves to hear that from her mom. And I want you to know that God loves you and J both. No conditions to it. People may not accept you but God does. Really. So always know that in your heart. J too. You can message me back and tell me what state you live in. God bless you and J. My readers and I will pray for you both. Love, Susan

  23. I am a parent of a 15 year old daughter. I found out by accident she is in a relationship with another girl. Honestly, I am sorry to honestly say, it makes me sick. literally to my stomach. I think she is confused, and what is on TV (gay charactors) and music feeding violence, gays, sexual promiscuity, etc. I don’t want her to be this. I am having a hard time with this. I want to confront the parents of the other girl but am afraid I will lose it and say things I shouldn’t.

    when I try to talk to her, she tells me she doesn’t want to talk about it. I’m thinking of switching her schools so she can get distance from this girl.

    I see a gay lifestyle as a sin. I don’t believe you are “just born gay”. It’s a choice. I’m feeling lost, failure like what did I do wrong, hurt. I want this undone.

    • Dearest Mom, first, I can hear how hard this is for you. Your daughter having a girlfriend is the last thing you would have chosen. I get it. I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. But let me help you so you don’t end up without a daughter. I encourage you to try to get hold of your emotions. You must take them to God. I will guarantee this is not about the girl, and if you forbid the relationship, or change her school, you may end up with an angry, depressed, rebellious daughter — and that will end badly. Guaranteed. Parents who “clamp down” on their kids — this could be true if she were dating a boy you don’t like — discover that they have real problems. It’s like cutting one snakehead off Medusa and finding that two more grow back. Your daughter can end up in more serious problems than you will know what to do with, and I promise it’s not the road to go down. I beg of you to search out God for yourself, and encourage her to seek God. (But you CANNOT make her do it.) Don’t just tell her what the bible or church doctrine says — ask her to seek prayerfully for herself. And you do the same for YOU. God is able to soften hearts. People pray for their children not to be gay, but I have never seen that happen. (Read this post about that. http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/) But I have seen God change parents‘ hearts. I understand that you believe being gay is a choice, so answer this question: when did you choose to be straight? Do you see what I mean? It’s really not a choice, even though it seems to you like it is. You did NOT go wrong somewhere. Please believe me about that. (Read this post to help you with that. http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/) Please pretend I’m able to hug you and tell you this is not something you did, not your fault, not her fault either — it just is. And take comfort in the knowledge that many parents feel this way at first, and then God takes them on a journey of seeing it’s not a terrible thing or a curse or even a sinful choice. It just is. Please ask Him to show you and let Him. God bless you with His peace. <3

    • In my town a lady moved her white daughter to a mostly white school to get her away from a very wonderful black male. About a year later she was killed in a car accident sneaking to hang out with black friends (female and male)

    • Dear Anonymous Mom, I can so identify with your shock, disbelief and dismay at what you have discovered about your daughter. My daughter came out to my husband and me when she was 17 (she is now 21), and I remember feeling absolutely stunned. At the time, she told us she was bi-sexual, but she has since concluded that she is lesbian. I did not see this coming, even though she had several friends in high school who were gay/bisexual. I also thought that maybe she was confused about her orientation, that she was so involved with social justice concerns for LGBT individuals that she didn’t want to “miss out on her own party” and so thought she would realize her mistake if she just met the right boy. But the foremost thought in my swirling brain at that moment was that I did not want to lose my daughter, and that I would trust her in God’s hands. I knew she was a child of God, and that her relationship with Christ was extremely important to her. I spent a lot of time praying for wisdom and guidance, that God would show me the truth in this issue, and then I started researching. I first read scientific research to understand that sexual orientation is not a choice, and therefore cannot be changed. I then read several books by Christian authors on both sides of the debate. I talked with trusted friends. I asked my daughter questions. I read the materials she recommended to me. I continued to ask for wisdom, that I would not be mis-guided by my own desires or pre-conceptions, but that God would reveal His truth to me on this issue. I continued to love my daughter, and to let her know that I was struggling with things, but that I loved her no matter what. We both have come a long way in the past four years, and God is always in the middle of our journey. My daughter has so appreciated my efforts to understand, and she trusts that she can talk to me about anything, even if it feels uncomfortable for me to listen. What I realized right off the bat is that this is not about my husband or me, about how we raised her, or about her choice to be who she is. We always taught our kids that God made them special, and so this is a part of her “special.” The journey continues, God’s peace is overwhelming, and I can trust her in His hands. If you want to hear a different Christian perspective from what you have always been taught, I would recommend spending some time watching the videos on the “NALT Christians” Youtube channel (Not All Like That Christians). Many of the people who posted videos there are evangelical Christians who have wrestled with this issue and have seen God’s grace and love shining from the most unexpected places. I would also recommend watching the video “For the Bible Tells Me So.” It’s available on Netflix or you can purchase it on Amazon.com, among other places. God has placed your family on an unexpected path, and He will not abandon you there!

    • Dear anonymous mom. I understand what you’re going through. My parents are going through the same thing as well, since is the 3rd time they know that I’m bisexual but this time worst since I acknowledge it. First thing is that switching your daughter from school will not change her mind from being with this girl or being with another one. I’m 19 years old, and my parents changed me from school when I finished 9th grade because they find out about the girlfriend I had in that time. They changed me to a private Christian school, and this turned me more rebel about it cause’ I lost communication and couldn’t graduate with my childhood friends from the other school. As soon as I stepped a foot into that private school, I got together with all the problematic people I could find. A boy that did drugs and had guns, girls that were lesbians and straight ones that had conduct issues. It just got worst for me, till’ I got stuck with a girl that was my best friend’s friend, that was a psycho. I almost got my knee fractured thanks to one of her jealousy attacks in a trip we did. I did drugs, I drank alcohol like crazy, all given to this frustration, cause’ at the end of all, in the early age of 15, 16, 17, all that matters to us is our friends, and being cut out from the people you knew since you had 5 years old, is just not healthy at all. I don’t believe either that people are “born gay”. I choose to be this way since I had very bad experiences with guys, and because I’m around guys almost 24/7 given to a military academy I’m at, they way they talk about girls, the way they treat them, is just disgusting, and sadly that’s how almost 90% of man in this world think and act toward women. There are good men out there, I know that, but I feel better with women. My advice is that you talk to your daughter smoothly, don’t hammer her with all the religious matter or judge her please!! You’ll just pushed her away from you!! Tell her to tell you what she feels, what she thinks about the matter, what she feels for this girl, if this is what she wants for her life. I’m not telling you to accept her, if you don’t want to, then don’t. Your the parent. But listen to her, that’s what she needs right now, cause’ if you don’t, believe me you’ll lose her when she turns 18, and she will just push you away from her life. Best of luck to you. Take care.

      • Thank you, Miss G. This is true on every level, and I’ve seen parents draw the line with their kids WHATEVER the issue, and it always ends badly. It never goes well to drop the hammer, it only pushes them away. Parents, please take it from this girl who knows. She’s telling you how it is. Bless you. <3

  24. Good morning,

    I have been/lived with my beautiful girlfriend for over 5 years now. A little back history here; I was married before and have two wonderful handsome boys, possible the best and only great thing I received from the marriage. I knew I was doing it because that’s what society wanted me to do. I met my girlfriend while 7 months pregnant and was separated legally from my ex. Long story short, we knew as soon as we met, we would be together forever. Only problem was, her parents, if told, would undoubtedly shun or disown their daughter. After my youngest was born, we moved in together and her parents figured she was just helping a single mom out. Well we relocated as my job took me elsewhere, not far but to a different city. My girlfriend came along of course, by this point we had been dating for almost 3 years. Her parents obviously knew by that point, their daughter was gay. They’re are very active Christians. Not much to our surprise they disowned their daughter and was so anger, and felt that we had deceived them. Mostly her mother, her father was sad, and wondered what he had done wrong. They didn’t talk to her for over a year, no Happy Birthday, no Merry Christmas no nothing. Until one day we relieved a text stating to please be patient with them, as this will take time to heal and understand. So we did just that, and felt a sense of relief, and on our way to recovery. We have gotten to where we can all be in the same room for holidays and family gatherings. Since we came out to them, it’s now been over a year, and my girlfriend, who is military, will be flying home soon from a six month long military duty assignment. I want to propose, and I figured seeing as though I should respect how far we’ve all come with understanding, I should at least ask her dad for permission to marry his daughter. She’s that important to me, and I know how much she looks up to her dad. Well, I asked…..and was shut down. He said no…….I asked my girlfriend if by chance I asked her dad for her hand and he said no, what should we do. Her response was, he would never do that to us, he loves us. So I broke it to her that he indeed said no. She was devastated, but told me that marrying me was what she dreamed of, and she ant have it any other way. Of course I want to marry the person of my dreams, and she most definitely that person, no doubt about it. I’m scared we will lose our mended relationship with her parents if I go forward. I have a huge elaborate proposal planned and I want our family and friends there. What should I do?

    Thank you, and if this post has no business being on this forum I do apologize and you can delete. Thank you so much.

    Mary

    • Geez, Mary, what a dilemma! I am so sorry for your tumultuous journey. I appreciate your continued patience with her parents, and I appreciate their struggle to understand and come to terms with this. But I’m brokenhearted that they would throw away their bond with their daughter (and her beloved) because she won’t comply with their preferences. Our close family friends lost their son Cody at 2:30 this morning. Just last night we visited him in the hospital, and held the family close as they faced the inevitable. They would gladly change places with ANY of these families who reject their LGBTQ kids. Gladly. In my opinion, for a parent to throw away a relationship with their child because they don’t approve of them (for whatever reason) is the height of ingratitude and arrogance.

      You did not mention if you two have a personal relationship with God, but if you do, the first thing I would do is pray and ask for clear leading on how to move forward. Perhaps he will lead you to wait, or perhaps he will lead you to go ahead with the proposal without her parents. I don’t know.

      But I do know this, my sweet friend. Life at the end was very short indeed. And the more freedom you can appropriate the more you can be who you were designed to be. You cannot live to other people, however important those people may be. As you seek to please others, you give away your true self. And in the end, even if you gained their approval, the cost for the pieces of yourself you gave away was far too high. I would encourage you to continue to love them and respect them, knowing they are doing what they are able. And then (though parents may get mad at me for this), do what you must do for your lives. They will come around or they won’t. I hope they do. But you really have no control over that.

      God bless you as you move forward, and I wish you the best. <3

      • My daughter just told me tonight that she is engaged to her girlfriend of just over 1 year. I don’t think 1 year has given her father and me a chance to let all of this sink in as we just found out she was gay over 1 year ago. Morgan, her girlfriend, came over last Sunday and told us she was going to propose. We were stunned but said that we loved our daughter and knew they were happy together but we still needed time to get used to their relationship. My daughter told me tonight that Morgan proposed to her last night and she accepted. I did not know what to say. I can’t bring myself to say congratulations. I know I have hurt her feelings but I cannot bring myself, at this point, to be happy about the relationship and engagement. I love her and want her to be happy but this is all too much at this point and I do not know what to do. I am beside myself!

        • Hello dear sweet mom. Well, I understand where you stand. I really do. So I’m going to give you some advice: pray. Ask God directly for his heart for you in this. Ask him what he wants your response to be to your daughter. He said that all of the law and the prophets is summed up in “love God, love others.” Ask him to show you what that looks like in this situation. I know you’ll be faithful. God bless your heart, and God bless your daughter and her fiancé. So much love, Susan

  25. I can relate to many of these comments and stories. My mother is very religious (Jehovah’s Witness) and has never been able to accept me for being a gay male. I came out to her when I was 19, and for years she thought it was just a “phase”. I always knew I was gay from a young age, just never felt comfortable enough to tell her. I thought me telling her at 19 would help her understand that I was interested in dating guys and so it wouldn’t be a shock and she would be okay with it, oh how I was wrong. Now that many years have passed and she’s finally accepted that it’s not a phase but who I am she has decided that she shouldn’t have anything to do with me. I spoke with her recently on the phone after not speaking with her for months, and I very calmly tried to understand why she feels the way she does, and her reply was that “she cannot have a good relationship with God if she condones my behavior or associates with me while I am a homosexual.” She said I should start reading the Bible and try to draw closer to God. I’m now a highly educated guy who was originally raised as a Jehovah’s Witness, so these very narrow minded comments and thought process comes off extremely archaic to me. Her shunning me has been very hard for me to understand and deal with as anyone could imagine. I was always very close with my mother and now sometimes regret that I ever told her about my sexual preferences as it feels like it’s only resulted in heartache for me. She doesn’t treat anyone else in our family differently just because they are not a Jehovah’s Witness, so it can only be the gay factor which I am being ostracized over. There is no rationalizing with her and she said she wouldn’t go to therapy with me when I asked, it always comes down to the fact that the Bible is the only authority and everyone and everything else doesn’t matter for they are all wrong and under Satan’s control (Yes, this is how she really thinks). Everyone else in my family loves me unconditionally and doesn’t have an issue with my sexual preferences. They have all met my boyfriend and for them it’s no different than if I was in a heterosexual relationship. My Father (not a Jehovah’s Witness) told me recently that all you can do is your part in a relationship and then move on (referencing my attempts to repair my curent relationship with my mother). My parents are now divorced as my Father could no longer put up with my Mother’s religious extremism, yet my Mother will never see the damage her religious views cause (tearing our family apart), only that everything bad that comes her way is another “test” from God and that she is in the right for the righteous choices she’s made. I guess it’s easier said than done, this isn’t just a casual relationship, but my parent. Feels like cold abandonment in the end and drives me mental in the process. Would welcome feedback or comments regarding my situation.

    • Dearest London, I am SO sorry for the rejection you’re experiencing at your mom’s hand. You cannot possibly fix it, nothing you say will fix it — this I know to be true. Even your dad had to leave, and only God himself will be able to change her, if she’s able to hear him. I’m stunned by the fear that drives religious people when the perfect love that God is casts out fear. It is not God’s voice driving her but fear. All that to say, I’m sorry, please be at peace that you have done everything there is to do to fix it and you cannot — and instead let others be your family. And KNOW in your heart that your mom does NOT speak for God. That is not the tone of his voice! Blessings, brother.

      • Thanks Susan, I understand everything you’ve said. I’ve learned over the last several years that “family” reaches far beyond the bonds of just blood, and I have to say I have amazing friends who love me and care for me the way “family” does. I wish I would have understood this concept years ago. Thanks again for your words of encouragement.

        • You’re welcome. Yes, it’s a pity how we keep striving for that elusive approval that is never going to come. It’s like being tied up in chains, and I want to help free people from it. I’m SO GLAD you have amazing friends like that. We all need those friends! Much love to you.

    • London, I believe as children we naturally look up to our parents and idolize them. We think they are flawless. Of course, this is untrue. Parents – in fact people – are all capable of shortcomings but we always expect our parents to overlook ours. It’s that clichéd notion that love overcomes all. I think acceptance from our parents is so important to us as we don’t want to disappoint them and want to make them proud of us. However, sometimes people are unable to accept us. I have learnt that sometimes a relationship with a parent/parents is not good for your well-being. I love my parents and a drug-addict loves drugs. But drugs aren’t always good for you.

      My point is that you need to do what is right for you, find love and acceptance elsewhere where you are better appreciated and find the peace that you deserve. I’m glad you have supportive friends, siblings and father.

      • Thank you, Jonathon. SO good. That is hard but necessary medicine. For those struggling with unpleasable parents, you can ask God to remove false guilt, to show you His complete approval, and give you others to love and accept you. Over time, He can and will fill those empty places and give you peace. Blessings, all of you. <3

    • I’m so sorry for what you have gone through with your mom. As a mother I can’t imagine not being there for my children no matter what. Just know that you’ve done your part and hold tight to the people who support and love you for who you are.

      • Thanks Jonathan and ilsa. I agree with everything that’s been said here and it has been helpful in finding peace and moving forward. I live a very happy life in general and have been blessed to have everything I do in my life. I feel like this lesson will allow me to help others I meet along the way who are or come from a similar situation. Happy thanksgiving to all. :)

  26. I don’t know if this is welcomed or not, but I am a woman who is in love with another woman. My parents were mostly completely alright and even encouraging of the relationship since it ended a life long depression that haunted my family. Her mother we told recently. At first she just seemed shocked. Recently, weeks later, she has called saying our way of telling her was malicious, and cruel.

    This has been heartbreaking to me and my girlfriend as she is a wonderful woman, who we both adore. We told her in the afternoon and were very calm. But she seems to be suffering, and we have no idea to make it better.

    Another issue is her parents rent the house me and my girlfriend share. We broke the rules of the house by being together. I think she wants me out of the house, BUT, she doesn’t want her daughter to move out which is the case, since my father has always opened his doors to us. This has led to a very hurtful standoff for everyone involved.

    How can we ease her mind, she is a devout Christian of the Southern Baptists. Something we respect, but do not share. We never are affectionate in front of her. She insists that we never participate in relations, something that if we are forced to promise for good relations, we will break. And the idea of lying to her is difficult as well. We also wonder whether we should have never told her, and whether that would be kinder, and actually only told so that she wouldn’t accidentally find out from someone else, as we live in a very small town, and are affectionate around strangers.

    there are many sites for coming out, but they are usually for the person who is telling and not for how to make it easier on the parent. What is a good kind way? Any way out of this where my girlfriend can keep her relationship with her parents, any way any of you would prefer to be treated in this situation. If you feel this is a violation of a safe place I am extremely sorry and please delete this.

    • This is Rob Cottrell. I know Susan will reply too.

      Do you think she would be willing to read some of the posts here? Like this one… Or others? Susan has written many specifically to people like her.

      If you think she would, let me know and I will give you links to several.

      Also, would she read a book? Again, if so let me know.

      Bless you.

      • I am almost positive she would not. She felt I should be ashamed for telling my Christian sister who was at first very apprehensive, but accepting last Christmas. She outright said, how we could ever expect her to accept this knowing her views. Which we spent a year carefully testing, and we thought she would be like my sister, shocked and apprehensive, but finally accepting.

        A further complication, is she is horribly scared of her husband finding out. Apparently, unknown to us, his sister is a lesbian, and apparently would look at it as a betrayal. I think she is partly keeping it secret out of love for us, and honestly while I admire her father, he has a temper and am worried it could get violent. And nearly positive they would fire her as well. She does not want my girlfriend to leave partly I think because that would mean explaining to him why.

        We offered to get married, so there would be no adultery under the roof to show respect, but I think that made it worse. A few weeks later she got cancer, and we have been both worried and told that our telling her has made her worse. I feel our stand off is the hardest thing for their relationship and don’t really know how to go about it. Thank you so much for responding, this has been more than stressful. And all we want at this point is to ease her worries and keep their relationship, as it would devastate my girlfriend on every level to be alienated from her family.

    • Hello there, I was out-of-pocket yesterday, but I wanted to answer your question — by all means, this is the kind of thing this site is about. I completely appreciate your kind heart in trying to make it easier on everyone involved, by respecting the mom’s wishes not to be affectionate around her, by not wanting her to find out from someone else. It sounds to me as though you’ve been most considerate and done everything in your power to ease the situation.

      I’d like to encourage you to see that her response is beyond your power. I totally get your heart in wanting to fix this, but it is not something you can fix. We are designed as human beings to desire to keep our parents happy, and that’s helpful to us growing up, isn’t it?! But that is not always possible and can keep us bound in an unhealthy relationship. At some point, once you’re an independent adult, you must let go of them, and let them come to grips with the situation — or not — on their own. It can be extremely hard, but only when you admit your powerlessness to make them happy can you maintain your own sanity. Believe me, I know people in their 50s who are still seeking to please parents, and it’s like a well-choreographed dance where the parent maintains control by manipulating that desire to please and so keeps their child dancing (striving). If you two can separate yourselves from her (which it sounds like you did by moving out?), you will leave her to deal with God on her own and let him be God to her instead of looking for it in you. God has a way of shaking up our worlds to know him better, and the best we can do is back up and let him do it.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment/question, and if you would like to talk more specifically, feel free to email me. All the best to you. <3

  27. When my children were kids and went through something I was able to help them through it because I went through it and kind of had a feeling how they felt. When their father passed away it was the most hardest thing I ever had to tell them. And I hurt so bad that I didn’t know what they felt as children to experience that pain. But I trusted God to show me how to love them and be there for them. Well now my daughter whose 23 years old has come to me with such pain and disappointment in her voice that she likes women. And I went numb… All I could see was pain in her eyes and all I could do is tell her that I love her! Again I’ve never experienced this and how to relate to her. I’m in shock and falling in to depression. I do fell guilty, wondering where I went wrong… But most importantly I don’t want her to hurt and think that I love her any different than i did before. But I’m not ready for a daughter in law either…. I totally need to seek. God for our peace. I thank you for this website it has been so helpfull.

    • Thank you so much, Emily, for expressing your deep heart here. Sigh. If I may, I want to offer you freedom from wondering where you went wrong. We parents ALL do the best we can, and human beings are so multilayered, NONE of us escape our parents’ thumbprints. But to think that you did something that caused her to be gay is false guilt from the enemy. I’ve spoken with parents have struggled long and hard with this, but God has brought them peace that they did not cause their child’s gayness. I pray for that same peace for you. <3 Love and blessings, Susan

    • Samantha, I really value the points that you made. Throughout our life we will make decisions which someone else wouldn’t. Yet we live our lives in accordance with what we feel is right and believe is correct. As you say, God is ultimately our judge. Sins are not ranked in severity and, since nobody is perfect, there is no human in a position to judge another. We will all be judged one day. This makes me think of 1 Corinthians 1:10 ‘I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ… that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought’. I think we ought to live a harmonious life as Christians while trying to make the world a better place.

      • Thank you for all that, Samantha. Just one little word about what you said: “I have seen first hand people cutting themselves because of the inner psychological battle this CAN bring on. I have known people who have committed suicide because of this inner psychological battle. It is different for all.” I agree with you on that. But I want to be clear that being LGBTQ is not inherently stressful but is so in context of a culture that disdains LGBTQ. Just as being a woman is not inherently stressful, but living in a misogynistic culture is. Same with interracial marriage. Our goal is to remove the disdain so we are not adding distress from without. (The love of Christ demands that.)

  28. This was so beautiful and comforting. Thank you I really needed this.

    A Mother

  29. All my life I wanted to do the best for my parents and grandparents and to make them proud of my achievements. I got a good education and now I am currently at law school. In my spare time I work with children and disabled people. I do a lot for my family because I don’t like to disappoint them. I have a good balance of social life and work. I am polite and considerate young man. I know that I owe all this to my family, a family of good Christian morals, for their love and care in raising me.

    A little over a year ago I came out to my parents and grandparents. I was initially told that they still love me. Since telling them, they have made comments that my news is the most ‘upsetting and hurtful’ they had ever had to receive, that I have ‘depressed’ them and things between us ‘have changed’. I thought coming to terms with my sexuality was difficult enough (and it still is as I have a Christian guilt attached to it) but I have found it difficult to digest their response. All the while I feel like I have to detach myself from my own issues and counsel my mother who is still really struggling with my sexuality.

    I sent my mother a link to a forum similar to this a few weeks ago to help her cope. Her response was that it is still too raw to read this sort of thing. She has also refused my requests for her to see an impartial (and qualified) counsellor.

    What is the point of me writing this? It is certainly not to berate my family. I love them all dearly. The purpose is to say things from the other side. People say things in upset and in anger which they may not mean. Some of the things said to me still hurt a great deal. I realize for the family members being told that their son/daughter is gay/lesbian is a huge shock. I have spent this past year looking at the situation from their point of view so I understand to the best of my capabilities. But if you take one thing from this message: give your son/daughter a hug and tell them you love them unconditionally. After all, Jesus loves every sinner unconditionally and no man or woman is perfect.

    • Jonathon, thank you for your beautiful heart here in telling your story. Let me be a good mom here for a minute. :) I invite you to step back, do what is needed for you, and don’t try to be there so much for your family. You do not need to mother your mom. I am very sorry that you have to go through this. But for your mom to lean on YOU for help, when she will not go to a counselor, is codependent. She is looking to you to meet needs you cannot meet. And here’s another nugget I tell people all the time: a parent’s job is to accept their kids, sight unseen. If your parents don’t unconditionally accept you straight out-of-the-chute, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not your job to “make” them accept you. Love you have to earn is conditional — which is worthless. Please rest in the arms of an unconditionally loving God whose approval you don’t have to earn. As for family, they will come around… or they won’t. You cannot bring them. Not to be too harsh, but it sounds to me very manipulative that she is holding you ransom to her approval. Better to let it go and let her hash this out on her own. If she’s unwilling to work to unravel her own lack of acceptance, don’t try to make it happen. Move forward in your life. God bless your tender heart, and comfort you with his all-embracing love.

      • Love your courage and honesty. You are trying – you are being the best individual you can be. And that’s Awesome!!! Big hug from Ohio!

        • Jonathan,

          As Mom’s, we have to take all that we were taught and redirect our focus, on what is really true, concerning our child, and our God, It get’s messy. This IS NOT about you, the love of her life, BUT about trying to be set free of what binds her. We Mom’s can mess up, I know I did. I did apologize to my son, and he just loves me the way I thought I was loving him.

          If she is a Christian, she has to find her way, and I bet she will do just that, and someday, you will laugh and cry about when she just didn’t know better , and she will see the grace in you.

          But for now, I know it hurts. Pray for her, and if she wants to know other Christian Mom, who are loving God and their children, Susan can point the way. We are gentle and have done it all, right and wrong.

          • Debbie, I will relish the day my mom and I sit down and laugh and cry about the times when she didn’t know any better. I believe it will happen. Thank you for your encouragement!

          • Deby, it is new to me and all I can do is cry. My daughter is going through a divorce, has an awesome 9 year old boy who loves The Lord and now has a girlfriend. I am heatbroken angry and hurt. I know she is not saved, I love her dearly. She wants us to allow her GF to. Come to Christmas dinner..I can only cry cry cry…I want to run away! Help!!!!

    • Jonathon, I want to echo Susan a bit here. As a mom of a lesbian daughter, there were things I had to let go of….my expectations of who she is and what her future would look like. But the place to struggle and mourn and heal was NOT with my daughter! It was not her burden to bear or hers to fix for me! Susan is so right: you do not, should not, need to mother your mother. Love and hugs and prayers! God and Christ love you “as is”, wholly and completely, and without you ever having to feel guilty.

      • I think you are right. We have always been close and there is nothing wrong with that. However, this is a situation where we need to help each other find our way individually. I am glad you and your daughter realized this and I hope you have a good relationship.

    • Jonathon,
      Let me first say, as a mom of a gay son who recently told me about himself… that this a journey for all. Your mom is probably still in shock. She is trying to wrap her head around all of this. She may never get to that point of acceptance? You will have to accept that as well. Things will never be as they were. How ever, you are still the son she raised. As Christians it goes against every grain of our teachings and beings. You need to take care of you, offer the avenues to your mom as far as help, counseling, and an open dialogue between you and her, after that, walk away. She has to come to this on her own!!!! We as parents have expectations for our children and when kids are young we expect those to be met. Good grades, be nice, go to church, eat you peas and carrots, hug your brother or sister etc etc. As our children move in to adulthood the picture changes from parent to child to parent to friend. How ever, those feelings and changes are some times slow and cannot be turned on and off like a water faucet. My son is 19 and a sophomore in college, I have to restrain myself a lot. :) :) “Let him go,” I have to keep repeating. sigh. Yes, we will always be your parent, but the relationship evolves. From your story it sounds like you are older and I would think that your mom would have been “in the parent to your a young adult” now? How ever, I’m sure no matter what age that the person “comes out” to their parent, it is still a shock. She may have even over the years already known this about you or guessed it? I did about my son. :) It’s hard to explain the broken heart of a parent because we want certain things for your life. I too cannot imagine my sons struggles. He is very comfortable with who he is and his SSA. He is still searching for answers and I suggested he continue to seek God and that one’s sexuality is only a part of who they are. There is so much more to life!!!
      My 19 year old son has already taught me that my expectations may not be his. :) I have already accepted him for who he is. I wrote that on his senior page, the love you unconditionally message. Your mom loves you unconditionally and I would keep throwing her the Olive branch and continue on the “high road” that you are on. Give it all time, a lot of time. :) Sounds like you are getting a great education and serving in your community. Continue on your Christian walk and let God work. You are loved and worthy and do not let your families anger grow in you. It all takes time and they may never come around. Just keep being you!!! The kind spirited person that you are. It is about love first and foremost and then in the end it is between you and God. Your mom hasn’t come to that yet…that it is between you and your personal relationship with the Lord. God gave you to her, now she has to give you to God. You keep on your great path and hopefully she will step back and your kind words and actions will begin to teach her the ways of the Lord and what a great son she has raised. She has to let you go and you have to live your life for you….the man that you have become. :) :) Be Blessed.

      • Thank you, Samantha, good words there. Just one little piece I heard in Jonathon’s story: “All my life I wanted to do the best for my parents and grandparents and to make them proud of my achievements.” That is a very different statement from, “All my life I HAD their love and acceptance, until I came out.” Hence my warning to let go of trying to please them; it’s a no-win battle. If he did not already have it before coming out, he can do nothing now to bring it about — as you reiterated, it is his mom’s battle to fight, not his to fight for her. Thanks for your kind words.

        • Yes, thanks, some times I am not the most articulate person. I so want to be a great writer!!! :)
          I think we both know that the parent child dynamics are of expectations and approval and for different families there are different measures of it. Healthy and unhealthy. My kids both told me, they, at times wanted to do well and please us. They wanted us to be proud of them. Amazing how the perspectives come out after the fact! I never knew that my kids put that on themselves. The shift and change must come when the child goes on in to adult hood and the parent lets go. You are right , he, Jonathon has to live for himself and his own approval and his own expectations now. :) I hope and pray that they will accept him as they once did. If they do not, though painful and tough as it may be (for you Jonathon), it is on them. May God have mercy on their souls. It is a journey and I have learned there are different measurements of time and avenues for the parent child relationship to be healed. ( Months to years, therapy to no therapy, individual to group.) Hope remains. I think it will all work out…I really do. :) Hang in there Jonathon!!!!! Stay strong in the truth and in your self. You write/sound like an awesome person!!!!

          • I’m so with you, Samantha. I also learned too late how hard my kids were trying to please me, when I so wanted to convey unconditional love! I think it’s the challenge for ALL of us parents! …and I think you express yourself very well. :) Bless you!

    • Thank you all for your kind words. You have no idea how much comfort and hope it has offered me; not only for today, but also for the future, for which I am truly grateful.

      My mom is a wonderful strong woman and, for the first time in my lifetime, she has been posed with something that she cannot win against. I see how much the knowledge of my sexuality upsets her. I believe – and correct me if I am wrong – that mothers naturally and instinctively want to make things right for their children. The ‘easiest’ way would be to pretend I’m not gay or for me to live a lie. I’m 22 and I firmly believe I was born gay. Nobody would choose to be! I’ve spent all my life hiding it to the extent it made me really discontented because I felt so dishonest. Now, for the first time, I feel free. I cannot describe how amazing this feels. I feel so much lighter! It is natural for me to want to help my mother, but I do need to pull back and allow us both the space we both require to move on.

      It is my understanding that, as a mother, you envisage your baby to live a full and healthy life, to go to college, to marry and to have children. As much as this sounds idyllic, it is not a reality for many people. It is unfair, however natural it may be, to impose your vision of someone else’s life on them. What is most important is that your son or daughter is happy. I know that many of you realise/believe that (hence why you are on this website)!

      As loving sons and daughters we want nothing more than our parents’ acceptance. Yesterday I was Jonathon (the heterosexual) and today I am Jonathon (the homosexual). What’s in the brackets is irrelevant to my relationship with my friends and family: I’m still Jonathon; always have been and always will be.

      • Jonathon, you have really summed it up very nicely. You sound at peace and mature for 22! You’re right: parents want to make things smooth for their children. But you’re also right to realize
        you can’t. The challenge for a parent, especially a Christian parent, is to surrender our desires to let God do what he wants. Isn’t it funny that we talk about faith, but we have trouble trusting God with our children when we don’t see the desired result! I’m so glad you already have that peace, and that you seem to have sorted yourself out quite a bit. Great job at 22! I trust that good things are ahead for you – I surely wish you the best.

      • Jonathan:

        Let me add a father’s perspective. My 13 year old son recently admitted to me and eventually to my wife that he is either gay or bisexual. When he told me this it ultimately got down to you are my son and I love you. Saying that, how does his sexual orientation matter to me as a father. Well, personally it does not. As a parent, it is I who want to be supportive and protective. It is I who is to teach him about Christ and to live for him. In essence, you may be putting too much of a burden on yourself. I learned a while back that I can’t change a whole lot of who my kids are, please let your mother walk this journey without pushing or worrying from you.

        You sound like a fine young man that any Christian parent can be proud of. Your openness and concern seem similar to my own son. Don’t sell yourself short and be yourself in front of your family. Your sexual orientation does not define who you really are. You know that and I suspect your family knows that.

        • Thank your for your honesty, Nathan. I really appreciate hearing a father’s point of view as mine is unable to have such conversations with me. I am uplifted to read that you recognize personality comes before sexuality and – as you said yourself – you still love your son.

          Also, I think your son will really value the fact you took him seriously at 13. Of course I knew I was gay then too, but I am not convinced I would have been believed. Your son obviously felt comfortable enough to tell you and at a very vulnerable age too. I can only imagine that you both have a very strong relationship and long may that continue.

          • Jonathon,

            Sometimes parents see things in their children yet put it out their minds. I suspected that as early as 5th grade that he could gay. It something that I knew that my son Nick had to come to grips with. He is in 8th grade and taking all of it online. Recently, he told me that he was called names in 7th grade for being gay. As a father I felt angry that I failed him from such pain and hurt. I decided to support and stand up for my son once he told me.

            Saying that, my wife and I sometimes feel guilty for not being better parents. Your mother may feel that and may feel that she is alone. Give her time, and let her see for who you are as a person.

            I am sorry that dad is not in the picture. We fathers need to step up to the plate and support and love our children no matter the sexual orientation.

          • Btw, I think virtually every conscientious parent feels bad for not being a better parent! Though it’s false guilt, it seems like part of the package. Thank you, Nathan, for weighing in.

      • Jonathon,

        Hugs to you…:) :) :)

        As a mom, I just wanted to address a few things from your post…from my own experience. I do not know your mom at all or her personality, but as a mom whether our kids are heterosexual or not we also just don’t want them to suffer. We, I , can only imagine what my son has gone through as a gay man in a middle school/ high school. (Private Christian school) Now he enters the real world. sigh. I taught him to ignore people, mean people. He has a strong core and a strong faith. That’s what helped to get him through. He hated his feelings and himself for a while, (per him). Now he has come to accept himself. In truth. Yes, born that way. My son said the same thing, “Why would any body choose this?” So at 22, sounds like you are getting a handle on it. You have so much to look forward to. :)

        I too did require my children to graduate from high school. It is a parents responsibility to do so many things for our kids.( too much to list) I encouraged college or the military after HS. I said to them, you will not live off of us forever. LoL I told them….” I would like for you to have a heart for God, a good education, and to not be a menace to society.” Ha…. As far as marriage and the family thing. I suggested to them to wait on that till closer to 30. I also said there are too many marriages that end in divorce for various reasons and so many children are now involved. Too many unhappy married folks. So I said whether you choose to marry or not is up to you….my main message to them is to just be happy and don’t hurt people along the way. Be Nice. :)
        In the end….. the decisions are theirs.
        They will make their own decisions and I also suggested to them to “walk slowly” for you are responsible for your choices and the consequences. I am not bailing you out. Do not make me visit you from jail, I’m not coming. :) I probably would go…sigh…..:) :)
        As parents we advise and give direction despite if our kids want it or not. It is second nature to most parents. For 18 years we have been doing this. It was out JOB. It is hard to “back off.” I am though…slowly but surely.

        I encourage you to continue to be patient with your family and your mom.
        She may not be trying to “win” this for you but “fix” it for you. She will realize she cannot. Thus her pain for you. I bet she feels you have suffered and probably will suffer. Some where in all of this you will have to tell her you are “ok”, you are still her “Jonathon” and your “OK.” It’s not just that your gay, but the pain she feels for you having to walk this path. I cried every night for my son because I could only imagine his struggles and his pain and his confusion at times and I just wanted to take that all away for him. We know how mean people can be, and now you guys have to deal with this as well.
        That is the love of a mother…father too. :) :) :) :)

        My son did reassure me he is not depressed, he has a good support system, it is a small part of who he is, and he has his educational goals. (PhD in psychology/minor in math.)
        .
        Let us know when you graduate!!!! We will all be proud and so will your family.
        You will be proud and entering another chapter in your life that is so much greater than this gay thing.
        No one can take away your education!!!!!
        I know a lot of LGBT folks and now a days it really doesn’t matter. Sure their will always be haters. Ignore them. Some times this stuff takes over our lives. I have to put it on the shelve for a while and get on with other things. My life. My other child. My husband etc. My job.

        So as a second mom…stay in school, respect yourself, respect others, be nice, have some class.
        Don’t be a menace to society. :) :) :)

        “You have to live with you.”
        Continue in your walk in truth and you will have no regrets. :) :) :)

        BE HAPPY!!!!!!!!!! Happy…Happy…Happy…Happy…:) :) :) :) :)

        • Samantha, thank you so much for taking time to write such a beautiful and very comforting piece. I think you make an interesting point: I think my mom is upset for the problems I’ve had/will have from others who are ignorant and hateful. I will tell her that I am okay: safe and careful. I don’t look for trouble… I wouldn’t even know where to find it! Haha. I appreciate your point that parents try their best. I don’t think (most) parents naturally hinder their children. In fact, all the parents I know want the best for their children. And all you wonderful mothers and fathers who are conscientious enough to use this blog do care a lot too.

          I think you are correct about giving time. I suppose is this past year and a bit, my mom has progressed a little and I hope and pray she will, they all will, progress more towards acceptance.

          I promise to try to have a heart of God, a good education and not to be a menace to society.

          Thanks again for your wonderful words of comfort,

          Jonathon

  30. I’m 42 and I’m a lesbian. When I was very young I told my mom I was a lesbian. “I’m doing this to save you, I’m doing this so you won’t go to hell, I’m doing this because I love you, I’m doing this” I’m sure you get the idea. This is some of the things she told me while she was beating me, torturing me, while she was letting men rape me. All in the name of god. All to “fix” me. I was sent to a reorientation camp ran by a church. The same thing was done to me there. Yet I’m still gay. I prayed to be fixed, to be saved. I tried to kill myself so I could go to hell and suffer for my “sin”. ANYONE that thinks we choose to be this way, you could not be more wrong. You could not be more misguided, you could not be more HATEFUL! God makes us, and he did not make a mistake. Being hateful and judging others is a sin. Or do you think it doesn’t apply to you. If your child kills them self because of being gay, you did it to them, YOU killed them. Did you forget killing is a sin. You can not just pick and choose parts of the bible that fit the hate in your heart. I would bet with my very soul people that justify what there doing by using the bible for hate will be the ones going to hell.

    • A horrible story, Angel, and there are plenty of others. Tragic, tragic. I’m so sorry for your suffering. Jesus said it’s better to tie a huge stone around their neck and throw them into the sea than to let people harm a child like that. Playing God over others is what Jesus got angry at — not people you struggling through life. I hope you have found some healing, as monumental as that can be. And I agree with your conclusions. Thank you for sharing your heart. God bless you and heal you.

    • Angel, I am so sorry – my heart is aching for you. You have courage & strength. Keep sharing your story so others will know they are not alone..You are a wonderful and loving person. I just want to hug you. Try to forgive them – pray for their hearts to soften. Thank you so much for sharing your story <3 Peace.

    • Angel, yours is a story of terrible ignorance on your mother’s part. I must say that I am considerably more fortunate: coming out sum 25 years later than you has seen a great shift in society’s attitude towards homosexuality. There is still homophobia, unacceptance and ignorance but, in many ways, the world is a better place (and hopefully getting better). I am saddened to hear of your dreadful experiences but equally encouraged by the fact that you are not only alive but that you find the strength to write about your experiences. I hope you and I will leave the world in a better way than when we entered it.

      I hope that you have been able to find peace.

  31. It’s really interesting reading all the comments and dialogue here. In reading the thoughts of those who reference rules, and right and wrong, and things that must be sin, etc, the story of Job leaps to mind. Here is a guy who followed ALL the rules and had bad stuff happen anyway. The story is often presented as “look what a great and faithful guy he was”, but could there be another message as well? That perhaps, although Job did choose to follow the law, God also knew his heart was with God, while Satan was only looking on the surface. Perhaps Satan in this story represents US and our need to impose rules on each other and judge each other by the following of those rules, and our need to challenge one another’s relationship with God on that basis. What hubris to think we know the mind and heart of God!

  32. I need to comment that there is a difference between homosexuality (as in being attracted to the same sex) being considered a sin and homosexual actions being sinful. As a Catholic, I believe the church’s teaching that the attraction (and therefore the ‘identity’ of the person if that’s what you want to call it; though I believe our identity is comprised of much more than just who we are attracted to) is not sinful. It is the act of engaging in unchaste actions with someone of the same sex that is sinful. You aren’t living in sin just by being attracted to someone of the same sex. You are sinning by acting on those feelings in a sexual or otherwise innapropriate way. And it bears noting also that ALL Christians are called to the same standard of chastity (sexual orientation aside, we are called to engage in sexual activity only within the confines of marriage, which scripture defines as the union between a man and a woman). Someone close to me (a man I was dating) came out of the closet and the experience caused me to do a lot of soul searching and research, as I’m sure it does for many parents and friends. I cling to the promise that we are not defined by our sexual orientation, and that we are ALL called to turn away from whatever our particular sins might be. There is no greater or lesser sin, in my (probably very limited) understanding, but sin is still sin, and we are called to turn away. I firmly believe we can still support, love, be proud of, and affirm our loved ones who identify as homosexual, without condoning sinful actions. We are called to do this for each other no matter what our particular sin might be.

    • By the way, my first comment is more in response to many of the other comments. As far as the article goes, as someone who has experienced this issue with someone close to me, I appreciated your insights immensely, and disregarding some of the ways that you and I might disagree, I think many people can benefit from delving a little deeper into how we can respond to our loved ones with more compassion. So thank you!

      • I appreciate your words. That compassionate response is really what I’m asking of people, not determining right and wrong — which is what the tree of knowledge was all about, and God said No. According to my theology, it’s perfectly fine for you and me to disagree and still respond completely to Christ’s call to love God, love others. That’s all I’m seeking here! Thanks you for this second comment especially.

        • Thanks Susan. You completely summed up what I feel so many times when I read comments to an article like this. “According to my theology its perfectly fine for you and me to disagree and still respond completely to Christ’s call to love God, love others.” Love that. I think it is exactly that sentiment that is missing from so many dialogues, especially ones that deal with such a sensitive issue.

    • Melissa, I would encourage you to look at the MANY examples of marriage in the Bible. And the many stories dealing with sexuality. It’s an eye-opener, when we start to think about the polygamy, the concubines, the adultery, the murder… all within the confines of marriages of some of God’s finest people. And, when looking at the passages listing all the things God abhors, it’s equally surprising – and downright fun. We all do SOOOOOO many things that are an aberration to God – according to Holy Scripture. (Let’s face it, Leviticus is a fascinating book.) And none of these things are ranked in order of least bad to worst abomination ever. They’re just written down as abominations, or displeasing to God.

      In the interest of an honest examination and understanding of those holy words, it’s really important to consider ALL of the Bible, and the time and cultures in which it was written. Because, seriously, I’m going to keep borrowing my husband’s t-shirts and wearing clothes of mixed fabrics. And he’s going to keep eating shellfish.

      • In the new testament its revealed that Jesus came as a fulfillment of the old law. As sharers in his new covenant we are no longer asked to uphold the old dietary laws for example…those things pass away in light of his new covenant with Gods people. I completely agree that nowhere does the bible list sins in order of greatest to least, but sin is still sin, and we are still called to try to move away from sin. Are we going to fail? Every day. Every second. But that doesn’t make a sin any less of a sin. We do live in radically different times now than people did during biblical times, and we aren’t confined by a lot or the cultural norms. But there are still truths that remain constant throughout all of those changes, and I think it can be a slippery slope to say that since times are so different now that Gods expectations of us are cocompletely different. Lots of crazy things happen in the bible, because its filled with humans, and humans sin.

        • And that slippery slope is exactly why God said, You know what? DON’T eat from that tree of knowledge. Seriously, don’t. Because you are not capable of handling what is okay and not okay. Multiple wives? Concubines? Overeating? Seriously, you cannot determine what is okay for each other. You don’t even know what’s right for yourselves unless you listen to My still small voice. So, here, let’s make it really simple for you: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29). “Love Me, love others. Everything else will come under that.” (Matthew 22:36-40) So I’m telling you, I got this. I really got this. Thank you Melissa. Good thoughts.

          • Thanks Susan. This is such a fascinating discussion. I do have a question for you, because I’ve been reading your comments to some of the other readers as well. You mention certain people being convicted that specific sexual actions are sin, but others being convicted otherwise by God. Would you say that there are any sexual acts or just acts in general that are sinful for everyone (according to scripture and your own understanding) or is it simply a matter of each person being convicted that specific acts are sinful through their own personal relationship with God. Because it does seem to me that scripture makes it clear that some acts are inherently sinful, and I’m wondering how that can change from person to person. Just interested in hearing more of an explanation of this if you get the time. I hope this question makes some sense haha

          • Thank you, Melissa. You ask a great question. And I’m inclined to say, “I don’t know,” though I brace for impact as I write the words. The Bible does seem to make clear that some acts are inherently sinful. Abusing others, especially the defenseless. Not caring for each other (which is the sin of Sodom – Eze. 16:49). The trouble is that once we go down that road, we’re right back at the forbidden tree of knowledge, deciding what’s okay and what’s not. (“But we’ve got the verses to back it up.”) Yes, and so did the Pharisees and every legalistic group that has come down the pike.

            I really believe that when Jesus said, “ALL the law and prophets are summed up in ‘love God, love others,’ He really, really meant it. Everything. It’s just that it scares people. They want something to hang onto. Remember Israel demanding a human king in 1 Samuel 8, even though God said He would be their king? Isn’t that like us as humans? He warned them of the subjugation they would be under with a human king, but they wanted it and He gave it to them. In the same way, people want a written law to follow. God in Jeremiah 31:33 prophecies that in the new covenant, He will write the law on our minds and hearts — glory hallelujah! — but no, we want a written code which is constantly misinterpreted, applied inconsistently, and otherwise abused.

            Really, this new covenant is the most radical idea in the history of humankind, and to look for what parts of the written code still apply (as we’re prone to do) is to underestimate what we actually have in Christ. It’s just like asking for a human king who will take your sons and daughters to serve in his palace, when they could have had God Himself as king.

        • So who gets to decide which cultural norms we follow and which one’s we don’t? What parts of the Bible apply to today’s world in which one’s don’t? Is the Bible the absolute world of God? If so shouldn’t we follow all of it without question?

          • My point was simply that few would argue that to follow Christ we have to uphold all of the dietary restrictions that the Jewish people were subject to in the old testament just because they are in the bible. In my understanding, Jesus freed us from those specific restrictions because they were no longer necessary once He came.

          • I don’t believe that any of the Bible is cut and dry, There are thousands of translations and millions of interpretations. There is always a part of the Bible that someone will “excuse” away. I believe that our relationship with God is direct and our faith comes from within. The Bible can be contradictory and anyone can find a verse to validate a question of morality or to endorse any behavior. My wife has never worn a hat to church but the New Testament is very very clear in saying that all women should cover their heads when they enter a place of worship. We all have to use our own judgement, faith and intuition on deciding what God wants for us as the Bible is not a clear cut guide.

        • You made an interesting point, Melissa. You said that as sharers in God’s new covenant we are no longer asked to uphold the old laws. Jesus did not mention homosexuality in the new testament. If it was such a sin, as some believe, why would He have not spoken about it? In Psalm 139 we are told that God formed us in our mother’s womb…yes He formed homosexuals in their mother’s womb as well. God must have had a reason for doing so. Some day we will know why.I can’t believe our loving God would create so many homosexuals and then require them to remain celibate and discriminated against. For now, we as Christians, need to stop judging and speaking as if we know the mind of God. Instead, we should be willing to embrace people with differences in sexual orientation and include them as fellow human beings.

          • I would never ever say that homosexual people were not formed in their mother’s wombs in the same way that He has formed everyone. I guess the difference of opinion that I am seeing in my conversations and dialogues with people on this issue is that I am not attempting or even desiring to stand as the judge for anyone, nor do I believe that i am incapable of embracing homosexuals or including them as human beings. I have a profound respect for personhood, regardless of sexual orientation, because I don’t think we are defined by it. I think its entirely possible to not condone homosexual activity, and still respect a homosexual person as a person. I believe no matter what a persons sexual orientation,each and every person is deserving of the same amount of respect and love. I’m sorry if I came across as condemning in any way, because it truly hurts my heart to think that someone might skew my views in such a way as to believe that I might think that a homosexual person is in some way undeserving of love or being considered a person. I have never and will never believe that to be the case.

  33. Thank you for your thoughtful discussion on this topic. I am a Christian and I am gay, I have dealt with my “stuff” with my Savior and know that I was not created as an abomination but a child of God.

    I just wish there were more people like you around when I was growing up and stuggling with this issue. For years I prayed daily for God to “make me right.” What it took many years for me to understand was God already made me right. If others like you were in my life as an adolescent I may not have thought of suicide or hidden my life from a family who loves me out of fear.

    I thank you for your honesty in this discussion and pray that your voice will become the majority, I am lucky to have found loving Christians who live like Jesus and love without judgement. I am active in my Church and my walk with Christ continues on a daily basis.

    Thank you!

    • Kendall,

      Your story hits home, because I was that Mom who loves my son, but he feared telling us. He finally did 3 yrs ago, (25 yrs old) and then it hit me that he grew up reading the scriptures of not being enough in God’s eyes. We read them, too. That precious boy sat alone with this huge burden. It breaks my heart.

      Now he says that he is thankful that we have always loved him and if we didn’t he would have to learn not to care, because he has done nothing wrong. He gives grace I didn’t deserve! I look back and like you say, I wasn’t there for him, even though our constant pray was , “Thank you, God for loving me, no matter what! ” My kids had to have that foundation, and I still fell short.

      I long for the day when people love like God ( including me) and don’t dismiss others in order to protect God. That is a messy way to live.

      Being in a church family is never easy, and I’m thankful that you have chosen a way to walk with HIM.

      • thank you for your kind words and your example. Your son is a lucky man!

      • Wow, Grams, that comment really hit me in the gut and brought tears to my eyes! “That precious boy sat there alone with his huge burden. It breaks my heart.” Not only because there are so many young people who have that same experience, but also because you still call him “that precious boy”. Not all Christian (or otherwise) mothers would still use those words.

        I am a bisexual 19 y/o woman, and I am okay with where I stand with God. I don’t quite have an “I so relate!” response, but I really felt called to reply and say how incredibly happy I am that there are mothers like you out there. I’m sure your son is even moreso!

        Keep walking in love! God bless.

        • Jordan,

          You have blessed my heart.

          I am sorry that I had to look back on the truth of scriptures that heap hurt on a innocent soul, and not see it at the time. I was so sure he was gay, but feared asking him and would have accepted a miracle at that time. He is a pretty perfect young man in my eyes, and definitely a child of God.

          It is great to know you are at peace with God, and I wish we all would do a better job at giving that gift to all of our children.

          I am just a Mom that doesn’t know what is worth not loving your child? I am blessed to know other Christian Mom’s that care and love their children, no matter what!

          Thank you, Jordan and God bless you and whoever comes your way! I appreciate the goodness of your heart!

          Truly Blessed!
          Grams

    • I am the mom of a gay son, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. I know he has suffered, and my heart breaks for him. God loves us all, and I just want people to love like that. God bless you.

  34. I am confused Susan. Are you saying homosexuality is NOT sin, or are you saying we are not to judge the sinner (homosexual)?
    I just finished your book How Not to Lose Your Teen which I really appreciated, but I quote, “I walked far away from God, testing every path to find which way would bring me peace,” and this was yourself you were talking about. Also, quote “here are two things I see the enemy doing to sex: put it where it shouldn’t be and kill it where it should be” end of quote.
    If you say homosexuality is not sin then how can you say any other kind of sexual sin is sin?

    • Excellent question – thanks for asking. I am NOT convicted that homosexuality is a sin. I do believe God has convicted some people not to pursue it (they’ve told me personally), and I believe to some He has said, there’s nothing wrong with it, I created you this way (also from their own lips). This need not be disconcerting; it fits exactly with the personal relationship Jesus invites us to, the Holy Spirit leading us personally in all truth, and our own conscience bearing witness (Romans 2:15). Any sin of which God convicts us, sexual or otherwise, is not okay for us, and what He does not call a sin we should not call a sin. Galatians 5:1-6 tells us that if you accept any of the law, you’re obligated to the whole law [impossible for anyone to keep]. “For in Christ Jesus neither [the law] nor [not the law] counts for anything but only faith working through love” (Gal. 5:6).

      I see my book How Not to Lose Your Teen as a beautiful dismantling of “parenting by rules,” encouraging instead “parenting by relationship,” just as God interacts with us! That was my point. The more I mature, the more permeating is the relationship-focus versus rule-focus. People freak because I talk about dependence on God instead of a handy rule list you keep in your pocket, afraid people will run amok. But on the contrary, rules cause us to run amok; how many ways we can we fight over how to slice and dice them? But focused on God, everything else falls right into place, just as Jesus said it would (Matthew 22:40). An absolute miracle!

      • I am very sorry to know you feel like that and I believe you are deceived and that someday you will understand the truth about this lie.
        God called this act an abomination, a detestable sin, and commanded His people not to defile themselves in any of those things. See Leviticus 18.
        I don’t think a Christian who loves God will treat ANYONE unkindly but If we condone and encourage what God calls sin we will answer to Him.
        I pray you will seek His wisdom in this matter and not the favor of men.

        • Junebug, I know that you are sincere in these beliefs, and what I’m saying is foreign to you and against what you have been taught and internalized. I simply ask you one thing: ask God about it. Lay all your beliefs on the table, all your understanding, and ask Him for His word to you, His still small voice (1 Kings 18:20–40), the voice of the Shepherd that the sheep recognize (John 10:27-33). And let Him guide you.

          The easiest thing is to say, “It’s an abomination,” and leave it there. But that’s too easy, and it doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. Proverbs 6:16-19 calls “haughty eyes and a deceitful tongue” an abomination. Have you ever had either of those? We want to be very careful what measure we use for people given that’s the measure that will be used for us (Matthew 7:2)! (A scary thought, isn’t it?) Leviticus 18:19 says to uncover a woman’s nakedness during her menstrual uncleanness is an abomination — so that means sex within a week of your period. Have you canvassed your church for those people to warn them their because you will have to answer to God otherwise? You see? I’m not being absurd here; I’m showing you the logical extension of your thought.

          Those who submit to the law are UNDER THE WHOLE LAW (Galatians 5:3). So I suggest we back away from the law and grab hold of the grace Jesus offers. We are not under law but under grace (Romans 6:14). I could go on for a long time here, which I’m sure you don’t want! Churches split of these things. Instead, I entreat you to do as I first suggested: lay it all out, and ask God to speak to you about it. He will.

          Thank you for writing, and bless your journey.

        • Hi there junebug,

          You know, we have been horribly, horribly wrong about so many things in Scripture. Really, we have. And since ALL of Scripture is tuned to the key of Jesus, we Jesus followers would do well to stop preaching Leviticus et.al. to the LGBTQ community and just love them in the name of Jesus, serve them in the name of Jesus, and accept them where they are – again, in the name of Jesus. It’s up to Jesus to make changes in their hearts – and what He requires first is faith in Him and complete commitment to Him. If changes are to come, then it’s up to Him to make them. Telling someone that they are an abomination is just about the least helpful, least loving thing one could say. I mean, who, upon hearing that, would want to set so much as a toe in any church? As Susan wrote so beautifully, there are many things that are deemed abominations in Scripture – and you know, we here on the other side of the cross just don’t ascribe to them any longer. I’m not asking you to change your stance; I’m asking if you will try loving one LGBTQ person in the name of Jesus – not with words but with deeds, which is proof of faith. We believers have to trust God enough, after we have given out the Gospel (which, btw, is not a sin-management message), to stand back and see Him at work. And watching God at work often looks so different than what we think it should look like.

          • I and I repeat, I, am not calling anyone an abomination. God calls the act so and just because we stand on this side of the cross does not mean there is no longer sin in this world.
            Jesus took our sin upon Himself and it killed Him.
            After that who am I to say that it’s ok to kill, murder, lie, commit adultery, fornication, you name it, because He commands us to love. I believe the Holy Spirit brings forth repentance , not excuses.
            Because I correct my child for wrong responses or wrong thinking does not mean I don’t love him/her. And does not mean I am judging them either.

          • Junebug, you are right: the Holy Spirit brings forth repentance. We do not. And to stand there telling people what to repent of is like being the oldest child in the family and telling your siblings, “Hey! Mom told you not to do that! You better listen to Mom.” Well that is not your job. Mom can handle it, thank you. Even more, our perfect God an handle His own children and direct them to repentance (through His kindness, interestingly enough — Romans 2:4).

            Now let’s take a closer look at the abomination thing. God calls many things an abomination. What does the word mean? You’d think it means something that’s abominable — hated or despised. But the word translated abomination is the Hebrew word: toevah. It means taboo. That’s all it means. Why it’s translated as abomination, I can’t tell you. But it refers to cultic, pagan practices that God was telling the Hebrews not to do; for them it is taboo. That’s all it means. You can look it up.

            Unfortunately, the word has taken on a life of its own to mean something so despicable, we don’t even want to describe it, to mean something abominable — and we only seem to whip it out in relation to homosexuality. A lot of harm has come from that. If you want to stop in your thinking at the place of saying, “It’s an abomination,” you can do that. And people will walk past you paying little attention because you have not looked into this deeply enough. I think Survivorgirl is telling you that it’s not helpful to stand there saying homosexuality is an abomination. If you want to be accurate, then here’s what you need to say: “Homosexuality is listed among a number of other things as something taboo for Hebrews in a culture very different from ours thousands of years before Christ.” Because that is true. God was keeping the Hebrew people separate from the other nations, for His purposes at a time in history. It does NOT mean it’s abominable. I know this doesn’t make sense to you against the teaching you have internalized and I can hear you speaking from.

            We could be talking about many wonderful things — how we are no longer under the law but under grace, how Jesus turned the ancient world on its head when He said outrageous things they didn’t understand, or what it really means to love your neighbor. Hugely upsetting ideas Jesus brought in and laid out before them! But on this topic, I stand by my earlier plea for you to seek God privately and intimately as ask Him to show you what He wants to on this. Honestly, before that happens, that’s all the discussion we need to have about this deal about abomination. Best to you.

          • Susan, thank you for bringing up the Hebrew term “toevah.” As you’ve explained so well, it is used elsewhere to refer to ritual imperfection/cultural prohibition/taboo activities. When we look at that term in context (which is what we must do with all of Scripture in order to read it with integrity), homosexual activity is listed alongside other ‘toevah’ activities such as remarriage – or not keeping kosher.

            I think the bottom line is that the Church needs to stop putting so much focus on the activity and, instead, really focus on the person. As pastor and author Tim Keller reminds us, it’s only in the Gospel that we get the verdict before the performance. If we throw the mistranslated ‘abomination’ term at a group of people, then the likelihood that they will ever come to truly hear the Gospel is radically diminished. I don’t want to have to answer for putting that stumbling block before those that Jesus is trying to reach through me.

          • junebug,

            Many of us are in the place in life where we have seen our children struggle, and we have no idea how hard that is. One precious Mom recalls those days when she crawled around to find God’s lap to rest her head on. Have you experienced that kind of need for a child you love, no matter what. Does your parent still take your spiritual inventory, or give you to God. Parenting shifts to handing our loved one to God. It can be called a way of worship.

            I bet you are sensitive to a hardship that has effected your family! It would be unkind for me to say, I know better, just do this or this, because that’s how I read it. That is not your intention, but we find that God has our child in HIS arms and I hope you never doubt that about your precious children, whatever challenge comes their way. You can not parent this away. For some, it leads to suicide, others no longer have a family to love, and worst, some decide God does not love them.

            one more look into our world. Do you have a group of Mom’s that support you and love your kids. Do they call you to say, “Church, that I love, that I need, is telling me that I have to do differently in loving my child.”

            My prayer is that you find a way to hug that Mom and give her precious child to God.

        • junebug,
          http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202
          Please note the attached web site to the latest Rolling Stone article that came out in the October issue.
          I want to be around the Christians that you are around that are always nice to people, and non-judgmental. I live in the Bible belt and have issues with many churches here. I have witnessed and experienced such “not belonging” I do not even go to church much any more. Sad. No, I am not LGBT either. I do a lot of my own Bible study with a few good friends. I am a strong Christian and even sent my kids to a private Christian school. I have experienced some of the hypocritical behavior there as well. We all fall short….I just pray for the families and see them as a “lost soul.” They just truly don’t “get the walk yet.” Some days I don’t either. :)
          I stand firm on the Bible and what God teaches. I never have cared what others think and taught my kids to think the same. If one is to walk with Jesus, many times it will mean walking alone, yet not really alone, for one is with Jesus. We are all struggling Christians. In the end, it is between God and that person. In the meantime lets pray for others to seek God and that God seeks them. :)
          Be Blessed.

          • This is the article I was trying to refer to in the above post.
            Sorry I copied and pasted the wrong story. :)

            The Hidden War Against Gay Teens Christian schools funded by taxpayers are expelling kids for not being straight

            Issue 1193 – October 10, 2013 Rolling Stone Mag
            page 74

            Features
            The Hidden Against Gay TeensByMorris, Alex

            Strange thing happened to Tristan at the end of eighth grade: He received a Facebook message from someone he didn’t know who seemed, somehow, to understand him better than anyone. “The message was like, ‘Hey, I’m pretty sure you’re gay. I just wanted…

            Thanks…..

          • Susan,

            First off let me say I like the love I hear coming from your words. You are a really gifted writer and have a way with explaining things. However, I disagree with some of the things you say. While I believe we are to love everyone, everything is not all daffodils and sunshine. Sometimes the truth is hard and goes down like glass. But that is not what the world wants so we change the word to fit or shifting points of view, so that it goes down smooth. While the world has changed God and his word has not. Just because we don’t stone disobedient children anymore does not mean God has changed the way he feels about the act of disobedience by children.

            As for the word abomination, I believe it is often misused by many. While the word used, Toevah or Tōʻēḇā, meaning taboo or forbidden,does not carry the same weight as abomination the meaning is clear. These acts, which included gay sex, are forbidden, meaning not allowed. The command to not commit these act was not a mere suggestion from God and these were meant for us all. God claimed that the land was made impure as a result of the people who came before them committing these toevah, forbidden acts.

            I would also like to understand something better. It appears to me that you are against people praying for deliverance from homosexuality because you don’t believe it is a sin. If that is true then maybe you can help me with a few things. If I had a child who was running with a bad crowd…group of drug dealers. Should I not pray for him to leave that group behind and find another group of friends whose activities are more on the legal side. Since hanging with them is not a sin, then by your logic I don’t need to pray that he is delivered from that group. Working as a life coach for youth I have seen many of them influenced into sin by first doing things that were not necessarily sinful. If I don’t want my child to smoke crack then I am not going to want him to hang out in a crack house even though just hanging out in a crack house is not sinful. So for lack of my understanding of what is actually sin to you, would we agree that gay sex is a sin. Since the bible states that it is toevah or taboo/forbidden. Then we would be naive to think that a homosexual would not commit gay sex. We know says to pray and make our request known. “John 15:7 – But if you stay joined to me and my words remain in you, you may ask any request you like, and it will be granted!” Just as I pray for my child to be delivered from lying, fornication, adultery, I would pray he be delivered from homosexuality which could lead to gay sex. I believe that if it is a sin we should do nothing to encourage. In fact we should what is in our power to discourage it. I no more want my son to be gay then I want him to be a liar. Either way I would love him but I would also lovingly feed him the truth of God’s word. I would let him know that with God’s help he can overcome any sin through application of the word and prayer.

            As for those who say you cannot be a Christian and be gay, that is incorrect. That is like saying you can’t be a liar and be a Christian. The Bible says we all sin and fall short. However, because Christ lives in side of us there is a conviction we feel. As Christians we have to asked for forgiveness and repent. We don’t accept the sin as a way of life. We don’t get to say which sins are acceptable which are not. We don’t get to say which parts of the Bible we will change to make our sin okay.

            In closing I would like to say that we should strive to live by love and grace but also by the undiluted truth of the word of God. I have several gay friends who know my stance but we remain friends because they no I love them. Which we are all called to do as Christians.

          • Dave, I appreciate your fervor, I really do. And living in a world with crazy stuff that happens is a full of risk no matter how much we try to reduce it. Taboo does mean forbidden, and unless you send your wife out of the house for the time of her uncleanness, then you know context is everything. You don’t want us to break God’s law, but Christians have repeatedly broken God’s laws about judging. Check Brownson’s Bible, Gender and Sexuality for a full explanation, as I won’t repeat all the for the umpteenth time here, but what we’ve been told about homosexuality is false. The Bible says nothing about gay orientation, someone who wants a longterm committed relationship with someone of the same gender, because that was not even a concept in that day. The word homosexuality wasn’t added to the Bible until 1946. These facts alone make our interpretation problematic.

            I think most parents of a gay kid pray God will change them. They’re free to do it. But I get bent out of shape that parents won’t take His no for an answer. Parents have destroyed their children by their rejection. It is not what Jesus asks us to do. Period. You’re worried about the behavior of gays? Refer them to the One who can really lead them in His way, whatever it is. Let His love flow through you so they will be drawn to Him. He is able to lead them. God’s word does not change, but our interpretation of it does, or we’d still be insisting the earth is flat and we should own slaves. You see what I mean? God is perfect. We in our interpretation and implementation are not. I am glad you love your gay friends, and I’m glad you have gay friends. If you want to know how you’re doing with loving, ask them if they feel loved by you. And ask them how you might love them better. Thank you for your comment.

        • I believe that you are deceived, since God creates us all and does not make mistakes.
          The reason I found this site is because of my distress over a young man who I and others believe is suffering from major depression due to the fact that he is gay and his Christian parents refuse to see or accept this. He has returned from a stint where he was working to “deprogram” young gay men, which tells even the most casual observer that he is gay. His appearance is a startling change from his high school days as a football player, his now emaciated appearance obviously symptom of major depression.
          I am truly afraid for this young man, as are others who know him but not well enough to talk to his parents. This young man’s depression is severe enough to warrant inpatient treatment. He lives with his affluent parents just around the corner from us, and I am afraid that one day soon I will see police cars at that house.
          I cannot imagine the crushing guilt and anguish this young man’s parents will feel if such a tragedy does in fact take place. I am not sure I could survive that kind of guilt. On a certain level, they have to at least suspect their son is gay. If he commits suicide, they will know he was gay, and that he died because he would rather end his life than lose their love and acceptance. As a parent I can’t bear to even think about that scenario with my child for more than a few seconds.
          Parents should love their children Unconditionally.
          The unGodly abomination, the detestable sin, will be if this poor young man suffers so much that he takes his own life, sacrificing himself on the altar of misguided religious beliefs, leaving his parents and their other surviving son to unimaginable pain and suffering for the rest of their days as a direct result of their own misguided religious beliefs and denial.
          I am still searching for a solution, and will likely confide this to a friend who will know who the mother’s best friends are.
          Hopefully this story has gotten through to you. If you could see the pain this wonderful young man is in, it would break your heart.

          • PharmGrl, this story has remained on my heart. I am praying for an opening for you to talk to the parents, or to the young man. I think back on a suicide from a non-affirming church we used to be involved in, and the gay issue was not even on my radar then, but now I have no doubt that was the situation. Once it’s done, it’s too late. Perhaps you could speak to him through FB, offering to talk to him yourself. The Trevor Project http://www.thetrevorproject.org might be a great resource for you. If I can be of any help in this, please email me. If you are able to talk to the parent at all, perhaps they would read the Robertson’s heart-rending story http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/what-do-you-do-when-your-son-is-gay/ and see the error of their insistence on their own way. The Robertsons and others in their situation would give anything to be able to take a different path. I pray for God’s leading, and please let me know.

  35. Recently, my 13 year old son started to talk about dating and sex,etc. I wanted to hear his views. They were are much different than mine and I finally asked him if there was a scale where 1 was gay and 10 straight where he would fall. He hesitated and said 3. I was not shocked nor upset. I told him that no matter what number he chooses that I love him and support him. He said he was relieved about this talk but not happy about his feelings. He is sweet, sensitive and acts very effeminate.

    Now, as a very conservative Christian father I have come to realize that if he confirms that he truly is gay and will out himself in high school, I and my wife will love and accept him. I told my wife that as Christian parents we are not to make him straight but to show Christ’s love. We may not agree on all aspects of homosexuality, but that is okay. Families do not agree on everything. Also, a persons sexuality does not define someone. It who they are like their character and dreams and hopes.

    I would rather have a gay son who is honest and caring and trustworthy then a heterosexual son who lies, cheats and steals.

    • Thank you for your beautiful words. What a blessing for your son. God is at work, isn’t He? Thank you for sharing.

      • Thank you for sharing. It can be especially difficult for a father to have a gay son. In the end, if is not about me but about him. Soon, my wife and I may very well be confronted with issues that make us all uncomfortable. We pray for guidance and wisdom to be supportive and loving Christian parents to a son who may very well accept his homosexuality and be open about it. One more thing, I never thought in a million years that I would say that I would love a son who is gay!

    • Nathan,

      Thank you for voicing support to your 13 year old son regardless. That is the point that so many parents miss. We are very conditional creatures and this has to stop as the teen years are so difficult anyway. I am a parent to a gay teen. Thanks for speaking up.

    • Wow…to your last sentence…. Great job in parenting a son who knows who he is and at such a young age is true to himself. Kudos to you for the “talking” relationship you have with your son!!!
      I once heard, “if one spends his life trying to please other people, he will not be pleased with himself.” Go DAD!!!! Hugs to you all.

      • I appreciate the support. I know the reality that my 13 year old son come out as gay is “real.” I am far from perfect and I know that if he does come out I as a parent want him to know that he is loved, safe, and accepted. He will need all the support and love if he comes out as gay. Being a teen is difficult enough, being a teen boy who is sensitive, shy, effeminate, and gay is much more difficult.

    • Wow Nathan,

      You have truly blessed me tonight. I have been struggling with my negative perception of Christian heterosexual males. I am a straight womyn of color that is on her spiritual journey with Jesus. In order to survive, I’ve created barriers for myself due to the harmful pain that Christianity as a religion and patriarchy have caused me. The transformation and ultimate trust you are expressing in your words, I envy. I hope to one day fully experience and be transformed by that freedom and trust you carry in God and to find a man of God who also carries this spiritual freedom. I have been left awe struck by your unconditional love. God has blessed you in your journey and your family is so lucky to have you as a loving family member. I hope to one day cross paths with men like you and create awesome friendships and a romantic relationship. Take care, Kat

      • And that right there is the love of Christ at work! Kat, you’ve moved my heart – thank you so much for sharing. God bless you on your journey. <3

      • Hi Libre- I sympathize with your struggle. It’s a shame when anyone comes between God and one of his followers. I think the overall message that Susan and this site convey has a bigger context than just with the LGBT community. To me that message is to develop a very unique personal relationship with God that’s not encumbered by others. Make that relationship ours and follow our hearts.

        One of religion’s biggest problems is in conformity. Much of religion draws lines and builds walls. You will find that there are many Christian denominations that don’t have a patriarchal influence and even if you can’t you can certainly build a direct relationship with God without even participating in religion.

        God bless you and good luck in your search.

      • Kat,

        I am far from perfect. Even though so many would label me as a “right wing Christian” I know who I am and am comfortable in who I am. As I get older my beliefs change. The most important thing is for us to be open to change.

        As a father of a son who believes that he may be gay, the reality of this is more important than what comes out of a sermon. I have a choice. I can choose to reject my son or accept him. For me it is very simple. If I reject him I reject me. If I accept him (which I darn will do!) I accept me.

        I know many are angry at the church and Christians. I read on other sites that anger. I choose to truly love. Yes, love the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender person. If Jesus can love me why can’t I love all. I don’t always do it but there is an old saying, “experience is a good educator.” As I experience the possibility of a gay teenage son, my prejudices and insecurities are challenged. No one likes that, but it usually is a good thing.

        I hope you find someone that God has for you.

        Be blessed.

    • I just came across this story as I read more of this blog. I admit that when I read your post I was close to tears. I can see clearly that your story is one of compassion. I find your strength in Christ and love for your son inspiring. I believe our faith is challenged and sometimes that consequence is change. I think you (and your wife) are handling this situation with such grace. You will be rewarded in Heaven if not on Earth.

  36. I really appreciate this article, and the larger message: children will probably always stray from their parents’ expectations, and it is important to love your child unconditionally, and to support them as much as you can. One of my concerns with many Christians’ condemnation of homosexuality is the fact that it drives so many people -gay and straight, myself included- from the church and ultimately Christ. Christ taught love, forgiveness, and He died for our sins. If someone (everyone and anyone) is a sinner but they have found Christ and strive to follow Him as best they can, that’s better than giving up and turning away from Christ and God altogether. I love Jesus, but I’m still very wary of church due to some intolerant, manipulative experiences I had in high school.

    I also sincerely hope that God, as our creator and source of all that is, and that is good, understands us so much more than we understand ourselves or each other. I pray that God forgives us for misunderstanding, and that He understands our intentions, wherever we’re coming from in our limited perspectives, are good.

  37. Our son told us during Christmas. Being Christian parents, it was a very tough time. He knew how we felt and I know it was just as tough for him to tell us and it was for us to hear it. I remember him saying he would rather have cancer than do this to us. That night, I didn’t sleep because of not only with what he said but how distraught he was. I was afraid I wouldn’t see him the next morning.

    We told him that no matter what, we love him and will always love him. We may not agree with the gay lifestyle but he is our son and we will never stop loving him. That seemed to help him and made him feel more relaxed at home.

    That was almost 10 years ago. Our son went to a private Christian college and graduated. He surrounded himself with great friends which loved him unconditionally. It was the best thing for him.

    He lives quite a distance from us and even though we don’t know exactly, we are fairly certain he is involved with the gay lifestyle. How much we do not know. I remember having a conversation with him and he told me that he prayed that God would take it away but it didn’t. We continue to pray for him that God will deliver him from this. When we do see each other, we do not talk much about it. We have been told and have read so much material, that said it would be better to allow him to bring it up if he ever wanted to talk about it. But again, the most important thing for us is to continue to let him know we love him always.

    Some may think that praying that he be delivered from the gay lifestyle is wrong. It isn’t. Homosexuality is a sin. It is a sin just like lying is a sin, adultery is a sin, stealing is a sin, murder is a sin and so on. We all have areas in our life that Satan knows we are weak in and he will do anything he can to exploit that area and cause us to stumble. Our son loves the Lord, there is no doubt about that but as it says in 1Corinthians 6:9 and 10, if he continues his gay lifestyle and not feel guilt and repent of it, he will not inherit the kingdom of heaven. I do believe that if he is struggling in this area and trying to stop it just as all of us have areas in our life we struggle with and continue to ask God to forgive us, I believe our son will be a part of God’s kingdom.

    It all boils down to , God knows the heart of my son. I pray that the Lord uses whatever means to help our son get on that narrow path to heaven. Matthew 7:13 and 14

    God’s morals have never changed. God has never changed. What God found as sin thousands of years ago, He still finds as sin. For us to say things like, well the Bible only talks about it a few times, does not excuse it. If God mentions it once, we should listen to it and obey it. It is that simple.

    I love my son. I would do anything for my son. I hope and pray that someday, God will deliver him . But until that day comes, I will love him, help him and pray for him.

    • First, thank you so much for your heartfelt comment. I hear the torment it is to believe he’s doing something sinful with no plans to stop. And I am so glad you’re showing him unconditional love. Good for you. And if you don’t mind, I’d like to challenge you just a bit, okay? You mentioned the gay lifestyle – and what is that? Miley Cyrus and I both have a heterosexual lifestyle… but they are very different. There is no gay lifestyle; there is only being gay (attraction) and gay sex (action). But people who are gay are attracted the same sex, and there is nothing they can do about it. I don’t know of ANY gay men who have “prayed their gay away.” None.

      You’re right that God does not change; but people and cultures change, and our understanding scripture has changed drastically. We used to imprison people for having the gall to say that the world is round and revolves around the sun. Based on scripture. I’m not saying that it being a few scriptures means it’s not important, but we are resting a LOT of judgement on those verses — it is our duty to know what we’re talking about. Those passages in 1 Corinthians are not talking about adult, monogamous, same-sex relationships. Those were not even a concept in those days. They are talking about something different.

      I encourage you to watch Matthew Vines video. Look at my resources page for some very helpful info. I know you would not want to put a weight on your son that God does not put on him; that’s why it’s important that you look more clearly into those passages. Please, for your son’s sake. Best to you.

  38. It’s been said we need to hate the sin and love the sinner. No matter what the sin is. Jesus modeled that and we need to follow his lead. I know in my own life there are other lusts of the flesh I have to deny on a daily basis. Sometimes minute my minute. I do it because I love God and I know it pleases him and I know it’s sin when I give in. It is my cross to bear and I will do it for the righteousness it produces.

    I understand that the constant resisting the same sex attraction has to be hard. But no one ever said following Christ is easy. But I believe if you really love Christ and you comit yourself to the study of the word and submission of Jesus even when it hurts to your bones there is eternal benefits to be had.

    That’s just my two cents anyway love and blessings to you all <3

    • Thank you, Pam. I don’t really see Jesus modeling “hate the sin,” except the sin He rails on the Pharisees for: self-righteousness and legalism requiring people (especially other people) to follow the law. He in fact loves the sinner to the point that religious leaders are uncomfortable (Luke 7:36-50) and end up killing Him! If we are to follow His lead, it should be to love beyond all reason and point them to His life, which He always freely offers!

      Just so you know, this is a hotly disputed issue, not the slam-dunk “sin” your comment implies; you probably don’t realize that to compare sexual orientation to “lusts of the flesh” is offensive because it is not an action but a part of a person’s identity. (You can find more on my resources and FAQs page.) But your heart is in the right place! Thanks again for your comment. <3

      • I want to second this re: Jesus modeling His disdain for the sinful. misplaced, SELFish allegiance of the Pharisees to their loveless rules and regulations yet not modeling disdain for people. During Jesus’ day, the cross was a symbol of death, not a symbol of any sort of burden as we think of it. Jesus’ call to us to “take up your cross and follow” is a call to die to self – completely. Are we willing to lose friends? to lose face? to lose our reputation? to be subjected to ridicule? to be alienated from our families who don’t understand our allegiance to Christ and His ways? I think so many of us battle a belief that it’s a call to some sort of improved morality when it’s really a call to a whole new way of being. People who are same-sex attracted can no more “deny” that attraction than can people who are opposite-sex attracted. No where in Scripture is this condemned or even mentioned. Behaviors are always the thing we question, when we get right down to it. And whether or not we believe that same-gender sexual activity between two committed people is wrong, it is more wrong of us to insist that a person must attempt to alter his/her identity to be acceptable to us and by God. If a person is committed to Christ, then Christ will generate any needed change as we cooperate with Him in that process. And a process it is!!!

        • Beautiful, Survivorgirl. Couldn’t have said it better myself!

          • ALL SIN is against God, but Pam Is right on the money because anyone’s heart can be changed, if they’re truly seeking the Savior. You can NOT be gay and a Christian too (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13), no matter what this mixed and messed up society says about it, If you are a true follower of Christ then as the Word says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away: behold, all things have become new” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Notice the ‘wording’? ‘If’ any man be in Christ, ‘new creature’ (creation), “old things are passed away: “all things become new”. How more ‘plain’ could God have been than that?
            As my child, I can love you all I choose because God gave you to me, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with something that is Against Almighty God, whom we Will ALL have to answer to in the end. “If a person is committed to Christ, then Christ will generate any needed change as we cooperate with Him in that process”, yes He will but we’re also to follow the ‘leading of the Holy Spirit’, stay in the Word, and stay out of and away from ‘situations’ that would cause us to do otherwise.
            My heart goes out to those in the gay and straight communities, that in these last and evil days they will ‘live by EVERY Word of God’, and NOT be swayed by the devil (and fight their flesh no matter what it takes), because deception is Growing by leaps and bounds. Come quickly Lord Jesus.

          • Thanks, Jeanne. So now I’m curious: when did all your sin fall off of you — the moment you became a new creation or did it take a few days? And how does the Holy Spirit lead you out of every tempting “situation” — did you get one last trip to the store when you became a Christian, or was it cold turkey? I assume you no longer go of course because of those verses you cited (Matthew 6:24, Luke 16:13 — materialism is a deathtrap!). And good thing you no longer shop because you might randomly see an attractive man and accidentally commit adultery (Matthew 5:28). And surely you got all that gluttony out of the way, since you now live by “every word of God” — and the Bible talks about gluttony 100 times! That’s like 20 times as much as any reference to same-sex anything. So did the Holy Spirit lead you to purge your cupboards all at once or did He give you a week? You must have had to coordinate the new bare-bones eating plan with your now limited access the grocery store (see above).

            Did someone say this is absurd? But you said every word of God, didn’t you? Because the bible says that if you stumble on one law, you’re guilty of them all (James 2:10, Matthew 5:19) — if that’s the game you want to play. And then James 2:12 is a killer: “Judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful.” Whew! I’m glad I’m not under that! God must have made you a different kind of new creation than He made me because I’m taking seriously Matthew 22:36-40: “Love God and love others because this sums up the law and the prophets.” In other words, Jeanne, if you do those two things, everything else will come under that! Maybe you didn’t realize this option, but boy, I recommend it. It’s SOOOO much more pleasant than trying to keep every individual law! Besides, I REALLY don’t want to gouge out my own eye (Matthew 5:29).

            One more thing, Jeanne, I’m glad you’ve taken care of all those things above and plenty more, but you might want to give this consideration because you might be in just a teensy bit of danger here… if you have any anger at all toward gays. Well, I’m sure you wouldn’t sin by having anger, but the bible does say that if you call someone so much as a fool (even in your own heart!), you’re in danger of the fire of hell (Matthew 5:22). Just so you know.

            For anyone who is NOT Jeanne, those dire warnings Jesus gives about the fire of hell He says to those who think they can keep the law. In other words, those who pick and choose, those who determine who else is right and wrong — those people have a very hot place in hell. That’s what He’s saying. OR, you can choose to rest in Him, to let His life be your life, to love God and love others, and you’re all good!

            One last thing here… there is no reason to pray as Jeanne did that Jesus come quickly; thanks be to God, Jesus is already here!

          • Are you telling all same-sex attracted people (as in millions of them) that they have NO hope simply because of something they cannot control? Do you even know any LGBT people – really know them? Heart change – yes! Sexual attraction change – not so much. In using your argument, you said that you don’t have to “agree with something that is against Almighty God.” What about divorce? Jesus, especially, issued very, very clear admonitions about that. But I know believers who have been divorced as believers, and I know believers who were divorced before they came to Christ. Are we to tell them that they have NO hope? The church doesn’t tell them that, but why not? Didn’t Jesus make it plain that God HATES divorce? What does “being a Christian mean,” then? It seems you’re saying that people had better clean up their stuff before they can come to Christ, and/or if after they give their hearts to Him (which is the root word meaning of ‘believe’), every struggle will auto-magically disappear. I’m straight and a committed Jesus-follower, but that surely isn’t my story. Even you wrote “Christ will generate any needed change…” Needed changes are from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, loving others as God loves us, not elevating Law over human need. The LGBT people I have the privilege of knowing are the most loving, compassionate people that I know out of a whole crowd of ‘Christians’ who are anything but loving and compassionate. It takes far more faith for a same-sex attracted person to be a believer than it would someone like me. When other believers are pronouncing them unfit and a disgrace, they have monumental faith to hang in there with Jesus and listen to HIS words about them. We need to be far, far more concerned about our OWN sin, because then we’d cease pronouncing judgments. And maybe, just maybe people in the LGBT community will stop killing themselves because we’ve communicated to them, erroneously, that God cannot love them ‘unless.’

    • Jesus did always love the sinner but he did not miss the opportunity to tell the sinner to go and sin no more. But I do not find anywhere in scripture where he told anyone it was OK to go on sinning (no matter what the sin).

      • He did however say things like “he who is without sin cast the first stone” and that bit about focusing on the mote in your neighbor’s eye while disregarding the beam in your own….which are as close to “mind your own business” as it gets.
        I for one am too busy working on my own shortcomings to come up with a list of what everyone else is doing wrong….

      • He missed a LOT of opportunities — He didn’t tell the woman at the well to stop living with a man. He didn’t tell Peter to stop denying Him. He constantly built relationship with people, pointing to Himself as the way to life, as the one who could meet their needs and fill their hearts. The one example that leaps to mind is the woman forgiven for adultery. In fact, it is pulled out time after time as proof that yes, Jesus forgives, but we’d better get our act together. (The implication being that He might not be so lenient on us next time.) Please read this to get a fuller treatment on that story than a simple, “See, Jesus said stop doing it so there.” http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-woman-forgiven-for-adultery/ You will see there that Jesus does not focus on the behavior but on the heart — as He does throughout every encounter we read of Him. Beyond that, this correction that He does of her (in which He redirects her to Himself), it is JESUS doing that. Not you. Not me. We seem to forget that little piece when we quote it as though it could be anybody correcting her. Jesus is the one who knows her heart and soul, who loves her more than anyone else, who could hold back the tide of those ready to kill her. So please, for me, stop quoting that as proof that it really is about sin-management after all instead of the new life Jesus gave us. (I don’t aim this at you specifically, Jen, but the droves of people who offer this up again and again.)

        If we want to be Christlike, then our best bet is to offer the love He told us to offer, and constantly redirect people to Him. He knows! He will do what needs to be done! He will correct in that amazingly gentle and effective way He does that we don’t!! He will bring about the best results (since results are so important to most people). Thank you for stepping in here, Jen!

        • And I believe you can still love someone and encourage them to follow Jesus and to stop sinning. I don’t like to have my sin pointed out any more than another, but I do want my christian brothers and sisters to hold me accountable. God’s Word does not change regardless of whether culture does and I resent people who feed lies to people who are struggling like this (or in any other sin) encouraging them to continue living as they are rather than to follow Christ. I think there is a fine line of loving without encouraging someone to continue living apart from God (which is what we do when we choose to live in continued sin. In fact, I believe truly loving someone is to lovingly encourage them not to live separated from God. You twist it however you want but I cannot in good conscience encourage someone to live in sin. I can still love them and I’m frankly tired of people twisting the definition of “unconditional” love to mean “if you love me, you will support everything I do”. I believe God loves us no matter what, but I believe he has conditions for how we are to live and there will be a time if we continue to live in sin that He will step back and let us go our way until we come back on our own or He disciplines us.

          • Jenn- I can’t in good conscience believe that God would create a segment of humanity that is attracted to the same sex and then require them to fight that their entire existence. Meanwhile the rest of us are able to enjoy our own sexual preference without guilt or shame. What kind of God would do that?

            You either believe that the Bible is the absolute word of God, inspired by God or entirely contrived. If you take the first choice than there are hundreds of things in the Bible that you are not abiding by and have no room at all to judge others. Even if you do take the Bible literally, references regarding homosexuality are ambiguous and Jesus himself never even discusses it in the Gospels. “Do not judge or you too will be judged” – Matthew 7:1

          • Well, that’s where we disagree, Jen. You say, “encouraging them to continue living as they are rather than to follow Christ” — but don’t we always follow Him living as we are until He moves us forward? And who will move people from where they are better than Christ? Who knows which direction any of us need to go better than Christ? That is the whole point, Jen. That is the beauty of Christ! We look from the outside and hold each other accountable for sin we see, but we look at the outward appearance; God looks at the heart. Even if we do judge rightly, what plan do you have to stop sin? Who held those scoundrels accountable that Jesus hung out with? The worst kind of extortioners, prostitutes, drunkards! Jesus Himself was called illegitimate (John 8:41), mentally-ill (John 10:20), demon-possessed (Matt. 9:34; John 7:20), a blasphemer (Matt. 9:3; 26:65; Mark 2:7), a deceiver(John 7:12), and satan (Matt. 10:25). But that was man looking at the outward appearance. I know that I’m going counter to what is taught in most churches today, and if it’s too much, I understand that. I won’t blame you for not reading. But to continue to look at sin as something we can manage and hold to account, especially in each other, is to make a mockery of the cross! Jesus has so much more to do in us than to be sure we don’t do this or that. He is here to renew our minds and make us new. You believe gays are in sin but what do you know about your pastor’s sin? Sin-management will never produce life! Read Colossians 2:20-23: “…rules and regulations… have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion… but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.” Whoa! I’m not saying anything goes, Jen. I’m saying anything goes straight to Christ to direct in His time. We work from the outside-in and create an illusion of goodness (a grand illusion); Jesus works from the inside-out to create life. I take His life over anyone else’s illusion any day! Thank you for your heart in this, Jen.

      • Pastor Tony Campolo addresses this beautifully – and somberly: “Jesus said, ‘Love the sinner, and hate your OWN sin.’” We are far, far too concerned with others’ spiritual hygiene rather than our own, and Susan has done a pretty thorough job of explaining why we need to step aside and let the Holy Spirit do the convicting. In fact, her words remind me of what Billy Graham said when he was asked his thoughts re: homosexuality: “It’s the Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and my job to love.” I think he has it right.

    • Following Christ IS easy because Christ did everything on the Cross.

  39. Far be it from me to call “evil good and good evil.” And they are equally dangerous. To call something evil that is good is every bit as dangerous as calling something good that is evil. Remember God telling Peter not to call evil what He has declared clean? He was telling Him to eat non-kosher, to prepare him to bring the gospel to a whole group of people, previously considered unclean. How many times does God have to say something? He had to say it three times for Peter to believe it. Peter had it so in his mind, from the scriptures, that Gentiles were evil, that he couldn’t see it any other way. It requires kind of a new set of eyes to look at something we’ve already determined to say one thing or another. But considering how much is at stake for a whole group of people who have been marginalized, we owe it to them, to ourselves, to our community and to God to be sure we have it sorted out correctly, lest we call something unclean that He has declared clean. How are we to be holy? Not by parsing out what is okay and what isn’t, straight from the tree of knowledge, but in relationship with God through Jesus, depending on the tree of life, just as He told us. I hope that you will seek Him for eyes to see whatever He wants to show you regarding this issue. Thanks for your comment.

  40. Thank you for the tips and encouragement and enlightening. This is a frightening time indeed.

    • You’re welcome. As they always say, it’ll get better! Feel free to email me if you would like (through contact page). Thanks for writing.

      • Susan, we’re driving from Nashville to show our support for the ATL conference!! Can’t wait to meet you in person. This website and your courageous stance has changed my life. Our son is on a tour of the Mediterranean with Disney cruiselines right now, but myself, my husband, one of our daughter’s and son-in-law will be cheering you on!! November will be 2 years into this journey for us, and as unbelievable as it may sound to those who are currently trying to find their way, I wouldn’t go back to who I was before this revelation for anything in this world. I JUST LOVE BETTER IN EVERY WAY!!! I PROMISE it gets better!!!

  41. I’m so sorry for your hurt through this. This seems to be a sticking point for so many parents — more than any other thing. I’m sorry you’re on the receiving end of it. You might ask her to read my post, To Christian Parents of Gay Children http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/to-the-parents-of-gay-children/ or Why Hoping for Change Can Hurt http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/06/13/why-hoping-for-change-can-hurt/. I hope this gets resolved before your wedding. You can also suggest she email me if she’d like. Blessings to you. Susan

  42. Coming out to my parents was definitely the most scary thing I’ve ever done, and I waited 4 years to do so.. I was planning to never tell anyone, but .. things happened, and it didn’t work out – though I’m glad things did change when they did…

    • Big Hug to you – you are a brave person to let your family know. Be the Best Individual you can be – and I believe in you. Prayers lifted up for a wonderful fulfilling life :)

  43. Well said. These same responses are the ones we need for all the things we face with our kids- underage drinking, drugs, sex outside of marriage, cheating, lying. The list never ends. Why we make this so much bigger than the rest is beyond me. Thank you for your thoughts. Amy

  44. Thanks so much very helpful info

  45. I have read this blog and I must say this is why we need the truth taught even more.The truth is we are all born into sin. That is why God sent his son to die for us so we can have away to live a sinless life.
    This blog puts a black eye on the belief of GOD and the bible. If I were to follow this bloggers view points. I would not even want to go to church or believe in GOD. I am sorry but this is blog that discredits GOD and the bible.
    There is a reason that Homosexuality is talked about so much in the bible.
    There is a reason that GOD destroyed an entire city do to Sexual immorality.
    There is a reason Jesus said ” Go and sin no more”
    Homosexuality is a sin, there is no debate on that at all.

    Did you know the reason for the law was not to condemn is but to make us aware of sin. This is so we would strive to live a sinless life. Paul said that we are to press toward the mark of the upward call of Jesus.

    There is a point in this blog that said that we should pray to see Gods will for our kids. Read Jerm. 29:11. You will know.

    I am not saying by any means to condemn anyone that is Homosexual. I to feel we should show the Love of Jesus but at the same show all sinners the truth about continuous sin and what the final judgment will be.

    • Thank you for your comment. Homosexuality is referenced in 6 verses, out of 31,103 verses in the bible. God destroyed Sodom because of their selfish inhospitality, evidenced by their attempt to gang rape visitors to Lot’s house, Genesis 19. “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy,” Ezekiel 16:49. We are not to strive to live a sinless life. Instead, when asked what what works we are to do, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” Believing in Him is the work. He is the truth that sets us free, John 8:32. You’re right that the truth needs to be taught more; the truth we need taught even more is Jesus who will set us free. No one seek to live a sinless life, because Jesus said it’s impossible, we’d never make it. “For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” Matthew 5:20. Then He goes on to describe all the ways in which just thinking about sin is sin. Why? Because He wants us relying on Him, not on our own ability. We got nothin. In Him alone we get everything. There is no risk of final judgment for Christians. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If we would lift our eyes off of sin, and onto Jesus, we would truly be set free, and our sin (areas where we miss the mark) would fall right off. If we grasped His magnitude, we would realize the wonderful opportunity He offers us to abide in Him, rather than wallowing around in our own cesspool trying to find a way out. Best to you, Michael.

      • Susan, I LOVE how you always nail it in truth AND LOVE!!!! I am sure this has come from numerous hours of studying the Scriptures. Tyou!!

      • The Bible tells us to be more like him, (GOD), not man, GOD.
        We are to daily cleanse ourselves of our sins, and everyday try our best to not sin. Ask for directions from God to help us to live a pure life before Him.
        Yes we do strive to live a sinless life. Don’t mean we can, just means we are to get rid of all our sins by, walking in God’s foot steps. If we don’t try to be more like Jesus, and turn from our sins, and try our hardest to do right daily, and nightly, then we are not trying to be more like God.
        I personally choose to give my all to God, and let Him heal me, and teach me my ways. Man can not cleanse us, only God can.
        So when you say we are not to strive to not sin. That is wrong, we are to strive to turn our faces from temptation, and walk a holy life as best we can. If we know we are sinning and we do not try to stop it, or turn form it, then we are still sinners and not of God.
        I do have a gay son, I do love him as he is. But, I do not love the sin, and I will never stop praying for his soul, I will never give up. For God knows my heart, and God knows my son’s heart. So it is up to God, and it is up to my son.
        For God does not force us to worship Him, or follow Him. He gives us all a choice to either follow Him or Satan. He says I will spit you out of my mouth you that are lukewarm, either you are for me, or against me.
        I use to be that lukewarm person, and today God has taught me how to follow him with all my heart.
        We can’t be Christians and not try our hardest not to sin.
        But, that is how I believe, and I will always believe this. So many do, it is a conviction from God not man.

        • Frances, thank you for writing. I appreciate your heart, and I know this can strike a deep chord in us, this desire to try our best. But it’s important to let God do the change within us. We cannot cleanse ourselves, we cannot live a sinless life ourselves. God has to do it all through us. It sounds like a little thing, but it’s all the difference. Galatians 3:3 says, “Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” We easily put forth human effort instead of letting Christ be our righteousness, 1 Corinthians 1:30. When we strive not to sin, we have no peace. When Christ is our all in all, we have peace that is beyond understanding! Your son is fortunate to have a praying parent who loves him so much. Thank you for writing.

        • If you press the laws of God against your own heart, all that one can do is Thank God for Jesus cause there is no way I can please God by trying hard not to sin.

    • Actually… Homosexuality is only mentioned 3 times in the Old Testament. Along with “If a woman shall marry without being a virgin she shall be put to death.” Quit judging and show love. That’s what this is about. Christianity is supposed to be love, but mankind has soiled the bible and Christianity with hatred and verses picked and chosen by those teaching such hatred. Homosexuality is not mentioned “SO MUCH” in the Bible. Get your facts straight and stop showing your hatred and ignorance. “Ye without sin, CAST THE FIRST STONE!” Not so fast there Michael. Be careful now because if there is a hell, choose your words more carefully or you will wind up there yourself. Love overcomes hatred. SHAME ON YOU!

  46. I love this. Although, I would say that the process *is* about the parents, too, in its way. Parents, siblings, family members & close friends all have their *own* “coming out” process to deal with, which has its own, unique baggage. “What will the neighbors think?” is a valid question, as ridiculous as that sounded to me when I came out to my mother. I wanted to shout, “WHO CARES?!” but clearly, *she* cared. It didn’t change my path, but it opened my eyes and helped me to be a bit more compassionate in my fervor to be “out and proud”.

    • You are so wise Matthew, and something else is that we as parents have a very difficult time putting our children in the palm of our hands and holding them out there for the world to judge–you know, the old adage, I can say whatever I want about my own family, but woe be unto anybody else who hurts them–I held this card very closely to my heart until I gathered the strength to know if I let the world have a peek, I would also have the courage to defend in a CIVIL Christlike manner—in my fervency, I do not want to become what has broken in my own heart from others–

    • You are very right about that, Matthew. Thank you for pointing that out. It’s a process for all.

  47. T-you Rachel for pointing me in this direction and THANK-YOU Susan for having the COURAGE to take this journey!! I grew up in an SBC (Southern Baptist Church)all of my life, taught every group there was to teach, sang in the choir, worked tirelessly in the youth department, and truly believed in every “pat” answer we are given for the “whys” within Christianity. The most hurtful and shameful teaching, in so many ways, has been that I swallowed the beliefs about “gay lifestyle” hook, line and sinker. I will grieve over that for the rest of my life because this belief came through in raising my own wonderful children, and I would give anything to take a GIANT eraser and erase every careless, painful thought, statement and word from their lives. I take some solace in knowing that now that I KNOW BETTER, I WILL DO BETTER!!

    Believing these teachings so fervently, I REFUSED to allow the questions in my heart to bubble up to the surface of my soul for so very long. I saw small things in our son that may or may not lead one to think their child is gay, but since he isn’t real effiminate, I kept telling myself not to stereotype. I spoke with several Youth Ministers about my slight concerns and was ALWAYS TOLD TO PRAY OVER HIM and this will go away. In fact, I always noticed even though these people were called to work with our young people they were VERY UNCOMFORTABLE discussing most things to do with sexuality at all—-(that’s so odd being that that is the one topic they need so badly to be comfortable with discussing). I continued to PREACH and TEACH our children that homosexuality was wrong every time the topic was brought up or even when something on TV covered a “GAY” issue currently in the news. In my mind, I truly BELIEVED, GOD AS MY WITNESS that this was a choice.

    As time went on and our son entered college, I began to feel more and more uneasy about his lack of talking about dating or girls. I felt something wasn’t quite right, but never once gave him a place of grace or mercy to lay his precious tortured soul. UGH!!!!!! That still TEARS ME UP to type that out—but it is the truth and I know it–ugh!!! Our son waited until he was 26 yrs old to tell us he was gay. TWENTY-SIX YEARS OLD to come to his CHRISTIAN mother who PRIDED herself on ALWAYS being able to talk to young people so easily etc. etc. We didn’t blow a fuse, but as much as my husband and I had discussed this possibility, it still came as quite a blow. Ultimately, in our world, his coming out of the closet, meant our going in. We shut totally down for awhile and found each other crying in closets and walking the floors at night with broken hearts.

    We found out our son ws gay on November 5th and he came home for a visit during the Christmas Holidays. I have actually laughed about this with him, but at the time, I was sooooooo backwards when it came to this issue that I was trying to prepare my face in the airport for the moment our eyes would meet as he walked toward me in the terminal, and I even promised myself if he walked towards me in a checkered Britney Spears outfit, I would run towards him–LOL!! How ignorant, huh? LOL!!! He didn’t come towards me as anybody else, but his very handsome 6’5″ chiseled bone structered self!! He was that same ADORABLEY PRECIOUS baby that I was absolutely in love with, he was that same son who loved to aggravate and torture his sisters with his hilariously funny pranks, he was that same teenager who tried so desperately to find his place in this world, he was the young man who had endured a grueling schedule at a very demanding vocal program at a well known School of the Arts. He was and IS an amazingly articulate, caring, funny, hard-working, intelligent and sensitive young man.

    One night as he and I stayed up talking late into the night, I was still trying hard to understand, he looked at me with his penetratingly beautiful blue eyes and used 2 words that I have never heard him use in his entire life. He just doesn’t speak like this at all, but he frustratingly said, “Mom, if you suspected that I maight be gay, why couldn’t you ever give me a place of “mercy or grace” to share? I still get cold chills when I remember that night because It wasn’t my son speaking, but Jesus speaking through him in the only way HE knew I would ever be able to hear. From that very moment on, something began to change inside me and I began to read and study EVERYTHING I could put my hands on–(NO, not conservative Christian literature where James Dobson says, this is a choice and has to do with the father/son relationship. Our son couldn’t have a father who loves him any more than my husband does. A father who took all of the children camping all by himself while I went back to college and even coached our son’s bball teams. There are differences in their personalities, that may not make them always interested in the same things, but I see MANY father/sons with different interests who aren’t gay. This theory makes no sense whatsoever, and what about single parents??)

    As I began to truly study this topic, I learned that I’ve been so VERY WRONG—it’s actually embarrassing. I KNOW people who haven’t experienced this journey with a person they are willing to die for ( not a distant uncle or third cousin, but someone you would truly die for) will continue to struggle with this issue because as much as it breaks my heart to say this, I am afraid, had I not been blessed with our son, I would still be that same person I was before–ugh!!! Soooo glad to be free of that. As the majority of young people do, our son struggled with coming to terms with being gay. He NEVER CHOSE this–it’s who he is. I too am looking forward to finding a way to work with this type of ministry. I could literally fall to the floor when I confront the heartaches this group has faced by “Christian” people. It GRIEVES my heart to no end, but I want to make it very clear, that as I took this journey, there was an EVER ABIDING PRESENCE on every walk I took and every prayer I prayed. God gave me glimpses of Himself that I have never before seen. There are so many unanswered questions when it comes to Christianity, but there is one thing I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW, and that is that God LOVES all of HIS children and HIS heart aches when ours does.

    Our son, isn’t involved in church, and to be very honest we have found ourselves to be somewhat distant too lately. Why in the world would he want to go to a place where HE IS TURNED AWAY unless of course he denounces who he is, and why would his mother and father want to be in a place that would not accept our son for who he is—especially if as some Christians believe WE were the ones to make him gay—AHHHHHHHH!!!! Many churches literally believe they have the right to turn one of God’s children away from GOD’S HOUSE—WOW!!!!! Yes!! There will be a day of reckoning over this!! How in the world are GLBT people suppose to come to know who Jesus is when they aren’t allowed on the membership roles? AHHHHHHHH!!!!! There is an ENTIRE generation of people running as fast as they can from knowing their Creator because of Christians???????? WOW!! This upsets me in case you can’t tell… I MISS church. I never in a million years thought I would ever be anything but Baptist, but honestly, I just can’t do it anymore–We plan to look for a church where you can be made in any shape and “fit” for the simple reason that we are all a children of God–

    One more thing, and I promise I will close, but to all of you GLBT people, I ask your forgiveness from the deepest part of my heart, and I want you to know that I believe you are the BRAVEST most COURAGEOUS people in the world. You are here for a reason, and you have truly taught me how to LOVE, and for that I will be forever grateful. I look so forward to finding my place along side you in this journey.

    **Loved Jason Lee’s book Torn and also recommend, Does Jesus Really Love Me by Jeff Chu—a Gay Christian’s Pilgrimage in Search of God in America ( a look at how so many people who follow the same God and the same Scriptures have such a wide range of opinions)

    • I read this and just wanted to cheer! I’m so happy for you that you left yourself open to the opportunity to hear God in your son’s words and to let that change your heart and mind. I know exactly what you mean about fearing you will see your child differently or react badly…then having that moment where you realize that they are exactly the same person they always were! Bless you and your family on this journey.

      • Thank-you—-it’s been a process. Bless you too!!

        • Carol, we have almost identical stories. If you would be open to connecting, would you email me at lesigelatcomcastdotnet?

          • Wow…love, love, love this. My son came out to me a few months ago. He is 19. We could always talk about things. My husband is southern Baptist as well. Believes it is a choice. Right now my husband does not know. I told my son when he is ready, if ever, he can tell his father. I was raised Lutheran. I now view myself as Christian…man has interpreted the Bible and built some churches that twist the message of the Bible. Be careful where you seek the truth. :) Early on, going to a few diff churches I saw the double standards Christians put on each other and how they walked the so called Christian walk. We all fall short, and as I sit here and type and judge shame on me. I am just truthfully stating what I have experienced. I immediately had a broken heart for my son, yet we talked so openly about the entire topic. I wrote on my son’s senior page that we loved him unconditionally and would always believe in him. That holds to this day. I have wrapped my arms around my son even more and do pray that he discovers why God has this plan for him. I have drawn closer to God and I am continuing to email my son and answer his questions the best I can. I have encouraged him to look at this web site and to seek God and a good support system. I do believe that the actions or life style of the homosexual are a sin, per the bible. It is about choices and being in control of one’s free will…that is where I am with it today. :) :) We all must walk our own journey and come to things on our own. We must walk through the pain and events to get a true understanding of what it is to be a born again Christian and to commit to walking with Jesus. We can pray, encourage, give grace, mercy and love…but each individual must open up their heart and soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. I told my son, maybe it is his calling to finish his degree in psychology to help others and their families to grow closer to God who have children, family members or friends who are LGBT. :)
            Who better to preach it and understand it then some one who has lived it , and lives it now?
            I always preached that a lot of times doing the right thing means standing alone, yet you are not alone, for Jesus is with you. :)
            One only needs 5 good friends on face book, not 3,000 fake ones.
            Seek God and I so pray that God seeks you.
            This conversation needs to happen.
            Think how many LGBT people we could bring to Christ and support if we would love them and not judge them!!!! God loves the homosexual…not homosexuality. (Act of).
            I like to say struggling Christian…not necc Gay Christian…..
            Be blessed.
            May the lord Jesus Chris be the keeper of your soul.

          • Thank you, Samantha. Keep up the struggle — God always meets us there. He always helps us in our authentic struggle. When we judge, we’ve closed off the struggle, the honest inquiry, and then we don’t hear anymore. You might want to look at some of the excellent sites on my resources page and ask God to show you. My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not. That’s my only place I would challenge you. Thank you for your willing and tender heart!

    • I hear ya! I too raised my children in a Southern Baptist Church and am proud to say that is in my past. My gay son is such a blessing and now he doesn’t want to attend church at all but is a believer. He came out to me while in college and has never been happier. I was told the hardest conversation a gay son will have is with his mother. We were so very close but now I am so ashamed that taking him to church, church camps etc. has only make him want nothing to do with church because he is gay and feels like “damaged goods” in the eyes of the church. We are growing together in this journey and I see how much love I was withholding because of false beliefs. I just want to love! That’s all! Just love as Jesus loved.
      Linda

    • You have shared my heart. I am looking for other Christian moms to chat and grow with. My son is gay. God started showing me this when he was just a toddler but I buried the revelation deep in my heart hoping God would change him. Now I know better.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story :)

      It put a pit in my stomach to think of myself as I read it – it was me – I too wondered if my son was gay – and am just sick I never mentioned anything to him – but how do we do that anyway? Becasue if they are straight, how uncomfortable that would be.

      Anyway, our son told us in May he was gay – he is 18. He was away at school. He told us in the parking lot just before we drove away. There he sat on a park bench with a friend – I cried – becasue I was leaving my baby who just told us this most important news – EVER!!!! and I was leaving him. He later called to say he wanted it that way. He wanted his dad and I to talk about it and bring any questions next time we saw him.

      Knowing this is his journey – but shared with him, Im on this journey too.

      Like you, my son and I would stay up late talking. He is my baby – I have always felt a closeness to him.

      He had asked me to let family members know before he headed off to college – as he was afraid of rejection, being disowned, etc. But each situation was the same – “he is our Matthew and nothing will change that – he is the same little blonde baby boy” “Hes still our Matthew”

      I have only reached out to 2 friends at this time – I do not feel it is my place to talk about my sons sexuality – but should the conversation arise about ‘Does he have a girlfriend?” I am prepared to answer, “:No and he doesnt have a boyfriend either” :)

      God is good – He made us in His Image. And God does not make mistakes – My son is a awesome gift from God – I love him so much!

      And I will welcome his partner/boyfriend when he does have one.

      I pray for the Courage for other individuals who need to make their announcement – with joy & acceptance and the Strength of parents to welcome and embrace the news!

      Big Hug to you for sharing your story! Peace and God bless.

    • I could have written your story…..:)

      “God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad of our greatest calling. He turns our scars into stars. Turns our pain into our pulpit.”
      From a coach at our Christian School…where at least the teachers pray for all our children and they are not thrown out for being LGBT.
      God is working…..overtime…..:)

    • Thank you for sharing your story, Carol.

  48. This is a wonderful post. Thank you for writing it. I would like to add;

    Do not assume your child hates or is turning his or her back on God. Many gay people love God. Many have left the church after being made very unwelcome there, try to avoid that happening in your family and in your church.

    • 100% agreed! That is exactly right. Just talked to a mom today who was made very unwelcome because her son is gay. What?? How do we justify this? The church will need to learn how to love unconditionally or it is going to become irrelevant. It’s already happening. It’s Jesus’ main instruction that sums up all the rest: love God, love others. I think the church is running out to time to learn it, before the culture cuts it out completely. It’s not because they rejected Christ either, but they rejected the lack of love and the legalism of the church. Tragic. I fear how the church is going to have to learn this one!
      Thank you so much for your comment.

      • Very true. Exclusion is driving people from churches and ultimately God. My hope is for all to understand that religions were created by man and not God. Even more important is to understand that the relationship we have with God belongs to us and no one else.

      • I too lost friends when my 16 year old child came out. For the most part it was people who were shocked that I didn’t kick her out of the house.
        No one likes to be rejected but I realized that if they really thought I would kick my teenager out of the house they never really knew me. And I guess I never knew them either.
        So it was sad in a way, but not very. It was mostly just good to know the truth.
        Sharon

        • Well, that’s hard to go through, isn’t it? Been there done that. You know, someone very wise taught me that our condition at our worst reveals us the most. To kick your child out for being gay certainly reveals that person, doesn’t it? So sorry you had to go through that. Frankly, I think God sometimes weeds people out for us! Best to you, and you love that girl of yours. She’s a gift from God.

  49. I am so grateful to have found this after reading Rachel Held Evans’ Sunday Superlatives. I know that God led me to this, because I was awake most of the night in despair over what I and/or my husband did to “make” our adult son gay. But we knew that he was different from our other kids very, very early on – I mean, he was a teeny little guy and was already causing us to wonder. So many of my Christian friends have faded away because they think I must be a bad parent, and I’ve had people tell me that, by supporting my son, I’m enabling sinful behavior and am sending him straight to hell. The past 4 years have been pretty hellish, actually, so it’s hard to imagine much worse – mainly because our son is openly gay, and I have battled feeling so ashamed. We’ve had so little support from the Christian community, it’s appalling. I feel like I have to hide, and that’s anti-Christian. My husband and I have accepted that our son is gay, and we are loving and supportive, but it’s that much more difficult without “back-up” from family and friends. It’s a lonely road. This is why I’m so grateful to have stumbled on your blog. It is, quite literally, an answer to prayer.

    • Oh, I’m so glad you stumbled across it too! I know it can’t be easy for you. So sorry that Christians are the ones making it hard. :( So so sad. Since when does behavior send us to hell? They might reread John 3:16… “whoseover believes…” I’m so glad God is showing you that you are NOT a bad parent. :) Yes, this week I’m going to write a love letter to gay teens. You might want to look over the blog for previous posts that might help you, too. I hope you subscribe, so you get the new posts. Bless your heart and let me know if I can be any help!

    • Thank you for being such a wonderful supportive family to your son. It means more than you know. The others don’t matter one bit. The best thing my mom did was leave the church in support of me. I’ve worked in a lot of churches as a musician in the past. My church is at home and in my heart and how I treat people. Sometimes you find nicer people in a bar. :-) You seem to be doing everything perfectly. Trust me, you’re on a different level and more enlightened then the others. They’ll know at some point in time.

    • Please, please know that you ARE being a wonderful parent by supporting your child! I also want to reassure you that there are Christian churches and denominations where you won’t have to hide, where you will find the love and support you need. The Episcopal Church does NOT subscribe to the idea that homosexuality is a choice or a sin, and ordains openly gay clergy. You have options, and loving your child is always the right choice. Praying for you!!

    • Thank you Susan for your blog! Religion and interpretation of the Bible take on many forms and make this issue very hard to deal with for many. Keep up the good work.

    • I’m so sorry you’ve been rejected by church and treated so badly. There are churches that are accepting—you might want to check out the UCC or the Unfundamentalist Christians Facebook page. There are a lot of people who have been where you are, or who haven’t, but who aren’t going to reject you.

    • Wow, I have been praying for a group like this. I don’t know who to talk to anymore. I have been in the closet with most of my christian family because I am scared of their reactions. My son is gay and I love him and his partner. Is it wrong to accept his partner too? I am struggling with my own heart. It feels right to love both of them. Is that what Jesus would do? Would he condemn the relationship? I just don’t believe he would. Please share with me. I am open and hungry for transparent fellowship.

      • Love is never the wrong choice. Love your son, love his partner, love that in this difficult world they have found the person that eases their path and makes their heart a home.

      • I’m so happy! Thanks for finding and commenting. Definitely, it’s right to love them both. I see no exceptions to Jesus’ admonition to love others. He loved lavishly, fully and surprisingly — to the point that such love would mark a watching and hurting world. We were designed for open and transparent fellowship — it provides something nothing else provides. Feel free to email me if you like, on the contacts page. Blessings to you.

      • I also need and hunger for transparency. I have been just following my heart and always turning to what the meaning of love means. I think Jesus wants me love all. My son, his partner, their friends, my friends, those who judge etc. It is not for me to judge them either or to keep them at a distance because I don’t believe the same they do. Love. Just love. That’s what Jesus would do

        • You are so right. It’s exactly what Jesus would do. Just over dinner I was hearing about teens whose parents have thrown them out over this. I do not understand in what universe that is justified. Tragic. Your son, partner, friends are fortunate to have you. Bless you on your journey.

  50. Thank you so much! As the father of a gay son, I see the hatred displayed by “straight” people, by my friends, church going Christians and non-Christians. My son is a God fearing young man, who attends a church that loves him and his partner. His partner is a Vice President of a credit union. My son is a paramedic, out there everyday, savings lives. Both are fine young men, who have been together for many years and both are God loving men! God loves them, too, this I know!

  51. This is a great article. I wish this was available to me when I came out to my family. I am in a very happy relationship where we both equally parent as mothers to two beautiful children. I am blessed!

  52. Scripture teaches sexual immorality is a sin. It teaches that homosexuality is a sin. Adultery is a sin. Stealing is a sin. Pride is a sin. The list goes on, all of which Christ paid the penalty for in His death on the cross and none of which should be taken lightly. While they are all sin and equal in Gods eyes, the consequences are very different.
    Yes we need to love our children and be there for them but never allow them to think sin is ok. Gods Word is our guide, not our feelings or emotions even if experienced in prayer. If it doesn’t line up with scripture it’s not truth. The Word says to “test the spirits” so even allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you must be governed by Gods Word. There is freedom from sin Galatians 5:13, Galatians 5:16, 1 Peter 2:16, 1 Peter 2:21-24, Romans 6, Romans 8
    I’m not speaking as one who has little sin. I have done terrible things that I regret and that I am constantly having to remind myself of Christs forgiveness for and that I will experience the consequences of for the rest of my life.
    Follower of Christ, mother of 6

    • Thank you, Tiffany. I do not make light of sin — it cost Jesus His life. But what are we going to do with it? All the sin listed in the Old Testament was given in context of relationship with God. Adam and Eve, Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, all knew God conversationally. The Holy Spirit does supersede the written word or else Peter never would have eaten non-kosher (against the written word at the time) and then been able to reach the Gentiles. Hosea never would have married a harlot (against the written word), and thus shown us a picture of God’s amazing grace. We are NOT under law, but under grace. Grace means the life that Jesus gives us. We are not under law but under the life of Christ. In Genesis, God tells us NOT to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil (how we see right and wrong) but from the tree of Life (Jesus, the way the truth and the life, guiding us specifically through the Holy Spirit). I appreciate your heart, and I know life can get very demanding, especially as a mother of 6! (I have 5.) But without the relationship to guide us, the rules are dead in the water. We’ve all done terrible things! But Jesus has freed us from those things — yea! — so we no longer have to feel condemned. (Don’t call unclean — including us — what God has declared clean! Acts 10:15). I challenge you, with all love, in the idea that you will reap the consequences for the rest of your life. The Bible says we reap what we sow, but only for that season. You don’t continue to reap green beans you planted when you were 25! They come up and go down, and if you don’t plant them again, you don’t reap them again. Would you continue to remind your grown son of the time he broke the lamp when he was 8? Of course not! That’s the beauty of life in Christ. He cleanses us from all unrighteousness. I challenge all of us not to live under false guilt when Jesus has already wiped the slate clean. Once it’s over, it’s over. It’s so tempting to try to live according to the law, but there is no freedom in that. We are freed from the law of sin and death — hallelujah! Thank you for writing, and bless you and your family.

      • Yes once its over its over
        We are to repent and turn away from the sin. Grace is not an excuse to continue sinning and living as you have. If we are not under the law do we disregard the 10 commandments? Of course not.

        • It’s interesting you say that because the Hebrews tried for centuries to follow the 10 Commandments and couldn’t do it. They seems fairly straightforward, and there are only ten of them, yet they constantly tripped over themselves! Following the law leads only to repeated failure — so what do we do with it? Paul tells us in Galatians 3:24 that the law only serves as a tutor to bring us to Christ, but once we are with Him, we no longer need the tutor. I know it’s tricky, because so much teaching is about following the law, and that fits our human thinking. But Romans 7:4 says we are dead to the law and alive to Christ! Yea! Christ supersedes the law! Thank God because we’re no good at following it (you saw how Jesus ratcheted up the righteous requirements in Matthew 5, to make sure no one thought they could keep it). Instead, Christ fulfills the law through us. Aah! Now that is appealing! Thank you for writing, Dusty.

  53. I blamed myself for years for my two children being this way,due to a divorce. Both parents loves their children and still to this day are very close.I stronly believe it is in their genes,and can’t be helped. Especailly when you know you had one that cried and begged not to be this way. I started out read your BIBLE. He has as religious degree,so he knows what is right and wrong. I am so thankful we have the relationship we do. He at first told me he would not come around if I wished. This hurt memore than him szaying he was gay to know he would think I would never have anything to do with him.
    m e

    • Oh. Well, unfortunately, many parents don’t want their gay kids around. Very very sad. I’m so glad you’ve come to peace with who your kids are. How many straight kids are from divorced homes? I don’t know why God allows what He does, but I know with all the prayers gay kids have prayed to become straight, if that were the goal, you’d think God would have answered those prayers. Maybe instead it’s an opportunity for those who claim His name to learn to love well, the way He asked us! God bless your heart, and guide you on your ongoing journey — even with its ups and downs. You’ve done a good job, Mama!

  54. NOTHING can diminish my love for my son. Sadness and grief, can sure make him feel otherwise. That breaks my heart! I’m thankful that you have given parents a guide to loving our children, wholly!

  55. Thank you for this article, Susan. So many Christians “shy” away from this topic, so I think it’s great for have healthy and open discussions. We end up educating ourselves and others.
    I also find that society can play a significant role in the formation of one’s gender identity (of course we know that those around you contribute to shaping who you are). For example, I was not your stereotypical girl that wore dresses and played with dolls etc. I just enjoyed being more around boys and playing their games. What I’m getting at is that certain people can make you believe that there’s a problem with that, thus making you believe that there is something wrong with you. A good friend of mine (who just happens to be gay) told me that before he even knew what it meant to be gay, other boys would tease him for being “soft” and called him “faggot” and all kinds of other names to belittle him. Such occurences can lead to self-discrimination and confusion.
    For a long time I was estranged from God because I thought that he disliked me for feeling “different,” but when I eventually found the right group of friends, they convinced me of God’s unconditional love for me (and I saw it through them). I know i have a long way to go (and so do all of us, because Christianity is a journey), but at least I can approach my heavenly Father with an open and honest heart. Through my relationship with him, I am discovering so much about myself and my sexuality. Sometimes the revelations are painful, at other times they are a joy. As Christians we all need to learn to heed the voice of the Holy Spirit to guide us in the right path because we are not always going to agree with what our pastors, parents and friends say. It also secures us in our identity. I have entered a place where no matter what negative thing a person has to say to me, I am confident in Christ’s love and acceptance.
    Thank you once again. May God bless you and keep you.

    • You’re most welcome, Sandra, and thank you for your kind words. It definitely is a journey! We do need to know God’s unconditional love, and people around us who understand that. I’m glad you found people who grasp His love. God bless you on this path of discovery.

  56. When I was a young woman, my “Christian” family disowned me in the name of God because I fell in love with, and married a divorced man five years my elder. We have been married for almost 40yrs., and every day I Praise God for this loving and Godly man. Our third son, and our only daughter, are gay (her twin brother is not) out of five healthy and happy children. I continue to Praise God each and every day for reminding me it is my responsibility to continually learn discernment through the Holy Spirit, not worship the dictates of a particular church or religion. As Christian parents, actively working in our church, we were gossiped about, and shunned when our children came out as homosexuals. Surely, it was said, we had done something in our past to cause this to come upon our children, right? God does not make mistakes! I Praise God each and every day for proving that only His opinion matters!

    • Aw, so sorry to hear about your difficulties with your family, but so grateful you have let God use them to conform you to the image of Christ! (That’s what trials are there for, aren’t they?) What a beautiful gift your children have in you. The people asked Jesus whose sin made the man blind and He said, no one’s, it’s for God’s glory! (And then He healed him!) What a great conclusion to know that it’s only God’s opinion that matters. Blessings.

  57. I agree with you on some aspects however, parenting doesn’t stop at 18. Our behavior in how we manage our lives shows an example to the adult child. I would still love the sinner; but I would make it clear that this in NO way excuses the sin. Many who were homosexual have found freedom through God. It is a choice and one that should be taken seriously.

    • Well, here’s what I’ve discovered. I was just writing on the multi-layeredness of this issue for my next blog. I agree with you that by their own testimony, many have found freedom (to use their words) from homosexuality. But I also know that most never do, and many are at peace with it. (Some are not.) Most claim that they had no experience of choice about it. In fact, they prayed it would go away and it never did. In that case, what do you do? Do you seek out means to change them? Do you promise a change that for the vast majority, statistically speaking, doesn’t happen? Something those who have run Exodus for decades rarely if ever saw? As for our children, or anyone else, whose job is it to change anything? I can’t even find freedom from my own issues — God has to bring that. I cannot possibly find it for another, or somehow require it of them. Jesus is not about conditional approval, and He’s NOT about behavior modification. He’s about life in Him, and us trusting Him to lead us where we need to go. (I write extensively about this in my parenting book, How Not to Lose Your Teen, on the BOOKS page.) I totally agree about being an example, and the best example is abiding in Christ like a branch on a vine. What other example can I be? (Good behavior didn’t get it — look at Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees, who were darn near perfect!) I just had a heart-to-heart with Jesus earlier about this whole thing. The more I see, the more I know it is not black and white. I really recommend Torn by Justin Lee for a real inside view on the struggles associated with it. We cannot deny others’ struggles and say, just choose differently. We’ve seen the fallout from thet everywhere, haven’t we? Thank you so much for your comment, Sariah. God bless you and your family.

      • Very well said. I know my son cried and begged God to change him and it didn’t happen. I know with all my heart God still loves my child. I have had to accept the fact my 2 children are,and let it go. If not you can not have the mother and child relationship that you need to have.

    • Sariah, A simple reply to your statement is it’s wrong. It’s very unfortunate that you think and believe this way. Until you walk in the shoes of others, ignorance will remain in your path…

  58. Thank you for this. It’s something I need right now.

  59. When my daughter finally came out to me, I was not surprised by the revelation, and had already prepared for and envisioned my reaction. It was met with the same love and acceptance as anything else she has shared with me. Bottom line: she is still and will always be my child, my beloved firstborn. What did surprise me was my period of personal mourning…mourning the loss of the future I had imagined for her. In talking with a good friend who also has a gay daughter, she helped me to name my feelings and see them for what they were: MY issue. My daughter was still the same person I adored, so I worked through my feelings with my friends (not my daughter). It saddens me how many parents would rather throw away their relationship with their own child than to confront and work through their feelings.

    • Beautiful. So well stated. I appreciate your heart so much. You have really stated the problem well – we hit a wall in our own feelings, and then want to stop that suffering, so we turn on our child to change, to relieve our own mourning. How unfair to them. Bless you for recognizing that and working it out with friends instead of your daughter. What love and wisdom. Thanks for writing.

  60. Susan, thank you for your post. In one post, you’ve managed to describe the thought process that took me more than 10 years to get through on my own! I wish I’d had this article to give my deeply conservative non-denominational Christian parents when I came out to them at age 21…but better late than never!

  61. I do like this post but claiming that “most christians” feel homosexuality is a sin is just wrong. In Britain, at least, The large majority still identify as christian and there is overwhelming support for LGBT rights.

    It’s more an article on how to cope with being bigoted, surely it should be more open your mind a little and let God’s love show you the real way.

    Frankly if you are in a Church that excludes anyone for any reason (other than causing harm to other people in the church) then that Church does not follow Christ’s teachings and you either need to help it to solve its problems or go somewhere else.

  62. This is a wonderful post, thank you so much. Also, the story of Linda And her son Ryan was incredibly powerful. I wish every Church would read your blog so they can better understand the vulnerability of LGBT individuals, and how they need caring for, just like everyone else!

  63. From someone who has spent years wondering if there was something wrong with me for loving someone of the same gender, and yet believing in God…a God whom I love so dearly that it hurts…thank you. Reading this blog, these comments – it has helped to heal a very torn piece of my soul. The realization that God does love me. That God will not abandon me. I needed so badly to read some of the comments here.

    I feel burdened because my parents threatened a long time ago that they would harm me, should I ever “become gay”. As an adult, I am still fearful of that. I can’t have children (I have medical issues that prohibit it), but if I could, I would raise my children with love and integrity. I would also raise my children to love the Lord. And regardless of their orientation, I would love them.

    Thank you for soothing a part of my soul that desperately needed to be soothed. God bless.

  64. Beautiful work, Susan! The world, and especially the LGBT community, needs more Christians like you!

  65. I was raised in a conservative church. My beautiful daughter came out to me 16 years ago and I was grieved to the core and heart sick. But I let her know that although I loved her and would never reject her, I had to be faithful to the Bible and could not condone her “choice”. I hoped one day she would admire me for the resolve of my faith. For 16 years I prayed for her that God would deliver and heal her. Then God answered my prayers. Only He didn’t change her; He changed me. Just this year, on the recommendation of a friend, I read Justin Lee’s book, “TORN”. I began to do my own research. I have a background in the medical field, and I believe that science is the study of how God “did it”. I learned that for the first time in the history of mankind, scientific research protocols have been applied to sexual orientation and the current results are that SO is the result of prenatal maternal hormones that may influence inherited genetics. I read about the brain studies, and genetic statistics. I could not accept that God would create people only to reject and condemn His own creation. I know throughout the history of the Church, whenever new scientific research seems to disagree with the scriptures, the Church has rejected it until sometimes centuries later, the Church recants and apologizes. (Galileo, black people, left handed people, women, etc…) I also have had some Biblical Hebrew. I learned that King James was flagrantly gay and his translators saw their task as a way to shame and control him. So I went to those “gay bashing” scriptures and reviewed them in the original language, consulted experts in the field, and read everything I could get my hands on in the internet. Here’s what I learned; God is not talking about homosexuality in those verses; He is forbidding pagan Baal fertility sex worship. I can explain this in detail if you like, but it would take a great deal of space. If you’re interested, let me know. But I will tell you this. The ancient word for homosexual was saris (sarisim, pl.) It is never used in these verses. It means one who will not procreate, and is translated eunuch. I believe that when Jesus listed three types of sarisim in Matthew 19: 12, He, knowing all things, including science and genetics, was speaking of sexual orientation when He said that some “are so born from their mother’s womb.” So we all are “fearfully and wonderfully made”. God knows us before we are conceived and wants to work His perfect purpose in ALL of us.

    • I’m so grateful that you were willing to listen for God to show you, whatever He wanted to show you. Well done on seeking until you found – we should all do that!

    • I would like to get the greater detail on the Baal fertility sex worship that you offered. I was not blessed with parents that loved unconditionally and many parts of the Bible were thrown at me.

    • As a lesbian raised by Christian parents who had a similar response to yours when I came out 13 years ago, your post gives me hope that someday they will come to the same realization you have. Thank you for sharing this.

  66. I was very lucky. My mother is Jehovah witness, and my father was catholic. They only had 2 kids which my brother came out first. First think my mom said was “at leased I have a chance for grand children from Clyde”. That pushed me further in the closet. I didn’t come out till 3 years later, and just like with my brother they were ever accepting. I met the love of my life 7 years ago. Both his parent’s are hard core Catholics. I have met his mother, and she loves me. I have yet to meet his father, and doubt I ever will.

  67. I HOPE MY MOTHER COULD READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS, I AM 32 YEARS OLD AND EVEN CRY BECAUSE MY MOTHER LOVES ME BUT SHE LOVES PROPHESIES SON IN HER PRAYERS, BUT THAT PERSON NOT LOOK LIKE ME

  68. Thank you! I pray my mother will one day accept who I am and the man I love.

  69. Also, this is a lovely post. Thank you from an LGBTQ person.

  70. When my daughter had her first romantic relationship – it turned out to be with a girl. I am ever so grateful that she choosed to share that with me and her father. We had to protect her, and her love, from bullies all over. But she let us do that.
    Thank you for you words. It made me stronger for the next fight with the world.

  71. Thanks. Just thanks. God bless.

  72. Thank you for a positive message! We CAN be proud of our gay children and look forward to the future with them. It may not be what we dreamed for them and that dream is the source of our grief. Once we see that a new dream will be just as amazing that includes and not excludes God’s direction, then we can move forward with great anticipation for what is ahead for our Mother/child relationship no matter what age.

  73. Very wonderful, beautiful post. The whole time I was reading this, I was thinking of the film “Prayers for Bobby.” I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s an amazing (and sad) film.

  74. I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for this writing! Beautiful! I hope it helps and even saves many!

  75. You are born gay not made gay…who created you?

    • Developmental psychologists point out that twins too often turn out one gay, one straight, which nullifies the “born that way” or “genetic” theory. A healthy and early father-son relationship begins the male gender identification process in boys that fulfills the need to connect with the man’s world that leads to a healthy heterosexual development by adolescence. Read Dr. James Dobson’s book Bringing Up Boys, especially ch. 9 about what happens when that father-son relationship is sufficiently disrupted. Homosexuality is an unfulfilled need for that father’s love that went unmet starting early in that male gender identification process. “Born that way” is a cop out that ignores this because parents do not want to be blamed for causing homosexuality in their sons.

      • James Dobson makes up excuses to practice and teach hate. Not interested.

      • Edward, I appreciate your idea, but it doesn’t answer all the questions. The reparative drive theory you’re talking about is full of holes in the research and doesn’t stand up even to observation; for instance, plenty of boys with strong father-relationships are gay, and plenty of boys with fractured father-relationships are straight. These don’t even begin to address the far more complex topic of women’s sexuality. Check out Justin Lee’s Torn, chapter 5, for a fresher view of current theories. The more research is done, the more evidence points to genetics as central in most people’s sexual orientation, but nothing has been proven. As you research, I encourage you to remain open to new information, rather than grabbing something to fit what you already believe. That will bring you the best insight. Thank you for commenting.

      • There have also been many psychological and neurological studies that show that many people are “born that way”. One theory has to do with a maternal virus that may have been contracted during the formation of the gametes.

        Also, if homosexuality is “an unfulfilled need for the father’s love that went unmet starting early in that male gender identification process”, how do you explain lesbians?

        • Twins are also usually different from each other in certain physical traits. One “identical” twin may grow up to be slightly taller than the other. At what point did one choose to be taller, and should they be forced to walk in a ditch for the rest of their lives to even things back to what we assume God intended? It makes as much sense as asking one to pretend to be straight.

      • So when did you choose to be straight? Also Im pansexual, so I like boys girls, intersex, and transgender persons. Your theories are stuck in a male gender in an outdated gender binary. You have a very limited view and I also suggest you do some research to expand it. What about lesbians, bisexual persons, and people like me who are pansexual/queer and like lots of kinds of people.

      • ….so in the situations where one twin is gay and the other is not…the father only loved one of them?

      • James Dobson is no theologian, and quite honestly, this kind of teaching causes such damage to parents who know they have followed all of these “rules” and still end up having a gay child. My husband coached our son’s t-ball teams, took him camping etc. etc. My sister on the other hand, whose does not have a gay child, was a single slightly overbearing mom whose son had NO male relationships in his life at all. What about fathers who go off to war—talk about an interruption in a child’s life—all of those sons do not end up gay. Dr. Dobson’s theory is FULL of holes. The sad thing is, we read all of his books when we were young parents because we wanted to bring our children up in what we believed then was the best way possible. Then, after doing all of these things and finding out your child is still gay, you learn the “truth.” My heart breaks for young parents now who will one day walk the floors wondering, where did we go wrong because of false teachings like the above mentioned. “Christians” have disappointed me greatly when it comes to this area, but GOD has never left my side while trying to navigate through these deep waters—How very hurtful and unchristlike your comment is Mr. Broker–actually no compassion at all. Your certainty on this issue is the EXACT reason, so many are fleeing the church these days. Christians killing Christianity–Do you have any idea what a parent who has been taught this ridiculous theory you speak of goes through when their child ends up being LGBT?? “Cop out” is the term that causes my heart to beat faster—It is quite obvious that you have NO IDEA the process a Christian parent goes through when their child comes out to them–I can ASSURE WE DO NOT “COP OUT!” We do the total opposite of that, we study this issue to ad nauseum, turning over every rock, talking to doctors and therapist etc. etc. We don’t just look at our Bible and take a verse totally out of context and stick it on our children’s foreheads and call them abominations because we truly “get it,” because as our children are “coming out” we are often times experiencing the exact same judgement from “Christians” who have absolutely NO answers for us except to say, “oops, you didn’t dot an i or cross a t, so your child will made to suffer over someting you negated to do. We would crawl over broken glass for all three of our children and have no doubt about our parenting skills. I am sorry if this comes across strong, but for you to breeze into this forum and spout ridiculous theories to people here who are truly struggling with what they have been through concerning this issus is just a little too much for me to take this morning. PLEASE put more study into this topic before spewing bile all over these articulate, intelligent, knowledgable, and wise people.

    • I agree. Many parents misunderstand their child’s coming out. I hope this post helps clarify that. http://freedhearts.wordpress.com/2013/04/29/born-that-way-part-1-2/

      • In regards to my earlier post you said you didn’t under stand ……My trouble, honestly, with your conclusion that God loves the homosexual but not act of homosexuality is, then what? Where do they go? It feels to me like God loves people but not women. Then where am I? How do I not act on being a woman? That’s how LGBTQ feel — it’s just part of them, acting on it or not.
        When I wrote the act of homosexuality, I was meaning the sexual acts as stated in the Bible.
        They are to still come to Jesus and ask him to be their Lord and Savior.
        If you are to be a Christian, one needs to check in to what one signs up for.
        Though this would not be easy, they are to live an asexual life style. I know that may seem harsh, but it is what the Bible says. Just as I have read that marriage is between a man and a woman. LGBT cannot marry and be true Christians.(per the Bible) IF they fall in love and cannot with hold their sexual desires then they must repent to God for forgiveness. How ever, repenting and asking for forgiveness does not mean we should just go out and keep sinning. It’s not a get out of hell free card. Just as married heterosexuals should not cheat. The non-married people should not be promiscuous, nor have premarital sex. We should not kill. All the sins that are listed in the Bible we should as humans not do. How ever, we are all sinners. As a born again Christian I fight against sin every day. I have sinned and have ask for forgiveness. We should at least try not to sin. We are all to be in control of our Free will. In the end it is between that person and God. I so pray that all people pray and ask God what is his plan for them? Why are certain people to have these struggles? Being in the medical profession I have seen alcoholism, depression, sexual abuse, and I could go on and on. Why do some these have all these struggles? Why do little kids get cancer? We don’t know all the answers but God does. God has a plan. I just ask LGBT to seek God and the Holy spirit. I ask them to try to walk with Jesus. Not just LGBT, all humans. All man kind. To have respect for self and others. The love of Jesus will carry them. They need a positive support group and good family and friends. I know several medical professionals who are LGBT. They have chosen to pour them selves in to their work. They have great family and friends. They have chosen to not engage in sexual, loving relationships. They are happy. They are Christian. Thank goodness for this sight!!! I’m not a writer and some times have trouble getting my point over. I hope that is better? :) Right now that is where I am at with this. Some reading this may say I am not living in reality asking LGBT not to be in a relationship, it is not my place to make those decisions, they have to. I am just going by what God commands and writing my understanding that I have of it. :) I am still searching and reading and learning more about this as well. I have yet to find in the Bible where homosexuality is not a sin. It is not clear to me either ….that God made people LGBT.
        I believe that God made us who we are and that we are then in control of our free will and we all have choices to make. We are to put forth effort and to ask God to work through us and use us and direct us to do his work while we are here on Earth. I too struggle with science, biological make up, psyche issues, born LGBT. I do know some people have psyche issues and after years of therapy it was revealed and the person is now heterosexual. I do know many people, friends of mine that are born that way. I feel that people with these feelings and struggles must seek the truth as to why. Once that is established then they can take the next steps to living a content life. I do believe it is a process and we all need Jesus and to love one another and to not go through life alone. We all have struggles. The biggest hurdle for me is the Christian hurdle. It will be a life time battle for some I am sure. Like I said…in the very end it is between a person and God. God knows our hearts, and I believe all will be forgiven. :) :)

        • Hello Samantha. I understood what you meant before. You expressed it very well. But what I mean is, LGBTQ people experience this differently, not just as a sin they need to refrain from. You mentioned several things in your comment: cheating, promiscuity, alcoholism, etc. Do you see that those are all actions that you’re not guilty of until you do them. You see? But being LGBTQ is an identity. I get that. Just as heterosexual is my identity. It’s not ALL that I am but I am definitely that — even if I’m celibate. LGBTQ people are saying that is their identity, even if they’ve never engaged in sexual behavior. So it’s different. I think that’s where the schism is. It’s not just a matter of self-control but of identity.
          Speaking of self-control — where does that come from? Isn’t that a fruit of the Holy Spirit? We’re not meant to sort out our own ability, and gut it up to resist things — we’re meant to rely on the Spirit within us to produce life.
          I don’t know if you realize this, but those verses you mention are disputed by learned theologians. It is NOT the slam dunk you seem to think. I recommend Torn for you to see how not a choice this is. I totally agree with you, when you said it’s NOT up to us to determine what’s right or wrong. It’s not. It’s up to Christ in us. Let’s make an agreement: we will point people to Christ, and we’ll let Him direct them as needed. We have enough to do with our own stuff.
          Thank you for your thoughts.

          • Wow….I sent you a direct email response. :)
            I will read Torn, I get it’s not a choice, my son did not choose it, how ever, what he does with his life IS his choice with God guiding him… Free will.
            The Bible is pretty clear on many things…it is man and different religions that skew it’s content.
            We all need to be careful where we get our facts from. :)
            I have day to day struggles, but I always find peace with God and actually live a very peaceful life… so is my son….I thank God for that. :)

            In the end, may God be the keeper of ALL our souls……seek him.

            I ask all reading these post to ask the Lord to be your savior. It’s the first step to inner peace.
            “Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”

      • Mr. Broker,
        I have to agree with carolb12.
        I have two sons that are 19 months apart. We, my husband and I, treated both boys the same. Love, discipline, hugs, spankings, support, encouragement, rewards, church, family outings, etc. My older son came out to me a few months ago. He is a sophomore in college. We have always been able to talk about things…age appropriate. I never really thought about LGBT people, (as in the why, born, choice debate) until my son told me that day. I taught them to love all and to not judge, that is God’s job.Thus the research has begun. I suggest you do a lot more research. :) I read James Dobson’s book. It was given to me from my children’s school…a private Christian school! My son started to feel this way in elementary/middle school. When puberty kicked in. Imagine his inner battle in a conservative Christian family and school.
        Thank God I raised them to not pay attention to all the hypocritical Christians who are not walking a true walk with Jesus, that many times to do the right thing, you will stand a lone in it. Then pray for all our souls. Thank God I always loved him and still love him unconditionally. I taught him/ them from a young age that God made them and to make good choices. He could have been cutting or turned to drugs or drinking to cope. So far, he has a strong core and faith with God. He even asked me, why did God make him that way? He doesn’t want to be that way. He wants to be attracted to girls. He has good friends and a great support system around him. They all were shocked when he told them. He tries to be attracted to girls…he is not…What young teenage guy does not get aroused when girls are around???? Mine for one….He has been to medical proff counseling and his psyche is in-tacked. He hates that he feels this way. We are digging for the truth and accepting this as God is guiding us through it. We are trying to cover ALL the basis. We stand firm on the Bible and he has joined a Christian group at college who are LGBT. They are trying to be in control of their free will and choices. Many are trying not to live the life style, if they so choose to do so, it is between that person and God. Romans 3:23 He even tried to date and kissed a few girls, and said he almost vomited.
        As a medical professional as well, I agree that some people do have some experiences in their lives that can alter their perceptions and feelings towards others…thus detachment disorders, trust issues, sexual abuse, etc. I have seen it. Dobson’s theory is one example. How ever, I know many LGBT that I do believe, if they are being honest with themselves and with others they were born that way. I am still researching and reading in the “science” area of this. But until your child sits their and tells you about his gay struggles please be careful of judging us who are walking though this war with our children. These are our children and God help us all. We all need to help each other, not tear each other down.
        We all have a lot of home work to do and then let God’s plan unfold.
        Say a prayer for all….:)

Trackbacks

  1. To Christian Parents of Gay Children | PFLAG Atlanta
  2. Connecting the Dots: June 17, 2003
  3. What Do You Do When Your Son is Gay? | FreedHearts
  4. Never Make Your Kids Feel Ashamed of Who They Are | Freedhearts | PFLAG Atlanta
  5. Out to my parents | GregComesOut

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,210 other followers

%d bloggers like this: