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“They kicked me out on my 18th birthday for being gay… I’ve tried to contact them… I don’t know if they still love me.” Jonathan Allen, America’s Got Talent

My husband and I sat stunned as this young man sang Pavarotti on “America’s Got Talent.” Tears filled our eyes as his story settled on us, that his parents kicked him out for being gay. My husband said in a shaky voice, “How could they be so ungrateful for this son they’ve been given?” I just shook my head. We know that Jonathan Allen represents countless LGBTQ whose parents don’t fully accept their children as they are. My heart weeps.

Over the years, I have had to face my own shortcomings with my children—my ingratitude, selfishness, immaturity. Any honest parent will admit to falling short and taking their kids for granted. I have had to seek forgiveness from my children, and I’ve written them love letters to express my heart for them. Every parent makes mistakes, and love is a healing balm.

So I write this love letter to you, the LGBTQ women and men who have been hurt and rejected by those who were supposed to care for you the most. It is a letter long overdue. If your parents can’t express their love to you right now, let me speak instead. Let these words saturate your deepest being. Wherever you are in your life, this love letter is for you.

You are worthy of love. God created you in His image. For this reason alone, you are love-worthy, regardless of your actions or thoughts, both good and bad, or of what you’ve been told to the contrary. Simply by God’s declaration, by your existence as His creation, you are love-worthy. Love is your birthright!

You deserve a place to belong. You need a place where if you don’t show up for dinner, they go find you, because you belong, because they want you there. We have plenty of social media, yet most of us experience a crushing need for community. Don’t be afraid of your need for others, because you were designed to flourish in relationship. You were meant to be part of a greater whole. Instead, seek out community for yourself and move toward those who love you. It’s okay to let people love you.

People’s judgment reveals them, not you. When they say harsh things, or condemn or reject you, that comes from their heart, not yours. If someone offers advice that can help you grow, take it and keep it. Let the rest roll off you and don’t think about it again. You have nothing to be ashamed of. Shame is that feeling of being defective that slumps our shoulders. Shame says, “Something is fundamentally wrong with me.” There is nothing fundamentally wrong with you — you are made in God’s image! If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, you do not have to own shame. You are worthy of love and belonging and being missed by those who love you. People may condemn you, but they reveal themselves, not you. Rest in that place.

Parents’ mistakes do not reflect on you. Speaking as a mother of five, I know first hand that parents sometimes blow it big time. We might be afraid, angry, hurt, unprepared, immature or selfish. Sometimes you stir up an old wound, and we take it out on you. I’m so sorry. Parents react or reject for their own reasons, and none of that is your responsibility. Disappointment with ourselves clouds our judgment of our children. We can be ignorant and stubborn. I wish it were not true! To hear condemnation from those closest to you really hurts. We want their support, and it’s hard not to internalize what they say. I have said things that came straight out of my parent’s mouth, and I am horrified. Your parents’ harsh words are not about you. The more you can recognize that their judgment is not about you, the freer you will be. Others will hurt you too, and that doesn’t reflect on you either. You may have heard terrible things from friends, Christians or pastors. Their words reflect their own fear and beliefs. Letting go of the hurt is like the freedom of relaxing a clenched fist; do it for you, not for them.

God loves you fully, exactly as you are. You may boldly approach Him in His grace through Jesus Christ. You get to call Him Daddy. I realize the idea of “father” may be a landmine for you, but God is not like a human dad. God loves you without conditions. God is not disappointed in you. He approves of you. Any judgment or condemnation you have heard attributed to Him are not from Him. He is the very existence of love, and His love is for you.

It really will get better! Rock bottom is a cold and lonely place. I’ve been at rock bottom many times—I keep a toothbrush there. But I have always recovered, and I’m always glad for what I learned while I was there. Even though it’s hard to believe when you’re on the bottom looking up, it will get better. Learn to recognize the hands that reach down to help you.

Even if your family has rejected you, allow people around you to become your family. When Jonathan Allen walked onto the America’s Got Talent stage, he was nervous and afraid—rejection takes such a toll. But Howie Mandel said, “This show has become your family. Welcome home.” Other LGBTQ individuals and allies will love you as family—reach out and find them. Let people love you. Welcome home!

Click here to read “Why Hoping For Change Can Hurt.”

A Love Letter to the LGBTQ from a Christian Mom

28 thoughts on “A Love Letter to the LGBTQ from a Christian Mom

  1. Pingback: How to Come Out to Your Sister | Freedhearts | PFLAG Atlanta

  2. Is it possible to love and accept my daughter without condoning her lesbianism? I love her and I also love her partner….they plan on getting married next year. My daughter wants me there to support her on her big day. I have no problem being there but don’t want to be misunderstood because of my belief in what the Bible calls sin….I realize we all sin but my belief has been that once you know better you do better…I also realize that my relationship with God might not be the same as others relationship with Him…not at all saying I’m holier than thou. Just saying what the Holy Spirit convicts me of might not be what the next person feels convicted of. I won’t try to change my daughter but in return I don’t appreciate anyone trying to change my beliefs. I in no way believe that people that commit sin will burn in hell. I believe Christ died for our sins but believe you are to repent for your own sin. I also believe that when you do tell Christ you are sorry you turn away from that sin because you know that if you keep committing the sin…then obviously your not sorry or your not letting the Holy Spirit lead and guide you. We are to be set apart and be Christ like…sanctified by the Blood of Jesus.
    I was also asked why I accept my other girls who are living with there boyfriends…I don’t approve of this either…but I can’t change any of them all I can do is pray for myself and others that we all meet up in Heaven one glorious day. Is there a happy medium?

    • Thank you for writing, Beth. I can hear the dilemma you’re in. Let’s look at what you said a little bit. I don’t believe that our problem as Christians is that we are condoning too much. I think the world has a pretty clear grasp on what Christians don’t condone. But remember that Jesus was thought to be condoning all kinds of sin because He hung out with sinners and didn’t focus on the sin but focused on the people. That was part of His trouble with the religious leaders. So I would not worry about appearing to condone sin. The bigger problem Christians have is appearing not to love – and in fact, not loving. But let’s take a look. Let’s say you have a habit of eating for comfort – which is idolatry. How would you feel if your family would not go to dinner with you because you would likely be gluttonous right there in front of everybody? Would that help you in any way? And if food is not an issue for you,, pick one that is. Everybody has an issue, and for people to condone or not condone doesn’t help us but only Jesus helps us. The point is that Jesus really didn’t put us in charge of each other’s sin – all of that is eating from the tree of knowledge, which God said don’t do. But eating from the tree of life allows you to love and the Holy Spirit to guide, as Jesus said He would! I know this feels like a real dilemma, but I believe that’s why Jesus made it extremely simple: “Love God, love others!” I hope this helps, and best you you at the wedding. Let me know how it goes!

  3. Pingback: A Love Letter to the LGBTQ from a Christian Mom | FreedHearts | PFLAG Atlanta

  4. God will NOT accept unrepentant sin. I would not allow a homosexual son or daughter to practice their behavior in my house. so that means no their “friends” would not be allowed in my house.

    God does not accept us AS we are but where we are. He desires repentance IE change for Him, remaining in sin is not change nor is there forgiveness for unrepentant sin.

    • Jon how will you show them the love of Christ if you will not allow them in your house? Jesus ate in the homes of sinners, tax collectors (considered the most corrupt of people) and harlots. I don’t recall him ever telling one of them,”change your ways before I sit down to a meal with you”.

  5. Now many countries in the world are finally treating gays and lesbians as equal citizens. And the negative effects of that have been ….. none!

  6. Thank you so much for this. I am a supporter of LGBTQ, as is my husband. Neither one of us associates with a religion because of the bias, hypocrisy, and over all judgement that seems to follow. As I read this, I cried. Tears for the injustice of it all, tears for the heartache and strife, bust also tears for the sweet and good heart that opened itself, regardless of the understanding of society, to embrace the LGBTQ community. Thank you Susan.

  7. Bravo again! Thank you for this beautiful gift to all my LGBT community. Fortunately I had model parents who have been great and have loved and accepted me the whole way on this journey. I know many people aren’t that fortunate.

  8. My gay son pointed this out to me today. God does indeed work in mysterious ways! I am a Christian mother of a Christian gay son. When he came out to me I was devastated but that was over 10 years and much heart changing ago. I love him and his husband very much and have come to the realization that all my “well-meaning” Christian friends who said they would pray for him to “know the truth” don’t have the first clue as to the wonderful Christian young man that he is. Now I pray that THEY will come to the truth of “God is Love”, and “they will know we are believers by our love”. I am going to start following your blog today and will be sure to tell my son Daniel “thank you” for pointing me in your direction!

    • Oh I’m so glad for you. No, they don’t, or they wouldn’t make such easy pronouncements. The best part is you’ve been able to follow God’s heart and love him and his husband. Yea! I think God is giving many families gay sons and daughters as a gift to show us all how to love. 🙂 Good job, Mama!

  9. Well, thank you. I do not see how “condemning homosexuality” ranks above “loving God and loving others,” our highest command. But there you are. Thanks for sharing and who knows where God will lead them over time. Very best to you!

  10. Beautifully stated!! I wish an old friend of mine would read this. I recently learned that her daughter came out several years ago…my friend and her husband have never accepted their daughter’s life style. They are believers and told me that they believe God’s unchanging word (somehow indicating that I no longer did) and that being gay was the mother of all sins. I told her that I’ve become more accepting over the years and suggested she start following your blog, but she wouldn’t even consider it. I’m sad for her, but my heart breaks for her daughter. Thanks for sharing another gem!

    • I heard a wise pastor say in his message, just recently, “acceptance doesnt mean approval”. These words set me free. I accept my son and his friends as ones, like myself, for whom Christ died. I am not being contrary to Gods Word for loving people. I must leave all judgment for sin to Him. My besetting sin is an unruly tongue and the Bible says that speaking evil of others is a great sin. Why do Christians categorize sin?

      • You got me! God told us we weren’t equipped for it when He said “DON’T eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (let ME handle that) but eat from the tree of life (Jesus).” Simplifies so much, doesn’t it? Good for you, and thanks for sharing!

      • You’ve made a great point. I’ve never understood sin categorization, either! I think many people fall into that trap so that they can feel a bit superior to others and *maybe* not have to take such a good, hard look at their own sin. A while back I read something that Billy Graham said in response to being asked his thoughts on homosexuality: “It’s my job to love, the Spirit’s job to convict, and God’s job to judge.” My middle-aged brain has forgotten a lot of things, but that’s one thing I won’t forget. 🙂

        • Billy Graham’s comment really helped me tonight. Thank you. I want to please the LORD, I love my Son…Im often made to feel that it is an either or but never both…like choosing sides. Sometimes I have been so twisted about listening to so many voices. I dont want to dislike anyone; I love people and I want them to see Jesus in my life so they can know Him too.

  11. Thank you. Your posts are helping me. I am a mom of five sons, one of whom is gay. We are a christian family. We love our son. How could we ever shun him and his friends? Some, I think, in the church would say we should, so we dont tell them. Only my best friends, three of them, know.

    • Awww! I’m with you – how could you kick them out? Makes no sense. Are these the same people Jesus said would be recognized as His disciples, by their love for each other?? Sigh. I’m very happy for you and your family. :). Thanks for writing!

    • Elizabeth, I am a parent of a gay daughter who is also transgender. I hope at some point in time you are able to “tell” everyone and “show’ everyone that your son is gay. He will truly feel accepted and the for the others…………they will see first hand the acceptance that you have for him unconditionally. Best of luck!

  12. Wow. Just wow. Thank you for another spot on post. Can I borrow the phrase, “I’ve been at rock bottom many times, I keep a toothbrush there.”? Good way to sum up why I need to be okay with trials and trusting God through them.

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