Dear Susan: Did I Cause My Son To Be Gay?


My heart breaks when I hear a parent say “Did I cause my child to be gay?” It hurts on so many levels – for them, for the child. I am so excited to answer this question today.

I write Dear Susan posts every Friday. Sometimes they will be poignant, sometimes thought-provoking, sometimes tender, sometimes funny… but hopefully always worth the read.Β  πŸ™‚

Let’s do this…

Dear Susan,

My husband and I are Born-Again Christians, the Lord has worked great and mighty things in our lives, and serving the Lord is the most important thing to me. Three days ago I found a link to gay porn on the computer. After some talking, my son admitted it was him, and he’s thinks he might be gay. My husband and I just don’t know what to do. I cannot accept this at this point. Mark is only 14 years old, and I am just devastated and heartbroken. We love him so much – I am beside myself. I have gone over and over every possible parenting mistake we could have made for days now. Was it because we homeschooled and he spent too much time with me? Was it because my husband is stern? Did somebody do something to him? Have I been too protective, am I too domineering like some websites indicated? Has he not bonded properly to his Dad? And on and on and on…..we just don’t know what to do. I have cried and cried to the Lord for days now.

Cried Out

Β Dear Cried Out,

I am so sorry for your wounded heart. This news from your son has upended the very life you thought you had going. In essence, you and your husband were taught and believed that if you did everything right to the best of your ability, everything would work out “perfectly” (as defined by others) and you would be spared this path you are finding so difficult to reconcile.

In other words… β€œObedience In, Blessing Out.”

But God does not do that. God is not interested in everybody being as well behaved as possible. (Otherwise, Jesus would have been delighted with the Pharisees! Instead, he blasted them for their rule-focus, their hypocrisy, their legalism.) It is not about right and wrong, good and evil… It is about knowing God.

That is the life Jesus offers, one that deepens our relationship by continual relating.

I believe that God is asking you to lay down your arms, stop trying to understand or find the answers, and just rest. Let God be God.

You did not cause your son’s gayness.

Justin Lee tells in his book Torn that he had wonderful parents, no molestation, nor virtually any trauma – and yet he is gay. Your son is perfect – as he is – as he was created.

If you “caused” anything, you raised a son with a tender heart who is strong enough to come out and live a life true to himself – even though he knows that doing so will subject him to much judgement from others.

Jesus said to boldly approach the throne of grace. I pray that you will do that, and find God’s truth – and a peace that passes understanding – there.

– Susan

11 thoughts on “Dear Susan: Did I Cause My Son To Be Gay?

  1. Dearest Cried Out, my son kept his orientation a secret for 12 years after he accepted himself at 23. He is a wonderful man of 44 with the values he learned in the youth department of the first Baptist Church we were members of for 25 years. He is living a wonderful life in a committed relationship for the past 7 years. He is my only child, I always dreamed of him having a child one day. Instead I have different dreams that have come true. I understand the teaching of you Evangelical roots, but the fact is God has always created the homosexual person and no choice is made any more than eye color, skin color heterosexual orientation. Every gay person because of society prays to not be gay and God’s answer is always No… my prayer for you is that you will arrive at peace with who God created your son to be.

  2. Thank you Susan. This post could not have been more timely. I’ve already accepted my son’s sexuality but some things have developed this week that created some discomfort and this letter and response made me feel much better. Parenting is certainly not for the weak and teens today are already exposed to so much out there. It can be a real challenge navigating it all.

  3. Dear Cried Out,
    Over a year ago I was in your shoes. I always knew people were, and are born gay. It still hits you like a baseball bat over the head. You have a great relationship with your son for him to have come out to you at the age of 14. Great Job!!!! He still is the same young man you raised. He still has morals, values, his faith, and he still needs his family to continue to love him just the same as before he told you about his orientation. I promise you it gets better and easier over time. Please do not let the many “canned Christian responses” turn you away from your son. He needs your unconditional love more hen ever, Jesus gives it to us, and that is what Jesus tells us to do, Love God, Love others. Period. You all need to walk through this together.
    I have spent many hours myself crying, praying, reading, researching, talking with clergy and Endocrinologist. I promise you, you are all going to be okay. Let this bring you closer as a family with Love.

    My friend scape has changed and this web site has helped a great deal. I am now a voice and supporter for many who are born LGBTQ. It is very sad the damage that has been done to some in this community.
    I suggest that you, your son, and maybe the family receive counsel from a PhD psychologist to just work through all of this. Yes, Christian counseling can help, but do not do a disservice to your son or your family by just going to Christian counsel. Please do not just pull out the sin scriptures and make him feel unworthy. Please do not just tell him he was born with a sin nature and he needs to be delivered. Sigh.

    There are psychologist who specialize in this very area. Therapy cannot be forced. LISTEN to your son. When he wants to talk, talk. Ask questions. He will go to counsel if he knows it will help all understand this. It is a journey, and I promise you will love your son like you never have before. He is only 14 and still needs the guidance from you as a mom. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Do not go to reparative therapy. It does not work. You may find that together you all can work it out among yourselves as a family. πŸ™‚ You will know what to do. πŸ™‚

    My son is now in his third year of college, and doing very well. He is still a Christian and cannot imagine living any other way. He said he would go to therapy with me if he thought it would help. I was okay. I suggested to him he go talk to some one just to make sure he was born that way, no other “life traumas.” He has gone to the psychologist there at his college and all is well. He learned a lot about himself, and is happy and healthy. We are closer then ever and he is such a Joy!!!!!

    It is going to take time, prayer, and conversations.
    You will get through this and it is nothing you did. Your response can make a huge difference in the psychological health of your son.

    Hug your son and tell him the most important thing for him to know is that you love him, and that together, you will all figure the rest out.

    Stay firm in your faith and God will guide your heart.

    Peace will come. πŸ™‚ Rest in his Grace. Let your son continue to build the relationship with Christ as well. πŸ™‚

    Jesus is Love, Mercy, Compassion, and Grace. Show Jesus to your son through you. πŸ™‚

    I love your son and would hug him if I could. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I love you too!!!

  4. I feel so badly for parents like Cried Out. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.” If only they knew that being gay is as biological as being left handed. And being left handed was once taught by the church as demonic. We no longer think that because science now shows us that being left handed is simply a biological minority. And now they are showing us that being gay is another biological minority. So why would the Bible condemn homosexuality? It doesn’t, any more than it condemns being left handed as the Church once taught. A basic course in Biblical Hebrew would easily show this. And most pastors today have not studied that in seminary. And so this error in teaching is perpetuated. And people are experiencing needless grief. Our children are suffering and dying. And God’s people are perishing for lack of knowledge.

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