A Father’s Plea to Christian Dads of LGBTQI Children

Annie & Rob

Annie & Rob

Seven years ago, my daughter came out. I love her. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing. I stand with her. I defend her. I believe in her. I protect her.

And my life’s work is now to advocate for her and for all those in the LGBTQI community.

Maybe you have a gay son, or a lesbian daughter, or a bisexual, transgender or queer child. And maybe this is not what you hoped forwhat you dreamed of. But regardless of the labels placed on our kids by others, they are still our children and their dreams are still very much alive!

If you are willing to take an often difficult and sometimes scary journey with me, it will impact your heart and your life in ways more wonderful than you can imagine. It will lead you into a deeper love for your child, your family and for God.

Having a gay child is an absolute blessing!

I never had a conflict between my unconditional love for my child, and my faith… until my daughter came out.

What?!?

The source of that conflict could not be my love for my child. That love is pure, holy, God-given, true, right and everything good in this world. So the source of the conflict had to be somewhere in my faith beliefs.

That is the key moment.

That realization is the decision point, and probably one of the most important decisions of my life and my child’s life. How I as a parent react and respond to that will impact both of our lives forever.

Some parents abandon their child for their faith. Indefensible. Some parents abandon their faith for their child. Either decision is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, soul-shatteringand either will have horrible, tragic consequences.

There is a better way. But to make it, you have to be willing to take a journey.

If the source of the conflict can only be somewhere in your faith, then you have to open the box you are in and honestly examine your beliefs. And when you do that, God will reveal truth to you about God’s heart and unconditional love, not only for your child, but for you too.

When you take that journey and step outside of the box of behavior-focused Christianity, it can be scarybut the freedom, peace and truth you discover along the journey is exquisite, life-giving, and deeply satisfying to your heart and soul.

I plead with you to hear my heart.

My relationship with my daughter has never been better, my relationship with God has never been deeper.

To get there, I had to step away from religion, fundamentalism, legalism, anything that is part of behavior-focused, expectation-driven Christianity. As I stepped away from that, I realized I was stepping into the very life Jesus taught and showed us.

I learned that unconditional love, affirmation and acceptance of my LGBTQ child is actually consistent with a faith that follows Jesus.

I now say that I am fully affirming of LGBTQI people BECAUSE of my faith, not in spite of it!

Your precious child holds your heart like no other. And you hold their heart in your hands like no one ever will.

What you do, how you react, the words you say, will have a greater impactfor good or badthan you know.

I am just a dad, there is nothing special about me. All I did was refuse to abandon my child, and I refused to abandon my faith. I decided to begin a journeya blessed beautiful journey.

One step at a time.

Will you join me?

– Rob Cottrell

p.s. If you are a Dad and need someone to talk with, please email me at robertcottrell@aol.com. You are loved and you are not alone.

We have pay-what-you-can video courses helping parents love, accept & affirm their LGBTQI children; helping those in the faith community be more loving & fully inclusive; and helping LGBTQI heal shame from family, church & community wounds. We also have private support groups for parents, and other resources. Please click here.

2 thoughts on “A Father’s Plea to Christian Dads of LGBTQI Children

  1. Dear Susan

    I am writing to invite you to consider joining the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics ( GNRC) which is an umbrella organization for all those Catholics linked to pastoral work for LGBTIQ persons. Your work is amazing and you can be an inspiration to many others, should you wish to partake in this journey with us.

    We are in the process of formally establishing GNRC and organizing our official launch assembly later this year in Munich: Nov 30 – 3 December, 2017.

    I sincerely hope you would want to be part of this adventure which we have embarked upon together. We have been working to achieve this for two years. I know this will be an important vehicle to help Catholics around the world build a stronger voice in defense of our LGBT brothers and sisters. We need your experience, expertise and passion to push forward this voice for pastoral understanding, in the Church and especially to help in building bridges with the Vatican.

    Should you wish to know more about this organization please write to us on: rainbowcatholicsassembly@gmail.com or drop me a line on my personal email so that we can iron out any questions you may have. Let’s learn from one another.

    Warm regards,

    Joseanne Peregin Drachma Parents Group MALTA – Europe +356 79442417

    Skype: joseanne.peregin

    On Mon, 19 Jun 2017 at 01:23, Susan Cottrell & FreedHearts wrote:

    > Susan Cottrell, FreedHearts posted: ” Seven years ago, my daughter came > out. I love her. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing. I stand with her. > I defend her. I believe in her. I protect her. And my life’s work is now to > advocate for her and for all those in the LGBTQI community. Maybe ” >

  2. Parents thank you for loving your LGBTQ children. From a son who was not so lucky and still survived after my parents put me in a mental hospital for loving women and men. Hate and destruction is not the answer. Love is the answer. For your sake and that of your LGBTQ children who are also children of god. Do not torture your LGBTQ children using Ex Gay Therapy. It will come back to haunt you until the day you die and that is no way to live. Take it from someone who knows. A survivor of hate, because LOVE NEEDS NO CURE.

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