Flowers for the Living

It was a big day nonetheless. Graduating from seminary, I enjoyed family and friends here to celebrate, and so many more cheering me on from afar. I felt loved, valued, appreciated, seen, and heard! Gifts and well wishes rained down from Mamas in FreedHearts Moms, my secret online support group. I received many more wishes … Continue reading Flowers for the Living

How to Parent an LGBTQI (or Any) Child

Today’s my girls’ birthday, my lovely youngest daughter. She moves to LA tomorrow. Onward toward her music career. How the years fly and in the end, and when those kids soar off to their own adventures, we are left to wave and wish them joy and peace and life. What do you wish you had … Continue reading How to Parent an LGBTQI (or Any) Child

My Easter Sunday with Jen Hatmaker and Her Downtown Friends

What would Jesus do on Easter Sunday? As I stood under the bridge in downtown Austin, a man balancing his hamburger, chips, and a drink walked straight to me. “Will you hold my cigarette?” For a nanosecond I processed the request, then I carefully took his lighted cigarette which freed him to reshuffle his food … Continue reading My Easter Sunday with Jen Hatmaker and Her Downtown Friends

LGBTQI: You Deserve to Love & be Loved! You Deserve to be Free!

Well, here you are! You're gay or bi or lesbian or transgender or intersex or queer in some way or other. You may be or agender or pansexual. Or you may not yet be sure what the heck is going on! I understand. I really do. You may even be in a straight marriage and … Continue reading LGBTQI: You Deserve to Love & be Loved! You Deserve to be Free!

Are You the Parent of an LGBTQ Child? You Are Not Alone.

“Mom, I’m Gay!” You want to shove those words back in and put the lid on. But you can’t. Having a gay or trans child may may go 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 … Continue reading Are You the Parent of an LGBTQ Child? You Are Not Alone.

My Daughter… the Wise, Wonderful Heretic!

“If the you of five years ago doesn’t consider the you of today a heretic, you are not growing spiritually.” — Thomas Merton My delightful daughter Hannah, whose AMAZING coming out post we ran last year, has written another great post on her Facebook page. She is always thought-provoking and I just had to share … Continue reading My Daughter… the Wise, Wonderful Heretic!

Eat, Pray, Love Who You Love. Elizabeth Gilbert Comes Out.

I love how Elizabeth Gilbert - the bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love - came out today about her relationship with Rayya: she just came out. Not gigantic fanfare, just a Facebook post saying, this is our relationship. She came out now because Rayya has cancer, and they want to be able to walk in a … Continue reading Eat, Pray, Love Who You Love. Elizabeth Gilbert Comes Out.

A Boy in a Tutu, a Mom, and the Scary Words of a Stranger

"My son wears tutus. It was fine... until yesterday!" This is the story of the innocence of a child, the love of a Mom, and the scary, hurtful words of a stranger. Unfortunately, it is a situation repeated on a tragically frequent basis. Is it hate? Ignorance? Misguided interference? You decide. I will let Jen, … Continue reading A Boy in a Tutu, a Mom, and the Scary Words of a Stranger

A Letter from Susan

In our post yesterday, we reminded you of our new FreedHearts website. I sure hope you visit us. I wanted to write a personal letter here on our WordPress blog - just to share my heart, my vision and my hope. If you are in the evangelical church, or if you are in the LGBTQ … Continue reading A Letter from Susan

NEW Website, Books and Resources!

We wanted to let you know that all the information about FreedHearts, details of Susan Cottrell's books, other key programs, and all of our resources are now located at our new website! Visit the main Susan Cottrell FreedHearts website at: http://freedhearts.org Email us at freedhearts@gmail.com Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 8161, Austin, TX 78713-8161

Love Yourself Hard

My darling friend (codename Salarcon) is consistently more joyful than many of us put together. She has her struggles, as do all of us, but she has an incredible peace in the midst of those struggles, as do few of us. She is also a Poetry Slam Goddess and host of a new YouTube poetry program, … Continue reading Love Yourself Hard

Taking Pro-Gay to Seminary! :-)

Guess what? I start seminary next month. Yes, the opportunity came out of the blue -- exactly the way God brings opportunities to me. God has led me clearly in this. The knowledge and credentials (Master of Divinity M.Div.) I'll gain will strengthen FreedHearts - especially in the area of speaking truth to pastors, churches and Christian leaders. … Continue reading Taking Pro-Gay to Seminary! 🙂

Coming Out and Letting Go

"The energy of avoidance became too great to ignore. I broke. After nearly 20 years of hiding and running away, I made a willful decision to face the pain, address the guilt and talk about the shame. This time, I wasn’t giving up; I was letting go." Today, I am honored to feature a guest … Continue reading Coming Out and Letting Go

In Honor of Our Lost LGBTQ Children

Ryan Robertson died five years ago this week. In his honor, friends and I have chosen an orange icon on Facebook - Ryan's favorite color. And we honor all the LGBTQ people who have died from rejection, bullying, ill-fated "therapy." Marginalization... in all its forms. Ryan is one of many LGBTQ men and women who were pushed out … Continue reading In Honor of Our Lost LGBTQ Children

Family Relationships: The Fine Line Between Hope & Denial

After he came out, his mother burned his birth certificate and all his childhood photos in the front yard. She sent him a black funeral wreath that said, "In Memory of My Son." She never talked to him again. Ever. A son's honesty with his parents failed to yield the love, compassion and forgiveness they … Continue reading Family Relationships: The Fine Line Between Hope & Denial

Saying Goodbye to My Dad & Father’s Day as I Have Known It

  Eleven years ago, I joined the ranks of honorees for Father’s Day.   The previous July, my son Jason was born and put into my arms.  The first Father’s Day for me was quiet with plenty of attention from friends and family, and it affirmed wonderful celebrations in the years to come. Today, for Father's … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to My Dad & Father’s Day as I Have Known It

I Need Your Story

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you." - Maya Angelou Once upon a time, on a dark and stormy night…  okay, okay, I’m sure your story starts better than that. This is Rob, Susan's husband, writing today. : ) We all grow up with stories. Family stories, hometown stories, books … Continue reading I Need Your Story

Mom vs Dad – What Do You Do?

You have a gay child. Lots of new issues and challenges and late-night conversations. Some don't go so well. Sometimes you disagree. What do you do? I have shared Jonathan's story on my blog. Here he writes another good question about how to deal with two parents on somewhat different pages with their gay child. Jonathan's letter: … Continue reading Mom vs Dad – What Do You Do?