“I have something to tell you”…words that often times mom(s) hears first. In many cases, the words that follow are intermittently uttered between tears and gasps for air that will somehow maybe make it easier to say… I’m gay. Those words along with “I’m trans or bi or queer, etc…” seem to be more difficult than “I have cancer.” They are usually a marker and crescendo of the the final phase in a very long chapter full of fear, insecurity, questioning faith, and months or years of building up the bravery to finally come out.
Whether this is a child that is adopted or biological, these are some resources and things that might help you avoid the major mistakes many loving parents make when they hear those words.
Well the Bible says…
As the Christian pastor and LGBTQ+ advocate Stan Mitchell often says, the Bible doesn’t say, the Bible reads. His point is that there are over 40,000 protestant denominations that have formed since the protestant reformation and each of them think they know what the Bible says. They all disagree but each is convinced they have the accurate understanding.
Trust us…we have read and researched hundreds and hundreds of hours and we can tell you with certainty that those “clobber” passages that have been used to separate, divide and at times pour condemnation on the LGBTQ community are at very best suspect and contextually removed to fit a narrative of bigotry.
If you are struggling with reconciling your faith and your gay child, are you open to researching what the Bible might have been saying? We highly recommend UnClobber: Rethinking Our Misuse of the Bible on Homosexuality. The author, Colby Martin, has just recently released video training with even further research and different perspectives to pair with the book and we recommend those too.
Another really great resource is the aforementioned, Stan Mitchell. His story took him from a rural mid western small town holiness pentecostal church where the women couldn’t cut their hair or wear pants to becoming one of the most influential fully affirming pastors and advocates of our time. He has a couple of podcasts/sermons that we have digested and listened to at least a dozen times. You can find those by clicking here on PART 1 or PART 2 Apple Podcasts. Stan systematically, theologically, and respectfully makes a beautiful case for why your child deserves to be loved, accepted and celebrated and he makes room for that to happen within the corners of your faith.
If you want more resources for reconciling faith with an LGBTQ loved one please, please send us a message and we would be honored to help.
My Family says…
Don’t wait till it is too late to realize you have someone in front of you that desperately needs your love and affirmation regardless of what your family may have to say. Singer/Songwriter Greg Holden put is so poignantly in his song “Kissing Boys in the Street”. He sings:
My daddy’s dying
And he’s finally realized I’m not lying
We sit in silence but we’re smiling
Because for once we are not fighting
He’d say, there was no way of knowing ’cause all I was taught
Is men only love women, but now I’m not sure
My son, keep kissing boys in the street
You will never ever regret the decision to love your child openly and unapologetically and to reject the fear and control associated with the social approval of friends and family. This is a love that may cost you something but its value is priceless in the heart and future of your child.
My friends in my town say…
Ah, when the village lets your child down…you find a new village or you become the village. In a flock of birds, the colorful one will sometimes get attacked by the other birds because it is different. Bullying and social fallout is real and you can overcome it by realizing that much of what we hold on to is not important.
Sure, they will talk behind your back and laugh and maybe stop inviting you over for the neighborhood 4th of July party, but you are a mama or papa bear and it is time to protect your cub at all costs and by any means necessary.
Artist Wrabel captures this so brilliantly in his song, The Village. He sings:
Feel the rumors follow you
From Monday all the way to Friday dinner
You got one day of shelter
Then it’s Sunday hell to pay, you young lost sinner
Well, I’ve been there, sitting in that same chair
Whispering that same prayer half a million times
It’s a lie, though buried in disciples
One page of the Bible isn’t worth a life
There’s something wrong in the village
In the village, oh they stare in the village
In the village, oh there’s nothing wrong with you
It’s true, it’s true, there’s something wrong with the village
Needless to say, you can join groups like PFLAG where you can build community and find support with other parents and families that are walking a similar journey. To find a PFLAG chapter near you, CHECK THEM OUT HERE.
Destiny Adoption says…
It is vital and imperative for adoptive families to educate themselves on what parenting may look like and what it means to be proactive in building an inclusive culture in the home. Destiny Birthmoms are often times specifically looking for the most inclusive and openly loving families because their greatest fear is the possibility for their baby to be rejected later in life. We believe that the inclusivity and diligent education of our adoptive families as a whole is what sets us apart from other agencies.
You can and will do this. Your priority is not Pastor Scott at church, your brother who has advice on how to “correct” this, or Karen at your weekly book club.
Your priority is your child and this is not the end. No!! This is the beginning of a beautiful, surprisingly rewarding journey into the deepest most heroic force on earth, a parent’s love.