If I Have LGBTQ Children (Four Promises From a Christian Pastor/Parent)

Sometimes I wonder if I’ll have LGBTQ children.

I’m not sure if other parents think about this, but I often do.

Maybe it’s because I have many people in my family and circle of friends who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning. It’s in my genes and in my tribe.
Maybe it’s because as a pastor of students, I’ve seen and heard the horror stories of LGBTQ Christian kids, from both inside and outside the closet trying to be part of the Church.
Maybe it’s because as a Christian, I interact with so many professed followers of Jesus who find “homosexuality” to be the greatest of sins, and who make that abundantly clear at every conceivable opportunity.

For whatever reason, it’s something that I ponder frequently. As a pastor and a parent, I wanted to make some promises to you, and to my two kids right now…

1) If I have LGBTQ children, you’ll all know it.

Our kids won’t be our family’s best kept secret unless they choose to be. Whatever about their lives they wish to share will be shared with joy and without apology.

I won’t talk around them in conversations with others. I won’t speak in code or vague language, I won’t try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, and I won’t try to spare the feelings of those who may be older or easily offended or uncomfortable. Childhood is difficult enough, and most LGBTQ kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable because they need to be inauthentic. I’m not going to put my children through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.

If my children come out, we’ll be out as a family.

2) If I have LGBTQ children, I’ll pray for them.

I won’t pray for them to be made “normal”. I’ve lived long enough to know that if my children do come to identify as LGBTQ, that is their normal.

I won’t pray that God will heal or change or fix them. I will pray for God to protect them, from the ignorance and hatred and violence that the world will throw at them simply because of who they are. I’ll pray that God shields them from those who will despise them and wish them harm; who will curse them to Hell and put them through Hell without ever knowing them at all. I’ll pray that they enjoy life; that they laugh and dream and feel and forgive—and that they love God and all people.

Above all, I’ll pray that my children won’t allow the horrible treatment they might receive from some of God’s misguided followers, to keep them from pursuing God.

3) If I have LGBTQ children, I’ll love them.

I don’t mean some token, distant, tolerant love that stays at a safe arm’s length. It will be an extravagant, open-hearted, unapologetic, lavish, embarrassing-them-in-the-school-cafeteria, kissing-them-in public kind of love.

I won’t love them despite their sexuality and I won’t love them because of it. I will love them for the same reasons I already do; simply because they’re sweet and funny and caring and smart and kind and stubborn and flawed and original and beautiful—and mine.

If my kids are LGBTQ, they may doubt a million things about themselves and about this world, but they’ll never doubt for a second whether or not their Daddy is over-the-moon crazy about them.

4) If I have LGBTQ children—I have LGBTQ children.

If my kids are going to be gay or bisexual or transgender or lesbian, well they pretty much already are.

God has already created them and wired them, and placed the seed of who they are within them. Psalm 139 says that God “stitched them together in their mother’s womb”. The incredibly intricate, microscopic stuff that makes them uniquely them; once-in-History souls, has already been uploaded into their very cells.

Because of that, there isn’t a coming deadline on their identity or orientation that their mother and I are working feverishly toward. I don’t believe there’s some magical expiration date approaching, by which time she and I need to somehow do or say or pray just the right things to get them to “turn straight”, or forever lose them to the other side.

They are today, simply a younger version of who they will be—and today they’re pretty darn great.

I fully realize that many of you may be offended by all of this. I know my words here may be especially difficult if you are a religious person with a particular theological stance. Perhaps you find the whole topic unsettling.

As you’ve been reading, you may have been rolling your eyes, clicking the roof of your mouth, or drafting familiar Scriptures to send to me. You may be praying for me to repent, or preparing to unfriend me, or writing me off as a sinful, evil, Hell-bound heretic, but let me say with as much gentleness and understanding as I can muster—I really couldn’t care less.

This isn’t about you. This is a whole lot bigger than you.

You’re not the one I waited on breathlessly for nine months.
You’re not the one I wept with joy for when you were born.
You’re not the one I bathed, and fed, and rocked to sleep through a hundred intimate, midnight snuggle sessions.

You’re not the one I taught to ride a bike, whose scraped knee I kissed, and whose tiny, trembling hand I held while getting stitches.
You’re not the one whose head I love to smell, and whose face lights-up when I come home at night, and whose laughter is like music to my weary soul when the world seems wrong.
You’re not the one who gives my days meaning and purpose, and who I adore more than I ever thought I could adore anything.

And you’re not the one who I’ll hopefully be with when I take my last precious breaths on this planet; gratefully looking back on a lifetime of shared treasures, and resting in the knowledge that I loved you well and was loved well by you.

If you’re a parent, I don’t know how you’ll respond if you find out your children are LGBTQ, but I pray you consider it. I pray you prepare yourself.

Because one day, despite your perceptions of your kids or how you’ve parented or what signs you did or didn’t see, you may need to respond in real-time, to a frightened, frantic, hurting child; one whose sense of peace and identity and acceptance, whose heart and very life may be placed in your hands in a way you never imagined, and you’ll need to respond—and I don’t want you to blow it.

If that day should ever come for me as a parent; if my children should ever come out to me—as much as I m able, this is the Dad I hope I’ll be to them.

 

87 thoughts on “If I Have LGBTQ Children (Four Promises From a Christian Pastor/Parent)

  1. My son is 14, and I don’t think HE is even sure of his sexuality, and I think there’s nearly as good a chance that he’s gay as straight.

    I do not care. And I have told him that when he figures it out (not when he “decides”) that it will make no difference in the way I love him, mostly because I don’t think that it matters.

    If he comes out as gay, I will not put up with it. I will celebrate it! Because I celebrate him! And love the way God has made him.

    • It is possible he will be neither. Being bisexual or pansexual is very confusing to a teenager. I should know, I lived it and denied it for decades. Your son will love who he loves and I am sure that you will welcome that person as well.

  2. This THis THIs THIS is the only response of a true Christian when a child comes out.

    This THis THIs THIS is the only response of a true parent when a child comes out.

    While I am a straight woman, I can only imagine that these words of John P’s are very healing to many who read them. Especially if they have a parent or parents who rejected them for their God-ordained sexual preference. Especially if they have been rejected by faith communities for their God-ordained sexual preference.

    It is very healing for me as the daughter of an emotionally, mentally, verbally father and mother to read these words of unconditional love for his children.

    Bless you, John.

  3. One of the biggest, most profound moments in my life was the moment when my then 14-year old son came out to me. I hadn’t thought about his sexuality one way or the other (just like I haven’t with any of my other kids), but it wasn’t a blow at all. Instead, I stopped and realized that everything I had talked about and professed to believe and tried to model my entire parenting life had come to fruition-my son, my beautiful, spiritual, amazing and maddening son (teenager, yo) trusted me and my words enough to know that my love for him and for humankind was still exactly the same. He trusted me to give me this part of himself and knew-unequivocally-that not only did I still adore him just as much but that I would have his back in a world that often hates him.

    The journey is hard-but it’s not hard to love my son. It’s hard to love a group of people who refuse to see him as exactly the same person he was. For me, well, God is good, and my life is better for having my son in it.

  4. John, What a beautiful post. Since my sons are middle aged men with wives, I can only hope that this would have been me, but I know that it will be me if this is the case for my grandsons. My take is who cares, I care more that they find someone who loves them like I do, whoever that turns out to be. They are wonderful humans today and will be wonderful humans tomorrow no matter what road they are on. Keep speaking these truths, who knows, someone may have eyes to see and ears to hear. Peace, Love and Resist.

  5. These are words that need to be said John. Thank you. If you are going to have a child, that child deserves to be loved and cherished forevermore. If you think your heart has a love-o-meter attached or if you know in your heart that you could not ever love your child unless he conforms to a certain criteria you have no business raising that child.

    Despite our well intentioned efforts, if we have done a reasonable job, our children will grow up to have minds and hearts of their own. What more can we wish for our child than to follow their heart, no ours. If you can only feel love for those who think just like you, do not ever forget to carry a mirror with you so you can constantly keep an eye on that one person.

    While our four sons are married to women, when they were growing up our home was a place to entertain people of all stripes, blue eyed, green eyed, brown eyed, right handed, left handed, dark skin, light skin, gay, straight, liberal, conservative, or whatever. In our home and their homes friends are family with no expiration date or criteria. Judgement or cruel behavior is not welcome and does not get past the door.

  6. A child knows their preference at a very early age. If you can recall any crushes you may have had in kindergarten or first grade (Freud called it the phallic stage), little changes as we grow. It is important to encourage our children to be themselves and accept them for whom they are. Otherwise they will become self-loathing and may seek solace in substances and other risky, dangerous behavior. I have found that if we love our children unconditionally they will grow to love others unconditionally. If we judge and punish our children they will judge and punish others. But first we must learn to love OURSELVES unconditionally. My daughter is 14 and as single mother we are very close, she tells me a lot. Born and still in NY I must say we (NYers) always tend to take things to the extremes, the tales she tells me… I will not pretend to understand it all – C’est la vie.

  7. John, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this post. When I came out as transgender to my family back in the early 90’s, I was immediately shunned. I went through the hell that is reparative therapy, I suffered from shame and guilt, I turned to alcohol to drown my pain. It wasn’t until college that I found a therapist who affirmed to me that who I am is okay, and who encouraged me to begin my transition journey.

    I don’t speak to my family often, and some not at all. Those I do speak to still refuse to acknowledge who I am. They still refer to me with male pronouns and my former name. They simply refuse to accept that I’m not, and really never was, that person.

    To those of you out there who have children, I implore you, please, if you have LGBTQ children, don’t put through what I went through. Love them, nurture them, help them discover themselves, and accept them for who they are, inside and out. As a parent, you have that responsibility. My “parents” chose to do otherwise, and while I certainly overcame that, there’s a sadness that stays with me over it. I wanted them to be with me on this journey, and they chose not to be, and that still hurts.

    Don’t force your children to go through what I went through.

    Love and light…

    • {{{{{{{{{{{Caitlyn Anne}}}}}}}}}}}} I was thinking of you and others who have shared here the unspeakable cruelty of their families and churches when people come out as LGBTQ.

      A few years ago there was story in FB about a little boy who wanted to dress as a ballerina for Halloween. When his dad took his son around to trick or treat, the dad also dressed as a ballerina. I wept in gratitude that this little boy was being raised by loving, non-judgemental parents.

      All of us are unique people and we all of us deserve an enviroment that encourages to become the people God wants us to be and not the pre-conceived notions of others.

    • A relative of mine was a teenager when they came out to their parents. This was in the late 1960s. My relative went home after school and said, “Mom, I think there’s something wrong with me.” Mom listened and said, “Let’s call your dad.” My relative said that’s when they knew it would be okay, because their dad was one of the most loving and accepting people on the planet. My relative’s mom and dad told them, “We don’t understand, but we will figure it out…and we will ALWAYS love you.” I wish all kids got that response from their parents. (Nowadays, of course, they’d probably be less likely to have to say, “We don’t understand…”)

      • There have, of course, always been parents who know that unconditional love for their children is part of the job description.

        I wish John P did not have to write these words for those who don’t grasp that, but since it must be said, I am glad he did and glad to support his words.

  8. Unconditional acceptance is good, but I can say with assurance that you’re not going to have an LGBTQ child because there’s no such thing. There’s no such thing as an LGBTQ adult either, though the string of letters rolls all too trippingly off the tongues of liberals who don’t want to think too hard about the subject.

    L, G, B, T, and Q are five different things. Your child may grow up to be one or more of them, but no way will s/he grow up to be all five because L(esbian) and G(ay man) are mutually exclusive. Why do so many liberals lump L and G together when they know that men and women are treated differently in this society? Really, the only thing L, G, B, T, and Q have in common is that we’re so often treated with disdain, fear, hatred, and/or ignorance by a sexist, heterosexist society.

    As a lesbian and a feminist, I keep my distance from LGBTQ. Too often the price paid for acceptance and civil rights is the claim that “we can’t help it.” Plenty of us — maybe more women than men — know from experience that it’s more complicated than that,

    Just promise yourself and your children that you won’t put them in any box based on what you see or think you’re seeing, or even on what they say before they’re old enough to have seen the options. Plenty of us had to leave home before we could realize that, hey, it really is OK for women (or men) to be like this.

    • Susanna, society put us in a box. The reason for the alphabet soup is that all groups, as Ben Franklin said, need to hang together or we shall certainly hang separately. In the 80’s there was prejudice against Bisexuals and Transgender among the gay community and progress was slow, but steady. The inclusion of bi/pansexuals and transgender people is making the advocacy stronger and we were making great progress until this year. I don’t do this for myself, that is of so little importance for society, but for the scared and confused teenagers and young adults having to face prejudice head on sometimes while being dependent on those that refuse to understand.

      • Robin I remember the prejudice against bisexuals and transgender people in the 80’s and the 90’s. I was part of a lesbian meet up group in our community. A huge debate broke out when a transgender woman wanted to join us. It was a volatile discussion that ended with her acceptance and a few people leaving the group.

        • It’s still that way, sadly. Transgender people still face a lot of discrimination within the LGBTQ community, and especially among certain groups of feminists. It’s a big reason why I have a difficult time getting involved, because often times, cisgender women will see someone like me as an “intruder”. It goes back to the whole “guy in a dress” thing, even though I rarely, if ever, have my gender questioned anymore by anyone.

          • This is why I will advocate everyone who wants to to be included in LGBTQ+ advocacy for equal rights, even cis straight allies. We need we can get to stand up to bigotry and say that it is wrong, no matter where it pops up. I do my part not for me but for the next generation and all of my gay friends that died of suicide and/or AIDS, and the dead victims of the bombing in a majority lesbian bar. I fear I know one that was killed then in Atlanta. Also for those that came out only to see death threats against them in the bathroom stalls.

          • True Caitlyn, that “guy in a dress” idea was what was argued the strongest. But, also the sexuality part. She didn’t fit that definition either. Ultimately the more level head women of the group made it clear that she should feel welcome because she needed a safe place to land and it started to break down some barriers (in our small community) when she joined the group on outings. I am grateful for that experience.

    • For the most part, I agree with you.

      I have three letters, myself (L, T, and I, respectively, since I also have an intersex disorder). At one time, though, I was just I, then IQ, before moving on to ITQ. For a time I considered the B, but after a rather embarrassing situation, I dropped the B and the Q and picked up the L, which, pre-transition, made people think I was just SI, though some thought I may have been G. I kicked away the S and G finally and picked the TL back up, leaving me at TLI.

      There’s really only one letter that counts, though, and that’s “H”.

      As in Human.

      Hope my alphabet soup gave you a giggle. 🙂

      • Caitlin Anne, forgive my asking, but what is intersex disorder? I am trying to educate myself on the issues facing LGBTQ community and I am afraid I have very little knowledge. I am grateful that although many Christians are extremely judgmental and cruel, people like John and those who have replied with openness and acceptance actually do exist. I just don’t like being ignorant simply because I have been challenged with very different issues and didn’t have to face what you had to face. God bless you and I am glad you are now comfortable in your own skin. Plus you are funny. Thanks!

        • There are a number of intersex conditions. The Intersex Society of North America (ISNA) is a good place to start getting educated about intersex issues and conditions. Website is the acronym dot org.

    • Susanna, what an excellent way to convince the conservatives that they are right and to offend those who support you who know perfectly well that LGBTQ is an acronym that represents individuals who are part of a population.

      Do you also object to “Black,” “Native American,” “Asian,” etc?

      Once upon a time, the feminist movement and the LGBTQ movement fought together and for the same things: human liberation. But maybe you are too young to remember that. But it was the LGBTQ community, loudly and proudly calling themselves LGBTQ which separated from the feminist movement, complaining they had to have their own representation for their unique issues. Which was too bad because all of us in the USA who are not rich, straight, white males have much more in common than otherwise.

      • Adding on… Susanna, I lost friends of over thirty-five years standing when my church, The Episcopal Church, was going through all sorts of hard times and nastiness over confirming Gene Robinson as a bishop.

        Also because I advocated that all God’s children had a place in the choir and for the inclusion of everyone in the pews, and especially LGBTQ, into the full life of the church as deacons, altar guild, priests, vestry, bishops, whatever God called them to with no restrictions upon their service.

        Over the years I have been called horrible things because I believe people are exactly as it delighted God to create them. I also rejoice that those who are born into the wrong bodies due to sin in the world like in a time when we have the medical knowledge, skill, techniques to correct the error.

        My brothers have rejected me because I refuse to buy into our father’s bigotry, prejudice, and racism.

        It has been very expensive, one way and the other, to be a liberal/progressive and defend the rights of all human beings to equality, to stand up for the voiceless, to protect civil liberties.

        So if my use of LGBTQ offends you, well, that is your choice and I daresay we won’t ever be friends, but I will still continue to defend the rights of all human beings to equality, to stand up for the voiceless, to protect civil liberties.

        One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • susanna. . i like your input about not lumping all the letters together. I think we should keep distinctions. they are important. Please accept this comment with full respect that is due to you, and hopefully some levity… ‘This isn’t a Dog Show!’ [where they focus on breed standards.] Human beings should not be categorized. We are already categorized, we’re Human.

      • I think labels are helpful for advocacy and identity. In our world people are assumed to be straight — with culture reflecting hard definitions of what it means to be male or female. We are then judged by how we don’t measure up to those ideals. Hopefully there will be a time when we won’t need labels because it won’t matter.

  9. This was the piece, when it first came out (no pun), that was my first introduction to John’s work. All I heard was “you have to read this online article by a pastor about what he’ll do if he finds out his kids are gay” or words to that effect. Sadly, you can imagine what I was thinking… Oh, boy, here we go – what will he do? Disown them? Shame them? Physically harm them? My imagination went where it should not, ever – because unfortunately so many professed Christians are not so very Christ-like. You can imagine my joy and relief upon reading this and discovering that *this* pastor is a parent who thinks, feels, and would behave with LGBTQ kids as I already do. This was my first exposure to *this* Christianity outside of my own heart, and it stands as my favorite post of John’s to this very day, despite finding SO much else to relate to in all of his subsequent writings. Please, awakening LGBTQ parents, do not blow it. I now think of sexuality as a spectrum, not a binary straight/gay paradigm. I have three fantastic adult children. Both of my daughters are bisexual – the older in her first-ever, but very serious, same-sex relationship with another bisexual woman. The younger, who mostly feels drawn to young men and like her sister has only had boyfriends before, but who currently has a crush on a young woman for the first time. My son kissed a boy once, but feels very secure in his heterosexuality and plans to get engaged to his girlfriend of two years. My point is that such things are not black and white all the time. Keep your minds and hearts open, and allow your children to express themselves – all that they are – with all the love and admiration they so richly deserve. Especially when just being themselves too often comes with unnecessary labels, disparagement, and sometimes far worse, from some segments of the society we all have to exist within. Authenticity, love, and compassion are all we really have. Like John, I adore each of my children with wild abandon! Celebrate the beautiful individuals you’ve been blessed to call yours.

  10. Great piece, John. It is sad that I should think of this as revolutionary; you and I both know that for normal, decent parents, this should be the only way, the instinctive way, that we should handle it.

    Any way other than this approach you have described so beautifully must be severely dysfunctional. It is crazy that there are people in this world, *and especially* in churches, who will favour others’ opinions over the most primal instinct of any parent, which is to love their children unconditionally.

    These dysfunctional people require imminent, world-class professional help. And the ones who pay for that help should be the people who caused that dysfunction: authoritarian church leadership.

    Well said, John. One of your best posts yet.

  11. I’ve been reading your blog for the last several months, and as a Jewish person, I was actually reminded of you recently when we celebrated Purim, or the Feast of Esther. Esther is born in a very difficult time for people like her, with a difficult task in life, and at one point she is reminded, “perhaps you were born for a time such as this.” I thought the same thing about you. Perhaps your insights and perspectives are exactly what we need at this time, whether it’s about the election, the (not-my) President, minority and LGBTQ rights, or spreading the word about what Jesus actually wanted people to do (as opposed to what some people who claim to be following him are actually doing.) Mazel Tov. God Bless you.

  12. Another home run, John P! As always, your words state what we need to hear, either to learn or to affirm this knowledge.
    I pass as a binary heterosexual ciswoman. BUT. I am not. I am a non-binary pansexual who has not had opportunities to explore the rest of the spectrum. Most people know this about me because I have no fear in talking about who I am, no matter the focus of the discussion.
    My parents don’t have a clue of this about me. They are already completely appalled by my divorce, my tattoos, and my Paganism. I think their heads would explode if I told them that I would kiss a girl. (And more, but that’s not a picture I want to paint in their {exploding} heads.) TMI, but some of my most common fantasies involve multiple people, of any orientation…in a steaming hot mess of love.
    You can never have too many people who love you. Why would anyone want to reduce that number? As with many other topics, the “neo-christians” (lower case “c” specifically, refers to those who say they are Christian but do not walk the walk) want black and white, yes and no answers. Life isn’t like that. Everything is a spectrum, from none to all, from red to violet, from imaginary numbers to infinity. (And beyond.) Sexual orientation, sexual gender identification, sexual behavior, are all spectrums of valid identities.
    Even within a binary man and woman relationship, there are a wide variety of options for expressing their love and maintaining their relations. Open marriage, missionary only, lights out, light on, in the kitchen, only in the bedroom and so on…
    I am always angry/amused by the obvious linking of “gay, bestiality, pedophilia and (GASP) polyamory”. Like having a lot of people who you just happen to share sex with, in addition to living together, working together, LOVING together, is the WORST thing that can happen to a person. What happens if someone doesn’t follow that checklist? What if they go from gay straight (see what I did there? haha) to polyamory? As most would do. Bestiality and pedophilia are two expressions of the same sexual behavior; in each case, it is rape as the animal or the child cannot consent in any meaningful way. As such, it is unacceptable to most of the people on this earth. As with ANY OTHER behavior, there are people who do it because…(wait for it) … sexual behavior is a spectrum!
    Life is already a painful, great, scary, wondrous time for children / teenagers. Who they love and how they exhibit that love is nobody’s business but theirs. And those with whom they choose to share the information. Thank you, my dear brother, for reminding us that a parent’s job is to love their child. Unconditionally. NO MATTER WHAT. There is nothing so terrible, so heinous, that a parent should stop loving their child. Even murderers have parents. And sexual identification and orientation is nowhere near that on any spectrum.

  13. Raising my son I never refer to his future as male ,we always refer to future” partners” and not “wife” and making sure he always had a choice of toys . He is 28 now and has a wonderful wife no children yet , hoping soon , but again that is their choice, not mine . Really all they need is, knowing that real love is unconditional.

  14. This topic speaks to me about love and acceptance for my son despite his drug addiction and all the ugliness that accompanies addiction.
    Unconditional love–without qualifiers. Unconditional love along with the fear and trembling for his very life. Unconditional love until the day he died of a heroin overdose January 21, 2016. I heard the hateful names my son was called—I try to be gracious and believe this comes from a place not understanding that leads to fear. My son had several good friends in the LBGTQ community. They attended Eric’s memorial service. They understood his struggles in a society that questions and fears “different”. We grieved together for the loss of Eric’s precious life. In his death, he knew he was loved. Thank you for your message John. My eyes are drippy this afternoon.

  15. John – Thank you for this! I wish you had been around when I was in my teens…I would have felt like there was someone who cared and I wouldn’t have had to endure all the agony of facing the truth about myself alone. The years of denial and self hatred would have been lessened. I thank God every day for you and all the good you’re doing for not only LGBTQ people, but for all of us who are struggling with what’s happening in the world . Peace and Love to you!

  16. I’m conservative fundie, I would do the exact same thing as Pastor John.
    — I would not be ashamed to tell people
    — I would pray for my child
    — I would love them (which means be accepting –which is different than approval.)

    But I’m going to add one more that John doesn’t address:
    –My heart would break for them

    • Why would your heart break for them? For that matter, why would your heart break for anyone who is simply being true to themselves? Your heart shouldn’t break for them, it should sing for them, because being gay, lesbian, transgender, or whatever, doesn’t make them any different than the person they were before.

      The only thing different about me since transitioning is my appearance and, occasionally, my clothing choices. I still play guitar, I still like the Star Wars saga, I listen to the same music, I eat the same food, and I can still work on my own car. That doesn’t make me any less feminine than anyone else, nor does my femininity make me any different than I was. Revealing who I was inside was no cause for a broken heart.

      You don’t have to approve, because ultimately, your child is their own person, and can come to their own conclusions about who they are. However, would you really accept them? Would you really try to gan the understanding of their sexuality or identity that’s needed to really accept them? Would you accept their partner, whoever that may be? I’m going to say you probably wouldn’t.

      • Caitlyn Anne, what a wonderful response. It’s a shame people display such prurience and are unable to mind their own business.

        Interestingly enough, the judgementalism displayed by leslie m is this very post of hers was cited as the reason someone new joined Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff. I must say the conservative reaction to John’s recent blogs has caused an explosion in the membership of that group. Twenty-five new people in only two days.

        One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

      • I knew Leslie M’s comment needed an answer but for the life of me I couldn’t find the words. You did beautifully.

      • Yes i would accept their partner. It would not change my religious beliefs about Gods restrictions for sexuality. And my heart would ache for anyone in that circumstance.

        • I’m sorry that you were shamed and attacked for your honest post that was very compassionate towards a hypothetical situation with your child, and for being true to your faith. Who were the bigots in this case?

        • I think it is sad that your heart would break over you beliefs about something and not over the harm your religion does to LGBT people.

          • The real tragedy, Sunny :), is that leslie m will probably never understand the harm she does to others. She doesn’t consider it harm because she knows she is right.

            Even though her “right” contradicts Jesus’ words to love all her neighbors as herself and as God first loved her.

            Every single time John P writes a new blog, she is given the opportunity to hear his prophetic words and repent and every single time, she turns her back on repentance.

  17. I too am grateful for posts like this. Thank you for your guidance and direction. I am a proud mom of two wonderful children–one straight and one gay. I love them to the moon and back!

  18. When I came out to my parents they needed time to take it in. I gave them some breathing space although I still lived with them. I didn’t expect them to understand and accept overnight, and I knew they loved me. Mom wanted to argue “it” out of me. I’d already anticipated the arguments and sometimes it hurt to hear her use them but I realized some of her words gave voice to my own thoughts before I came to a place of peace and acceptance about my own affectional preference. My dad was in the “love you no matter what” camp, yet there were times he backed up my Mom’s arguments. So it wasn’t smooth sailing. We struggled. But they never said they didn’t love me or that I was sick; they didn’t threaten to throw me out. Families work through their issues with open and honest communication. What they said was their truth at that point in time. People grow and change. Before I knew it, my girlfriend was a non-issue. Not just a non-issue, she became another daughter to my parents and they modeled healthy parental values to her and to all of us.

    When my parents approached the end of their lives, my wife and I moved across the country so that I could care for them in their last days. My parents loved me and respected me, and I lived very independently. I loved them and respected them and took “honor thy father and mother” very seriously. Even if they had not accepted my sexuality, we still had love and common history and respect. We can build a wall or a bridge. We all chose the bridge. We all trusted each other and inside we knew love would win. We can’t manufacture it if it’s not real. We either love or we don’t. So I would just advise parents and children to trust in the love and listen, really listen, to each other. Don’t issue ultimatums. Don’t judge. Only love.

  19. What a difference two years makes. When you first erupted on the national stage with this article, I was one of the early posters, and I wound up tracking the comments on that article for a solid month. The passion, venom, ignorance, and vitriol was hard to take, but your message was so simple and so right I felt like I had to engage.

    This time around, your message seems to be just as popular, but all the negativism has basically evaporated. I’d wonder if this were a case of self-selection, but I doubt it. I know there are still plenty of people out there who fear and revile us. I wonder, though, if while their personal feelings haven’t changed, perhaps over the last couple of years they’ve encountered enough friends and family who Have changed. Maybe they’ve come to understand that righteous indignation isn’t the only way to respond. They may have discovered that their way of viewing the situation isn’t as universal as they once thought it was. Regardless, the obvious and undeniable shift is uplifting.

    I was thinking about you yesterday. Over the last couple of years that I’ve been following you, you have continued to provide bright rays of light in what can be a rather gloomy world. You took a flying leap and created a whole new world for yourself and your family -and hopefully a better world for those kids of yours. I wish you weren’t wrapping it all in a god package, but I can usually read right past that with no problem.

    You’re a great example of how a man can walk right up to what appears to be an impenetrable barrier, then screw up his courage to take one more step, only to find the barrier was only in his mind, and his true self was waiting on the other side. In that way, your journey was similar to that of a lot of the LGBTQ community.
    Thank You, Sir.

  20. I was raised in a very conservative Christian home, I know GOD placed important people in my life growing up to prepare me for the day my son came to me to tell me he was transgender. At that time I had amazing 2 daughters and one awesome son, now I have 2 amazing sons and one amazing daughter. I was so happy that he was not scared to come to me before anyone and again I was so happy that GOD showed me the right way to love others and the right way to live my life as a Christian. My son is now about to graduate high school and will be on his way to college which makes me a little scared for him but pray he will be ok. We live in Texas and might have a certain bathroom bill pass very soon and it scares me but let’s hope it doesn’t pass. I could go on and on rambling, I just want to thank you John for your words every day.

    • Sorry to say, with Greg Abbott and his fellow monsters in the state legislature in charge, it will most likely pass. If you would like to help your son and join the “resistance, ” both of you please visit with my friends at the Texas Freedom Network (TFN). If you need a contact, send an e-mail message to dan@tfn.org. Tell him Charles sent you. He is their Director of Communications. Their website is here:

      tfn.org

      Their website has a nice blog too.

      For all you other folks out there who would like to see how far off the red state “deep end” Texas has gone (a state living in its own Twilight Zone) just visit the Texas freedom Network website and tool around for a while. The people TFN is fighting are—to put it mildly in bad French—batsh*t crazy.

    • I read the article Wayne. The premise is that homosexuality is not like any other sin. Which is true because it is not a sin. This is why it can be celebrated. It doesn’t fit with all those others sins listed in the article because all those other sins harm people and cause damage.

    • I notice your hero there did not quote Jesus EVEN ONCE, only the Epistles. Just another Paulist, as far as I’m concerned. He is of Satan.

  21. My Son is Gay. I suppose he was about 17 when he told us. So? all that it meant was that we knew more about him after he told us rather than before.
    Did I run around telling the world that he is Gay? well not any more than I told the world that my other Son is Heterosexual.

  22. A friend of mine shared this on her FB page, which is the first time I’ve read something by you. I say that only to emphasize how very meaningful & encouraging, so TRUE your message is and that I wanted to somehow thank you and let you know. This is the gist of what I told her a day after having read it for the first time: I’m still feeling the compassion and love this morning that radiates from this man’s message. Compassion and love that we all need to give – that we all need to receive as well. So many people go through life feeling as if they are just “not enough”, feeling as if there is something inadequate about them that they dare not share with anyone. Yet God has created each of us, loves us and wants us to be and share who we are, and to know that we matter. You know how they have required readings in school? This should be added to the list – as well as for all the “after school is long over” folk. ……Thank you.

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  24. Great words of comfort and comprehension John.
    As you already know, those who believe are already comfortable with your clear eyed understanding of humanity.
    Those who don’t or won’t believe are not likely to ever believe unless they are listening for that still, small voice trying to get their attention – finally waking and knowing the truth.

    Seems to me there is much education required and for many to leave this earth so those replacing them are clear eyed and live the values we are all commanded to walk in.

  25. Once again, another argument is made based on a false dichotomy.

    It’s not one or the other. It’s both.

    A parent can and should be loving to a child that has a homosexual tendency, but can also teach the child that it would be a sin to commit a homosexual act and that it will go better for them to live their lives in chastity than to yield to a disordered inclination.

    https://couragerc.org/

    • But then what are you telling them???? It’s not a choice, sorry if you still think they just chose to be a certain way, god created them and he created them out of love just like he created you. If you told them that then really what are you actually telling them, think about it. Why do you think there are so many suicides among the LGBTQ community??

  26. I was always led to understand that the reason homosexuality was unacceptable in the Bible teachings, is that the world needed more people and therefore more Christians?) . There wasn’t then a population explosion as there has been for the last 100 years in most places, so I should think we should be immensely grateful to the LGBTQ community who don’t ‘breed unthinkingly like rabbits’ but in fact choose parenthood with much thought and care. The world is overpopulated and is causing massive problems with water, food etc, so let’s celebrate them.

  27. When I was first pregnant in the early 1990s, I did a lot of thinking about parenting, in part so that I would not repeat the parenting mistakes that I suffered through as a child. I became more observant of what was going on around me.

    It eventually dawned on me that many parents have their children’s whole lives planned out for them before they are even born. What sports or arts they will enjoy. How well they will do in school. What career they will have. Who they will marry. How many grandkids there will be.

    When a child went against any of these plans, there would be anger and recrimination, but mainly what I was seeing was grief as a long-term, long-held plan was erased.

    I decided that I would make no plans for my children other than the obvious day-to-day, keeping body and soul together kind of plans. They would be supported and encouraged and I would find out who they are as that emerged. It was a great adventure.

  28. When my daughter was 5 years old, she told me that she wanted to be a boy and have an operation to make her one. I asked why she felt that way, and she answered that having a vagina felt like a Halloween costume, it just didn’t fit. I told her that she had to wait until she was 18, and stopped growing. I told her that if she grew tall, like her Daddy ( he’s 6’0) , and had the size of her 4 1/2 year old’s brother penis, she wouldn’t be comfortable or have any enjoyment out of it. I explained that it wouldn’t be in proportion. She didn’t understand the word, so I cut a picture of a mouse’s head and put it on a picture of a giraffe. She then understood. Even though, I always wanted a daughter and a girly out at that, I knew it was more important for her to be happy. I told her that I loved her because she was my child, not because she was my daughter or my son . I told her that we could compromise, that I could buy her clothes in the boys department and we could make believe that they were for her younger brother and she could try them on in the girls’ try on room and if anyone asks I would say that you and your brother are the same size and you are with me and he is home with Daddy. I told her that some people won’t understand, but I do and that there isn’t anything wrong with it. She hugged me saying that I’m the best Mommy in the world. I just asked her to please not wear her sports sweatshirt for family photos. She agreed. After the photos, she could wear whatever she wanted. She then told her father, that she was going to marry me when she grows up. He sked her why and she answered because Mommy understands me. He asked what she meant by that, and she sad that Mommy knows how to compromise . He said that he didn’t understand. My son then said, Daddy if you have to as, then you really don’t get it. A couple of years ago, my daughter came out to me. Her friends already knew, and I was the only family member she told. Even though, I thought so, for a long time, I didn’t think it was my business, unless she wanted to tell me or not. She knew that I was bisexual, and she also knew that I loved her unconditionally. When she told me it was over the phone because we don’t live together any more. I told her how honored I was that she trusts me . I told her that it really wasn’t my business, so she didn’t have to tell me. She told me that is the exact reason why she told me. She told me that she also loves me unconditionally too. She hasn’t spoken about wanting to be my son instead of my daughter since she was 5, but for me, I just want both of my children to be happy, whether I have a son and daughter, 2 sons, or 2 daughters. In my opinion, my children aren’t just mine, they belong to the Lord, who loaned them to me, until we are all called home.

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  30. It’s 5:15 am and I’m in tears at the amount of love in this post. I am a gay man, who has been with his partner for the past 19 years. I’ve lost count of the number of people who tell me it’s not possible to be gay and a Christian. G-d bless you for this post and the love in your heart.

  31. There is a scripture that some might find comforting. “6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Prov 22:6).

    All my life I’ve had that scripture quoted “as if” what the bible is saying is that the parent can control how a child “turns out”.

    When I began learning Hebrew this was one of the scriptures that my Rabbi pointed out was “lost in translation”.

    In Hebrew, the meaning / flavor is more like “Find out who your child is, and raise them accordingly.. they will become all they are intended to be”.

    Beating them into our vision… or accepting who G-d designed them to be. Our choice.

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