I have met some astounding people over the course of my ministry and life. People who have prevailed against seemingly insurmountable odds. Simply being around them charges the atmosphere with hope, energy, and strength. They inspire and fill the heart with a desire to abandon all fear.
Yet, nothing compares to encountering the force that is a parent of a LGBTQ child.
Quite honestly, I thought I knew what passion-of-heart looked like. But then a gaze into the soul of parent of an LGBTQ child. It only took a glimpse. That was enough to be forever convinced. Never underestimate the heart of a parent of an LGBTQ child. It’s an unstoppable force.
You might assume that upon their child coming out as LGBTQ, they automatically flip their theological switches to fit this newly revealed reality. Not a chance. No one studies the scriptures, searches the soul, and presses into their faith more than the parent of an LGBTQ child. These are smart, informed, wise people who do their homework. They take no shortcuts in the journey of walking through these issues, faith step by faith step— tirelessly seeking God’s heart and looking through all the windows. Traveling down a path of deep discernment, revelation, and spiritual investigation, a road that only few are willing to shadow. For many, theirs is the prize, the discovery of truth rarely discovered— the God affirmation of all of His creation… including, especially LGBTQ.
Don’t think for a moment these are unraveled people; frail, misguided, pushovers. Playing some kind of victim card as if their lot is to be pitied. Strength finds itself in a willingness to cry, to shake, to toss and turn through sleepless nights and yet press on anyways. No one who is weak, wrestles and beats the chest of God— stands there and takes it; insult, ignorance, bullets of bigotry. Chasing down the question, what does the future bring? Will this ever get any better? Walk a mile in their shoes. While the trees fall in front of them, the road buckles underneath them, you will find pure resolve. An inner strength, a beauty amidst the ashes, wings defying the gravity of oppression—all the while declaring, lifting out the ways they are blessed.
Yet nothing compares to the loyalty locked onto their LGBTQ child. No one who is human handles anything perfect. The journey of an LGBTQ parent… it’s a maze, filled with highs and lows, twists and turns— clouds of denial, reoccurring doubts, even for some, the rejecting of one’s own. This is a complicated issue with many strings attached. The set of dominoes that falls from the moment the closet door opens “Mom, dad, I’m…” not to mention, the second door opening, “Yes, my child is…”— each family experience a bit different, all difficult at best. Yet at the end of the day, much more so than not, there remains a loyalty, of love beyond love that wraps around their LGBTQ child refusing to let go. Try and break the seal, the bond— you cannot.
These are men and women, walking through sinking sand, climbing over barbed wires, fist to cuff with demons— doing the best they can. Willing to risk it all; to stand with, to stand for, what’s most important… truth, life, justice… their children.
I say to you, if you are looking for hope, for a clear sign of humanity’s splendor.
If you are looking for what God is doing in this world, a quaking of His movement.
If you are looking for a strength, the bursting forth of light, able to break through steel clouds of darkness.
If you looking for modern day Mary’s and Joseph’s, an advent of where God is with us.
Look no further than the parent of an LBGTQ child.
A star is shining upon a place, a people not expected, birthing new revelations of the Father, awakening the world to the Spirit’s movement.
The heart of a parent of an LGBTQ child is a beautiful, strong, human, divine, unstoppable force.
If you are ever honored to know them, I beg you, sit at their feet. Listen.
Listen closely to their stories. Dine intimately with their children. Take off you sandals, for where you stand is holy ground— where you sit, the presence of nothing less than the Divine. You are among a people, a manifestation of heaven.
Love them and love them well.
Because sadly, they rarely find room in the hearts of those who should most receive them— living lives outwitting the forces, the religious, the Herod’s that seek to destroy them. Hoping and praying for those willing to simply listen.
Their deepest desire… is there any room in your heart, to simply listen?
May they find rest, sanctuary, friendship, and affirmation in you.
The heart of a parent of an LGBTQ child is an unstoppable force.
If you are willing to listen, to love, to learn… your heart might become unstoppable too.
As a mom with a gay daughter you just absolutely made my day!! This is the toughest, most wonderful, journey I’ve ever taken!! Fight for my child, absolutely. Fight for other LGBT kids who have no one to fight for them, absolutely. This world is changing (much too slowly for me!) and I’m proud to be a part of the force helping to make that change! Some day my daughter will NOT be looked at as “weird”, no one will notice that she doesn’t dress like most girls, she’ll just be a person – equal to all other persons! Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see it!
Linda, thanks so much for the encouragement! Let’s be brave together and love this world into change!
Yes someday when the world has learnt about its prejudice, we shall be well with the world. We are already well with the Lord.
Bless you, Linda. May you be strengthened with resolve and encouraged on your path with your beautiful daughter. I wish I personally knew some parents like you. I applaud you all.
Thank you, Chris, for this. It opened my eyes to the fact that there are parents like this out there. Thank you, each one of you that has chosen to stand by your beautiful children and fight for them.
Chris, your description of a parent was to me more a description of me and my own battle since I only came out late in life and my parents have long passed on. I have had to fight my own battle through thick and thin, and still fight it. My children have not fought for me, but stand more against me, though perhaps they are gradually coming round. Relatives and friends who stand with me are very few, so it’s a lonely road. More and more I am convinced of my own position and becoming daily more secure in it, but there are still times when doubts can assail and threaten to overwhelm me. I so appreciate your support in writing this blog. Keep up the good work!
Jem, thank you for reading and for commenting. You are an inspiration to me, and I stand with you on the lonely road you journey! May God strengthen and assure you! Let me know of any way I can serve you. Love to you.
“No one studies the scriptures, searches the soul, and presses into their faith more than the parent of an LGBTQ child.”
That applies to many of us LGBTQ “children” as well. I am in my 85th year of life out of the womb and in my 38th year of life out of the closet. I am also a former, ordained Southern Baptist minister.
Ted, so grateful for you comment! Thank you!
I also am the proud Christian mom of a gay daughter. As you said, the day she came out was the day I realized I had to get serious about understanding what the Bible really said in “those verses”. I spent over two years reading everything I could get my hands on, praying with each new resource that God would give me discernment to be able to know truth from falsehood. I prayed more than I have before or since, as I was seeking God’s heart on the issue of homosexuality. God has been so very real to me in my (now) seven year journey since my precious daughter came out, and has given me a ministry of supporting other parents of LGBT kids as we walk this new path together, learning to celebrate and protect the amazing human beings that God has placed in our care. God is moving in the Church, and change is happening, but I would love to see it happen more quickly, for the sake of all the precious LGBT kids sitting in the pews and hearing that they are damaged goods, rebellious, damned, and feeling completely helpless to do anything but sit and feel the hate of those who should love them unconditionally.
Can’t agree more Marlene! So great to connect with you. I hope we can connect and stay connected further through FB or some other means! If I can serve you in any way please let me know!
THANK YOU for such an affirming post! I found out 4 years ago this week that my journey as a parent would be far different from what I thought it would be; the day my almost-21 year old daughter came out to me as lesbian (followed 2 years later by her 18 year old sister coming out as asexual and gender-queer). As a very religious person, I struggled over where this fit into my Mormon faith, my Christianity. From the very beginning, every answer to my prayers has been to LOVE. I have never wavered in that, but it took me a couple of years, lots of study, endless prayers, getting to really know other LGBTQ souls, and finding a group of mothers whom you just described, who put their arms around me and helped me find my strength.
Have you ever heard of the Mama Dragons? You clearly already know our souls. This group started out in a secret Facebook group with a handful of Mormon moms of LGBTQ kids, listening to and supporting each other. It’s grown to over 600 Mamas, of many faiths, advocating Christ-like love for ALL our queer kids. When we meet, it is far more as if our souls are recognizing each other rather than strangers meeting for the first time.
Because the need for support is so great, the group is no longer “secret” and can be found on FB; anyone who is in need of this type of support can ask to join (though we do keep the Mama Dragon group to women, there is also a Dragon Dads group).
THANK YOU AGAIN for your support and recognition of Mama Dragons (whether we call ourselves this or not, our hearts are the same). Thank you for recognizing that God is in our hearts and leading us in doing all we can to change attitudes in the world and especially in our churches, wherever we are, towards love, inclusion, and affirming safety for all of our LGBTQ family.
Please, anyone who is in need of a hug and support is welcome to contact me, or find the Mama Dragons on Facebook.
Lisa, thanks so much for reading this post and for your encouraging words. Your journey is inspiring to me and would really like to hear more of your story. Thank you for introducing me to Mama Dragons, how awesome! I hope we can connect further on FB or in someway. Let’s stay connected!
Chris, I am overwhelmed by the passion of your posts. Not only that but the truth that shines through. I am also thankful for the community that gathers around this blog because I am on a steep learning curve as one who doesn’t have much face to face encounters with LGBTQ persons and their allies. My heart swells as I listen to personal stories of love and faithfulness amidst incredible obstacles. I bless all of you who share your stories and pray for joy to have its way in your lives and and the lives of loved ones. We are, all of us, such delights to our Creator and Lover of our souls.
Paul, such beautiful words you share. Your friendship is so valuable to me and your encouragement and wisdom, life changing.
Pastor Chris, my tears were flowing. Some of the toughest stings I have felt, not to mention my gay daughter, have been from those who claim to profess the love of Christ. It’s sad really. Thank you for caring enough to be brave, to try and understand, to show empathy, but mostly for your love of ALL people. How can we be wrong? It just doesn’t seem wrong, especially when I think of Jesus and who He spent time with. I believe God convicts the heart. Therefore I’m going to love and affirm every lgbtq person I meet. Thank you for doing the same!
Like you Sherry the deepest stings I have felt have been thru the Christian community. Every cruel remark I take personally. If you disparage the LGBTQ community you are talking about my daughter. No one has the right to say she is less than, not as good as, or for others, not allowed to use the bathroom. I struggle daily with – who gives you the right to judge my child, to say my daughter cannot marry whom she loves, that she cannot adopt or foster a child? Study the Bible? I have gone thru it over and over and come to the same conclusion-God loves every single one of us, Jesus died for every single one of us. No one is better or less than the next person. Thank you so much Chris for writing this article.
As the mom of a gay son, and a member of 2 on line support groups because I have few friends who understand…I thank you.
Amen! Beautiful poetry, and above all, love and acceptance of people with non-standard affinities.
I am this parent. Thank you for putting this into words. I have a story to tell but it is still unfolding. I am further down the path than my spouse but he too is seeking God. We are bonded together in our fight for spiritual understanding and committed to being a safe place for our daughter and her friends, many of whom have no safe place especially among their families or places of faith. Please keep writing about it.
So honored to connect with you Nicole. Would love to connect with you further, perhaps on FB or otherwise, would be honored to hear more of your story.
This is none other than the force of Love.
This is so beautiful. I am a mother of a child who had the courage to confide in her family what she has felt for 9 in the wrong male body, I can relate to each and every word. Even though I am Jewish, I am so honoured and touched that someone of such incredible faith had the insight to write these beautiful word. God bless you.
Dionne, thank you so much, the honor is mine!
Thank you! I have shared your post with many friends, family, our rabbi, teachers and will continue to do so as our sweet Jocelyn reveals herself. From the deepest depths of my heart and soul – THANK YOU.