Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private facebook group for moms of lgbt kids

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Serendipitydodah for Moms was created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,000 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBT kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBT kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBT people, bloggers and public speakers.

 

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

Stories That Change The World #29 -Sparkly Tutus

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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twenty-ninth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

I have a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ+ kids. We have more than 1,300 moms in the group and continue to grow. The group, Serendipitydodah for Moms, is secret so only members can find it.

Our motto is “We are better together” because we do believe it takes a village and our nick name is “Mama Bears” because we love our kids fiercely. We focus on developing and maintain healthy, authentic, loving relationships with our kids and we are passionate about making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ people to live.
When we read what Jen Anderson Shattuck wrote and posted on her personal Facebook page we immediately knew she is a “Mama Bear” and she is one of us.We are thankful Jen made her Facebook post public and gave permission for it to be shared. Moms like Jen and moms like the “Mama Bears” in Serendipitydodah are changing the world one story at a time.

So, Jen, if you are reading this please get in touch (lizdyer55@gmail.com). We would love to have you join our private Facebook group.

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Here is Jen’s Facebook post:

 

My three-and-a-half-year-old son likes to play trucks. He likes to do jigsaw puzzles. He likes to eat plums. And he likes to wear sparkly tutus. If asked, he will say the tutus make him feel beautiful and brave. If asked, he will say there are no rules about what boys can wear or what girls can wear.My son has worn tutus to church. He has worn tutus to the grocery store. He has worn tutus on the train and in the sandbox. It has been, in our part of the world, a non-issue. We have been asked some well-intentioned questions; we’ve answered them; it has been fine. It WAS fine, until yesterday.

Yesterday, on our walk to the park, my son and I were accosted by someone who demanded to know why my son was wearing a skirt. We didn’t know him, but he appeared to have been watching us for some time.

“I’m just curious,” the man said. “Why do you keep doing this to your son?”

He wasn’t curious. He didn’t want answers. He wanted to make sure we both knew that what my son was doing—what I was ALLOWING him to do—was wrong.

“She shouldn’t keep doing this to you,” he said. He spoke directly to my son. “You’re a boy. She’s a bad mommy. It’s child abuse.”

He took pictures of us, although I asked him not to; he threatened me. “Now everyone will know,” he said. “You’ll see.”

I called the police. They came, they took their report, they complimented the skirt. Still, my son does not feel safe today. He wants to know: “Is the man coming back? The bad man? Is he going to shout more unkind things about my skirt? Is he going to take more pictures?”

I can’t say for sure. But I can say this: I will not be intimidated. I will not be made to feel vulnerable or afraid. I will not let angry strangers tell my son what he can or cannot wear.

The world may not love my son for who he is, but I do. I was put on this earth to make sure he knows it.

I will shout my love from street corners.

I will defend, shouting, his right to walk down the street in peace, wearing whatever items of clothing he wants to wear.

I will show him, in whatever way I can, that I value the person he is, trust in his vision for himself, and support his choices—no matter what anybody else says, no matter who tries to stop him or how often.

Our family has a motto. The motto is this:

We are loving.

We are kind.

We are determined and persistent.

We are beautiful and brave.

We know who we are. Angry strangers will not change who we are. The world will not change who we are—we will change the world.

EDITED TO ADD: This post is public and able to be shared. We are so grateful for your love and support!

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

 

 

Moms of LGBTQ kids proclaim their support, admiration & gratitude for Sarah McBride

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I have a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids. We have more than 1,200 moms in the group and sometimes we send letters to people or organizations we appreciate and support.

We have a lot to be thankful to Sarah McBride for …

Four years ago, as student body president at American University, she made national headlines when she came out as transgender in the school’s student-run paper, The Eagle.

In 2012 she became the first out trans woman to work at the White House when she interned for the Office of Public Engagement.

She was in the national spotlight in May of this year when she had a selfie go viral after she took a picture of herself in a restroom in North Carolina to protest a controversial law that bans transgender people from using bathrooms in line with their gender identity.

Then last month she made history as the first transgender person to speak at a major party convention.

And she currently serves as National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign.

Sarah is doing great work and is a wonderful role model.

That is why we sent her this letter with more than 375 signatures from moms who are in my private Facebook group.

Dear Sarah,

We are part of a large private Facebook group of more than 1,200 moms of LGBTQ kids.

Our group, Serendipitydodah for Moms, was created especially for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids who want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids.

More than 375 of us are signing this letter because we want to say thank you for the work you are doing and for being such an excellent role model. Your commitment to work for equality, inclusion and protection of LGBTQ people gives all of us so much hope for our children’s future.

We are very encouraged by all you are doing and accomplishing; and want you to know we are praying God will protect, strengthen, guide and bless you.

We believe people like you reflect the true spirit of America.

We are forever hopeful others will hear your voice and be inspired to follow your just and compassionate example.

With sincere admiration and gratitude,

Abby De Fiesta Cortez
Adele Berardi
Alecia Moss
Aletheia Wall Zambesi
Alise D Chaffins
Alison Defrese
Allena Brown
Amanda Corry Thorderson
Amanda Curtis Dwyer
Amy Hansley Moorehead
Amy Rueter
Andrea Larson Schultz
Angie Laws
Angie Silver
Anita Jewell Carter Cockrum
Ann McGee Green
Ann Zweckbronner
Arlene Schulz
Barb Cressy
Becky Cantrall
Beth Barndt Ruthenburg
Beth Breems
Beth McGill-Rizer
Bethany Kirwen
Betsy Bruce Henning
Billie Jo Marrs
Bonnie Miranda
Brenda Holloway Bratcher
Bridget Murphy
Carie Poynor Downes
Carla Iturregui Picasso-Brown
Carla Michaelsen
Carla Short Spivey
Carol Beth Wiggins Baswell
Carol Mason
Carole Bass
Caroline Williams Joyce
Carolyn Cage Johnston
Carrie Garske Shank
Caryle A Cox
Cassy Taylor Campos
Cathleen Frantzen Schaber
Chasity Davis
Cheri Nill
Cheri Simpson
Cherie Walker
Cheryl Bakkila-Perkins
Chris Behne
Christie Hoos
Christina Lehmann Bergevin
Christy Emigh
Cindy Richard Broussard
Cilla Thomas
Cindy Helzer Baldwin
Cindy Morgan
Colleen Hepler Brassington
Colleen Kane
Crista Mason
Crystal Baker
Cyndi Silva Raugh
Cynthia Corsetti
Cynthia Gaye Rahm-Clark
Dana Baker
Dana Huntington-Smith
Danette Mohring
Dawn Bellotti
Dawn Bennett Jones
Dawn Pulley Ervin
Deb Gallagher
Debbie McCullough Hayhurst
Debbie Rogers Greenan
Debbie Wasielewski Tavarez
Debby McCrary
Debi Jackson
Debi Tucker Boland
Deborah Carlyle Enman
Debra Honeywell Myott
Dee-Ann Bodenheimer-Enslin
Deena Corwin Pfahler
Deleise Carper Brewer
Denise Ramirez-Tatum
Denise Trainer Webb
Derry Cronin Gleason
Diana Dermit McCarthy
Diane Blevins Smith
Diane Simms
Donna Holmes
Donna Turner Hudson
Dorene Rose
Doris Wright
Elaine Falk Parker
Elisa Stoneman
Elizabeth McConnel Sutton
Elizabeth Pierce
Eva Sullivan-Knoff
Felicia Dodd
Frances Lavender
Gena Rogers
Genell Brown
Georgi Persons
Gerry Phifer
Glenda Purkis Boulton
Greta Medrano
Gretchen Doornek Mueller
Harriet Sutton
Heather Clevenger
Heather Gee-Thomas
Heather McCracken Bottoms
Ineka Estabrook
Irene Gilliland
Jacqueline Rutledge
Jade Cutter
Jamie Hovland
Jamie Tessing Bruesehoff
Jammie Risley Hahn
Jan Pezant
Jan Roberts
Jan Wightman
Jane Clementi
Jane Moody
Janet Phillips
Janice Dunn White
Janie Romine
Janine Sarah Moore
Jaron Terry
Jeannie Babb
Jennie Young-Walczyk
Jennifer Dunnam Stringfellow
Jennifer Hancock
Jennifer Schaffner Burkhardt
Jennifer Seeger
Jennifer Stake White
Jennifer Teeter
Jenny Bishop Morgan
Jerri Surles Collins
Jessica Fahlgren
Jill Pote Yarbrough
Jill Spicer
Jillian Jones
Joani Lea Jack
JoAnn Forsberg
Joann Thompson
Jody Miller Vanderzell
Joy Denton
Judie Brown Gordon
Judith K Volkar
Judy Witzel Harper
Julia Lunardo
Julie Bean Bisgaard
Julie Elliott O’Neal
Julie Greene
Julie Kennedy Eaton
Julie Lenox Haines
Julie Manning Waters
Karen Adams
Karen Decker Kusserow
Karen Sullivan
Karin Paulus
Karin Triola
Katherine Brown Leidy
Kathrine M. Kraft
Kathi Nicholson
Kathie Moehlig
Kathryn Zentner
Kathy Ann
Kathy Ewing-Finley
Kathy Green
Kathy Reim
Kathy Renne Post
Katie Jenifer
Katie Willhite Brooks
Katrina Black
Kay Kelley
Kay Otting
Kay Whistler
Kelli Henry Alamond
Kelli Lewis Decker
Kellie Taylor- Lafevor
Kelly Beane
Kelly Cantwell
Kelly Dembiczak
Kelly M Hunsaker
Kelly Rae Holiday
Kim Belcher Messick
Kim Freeman Weill
Kim Kendall
Kim Lue
Kim McMahon
Kim Sonntag
Kimberly Jones
Kimberly Shappley
Kimberlyn Graham
Kirsten Shaw
Kris Gromm
Kristen Capp
Kristi Kodos
Kyle Jump
Lannette Sargent
Laura Beth Taylor
Laura Sparks Turner
LeAnn Fenner
Leba Shallenberger
Lee Ann Howdershell
Lenora Lea Gill
Lesa Edwards-Schepers
Lesley Davis
Leslie Jones Webster
Linda Baker
Linda Ling
Linda Rooney
Linda Slater Tow
Linda Wiebe Dickinson
Linda York O’Connell
Lisa Bray
Lisa Cousins
Lisa Giordano Bontemps
Lisa Golden Dugger
Lisa MacGregor
Lisa Maniscalco Hildebrand
Lisa McCrystal Holley
Lisa Osborne
Lisa Reinhart Hard
Lisa Schramm
Lisa Scott Wofford
Lisa Wetmore Shinn
Liz Dyer
Loretta Davila
Lori Black Manning
Lori Bradley-Lewis
Lori Love-Wise
Lori McCoy Simmons
Lori Rogers
Lyndah Kolkmann
Lynette Joy
Lynn Kato
Madai Girard
Maleea Shaver Castillo
Mally Shell Hatch
Marcie Castiglione
Margi Wilmans
Margie Candler
Maria Breeden
Marianne Minier Walker
Marjorie Rudolph
Marlene Hoefer Brummond
Marlene Lund
Marsha Ladd
Martha Maust
Marti Parsons Grahl
Mary Estelle Montgomery
Mary Jo Whitley
Mary Kay Weil
Melea Broekers
Melissa Ballard
Melissa Brady Silva
Melissa Morritt Coble
Melissa Sosenko DeStefano
Meredith Webster Indermaur
Merryl Dietz
Michele Engle
Michele Freemyer Grabbe
Michele Manuel Fuselier
Michele Wessel Tarnow
Michelle Bradshaw McComb
Michelle Zulch
Millie Donnell
Miriam Pendley
Monica Maday
Monica Thompson
Monica-Niki Elenbaas
Morven Roberts Baker
Najla Samaan
Nancy Barron Booher
Nancy MacDonald
Nancy Ruh
Nancy Thompson Flikkema
Nancy Villegas
Nancy Wance
Nichole Byers
Nicole Havlen Hair
Olivia Santos
Paige Gant
Pam Ensinger Antos
Pam Swendig
Patricia Sjöberg
Patti Atwood Grossman
Patti Mercer Churner
Patti Stone
Patti Stratton
Paula Unrau
Pauline Carlson
Pauline Daly
Phyllis Barber
Rachel Drouillard
Rachel Keyte
Rachel Sargent
Rebecca Hedges Lyon
Regina Pitts Woods
Renee Utley Bennink
Rev. Mally Baum
Rhonda Hartzell
Rita Daruvala
Rob Ullinger
Robin Gowan
Robin Protsman
Robinette Nacca-Cooke
Ʀosaııie Ĺane
Rose Stucchio
Roseanne M. Shannon
Rosemarie Varrichio Campbell
Roxanna Villars Gambrell
S. Anderson
Sandra Cathers
Sandra Van Dyne
Sandy Collins
Sandy McClure
Sara Cunningham
Sara Hoel May
Sarah Mills Holbrook
Sarah Thacker-Estell
Shannon Eaton
Shawna Dicintio
Shay Bisbee Haude
Shelley McBride
Sheri Martin
Sherrl McFerrin Townsend
Sondy Eklund
Stacey Frazier
Stacey Jackson Baeumler
Stacy Gouge Drake
Stephanie Anderson
Sue Corbran
Sue Howard
Sue Tresatti
Susan Berland
Susan Cloys Seaman
Susan Cottrell
Susan Foss Naranjo-Stultz
Susan Hammontree Fortney
Susan Ledbetter
Susan Metcalf
Susan Wardzinski
Susy Rowe Barnhill
Suzanne Lambert Mann
Tamara Darbin
Tamara Totoro Dick
Tammi Perkins
Tammy Flowers Mejdrich
Tammy Watson
Tammy Wenzinger
Tammy Wylie Barnes
Tamra Jennings
Tana Lightbown Hendricks
Tari Card
Tenley Dyck
Teresa Medlin Poston
Teresa Parker
Teri Henderson
Teri Stueland Kay
Terri Cook
Terri Gervasi
Terri Nolt
Terri Schempf
Terry Hall Sanchez
Theresa Moore Martinez
Theresa Tasker
Tonda Campbell Hoyt
Toni Ann Bradley
Tracie Sells
Tracy Jepson
Tricia Kaufman- Waddell
Tricia Willard
Valerie Amoling Cronin
Vanessa Horton-Hendershot
Vanessa Melchiori
Vicki Kemp Whorton
Vicki Westphal
Vicky Barnes
Wendy Wiley Canedy
Zaneta Salde Encarnacion
Zenia Robertson

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBT kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBT kids.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

 

Stories That Change The World #28 – A Rose is a Rose is a Rose

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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twenty-eighth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

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I have a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The group is Serendipitydodah for Moms and presently has more than 1,200 moms in the group. It’s a wonderful community of moms who are trying to be the best moms they can be and who love their kids fiercely. The group is a place where we share a lot of support, encouragement and wisdom as we learn to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with our LGBTQ kids.

Sharing in each other’s journey, learning from each other’s experiences, seeing each other grow and evolve is a beautiful thing to witness and be a part of.

The following is a glimpse into one of those journeys.

RoseBorder24
The following was written by Tamara Darbin. Tamara is a member of Serendipitydodah for Moms and recently shared this in our private Facebook group. She and her son, Sawyer, have given me permission to share it here with you.



The journey continues to evolve…

Several years ago, when my son came out as transgender, he chose the name Oliver. For me, a particularly painful piece at first was setting down his birth name. I remember agonizing over picking his name. He was our fourth “girl”. It couldn’t be just any name. It had to fit with the rest. I remember saying naming him was like writing the last line in a poem…

Ironically, after our first child was born and given a rather gender specific name (Savannah), the next three were purposefully given more gender neutral names. That way, we could name the baby before ever knowing their sex/gender. We had a “boy” or “girl” middle name picked out to go with the given first name. So…it went like this:

Savannah Jo
Riley Anne
Reagan Breanne
Sawyer Paige

It kept us all on our toes…learning to use the correct pronouns and the new name. In time though, he truly became “Oliver”. My initial grief, over losing my ideas of “daughter” that were connected to him (and his birth name) in my mind and heart were replaced with the joy of learning more and more of who my child truly was, and had been all along.

A few weeks ago, he told me that he has decided to go back to his birth name.

What??? Wait! Wow! Cool! Seriously? But, what about Oliver??? Ha ha! Yes, folks! My brain (and heart) seriously just did this total double take. I had this mini freeze of fear and panic. Was I losing something yet again….something that I had fallen deeply and fully head over heels in love with? My son. Oliver.

Whoa! Emotions and words… male. female. someone’s name. When and how do we become so deeply attached to the “ideas” and “expectations” that are connected to things? How many other things (belief systems, judgments, societal “norms”) blind us every day to the reality of who the people around us really are?

I’m thankful for what I’ve been able to learn about life because of this journey I’ve been on. I am thankful that I’ve gotten to watch a very beautiful human being grapple with self discovery, draw boundaries and lay claim to a territory that demands the world get to know him on his terms. I am grateful to watch him pick back up some of his own pieces that he at first rejected due to his own pain of having been forced to be something he never felt he was. I feel setting down his name to some degree was also about his own pain of having been seen as someone he did not see himself as. To watch him pick it back up again is symbolic of the healing and growth I’ve seen take place in him. He is my son. He has gone from hyper diligent rejection of every. single. thing. feminine… to realizing that he can do and enjoy and be whatever he damn well pleases! Make up. A skirt. Who told men they can’t wear these things anyways?

So, I’d like to reintroduce my son to all of you as “Sawyer”. The child that was born to me, but was never “mine” to own. I am blessed beyond words to have been invited on this journey with him.

RoseBorder24

 

 

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

Learning & Growing Together #1 – Romans 1:26-27

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This “Learning & Growing Together” series includes posts I have shared in my private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The group, Serendipitydodah for Moms, is a place where moms of LGBTQ kids share a lot of support, information and encouragement … it is a place where moms of LGBTQ kids are learning and growing together with the purpose of developing and maintaining healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. For more information about the group email me at lizdyer55@gmail.com

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Christians who believe that same sex relationships are sinful rely on a few verses that have been misunderstood and misused. You will often hear those verses referred to as the “clobber verses”.

In studies of sex in history, Stanford classics professor John J. Winkler warns against “reading contemporary concerns and politics into texts and artifacts removed from their social context.” This, of course, is a basic principle of biblical hermeneutics.

Calvin Theological Seminary Old Testament scholar Marten H. Woudstra says: “there is nothing in the Old Testament that corresponds to homosexuality as we understand it today” and SMU New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish says: “There is no ‘text on homosexual orientation in the Bible.”

Robin Scroggs of Union Seminary adds: “Biblical judgments against homosexuality are not relevant to today’s debate. They should no longer be used … not because the Bible is not authoritative, but simply because it does not address the issues involved.”

And yet, many pastors and individual Christians still use some passages to justify their belief that same sex relationships are sinful and unpleasing to God.

The clobber verse that I am confronted with most often is Romans 1:26-27.

There are some great resources available that go into a lot of depth and explanation about Romans 1:26-27 but I am always on the lookout for something brief and meaningful.

Here is something brief and meaningful that can be offered when discussing Romans 1:26-27:

“Romans 1:26 and 27 clearly speaks of same-gender sex by both men and women and is the only passage in the New Testament that does so. Romans 1:18-32 speaks of Gentile (heterosexuals) who could and should have known, served and given thanks to God but would not, so God gave them up and let them do whatever they wanted to do, and that resulted in degrading and shameful acts, including same-gender sex. It is almost a moot point, but Paul is not listing sins for which God will condemn anyone, he is listing sins that occur because people have forsaken Him. These are acts committed by those who have turned away from God and so become “consumed with passion.” All of us recognize that those who forsake God and give themselves over to lustful living–homosexual or heterosexual–stand condemned by the Bible. This passage is talking about people who chose to forsake God.”

That paragraph can open up an opportunity for more discussion. It isn’t meant to shut down the conversation. It doesn’t answer every question. It is meant to lead to more meaningful conversation – conversation that might help someone think about what that verse is really saying – conversation that allows one to introduce their own story into the mix.

In my case, that short paragraph can provide the opportunity for me to point out that my son who is gay did not forsake God and become gay, or forsake God and turn to lustful living, or forsake God and start having same sex relations. My son did not forsake God and he isn’t off living a life of sexual sin. My son, like most people, has simply gone out and dated, fell in love, become engaged and now plans to marry and have a family.

When I include my story and my son’s story it becomes obvious that Romans 1:26-27 is not talking about my son or the kind of relationship that he has with his fiance. It becomes obvious that Romans 1:26-27 is not a good argument against the kind of relationships that most LGBTQ people are looking for and it is not a good argument against same sex marriage.

Forsaking God and lustful living can be discussed further but neither of those things automatically apply to same sex relationships.

Good theology always has some skin and bones involved and once you add skin and bones when discussing Romans 1:26 -27 it becomes obvious that this passage does not provide sufficient evidence to condemn all same sex relationships.

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For more in-depth study of Romans 1:26-27 check out Introduction to Romans 1:26-27

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

 

 

President Obama Responds to Moms of LGBTQ Kids

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123Response to Your Message   lizdyer55 gmail.com   GmailI have a private Facebook group called Serendipitydodah for Moms. The group was created for moms of lgbt kids. As of today we have more than 1,200 moms in the group. It’s a wonderful community of moms who are trying to be the best moms they can be and who love their kids fiercely. The group is a place where we share a lot of support, encouragement and wisdom.

One thing that we often do is send letters of thanks and support to individuals, churches and organizations that support LGBTQ+ equality and protection. We are passionate about making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ+ people and we want to support and encourage those who are working to do the same.

In May, when the Obama administration instructed public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity, we decided to send a letter to President Obama. More than 250 moms signed the letter (not everyone is ready to go public so we only include the names of moms who give permission for their name to be included.)

We hoped the letter would get to the President but we knew that the chances were slim. The information available said President Obama only reads 10 letters per day out of the thousands he receives. So … when I received this response from the President we were excited, surprised and honored. 

Dear Elizabeth:

Thank you for writing.  Throughout our history, generations of Americans have brought us closer to fulfilling the ideals at the heart of our Nation’s founding—that all of us are equal, and that all of us should be free to make of our lives what we will.

Our country has come far in its acceptance of transgender Americans, but transgender individuals still face terrible violence, abuse, and poverty here at home and around the world.  I know that some people have a hard time understanding what it means to be transgender, especially if they haven’t had the opportunity to know someone who openly identifies that way.  As brave individuals come out at all levels of business, government, sports, and entertainment, the power of their example is slowly but surely changing hearts and minds.

We need to ask ourselves what kind of society we want to build for the many young people struggling with their identities who deserve a childhood free from harassment or ridicule.  Too many transgender people, especially youth, take their own lives because of discrimination and violence, and no one should ever feel so alone or desperate that they feel they have nowhere to turn.  That’s why my Administration took a stance against the use of conversion therapy on minors, and why we have been working to address bullying.  And when schools sought advice about how to ensure learning environments are respectful and inclusive for all students, the Department of Education provided guidance to educators—because all of our children deserve to know that their safety is protected and that their dignity is affirmed.

We have also taken actions to help ensure that transgender Americans have the same rights as any other Americans.  I issued an Executive Order that prohibits discrimination in employment by Federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and I signed legislation that includes protections against hate crimes.  Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, there are now important protections in place against discrimination in healthcare, including discrimination based on gender identity.  And this year, my Administration lifted the ban on transgender individuals serving in our Armed Forces—because no American who wishes to serve our country should face unnecessary barriers, and our military is strongest when it draws on the skills and talents of all our people.

Again, thank you for writing.  Please know I will keep pushing to advance the safety and dignity of every American as long as I hold this Office and beyond.

Sincerely,

Barack Obama

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Here is the letter we sent to the President:

 

May 18, 2016

 

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Washington, DC 20500



Dear Mr. President,

We are a part of a large private Facebook group of more than 1,000 Christian moms of LGBTQ+ kids.

Our group was created for Christian moms who have LGBTQ+ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ+ kids.

More than 250 of us are signing this letter because we want to say thank you for all you have done for LGBTQ+ people. Your commitment to include and protect LGBTQ+ people throughout your presidency has given us so much hope for our children’s future.

We are very encouraged by your actions and want you to know that we are praying that God will protect, strengthen, guide and bless you.

We believe that your action not only reflects the true spirit of America, but also demonstrates the idea that Paul put forth in Galatians 5:6 when he wrote “the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” We are forever hopeful that others will follow your just and compassionate example.

Most respectfully,

Liz Dyer, Founder & Owner

Abby De Fiesta Cortez

Adele Berardi

Alise D Chaffins

Alison Defrese

Allena Brown

Amanda Curtis Dwyer

Amy Hansley Moorehead

Angie Laws

Angie Silver

Anita Jewell Carter Cockrum

Ann Zweckbronner

Barb Cressy

Becky Cantrall

Beth Breems

Bethany Kirwen

Betsy Bruce Henning 

Billie Jo Marrs

Bonnie Miranda

Bridget Murphy

Carie Poynor Downes

Carla Iturregui Picasso-Brown

Carla Short Spivey

Carol Beth Wiggins Baswell

Carol Fuss Reed

Carol Mason

Carole Bass

Caroline Williams Joyce

Carolyn Cage Johnston

Carrie Garske Shank

Cassy Taylor Campos

Cathleen Frantzen Schaber

Chasity Davis

Cheri Nill

Cheri Simpson

Cherie Walker

Cheryl Bakkila-Perkins 

Chris Behne

Christie Hoos

Cindy Morgan

Colleen Kane

Crista Mason

Cyndi Silva Raugh

Cynthia Corsetti

Dana Huntington-Smith

Danette Mohring

Dawn Bellotti

Dawn Bennett Jones

Dawn Pulley Ervin

Deb Gallagher

Debbie McCullough Hayhurst

Debbie Wasielewski Tavarez

Debby McCrary

Debi Jackson

Debi Tucker Boland

Deborah Carlyle Enman

Dee-Ann Bodenheimer-Enslin 

Deena Corwin Pfahler

Deleise Carper Brewer 

Denise Ramirez-Tatum

Denise Trainer Webb

Derry Cronin Gleason

Diana Dermit McCarthy

Diane Blevins Smith

Diane Simms

Donna Holmes

Donna Turner Hudson

Dorene Rose

Doris Wright

Elaine Falk Parker

Frances Lavender

Gena Rogers

Genell Brown

Georgi Persons

Gerry Phifer

Greta Medrano

Gretchen Doornek Mueller

Harriet Sutton

Heather Clevenger

Heather Gee-Thomas

Heather McCracken Bottoms

Ineka Estabrook

Irene Gilliland

Jacqueline Rutledge

Jamie Hovland

Jammie Risley Hahn

Jan Pezant 

Jan Roberts

Jan Wightman

Jane Clementi

Jane Moody

Janet Phillips

Janine Sarah Moore

Jaron Terry

Jennie Young-Walczyk

Jennifer Dunnam Stringfellow

Jennifer Hancock

Jennifer Schaffner Burkhardt

Jennifer Seeger

Jennifer Stake White

Jerri Surles Collins

Jessica Fahlgren

Jill Spicer

Joani Lea Jack

JoAnn Forsberg

Joann Thompson

Jody Miller Vanderzell

Joy Denton

Judie Brown Gordon

Judith K Volkar

Judy Witzel Harper

Julia Lunardo

Julie Bean Bisgaard

Julie Elliott O’Neal

Julie Greene

Julie Kennedy Eaton

Karen Adams

Karen Decker Kusserow 

Kathi Nicholson

Kathryn Zentner

Kathy Green

Kathy Reim

Kathy Renne Post

Katie Jenifer

Katie Willhite Brooks

Katrina Black

Kay Kelley

Kay Otting

Kay Whistler

Kelli Henry Alamond

Kelli Lewis Decker

Kelly Beane

Kelly Rae Holiday

Kim Freeman Weill

Kim Kendall

Kim Lue

Kim McMahon

Kim Sonntag

Kimberly Jones

Kimberlyn Graham

Kori Pavkov

Kristi Kodos

Kristina Gromm

Kyle Jump

Lannette Sargent

Laura Beth Taylor 

Laura Sparks Turner

LeAnn Fenner

Lenora Lea Gill

Lesa Edwards-Schepers 

Lesley Davis

Leslie Jones Webster

Linda Baker

Linda Ling

Linda Rooney

Linda Slater Tow 

Linda Wiebe Dickinson

Linda York O’Connell

Lisa Bray

Lisa Giordano Bontemps

Lisa Golden Dugger

Lisa MacGregor

Lisa Maniscalco Hildebrand

Lisa McCrystal Holley

Lisa Osborne

Lisa Reinhart Hard 

Lisa Schramm

Lisa Scott Wofford

Liz Dyer

Loretta Davila

Lori Black Manning

Lori Bradley-Lewis

Lori Love-Wise

Lori Rogers

Lynette Joy

Lynn Kato

Madai Girard

Maleea Shaver Castillo

Mally Shell Hatch

Marcie Castiglione

Margi Wilmans 

Margie Candler

Maria Breeden

Marianne Minier Walker

Marjorie Rudolph

Marlene Hoefer Brummond

Marlene Lund

Marsha Ladd

Martha Maust

Marti Parsons Grahl

Mary Estelle Montgomery

Mary Jo Whitley

Mary Kay Weil

Melea Broekers

Meredith Webster Indermaur

Merryl Dietz

Michele Freemyer Grabbe

Michele Manuel Fuselier

Michelle Bradshaw McComb

Millie Donnell

Miriam Pendley

Monica Maday

Monica-Niki Elenbaas

Morven Roberts Baker

Nancy Barron Booher

Nancy MacDonald

Nancy Thompson Flikkema

Nancy Villegas

Nancy Wance

Nichole Byers

Nicole Havlen Hair

Paige Gant

Pam Ensinger Antos

Pam Swendig

Patricia Sjöberg

Patti Atwood Grossman

Patti Mercer Churner

Patti Stratton 

Paula Unrau

Pauline Carlson

Pauline Daly

Phyllis Barber

Rachel Drouillard

Rachel Sargent

Rebecca Hedges Lyon

Regina Pitts Woods

Renee Utley Bennink

Rev. Mally Baum

Rhonda Hartzell

Rita Daruvala

Rob Ullinger

Robin Gowan

Robinette Nacca-Cooke

Ʀosaııie Ĺane

Rose Stucchio

Roseanne M. Shannon

Rosemarie Varrichio Campbell

Roxanna Villars Gambrell

S. Anderson

Sandra Cathers

Sandra Van Dyne

Sandy Collins

Sandy McClure

Sara Cunningham

Sara Hoel May

Sarah Mills Holbrook

Sarah Thacker-Estell 

Shannon Eaton

Shay Bisbee Haude

Shelley McBride

Sheri Martin 

Sondy Eklund

Stacey Frazier

Stacey Jackson Baeumler

Stacy Gouge Drake

Sue Tresatti

Susan Berland

Susan Cloys Seaman

Susan Foss Naranjo-Stultz

Susan Hammontree Fortney

Susan Ledbetter

Susan Metcalf

Susan Wardzinski

Susy Rowe Barnhill

Suzanne Lambert Mann

Tamara Totoro Dick

Tammi Perkins

Tammy Flowers Mejdrich

Tammy Watson

Tammy Wenzinger

Tammy Wylie Barnes

Tamra Jennings

Tana Lightbown Hendricks

Teresa Medlin Poston

Teresa Parker

Teri Stueland Kay

Terri Cook

Terri Nolt

Terri Schempf

Theresa Moore Martinez

Theresa Tasker

Tonda Campbell Hoyt 

Tracie Sells

Tricia Johns Baumann

Tricia Kaufman- Waddell 

Tricia Willard 

Vicki Kemp Whorton

Vicki Westphal

Vicky Barnes

Zaneta Salde Encarnacion

Zenia Robertson

 

 

Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

FELA Members Call on the Republican Party to Reject Platform Provision Supporting Conversion Therapy

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Breaking News!!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 

UNITED STATES – The Former Ex-Gay Leader Alliance (FELA), a coalition of former leaders and founders of conversion/ex-gay therapy, denounce the recent decision by the Republican Party’s Platform Committee’s recommendation essentially affirming so-called “conversion therapy” as a plank in the GOP Platform. The recommendations of the committee will be voted on at the Republican National Convention, being held next week.

Conversion Therapy—one of the terms used to describe attempts to change a person’s sexual orientation—has been debunked and discredited by research and science, and its use is universally rejected by medical and mental health professionals. Several states and cities have banned its use for minors since it’s been shown to cause long-term mental and emotional damage to those who endure these programs.

This form of “therapy,” also known as reparative therapy, ex-gay treatments and sexual orientation change efforts (SOCE), is only promoted in the most extreme of religious communities and organizations, such as the one headed by Tony Perkins, who pushed this item through the Platform Committee. Perkin’s organization, the Family Research Council, is listed as an Extremist Group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) for its unrelenting and deceptive attacks on LGBT people.

FELA represents more than 50 years of experience, made up of those who founded or once led these groups, and we can attest to the emotional and spiritual damage caused to men, women, children and their families.

We call on the Republican Party to reject this dangerous recommendation. This is not about partisanship, it’s about the health and welfare of our young people.

Brad Allen
Lay Leader Volunteer (2005-2007)
Church Network Coordinator (2007)
Exodus International

Darlene Bogle
Founder, Director, Counselor
Paraklete Ministries (1985 to 1992)

Michael Bussee
EXIT (1974-1979)
Co-founder Exodus International (1976-1979)

Alan Chambers
President, Exodus International (2001-2013)

Catherine Chapman
Project Coordinator (2000-2003)
Women’s Ministry Director (2005-2007)
Portland Fellowship

Jeremy Marks
Founder
Courage UK (1988 – 2012)
Exodus Europe (1988 – 1999)

John Paulk
Love in Action Leadership Team (1989-1993)
Public Relations Director, Portland Fellowship (1996-98)
Founder-Director, Love Won Out (1998-2003)

Exodus International Board of Directors (1998-2003)

Bill Prickett
Founder, Executive Director
Coming Back (1986-1988)

Tim Rymel
Outreach Director
Love in Action (1991-1996)

Yvette Cantu Schneider
Executive Director (2001-2005) Living in Victory Ministry
Consultant, Athletes in Action and Fellowship of Christian Athletes (2002-2007)
Director of Women’s Ministry, Exodus International (2008-2011)
Policy analyst, Family Research Council (1998-2011)

John J. Smid
Staff Member (1987-1990) Executive Director, Love In Action (1990-2008)
Exodus International Board of Directors (1990-1995; 2002-2008)

Randy Thomas
Executive Director, Living Hope Ministries (1999 to 2002)
Staff member, Executive Vice President, Exodus International (2002-2013)

Kevin White
Manager of Exodus Books, Exodus International (2006-2008)

(originally posted by Tim Rymel at The Huffington Post)

Stories That Change The World #27 – Free Mom Hugs

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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twenty-seventh installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

13714483_10153725974065418_530303359_nI have a private Facebook group for moms of lgbt kids. We have more than 1,200 moms in the group and it keeps growing. It’s a wonderful community of moms who are trying to be the best moms they can be and who love their kids fiercely. The group is a place where we share a lot of support, encouragement and wisdom.

Not only do the moms in the group love their own kids well but they often seek out opportunities to spread their love around to others. It is not unusual for members of our group to show up at LGBT gatherings, such as the Gay Christian Network Annual Conferences, pride parades and gay nightclubs, wearing a t-shirt or button that says “Free Mom Hugs”

This week some of us were asked to send some virtual hugs to a young man who had come out to his mother and received a very hurtful response.

David and Constantino Khalaf who blog at Modern Kinship received a letter from a young man who wrote to them using the pseudonym PK. When PK came out to his mom she said she would rather him be dead than gay. David and Constantino reached out to a few of us to ask us if we wanted to send PK some virtual mom hugs by sending him messages of love and support. They shared those messages with PK and then also shared the story on their blog.

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Once I shared the story in my private Facebook group many moms wanted to send their love and support to PK. 

So, PK, here you go! Here are a BIG bunch of virtual hugs being sent your way! Some are short – some are long – some are signed – some are anonymous … all are sincere and from the heart.

We hope you can feel the love …


Hugs from the Sunshine Coast Australia. Xxxxxx

Big, tight, squeezy hugs full of love from Robin in Vacaville. It will be OK…hang in there.

Hugs and love and support coming your way…know you are never alone!

BIG HUGE MAMA BEAR HUGS from Terri in Phoenixville, PA! Stay strong and stay true to yourself…..you are worthy and you are loved!!

Dear PK: I’m so sorry that you had to hear those things from your mom. I hope and pray that some day she realizes the gift she has in you. Just as you are. When I realized that my daughter was gay, I knew that it was not something she chose. I knew that I loved her dearly and would never want to hurt her. I knew that the rejection I would face for accepting her and loving her wouldn’t compare to what she would face from family and friends. I hope that you are able to surround yourself with people who get you, support you and love you. Us moms are here for you and I’m sending a virtual mom hug right now! Love, Sandy V.

A GREAT big hug from Canada! I want to affirm you and who you are. God loves you exactly as you are, so much so that even if you were the only person who ever sinned, Jesus would have died just for you. That isn’t throw away love, it is deep to the very core kind of love. There is NOTHING you could ever do that would change HIs love for you. I wish your mom had been able to show you that kind of love and I pray one day she will. In the meantime, please let us surround you with our love and read these messages as often as you need them. Many of us have had to face rejection also, so we can understand a little of what you may feel. One day when we meet, if not here, in heaven, I will be able to give you that GREAT big hug! You are loved. Tana from Canada

Dear PK, You are loved and precious. You have shown grace and compassion to your Mother. I didn’t understand when our son came out a few years ago, but my love for him never changed. I trusted God and He changed my heart. Knowing what I know now, I consider it to be a huge blessing in my life to be the parent of a gay child. My heart is exponentially bigger and I have learned so much about God’s love and compassion and true teachings of Christ. It took my own precious son coming out to open my eyes. He is perfectly and wonderfully made. So is my straight daughter; just like you and the rest of us! Proud Mama and ally. I will pray for your family’s journey. It is a process and much has to be unlearned because it was wrong in the first place. I love keeping my mind open to learn more and truly believe that Love Wins. You are loved, dear PK.

Dear PK, This mama bear sends hugs to you knowing that no hugs can replace those from your own mama. But please understand that you are loved and you have love to look forward to. I pray that your own mama can come to realize that she has so much to learn about who you really are. Sending love your way, from Colleen B.

Huge hugs and lots of love to you from me in Odessa, TX. I totally didn’t get it at first when my son came out at age 38, but I did a 180 in a very short time and I hope your mom does too.

Big hugs from Connecticut! Wish you were here… I’d hug and never let go!!!!

Very big tight Mama Bear hug from Chesapeake, VA. You are loved. I will pray everyday that your own mom comes to realize what a precious gift you are.

Sending you love, hugs, and prayers as you journey on.

My dear, You are so very precious. If you were here I would wrap you up in my arms and make sure you knew it was going to be ok. You are fearfully and wonderfully made and a precious gift from God. I pray that someday your mom sees through her fear and remembers that. Regardless, we are out here praying for you, loving you, and hoping that you find your true love and live out your dreams what ever they may be. You are loved. A Mama Bear from the Seattle area.

Please do not let your Mother’s decision to (initially) choose religion instead of Jesus stop you from knowing you are loved by God. We will stand in the gap, praying your Mom is touched by the Spirit, visited in her dreams and willing to open her heart and search out the truth instead of what she has been taught is the law. Do not lose hope. Be who God has created you to be and He will not depart from you.

Big hugs from Jamie in CA.! You are loved by God and by all of us for exactly who you are, dear one. Never forget that- you are loved. 

Our hearts are breaking with you PK. I know all too well what your mom was feeling when she said those words to you but she is wrong. She will someday come to see that you are wonderfully and beautifully made, just the way you are. I pray that some day she will realize how having you as a son will only bring her more life. Keep loving her and yourself most of all. Big Mama Bear hugs to you!

From the depths of my soul I pray for your comfort and acceptance in this world. I pray that God will help your parents realize that you are made perfectly with his divine hand. You are exactly who God made you to be and you are worthy of their continuing love and devotion. God is love. I send you all the virtual hugs possible from my arms in West Richland, WA

Dear young man, I’m sending you the biggest mama bear hug that I can send across the miles! My own youngest daughter, who was lesbian , did die from a horrible cancer almost four years ago and not a day goes by that I wish that I could still hug and hold her too. You deserve to be loved just as you are and believe me, you are!

HUGs and I love you sweetie!

Dear PK, I am so sorry your mother reacted poorly to your honest answer to the question she asked. Likely, she really wanted affirmation that you were straight, so that took lots of courage to tell her the truth about your sexuality. I know that many fundamentalist pastors and other leaders have been rejected by their churches when they have gay family members. There is probably a lot of fear on your parents’ part because, in addition to the challenge of their tightly held, narrowly defined, religious beliefs, there is great likelihood that the will lose their livelihood if they accept you as a gay person. The reemployment market for rejected ministers is dismal. However, that is no reason that you should not have been honest and should not be the person you were created to be. My heart hurts for you and your parents. Figuring out how you move forward with that relationship will be a process as you mature and go forward with your life. I hope your parents choose to become educated as to other ways to look at the LGBTQ community and love you as all parents should love their children. Prayers that you find your own peace and live life fully and with love. Hugs to you. A Mama Bear

Know that you are loved by God just as you are and loved by a whole lot of mama bears. Sending you a lot of love and hugs. – Rose Stucchio

Dear PK, Please know that we Mamas are praying that your mom comes to love and accept you just as you are. In the meantime, we are here to offer you love, affirmation, acceptance and hugs. Need a listening ear? We are here! A bed for a while? We are here. A friend? Yep, that’s us.

Huge hugs from Michigan! You are beautiful and perfect and have so much to give to the world. Keep your head up high and know that we are behind you!!

Sending big mom hugs from Texas! Praying that your mom realizes that she has a wonderful son who was made by God.

PK you are loved. God loves you just as you are. We love you and send you mama hugs. We know that this does not undo the heartache associated with your mothers reaction. But we hope and pray that until she realizes her sin in not loving and accepting you that we can stand in the gap and be a balm for you pain. – Judy Volkar

Dear PK: My rainbow kids are PKs, too. I’m so sorry you didn’t have the loving embrace you deserve from your own clergy parents. But I’m sending one to you from a Mama Bear Pastor, and inviting you into the same deal I gave my kids-if there is any kid you know who doesn’t feel loved and accepted by their mom, please let me have the honor to be considered your Mom, too, along with all the adopted Mama Bears you now have! Bless you. God loves you as you are perfectly and wonderfully made, my precious one. (((Hug))) Praying with you and for you. – A Mama Bear Pastor

Dear PK, There is nothing you need to change about yourself. You are perfectly made and loved just as you are. Never doubt yourself and stay encouraged that you will have a beautiful life full of friends, allies and love! Hugs from Michelle McComb, a proud mom in Texas!

Hugs from Indiana! Family is not always blood. Know that you are loved as you are! – Martha Richards

Hugs from North Carolina!!! Please know you are loved for who you are!! This mama is sending hugs and much love to you! – Angie Laws

So so sorry to hear of your mom’s rejection. It must have been such a horrifying response from your own mom who should love you unconditionally. Your life is so valuable and you were created by God just the way you are, for a purpose. I pray that she will eventually open her heart. I wish I could hug you in person, but for now, here’s a virtual hug from McKinney, Texas. – Amy Bennett

Big hug from Cali! Time… I was lucky my daughter was patient with me. Hang in there!

Sending mom hugs from Iowa.

You are beautifully, wonderfully and perfectly made PK! You have our love and support and hopefully one day soon, you will have that as well from your mom. In the meantime, know that you have many mama bears supporting you and are here for you!

Sending love, acceptance and mama bear hugs from Canada. 

This mama bear in Ohio wishes she could wrap her arms around you and hold you so tight, and whisper to you that you are special, you are precious, and you are dearly loved. – Georgi Persons

Sometimes as mothers we get things wrong. We are so consumed with our love and future plans for “our child” we fail to see you as the perfectly made INDIVIDUAL that God created. PK, this mom is praying for you and your mom. That she can overcome her fear, open her heart, and love you, just as you are.

Oh dear sweet one. Know that you are not alone and know that not all people feel that way. Know that there are other parents who love you and send their love to you from near and far. I’m sending mine from Oklahoma.

Please know you are loved. Simply said. Hugs from Florida right now and then hugs from NC.

I am married to a PK and our son is gay and he is such a blessing in our lives. Sometimes you have to make a new family or as Mary Englebreit says, bloom where you are planted. Just remember, your are a precious child of God and your sweet soul is as important, to Him, as anyone’s. Isn’t it wonderful that the same God who made the sun, moon, and galaxies thought the world needed you, too? If you were closer, you would not believe the hugs we #mamabears would smother you with. – Gerry Phifer

This Mama Bear is from AZ and I am sending you hugs and lots of love. God loves you just the way you are PK.

Oh, PK, that really hurt my heart for you and your relationship with your family. I am the wife of a preacher. My son came out about 3 years ago and we couldn’t love him anymore than we already do and accept him 100%. But the church did not and it was scary. But, PK, it has been a wonderfully enriching journey to learn the depth of God’s love and grace as He leads us to a greater understanding of His profound and unconditional love for each of His children and to shake off the chains of judgmental intolerance that the church seems to drag perpetually drag around. Just know there are better things ahead. There is always hope for a heart change for your family, but if that doesn’t happen, there are over 1000 mamas that stand with open arms to welcome and love on you! I am one of those mamas.

Dear PK, I am so sorry about what your Mom said and how much it must hurt!

No answers but this Mamma bear from Fl sending you many hugs!!

From one PK to another….I am so sorry you had to hear such painful and horrible words from the woman who is supposed to love you unconditionally. Keep your chin up. God is working on your mom while He is loving on you…His perfect creation. Meanwhile, you’ve got more than 1000 Mama Bears hugging you from all over. 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV): “Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” – Mama Bear from Pittsburgh, Sending hugs your way , stay strong!

Dear PK, I wish that I could wrap my arms around you and not let you go until you were fully convinced you are a beautiful person, loved for who you are, just the way you are! I am so sorry when you, or anyone who is LGBTQ feels and experiences rejection of any kind. It is especially difficult when it is loved ones, parents, family members that turn away and reject people for who they are born to be. I would like to have conversations with you if you would like. Feel free to send me a friend request, but private message me so I know who you are. I am an ally, an advocate, and one of the best things that ever happened in my life was having a son who is gay. It wasn’t always easy for any of us, but life doesn’t always come in tidy little packages with pretty ribbons and sweet presents inside. Lessons need learned. Love needs to grow. There is hope for your parents to change their hearts. They are living in fear and that in itself can cause a ripple effect of some pretty ugly things. Stay strong and true to yourself. You have a whole LOT of Mama Bear hugs coming your way all throughout the country. So do your friends. Proud to be your friend and advocate, Bethany Kirwen.

Hugs and much love…truly and completely!

Do not believe the lies you are told or hear about! God created you perfectly and loves you! It breaks my heart how people can be so hurtful toward others they haven’t even met. I haven’t met you either but I know you are a beautiful person who is loved by God! I wish I could give you a huge hug right now to show you that I love you too! Your life matters!

Big hug from Cali! Time… I was lucky my daughter was patient with me. Hang in there!

PK…I’m so sorry that you’ve been hurt by your mom. I pray that as she processes this she will come to an understanding that you are wonderfully and perfectly made. There is nothing wrong with you, and you have done nothing wrong. Keep being you and look for people who support and love you. Big hugs from this mama in Maryland.  – Lesa Edwards-Schepers

Lots of warm hugs from New Jersey!! 

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You can read the original story, which includes PK’s letter to David and Constantino on David and Constantino’s blog.

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,200 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.  For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

 

Activist Mommy

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***Thanks to Sara Cunningham for allowing me to use this picture. Check out the notes at the bottom of this post to find out more about Sara and her book “How We Sleep At Night: A Mother’s Memoir”

 

There’s a new #ActivistMommy on the scene these days. I would guess that she is probably a member of the “One Million Moms” group on Facebook that has less than one hundred thousand members. LOL  You know the group – it’s the one who boycotts any business or organization that shares anything positive about LGBTQ people.

Anyway … this new #ActivistMommy is similar to the members of the One Million Moms group as she likes to complain and rant (in videos and in Facebook posts) about how horrible the world is because of Pride parades and same sex marriage and inclusive churches and businesses that allow people to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity.

She is all about the doom and gloom and likes to talk about how those who affirm same sex marriage and support churches that are fully inclusive are not really Christians.

Her supporters are even more bold and are likely to tell someone like me that I am going to burn in hell and am leading my gay son into the pit of hell with me … oh, and they are predicting the end of the world will probably happen any day now. LOL

Well …

I’m an #ActivistMommy too but I’m not trying to spread a doom and gloom message.

Instead, I’ve created an online community for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, authentic, loving relationships with their LGBTQ kids.

The group was started in June 2014 and we have over 1,100 members now.

We share a lot of info and support in the group and inspire each other to do what we can to make the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ people to live.

That’s the kind of #ActivistMommy I am.

Email me at lizdyer55@gmail.com for more info about the private Facebook group and how to join.

To all the moms out there who love and support their LGBTQ kids I propose that we take over the #ActivistMommy hashtag and use it to spread a positive message of love and light.

If you post a picture of you and your family at a Pride parade use the hashtag #ActivistMommy.

If you post something that supports equality or protection for LGBTQ people use the hashtag #ActivistMommy.

If you post a picture of a same sex couple getting married use #ActivistMommy.

If you post something about #PFLAG or #GCN or #HRC or #TheTrevorProject or #GayStraighAlliance or #TrueColors or anything that is a positive support system for LGBTQ people – especially LGBTQ youth – use the hashtag #ActivistMommy

That way, when people search for #ActivistMommy they will receive a post or picture or video or thought that will help make the world a better place for all of us to live.

Your move!

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,100 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.  For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com
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***Thanks to Sara Cunningham for allowing me to use her picture for this post. Sara Cunningham is one of the members in the Serendipitydodah for Moms group. She is my kind of #ActivistMommy

She organized a group of moms who went to OKC Pride this year. They marched in the parade, set up a “Free Mom Hugs” booth and helped shield LGBTQ people from those who were there to spread negative messages.

Sara is also the author of “How We Sleep At Night: A Mother’s Memoir” which tells the story of how a Christian mother comes to terms with her son being gay through a personal journey that starts with the Church and ends at the Pride Parade. It’s a great book that I highly recommend.

You can find out more about Sara by following her Facebook page.

 

 

Stories That Change The World #26 – After Orlando

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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twenty-sixth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

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Forty-nine people were killed and more than 50 were wounded when a gunman launched an assault on a gay nightclub in Orlando in the early hours of June 12 around the time when the club was about to close.

I have a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. We have more than 1,100 moms in the group. I’m sure you can imagine our reaction after we heard the news Sunday morning.

We gathered together in the online group to share our horror, sympathy and fear – to encourage and support one another – to check on each other’s kids.

In the aftermath many of our kids wrote heart felt messages on social media.

Their words tore at our hearts, brought tears to our eyes and made us proud.

Following are words from some of our kids that we think people need to hear:

Being gay unfortunately comes with a lot of problems & concerns that you have to face on a daily basis. Every time I meet a new group of people or start a new job, I have to wonder to myself if living authentically is worth facing potentially being treated differently and experiencing discrimination. I work as a tutor and teaching assistant at three different schools, and I am ashamed to admit that I often feel compelled to hide my sexuality from my students in order to maintain professionalism because unfortunately, the I was born might make some feel uncomfortable learning from me or even being in the same room as me.

Every single time I’m with a man I care about, I am forced to make a choice. Is holding their hand or kissing them in public worth the risk? Do I hide how I feel and live and fear or stand proud of who I am? More often than not, I make the decision to hide who I am out of fear, and doing so leaves me feeling so guilty, upset, and angry in a way that I can’t even put into words. Every time I see a straight couple holding hands in public, I can’t help but feel angry- angry that I can’t do the same without feeling incredibly uncomfortable due to the judgments of others and feeling that my safety is at risk. Unfortunately, there is much more than just dirty looks or rude comments at stake as the shooting in Orlando & the shooting that nearly occurred at LA Pride have reminded us all. There is still a vast amount of hate, intolerance, & homophobia, and gay people & other members of the LGBT community are still regular victims of hate crimes. Feeling safe with a significant other is often fleeting because the harsh reality of stories like this are always in the back of your mind. Every time I leave the house, my mother worries about whether or not I’m going to come back safe, which may seem trivial until things like this horrible shooting happen. The next time you think to yourself why gay people care so much about the right to marry, to not be denied service by local businesses, or feel the need to celebrate who they are at gay pride events, just remember that we spend our entire lives without even a basic sense of safety, and these are just a few things that make us feel a little less fearful and actually give us a sense of pride in who we are. All we want are the basic rights that everyone else has – to be treated with respect, to have the same legal protections as other citizens, to not be hated for the way we were born, and to feel safe.

My thoughts are with the victims, their friends, families, & significant others, and all other affected by this shooting.

– John Marc Austin

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I watched this video about the victims and when it was listing all their names I just kept seeing my name pop up next. One of them had just gotten there that day with his family for vacation. I don’t know how to move on from that yet.

– One Mom’s son

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There’s been a lot of news around the hateful crime that occurred in Orlando yesterday morning and honestly I have been numb…This evening I read this story of a son’s last text to his mother and it completely broke me. I came out of the closet at the age of 22 after living a life of fear, but since then I have been blessed beyond belief. The support my family and friends have given me has ultimately been a privilege many don’t have. Last year I had the opportunity to publicly marry my best friend, a man, and had my wonderful, timid mother walk me down the aisle. This story reminded me of that beautiful bond shared between a mom and her son.
It’s hard for me to comprehend how someone could experience so much hatred and pain that would cause him to inflict hurt on so many. I pray for the victims and I ask all my friends and family to remember that we are all human. Outside of our skin color, belief system, or sexual orientation, we are human. We are all called to love. And it’s this love that calls humanity together at a time when it’s most needed. Sending love tonight to my family, friends, people I have yet to meet, and most importantly my mom who gave me life and has been there for me every step of the way. May we come to appreciate our differences.

– Chris Mateo Sharnbroich

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Fear breeds hate, hate breeds violence, and violence brings tragedy. My heart breaks for all of those affected by this senseless act.

If you wonder why I fight for love, for equality, for positive change its this.

May we as a country and as the LGBTQ community come together and be united stronger. May we learn to love our brothers and sister and live together in peace. We are better than this. We can be better than this.

– Christopher Benevidez

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Straight and cisgender friends- please read this.

I keep writing and rewriting what I want to say. I want to get the words right, be on point, and not have to think any more about what happened beyond seeing “like” notifications show up on my phone.

Every new detail that comes out about the shooting cuts deep again. Queer people have to be such good performers- taking in all the parts of tragedy together and creating a narrative out of it that will ensure that non-queers will do something to keep us safe.

We have to be so good at turning bodies into movements, into legislation, action, hashtags and talking points. We have to deal with the constant grilling from non-queer people who want to know exactly what we think happened, don’t you think it’s interesting that…? Do you wonder if…? Is this really about…? And we have to always have an answer.

We have to be prepared to be recognized while out shopping for groceries, to be confronted by an ally who wants to tell you exactly how horrible they think the most recent tragedy was, describing in detail the trigger you’ve been tiptoeing around for days. They bring up our body counts in conversation, numbers without names, armed with loaded guilt complexes pointed right at your chest. Answer. Answer. Answer. Bleed.

One of the first things I thought about when I heard about the massacre in Orlando was my GSA. I thought about how our first meeting of the year we had roughly forty people attend, a grand majority of them were queer, not allies. I thought about all their faces, their friendships apparent through where they sat and who they talked to, their exuberance and beauty and queerness that welcomed me into a space we had created together. Safety. Forty.

I couldn’t even match up every face with a number- there were ten more people murdered in Pulse than who attended that first GSA meeting, not to mention those injured, but already I was cut into pieces. That’s the difference here- the difference between allies spreading information and queer people trying their best to take one more breath. I know what a room full of queer people looks like- and not just that. I know their names.

My friends, my family, are made up of queer people- shy and expressive, into theater or engineering or social work, falling in love with best friends and holding hands with strangers. I know what it feels like to go your whole life denied safety and equality and to walk into a room with other people like you, I know the release and comfort, the tiny chunk of heaven that you cherish for a little while before you must again leave. Allies don’t realize that the people in Pulse died with their masks off. Allies don’t realize we have to wear masks at all.

Maybe the shooter in Orlando was gay. Everyone seems so concerned with that. I see straight people saying that if he was, then that means homophobia wasn’t a factor in deciding to shoot up a literal gay club. The amount of ignorance it must take to believe such a thing is insurmountable. If a closeted gay man decides to slaughter a club full of queer people, what in God’s name could be a motive /besides/ homophobia? Is it now our fault, queer people, as a community? Because it was one of “our own”?

There is a reason that the Orlando shooter assaulted over 100 people. And, straight America, it is your fault.

It is your fault that homophobia and transphobia are rampant within culture, society, and government. It is your fault that queer people must choose between being a member of society and being who they really are. It is your fault that a homophobic mass murder is being blamed on religion instead of on homophobia. It is your fault when queer people hate themselves. It is your fault when queer people kill themselves. What happened in Orlando is your fault.

All of you are guilty- those who shake their heads, wipe away one tear as the news story plays, while queer people curl up on bedroom floors and beg God to wake them up from this nightmare. Those who follow the story and hetero-splain what ISIS is on Facebook to make a case that this wasn’t REALLY about it being a GAY club, it was a MESSAGE- while I weep, screaming into my partner’s chest that this isn’t fair, this isn’t fair, I’m scared I’m so scared. You are guilty when you don’t know what it looks like to see the light in the eyes of queer people who have been waiting to see the face of another queer person for hours, days, months, years, a lifetime, you are guilty when you don’t feel the ache of imagining that light extinguished. You are guilty. You are guilty for every homophobic, Trump-loving relative who you tolerate in front of children who may one day ask themselves if they are safe to come out as queer. You are guilty for every homophobic, transphobic joke you chortle at in the safety of your own home while we avert our eyes to the ground and feel a graveyard of grief with every crack. You are guilty for our dead. You are guilty for desiring a broken-window smile from every queer person you meet so that you feel better. You are guilty. You are guilty. You are guilty.

So tell the queer people you know that you love them. That you are sorry for this world that is so hostile, so evil to them. Tell them you will stay up all night with them if that’s what they need. Do it. Walk to their house at 2 am with candy and hugs. Listen to their cries into the telephone receiver. Tell them it’s okay to turn off the news. Ask them what they want, what they need. Learn to love the way that queer people must love- passionately. Give them room if they need room. If they tell you they don’t want to talk to straight people, tell them you respect that. Call your local LGBT center, ask how you can help. If you have money, donate it to a queer person’s GoFundMe page. Call your legislator and tell them how you feel about discriminatory laws. Tell your child, /no matter how young/, that they do not have to be straight or cisgender. Google what cisgender means. Read more than one article. Ask yourself, if your child one day comes out as trans, what will they think of you? Stand in front of bigoted protesters at pride instead of carrying the rainbow flag. Write blog posts to other straight people about how they can help. Write blog posts to queer kids whose families are unkind. Volunteer as an adviser for a GSA or a LGBT youth group. Ask yourself how you contribute to evil. Stop doing it. Do better. Grow. Cry. Don’t cry for yourself. Cry for the countless lives torn to pieces.

Help us put this world back together again.

– Aiden Ramirez-Tatum

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I don’t see why people feel the need to express how they believe the “gay lifestyle” is sinful right before they say that despite that fact, they stand with theLGBT community with love.

I dare them to make that their opening statement right before addressing the parents of those who were killed or injured in the attack.

I find it contradictory to say such a hurtful condemning thing among such lamenting right before claiming Godly love.

You would never say that of a person who struggled with any other “sin”. You would never say after someone died “despite what I believe about lying, I choose to pray for the family of so and so…”

It’s insensitive.  Stop.

–  Tiffany Sparks

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I’m not surprised by the incident. Am I angry? Yes. Am I saddened? Yes. Does my heart break, does my soul ache, am I outraged? Yes! But am I surprised? No. I’m not surprised that we had another act of violence like this. I’m not surprised at all.” This, on top of all the rest, breaks my heart once again. – Chris

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UNACCEPTABLE.

I chose not to write or post this yesterday because I wanted to not only allow the families and friends of the victims time to mourn, but chose to silently mourn myself.  I did not know any of the victims personally no, but we are all brothers and sisters in humanity.  50 of our fellow humans were shot down in cold blood, 53 injured heartlessly by the same person.  I will not take this chance to dump excessively on Trump for his statements made after the horrific events of yesterday.  No instead I will focus on the root issues and statements made in general.

First and foremost, it is NOT the victims’ faults.  It does not matter that Pulse is a gay night club and the patrons who were killed were gay or bisexual.  What matters is that they were humans, expressed love, kindness, and every other emotion that humans share.  Do not blame the victims for being gay or at Pulse.  Gay night clubs such as Pulse are generally meant to be a safe place for LGBT people, as it is one of the only places where it is almost assured that you are in good company.  This safety was torn apart and cast more fear into a community already drenched in it.

It is not the fault of Islam either.  All evidence points to the shooter being fueled only by homophobic beliefs.  No those beliefs are not an extension of any Islamic faith.  Yes the man was Middle-Eastern, but friends and family alike say that he was not religious and that he had claimed being disgusted by seeing two men kiss on the sidewalk earlier.  Sorry Trumpy, but you can not (well you can and have but it is a logical and literal fallacy) blame this on “Radical Islamic Terrorists!!!”  Blame it rather on an environment built to breed hatred and division.

It is unacceptable that we as a country, as the human race, have allowed the hatred and division between us all to grow to this point.  Using a device made explicitly to kill and injure, a man did just that.  His motive based on hatred.  Solve the hatred, solve the issue.  We are all one people, yet we still divide amongst sexuality, creed, skin color, and other stupidly irrelevant issues when faced with the fact that we all share this Earth, and are all humans.  No one person is less than another, and all are equal.  Yet because we have politicians who spout toxic fumes comprised of misunderstood and cherry-picked scriptures, or who just breed hatred and division by denouncing specific groups of people, division will continue to multiply until it overtakes us all.  The religious right has played a part in this, as have the leaders of many other foreign countries and their governments, (Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, to name a few).  Racism is rampant in many other countries as well, growing among people in Western Europe, South Africa, and other nations.  The politicians and radical groups that have divided us are part of the problem.  Hatred itself is the problem.  Hatred is taught, not learned, and until we can stop it from being taught, we must fight to end its spread.  Take up arms not with guns or knives, but with your hearts.  Show each other compassion, fight vocally for laws to fight discrimination of all kinds, not just kinds that benefit you, and never stop.  The day we submit and provide silence, those who we fight against and that which we fight to stop will see our silence as consent.  Fight with love, it is the strongest weapon ever granted to humankind.

Take the time not to focus entirely on gun control or any other relevant issue presented, especially those that do naught but divide more, but on hatred.  Hatred breeds hatred.

– Caleb (from his blog Collectivist Caleb)

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Like many people, I’ve spent much time in the last 24 hours thinking about the shooting in Orlando. I certainly don’t have much to offer when it comes to the dialogue about motives or blame or policy solutions. I trust that better minds than mine are at work figuring all that out.

Situations like this feel powerless, but what I will offer is my own small attempt at solidarity. It’s likely that many of you don’t know this, but I’m gay. For fear of making waves, I’ve kept this information relatively private until now. But today I feel convicted that the only way that we as a society can move forward toward a more just future is for more of us to openly talk about our lives and stories. Though I’ve been blessed to avoid bodily harm because of my sexuality, Orlando is a reminder that many of my LGBTQ* brothers and sisters are not so lucky. I hope that all of us (whatever your stance on LGBTQ* issues) can agree to fight violence, bigotry, and hate toward sexual minorities.

From here on out, I plan to use whatever small platform I have to speak out against discrimination and hatred directed toward the LGBTQ* community and to authentically demonstrate with my life that I am not ashamed of my sexuality. In fact, I’m thankful to be gay.

BEFORE YOU POST – I know that this is difficult for some of you to hear, and I look forward to thoughtful and mutually respectful dialogue with those of you who, though we may disagree over the moral status of my sexuality, wish to talk to me about it. My only request is that any public posts be positive: if you have criticism to offer, please send it to me privately.

– Josh Green

 

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With all of the wonderful strides the LGBTQ+ community has made in recent years, it can be easy to forget that being gay and celebrating that love together is a brave political act. Queer people live in a world that constantly reminds us it is not made for us and often doesn’t want us. Our history, health, stories, and successes are relegated to the sidebar of the textbook mainstream. Included but not accepted, tolerated but not celebrated.

With 50 casualties so far, the Orlando shooting is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. The media is downplaying the fact that it was a gay bar by focusing on the skin colour and name of the shooter, but this was an act of homophobic violence. This was a hate crime. People have already come out of the woodwork to say it was the “Lord’s work” and spew other homophobic vitriol. My heart goes out to our brothers and sisters who were lost in an act of hate this morning and to the current generation of LGBTQ+ youth who are struggling and have once again been told in the worst way that their identities are unnatural, unwanted, and unvalued.

This Pride month is a time of celebration, but it is also a time to remember those that came before us. Those who lived through the medicalization of homosexuality, those who were ignored during the AIDS epidemic, those who have lost their homes, families, and lives just for being who they are. We can celebrate how far we’ve come, but cannot forget how far we still need to go.

– Shannon Brown

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One mom’s daughter wrote a letter to her church:

Hello, My name is Heather and I have been attending this Church for just over 5 years. I have participated in small groups for 4 of those years, I’ve served on Do Justice, I’ve participated in many Singles Series and Singles Gatherings, and most importantly, I’ve experienced immense growth in my relationship with God and fellow Christians.

When I moved to Atlanta from Boston I was as far from God as I have ever been. I was raised by a loving, Christian family but could not reconcile the teachings of my childhood with the judgement I felt from the church. I couldn’t follow a religion that chastised differences and demoralized people for not fitting the mold of what a Christian “should” be. To be accepted, and your growth fostered, you had to fit this mold that omitted so many. When I moved to Atlanta a very important person introduced me to this Church. After my first series, Love Sex and Dating, I knew that this Church was different. Since then I’ve continue to learn and grow in my relationship with Christ and with fellow Christians.

However, the Singles Series on June 7th transported me back to that all too familiar feeling of non-acceptance; the same feeling that kept me in hiding and far from God for most of my life. I am a gay woman, and more importantly a gay Christian. I am a follower of Jesus, the Jesus that loves all his children. Who I was born to love should be irrelevant. Yet sadly, it has been repeatedly proven to me that it’s not. I am a good woman, I give my time to those in need, I volunteer as often as I can, I love people deeply, I care and want to effect change. That is why I’m writing you today. Because those facts aside, I was made to feel as an outcast on Tuesday and I’m not sure that result was something that anyone organizing the event anticipated. I recognize that people don’t know what they don’t know, and as a gay Christian I view the world a little bit differently. I hope you can receive my input with the intention with which it was written, to advise from a point of view different from your own.

Let me try to explain.

I spent the first 25 years of my life hiding from who I was because I didn’t think it was acceptable, but I also couldn’t change it. I missed out on learning to love myself, on high school crushes and young love, and the general dating experiences that eventually shape healthy adult relationships. And more egregiously, I missed out on a real relationship with Jesus because the church showed me he didn’t love me because of who I was. I was deeply in denial, but even so my conscious mind couldn’t escape the concept of “normal’ that my subconscious had been fed from the church my whole life. I am not writing this to argue whether or not my sexuality is biblically condoned, while I do think the church’s stance on that needs revisiting, I’m more concerned with the church potentially separating people from the love of God. No one should walk into a church and feel driven away. Jesus loves all his “sheep” as the parable in Luke 15 demonstrates. The more damaging blows I’ve experienced as a gay Christian have not come in the form of outright attacks, although those have happened, they’ve predominantly come in the form of subtle messages that who I am is wrong and because of that I do not matter. I became invisible. Given that background I hope you can see how Tuesday affected me, and I’m sure affected others who don’t fit in the mold we’re all presented. I felt invisible, unimportant. My relationships are just as real and full of love as any healthy heterosexual relationship, yet the format of Tuesday’s singles series omitted me. The same information could have been presented without the gender binary, without the segregation, and without the heteronormative subtext. Why could the message not have been presented as PEOPLE trying to relate to and understand other PEOPLE? The approach taken was so upsetting your message was lost. And even worse, my church, my safe haven, made me feel overlooked. I have spent years coming to terms with myself and as much time having these emotional conversations with God. I now know he loves me, but I didn’t used to. Had I heard that message just a few years ago it would have destroyed me in a way I’m not sure you can understand. Thankfully, I have put in the work and I am ok, albeit hurt. But it’s possible someone else wasn’t ok. That sort of ostracizing leads people to do unthinkable things and at the risk of sounding extremist, that’s how lives are lost.

What I’ve come to learn is that the church doesn’t get to judge me. That is up to God, and the God I believe in made us to love. That is all I have ever wanted to do. I want Godly, Christian guidance in my relationships, and Tuesday was an opportunity lost.

I hope you can take my words into consideration. I wanted to provide a point of view that you all may not have and create some awareness. I am more than willing to provide any guidance in future matters and I know other gay Christians who could provide input as well. I would love to see a more inclusive Church. I appreciate your time in reading this and your consideration.

– Heather

 

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You won’t hear much from Christians regarding the shooting from last night because it would be too contradictory and ironic coming from a people who have continually devalued the lives of lgbt individuals by fighting against their rights and happiness. Anti-gay theology (both Christian and Islamic) has created the shooter in Orlando and the type of people who daily harass the LGBT community through violence, hate slurs and social isolation. You can’t lament the loss of life when you have cultivated the culture in which this type of tragedy is possible.

This is the fruit of our theology. It hurts people. It cultivates hatred. It devalues people who were created in God’s image. I don’t see God in it at all.

Please join me in prayer for the lives lost and the people affected in Orlando last night.

– Tim Sparks

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I need to make this very clear: Do NOT pretend to care about our people when you have done everything in your power to prevent us from having safety, acceptance, and freedom. We do NOT want your prayers when you care nothing for us as human beings. Do NOT use OUR dead bodies to justify YOUR HATRED, BIGOTRY, RACISM, and XENOPHOBIA.

Yes, Islam is often used against LGBTQ people, but do you know what else is? Christianity. I’m not just talking about public torture and executions of LGBTQ people by the Church throughout Renaissance Europe. I’m talking about the continued persecution of LGBTQ people by Christian missionaries. I’m talking about anti-LGBTQ legislation (Hello North Carolina I’m looking at you) promoted by Christian leaders and congregations. I’m talking about the killings of trans people, particularly trans women of color. I’m talking about us being denied basic human rights. I’m talking about LGBTQ people being barred from the Sacraments, from Christian burial, and being excommunicated in Christian churches. You have used your religion and mine (Christianity) to justify killing, abusing, and discriminating against us for centuries. Do not pretend to care about us now just so you can have a reason to promote your hatred of Muslim people.

Where are you when LGBTQ teens commit suicide because of bullying? Where are you to help the LGBTQ homeless youth (the largest demographic of homeless youth in the US)? Where are you when children are forced into ex-gay therapy? Where are you when religious leaders tell us we are of the devil? Where are you to ensure LGBTQ people receive proper healthcare? Where were you when LGBTQ people were dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces? Where were you in the AIDS epidemic? Where were you when we were denied the right to marry? Where are you when LGBTQ people are fired from their jobs because of who they are? Where are you when so many gay and trans people must turn to sex work as a means to survive? Where are you when LGBTQ people are denied housing and employment because of who they are? Where are you when trans* people and gay people are killed in the streets? Where are you when we are bullied? Where are you when we are raped? Where are you when pastors in the south call for us to be killed? You. Weren’t. There. For. Us. And. You. Aren’t. Now.

This was targeted at LGBTQ people. This terrorist attack happened at an LGBTQ establishment DURING PRIDE MONTH. WE were the victims, yet AGAIN. Not you. Our communities have seen violence for far too long. It is time for justice. And it starts with YOU. STOP SPREADING HATRED. You think Islam is the problem? Oh, it’s not. The problem is using religion as a tool to spread hateful, fearful lies about other human beings. The problem is using God as a means to kill, torture, and oppress. The problem is gun violence. The problem is homophobia, transphobia, racism, sexism, xenophobia, and every irrational fear and hatred of people different than yourself.

We don’t want your prayers. We offer up our own. Take responsibility. What we want is your action. Your change of heart. Your decision to start making the world a more loving, tolerant place. It starts with you.

This was the LARGEST mass shooting in U.S. history, and it was to kill Queer people. This mass-murdering terrorist was an American citizen. Born here. Regardless of what you think religion means, he was American. Let that sink in. We are not welcome in our own home. It’s time to change that. It’s been time.

I’ll end with this quote. Please, absorb it’s message:

“Our prayers are shallow, an affront even, as long as so much religion fails fully to affirm and include LGBT people” – Paul Colton, Anglican Bishop of Cork, Church of Ireland.

– Will Indermaur

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group created as an extension of the Serendipitydodah blog. The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. The group was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,100 members. The space was specifically created for open minded Christian moms who have LGBTQ kids and want to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their LGBTQ kids. In addition to providing a space for members to share info and support one another, a special guest is added each month for a few days. The guests include authors, pastors, LGBTQ people, bloggers and public speakers.

For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

Stories That Change The World #25 – Meet Rebekah

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Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the twenty-fifth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.

 

I have a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. The group is Serendipitydodah for Moms and presently has more than 1,100 moms in the group. It’s a wonderful community of moms who are trying to be the best moms they can be and who love their kids fiercely. The group is a place where we share a lot of support, encouragement and wisdom as we learn to develop and maintain healthy, loving, authentic relationships with our LGBTQ kids.

The following story is from ‎Jamie Bruesehoff‎, one of the members of Serendipitydodah for Moms.  Jamie is the mother to three awesome kids who writes at “I am Totally That Mom” about life as a pastor’s wife, her love of running, holistic parenting, raising kids up in faith, living in a way that respects and enjoys the earth, what it is like to battle depression and anxiety, and those mom moments when motherhood leaves her doing things she never imagined she would do.

Jamie shared the following on her personal Facebook page last year and later on her blog. I am grateful that Jamie is allowing me to share it again here on Serendipitydodah because I believe stories like this really do change the world.

For more info on the private Facebook group for moms of lgbt kids email lizdyer55@gmail.com and use “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.

For more from Jamie check out her blog I Am Totally That Mom 

 

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As some of you have no doubt noticed over the years, Ben doesn’t follow society’s expectations when it comes to gender. Ben is gender nonconforming. We learned this term about a year ago, after years of following Ben’s lead with his interests and style. Ben has loved all things pink and sparkly since he was a toddler, and over the years, Ben’s interests and passions continued to be strongly feminine with all of his closest friends being girls. We supported him in choosing friends, activities, and clothing that felt like the best fit for him. We knew Ben didn’t fit the mold that our culture sets for boys, and we supported him in expressing himself authentically.

At the same time, our bright, sensitive, and empathetic child struggled increasingly with anxiety and, eventually, depression. We worked through various medical and therapeutic resources over the years to support him in his anxiety, trying to give him the best tools possible to thrive in the world as someone whose huge heart just feels things too much. Despite our best efforts, the anxiety and depression reached a crisis point this past year. We were all feeling pretty scared and lost.

I am so incredibly thankful to say that we are in a very different place right now. With the support of various professionals, we’ve come to understand that Ben is transgender. While he was identified as a male at birth based on his outward appearance, he feels and knows that he is a girl. Gender is a spectrum, and we know that liking pink or things attributed culturally to girls does not, in and of itself, make you a girl. But in Ben’s case, his gender identity was the missing piece to the puzzle. Despite our support in being any kind of boy he’d like to be, including one that loves all things feminine, Ben knows in his heart that he IS a girl.

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Within the last few months, Ben has socially transitioned so that she can live as the girl she knows she is. Together, we’ve chosen the name Rebekah Eleanor. With the transition to Rebekah, we have seen a significant shift in her energy and demeanor. She suddenly seems more comfortable in her own skin, and we are seeing that gorgeous smile of hers more than ever before.

While, Rebekah has always had and always will have our complete support, this has not been easy. Being transgender is not something anyone chooses. It is not something Rebekah has chosen. It is not something we are choosing for her. We are very aware that the road for her will not always be smooth. The suicide and depression rates for the transgender community are nothing short of terrifying, but we know that with love and support from us, our family, and our friends we are giving Rebekah the best possible chance at not being one of those statistics.

What we are asking of our friends and family is that you respect Rebekah’s gender identity as female by using her preferred name and pronouns. Though Rebekah specifically asked us to tell you that she will be gracious if you accidentally call her Ben as you get used to the change, as she knows this is quite an adjustment for everyone. We also encourage you to learn more about what it means to be transgender along with common misconceptions. We are not experts, but we are learning by necessity and are happy to talk about any of this with you. We will include some resources in the comments below. What Rebekah needs is your love and support. She is a bright, beautiful, and brave girl with a huge heart. We have no doubt she will change the world just by being who she is.

 

All this is posted with Rebekah’s permission and with thanks to Maegan Dougherty Photography for the beautiful photos.

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