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The Mama Bear Story Project is a collection of portraits and autobiographical essays from members of Serendipitydodah for Moms – a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.

Renae Stone

I was 17 when I found out I was expecting my first child. I experienced the typical emotions of being a bit scared, worried, and of course I was happy. I knew that most people would disapprove given my age and background, but that didn’t matter to me. I was going to be a Mom and make sure that this baby knew they were loved. I knew the road would be long and hard, but I also knew it would be okay over all. I gave my boyfriend at the time the chance to leave, but told him if he left that there would be no in and out of this baby’s life. Either he would be a part of the life we created or not, but definitely no half assed in and out. He chose to stay and we will be celebrating 17 years of marriage this June.

When I was 18 I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl. We named her Emily Paige. She had a rough start, she was born with some heart defects but by the age of 3 grew out of them. Her Dad and I married when she was 4 months old, babies ourselves, her Dad had graduated high school just 3 days before the wedding. As she grew we noticed she wasn’t your typical little girly girl, but I didn’t expect her to be given that I grew up as a tomboy myself.

Days after her 1st birthday we found out we were pregnant again. 9 months later I gave birth to another baby girl we named Caitlyn. We always knew Cait was “different” we just weren’t sure how.And by Emily’s 4th birthday she was a big sister again and had another little sister named Lindsey.

When the kids were young, I faithfully went to church, prayed, tithed, did all the Christianly duties one was supposed to. I was attending a church that preached hate towards gay people and preached how they could be cured by prayer and what not. When the Emily was 4 I remember thinking that if I loved my kids as much as I do and did, and God supposedly loved us more than that, how could he hate a group of people for loving someone of the same sex. I spoke with my husband about I quite a bit and we decided to leave the church.

Once Emily hit puberty she became really depressed. We tried helping the best we could but she never seemed to come out of it. At the age of 14 she came to us and told us she needed to talk to us. We sat down and told us she was transgender. We immediately hugged our son, Zachary, and welcomed him with open arms. A few days later after discussing with him how he wanted to let friends and family know, we made an announcement and told everyone in our lives that Zach was our son and they could either love and support us or they knew where the door was. Some left, and it did hurt, but I reminded Zach that they were unable to truly accept him for who he is so we didn’t need people like that in our lives.

Zach started going to a group here for LGBTQ Youth. He would come back with stories about how parents disowned their kids for being the way they are. It broke my heart and my husband and I decided to open our home to kids that need a safe place to stay.

The next year, Caitlyn had just turned 13 and was battling depression as well. She came to me one night and told me she was a lesbian. Unlike her brother, she didn’t want an announcement made, but preferred to tell people on her own or to just kind of surprise them in conversation. She started attending the group her brother did and is doing great now.

Zach is 17 now, and has been in a relationship with his transgender girlfriend for 4 years now. They have been together since before either of them came out as transgender. Olivia moved in with us last Oct. her family isn’t exactly accepting of her so we are glad to give her that love and support she was missing at her house.

Caitlyn is 15 and is thriving as well. She has a girlfriend and they have been dating for a couple of years. We recently went rounds with her school because they denied the GSA club she was trying to start. We will hopefully be getting it started soon, she needs to go before her principal again before it is approved. We had to get GLSEN involved and threaten legal action, but the superintendent has advised the principal that the club needs to be allowed.

My baby, Lindsey, is 12 and isn’t interested in anyone right now, and that is fine, I prefer to keep it that way for a while!

As a Mom to these wonderful 4 kids, I’m happy to see them happy. All I want for them is to be able to be themselves and to be happy with who they are. I know it takes a lot of courage to come out as young as they did, and the road hasn’t always been easy, but they know that this mama bear will always be here for them and have their backs.

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Serendipitydodah for Moms is a private Facebook group for moms of LGBTQ kids. Our official motto is “We Are Better Together” and our nickname is “Mama Bears” The group is secret so that only members can find it or see what is posted in the group. It was started in June 2014 and presently has more than 1,600 members. For more info email lizdyer55@gmail.com

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