Here’s a short video I made that has some basic but important advice for moms when their kid comes out.
Feel free to share it.
The video covers the two most important things that we need to do when our kids come out.
What I share here is common sense but in the midst of the moment everything can seem chaotic and confusing.
So … in this video I just go over the basics with the hope of helping moms be able to pause, take a breath and do these two simple things which can help them as they start this new journey.
The basics I include in the video are:
1. TAKE CARE OF YOUR KID
a. Let them know you love them unconditionally
b. Show support by asking about their journey and assuring them you are going to support them going forward.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
a. Find supportive community in order to help you deal with your own feelings, have access to support and encouragement for yourself and be in community with people you can open up to and ask questions.
b. Get educated and informed. Part of taking care of yourself includes getting educated and informed as it will relieve a lot of negative feelings for both you and your kid.
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.
When Bethany was thirteen she asked me what I thought about bisexuality. I was a bit thrown by the question and answered in a way that I wish more than anything I could take back. I said “If you have a choice in who to love then choosing a same sex partner makes no sense. It just makes your life too difficult so why do it?” I didn’t analyze the “why” of her question too deeply and I certainly didn’t invite a discussion. I believed it would come back up when she was older and I was bit wiser. Well, she didn’t talk to me again about the subject for several years. She suffered with confusion, unhealthy experimentation, loneliness and suicidal thoughts all by herself. I could have made life easier for my child but one flippant answer caused years of pain and an estrangement that I didn’t even know existed.
Fast forward seven years and our daughter sends us a letter informing us that she is bisexual. This was not a surprise because we weren’t totally unaware of her romantic interests and as a novelist she had been writing LGBTQ+ themed books. We expected this formal coming out but weren’t quite ready for what she told us several months later, “I am transgender and am starting the process to become a male. My name is now Seth and I know this will be hard for you so I’ll give you all the time you need to process it”.
We learned that she had been living as Seth for a while. Everyone around her referred to her as Seth including our other three children. The new information was not as shocking as the fact that we were the last to know. Of our three daughters Bethany was the one that hated sports and preferred ballet. She loved writing, art and ethereal creativity. She was head-turningly beautiful and we considered her to be incredibly feminine. In hindsight, I realize that those feminine perceptions were placed by us because of the way she looked. Our perceptions were wrong – we see the world differently now that we have researched gender, sexuality and living authentic lives.
Loving him unconditionally was never a question for us but it hasn’t been a simple light switch either. I’m upset that he doesn’t have the name that we painstakingly chose for him, although calling him Seth has been much easier than calling him HE. I still say “my girls” when I talk and it makes me sad that there are only two, not three of them. BUT this is what I’ve learned… He is still the same person. He is creative, compassionate, insightful, intelligent, irreverent, sarcastic and one heck of a good writer. He is also an exceptional friend who is drawn to those that have suffered and know sadness, abuse and hopelessness. He is a beacon of survival, courage, hope and faith. My pride is immense! His genitals matter very little to me but his heart is everything.
Over a year later, Seth is finishing up his MFA in writing and has a caring FTM boyfriend. Yes, I use a lot of acronyms nowadays. He came home for Christmas and seemed very secure in who he is and what he wants for his future. The confidence was a beautiful thing to witness. The semi colon tattooed on his wrist reminds us all that this is not a trouble-free life. Sadly, our church ended up not being a safe place and we’ve had people attempt to devalue our faith and who our child is within it. It gets ugly, but our family is united and strong. We’ve learned how to love wholeheartedly and we absolutely see God’s eternal love flowing through our family. This isn’t easy but it is real and truthful and we love each other deeply. Our greatest hurdle and fear comes from a world committed to threaten, marginalize and legislate identity and love. Yes, I say LOVE a lot nowadays too.
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 1,500 members. For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy National Coming Out Day!!
I love this day but I never want anyone to feel pressure to come out.
I have people contact me all throughout the year, but especially around this day, to talk about coming out.
I always tell them they should keep their personal safety in mind when thinking about coming out.
My advise is come out if you are ready and if you think you will be safe but safety should be the first priority.
Some LGBTQ youth are wise to wait until they are out on their own before coming out. I know of LGBTQ youth who have been kicked out of their homes or denied help with higher education or isolated from their support groups when they came out. Being in the closet is hard but sometimes it is necessary for a period of time.
I also realize that there is a right time for parents to come out as affirming and supportive of their kids. Sometimes relationships need to be managed and sometimes jobs are at stake. Each person and family has to weigh the risks.
The timing needs to be right.
But I do think we should all be working towards being out and helping our kids be out because keeping secrets takes a great toll on people. Keeping secrets, hiding who you are and what you really think and believe affects the ability to form intimate connections and causes a lot of anxiety on a daily basis.
When people can be themselves, live authentically, share honestly and live into the person they were created to be they are always healthier in every way.
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 1,400 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 email@example.com
#LGBTQFamilies, acceptance, Colton Haynes, coming out, GLBT, Human Rights Campaign, LGBT, LGBT Youth, LGBTQ, Moms of LGBT, Moms of LGBTQ Kids, parent, parents, Serendipitydodah for Moms, Story, Visibility Award
I have a private Facebook group for open minded Christian moms of LGBTQ+ kids. We have more than 1,300 moms in the group and sometimes we send letters to people or organizations we appreciate and support.
This past weekend Colton Haynes was awarded with the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award. His heartfelt acceptance speech touched our hearts and encouraged us.
More than 400 of us signed a letter to Colton expressing our support and gratitude because we believe people like him are making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ+ people to live.
Here is our letter to Colton:
August 30, 2016
We are part of a large private Facebook group of more than 1,300 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 400 of us are signing this letter because we were moved by your words as you received the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award this past weekend.
We want to say thank you for being such a kind-hearted and caring person and for using your voice to encourage and bring hope to others. You have encouraged us and given us hope that others will hear your voice and be inspired to have the same kind-hearted and loving spirit you demonstrate.
Your humble and compassionate spirit shone through as you spoke of accepting the award as a promise to LGBTQ+ people; and the hopes and aspirations you shared are what we also hope for our children.
We believe people like you are a catalyst to making the world a kinder, safer, more loving place for all LGBTQ+ people to live and we want you to know you have our support and gratitude.
We wish you the best and hope we can be an encouragement to you.
With sincere admiration and gratitude,
Liz Dyer, Founder & Owner
Abby De Fiesta Cortez
Aletheia Wall Zambesi
Alise D Chaffins
Amanda Corry Thorderson
Amanda Curtis Dwyer
Amy Hansley Bennett
Andrea Larson Schultz
Anita Jewell Carter Cockrum
Ann McGee Green
Beth Barndt Ruthenburg
Betsy Bruce Henning
Billie Jo Marrs
Brenda Holloway Bratcher
Carie Poynor Downes
Carla Iturregui Picasso-Brown
Carla Short Spivey
Carol Beth Wiggins Baswell
Caroline Williams Joyce
Carolyn Cage Johnston
Carrie Garske Shank
Caryle A Cox
Cassy Taylor Campos
Cathleen Frantzen Schaber
Christina Lehmann Bergevin
Cindy Helzer Baldwin
Cindy Richard Broussard
Colleen Hepler Brassington
Cyndi Silva Raugh
Cynthia Gaye Rahm-Clark
Dawn Bennett Jones
Dawn Pulley Ervin
Debbie McCullough Hayhurst
Debbie Rogers Greenan
Debbie Wasielewski Tavarez
Debi Tucker Boland
Deborah Carlyle Enman
Debra Honeywell Myott
Deena Corwin Pfahler
Deleise Carper Brewer
Denise Trainer Webb
Derry Cronin Gleason
Diana Dermit McCarthy
Diane Blevins Smith
Donna Thompson Spencer
Donna Turner Hudson
Elaine Falk Parker
Elizabeth McConnel Sutton
Glenda Purkis Boulton
Gretchen Doornek Mueller
Heather McCracken Bottoms
Jamie Tessing Bruesehoff
Jammie Risley Hahn
Janice Dunn White
Janine Sarah Moore
Jennifer Donovan Jasgur
Jennifer Dunnam Stringfellow
Jennifer Schaffner Burkhardt
Jennifer Stake White
Jenny Bishop Morgan
Jerri Surles Collins
Jill Pote Yarbrough
Joani Lea Jack
Jody Miller Vanderzell
Judie Brown Gordon
Judith K Volkar
Judy Witzel Harper
Julie Bean Bisgaard
Julie Elliott O’Neal
Julie Kennedy Eaton
Julie Lenox Haines
Julie Manning Waters
Karen Decker Kusserow
Katherine Brown Leidy
Kathrine M Kraft
Kathy Renne Post
Katie Willhite Brooks
Kelli Henry Alamond
Kelli Lewis Decker
Kellie Taylor- Lafevor
Kelly M Hunsaker
Kelly Rae Holiday
Keri Lynn Riley
Kim Belcher Messick
Kim Freeman Weill
Laura Beth Taylor
Laura Sparks Turner
Lee Ann Howdershell
Lenora Lea Gill
Leslie Jones Webster
Linda Slater Tow
Linda Wiebe Dickinson
Linda York O’Connell
Lisa Giordano Bontemps
Lisa Golden Dugger
Lisa Maniscalco Hildebrand
Lisa McCrystal Holley
Lisa Reinhart Hard
Lisa Scott Wofford
Lisa Wetmore Shinn
Lori Black Manning
Lori McCoy Simmons
Maleea Shaver Castillo
Mally Shell Hatch
Marianne Minier Walker
Marlene Hoefer Brummond
Marti Parsons Grahl
Mary Estelle Montgomery
Mary Jo Whitley
Mary Kay Weil
Meg Shull Bierwirth
Melissa Brady Silva
Melissa Morritt Coble
Melissa Sosenko DeStefano
Meredith Webster Indermaur
Michele Freemyer Grabbe
Michele Manuel Fuselier
Michele Wessel Tarnow
Michelle Bradshaw McComb
Monica Ausderau Larmon
Morven Roberts Baker
Nancy Barron Booher
Nancy Johnson Campbell
Nancy Thompson Flikkema
Nicole Havlen Hair
Pam Ensinger Antos
Patti Atwood Grossman
Patti Mercer Churner
Rebecca Fako Uecker
Rebecca Hedges Lyon
Regina Pitts Woods
Renee Utley Bennink
Rev. Mally Baum
Robyn S Haag
Roseanne M. Shannon
Rosemarie Varrichio Campbell
Rossana Neglia McLaughlin
Roxanna Villars Gambrell
Sandra Van Dyne
Sara Hoel May
Sarah Mills Holbrook
Shay Bisbee Haude
Sherrl McFerrin Townsend
Stacey Jackson Baeumler
Stacy Gouge Drake
Susan Cloys Seaman
Susan Foss Naranjo-Stultz
Susan Hammontree Fortney
Susan Merritt Flattery
Susy Rowe Barnhill
Suzanne Lambert Mann
Tamara Totoro Dick
Tammy Flowers Mejdrich
Tammy Wylie Barnes
Tana Lightbown Hendricks
Teresa Medlin Poston
Teri Stueland Kay
Terry Hall Sanchez
Theresa Moore Martinez
Tina Tocheri Thomas
Tonda Campbell Hoyt
Toni Ann Bradley
Tricia Kaufman- Waddell
Valerie Amoling Cronin
Vicki Kemp Whorton
Wendy Wiley Canedy
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 1,300 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
#LGBTQFamilies, acceptance, affirmation parents, affirming, children, Christian, coming out, family, Free Mom Hugs, GLBT, LGBT, LGBT Youth, LGBTQ, Moms of LGBT, Moms of LGBTQ Kids, parent, parents, relationships, Stories That Change The World, Story, Support
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.
I 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.
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!!
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 email@example.com
#LGBTQFamilies, acceptance, children, Christian, coming out, family, GLBT, LGBT, LGBTQ, love, Moms of LGBT, Moms of LGBTQ Kids, parent, parents, Stories That Change The World, Story, transgender, Youth
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and use “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.
For more from Jamie check out her blog I Am Totally That Mom
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.
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.
Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the thirteenth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.
In honor of the upcoming 27th Annual National Coming Out Day I wanted to share some coming out stories that I have found inspirational and moving. (go here to learn more about National Coming Out Day 2015)
I’m lucky enough to have a connection with Wendy Williams Montgomery, the Mormon mother in the video “Families Are Forever” and she is truly an inspiration to many families who have come out of the closet as being supportive and affirming of their lgbt kid.
Ellen Page made headlines after coming out at HRC’s Time to THRIVE conference in 2014 and has continued to share the positive impact coming out has had on her life.
Austin and Aaron Rhodes, YouTube stars and twin brothers, filmed themselves coming out to their father over the phone and posted the emotional video online.
Parker Camp came out in 2014 when he was on the swim team at the University of Virginia. It can be very difficult for male athletes to come out but Parker said that coming out to his teammates at the University of Virginia was easy compared to coming out to his family. Go HERE to read Parker’s coming out story.
Sometimes those recieving the news are just as inspiring as those who are coming out. Amanda Hite writes about coming out to her grandparents.
You can go HERE and read the story in The Huffington Post.
I absolutely adore the story about how the former lacrosse player, Andrew Goldstein, reached out to encourage a 12 year old lacrosse player who was struggling with being gay.
Go HERE for the full story.
Please share any other inspirational coming out stories in the comments!
SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS:
Coming out happens in different ways, at different times for different people. Each person must determine what is right for them. Coming out can sometimes have a negative impact on people in the immediate moment – therefore, now might not always be the best time to come out.
I always encourage people to be thoughtful about coming out, to seek some wise counsel and to take some time to consider the outcome. Coming out is ultimately freeing but timing is important. I would never encourage a young person to come out to their parents if they thought it could cause them to be homeless or to lose their ability to finish school. Some people have to consider that coming out could cost them their job and may need to prepare for that possibility. I look forward to the day when coming out is no big deal but for now it can sometimes be a difficult and even risky step to take.
I encourage all parents to be gentle and loving with your child if they come out to you no matter what you believe. A child that comes out to his parent is probably doing one of the bravest things they have ever attempted to do. They are probably afraid and worried about the reaction they will receive from their parents. You will never regret showing your child love and support at such a time.
If anyone reading this wants to join a private facebook group for moms of lgbt kids please email me at email@example.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject. The group is a place where moms of lgbt kids can learn to develop and maintian healthy, loving, authentic relationships with their kids. There are more than 600 moms in the group and it is a place where a lot of support, encouragement and information is shared. It helps a lot to be on the journey with others as we walk with our kids on this new adventure.
Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the ninth installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.
In the fall of 2013, Pastor Danny Cortez was driving his 15 year-old son, Drew, to high school. The song “Same Love” by Macklemore came on the radio and Drew’s dad asked, “Drew, who sings this song?” Drew responded, “Macklemore, why Dad?” “Oh because I like what he has to say,” replied his dad. Drew was shocked, “Really Dad? You like this song?” His dad heard the shock in Drew’s voice and explained, “Yeah, I no longer believe what I used to believe.”
A few minutes later, in the high school parking lot, Drew came out as gay to his Southern Baptist, pastor, father.
Drew’s story has been changing the world ever since.
This past school year, Drew and his family were asked to leave their homeschool group. It was Drew’s senior year and he was disappointed that he would miss his graduation ceremony. His family, who have stood with him every step of the way, told him they would do their own graduation ceremony for him…and they did.
This is Drew’s graduation speech presented in the form of a poem he wrote called “Introductions”.
Drew’s heart speaks of what so many LGBT kids go through.
Special message for any moms of lgbt kids reading this:
If you are interested in joining a private Facebook group for Christian moms of LGBT kids send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Mom’s Facebook Group as the subject. The group presently has more than 500 members and is a place where moms of lgbt kids share a lot of support, encouragement and information with one another.
Stories have the power to change the world … they inspire us, teach us, connect us. This is the third installment in the “Stories That Change The World” series.
The following story was told by Glenda Guess when she introduced herself to a private Facebook group for moms of LGBT kids.
In August of 1991 Jim and I had just celebrated our anniversary. We went to dinner and recounted the years focusing on how perfect our kids had been. Both of our kids were educated and doing well.
Dana, our daughter was a teacher and Ben had just graduated from Vanderbilt and was an ordained minister. Jim and I had retired and were ready to play the rest of the time.
Dana came to tell us that she was getting a divorce and that Ben was gay.
Dana told us there were horror stories about parents who did not accept their gay children and if we did not accept Ben we could not have her either. They were sticking together.
It felt like our lives were falling apart.
Ben was waiting to find out our reaction by circling the neighborhood and waiting for a signal.
If we put a light on in his bedroom window it meant he could come home to unconditional love.
If Dana’s car was gone it meant we did not want to see him.
You have to picture our two story house. It was the kind children draw in grade school … white house, black shutters, front porch. Ben’s bedroom had been in the upper left corner.
The thought of any parent not accepting their child still haunts me today.
I quickly shouted, “Turn on the light. Turn on all the lights…the flood lights…the post lamp….the patio light…even the closet lights.
Ben came home to a beacon of lights and love that day and we have continued to love him every day after that.
Little did I know that day, when we turned on all the lights, that I would find such joy in having a gay son.
The experience has made my life so much richer and motivated me to live my faith out by helping others.
May Glenda’s story inspire all parents of LGBT kids to
” Turn on all the lights”!
If you are interested in joining the private Facebook group for moms of lgbt kids please email me at email@example.com and put “Mom’s Facebook Group” as the subject.