Prayer/love requests: A beloved battling cancer; a child, just out, sure to face bigotry

The woman who so graciously volunteered to translate my/our book UNFAIR: Why the “Christian” View of Gays Doesn’t Work into Spanish (and who wishes to remain anonymous) has asked for prayers. It seems an elderly relative, terribly dear to her, is battling cancer. She writes:

I do not know how much she has been told, but I have just talked to her, and she is losing hope. I would be very grateful if you could send some prayers her way. I understand that maybe she won’t survive, but if that is what has to happen (and that would suck, to be honest), at least I would like her to have happier days, no pain, and to be comforted. Above all I want her to live, but it is getting harder and harder to sincerely pray for something I do not expect to happen. So if you could help me with that, it would really rock. Her name is Olga.

Also, off my Facebook page yesterday a woman sent me this:

Hey John,

First of all, thank you for all you do to fight bigotry and homophobia in the church. It’s truly been a blessing to me.

I’m writing because I want to tell you about my intelligent, loving child. My child, who is twenty-four, just came out to me as pansexual, and identifies as genderqueer. (I’ll admit, I had to look up both terms.) It filled me with joy that my child knew they could be their authentic self with me, and felt no fear or shame in doing so. I can’t express to you how proud I am of the person my child has become.

The thing that scares me, though, is how other family members, namely my child’s father, will react if and when my child comes out to them. It disgusts me that the majority of my family (siblings, parents, ex-husband) are raging homophobes, and think nothing of making disparaging comments about people who aren’t straight. My child is brave, and although I don’t believe s/he will come out to the homophobes anytime soon, I know eventually s/he will. (The “s/he” reference is how, I have learned, some genderqueer people like to be identified.)

Can you please ask your blog followers who pray to please keep my child in their prayers as s/he continues this journey, and that when s/he finally does come out to everyone, s/he’ll be strong enough to withstand the bigotry?

Thank you and blessing to you.

Our dearest thanks to anyone out there kind enough to say a prayer and/or send some love to these good people.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Rogers/1172366036 Bob Rogers via Facebook

    prayers for both John.

  • Elizabeth

    Praying for both.

    Wishing it wasn’t necessary to pray for either :-(

    • Elizabeth

      What she said.

  • Ina

    Prayers of love and support for Olga, her family, her care givers, and even the insurance people…

    prayers of thanksgiving to the mother in support of her child, may the bigots in the family all find more important threats to their wellbeing (like the state of their own souls, hmm?)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ina-Plassa-travis/100000989743025 Ina Plassa-travis via Facebook

    prayers of hope and thanksgiving for both families

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-R-Franklin/1478334272 James R. Franklin via Facebook

    Will do, John. Now add a sweet little girl, Lilianna Thompson, battling Leukemia (AML) and now progressing after a set-back. Spread the word, add her to your lists. Visit her FB page, Prayers for Lilianna Thompson, but prepare to have your heart stolen! Go ahead, take a look! Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/deborah.doehr.kim Deborah Doehr Kim via Facebook

    Prayers for all.

  • Lymis

    Absolutely prayers for all.

    To the woman with the newly out child – from personal experience, I’ve learned to try not to hold people’s first negative responses to someone (in my case, me) coming out against them, especially if they are someone I choose to keep in my life.

    I had to remember that I had years and years of thinking about it, praying about it, and knowing from personal experience what was true about it and what wasn’t, and from personal experience how it did and didn’t affect my relationship with God, and that I had the strongest possible motivations to take the questions seriously come to terms with the answers I found.

    It wasn’t fair to hold the knee-jerk response that someone who was surprised by the information might give. Of course, that didn’t mean I had to subject myself to any harassment from them, and in some cases, I needed to distance myself from them.

    My family came around. My husband’s didn’t. But in both cases, we surrounded ourselves with people who do love us and care for us.

    • http://Www.unnameablecuriosity.wordpress.com Christine

      Thanks, Lymis. Hard to remember sometimes. Cindy’s family did badly for awhile and came around. Better than we expected. My family isn’t religious and views homosexuality as normal, they just wouldn’t (probably still don’t) accept that I’M a lesbian. My mother could only think of all the prejudice I would face (even though day to day I face absolutely none – I live in metropolitan Canada in a supportive work environment with an affirming church) and never seemed happy for me. My aunt came to visit and said if I was bi I would never get married because bi people can’t settle for just one gender. My dad took me to lunch a year after the wedding to say he didn’t think I was really gay because Cindy wasn’t attractive and that I really wouldn’t be able to judge my own orientation because I wouldn’t know what a healthy relationship looked like – no thanks to him, of course… (To be fair, this is around the time my dad insisted I stop playing with a Rubix Cube because if I were smart enough to solve it, I would have chosen a different profession. So, you know, not necessarily a gay thing…)

      Anyways, my family were supposed to be the affirming secular ones (though they now conveniently forget the slights they made against gay people when I was growing up). And they have a real hard time accepting my coming out. They had a picture of me that, Over three years in, they can’t seem to shake.

      I feel like they should know that people don’t “come out” on a whim. That doing that, and marrying a woman, actually mean that I am gay. But yours is a good reminder that it sometimes takes more time than we would like. (Something a friend tried to tell me, as a parent, but I may have needed to hear again.)

      Kudos to the mom who sent the letter, who demonstrates so quickly such a willingness to respect her child even when s/he came out as words she didn’t even recognize!

      • Mom of newly out child

        My child’s father and one uncle are right-wing fundamentalist “Christians” and have done nothing but denigrate and disparage anyone who isn’t straight. I’m not necessarily worried about the uncle, but my ex has been a complete bully to both of my children and I cringe at the thought of the words that will spew from his mouth when he finds out.

        My child has been subjected to enough bullying and abuse over the last 24 yrs and has suffered greatly because of it. I pray that my child will continue to grow with the inner strength they’ve already shown.

        • Lymis

          That sucks. And I’m so sorry. My husband’s family, with the exception of one sister (and his mom, before she passed away) are the same way. You are both in our prayers.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          I’m tempted to write a blog post, like, TO your kid.

          • Mom of newly out child

            That totally made me cry…in a good way. Thanks John.

          • DR

            That would be amazing.

            And to this mama, sometimes our mama is the only person we need in our corner. xoxo

        • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

          As the mom of another genderqueer, pansexual, I welcome you to the world of no one quite knowing whatintheheck that is! ;) You’re both in my prayers (as is the family dealing with cancer).

          • Lymis

            For what it’s worth, chances are it took your kids a heck of a long time to figure out the whatintheheck that is part, too! You moms are awesome!

          • Mom of newly out child

            Thanks Lyn!

  • Shelley Krasean Flavell via Facebook

    Yup.

  • Adara Pallady via Facebook

    Sending prayers.

  • Susan

    I’ll pray.

  • http://www.facebook.com/twgood Tim Good via Facebook

    /

  • Mindy

    Of course. Prayers for all – for understanding and peace on their journeys.

  • Mom of newly out child

    Thank you all for your prayers and encouraging words. My child and I both appreciate them more than I can put into words. Love to you all.

  • Karen Rowland via Facebook

    sending prayers…I hope their pains are relieved…

  • Michelle P.

    Praying for all who requested prayers, and for all the good people who read this blog, as well as for Mr. Shore.

  • The translator

    Thank you all so much! This place is wonderful :) Prayers for the others too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joanne-Elliott/100001065501295 Joanne Elliott via Facebook

    Prayers from us in Australia.

  • Donald Rappe

    Thank you Lord for calling us out of darkness and into your wonderful light. Hear us as we pray together. You are the eternity from which we come and to which we proceed, but, now we are here and need your help, strength and comfort. Lord, have mercy on us. Amen.

    • vj

      This is such a lovely prayer…. :-)

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Amen.

  • Matt

    Prayers so much for Olga, and for the young person who has just come out. It is so gratifying to hear about my fellow trans siblings feeling free to be their authentic selves and being accepted by their parents.

    Extra kudos to you, mom, for doing independent research. So often trans folks feel the burden, the pressure of educating others every time we come out, and it can make coming out even more daunting. Your child is so lucky to have you in their/zir/her/his life :).

    • Mom of newly out child

      Thank you Matt. I love my children more than life itself. I’ll do anything I can to make both of them know how special, unique and wonderful they are.

      • That Guy

        As a pansexual genderqueer myself I must say, your child is awesome!

        It’s so rare for me to hear about people like that and I have yet to meet one so I know how lonely it can be, but tell them they aren’t alone in the world for sure!

  • Jennifer Edwards

    Prayers for Olga and her family. It is really hard to accept “Thy will be done.” I’m hoping her final days will be happy and pain free.

    To the mom of the newly outed person – I admit, I had to look those two words up myself. Still not sure I understand completely, but your child has a wonderful mom and is lucky you are so supportive and understanding. Having you in their corner makes a big difference!

  • N

    To the mother whose child just came out:

    Thank you so much for welcoming and loving your kid. Keep doing it, please. Keep loving, keep supporting, and do it vocally. If you’re in a space with the child’s father and hear your child being ridiculed, stand up for him/her publicly. It doesn’t have to be a speech, a quiet and firm “do not say that” will do. It will mean the world to your kid, I guarantee it.

    You’re doing all the right things, the things that so many children wish their parents had had the knowledge strength and love to do. Just keep doing them.


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