“Mom, Dad, I have something to tell you…I’m gay”. One of the most difficult and life changing statements a parent can hear is that of their child coming out to them. Like a bomb being dropped, this revelation has the potential to tear families apart. Parents often feel scared, angry, confused, anxious, hopeless, and very alone. Their hopes and dreams for their children are shaken and replaced with fears of AIDS, discrimination, and stigma. What do you do? To whom do you turn? For parents of the Christian faith, the questions may be even more complicated. What does the Bible say? How will my church react? Will my child go to hell? What does this mean for my faith?
Over the years The Marin Foundation has received numerous requests for help, guidance, and advice from the parents and families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) and questioning children. Many of these parents identify as Christian and are struggling to reconcile their faith and the sexuality of their child. Although many resources exist for the parents and families of LGBT children, few of these resources offer a framework for exploring this issue from a loving Christ-like perspective. Therefore, the Marin Foundation is launching a Parent Resource Initiative to identify the needs of Christian parents of LGBT children and develop resources to help them through the experience of their child’s coming out.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!!! If you are a parent of a LGBT child, a family therapist, or a parent support group leader, we need your help. In the next couple of months, our goal is to interview and survey two hundred or more Christian parents of LGBT children as well as others involved in supporting families. We want to hear your story!We are looking for a representative sample of parents from all over the United States, of all ages, ethnicities and ranges of Christian beliefs. Whether your child came out to you two days ago or twenty years ago, we would love to hear about your experience.
Participants will be interviewed and asked to fill out a survey form. The interviews generally take 1 to 2 hours and can be done in person (within Chicago area), over the phone, or through Skype at your convenience. All information is kept confidential.
The Marin Foundation believes, as Billy Graham once stated, “It’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict, God’s job to judge, and it’s my job to love”. We would like to provide a safe space for you to share your story without fear of condemnation or judgment. Regardless of your religious, cultural, political, or other views on this subject, we want to know what this experience has been like for you.
Please contact Laura Statesir at The Marin Foundation for more information. You can email her at Laura@themarinfoundation.org or call 773-572-5983.