Calling All Parents

This is a re-post of a piece originally posted on 6/8/12. Thanks to all the parents that have graciously taken the time to talk to us, we are over a quarter of the way done with our initial goal of interviewing 200 parents that have LGBT and questioning children. We would appreciate it if you would be able to share this post through your social media accounts or share it with anyone that might be interested in participating.

“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 few 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.

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.

To Participate:
Please contact Laura Statesir at The Marin Foundation for more information. You can email her at Laura@themarinfoundation.org or call 773-572-5983.

Much love.

www.themarinfoundation.org

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Marilyn Satre

    Laura Statesir,
    My husband Dave, and I are parents of an adult daughter who “came out” after 6 years of marriage. Her husband was totally supportive of her coming to terms with her realization of her orientation. They separated and divorced peacefully and are still good friends. Both eventually found new partners. My husband is a retired pastor, and we are both from missionary or ministry parents and grandparents. My daughter resigned her job as an English professor at a conservative Christian college before she came out publicly in a front page feature of the opinion page of a large city newspaper. My daughter’s partner is an ordained minister working in an “affirming” church and is an air force chaplain. Dave and I have met informally over coffee with a small group of other parents of gay children on a regular basis to share experiences, study scripture, pray, and discuss how to make our churches more welcoming, if affirming is not yet possible. We support a church plant that is welcoming and affirming. Someone suggested I contact you about being interviewed as a parent in your recent or current project.

    Do you have any Marin Foundation contacts in Minneapolis area?
    Dave and Marilyn Satre
    8483 157th St. W.
    Apple Valley, MN 55124
    952-953-3091 house phone.

  • http://www.newcreationhk.org tammy kan

    hello, andrew,
    we are running a support group of parents with glbt and q kids. we have met over 250 chinese families in hk and taiwan. We would like to learn more about your plan, so that we maybe your counterpart in Asia or Chinese world.

    Actually, I enjoy reading your book which verbalise much much my real feeling duringthese eight year service in New Ceation Association inHong Kong.

    Await for your reply.

    Tammy


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