He Knows Their Name: The Mom of a Transgender Teen Speaks Out

For sixteen years, that name was the one that the child used. When they were 14 and came out as gender fluid and pansexual, they flirted with another more androgynous name, but it never really caught on. As an affirming parent, I could wrap my head around their orientation and support it, but when I asked if they wanted me to call them that name, it was always with a sense of, “Please, don’t want that,” behind it. And for a while, those unspoken words were heeded. They were ambivalent about the name, and were content for those who knew about their orientation to continue to use their birth name. [Read more…]

“Am I a Bad Christian for Loving My LGBTQ Child?”

Finally they voiced the deeper question that drove all their worries, “Are we wrong if we unconditionally love and support our son?”

I was caught off-guard and almost fell out of my chair. [Read more…]

These Three Remain: Reaching Towards Faith, Hope and Love as LGBTQ Christians

This post is by Laura Statesir, our Director of Family and Youth:
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. – 1 Corinthians 13:13 (NIV)
For many years this verse was so important to me that I considered getting “faith”, “hope”, and “love” tattooed on my body. Over time the meaning of these promises has changed in my life. The innocent idealism of my youthful faith has given way to something deeper and yet less certain as I’ve struggled with reconciling my sexuality with my faith and with my interactions with my Christian communities.
At the Gay Christian Network conference in Portland this past January I met many other Christians who are seeking a vision of how these words might be tattooed on their own hearts. [Read more…]

Second Parent Perspectives Video

When the child of Christian parents comes out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer these parents often struggle to reconcile their faith with their child’s sexuality or gender identity. Parents typically feel alone. They have no one to turn to and believe that no one will understand their experiences.  Many times, there is no [Read More…]

NEW!! Parent Perspectives: Journeys of Faith with our LGBTQ Children

As part of our ongoing effort to provide resources for Christian parents of LGBTQ children, The Marin Foundation is creating an online video series called “Parent Perspectives: Journeys of Faith with our LGBTQ Children”. In these videos, Christian parents of LGBTQ children share their personal stories in the hopes that other parents can learn from and be comforted by their experiences.
This month we are proud to release our first video which features Chicago’s own Anna Ricci. Anna takes us through her journey as a Christian mother with a gay son; the ups and downs, struggles and joys. Anna discusses her shock and anger at her son’s coming out. She takes us through her early emotional struggles and questions of faith. She talks about her relationship with her son then and now. Finally, she shares how giving her son to God led her to a deeper more intimate relationship with God and with her son. [Read more…]

Why I Haven’t Given up on Christians

I grew up in church. My family was there every time the doors were open. I loved to attend Vacation Bible School, choir, mission trips, Christian camps, etc. I gave my life to Christ in high school and vowed to serve Him with all my being. In college I spent my summers volunteering and working for Christian camps and organizations. I led Bible studies, served with various ministries, and even joined a Christian sorority. After college I became a missionary with a parachurch Christian organization and devoted myself to reaching, loving on, and discipling teenagers for Christ. My whole identity was in being a Christian, a missionary, and a child of God.
But when I came out as gay everything came crashing down around me. [Read more…]

On Body Image

I moved to Chicago two months ago now; I’m meeting with challenges here. Wear and tear, so far, includes the theft of my catalytic converter, a minor injury, and issues with my bank that’ve had me calling them weekly. Having worked in customer service, I know better than to antagonize folks who do the same. On my last phone call with the bank, though – the fifth, I think – I flipped, until someone finally explained the situation I was trying to address. And that was that. [Read more…]

NEW: Support Groups for Christian Parents of LGBTQ Children

It can be very difficult to find support groups specifically for Christian parents of LGBTQ children because they are few and far between and often not well advertised. Therefore The Marin Foundation spent the last few months researching and scouring the Internet to compile a list of these groups throughout the United States. [Read more…]

On Sharing Stories

I grew up in a family whose most central value was “What happens in this house, stays in this house.”
My parents, young Christians, had broken away from their own families as teenagers, and were celebrating parenthood before either of them had lived two full decades. As the years went on, the home would grow to be full of the three headstrong girls they were raising (thankfully, none of us high schoolers at quite the same time), and headstrong independence in children brings with it situations that leave young parents grasping for control of the narrative… my parents found their stability in adherence to their decree that the home was as good as Vegas and the stories therein would not be told. [Read more…]

Getting Over the Church

If you’ve been alive long enough and if you’ve ever loved someone, you’ve probably also experienced the heartache of breaking up. Almost all of us can relate to the difficulty of getting over someone. But what do you do if it is the Church that has broken your heart? How do you get over that? [Read more…]

Bi the Way :: Some Helpful Tips for Christians on Bisexuality

Today’s post comes from our friend Eliel Cruz. Eliel is a bisexual Christian covering bisexuality for The Advocate and is the co-founder of The Intercollegiate Adventist GSA Coalition. As yesterday was Bisexual Visibility Day, The Marin Foundation wanted to take the opportunity to platform Eliel’s post to increase awareness and, hopefully, educate our readers. We hope you find it [Read More…]

On Listening

Today’s post is by Melinda Guerra, the Administrative Assistant here at The Marin Foundation.  “We have been too wrapped up in planning the communication of our truth by cooking up contingency plans for potential rebuttals that we have forgotten to think relationally.  Looking for opportunities to build trust will inevitably remove some of the fears [Read More…]

Cultural Competency Vs. Cultural Humility

The first approach is to say nothing. It’s hard to offend if you don’t open your mouth. There are any number of proverbs about “the fool” defending this position. It’s wise. However, it’s not really sustainable in the long run. The conversation around gender and sexuality has become one of the the defining issues facing the church today. As I wrote last week, moderate voices are needed.
The second approach is to equip oneself with the right vocabulary and the right set of expectations. It’s hard to offend if you don’t say anything offensive. Or at least in theory. In practice, these conversations can be very difficult to navigate, as we’ll see. But this approach is known as cultural competency.
There’s a third approach, of course. It’s cultural humility. [Read more…]

Being the Token Gay Christian

I am glad my fiancée and I represented ourselves and our love in a positive light.

BUT…

What if I had been having a bad day? I can be quite shy and sometimes I just don’t feel like explaining myself to new people – so what if I had ignored my friend’s father? What if my fiancée and I had been arguing or experiencing a tense moment in our relationship? Would my friend’s father have walked away with the same positive changes in his viewpoint or would we have confirmed every negative opinion he believed about LGBTQ people? [Read more…]