(sorry–ANYWAY this is the transcript of the presentation by Ron Belgau and his mom):
…I don’t think my 17-year-old self could ever have imagined my dad being as passionate as he is about protecting kids from homophobia. But it’s a reminder everyone can grow and transform.
Turning back the clock to my adolescence, it never really hit home to me just how big a burden I was carrying until I was telling the story to a friend in college. He looked at me incredulously and said, “I can’t imagine what it would be like having to plan for being cut off by my family.” For him, despite the usual teenage conflicts with his parents, the possibility of being completely cut off had never even entered his mind.
Despite my struggles, I was reasonably lucky. I got a job as an intern at Microsoft when I was 19, and by 21, I thought I was financially secure enough to take the risk of coming out to my parents. My mom has already told you a bit about that story.
You might think that my dad’s reaction was good news, and in some sense it was. But in another sense, it would have seemed much easier if he’d kicked me out. Then I could have just moved on, tried to put the pain behind me, and hoped that eventually the scabs on my psyche would stop hurting. His plea for forgiveness for the way he had hurt me opened up a new problem.
“And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” We repeat Christ’s words over and over again: but do we really understand what they demand? A lot of times when we forgive someone, what we really are doing is saying, “it wasn’t that big of a deal.”
I couldn’t say that to my dad. This was a very big deal.