When I learned that Alex’s mother threw dishes at her and threw her down the stairs because she’s gay—that’s the day I knew I had to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. I’d been educating myself since my two daughters came out—nearly a decade ago now—and I was shocked by what I learned:
- A scant 6 verses have been misinterpreted and abused to marginalize and oppress our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters.
- Duplicitous Christians stand firmly against “gays” while abuses of power are ignored from the top all the way down.
- We’re not feeding our hungry or caring for our weak—the very things Jesus said to do—but we DO cruelly and repeatedly scapegoat this particular group of people who simply want to live their lives in peace.
Five years ago, on March 28, 2013, I posted my first blog post, coming out of the closet as the faith parent of an LGBTQ+ child. I knew I was going up against the evangelical church where we’d raised our kids. And the reaction has often been brutal. I knew I would lose friends and family. And I did.
But what was going on in our nonaffirming churches was wrong. I knew that in my heart. I also knew that I was following how God was leading me and that there were countless other parents out there who needed to know that they were on the right side of God’s heart, and the right side of Scripture.
As many Christians vilified people, often children, in the name of God, it cut against the very heart of the “Astoundingly Good News” (gospel) Jesus brought.
I thought, If I can just get my voice out there—to show that the current approach is having horrific, tragic results, and that we need to align ourselves MORE with Jesus—the internal logic and strength of love will shine through.
And so I posted that first blog post. And that first post led to the launch of FreedHearts, our 501c3 nonprofit charitable organization. It has become my life’s work!
In just five years, we have
- written 600+ blog posts that have reached millions.
- written and published three books and filmed comprehensive video courses—for parents, for LGBTQ+, and for the faith community.
- created powerful online support groups for thousands of Moms, Dads, families, and LGBTQ+.
- become the prominent voice for faith parents of LGBTQ+ people.
- been featured on ABC, NBC, The Advocate and many other media outlets, and spoken hundreds of times all over the U.S. and in Australia.
I have tremendous hope. I see the vibrant life and overflowing joy in the eyes of my children and countless other LGBTQ+ people—people who have fought more battles than most of us can imagine. I see the passion and commitment in the hearts of parents I have come to know and love—parents who are standing up for change in their churches and communities. I believe that the pews and pulpits are filled with people just waiting for permission to affirm this community, and I believe that parents are our secret weapon in those churches. They are the most powerful voice in the fight for equality and nondiscrimination.
We know how this is going to end. Love wins! We are just arguing over when and on how many people we will either hurt or protect in the meantime.
As I look ahead at the next five years and beyond, I want you to know that I will work every day to walk with parents and to help our LGBTQ+ children be loved and safe.
That is my promise to you. Thank you for joining me on this journey.
Happy 5th Anniversary, FreedHearts!
For information on all of our resources for parents, LGBTQI, and the faith community – including our private Facebook support groups for parents and for LGBTQI, and our comprehensive video courses – just visit www.FreedHearts.org