Here Come the Brides! How My Devout Christian Mom Feels About Having a Gay Kid
The “Here Come the Brides!” series follows my adventures with Casey to the aisle. Here’s what’s happened so far:
Today’s post is the first half of an interview with my devout Christian mom about how it feels to have a gay kid getting married.
A long-time reader asked a great question on a previous post in the Brides series—he wanted to know how my mom felt about my coming out (answered today) and my upcoming nuptials (coming Thursday). My mom, Julie, is a devout Christian—most everything I know about living out the gospel, I’ve learned by watching her.
A kid’s coming out can be world-shaking for a parent, and when that parent is religious, sometimes all that shaking rattles them deep down. I’ve seen parents torn, not knowing how to embrace their LGBTQ child while still embracing their beliefs. But that’s where I think faith and belief are different—in fact, I might even say they’re opposites. Belief is what keeps you clutching to ideas; faith is what allows you to hold your child.
It’s my honor to be the lesbian daughter of this great Christian woman. I hope you’ll be blessed by her example, as I am.
Special thanks to my dear friend Justin Shumaker for writing these interview questions!
What are your memories from the time Tamára came out to you? What was your first, gut-level reaction, and do you have any regrets over something you said or didn’t say?
When she “officially” came out, I already knew. She had told me months before that she “thought she might” be gay. So I was kind of prepared…and that gave me time to adjust my heart and mind so that, when the “announcement” came, I was able to be accepting and supportive. If I hadn’t been “prepared,” or if I hadn’t suspected the truth, I sure hope that I would have been loving and accepting anyway…I am a very flawed human being so, I don’t know for sure. But no, I don’t think I said or did anything that I regret. I hope that all she felt from me was love and acceptance. There was an announcement she made many years ago that I DID react badly to, and I deeply regret that. So I’m glad that I didn’t have that “selfish/ignorant/not being able to see the pain, fear, and need for support in my daughter” this time.
After Tamára came out, did she become a different person to you? Is there a pre-out Tamára and a post-out Tamára in your mind?
Absolutely not. She is the same person. She just now understands and accepts herself more fully. And as a result, she is a happier and more fulfilled person. Isn’t that what every parent wants for her/his child?
I know nobody’s perfect, but I think you’re a pretty ideal parent to a gay child. You appear to be unconditionally loving, loyal, and accepting. Was this a slow process, or have you been that way from the time Tamára told you who she was?
She is my child. She is a gift from God. I love her, no matter what. I have loved her unconditionally since the day she was born. I’m sure that she would say the same about her own children. And that you’d say the same about yours.
How difficult was it to reconcile your faith with Tamára’s sexual identity? Did you have any beliefs you had to change or abandon? Do you still struggle with any aspect of your faith as it relates to Tamára being gay?
Part one of your question: It was as easy as pie. (Actually, pie is NOT very easy – have you ever tried to make one? It’s much too labor intensive – so, a rather inaccurate expression.) My faith says, “you are treasured, you are sacred, you are loved, you are worth dying for, you are Mine.” It says, “Love one another as I have loved you.” So, no! It wasn’t difficult; what is there to reconcile?
Part two: No. God is love. That kind of says it all.
Part three: No. She is as God created her to be. And if that’s what God intended, who am I to argue or to pass judgement?
Do you have any understanding for Christian parents who reject their gay children? What would you say to a parent who said “I love my kid, but the Bible says she’s sinning. I want to accept her, but I can’t. What do I do?”
Part one of your question: NO!!!!!!!!! I CANNOT understand parents who would reject their child – because our Awesome God does not reject US!! How can we say we are Christ followers on the one hand, and reject our child on the other?? It makes no sense whatsoever! It infuriates me, and breaks my heart, and makes me want to adopt all those precious people who have been rejected or abandoned by their self righteous, misguided parents. Jesus says, “come ye broken hearted; come ye heavy laden. Come unto me and I will give you rest.” (I might not be quoting His exact words, but I surely hope I am quoting His intent.) I pray that Christ, or someone in this world acting on His behalf, would embrace those abandoned, wounded people, and show them how deeply they are loved, or point them toward the One who IS love!
Part two of your question: I would say, “You are a sinner. God forgives, accepts, and loves you! God wants a relationship with you! God wants you to spend eternity with Him in His Kingdom! Extend that same unconditional love to your child, because that is what your Creator is calling you to do! Set aside your limited, earthly vision, and see with the expansive heart-vision of God. Abide in Him, and let Him abide in you.”
What’s the best part of having a gay daughter? Like, do you get a family discount on flannel shirts and wallet chains?
Eee gads! Flannel shirts? No! We much prefer empire dresses with a sweetheart neckline, or perhaps a “fit and flare” dress, strappy sandals or pretty pumps, statement necklaces or, at the very least, dangle earrings! Right, Tamára? But, if she chose to wear flannel shirts or wallet chains (I don’t even know what a wallet chain is, for heaven’s sake!), I’d love her just the same…I just wouldn’t be able to go shopping with her. Which would be a shame…’cuz I love spending time with my baby girl.
The best part of having a gay daughter is exactly the same as the best part of having a straight daughter. She is loved, she is treasured, she is mine. (Well, she’s God’s. But thanks be to God, I get to be her mommy in this life!) I am honored to be her mom, her sister, and her friend.