My son/daughter’s just come out. What should I do?
Accepting a member of your family as LGB isn’t always easy. Add to that holding a religious faith which appears to exclude and condemn LGB people, and it becomes even more fraught with difficulty.
As Bruce explains, ‘Some of our happiest times were when we were totally committed to the work of our church, giving our all to its programmes and people. Having a gay son has forced us to stand alone.’ It can be a wilderness experience, as shame, secrecy and sadness can make it difficult to share the news in a church setting.
What happens next? Paul D, whose son is gay, urges all parents with LGB sons or daughters to “affirm their children constantly. But it’s fine to say that you are still on a journey with the implications of your grown-up child’s sexuality. I assure you, your child is on a similar journey.”
That journeying may lead to a new direction in your faith, a change of church, and different relatinships within the family. In Living It Out, parents and children share how their lives have been affected. There is no one route and no quick-fix happy ending. But our contributors also give testament to God journeying with them.
Many have found it helpful to meet other parents in a similar situation – you may like to check out Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (FFLAG).
Rachel Hagger-Holt & Sarah Hagger-Holt
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