Monday, October 26, 2015

Dear Perfect Family… From Your Son (Or From Anyone Who Has Been Rejected)

NOTE: The letter below is not my creation. I found this on FreedHearts, a blog written by Susan Cottrell, a mother of five children including a queer daughter and a lesbian daughter. She is a veteran discipler, Vice President of PFLAG Austin, and she is getting her M.Div at Austin Seminary. FreedHearts is her full time ministry. 

This is a bit long, but well worth the read. I am sure it will resonate with many of you.

I’m writing with a heavy heart about our family, the family I grew up in, which no longer accepts me. It’s so strange, this outside looking in. I’d never really considered that to be a possibility, that our family is negotiable—you can be born in it, but that doesn’t secure your place.
What’s more, I don’t expect you to change. Apparently, the preachers in your church and on TBN have more clout with you than I do—even though I’ve lived it, even though I’m your son. I admit that’s hard to take. I am beyond hoping that you will one day accept me…at least I think I’m beyond it. I’m not sure hoping to be restored to the family you grew up in ever leaves. But I write in hopes that you may be able to clear up some misunderstandings for me.
You have told me I am not welcome because I am gay. You’ve made that very clear. Even though I did not choose this (no matter what you may believe about that), even though I cannot change it (you and I both have prayed feverishly that this would change, but it has not), and even though I am not dating anyone (and all those years, I didn’t have a boyfriend), you still have your “standards.” You told me again and again. It just came as a shock to discover that these standards come above your flesh-and-blood son. I tell you, I really didn’t expect that. But far be it from me to ask you to overthrow your standards for the likes of me.
Help me understand, so that as I lay in my bed, alone and apart from all of you, I know what has happened here, why you decided I am not worthy to be part of the family.
As you know, your firstborn Jim has had multiple affairs, even getting another woman pregnant while he was married to his wife. (In fact, he’d divorced his first wife before he married her.) Yet, he is still welcome at the dinner table. You embrace him, not only after his divorce as you did, but despite his blatant and repeated “sexual sin.” Don’t get me wrong – I think you should embrace him! Because that is what family does. But please, help me understand why you embrace him and not me.
As you also know, my beloved sister—your beloved daughter Gina—is an alcoholic. You’ve “rescued” her many times, you even sent her to rehab for her own good. But no matter how many times she stumbles and falls, you have never once suggest excluding her from family events…events where you serve wine! (Sorry! I was just laughing at the irony there.
Jeremy was born with many physical ailments, which you have taken in stride. You have sacrificed greatly to provide opportunity for him. The surgeries, the physical therapy, the special equipment—none of that did you begrudge your son because he needed it. Of course you would provide it. Not many years ago people like him are shuttered away. I cringe to imagine it. I’m so glad that never happened to Jeremy—I love that sweet guy with all my heart. Thank God you’re there for him! Still, I’m left to reconcile your overextension of love for him that you couldn’t see clear to offer me.
And of course there was the porn you, found on the basement computer, Mom. No one ever owned up to it, and you were never really sure if it was Jim or Dad—none of us suspected Jeremy and it wasn’t Gina. And you knew for sure it wasn’t was me because, as I’ve been saying since I was 12, I am not attracted to girls. But whoever it was still sits at the family table for meals. And they should—we’re family. But why are they there and not me?
I don’t even want to mention the things you two went through, Mom and Dad, things that nearly cost your marriage. It was rough for those couple of years. Yet here you are! Still loving and supporting each other while all the, well, the incidents between you are all water under the bridge. I’m happy for you! I’m not begrudging a single act of grace and forgiveness! That is what family is supposed to be about.
I just don’t understand why you can’t extend that to me as well! Why, for the love of God, do you have grace and understanding and acceptance for EVERYONE but me? It makes no sense. And don’t blame God—YOU are the ones who have cut me out. It is your choice. Why? If you could answer that for me, it would help me sleep better. Because I can’t tell you how many nights I’ve cried my eyes out…I’m tired of crying.
And remember, by the way, this is not even about anything I am DOING wrong. It is about WHO I AM at the very core of my being. You are not upset with me, rejecting me, condemning me because of what I do, it is because who I am.
Personally, I don’t know how you can sleep at night. I don’t know how you can cut one of your children out of your lives and then carry on as if that is normal. IT’S NOT NORMAL TO CUT A CHILD OUT OF YOUR LIFE! Ask Aunt Joan if she would do anything to have her son back, drugs and all, instead of putting flowers on his grave. You know the answer to that. What is the matter with you people?
So you’ve left me to move on and to try not to think about you. You’ve left me to develop a life of my own. So when there is news to tell, like a boyfriend…or a wedding, rest assured I won’t be bothering you with it.
God has given me absolute peace and assurance in my heart that I am exactly who God made me to be—assurance I had to fight for, in the face of your ongoing condemnation, betrayal and rejection. Are you not able to just trust God with that, or do you think you know better?
If you only knew how big God’s love really is, if that love flowed freely through you, you wouldn’t reject me. You would accept me, embrace me, and unconditionally love me… as God has done with you… if you really grasped that love, deep in your bones.
You talk about God’s love but you don’t even begin to understand it.
If you ever have a change of heart, if you ever want me at the family table, you can let me know. I’ll be the one over here living my own life apart from you.
From Your Son (or daughter, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandchild…)


Saturday, October 10, 2015

October 11, 2015 is the day we celebrate the 27th anniversary of National Coming Out Day

Via The Human Rights CampaignComing out is a powerful tool we can all use to advance LGBT equality. In honor of National Coming Out Day this Sunday, we celebrate all those who have come out and bravely shared their true, authentic selves with the world.

It is so much harder to hate a real live person than a scary, nasty, evil concept. This is why the James Dobsons (Focus on the Family) of the world fought tooth and nail to keep schools from including glbtq kids in their anti-bullying policies. These so-called "family" organizations wanted the environments at schools to be so hostile and scary for glbtq kids that they would be too afraid to come out of the closet. Organizations like Focus on the Family knew that it is much easier to keep their true believers terrified of a faceless gay boogieman than that real live kid who sits next to your child in biology class.

So yes! Kick that door down. Lift that heavy burden from your shoulders. Come Out and Don't Look Back! Life is hard enough without having to hide such a big part of yourself.


Friday, October 09, 2015

When did Gay Partners Become a Part of the Family on TV?

This show was groundbreaking in so many ways.


Saturday, October 03, 2015

Oh how I wish someone could put that sanctimonious fraud & good ole boy, Mike Huckabee, in his place like this

Why is it that this only happens in Hollywood?

I am posting this just for the fun of it. Shaming sanctimonious religious frauds, who elevate themselves by demonizing and crushing others, is such a fantasy of mine. I know it won't happen, but a mama can dream - can't she?