She didn’t reject him, she rejected who he was, who he was born to be – a gay man.
Guest Blogger and LGBTQ Super-Fan Susan Hope Berland Chimes in for Gay Pride Month
Several years ago I came across this article, “Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love our Gay Son” by Linda Robertson. It’s worth reading. Linda is one of the most courageous women I’ve ever “met.” I know her through social media and some of the Facebook groups she created or inspired for Christian moms of LGBTQ kids.
When Linda’s son came out she continued to love him and openly expressed that love. But because of her religious beliefs she said things to him like, “…since you want to follow God, embracing your sexuality is not an option.”
She didn’t reject him, she rejected who he was, who he was born to be – a gay man. Rejection comes in many forms but it attacks the soul no matter how it is delivered, even with love. It teaches that young person that he or she is not okay, that there is something fundamentally wrong with them that they have to fix.
Linda’s son left home and became addicted to drugs. During that time, Linda did a lot of studying and soul searching and came to understand that her son was born gay and was loved by God and made in His image. They reconciled and her son got clean. One night he visited with some of his old friends, used drugs again and died from an overdose.
Gay kids that have high levels of family rejection are 8.4 times more likely to attempt suicide.
Linda could have stayed silent. Instead she shared her story so that others could learn from her mistakes. She left herself open to hate and ridicule and got plenty of it from people who shamed her for her first response to her son. They blamed her for his death. I don’t see it that way. She has channeled her pain into helping other Christian moms and reconciling their religion with having an LGBTQ child.
According to a study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, those who reported that they’d experienced high levels of family rejection as adolescents were 8.4 times more likely to say they’d attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to say they’d suffered depression, and 3.4 times more likely to say they’d used illegal drugs.
We don’t all have LGBTQ children. Our kids don’t always follow in the path we wish they would. They make choices we don’t always agree with. Her story teaches us a valuable lesson. Acceptance must be unconditional. We love our children and that love must also be unconditional, no matter what.
Wishing you a peaceful, harmonious home,
Susan Berland is my friend and a mom of a gay kid. She helps parents accept their kids for who they are.