Just Because He Breathes

Just Because He Breathes

June 1, 2009 – 2nd Day of 17 Days in Harborview

On the night of November 20, 2001, a conversation held over Instant Messenger changed our lives forever. Our twelve year old son messaged me in my office from the computer in his bedroom.

Ryan says: can i tell u something
Mom says: Yes I am listening
Ryan says: well i don’t know how to say this really but, well……, i can’t keep lying to you about myself. I have been hiding this for too long and i sorta have to tell u now. By now u probably have an idea of what i am about to say.
Ryan says: I am gay
Ryan says: i can’t believe i just told you
Mom says: Are you joking?
Ryan says: no
Ryan says: i thought you would understand because of uncle don
Mom says: of course I would
Mom says: but what makes you think you are?
Ryan says: i know i am
Ryan says: i don’t like hannah
Ryan says: it’s just a cover-up
Mom says: but that doesn’t make you gay…
Ryan says: i know
Ryan says: but u don’t understand
Ryan says: i am gay
Mom says: tell me more
Ryan says: it’s just the way i am and it’s something i know
Ryan says: u r not a lesbian and u know that. it is the same thing
Mom says: what do you mean?
Ryan says: i am just gay
Ryan says: i am that
Mom says: I love you no matter what
Ryan says: i am white not black
Ryan says: i know
Ryan says: i am a boy not a girl
Ryan says: i am attracted to boys not girls
Ryan says: u know that about yourself and i know this
Mom says: what about what God thinks about acting on these desires?
Ryan says: i know
Mom says: thank you for telling me
Ryan says: and i am very confused about that right now
Mom says: I love you more for being honest
Ryan says: i know
Ryan says: thanx

We were completely shocked. Not that we didn’t know and love gay people – my only brother had come out to us several years before, and we adored him. But Ryan? He was unafraid of anything, tough as nails, and ALL boy. We had not seen this coming, and the emotion that overwhelmed us, kept us awake at night and, sadly, influenced all of our reactions over the next six years, was FEAR.

We said all the things that we thought loving Christian parents who believed the Bible – the Word of God – should say:

We love you. We will ALWAYS love you. And this is hard. REALLY hard. But we know what God says about this, and so you are going to have to make some really difficult choices.

We love you. We couldn’t love you more. But there are other men who have faced this same struggle, and God has worked in them to change their desires. We’ll get you their books…you can listen to their testimonies. And we will trust God with this.

We love you. We are so glad you are our son. But you are young, and your sexual orientation is still developing. The feelings you’ve had for other guys don’t make you gay. So please don’t tell anyone that you ARE gay. You don’t know who you are yet. Your identity is not that you are gay – it is that you are a child of God.

We love you. Nothing will change that. But if you are going to follow Jesus, holiness is your only option. You are going to have to choose to follow Jesus, no matter what. And since you know what the Bible says, and since you want to follow God, embracing your sexuality is NOT an option.

We thought we understood the magnitude of the sacrifice that we – and God – were asking for. And this sacrifice, we knew, would lead to the abundant life, perfect peace and eternal rewards, even if it was incredibly difficult.

Ryan had always felt intensely drawn to spiritual things; He desired to please God above all else. So, for the first six years, he tried to choose Jesus. Like so many others before him, he pleaded with God to help him be attracted to girls. He memorized Scripture, met with his youth pastor weekly and went to all the youth group events and Bible Studies. He chose to get baptized and filled journals with his prayers. He read all the Christian books that explained where his gay feelings came from and dove into counseling to further discover the origin of his unwanted attraction to other guys. He worked through difficult conflict resolution with Rob and I and invested even more deeply in his friendships with other guys (straight guys) just like the reparative therapy experts advised.

But nothing changed. God didn’t answer Ryan’s prayers – or ours – though we were all believing with faith that the God of the Universe – the God for whom NOTHING is impossible – could easily make Ryan straight. But He did not.

Though our hearts may have been good (we truly thought what we were doing was loving), we did not even give Ryan a chance to wrestle with God, to figure out what HE believed God was telling him through scripture about his sexuality. We had believed firmly in giving each of our four children the space to question Christianity, to decide for themselves if they wanted to follow Jesus, to truly OWN their own faith. But we were too afraid to give Ryan that room when it came to his sexuality, for fear that he’d make the wrong choice.

Basically, we told our son that he had to choose between Jesus and his sexuality. We forced him to make a choice between God and being a sexual person. Choosing God, practically, meant living a lifetime condemned to being alone. As a teenager, he had to accept that he would never have the chance to fall in love, hold hands, have his first kiss or share the intimacy and companionship that we, as his parents, enjoy. We had always told our kids that marriage was God’s greatest earthly gift…but Ryan had to accept that he alone would not be offered that present.

And so, just before his 18th birthday, Ryan, depressed, suicidal, disillusioned and convinced that he would never be able to be loved by God, made a new choice. He decided to throw out his Bible and his faith at the same time, and to try searching for what he desperately wanted – peace – another way. And the way he chose to try first was drugs.

We had – unintentionally – taught Ryan to hate his sexuality. And since sexuality cannot be separated from the self, we had taught Ryan to hate himself. So as he began to use drugs, he did so with a recklessness and a lack of caution for his own safety that was alarming to everyone who knew him.

Suddenly our fear of Ryan someday having a boyfriend (a possibility that honestly terrified me) seemed trivial in contrast to our fear of Ryan’s death, especially in light of his recent rejection of Christianity, and his mounting anger at God.

Ryan started with weed and beer…but in six short months was using cocaine, crack and heroin. He was hooked from the beginning, and his self-loathing and rage at God only fueled his addiction. Shortly after, we lost contact with him. For the next year and a half we didn’t know where he was, or even if he was dead or alive. And during that horrific time, God had our full attention. We stopped praying for Ryan to become straight. We started praying for him to know that God loved him. We stopped praying for him never to have a boyfriend. We started praying that someday we might actually get to know his boyfriend. We even stopped praying for him to come home to us; we only wanted him to come home to God.

By the time our son called us, after 18 long months of silence, God had completely changed our perspective. Because Ryan had done some pretty terrible things while using drugs, the first thing he asked me was this:

Do you think you can ever forgive me? (I told him of course, he was already forgiven. He had ALWAYS been forgiven.)

Do you think you could ever love me again? (I told him that we had never stopped loving him, not for one second. We loved him then more than we had ever loved him.)

Do you think you could ever love me with a boyfriend? (Crying, I told him that we could love him with fifteen boyfriends. We just wanted him back in our lives. We just wanted to have a relationship with him again…AND with his boyfriend.)

And a new journey was begun. One of healing, restoration, open communication and grace. LOTS of grace. And God was present every step of the way, leading and guiding us, gently reminding us simply to love our son, and leave the rest up to Him.

Over the next ten months, we learned to truly love our son. Period. No buts. No conditions. Just because he breathes. We learned to love whoever our son loved. And it was easy. What I had been so afraid of became a blessing. The journey wasn’t without mistakes, but we had grace for each other, and the language of apology and forgiveness became a natural part of our relationship. As our son pursued recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, we pursued him. God taught us how to love him, to rejoice over him, to be proud of the man he was becoming. We were all healing…and most importantly, Ryan began to think that if WE could forgive him and love him, then maybe God could, too.

And then Ryan made the classic mistake of a recovering addict…he got back together with his old friends…his using friends. And one evening that was supposed to simply be a night at the movies turned out to be the first time he had shot up in ten months…and the last time. We got a phone call from a social worker at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle asking us to come identify our son – that he had arrived there in a coma, in critical condition. We spent 17 days at Harborview, during which time our whole family was able to surround and love on Ryan. We experienced miracle after miracle during that time, things that no doctor had any medical explanation for. God’s presence was TANGIBLE in Ryan’s room. But that is a long, sacred story that I’ll have to tell another time.

Though Ryan had suffered such severe brain damage that he had almost complete paralysis, the doctors told us that he could very well outlive us. But, unexpectedly, Ryan died on July 16, 2009. And we lost the ability to love our gay son…because we no longer had a gay son. What we had wished for…prayed for…hoped for…that we would NOT have a gay son, came true. But not at all in the way we used to envision.

Now, when I think back on the fear that governed all my reactions during those first six years after Ryan told us he was gay, I cringe as I realize how foolish I was. I was afraid of all the wrong things. And I grieve, not only for my oldest son, who I will miss every day for the rest of my life, but for the mistakes I made. I grieve for what could have been, had we been walking by FAITH instead of by FEAR. Now, whenever Rob and I join our gay friends for an evening, I think about how much I would love to be visiting with Ryan and his partner over dinner. But instead, we visit Ryan’s gravestone. We celebrate anniversaries: the would-have-been birthdays and the unforgettable day of his death. We wear orange – his color. We hoard memories: pictures, clothing he wore, handwritten notes, lists of things he loved, tokens of his passions, recollections of the funny songs he invented, his Curious George and baseball blankey, anything, really, that reminds us of our beautiful boy…for that is all we have left, and there will be no new memories.  We rejoice in our adult children, and in our growing family as they marry…but ache for the one of our “gang of four” who is missing. We mark life by the days BC (before coma) and AD (after death), because we are different people now; our life was irrevocably changed – in a million ways – by his death. We treasure friendships with others who “get it”…because they, too, have lost a child.

We weep. We seek Heaven for grace and mercy and redemption as we try – not to get better but to be better. And we pray that God can somehow use our story to help other parents learn to truly love their children. Just because they breathe.

Linda Diane Robertson
Originally posted on FaceBook on January 14, 2013 – Ryan’s would-have-been-24 birthday
An expanded, live version of this story, presented at the June 2013 Exodus International Conference can be seen here.

Note: If you’d like to see an example of the beautiful, gracious, loving soul who was the person of Ryan David Robertson, read the letter that he wrote to my husband, Ryan’s dad, on Father’s Day 2009, just 9 days before his accidental overdose. We’ve included a picture of the original letter, blown up into poster-size, which hangs in our bathroom to remind us of GRACE.

2,080 thoughts on “Just Because He Breathes

  1. Melissa

    Thank you for sharing your story and for sharing the amazing letter from Ryan. I have a transgender child who before sharing that he was transgender shared that he was gay. As a Christian, it was a struggle. Pretty much the same story as so many others. My child attended youth camp, was baptized etc. Then problems came when he was about 11 and knew he did not fit in there any more. He began down a path of self injury and suicidal thoughts. He did not tell us he was gay until after an inpatient hospital stay due to his declining mental health. Our Pastor visited with his thoughts on how our child could fight this homosexuality. Thank God for another pastor who also visited and simply loved our sin unconditionally. We slowly changed churches and watched my child open up again.
    He is 16 now and finally we have realized our mistake. I pray for you and your family that you have peace. Your story will stay with me every day and as I go through the pain of watching my daughter transition into a son I will remember your words and they will help me accept him as he is.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Melissa…Wow…what a blessing that the second pastor showed you and your son the gracious love of Christ! If you’d like to connect with a group of Christian moms who have trans kids, I’d love to connect you with them. Friend me on FaceBook and I will…I am Linda Mueller Robertson there, Melissa. Much love to you!

      Reply
    2. mikeinasheville

      Dear Melissa: Here is one of my favorite memories of my dad; this happened more than 30 years ago, a couple of years after I came out at 20. My NYPD cousin told me of a conversation my dad had with my cousin and aunt (my dad’s sister), when my dad commented “well, if one of the boys (I have 4 brothers) was going to be gay, I’m glad it is Michael — none of his brothers would be brave enough to be happy being gay.”

      That your 16 year-old has the courage to even express being transgendered is really quite remarkable. Put your memory cap on and remember yourself at 16 and all the angst of fitting in vs expressing yourself. 16 is very young and subject to massive swings in hormones. Your son, or daughter, will be going through so much trying to figure out his/her self. Most transgendered are not gay, rather straight, once they have adjusted/corrected their sexual identity. Confusion is going to be confusing, to you and your family, and of course, to your son/daughter.

      Clearly you have love in your heart. Keep that love strong because your daughter is going to need you by her side.

      When I was growing up in the SF Bay Area, the SF Chronicle ran a daily column “Tales of the City” by Armistead Maupin. It was a fictional tale of everyday life of an apartment house in SF with the grand dame transgendered landlady. The stories range from the tearfully painful to the genuinely happy. As a teen, my dad used to read the column aloud at the breakfast table — ultimately, I knew no matter how difficult it was going to be expressing myself as a gay man, my dad would be there on my side (and he was, in many ways, my best friend). Whether its “Tales of the City” (available through bookstores and online) or some other story (there are a couple books about Renee Richards, the transgendered professional tennis player and dentist), sharing one with your daughter will show your commitment to loving your child, whomever the child grows up to be.

      Wow, I am still amazed — a 16 year-old. How proud you should be with a child so brave and strong. You must be a great mother. Best wishes to you and your family.

      Reply
  2. Anonymous

    What a lot of totally unnecessary pain and suffering. Religion is truly terrifying. I’m so grateful for my atheism.

    Reply
    1. Anonymous

      I agree completely.My amazing and beautiful 17 year old son came out to me 3 months ago and abhors the judgmental and intolerant stance of religion

      Reply
  3. Lenee

    Miss Linda, Thank you for opening up your life and letting us see your pain, growth, and healing. I was truly touched, as the mother of 3 beautiful gay/bi/hetero children… Your loss was profound and I am deeply sorry for it. May the Gods bless your Ryan and the rest of your family, and grant you peace and joy on your new path. Brightest blessings.

    Reply
  4. Anonymous

    Religion can be dangerous to young people coming out of the closet because its intolerant stance toward same love can create problems in terns of self acceptance .Love is love

    Reply
    1. mike miller

      How elementary & uninformed our public discourse has become in modern culture. With respect, all too many in our culture have uncritically swallowed hook, line, and sinker this leftist mantra. Christianity’s stance on the propriety of homosexual behavior has nothing to do with “who one loves.” Indeed, Christianity admonishes Christians to love everyone. One question that should be grappled with is “what is love?”. Is it an act of love to encourage & affirm a loved one towards behavior for which there is overwhelming evidence of both physical & emotional damage? If that is love, then should love be trusted?
      A sincere Happy Easter to all as we navigate these waters of life together.

      Reply
      1. Linda Robertson Post author

        Overwhelming evidence of both physical & emotional damage? There is NO evidence of any kind of damage whatsoever from monogamous, committed same-sex marriages. Promiscuity of any kind can cause damage – that isn’t specific to gay promiscuity.

        Reply
        1. mike miller

          Characteristics of a “straw man argument”: The so-called typical “attacking a straw man” argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent’s proposition by covertly replacing it with a different proposition (i.e., “stand up a straw man”) and then to refute or defeat that false argument (“knock down a straw man”) instead of the original proposition. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
          Respectfully ma’am, my original proposition said nothing of monogamy versus promiscuity, or marriage. That said, even your straw man argument is false. There is overwhelming statistical evidence that within the homosexual population there are significantly higher risks of depression, substance abuse (drugs and alcohol), STDs (including HIV/Aids), suicide, shorter life span, various forms of cancer (in men), smoking, breast cancer (women), etc. The list of risk factors is long. To be fair, some of these risk factors would be mitigated with an exclusively (life-long) monogamous relationship. But not all of them. Some of the risk factors have nothing to do with a multiple partners versus monogamy dynamic. Again, to be fair, some have argued that the psychological risk factors (depression, substance abuse, suicide) are related to/a result of social stigma, and not homosexual-specific at all. But that argument would seem to fall on its face when there is no significant deviation of statistics in places like Denmark, where there is little-to-no social stigma.
          It give me zero pleasure to point these things out. There is no room for malice or hate in my broken heart, which is filled with sorrow & bewilderment. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t understand… but I’m trying to.
          mike

        2. Anonymous

          It is the damage that is done by unaccepting people that causes the problems. There is nothing innately damaging about being gay. Perhaps you should read Linda’s story again.

        3. Susan

          First and foremost, thank you to the amazing and brave Robertson family. Their story has touched me so deeply. My own brother faced challenges based on our southern baptist upbringing. I love my brother. He never chose to be gay. I’m so grateful that we can finally have conversations about God-about the teachings of Jesus. My brother now knows that he is unconditionally loved. I never even knew until he came out at age 40.
          Lastly- please, don’t come here to condescend or preach hate. We’ve all seen enough of that. This is a place for love and understanding. It’s not kind, not right, not cool to come here with the intent to tear people down. This should be a page for love, kindness and understanding. I’m sorry it just upsets me to see negative comments by someone who just wants to be right. Love and prayers to all.

      2. mikeinasheville

        Talk about elementary and uninformed, that describes you to a tee. Please Mike, cite this “overwhelming” evidence; or, rather, cite true pier reviewed scientific evidence that is not propaganda from the religious right fanatics. Hint: you can’t because it does not exist.

        Oh, and pointing to HIV/AIDS is a red herring. World-wide, heterosexuals vastly outnumber homosexuals in HIV/AIDS infections and deaths. Also, there is zero statistical correlation of HIV/AIDS infections for sexual conduct among lesbians. Further, many many more millions of North and South American natives died from syphilis and smallpox brought by Columbus/Europeans than the many HIV/AIDS deaths.

        And of emotional damage, each and every disenfranchised group in the history of civilization suffers emotional abuse from their bigoted abusers. Whether it was the slaves taken by force by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Huns, et al, to the Catholics against the Jews and Protestants, or the Protestants against Catholics, to European, American, Asian slavery campaigns, to the Indian caste system, to centuries of treating women as chattel, to Hiller’s campaign against the world, to Stalin/Lenin crushing the “stans”, to Apartheid, to the mass killings in Southeast Asia — every suppressed group suffers emotional damage at the hands of the suppressors. (Unfortunately, the are scores of other examples of men enslaving, murdering, stealing fellow men/women.)

        *****
        Thank God that the Robertsons, who once thought along your idiotic and dangerous lines have initiated their process to lift up from your type of ignorant suppression. While they missed the mark to bring Jesus into the light of their son, they are helping others not fall victim to the vile nonsense you espouse.

        Lastly, even your so-called “sincere Happy Easter” is hollow. Cite just one single verse where Jesus himself calls out same-sex sexuality or relationships as a sin. Just one. Oh, you can’t because not once does Jesus himself make that statement. He has a lot to say about adultery and divorce, but NOT A SINGLE WORD ABOUT MEN/MEN OR WOMEN/WOMEN. Graduate from that, elementary and uniformed Mike Miller.

        Reply
        1. mike miller

          Dear mikeinasheville,
          I am truly sorry to have angered you so. That was not my intent. I’ll try to answer your challenges one by one.
          First, you seem to doubt the existence of evidence of higher risk (both physical and emotional) inherent to homosexuality. You seem particularly skeptical of dubious sources, citing “religious right fanatics” as a particular concern. So, let’s simply disregard any sources that could be considered biased. Instead, let’s look at a source that most would concede are sympathetic to what I assume to be your worldview…the GLMA (Gay/Lesbian Medical Alliance). Now granted, this is not specific, peer reviewed research. But it is representative of the informed & educated opinion of medical professionals whose views on the propriety of homosexuality appear to align with yours. The link below confirms that even they say that gay men are at a statistically significant higher risk for HIV infection, hepatitis A,B, and C, bulimia, anorexia nervosa, all manner of substance & alcohol abuse, depression, anxiety, suicide, STDs, smoking (tobacco use), HPV, and anal cancer.
          http://www.glma.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageID=690
          I didn’t specifically point to HIV/Aids, but it is most certainly not a “red herring.” You are right, in that “world-wide, heterosexuals vastly outnumber homosexuals in HIV/AIDS infections and deaths.” But that is a meaningless distinction. Heterosexuals vastly outnumber homosexuals period. What’s important is the relative percentages, not the actual numbers. Also important is the relative ease of transmission. The percentage of HIV positives and deaths is much higher amongst MSM homosexuals than in either the general population, or heterosexuals. The relative ease of transmission is also a negative, in that it’s much easier to transmit HIV via anal sex as opposed to vaginal sex.
          You state: “…there is zero statistical correlation of HIV/AIDS infections for sexual conduct among lesbians.” I agree.
          You state: “Further, many many more millions of North and South American natives died from syphilis and smallpox brought by Columbus/Europeans than the many HIV/AIDS deaths.” Agreed. But what does that have to with anything we’re talking about?
          Then, you seem to hyperbolically imply that I’m somehow a “suppressor” akin to a Genghis Khan or Stalin. In what way have I attacked or “suppressed” (oppressed) anyone, sir?
          Lastly, you attack the sincerity of my holiday greeting. I’m sorry, Mike, if I offended you. I really am. That was not, and is not my intent.
          You state: “Cite just one single verse where Jesus himself calls out same-sex sexuality or relationships as a sin. Just one. Oh, you can’t because not once does Jesus himself make that statement.” Again, you are right. Jesus said nothing (of which I’m aware) specifically concerning homosexuality. I truly wished he had. I hate the divisive nature of this and other social dilemmas for which we don’t have definitive answers. There are many issues we wrestle with today that Jesus didn’t specifically address (abortion; cloning; when, why, and if to go to war; etc.). Jesus said nothing specifically concerning homosexuality, but Christianity (the teaching of Jesus) must be understood in context, comprehensively, and with a very large dose of both faith and humility. You seem to imply that only the specific words of Jesus should apply to Christian theology, and that all other biblical teaching is irrelevant. But Jesus himself DID address that fallacious argument in Matthew 5:17-19, which reads: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven.” (The “jot” and “tittle” are the smallest characters in the Hebrew alphabet.)
          I wish you well.

        2. Kyle

          Why, oh why, are so many people so concerned about OTHER people’s sexuality? If it is against your religion, or if you personally feel it is immoral, then do not involve yourself in a same sex relationship – your problem has now been fixed! I find is beyond strange that so many so-called straight people (such as Mike Miller) can not STOP thinking about, bringing up, talking about, and concerning themselves with the sexuality of other people. Do you also concern yourself with what goes on in other straight couple’s bedrooms? I am a bisexual who is spiritual, but not religious (and thank you Mike Miller for reinforcing yet again why I am not religious), and this sad story about such a beautiful child (and beautiful family I’ve come to realize) moved me tremendously. In fact, I felt a spiritual connection to Ryan and his family after seeing a slideshow of Ryan and realizing that I could have easily been in meaningful relationship with him – he seemed like such a wonderful person and we shared many of the same interests. I wish Linda and her family the best as they continue to move forward with their lives.

          Please, please, worry about your own sexuality and your own sex life and stop contributing to the damage that your hate brings so many innocent people simply because you don’t agree with their lifestyle or their sexuality. I can tell you first hand, no one “chooses” to be gay or bisexual. Mike Miller, when did you choose to be straight? I am not religious at all, yet I don’t spend any time actively protesting against religious people, trying to convert them, or condemning them for their beliefs – they are not of my concern (only when they try cramming their beliefs down other people’s throats and/or people get hurt).

          Not everyone is religious, not everyone needs to believe what you believe. Not to mention that so many people who have been vigilantly anti-gay in the past, surprise, surprise, end up coming out later in life or it is unveiled that they have been secretly in a gay relationship. Being overly anti-gay and constantly lashing out about it is oftentimes really just a coping mechanism for repressed feelings. Please, please just “live and let live” – the world would be such a better place!

        3. mike miller

          Kyle,
          Why, oh why, are so many people so concerned about OTHER people’s conversations? If the conversation conflicts with your views, or if you personally feel offended, then do not involve yourself in the conversation – your problem has now been fixed!
          Do you see how nonsensical your “butt-out” argument is? Now, to your question, Kyle.
          “Why, oh why, are so many people so concerned about OTHER people’s sexuality?”
          I cannot answer for “so many people”. I can only answer for myself. I am concerned because I love OTHER people, and what concerns them concerns me. Hate is not the opposite of love. It is callous indifference (lack of concern) that is the antithesis of love.
          mike

        4. mikeinasheville

          Mike Miller, You don’t anger me, you annoy me. Why you even comment here is a mystery to me, clearly, you hold onto dogmatic organized Christian religiosity. No one here is interested in “love the sinner, hate the sin” makes-bigots-feel-better-about-being-assholes bullcrap.

          Indeed gay men are at much higher risk factors for a vast variety of medical conditions. You, however, correlate that with men choosing to be gay. The correlation, though, is not with being gay, it is being subjected to anti-social acceptance for being born gay. Human behavior correlates with human condition; telling a young gay man (or woman) that they are sinners bound to an eternity in Hell is the cause of depression, which, in turn, is the cause of lack of personal care and risky behavior.

          Yes, you can play your own “straw argument” games by pointing out you didn’t mention HIV/AIDS in your original post, but, of course, you ignore how you left dangling the statement: “behavior for which there is overwhelming evidence of both physical & emotional damage”. Further, my point about zero correlation among HIV/AIDS and lesbians should be pretty obvious — if HIV/AIDS is the reason that man-man sex is immoral, or, if HIV/AIDS is God’s judgment for man-man sex, then explain why woman-woman sex does not have HIV/AIDS risk?

          My point about the millions of syphilis and smallpox deaths in the Americas is also pretty simple. Christianity only spread across the Americas due to massive killings by disease and murder caused by Christians steeling the lands of non-Christians. Oh, so Jesus worthy, the disease infliction and rape and murder of “savages.”

          And, I will maintain my point that Jesus himself never once condemns man/man or woman/woman sexuality and relationships. Nor, might I add did God Himself include homosexuality among the Ten Commandments. Yes, cite Matthew 5; I’ll respond read Galatians 3. And yes indeed, I believe that only followers of the Words of Jesus are true Christians; all others are followers of false prophets.

          You cannot call your self a Christian and not follow Jesus’ Commandments: Mark 12:30-31: [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. [31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

          Got that Mike, NO OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAT THESE. Gay kids simply want their American promise of their God-given rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, just as their heterosexual neighbors. If you hold for yourself life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, you are COMMANDED by Jesus to respect every homosexual’s rights too.

        5. mike miller

          mikeinasheville,
          I’m truly sorry that I annoy you. The reason that I comment here is that I’m interested and I care. I too, have loved ones and friends that embrace a gay identity. I found this blog in my search for understanding. The way I seek understanding is probably very similar to you. I seek the perspective/opinions/experiences of others, and weigh them against what I believe and my own opinions/experiences. Sometimes others bring things to my attention that change my beliefs/opinions… sometimes not. Sometimes my confusion is deepened… so the search continues. But always the tragic & heartbreaking experiences of others deepens my compassion.
          You know, when I was a kid, I always assumed that the older I got, the simpler life would become; that it would become clearer what is right vs. what is wrong. But now that I’m an old man, I see that that was a false hope. The incoming questions have far outpaced the accumulated answers. I don’t have all the answers, Mike. But at least I’m searching, and with a humble heart.
          Once again, I’ll try to answer your challenges one by one.

          You state: “Indeed gay men are at much higher risk factors for a vast variety of medical conditions.”
          I’m glad that you agree with me.

          You state: “You, however, correlate that with men choosing to be gay.”
          Nonsense. I never said or implied that. Indeed, had you read all my posts, I’ve made it quite clear that I do not think that same-sex attraction is a choice.

          You state: “The correlation, though, is not with being gay, it is being subjected to anti-social acceptance for being born gay. Human behavior correlates with human condition; telling a young gay man (or woman) that they are sinners bound to an eternity in Hell is the cause of depression, which, in turn, is the cause of lack of personal care and risky behavior.”
          I’m not really sure, but I think you’re making the “social-stigma” argument here. Indeed, social stigmatization “can be a contributing factor” (correlation) to depression and/or destructive behavior in many forms. I certainly don’t deny that. But you attribute, presumably to me, things that I would never, never say or imply. I would never, never tell “a young gay man (or woman) that they are sinners bound to an eternity in Hell.” I would never say that to anyone concerning anything. As a matter of fact, in accordance with my understanding of scripture, I’m only aware of one unforgivable sin. That is for a Christian to blaspheme the Holy Spirit. (Christians held to a higher standard than non-believers.)

          You state: “…you left dangling the statement: ‘behavior for which there is overwhelming evidence of both physical & emotional damage’.”
          No, I didn’t, Mike. As you requested, I provided you with a link where gay & lesbian medical professionals corroborate that very statement. A statement that you yourself have agreed with.

          You state: “Further, my point about zero correlation among HIV/AIDS and lesbians should be pretty obvious — if HIV/AIDS is the reason that man-man sex is immoral, or, if HIV/AIDS is God’s judgment for man-man sex, then explain why woman-woman sex does not have HIV/AIDS risk?”
          I try to be very precise with my words so as to not be misunderstood. Yet once again, you attribute things to me that I’ve never said. I’ve never said that “HIV/AIDS is the reason that man-man sex is immoral”, or that “HIV/AIDS is God’s judgment for man-man sex.” Further, I believe both those assertions to be false. Please don’t put words in my mouth.

          You state: “My point about the millions of syphilis and smallpox deaths in the Americas is also pretty simple. Christianity only spread across the Americas due to massive killings by disease and murder caused by Christians steeling the lands of non-Christians. Oh, so Jesus worthy, the disease infliction and rape and murder of ‘savages.'”
          This would seem to be an attack on Christianity (or rather, Christians) in general. I’m willing to go there, but in doing so a distinction must be made between Catholicism and the various Protestant sects, all of whom dealt with native Americans differently. But generally speaking, your point is well taken. The native Americans were dealt with in a despicable manner in many instances. And their exposure to diseases from Europeans & Africans for which they had no immunity was devastating. But no one did that on purpose. But should you wish to hold Europeans accountable for their unintended influence, then consistency would demand reverse accountability as well. The influence of one thing from the native Americas has been far more devastating to Western culture, and indeed the world, killing more people than all of the diseases introduced to the Americas combined. The native Americans got their revenge. Have you ever heard of tobacco?

          You state: “And, I will maintain my point that Jesus himself never once condemns man/man or woman/woman sexuality and relationships. Nor, might I add did God Himself include homosexuality among the Ten Commandments. Yes, cite Matthew 5; I’ll respond read Galatians 3. And yes indeed, I believe that only followers of the Words of Jesus are true Christians; all others are followers of false prophets.”
          Do you realize that according to your own words, you just called yourself a follower of a false prophet? The words of Galatians are not of Jesus, but of Paul.

          You state: “You cannot call your self a Christian and not follow Jesus’ Commandments: Mark 12:30-31: [30] And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. [31] And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
          Got that Mike, NO OTHER COMMANDMENT GREATER THAT THESE.”
          I got it, Mike. Thank you, and I could not agree with you more. I try very hard to follow these two Commandments. You’ll note that in all of my posts, not once have I personally attacked anyone… not even you. But let’s see, you’ve attacked me by calling me annoying, insincere, a bigot, an asshole, elementary, uninformed, idiotic, dangerous, ignorant, a suppressor, and an espouser of vile nonsense. Which of us needs greater reflection on Mark 12:31?

          You state: “Gay kids simply want their American promise of their God-given rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, just as their heterosexual neighbors. If you hold for yourself life, liberty and pursuit of happiness, you are COMMANDED by Jesus to respect every homosexual’s rights too.”
          Once again, you wrongly characterize all that I’ve said. I’ve never advocating taking anyone’s rights, much less gay kids’. As a matter of fact, show me where that’s happening in our country and I’ll be the first warrior in the trenches.

          I truly love and value the discussion & debate of issues that are important to all of us. But discussion ceases to be fruitful when it incessantly descends into ad hominem personal attacks, denial of self-evident truth, inaccurate inferences, and obfuscation through intentional mischaracterization. Additionally, this conversation has disintegrated so far from civil discussion as to be disrespectful to the Robertsons, and irreverent to the memory of their son. For the part I’ve played in that disintegration, I humbly apologize. While I cherish the opportunity for a genuine & respectful exchange of ideas & experience, I will no longer respond to personal attacks or position mischaracterization.
          I wish you well, Mike.

      3. Gryph

        Being gay is not just about behavior, just like being straight isn’t about only about behavior. Why is it all the folks like you choose to pick on one aspect of who gay people are to talk about? Gay people have jobs, they go to school, they give to charities, they do lots of things in life, just as a straight person does.
        I’ve seen more damage done by people who make the choice to push gay folks back into hiding and not by a gay person living their lives with love, respect and trust from their family, friends and the partner of their heart.

        Reply
        1. Mike Miller

          Gryph,
          I agree with your first statement, that “Being gay is not just about behavior, just like being straight isn’t about only about behavior.” But that doesn’t mean that we can’t isolate the [involuntary] impulse, desire, or proclivity from the [proactive] behavior, both for the sake of discussion and in terms of conduct. If we couldn’t isolate impulse from behavior, then we’d be mere animals, and most of us would be murderers. As for your inquiry: People’s jobs, schools, giving habits, etcetera are not generally thought of as controversial. (At least not by me.)

        2. Gryph

          Mike, (May I call you by your first name?)
          “But that doesn’t mean that we can’t isolate the [involuntary] impulse, desire, or proclivity from the [proactive] behavior, both for the sake of discussion and in terms of conduct. If we couldn’t isolate impulse from behavior, then we’d be mere animals, and most of us would be murderers.”

          So you see being gay as just an impulse and one that is wrong by your standards? I’m trying to figure out where your thoughts are going with this; as I don’t see the act of sexual love that gay people have as being any different than the act of love that straight people have. Gay people are not different from straight people except in who they love. When a gay person tries to live as a straight person it does damage to them, gay people know they are different, that they don’t fit into the push of standard society. You would find much more common ground

          Actually humans are the ones who do tend to murder, more so than any other of the animal species out there. Most of the animal population that hunts does so for food, the deaths in mating is more accident than the animals actually trying to kill each other.

          So you get on here to pump up the controversy because of sex? Again, I’m trying to understand where your head is on this.

        3. Mike Miller

          Gryph,
          Of course you can use my first name. Thank you for asking, and for your sincere & respectful inquiry. I’ll try to give you insight as to “where my head is on this”, but honestly, I’m still figuring that out myself.

          I am first & foremost a Christian. For me, that does not mean that “I think I’m perfect”, or “always right”, or “have all the answers”, or necessarily “morally superior”, or “better than anyone else”, or anything of the like. What it means to me [in brevity] is that I recognize that I am a broken & flawed individual. It means that I recognize that in the eyes of God, I am of no more [or less] value than any of His other children. It means that I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, that he died on the cross for our sins, and that he rose on the third day to sit at the right hand of the Father. It means that I believe God truly loves everyone. God’s love is unconditional… but His offer of redemption & salvation [through Jesus Christ] is not. I believe “being Christian” means understanding & acknowledging that the Bible is the word of God, and that only through its diligent study, with humility, and guided by the Holy Spirit can we possibly come more closely to understanding God and God’s purpose [for us]. But Christian humility also means that we should recognize that our understanding can never be complete & comprehensive in this life. We are not capable of fully understanding all. Because if we could, there would be no reason for faith.

          Your query: “So you see being gay as just an impulse and one that is wrong by your standards?”
          That’s actually two questions, each meriting their own response.
          First, I do not see “being gay” as “just an impulse” as I’ve made quite clear. Whatever words I use here will sound condescending because of the oversimplification required of brevity. Sexuality (hetero, homo, or otherwise) is a very complex issue that none of us completely understand. Both science and theology fail to completely & definitively outline it. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t break it into parts for the sake of discussion in order to seek the truth & understanding.
          Second: “So you see being gay as… wrong by your standards?”
          This is going to sound either “a cop-out” or “high-minded.” Very humbly and sincerely, I mean it as neither. It’s not “my standards” that are of paramount importance to me. What is most important to me is understanding what God’s standards are, and why (if I can). In deeply serious & heartfelt discussions with my son, I half-jokingly tell him that he could sin constantly for the next 30 years and still not catch up to me. (Not a challenge, but a light-hearted warning.) Throughout my life, “my standards” have been all over the board. But God’s are constant, if not always easily understood. Additionally, neither “my standards” nor “God’s standards” would I seek to impose on anyone else. True Christianity seeks (voluntary) conversion by appealing to hearts and minds… not through involuntary coercion or imposition.

          You state: “…I don’t see the act of sexual love that gay people have as being any different than the act of love that straight people have.”
          The comingling of “sex” and “love” as near synonymous is a relatively recent cultural phenomenon. This didn’t occur until the sexual revolution of the 1960s. Prior to that, they were understood as quite distinct and separate concepts, certainly not synonymous, and not necessarily overlapping. For this post, I will deal only with the “love” portion of your statement. The mantra “love is love” makes about as much sense as “color is green” or “flowers are roses”. There are many different colors and there are many distinct types of flowers. Likewise, there are different kinds of love. The Bible describes 4 different types of love, and they are hierarchical (some worth more than others). They are agape, eros, philia, and storge. The “sexual love” to which you allude is sensual love or eros love. Agape is the most praiseworthy, and is characterized as being selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional.
          I was raised Southern Baptist, but I married a Catholic in the Catholic church. A prerequisite for marrying in the Catholic church was my attendance in “marriage counseling” classes. I really didn’t want to do this. I did then, and still do have many reservations/concerns about Catholicism. But if that was what was required for me land my bride, then so be it, I thought. As it turned out, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The meetings were very informal. There were maybe 6-8 prospective couples who met with an older married couple, in their home, twice a week, for 2 months. This older married couple were not clergy; they were not there to preach to us. They were there to emphasize the serious nature of the commitment we were making, and to enlighten us with their own challenges & experiences. Nothing was “off the table” for discussion. We discussed everything from marital challenges, to child-rearing, to sexual intimacies. It is there that I learned of the different types of love. It was there that I learned that eros love was totally insufficient to sustain a marriage. A successful marriage requires all 4 types of love, at one time or another. Love isn’t simply something you “fall into”; It’s something you do, and commit to doing again and again (No, I don’t mean sex. But you commit to that as well.). Love isn’t simply a noun, but a verb, and it will require sacrifice. A successful marriage is not a 50/50 or 60/40 proposition. A successful marriage is a 101/101 commitment… to put the needs and best interests of your spouse first & always, to the best of your ability, and with God’s help. To once again borrow a line from a movie, “Choose wisely, and commit wholeheartedly.”
          Jack & Joan were the names of my host “older married couple.” I credit what I learned from Jack & Joan for saving my 28 year marriage on more than several occasions.

          Many couples miss the mark on “love” because they don’t understand it as much more than an emotional and/or physical attraction/affection (both gay and straight). Sadly, our sensual culture reinforces this simplistic misunderstanding. Reference our high divorce rates, for example. Therefore, many couples enter into a commitment ill-prepared for the inevitable challenges they will face. On the night before my wedding my Aunt Jeanette asked me if I knew the secret to a life-long marriage. With greatest humility, I answered “No.” She said, “Never, ever let the word “divorce” even enter your vocabulary.” Then she smiled and added a qualifier, “Now murder, yes… but never divorce.”

          Gryph, many of us can go through life in “comfortable denial”, without wrestling in a serious way with some of the most controversial issues of our time. We can do that, because many times, the issues don’t directly affect us personally. (At least, we may think they don’t.) But sometimes, no matter the issue, we’re hit square in the face with the immediacy of an issue close to home. Sometimes right in our own home. Then, what I call “comfortable denial” is no longer an option. That’s the position in which I find myself. I have both a small immediate family, and a large extended family that looks to me for wisdom, guidance, and affirmation. Whether I’m deserving of such responsibility or not is beside the point. Again, that’s the position in which I find myself.
          I think that both the polar opposite positions defining this cultural debate at present are wrong. I think/believe that the truth-the wisdom lies somewhere else (maybe not even the middle). I’m simply searching to find what’s right and true. I only know one way to do that… through informed debate, respectful discussion, allegiance to truth, prayer, diligent study, intellectual honesty, and more prayer.
          best regards,
          mike

        4. Gryph

          Mike,
          Thank you for your well thought out answer to me. I was born in the 50’s and grew up during the 60’s and early 70’s. I remember that time of transition that you are talking about. Your Aunt Jeanette was a very smart woman and I agree with her with only one caveat, if either partner in the marriage is abusive, the other one should be free to move on. Dying at the hands of the person who says they love you is not something that should be tolerated. To me the Eros love is just part of what makes a good and happy couple and yes any relationship that is worth having is worth more than just the passing bump in the night so to speak. The 101/101% work that you talk about. That’s why so many gay couples feel like less than human when they are tagged as only sexual beings, not beings who feel far more than having to satisfy an urge. Unfortunately too many Christians only see that aspect of any gay relationship. It is severely off-putting to only be worth something when living by what some Christians put up as the only rules there are, which in some cases don’t always strike even other Christians as being right. I saw a nasty fight on a news topic site one time between some very strong Christians about once saved vs always saved. It was horrible because these two people had agreed on so many other things, but didn’t on that and were calling each other foul names, it even embarrassed some of the other Christians who would talk on that site because of the sudden hate between the two who were fighting on that issue.

          I take time to read not just the words that are written, but also to see about the feeling behind them and I could tell you were not trying to be trite or condescending in your explanations to me. I grew up Lutheran and tried several other forms of Christianity in trying to find where my heart belonged. I found I kept getting pushed back to being a Pagan (started when I was 15) who loves to learn about people and to help folks think about things. I have never seen why we can’t all be friends and learn from each other, as you said none of us knows everything. I see humans as limited only in that so many don’t open their thoughts to ask and learn from those who’ve had to walk the hard paths. Like being gay or transgender. I can personally tell you that not one of us wakes up one morning and thinks, “Oh, I think I’ll be gay today and next week I’ll go back to being straight” or wake up saying “I feel like a woman today and next week I’ll go back to feeling like a man.” I can tell you about my family, I can tell you about me and maybe the stories along with your prayers will help you to figure some things out.

          I’m not the only one in my family who is gay, I use that term even though I am female as it’s the easiest term to use. I have an uncle who transitioned many years ago from female to male. He is happy with his life, he has a wife who loves him and they had children together. (Yes, they did the sperm donation route.) It took all of us a little bit of time to get used to the change, but he was happier than he had been as a female, he was finally whole in his body and mind when the surgeries and all were finished. I had another uncle and a cousin who were also gay. That uncle is four years older than I am and I’m not even sure he’s still alive. His life was fully messed up, some was his doing and some was because he ran into so much hate that it took a toll on his self esteem. When you keep running into brick walls it’s so much easier to self medicate, not that one can ever go back from being who they are without damaging themselves. You speak about all the things you’ve done that were not things that you should have done, but how do you stop being what everything inside yourself tells you who you are? He almost succeeded in killing himself in high school. My other cousin died from complications from AIDS. I didn’t know he was gay until I got back together with some of my family at my grandmother’s memorial service. That was when I found out he was dead. I was hurt because he’d always been nice to me, didn’t treat me like an interfering little kid like some of my other, older cousins did. Now to me, Like I said I grew up Lutheran, we weren’t strict about going to church, but because I knew my grandma would be really happy I found a church to go to that I could walk to, it was about a mile away from where I lived and went through confirmation as it’s the right of passage in a way to being an adult. I always had a lot of questions and none of the churches I ever went to could explain things well enough for me. I always knew I was different, I wasn’t like the other girls who liked wearing dresses and thing like that. In Jr High I really wanted to be a boy so I could have a girlfriend. I had a crush on an older girl, she was the sister of a friend of mine. She thought it was funny that I was crushing on her and that she had a boyfriend. I followed them once to see where they were going and doing. I watch them kissing, I so wanted it to be me that was kissing her. I tried praying that I could be the same as everyone else, but God never “fixed” me. I used pot and alcohol for awhile, to try being like everyone else, it didn’t work. I tried running from who I was and that didn’t work either. Finally I quit running, I was 30 when I came out to my mom and then to my dad. It was over the phone as I lived in a different state. After my grandma’s memorial service my mom and I got into a bad verbal battle and we didn’t speak for somewhere between ten to fifteen years. I got hold of some material from PFLAG(Parents, Friends of Lesbians and Gays) and sent it to her, things got better then, but we still didn’t talk the way we had with the same kind of closeness as when I was younger. I’ve been different all my life, now I enjoy the difference as I can be one of the folks who shows others that those of us who are gay aren’t so bad and why would we be here if Deity didn’t want us to be so. If I were given the chance to be straight all my life, would I take it? No, I grew more as a caring person by having to go through some of the things I have. It’s given me a way to see things that I wouldn’t have seen before and to me that’s a good thing.

          I hope your day has been good, mine was. :)
          G.

        5. Mike Miller

          Hello Gryph,
          I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to reply. I’ve read and reread your message to me many times… and given your words much thought. I greatly appreciate your charitable tone towards me, and I hope that my words continue to be perceived the same towards you. It sounds as though we’re about the same age (I’m 59), but no doubt our life experiences have differed significantly. You covered so much ground in your message. I hope that it’s OK if I “cherry pick” on thing about which to respond. Being Mother’s Day, I’ve not as much time to write as I would like.

          One recurring theme in your words (if I may paraphrase) is the offensiveness of having “gayness” (for lack of a better term) seemingly continually questioned, debated, scrutinized, criticized, etc. Believe it or not, I can absolutely & unequivocally understand that feeling. You state that such scrutiny or debate can make you feel “less than human”, and is “severely off-putting.” Again, I can absolutely understand, empathize, and even agree with you on this point. As often as not, I think you, and the rest of the gay community are justified in feeling that way. But in our modern culture, and because we’re all both fallible and feeling humans, I don’t see how to totally eliminate that problem. Let me try to explain what I mean.
          First, we’re all creatures of emotion- we all have feelings with varying sensibilities. It’s inevitable that folks are going to have their feelings hurt when they perceive that they are personally attacked… on whatever issue. Perceptions don’t always align with reality, but often they do. When feelings are hurt, a defensive wall goes up, and debate or dialogue is effectively shut-down. Therefore, people who purposefully or callously offend, undercut their own message. But it’s also true that some folks are way too easily offended, sometimes to the point of being irrational. (Extreme example: I have a niece who demands that her dogs be afforded near-same status in the family as my son. She rationalizes that because she can’t have kids, her dogs are her kids, and should be treated as such by everyone else. She gets personally offended when it’s pointed out that her dogs are animals, not human.) When an individual or group is offended by the truth itself, spoken with gentleness, love, & compassion, there’s no way to rationally accommodate.
          Second. In our modern culture, “simplicity & sensation sells.” Whatever the issue, we’re constantly fed the extreme, polar opposing narratives, because they’re the most sensational and require the least thought. In our fast-paced world, our media targets emotion, not intellect. Shock journalism has been mainstreamed, and deliberate objectivity is rare, as nearly everyone hides one sociological agenda or another. On any and all issue where an individual hopes to discern the truth, people must learn to dig deeper than what somebody else says. (This really scares me for our youth. Generally speaking, they are far less prepared than the preceding 2-3 generations in this regard.) Example: My son really struggled (academically) in grade school. His problems were so pronounced that ultimately, my wife & I seriously considered retainment (having him repeat a grade). The school counselors & “experts” were adamantly against this, repeatedly citing what “the research says.” So, I called their bluff, so to speak. I said, “Show me this research… all of it.” It took me months to get them to actually produce anything. Ultimately, they gave me 3 papers. Two of the 3 papers were not research at all, but were opinion pieces by so-called experts with well publicized preconceptions & sociological agendas. These papers didn’t even cite any research as evidence to support their claims. The 3rd paper was actual research, but I’m quite confident that the counselors & “experts” at my son’s school had never read it with discerning objectivity. The paper was more than 20 years old, but it was still relevant. A close read of the paper actually supported my wife’s & my contentions, and was in diametric opposition to the recommendations of the counselors & “experts.” I often tell my son, “If you want to know the truth on any issue, or about anybody, forget what they say (people will say anything)… read what they write (read ravenously), and just as importantly, watch what they do (look for patterns of behavior).”
          Third.

          Ooops. I’m out of time, Gryph. I’ll try to pick this up later.
          Happy Mother’s Day to all you Moms.

          mike

  5. Juliana Braunsroth

    Linda
    This is trully beautiful. Others will be able to heal their relationship with their children. I have a gay brother who came out when he was about 16. All we did was to love him. He was the same person to us. I hope that you and your family can find healing through it all. Love is always here. 💗💗

    Reply
  6. Retrik

    This story is very important to me.
    Through it all my life, unfortunately my father and mother are gone, but never offered me some love even before they go .. my current family, brothers and sisters, run away from them, as if is nobody .. ..
    thank you for helping me, I keep trying to follow my life, despite all the problems and issues that have, today I know that I live by myself, and so I’m still living ….

    Reply
  7. tom

    Linda don’t feel guilty about what happened with your son. Despite the results everything happened as it should as you grew is wisdom and your son as a spirit served his purpose by being born as a gay male. Everything here is about spiritual learning through experience. Everything God built and created was made on the foundation of love. This is who all of us are. Where your son is today as a spirit there is only pure unconditional love and joy

    Reply
  8. santi

    Linda i hope you are reading this because i would love this message to get to you: i hope the rest of your life to be horrible, you are a murdering piece of shit. all these morons saying supportive crap, you should have tought about consecuencies before it was too late, you killed a poor boy, as lot of other pieces of shit that have the cynicism to call themselves mothers, and if your god for whom you kill your son exists i would to see you for all eternity in heaven as you see your son suffer for the same ammount of time for what you think is a sin, you rotten crap.

    rest in peace, poor ryan, i’m so sorry for all you had to endure.

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        Dear Linda,
        As I’m sure you’ve ascertained, I have not (yet) come to a place where I agree with your present positions concerning homosexuality. That said, I’ve enormous compassion for the painful journey that you & yours have traveled. I’m thankful you posted Santi’s comment. It gives everyone some idea as to the hateful & illogical rhetoric you’ve chosen to endure in order to stand up for what you believe in. I respect you for that.
        When I was boy, I had a problem with bedwetting… a problem that persisted well into junior high school. My parents went through 3 distinct phases in dealing with my bed wetting. In my early grade school years (stage 1), the were patient, thinking I’d soon grow out of it. Then “stage 3″ was characterized by resigned capitulation. They just gave up trying to change it, and we all did our best to live with it as respectfully & compassionately as we could. In about 9th grade, I did outgrow it. But I’ve yet to tell you of “stage 2.” Stage 2 was characterized by my folks doing all the could to fix my problem. They tried no water for 1 hour before bedtime, then no water after dinner ’til bedtime (3-4 hrs). (This actually bordered on cruel, as I grew up in relatively poor suburban Dallas where 6 months of the year it’s quite warm. We had no air-conditioning ’till I was maybe 9 or 10.) But then they tried something that really scarred me for some time. They had sent me to some kind of doctor who said my bedwetting was a discipline problem, and he had the “right” equipment for the “right” therapy. Every night I had to sleep on an electrified screen about the size of a pillow case (which we put inside a pillow case. When I would pee my bed in the middle of the night, a loud beeping buzzer would go off, waking everyone in the house. My folks would get me out of bed and then make me change my own sheets (with a little help from mom) before I could get back in bed to sleep. This sometimes happened multiple times in any one night, and went on for over a year before my folks gave it up.
        Today this sounds barbaric & cruel. But it wasn’t. My folks are, and always have been very loving parents. They were doing what they thought at the time to be right and best for me. I know that now, if I didn’t know it then. I feel pretty safe assuming that Ryan knew the same of you and your husband.
        To borrow a line from a movie, “There is no way to be a perfect parent. But there are a million ways to be a really, really good parent.” Love endures our mistakes, even when we don’t agree on what were the mistakes.
        Mike Miller

        Reply
        1. Linda Robertson Post author

          Mike…I was lying in bed this morning, before church, thinking about your comments over the past few months, and I want to tell you that I respect you for the courage to voice your perspectives here, where you know that you’ll get attacked for them. From what I can see, you are honestly wrestling with questions and truly desire to figure out if there is a way to affirm gay marriage while remaining faithful to Christ. What you are doing is so much more than many conservative Christians, who are too scared to even consider a different perspective from the one they’ve been taught (as I was, for many years). I was listening to a fascinating podcast recently on civility in the gay marriage debate, and one of the speakers said that there is a strong relationship between civility and doubt; he suggested that it takes people being willing to admit that they might be wrong in order to allow for truly respectful debate and disagreement. I see that in you, Mike, and I appreciate it and respect it. I am thankful for you.

        2. Mike Miller

          Linda,
          Thank you for your kind words. Yes, I do have doubts… about many things. I’ve been wrong so many times in my life that I’d be a fool to think that now “I’ve got it all figured out.” I like the link between “doubt” & “civility” that you reference, although I’d use another word to characterize the root of my attempts towards civility. Humility… a character trait that I believe to be the essential Christian virtue.
          One correction I’d like to make in your observations of me, however. You state: “From what I can see, you are honestly wrestling with questions and truly desire to figure out if there is a way to affirm gay marriage while remaining faithful to Christ.” I agree with your statement if you replace “gay marriage” with “active homosexuality.” The “gay marriage” issue, I view as separate and distinct.
          mike

    1. mikeinasheville

      Santi: if you cannot allow a sinner to learn and grow, there would never be movement toward righteousness. You have it right in that the Robertsons sinned against their son and their faith. But that is the purpose of this blog, the Robertsons exposing their sins in hope to inform and educate other anti-gay sinners to the terrible results that can and do happen.

      I first started donating money and efforts for same-sex marriage back in 1994, when the first winning test case won in Hawaii. The negativeness faced twenty years ago was horrifying — even HRC refused to support the effort as being too aggressive. We even faced horrifying backlash from the Democrats in Congress who also overwhelmingly supported DADT and DOMA. But as our side did not give up on perusing our God-given right to our pursuit of our happiness, the majority of Americans, yes a slim majority but growing, have eschewed bigotry and embraced equality.

      The Robertsons will spend every day of the rest of their lives living in the hell they themselves created — the responsibility for the death of their son. They rightly suffer from their sins; nonetheless, their efforts to help others avoid the terribleness that happens to children hounded by anti-gay bigotry is a win. It is efforts like these that have made the changes.

      When I met my now husband 29 years ago, I never imagined we would ever to able to marry. We have lived together as a couple the entire time and were married 7 years ago. Again, this change in attitude and support has only been achieved because those who were once anti-gay bigots have moved up from their sins. We will never have full equality until even more and more, until a vast majority, also move from bigotry to equality.

      Reply
  9. Maria

    Id like to take an opportunity here to tell you all just what the Robertsons have done for me. Not too long ago i was suicidal believing I was going to hell for being a lesbian. Then God led me to this blog and their story. Since then, the Robertsons sent me the book Torn, Rescuing the Gospel From The Gays-VS.-Christians Debate, for free. Just the right read for what I was going through. They have connected me with the Gay Christian Network, so now I don’t feel so all alone. They have even sent me to other bloggers, where one article was titled “Did Sexual Abuse Make me gay?”. A question I had for years finally put to rest. Also, because I am working on a book, Linda has sent me to other authors she knows where I have been given the best of advice. The most important help they have given me is life altering. I am no longer standing on the edge of this life and the next, my head filled with thoughts of checking out. I had even been hospitalized for being suicidal and the thoughts that I could not be both gay and a christian had the rope around my neck every hour of the day. I can honestly say that rope is gone and that heaviness has eased. I love God and God loves me. Just the way he made me.

    I love the Robertsons

    Maria C

    Reply
    1. Dana Huntington-Smith

      Maria, thank you for heartfelt response. The Robinson’s have done so much good in sharing their pain and what they have learned in the process. I’m so glad you found them and you have your life back; so happy you didn’t succeed in the suicidal thoughts! The Robinson’s changed my life as a mom of a gay son. I was brainwashed by the church and they began by journey into enlightenment. We are not here to judge, but to love. I’m so happy for you!

      Reply
  10. Mike Miller

    Linda,
    You’ve made it clear that you believe the way you & your husband dealt with Ryan initially was a mistake. There are many who agree with you. There are also many who believe that your present position of unambiguously supporting & affirming homosexuality is a mistake.
    I can’t help but wonder if both of these groups aren’t mistaken. Consider the following possibility.

    I’ve spent the entirety of my professional life with one foot in the “working world” and one foot in academia (hard science). I’ve served as committee member on post-Doctoral research, lectured at universities from coast to coast, had my work published in scientific journals, and sat in on countless post-Doctoral thesis defenses, where the most common refrain is, “What’s your reference on that, Doctor?” I’ve done all this with only an A.A.S. (a 2-year Associate’s degree).
    I tell you this not to impress. I am in the sunset of my career, and I don’t care about professional accolades anymore. I tell you this to give you some insight as to how my mind works. I’ve spent the majority of my adult life separating, and drawing a distinct line between fact and opinion.
    These thought processes in my professional domain transfer very well to the spiritual domain. Let me try to explain what I mean.

    In the hard sciences, certainty can only exist where the facts prove that certainty repeatedly. When the facts appear to point towards a particular conclusion (a certainty), but fall short of proving that conclusion (repeatedly), then we’re left with a theory. These theories aren’t based on pure speculation; they are based on evidence, but they are still theories. Now, the evidence may be so overwhelming that it requires very little faith to support the theory… but, if we are to embrace the humility of intellectually honesty, a small degree of faith is still required.

    In the spiritual realm, we cannot prove that God exists. We cannot prove that Jesus was the Son of God. There are many things about Christianity that we cannot prove. To believe & support the Gospel of Jesus Christ, faith is required. The words of the Bible repeatedly confirm this. Yet, when we know for sure, where there is no doubt, where there is certainty, no faith is required.

    You’ve mentioned to me the positive attributes associated with doubt. I’ve ascribed very similar attributes to humility. Where there is doubt or humility, a degree of faith is required.

    In my career, I’ve spent much of my time as a teacher. Any teacher will confirm that the receptiveness of students to your teaching is directly proportional to teacher credibility. Teachers within any specific domain are not all knowing. One of the best ways to secure and maintain teacher credibility is to have the courage & intellectual honesty to say these 3 words, “I don’t know”, or “I’m not certain.”

    You and your husband appear to have been certain in your advice to Ryan when he first “came out.” You appear to be equally certain with your advocacy now… with a message 180 degrees opposed to your initial message to Ryan. Where there is certainty, there is no doubt, or humility… or a need for faith.

    I wonder. Are you making the same mistake now, as you made then? Was the real mistake not in being anti-gay or pro-gay, but in being certain? I wonder, but I do not know.
    Food for thought.

    mike

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Mike, thanks for your thoughtful comment. I agree wholeheartedly with your statement about doubt and humility both requiring faith. And I also agree that it was a mistake, in the years after Ryan came out, to not question our position.

      The thing is, I am not certain that we are currently 100% correct. I’ve often questioned our perspective. Could we be wrong now? Absolutely. Rob and I both are very aware that we could be wrong; we are, at the same time, at peace with God in this. We’ve arrived where we are due to His leading, or at least our perception of His leading. If we’ve misinterpreted that leading, and we find out when we stand before Him that we were wrong, we are both okay with that. Our motive is love…and the fact that we believe strongly that the Kingdom of God is advanced by love and inclusion, as Jesus so beautifully demonstrated. We are at peace with that.

      Praying that God will give you the same peace, Mike…

      Reply
      1. Mike Miller

        Dear Linda,

        I searched out & watched one of your YouTube videos today. I’m not ashamed to say that tears were rolling down my face. I have so much empathy for you & your family (including Ryan). I have never lost a child, but I have personally witnessed the agony of loved ones who have. In 1999, we lost my little sister at a young age to cancer. Her initial diagnosis came as a shock to the family. She was already stage 4, and was only given 6 months to live. She lived 6 months to the day, and then died an ugly & horrible death. In the last 6 months of her life, I had prepared myself for her death as best I could. Watching her succumb to death was very, very painful. But I had prepared myself for that inevitability. What I hadn’t prepared myself for was how the experience would shatter my parents, and my surviving brother & sister. Watching them crumble under the weight of excruciating heartbreak blindsided me, and was far more difficult to bear than my beloved sister’s death. Her pain was over. Theirs had only intensified.

        Since my son has “come out” to us some months back, I’ve thought & prayed about little else. I haven’t known how to be with him, or what to say to him. He is my only child, whom I love dearly, and I’m afraid to talk with him. I don’t want to hurt him. I don’t want my words to drive us apart. Yet, I know he desperately wants my approval. All children want that from their parents. In my mind, disapproval of homosexuality does not amount to disapproval of him. Yet, I also know that’s how it would be perceived by him. So, I remain largely quiet on the topic- neither affirming nor critical- as I seek reconciliation & understanding. But I know that my distant silence is not sustainable, and is not good for our relationship. My son is not stupid, and in his mind, I suspect that my distance amounts to silent criticism.

        I find it ironically coincidental that Ryan’s favorite color was orange. My son’s favorite color is also orange. He’s claimed orange as his favorite since he was a small child. From time to time over the years, I’ve casually wondered if his affinity for orange may not portend differences between us. My favorite has always been purple, which is nearly opposite on the color wheel.

        I thank you for your prayers.
        mike

        Reply
        1. Linda Robertson Post author

          You’ve got them, Mike…big time. And you’ve got my respect; so many parents don’t even come close to doing the questioning that you are doing…I know I didn’t for YEARS. Blessings to you, my friend.

  11. leontes

    this is pathetic. whats the purpose of this? crowd sourcing forgiveness? nobody’s pity will bring ryan back – nor he can love you again as a mother or a family. ryan is definitely in a better place. cause any place is better than a bunch of freaks judging someones sexuality with the ideology of a whore’s son. neither this blog nor any other online suffering will make you a good person. you wont make it to heaven by admitting a murder. cause there is no place called heaven. and there is nothing called god. if there was one ryan wouldn’t be born to your family..

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Leontes, I am definitely NOT looking for anyone’s forgiveness here. Not even close. The only person who I needed forgiveness from was Ryan, and he gave it to me. The purpose is to share our story in hopes that other families won’t make the same mistake.
      I wish you well.

      Reply
  12. Tom

    This is my second post but wanted to mention that there is a book that has been out for a long time that was about near death experiences of gay and lesbian people who clinically died and visited heaven and came back. While there they were loved and accepted without conditions and their sexual orientation meant nothing. It was pure unconditional love from the Light. I think being gay is a part of that person’s life path for a higher purpose. In spirit we neither have a gender or sexual orientation. It is just a human experience

    Reply
      1. Tom

        Hi Maria. The name of the book is called Crossing Over And Coming Back written by Liz Dale. Also I will provide a link to a major near death site which has a section that discusses some of the cases from the book. It has been a long time since I read it but from what I can remember it was a very enjoyable read and anyone who is gay or lesbian and is especially dealings feelings of unworthiness or shame should read it. Here is a link to read some of the stories. They are very comforting http://www.near-death.com/dale.html

        Reply
        1. Maria

          Thanks for the reply Tom. Just ordered the book off of amazon and the website is amazing!!! I cant tell you how excited I am for the read! Maria

  13. Joe

    Hi Linda,

    My name is Joe, I am a 17 yr old gay teen living in the Northeast. I am in a very similar situation as your son was. I am currently a senior in high school and came out to my parents a year and a half ago, at the beginning of my junior year. We are Orthodox Christian, and my parents are politically/socially conservative. When I came out to them, they did not react well. Both parents distanced themselves from me, lessened the amount of conversation we had, and were always in a bad/ambivalent mood. I knew I couldn’t go on living with them like this forever, so I had various conversations with them both about what they were feeling. They both expressed their unconditional love for me and assured me that that would never change. Yet as much as they expressed their love for me, they said that they could not accept and understand the gay “aspect” of me. While I don’t believe that my sexuality Defines who I am, it still is an intrinsic part of me. To think that some aspect of me (that I cannot control) is causing displeasure and negativity in the relationship I have with my parents is honestly sickening and has caused me to become depressed. I do, at times, have thoughts of suicide (although these are thoughts I would never act on). My parents have tried numerous times to explain to me why it is difficult for them to accept this; they talk about how ever since I was born, they’ve only imagined one life path for me which consists of “living a straight lifestyle”. According to them, my coming out as gay has – in effect – robbed them from having the straight son they had envisioned a life for for 16 years. My parents also further their discussion by expressing their concern that I will fall into the apparent stereotype of increased promiscuity amongst those that “live a gay lifestyle”. I personally have never been aware of such a stereotype ever since my parents expressed their concern about it, and can’t help but feel offended that me being promiscuous is a concern of theirs (simply because I’m gay). My parents so desperately love me, I do know this much. They go above and beyond to support me, expose me to new things, and teach me valuable lessons. However, a big part of me still does not believe that this love is entirely complete. Because of their expressed disapproval and lack of understanding towards my sexuality, I feel a draining sense of emptiness from within. Not until this past year have I truly felt what it is like to have a hole in one’s heart. As I mentioned earlier, the thought that I am involuntarily a disappointment to my parents makes me sick and depressed and at times forces me to question if I can carry on living any longer. No matter how much I plead, reason, or cry, my parents respond with the same set of statements that only to continue to eat away at me further. I have a therapist that I have been talking to for the past year (since last spring). In theory, she is a fantastic resource because her job is to work with Orthodox Christian high school and college students that are struggling as homosexual individuals in this very unique religious/cultural community/family dynamic. In reality, however, I find that our meetings aren’t very helpful. I suppose it’s always helpful and healthy to talk things out and it’s comforting to know that I can unload my thoughts on to someone, but I honestly feel that in the full year that I’ve been meeting with her, I haven’t really progressed in terms of my mental/emotional/psychological well-being. I’m so sorry that I’ve written so much in this message, but I feel as if the situation I am currently in is very rarely paralleled by other people (at least it’s been difficult to find any similar situations online). I am hoping my parents can soon reach the level of acceptance at which you are currently, but until then, I am seeking advice as to how I should cope with this situation, and perhaps advice on what to say to my parents. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, and I truly look forward to your counseling and advice.

    Best regards,
    Joe.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Joe – I am honored that you would share your own story here. I can’t reply now, but I will be praying for you and thinking about your questions. I will get back to you within a few days…I hope that is okay. Much love to you, Joe.

      Reply
    2. Anonymous

      Joe, hang in there. My son came out to us and, I guess, we are very similar to your parents. After the initial shock, we have given him unconditional love. I wrote a song that you may want to share with your parents. It captures everything my son told me that day. Go to You tube and type In the Matters of Love Cemari m.youtube.com/watch?v=7k0SupE175g Please share it with your friends.

      Reply
    3. carolb12

      Hi Joe!
      I am the mother of a gay son. He is 28 yrs old now. He came out to us 3 yrs ago. At first, I was overwhelmed with emotion, but I can not begin to tell you how God has walked with me through out this journey, and I have completely changed my mind and views of the LGBT+ community. I would absolutely LOVE to be an extra set of ears for you whenever you need it. Try your best not to give up hope on your parents. If I can change, anybody can :-)) I now attend PFLAG meetings (which have helped so much), and I found an Inclusive church to attend. The more LGBT people I get to know, the more I realize I was sold so many untruths. God has truly given me such a heart for this community. The biggest help has been educating myself through literature etc. I have many resources I can suggest for your parents if they want to learn more. Give them time to absorb some of this–it is a process, in the meantime, I am more concerned about YOU. You sound like an amazing young man and I would love to be your friend. Pls email me at bbaswell1@gmail.com We will walk through all fo this together—you are not alone. Linda is a dear friend of mine. I hope you will be too. Much Love–Beth

      Reply
    4. Anonymous

      Joe – please hang in there. I am the mother of a 20-year-old gay son, and I won’t lie, it rocked our world when he came out. But, we have researched and prayed, and are now able to truly back and accept our son 100%. As far as a your parents’ vision, all parents have that, and at some point have to learn to let it go. Because, regardless of sexual orientation or anything else, their child will almost always follow their own path. With you being 17, this is part of the growing up process.

      There are many other teens that are going through exactly what you are going through now. You are not alone. I would encourage you to link in with organizations like the Gay Christian Network, that will help you connect with others for help and moral support.

      Know you are in my prayers, and the prayers of many others. You are loved by God, and are fearfully and wonderfully made in his image.

      Reply
    5. amielzbth

      Joe,

      I think you’re amazing for being who you are. Right now your parents are trapped in their own world and upbringing that did not include loving and accepting someone for who they are. Unconditional love does not stop when a person comes out as gay, lesbian, bi, trans, queer, or intersex. Its funny how many people say “I don’t care, as long as my child comes out healthy and happy” and then the child comes out as GLBTQIA and suddenly the kid’s parents are not so loving. You’re a good person. Your sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle”. Its part of who you are. Don’t let anyone try to tell you different. I would suggest maybe going to a GLBT center in your neighborhood. Also…drop a PFLAG pamphlet on your parents night table. They could use some education and support themselves.

      Ami

      Reply
    6. Nate

      Joe, I read your whole post and the last part made me think about how sometimes we parents can react with mixed messages when our kids tell us they are gay. Part of what your parents may be feeling is fear. There is fear of the unknown. There is fear of what people will say. There is fear about your safety. There is fear about their dreams for you. I get that. I grew up in the church and I am politically and socially conservative as well. My son came out at 13. It was difficult at first. I was numb and my wife was in denial. But after a few months I realized that even though my oldest son who is 14 is openly gay, I cannot change him. That is another fear probably of your parents because of counseling for over a year. Fear can paralyze people. It sounds like your parents are at best, wanting to accept you but not wanting to accept this part because of the fear that they see that can be based on the past. They may have a viewpoint of gays based when HIV and AIDS was on tv so much during the 1980’s. They may see gays in a negative light because of extremes in gay parades. Who knows for sure. I will tell you how it became easier for my wife and I to accept our gay son. We saw a good change in him once he came out. He also focused on what teens focused on and not so much his sexuality. He has not demanded nor argued about gay rights and he has not given us ultimatums. (We do support him when he has a boyfriend and if he gets married.) He has told us just like you have mentioned that being gay is part of who he is but it does not define him. He focuses on things like college and hopes and dreams for the future. In the end, our son was truthful with himself and us. He has support from school mates and kids in the church. I believe if my son was writing you instead of me he would probably say just being honest and taking a risk with your parents is very brave. My son was not sure what we would do. By the fact that your parents have allowed you to stay may be a sign that possibly deep down they accept you. They may not know how to express it. They need to realize that if you are a faithful son who is fairly obedient do they want to lose you because you identify as gay? I will pray for you and your parents and I hope their hearts are softened towards you and also that God puts Christian parents in their path who have gay children that they love and accept.

      Reply
    7. survivorgirl007

      Joe,

      You are a wonderfully articulate young man. Your parents obviously raised you well and sound like two good folks who’ve had their world rocked and simply aren’t sure how to “right” it at the moment. I can relate to them, only because I responded in a similar fashion when my son came out at 17. It wasn’t because I didn’t love him or was ashamed of him – far from it – but because I’d heard the typical Christian James Dobson-esque rhetoric that he was gay because of faulty parenting. MY faulty parenting. MY overbearing parenting. According to Dobson, my son was gay because of my HUSBAND’S faulty parenting. HIS passivity. And so on, and so on. While none of this is true, of course, I was brainwashed into thinking it was. So when he told me that he was gay, I immediately blamed myself and my husband. I immediately hated myself. I was immediately filled with fear and shame that God was displeased with me as a mom and my husband as a dad. It took a long, long, long, long time for me to get past that. Believe it or not, 6 years out, I can still fall back into that blame-shame cycle when I read some of the hyper-conservative opinions that circulate on the web. I can’t help but wonder if maybe your folks are scared that they are responsible for your being gay. And that’s a heavy, heavy burden to bear when you’re a Christian who has believed all those lies. Have you been able to engage them in that aspect at all? It was important for me to have that conversation with my son and to hear that my husband and I were not to “blame” for his being gay, like it was something bad/wrong.

      The other moms have encouraged you to hang in there, and I’m doing the same. My son, his dad, and I have a wonderful relationship and have had for a long while now. I made it clear that I wanted to ask lots of questions and get truthful answers from our son, which transformed the relationship (as education usually does), and my prayer is that your parents will get to that place. I think, right now, they are scared, Joe. They’ve probably believed a pack of lies about gay people and are trying to reconcile things without knowing where to turn. Fear is a tricky thing that colors everything else.

      Please keep trying to engage them and let them know that the relationship is important to you. If they can’t offer you their support and affirmation, then know that there are quite a few of us out here who can. I personally know Beth, who’s responded to you here and invited you to dialog with her, and there is no better support. Linda Robertson is another precious friend who will give you great comfort. And I am here for you, too. Please feel free to email me at carolinagirl84@bellsouth.net.

      Meanwhile, I will be praying for a ‘crack in the door’ – an opportunity for you to reach your parents’ hearts.

      Sending you a big hug,
      M

      Reply
    8. Linda Robertson Post author

      Joe, you are so very mature and gracious…I’ve been thinking of you over the past few days and I am so impressed with the kind of man you are. I think many of the commenters here have given you great advice; I don’t know that I can give you better, but I did write a blog that was directed to this very issue…if you haven’t read it, check it out: http://justbecausehebreathes.com/2013/07/19/so-ive-come-out-to-my-christian-parentswhat-now/
      I will sure be praying for you and for your parents. Make a priority of taking care of YOURSELF (It sounds like your therapist is not a good fit, regardless that she is supposed to be. Try a different one – you should know within a session or two. If you aren’t walking away with a new realization or something you couldn’t have gained by yourself, it probably isn’t the right therapist for you. We’ve been to a LOT of counselors and our oldest daughter is one – I wouldn’t have been NEAR as patient as you have been!). You are the most important person in this situation right now…particularly because you can’t control how your parents respond. Hopefully, they will come around in time…but even if they don’t, God can DEFINITELY bless your life and use your life and you can THRIVE. Make that your priority, and let them watch and see the results. MUCH love to you, Joe! Let us know how you are doing! So many of us will be praying for you!

      Reply
    9. acousticmom

      Joe, you sound like an amazing person, and like everyone else, I encourage you to hang in there. My gay son has been incredibly patient with me and his dad, even when it was hard for him. He has shown us what real grace looks like, and I admire him tremendously. Unfortunately, while we were figuring out our end of things, he felt like he was a disappointment to us. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      The only thing I’d add to the other comments is this: if your parents are open to talking with other Christian parents, it can really help them make progress. Linda can put them in touch with parents who are happy to share experiences. There are also supportive parents on the Marin Foundation website. Praying your parents will grow in their understanding. You are not alone, and your parents are not alone, either. Hugs to you.

      Reply
    10. Derry

      Dear Joe, My heart aches for all of you. For years my husband and I rationalized and denied that our sons were gay, but when our daughter came out as well, we turned our broken hearts over to God. Searching His Word, starting with the “clobber” verses unbelievably brought peace. Further study brought even more peace. Today, we are affirming allies for the LGBTQ community. Jesus Christ loves you and died for you and you are fearfully and wonderfully made! It is hard for any of us to give up dreams and where our children are concerned, it is like a death. Give them the room to grieve right now. They do love you but they need, as a friend said, a paradigm shift. Grow in your love of God and your faith and watch Him change the world, even yours. He asks only your heart. He knew you when you were made in secret and He loves you and calls for you as you are! Believe that He is able to blossom you and work in your parent’s hearts. I can honestly say, there are hundreds of Mama Bears praying for you and loving you. Derry

      Reply
    11. Lisa

      Joe, I’m lifting you up in prayers. Looks like so many people you do not know care about you and are sending you lots of love. I’m sure this is very hard. Take each day at a time. Find things that make you happy and embrace it. Big hug from Ohio ♡
      Momma Bear, Lisa

      Reply
    12. Isaac

      Dear Joe, I recently came out to my mom and family and I am 58. Talking about being on time. But I grew up in the 70’s and 80’s the age of the AIDS scare. No one in the South would own up to being gay back then. So I have suffered in silence and alone for over 40 years. If you need a friend to bounce feelings off, I probably have done it. It would be nice to have a friend. I am glad you are reaching out. It is not good to suffer in silence like I did all those years.

      Isaac

      Reply
  14. Tom

    Hi Again Maria. I am glad I could help. I myself am very different from the mainstreams norms. I hetero but am a closet transvestite and also follow different spiritual beliefs but I would not want myself any other way. I believe everyone should be comfortable with who they are as long as it is not harmful to the self or others. I have no doubt God loves us just because we exist and that our soul essence is actually a part of God. I just read your original post and I am happy you have found peace and self acceptance. I believe you will love that book, Enjoy

    Reply
  15. verdi

    Hi all..
    Im verdi.. im 22yo..When i google about what parents tought if they have gay kids. Then i found ur letters to ur son. Im indonesian. And indonesian are mostly moslem. We are very closed minded about gay. And its very hard to live here as gay.. i cant barely think what i should say to my family about my sex orientation. My mom keep telling me to get marriage. Its so stressful. Then a month ago i got Meningitis. And on 2010 i was diagnosed had Retinitis Pigmentosa. Its rare genetic thing that will make my eyes goes blind.. im so sad. Sad about my illness sad about my gay thing. And also stress about my fams.. it made my head headache almost everynght…

    Please help me. What should i do? I dont think i couldnt find any suppott group like u have there..

    Reply
  16. Jesse

    Dear Robertsons,

    I would like to try to put my thoughts into words since I haven’t been able to bring myself to talk to any family member about my struggles the past few months.
    (PART ONE)–I did not intend it to be this long.
    I grew up in a Southern, Independent Baptist Church: something I cherish. Although homosexuality rarely, if ever (I can’t remember), came up, I “knew” it was wrong. I didn’t even know what to call it, but I knew I was attracted to men–although, through very unconventional terms. It drove me to research (as much as a ten-ish year old could): I sought the answer out. I came to the conclusion it was wrong, and that I could not be Christian and have those attractions. I often, and I mean almost continuously, wondered if I was saved. I just couldn’t see me being saved with everything I was going through and some bad decisions I made during my teenage years. I don’t know if I ever had peace or assurance of my eternal destination except when I was just a boy when I said the prayer on the swing set with my brother.

    I have a good sized family: ten other siblings (two half siblings but whole in my eyes). My parents had nine children and are still together–such a comfort now. I love my family. Its one of my favorite pastimes and relevant so much today. I love making memories and being together as an unit, but this can be hard for my family. I come from two parents whose childhoods were very different from ours. My Mom and Dad came from abusive homes. I see now how it affected their relationship with me and my siblings as well. It is much like how you depicted Ryan’s condition in a recent video: in a box. That is how it is for my family. I believe most of us are left in our individual boxes, because none of us know or knew how to truly communicate. This pains me to write, but I believe it to be true. I hate that it could paint my parents in negative hues, but I understand now that it was something they too had to learn. They, too, had to build a box around themselves simply to survive; I guess. Now that I am twenty-five years old and growing, communicating has become easier for me and my whole family, although we still have a long, long way to go. I occasionally find myself picking up my legs over the sides and standing back in the very box God rescued me out of. Today, I am completely back in that box and have felt like it for about the past two months. I have just about taped up the seems and any cracks, but I would like to take these imaginary scissors and cut away to let the light overtake the darkness that surrounds. I do have a small candle that is giving me enough light to survive.

    While watching your story/testimony/vulnerability, my heart is truly pondering on another possibility: I can be gay and Christian, but I am afraid of the battle almost to the point that I don’t even want to pursue the “man of my dreams” (odd thing to write or consider). I still don’t know where I firmly stand on this issue, and it is best if I break the surface of my journey.

    To reiterate, I grew up in a very Southern, Conservative Christian, traditional, Republican, etc home. I have some wonderful childhood memories, but somewhere along the way I found this empty box that could shelter me from this world: the box, myself. I climbed so far inward that it was almost catastrophic. Once I found out I was attracted to guys and some of the severity of the idea, I closed off from the world–taped and shut with the things that brought me comfort inside. It was almost a constant battle to face every day. So much condemnation followed me from the “father of lies” and occasional comments made by others (rarely did I hear my family voice opposition). I once heard one of my best friends at the time say to another person, “If I were gay, I would kill myself.” Oh how his words have stayed with me. They did not destroy me, but they did expose my friend’s stance on the topic.Once, my brother-in-law was having a conversation with his pastor about the Rascal Flatt’s song “Love Who You Love,” and how they needed to stop supporting them due to the song’s belief in freely loving another partner: another stance exposed. I remember me and my older brother got into a heated argument, and he made the comment “you act so gay”– afterward, I thought less of myself for not being able to “act” straight. I can not truly put into words how much I suffered as a child/teenager hearing rumors and hurtful things said to my face or back. It followed me. I don’t think you could have put me on an island and made me feel any more alone in this world. I probably would have felt free although that can be attested. No one knew me or saw me or loved me growing up–this is how it felt at the time. I was the lowest totem on the pole. The lowest decree of sinner. I was distorted as a child.

    Later in life, after trying to “watch” my walk, my desires, voice, hair, clothes, taste in music and entertainment, and comments simply to keep people off my trail, my second year of college, I wanted to know what it was like to be with a guy–sexually and relation-ally. I would see what it was like, “get my fill” if you will, and afterwards I would live the straight life, but I was not expecting the aftermath. I found a website where I could meet gay guys hoping to find a good guy to be with for the first time. I was deliberate and strict about who I would pursue. After messaging several guys, I found one. He was cute, Christian, and about my age. It took off from there. We messaged and messaged, and shortly after, I was requested to come meet him at his place–we lived about two hours apart. I was desperate and wanted to but considered the risk factors. One night while still living with my parents, I frantically packed in hopes to get out without being noticed; I did not succeed. My sister found me, and I simply said, “I am going to stay with a friend.” I remember finally making it to his house after driving and driving and driving. We had our awkward moment hugged and spent the night together. What intended to be something short and impure turned into something magical and beautiful. What became an experiment quickly became serious. It was no longer about being with a guy sexually as it was being with a guy. I actually felt wrong when things would go too far, although they rarely did, and rightfully so. It felt so good to be held and loved by a guy that could not even compare to the few encounters with the opposite sex. Something felt right, but at the same time it didn’t. I knew what I wanted, but I was not certain it was possible with God or my family.

    After several months of talking and a few of dating, something in the water changed the tide. It was Christmas. He was on a ski-trip with his fraternity, and I was at home falling completely for him, looking for the right gift, hoping to spend my favorite season of the year with him. Something happened. After text, after text, after text, nothing–no reply. I called. I texted. I became desperate and so insecure, so vulnerable. After about a week of not hearing from him which had not happened since we started messaging on the website, I in desperate, broken mode made the two hour trip to his house to find it empty and no sign of him. I spent several nights alone at his place missing every ounce of him while trying to reach him by phone. Nothing. Cold trail. Heart-broken (shattered), tortured, defeated, vulnerable, broken, depressed, and all alone in the world, I made the trip home (to my Aunt’s who I lived with at the time, short time) just to find myself making the trip right back to his place the following day. If I remember it right, I found him. He was home, but he was not the same guy I fell in love with. He told me, “I feel like I should be with a woman.” There was apparently another woman he was talking to that he met while at his parent’s. I do not know if this was true, but I pleaded with him and tried to let him make his decision. He did. I left. It ended. We ended. I was alone, again, in my box. I died that day. It hurt more than I know to describe. It was all over my face. I had red eyes and couldn’t bear the pain. I am sure my family could tell. My Aunt tried so hard to be there for me (I am eternally grateful to her for it), but I just could not utter those words. We never got back together, and I have not heard from him since that awful day, but I can say assuredly that I am thankful for that day. If it wasn’t for me falling in love with him and being treated so badly I may have not been released from my box.

    After several days of heartache and immense pain–oh the pain, I finally opened the box up to my closest friend (prior to that awful day), Aunt, Sisters, Mother, Father, and friend, all respectfully. Although as you can imagine it was the opposite I had hoped for, but they loved me immensely. Did they make decisions or comments that hurt? Of course, but they sheltered me.

    (PART TWO) To Be Continued…

    Reply
    1. Mike Miller

      Jesse,
      I want to preface my remarks by telling you that I am amongst those that believe homosexual behavior to be sinful. The ONLY reason that I tell you that is in the hope that it will add weight to what I’m going to say next.
      Jesse, although you obviously feel lonely, please take comfort in the knowledge that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Your words expose a soft, gentle, and discerning soul that can only be the product of a broken & contrite heart. That is exactly what God wants from us… a broken & contrite heart. Please, please believe me… God loves you desperately! Please don’t think yourself worthless, my brother, because I guarantee that God does NOT see you that way. Please don’t think you have to be perfect to “win God’s favor.” God has given YOU His favor already… in the truth of Jesus Christ. Just as you state that your earthly family “sheltered” you, your Heavenly Father will shelter you also (not from earthly pain, but from spiritual death). Persevere with humility, my brother.
      with love,
      mike

      Reply
    2. mikeinasheville

      Jesse:

      I am now 55; I came to myself, and then to my family and friends, while in college. I remember well my first time sharing myself with another questioning, confused, somewhat scared, student and the sudden euphoria of simply being held, touched, kissed, sharing the questions, the confusion and the fear. I fell in love too; but, as fleeting as it was, as was yours, it opened my heart and eyes that there are other men who “got it”. You put yourself out there, don’t be afraid to do so again. (In your case, while you suffered from heartache and pain, you also gave a great and wonderful gift; imagine all the thoughts you have struggled with and then add in sexual identity as wanting to be female. Your friend suffered a similar struggle as you, but even more so, as his dream included that he could be a girl in love with a boy. He got to experience being with a boy, but not as the girl, the she instead of the he.)

      Two thoughts for you: remember, you have struggled knowing being different for over decade and a half. You questioned yourself, your beliefs, your community and family has been a constant never-really-leaving your head that entire time. It is who you have been at the front of your being; for your family, though, this is all new to them — it will take time before they understand the full nature of what you have been through. It has taken my boyfriend/husband of 30 years practically 20 years before his Southern Baptist family got there. And now, his is a very loving family and relationship.

      Secondly, don’t allow others’ misuse of the historical context of the Bible abuse your beliefs. Best example, being Christian, your duty is to obey the words of Christ. Not the Old Testament and not any of the New Testament that do not reflect Jesus’ own words. Within all religious identities in the US, Southern Baptists have the highest of divorce rates, 55+% of all marriages among Southern Baptists end in divorce. And more than 75% of those divorces are due to adultery. And there is much adultery that does not end with divorce.

      Jesus spoke repeatedly and passionately against divorce and against adultery. And Jesus does not state a single word, not once in any of the Gospels, about male/male female/female. Not accepting gays/lesbians/trans with love and care is a direct violation of Jesus’ very words, his “one commandment – to love one another” John 13:33. Yet, while the Southern Baptist Convention rails against homosexuality, they accept adulterers, and remarry divorcees. They disobey Jesus’ clear and direct words, but are hypocrites to Jesus’ commandment — OR, they are not real Christians, hoping somehow they can fool their way to heaven by camouflaging their sins with self-righteous mockery against gays and lesbians.

      You are the only one who can take Jesus’ words forward in your life, OR, you are the only one to diminish your standing with Jesus by allowing unfaithful-to-Jesus words belittle or demean the Truth. DO NOT ALLOW FALSE WITNESSES DESTROY THE JESUS IN YOU YOU LOVE. Like the Mike Miller comment to your post, just who the hell is Mike Miller to call homosexuality a sin when Jesus himself did not; and for that matter, when God lists his Ten Commandments, commandments against lying, against killing, against idolism, against disobedience, et al. Those are the sins God exalts against; but homosexuality, those were not of God, those were citations by Moses of ancient Jewish laws. Follow the Jesus in your heart; find your way.

      Reply
    3. Mike Miller

      Jesse,
      I wonder if you’re still out there, and I hope things are going well for you. Mikeinasheville and I have debated here before. I’m going to surprise him by agreeing with him (partially, at least). So, let’s get to it.
      First, Mikeinasheville is right. Generally speaking, Christians are hypocrites. Let me say that again for the record… CHRISTIANS ARE HYPOCRITES! (Including myself.) But, in saying that, I’m not singling Christians out for special criticism. What I am doing is commenting on the fallibility of the human condition. At one time or another, on one issue or another, we are all hypocrites. In judging the merits of anyone’s position (on any issue), one should be mindful of hypocrisy. But don’t let the hypocrisy of some automatically diminish the merits of the arguments being made. Judge the argument on its own merits.

      Second, Mikeinasheville is right again. Not in the specific percentages that he cites concerning divorce rates among Southern Baptists, but in his thematic assertion that divorce rates are too high among Christians. Divorce rates are too high period… amongst all groups by most any measure.

      Third, Mikeinasheville makes a very good point. “Who the hell is Mike Miller to call homosexuality a sin?” None of us has the authority (moral or otherwise) to declare what is sin and what is not. There’s just one problem with Mikeinasheville’s protestation. I did not declare homosexuality to be sin. What I said was that I believe the behavior to be sinful. Could I be wrong? Absolutely.

      Lastly, Mikeinasheville is mistaken in both his citation and attribution of scripture. In terms of attribution, the scripture to which Mikeinasheville alludes is the “second greatest commandment,” and it is found in both the books of Matthew and Mark… not John. Each of these New Testament recitations is quoted from Leviticus in the Old Testament (or, Torah).
      http://www.christianitytoday.com/derwin-gray/2015/january/so-what-does-it-mean-to-love-your-neighbor.html
      In terms of citation, Mikeinasheville leaves out something very important. The commandments is not simply “to love your neighbor”, but “to love your neighbor as yourself.” Why is that important?
      A few words about the nature of sin: The Bible repeatedly refers to the “yoke of sin” and/or the “bondage of sin.” Sin is like an addiction, and it can become an oppressive slave master. I’m 59 now, but in my youth I dabbled in illicit drugs. I walked away from that many years ago, and I’m thankful not to be under the bondage of drug use. Well, if I don’t want the bondage of drug addiction for myself, it wouldn’t be very loving of me to affirm a similar bondage for my neighbor. That’s not a perfect implicit analogy. Illicit drugs are illegal (as they should be), and homosexuality is legal (as it should be). This is a great country, and each is at liberty to live as they wish. I understand that in order to secure my liberties, I must be willing to fight to secure the same liberties for my neighbor. But that doesn’t mean that I need affirm my neighbors’ choices.

      I wish you well.

      Reply
    4. Mike Miller

      Jesse,
      A few more words concerning mikeinasheville’s last paragraph:
      I’m not going to call mikeinasheville a “false prophet”, as he implied I was. Perhaps he’s just mistaken, or didn’t explain himself well. Words are important, and an emphasis on precision & clarity should accompany any attempt to witness to another. The “sins” mikeinasheville attributes to God’s Ten Commandments simply are not precisely forbidden by those Ten Commandments. There is no commandment specifically against lying, killing, idolism, or disobedience. Let’s look at each of those individually.
      Lying- What the commandment actually says is “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.” That means it is sinful to lie “about” someone else. It says nothing concerning lying “to” someone else. (Ex: As a child, Jesse takes a cookie without his mother’s permission. Mom asks, “Jesse, did you take a cookie out of the cookie jar?” Jesse answers, “No Mom, I didn’t.”) Strictly speaking, Jesse has not broken that commandment. Is Jesse’s lie still sin? Yes… because he has broken two other commandments: “Thou shalt not steal”, and “Honor thy mother and father.” One does not honor their parents by withholding information from them to which they are entitled.
      Killing- What the commandment actually say is “Thou shalt not commit murder.” “Murder” and “killing” are two different things. To kill in defense of self or others is not murder. To kill for food is not murder. To kill for a righteous call, as is sometimes the case in war, is not murder.
      Idolism- What the commandment actually says is “Thou shall have no other gods before me.” There are 2 very important phrases in this commandment: “other gods”, and “before me.” “Other gods” can mean many things, from actual “other deities” (real or imagined, like: Satan, Belial, Buddha, Zeus, cosmic forces, Mother Earth. etc.) to material or personal pursuits like, that new car, or new house, or an education. It can also mean another person. Basically, anything that we give priority in our lives over and above God becomes an “other god.” Also, in the context of this commandment, “before me” doesn’t simply imply “first in sequence.” “Before me” also means “in front of me” or “between us.” If you place an object “before” someone, you’ve placed it in front of that individual. If you’ve placed it in front of that someone, you’ve placed it between the two of you. God wants nothing standing between the two of you; not another deity (real or imagined) , not a selfish pursuit, not any material item(s), not another person, not even a revered preacher. If we let them, any of these things can become an idol.
      Disobedience- I’m not sure which specific or group of commandments mikeinasheville is referring to here. God wants us to be obedient to Him, His word, and any figure of authority to whom God has given legitimate authority over us. But in the absence of righteous authority, we have no obligation to be obedient to unrighteous demands. Actually, I believe there are times & situations where disobedience is not only warranted, but morally & spiritually obligatory.
      Lastly, mikeinasheville’s closing words of advice were “Follow the Jesus in your heart; find your way.” I’m not certain exactly what mike meant by this, and it is not my intent to impugn the purity & benevolence of his intent. But words are important. Perhaps it would be better to “Follow the Jesus of the Bible; find His way.”

      I wish you well.

      Reply
  17. Barbara

    I have a gay son. Not one moment since he told me he was gay have I ever not loved him with all my heart! Loving a gay child is the most unexplainedable love I could ever feel for any human being! After all he is a human being walking on the most incredible, beautiful plant in the universe. He just happen to be born gay! Love MOM!

    Reply
  18. Maxianne

    Hello. I am a 45 year old transwoman. I came out to my parents last June, almost a year ago now, after a terrifying night where I was assaulted, and lost everything I ever had in my life, except my life.

    It took them some time to overcome their fear, but they were able eventually to SEE me, and to see that as my new self I was very happy.

    Your story has caught in my chest, as I am a parent of two LGBT children myself. My denial of who I was hovered over my life for four and a half decades, an uneasy truce I made with my social identity and my real one. I have brought them into harmony, with the love of my parents which is all that saved me. One of my children still speaks to me, the other does not, I hope that can change for the better.

    I do not pray, but I certainly hope that your story touches many more souls, and reaches outwards. I do not know what my parents thought of in the month that I was unable to speak to them, but I wonder if they found your site. It certainly seemed that at some point, they heard or read something like this and for that I am of course very grateful. Your willingness to share yourselves and the story of your lovely son has touched me very deeply.

    Peace and Love, Maxie.

    Reply
  19. Jeff

    Linda and Rob,

    I attended the Reformation Project this past weekend in Atlanta. I want to personally thank you both for your testimony and witness that you shared that weekend. It was truly moving and I do hope and pray by the sharing of your story and of Ryan’s struggles, that parents that are presented with similar situations will benefit from this. As you said that God was abundantly present in Ryan’s hospital room with your family, so to was he this past week when you shared your pain, love, and faith with us all.

    I hired a young man 2 years ago who is gay. He has shared with me comments from his parents regarding his homosexuality and their lack of acceptance. As they have said, they don’t wear that cross around their neck for him to be gay. I hope and pray that by my sharing your story with them that they will eventually find the true love and acceptance that Christ has for all His children, gay straight, lesbian, transgender.

    Thank you again for sharing your family’s stories for others to benefit.

    Blessings to you both

    Reply
  20. Dee Ingle

    This story could happen to anyone. All the parents can do is learn to truly love their kid. If u don’t love your own kid for being gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and transexual, then u obviously don’t love your own kid. If they know who they are and accept it then why the hell would you judge your child for it? I fully support lbgpt. Because I’m bisexual i have no problem with them. My parents are lesbian they are getting married tomorrow. And I fully support them.

    Reply
  21. Wlll

    Thank you for sharing your story. My condolences to you and your family. May God comfort you and give you peace.

    Reply
  22. kikiinspire

    Dear Linda and Rob, I first heard your story through a YouTube video last year at the gay Christian conference in 2014. Nothing but tears filled my eyes as I could relate so much to the story. I am a lesbian. I was raised under strong Christian home. I went to church, believed and loved God, went to Bible studies, knew the bible- but I always felt like something was wrong with me. I didn’t know if it had to do with the molestation at a young age or if I was born this way. I felt attracted to girls. I prayed and fasted, went to deliverance classes, counseling – anything and everything that would take the gay away. When I finally realized it wouldn’t go away, I decided to come out to my mother. She cried and told me I was believing a lie, that it was just a phase and needed counseling. That God made marriage between a man and woman and this was a perverted life style. I too, like your beautiful son Ryan, felt depressed, suicidal, rejected and alone. My mom and stepped dad said I couldn’t live there, living in sin. I moved to California, started drinking and using Meth to ease the pain. It hurt so much but I knew my mom only was doing what she thought was right. I stopped talking to her for awhile.. and she later apologized, begged me to come home and cried. I grew a hate for God and my parents. I felt so unloved by God. I questioned him. And yelled at him. Why he didn’t change me? I did everything. I met my gf and fell in love. I battled with self hate still and guilt. Its so hard to break away from the thoughts that God won’t accept you for being gay. I had attempted suicide twice but God had other plans. My mom finally came around and accepts me and my gf into her home. She still stands by her beliefs, but she no longer preaches, no longer tells me I am a sin. She just loves. It took awhile to find healing, to realize God loves me just as I am and I don’t have to change to make him love me. I still battle with thoughts time to time about my eternity. Its so hard. Thank you so much for sharing your precious story. I know he is looking down from heaven with such joy and love on you guys. I cried and felt so much of God love in listening to your story. Please continue to keep sharing. So many people need hope and reassurance that God loves them. <3

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      kikiinspire…I am so thankful that you are now thriving, friend! If your mom ever wants to join a private Facebook group for Christian moms with LGBT kids, please have her message me on FB (linda mueller robertson). I think the other moms could REALLY encourage her in her questions about what the Bible teaches. Thank you so much for commenting…I am so thankful that God had other plans for you!! <3

      Reply
      1. kikiinspire

        I just told her right now. She is taking a little break from fb and social media, but once she is on, she said she will message you. I know she has a lot of questions. I also know, she was moved deeply by your story. I showed her the video as well, and she said it brought her to tears. So I know, she is finally listening. I just hope one day she will be open to coming to my wedding and really accepting me, even if I am gay. Thank you so much for replying back. God bless you and your family <3

        Reply
  23. Cass

    Thank you for sharing your story, I too am gay, bisexual actually. Im only out to my friends, but because of my sexuality I stopped going to church, I attend online mass now because I’m afraid of walking in and standing up for LGBT rights. I know someday soon the church will come around and we will all be able to show who we truly are.

    Reply
  24. NancyC

    Linda, Thank you for sharing your story. May an extra measure of grace be yours on what is most likely a very “tender” day for you today.

    Reply
  25. Jon mison

    I would like to suggest that the idea that only ‘a small percentage’ making it to their forties is entirely false. What an ignorant and small person you are. Do not use the word ‘love’, because your not using it right

    Reply
  26. apopesocal

    Health? I don’t know any of my LGBT friends who are less healthy than my straight friends… Several of my gay friends are surgeons, doctors nurses, and other health care workers and most are in better shape than my straight friends. Most of us are in our mid -40’s into our healthy and vigorous 70’s

    Reply
  27. Anonymous

    God bless……what you are doing is a very wonderful thing for other families experiencing unacceptance. In reading your messages, here is a site you might find some peace in using for yourselves. Please take the time to check it out. Theeventual.com

    Reply

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