My Gay Son’s Wedding

A couple of weeks ago, a dear friend from church posed this question to me: “If Ryan were alive today, and he was going to marry his boyfriend, would you and Rob attend the wedding?”

My immediate thought was – to be COMPLETELY honest – “HELL YES!” (For those of you who know me, I don’t use that word often…or ANY swear words…I have too many old tapes in my head that say that certain words actually have the power to determine one’s eternal destiny!) But this is the truth: Wild horses couldn’t keep Rob and I from going to Ryan’s wedding. We’d be there, decked out and sitting in the front row, just as ecstatic and proud as we were last summer when Larissa married Cameron, and this month when we were delighted to watch Riley promise his lifelong faithfulness to Abigail.

I know that for many of our evangelical Christian friends, you probably don’t understand this; you’ll see it as an endorsement of sin, and as a compromise on our part to the truth of scripture. But that isn’t how God speaks to us about it. That isn’t what it is about for us.

A wedding is a major life event – a turning point – a sacred day that is unlike any other day in one’s life. As our oldest daughter would say, “your people” surround you on that day, because they all recognize the monumental importance of the occasion.

True, when I think about my own wedding day, it isn’t October 22, 1983 that is most important, but every day that has come because of that day…it is really about our marriage. But still, October 22, 1983 was when it all began. The day itself was incredibly, indescribably important. And we wanted those whom we loved and who loved us best to be there with us. When we got married, I had a few friends who were not in support of my decision to leave school and to marry a guy I hadn’t really known all that long – for goodness sake – I was only NINETEEN! So not everybody in my world thought it was a great idea. Not everybody thought it was wise or even sane.

And I ask myself, how would I have felt if those people, who supposedly loved me, had told me that they weren’t going to come to our wedding because they couldn’t support such a young woman giving up her education to get married to some man she had only known for a year and a half? Would that have made me change my mind? Would that have spoken love to me? Would that have done ANYTHING but alienate and distance me from the people who took that stance?

When our adult children make big decisions, whether it be who they marry, where (or whether) they go to college, where they choose to live, what worldview they choose to embrace, what faith they live by, or other such choices that they are free to make as adults, Rob and I feel strongly that if we say we love them unconditionally, then we better back up those words with actions. No mixed messages. No passive-aggressive comments. We can’t put conditions on unconditional love – to me, that seems to be the ultimate oxymoron.

And Christians, let’s get honest. If my oldest daughter decided to sleep with a guy before marriage, to live with him and then get married, you wouldn’t ask us if we’d attend the wedding, would you? If our daughter made those decisions, her choices would be a far cry from the ones Rob and I made. But it wouldn’t stop us from adoring her, right? Why is it so different for us as Christians when we’re thinking about our gay kids?

One of the many lessons we learned – the hard way – from Ryan’s life and death, is that if, as an adult parent, we want to be close to our adult children, we will love who they love. We will listen and not give advice (unless asked for, and even then, with gentleness and caution). We will give them the space and freedom to make their own decisions, because they are the ones who are living their lives, not us. If we give them gifts, they will truly be just that – gifts – with no expectations attached. We will not continue to assume the role of authority in their lives, because we are no longer their authority; our adult children have transferred their dependence from us, rightly, to dependence on the God of the Universe, their Creator and their Lord.

In the years after Ryan came out to us, we often made decisions that caused him to feel distant and alone – alienated from the people that were supposed to know and love him best. Yes, sometimes parents of teenagers have to make those kind of decisions, and some that we made were, indeed, necessary and wise. But others served no purpose other than to control Ryan out of our own fear, and they resulted in painful division and strife between us.

Several years ago my friend Jodie said this, “I wonder if it has become easier to oppose ideologies than to actually love people.” There is a great deal of wisdom in that statement. For many Christian parents of LGBTQ adult children, I think it might be easier to “take a stance for the truth” and avoid attending their weddings, inviting their partners over for dinner, or including the person they are dating to the family Christmas gathering. It is harder, actually, to lean in and be a bit uncomfortable; it is more challenging to make myself vulnerable to being in an unfamiliar situation where I might not know how to act. I might feel out of place or unwanted. And sometimes I have felt out of place and unwanted. But from our experience, each time we take those kind of risks, when we intentionally get out of our comfort zones and follow God into the lives of others, He teaches us – through them – so many, many things we couldn’t have learned otherwise.

It really doesn’t matter what Rob and I think about gay marriage. We haven’t taken a public position on it or shared publicly how we voted last November. We have been doing our best to listen to God, and He hasn’t led us to make that our platform. But He has called us to share the story of how He taught us to truly love Ryan, including all the things we would have done differently. He has called us to weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. He has called us to speak up for those who are voiceless…the LGBTQ teens and young adults who feel banished from the church and unlovable to God. Most of all, He has been continually granting us a deeper and deeper understanding of what unconditional love really is; He has been revealing how we can trust in His unconditional love for us, and how we can display that love to others.

If we, theoretically, disagreed about a decision one of our adult children was making, would sharing our unsolicited theological position be edifying and helpful? I don’t think so. When friends who disagree with me have tried to convince me of my error by moving away from me instead of walking alongside me, it only causes me pain and damages the relationship. I have been drawn to Jesus by His kindness, grace and mercy. And the people I want most to be around are those who show me that same kindness, grace and mercy. The friends who give me unasked for advice (we have received a lot of this since losing a child) tend, to be frank, the people we don’t meet for coffee at Starbucks. They are still our friends, but when someone who hasn’t lost a child themselves tells us how we should be handling our grief it doesn’t exactly endear them to me. Actually, sometimes it makes me want to say those words that I was taught could endanger my salvation.

And the bottom line is this: I trust that God is big enough to BE GOD in the lives of the people I love. If they are making a decision that is not pleasing to God, HE is powerful enough to communicate to them. He doesn’t need me to be His spokesperson to my adult children. I can remember countless times when, as a parent, I would observe something in one of our teenagers’ lives that concerned me, and God would prompt me not to say something, but to wait on Him. Over and over again, they would – without my help (go figure!), come to the same conclusion that I was praying and hoping for. And often, I would laugh at myself for even thinking that God needed me to do His work for Him! I am not saying that we never talked to our kids about things we felt they needed to hear – just ask them – we did that a lot! But when I rush out before God, and react to something that scares me by pronouncing my judgments on others, I almost always mess things up.

Oops…One more bottom line. We never know how long we will have the gift of the lives of those we love. We can’t take even one day for granted. I am thankful for each time we were able to lean in to Ryan’s life, to love him without conditions, to enter his world and to really love the people he loved. When that meant walking with him – hand in hand – through Capitol Hill on PrideFest weekend, did I feel a bit out of place? (Yes! But probably more because everything about me screams “EASTSIDE MIDDLE-AGE MOM!” than because I was in the middle of a gay pride celebration!) I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for removing our fear, and for teaching us to soak up every event, every day, every time Ryan invited us into his life. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain we would feel now, had we said “No, we cannot support you in this, because this goes against what the Bible teaches.” Our regret and sorrow would be indescribable.

So if Ryan had survived his struggle with addiction, and had met the man of his dreams, you bet we’d go to his wedding! Not because we are the poster parents for an issue or a cause…but just because he is our son…and we love him…just because he breathes.

63 responses to “My Gay Son’s Wedding”

  1. Thank you for sharing Linda. Your story had me in tears. I look forward to the day when, through examples like yours, Christians are known more for how they love others than how they shame them. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • Hannah, you said just what we’ve been praying for…a time when Christians are known for what they are FOR rather than for what they are AGAINST.
      We are blessed to go to a church that is living that out – and we’re praying for more! Much love to you!

  2. Helen where did this idea come from that sensitive people who care about others no matter what they believe or do are going to hell? My compassion for others and desire to be there for them does not change my beliefs about God or the truth in the Bible.

    • Bless you, Barbara…and I am thanking GOD, because I am NOT a writer. OR a blogger. Seriously, I can only write when God gives me something to say. So this blogging thing will be on HIS timetable! 🙂

  3. My main concern is for my salvation. I know I’m going to Heaven. Loving & showing God’s love to the Gay community is what we as Christians are called to do. Loving them is accepting them, the way they are. By doing so, is that going to affect my salvation? Heck no! “Nough said!

    • Lisa…You have ALWAYS been wise! So wise!

      I have thought the same thing…What is at stake here? All we straight Christians know God loves us…and will that change? But those who have been told that God DOESN’T love them…THEY are the ones who burden my heart.

      Love you, dear friend!!

  4. Thank you! And God bless you for sharing your story and your son with us.
    I have the same burden in my heart that you do. I’m praying that we are on the presipuss of an awakening.
    Just know I’m standing with you in prayer. God is on the move! Reading your story today echoed everything He’s been showing me.
    I’d love to get involved somehow. To help speak for those who have been silenced. I just don’t know where to start. I’m in NC. Maybe you can help me?
    Again….thank you and many many blessings!
    In His love,

  5. Linda & Rob, thanks for sharing your touching story. Like you God blessed us with a beautiful gay son. He will be 34 this month. With the Supreme Court ruling last week, he and his partner have decided to get married on their 10 year anniversary of being a couple. In September, they are traveling from South Dakota to Minnesota for their legal marriage. My wife and I will be there because we love them and we want to share in their happiness. I wish more Christians were more accepting of gays. I know that God made our gay brothers and sisters and yes our sons. Thank you for helping. Your son Ryan would be proud.

  6. Dear Linda & Rob,
    Thank you so much for sharing with us the love you have for your son Ryan. As I read Rob’s letter and looked at the video the tears flowed freely from my eyes. Just another Grace from God in teaching me to love everyone more deeply. My love and prayers are with you both.

  7. Thank you for this. I am a young lesbian who left the church (too soon, really, after discovering how much faith meant to me) because as I learned to accept myself for who I was, I was increasingly made aware that the church no longer had a place for me in its doctrine. It gives me hope to read this, to see that others know God and Christ as I know them–simply as love. Maybe someday I will be ready to try celebrating my faith in church again, maybe someday the church will be ready to celebrate with me as I am, entirely. God bless you and keep you safe.

    • Elizabeth, I really understand what you have posted here. In other words, me too! There ARE churches who are changing, but the process is very slow, especially for those of us from the Southern Baptist background, and other similar churches. My son and his wife now attend a Episcopal church where were are totally accepted, they even have a gay minister now,,, but I still long for the familiarity of my ‘old church’. Our day is coming,, keep up the faith. God loves you very much and is right there with you, no matter what your local church is telling you.

  8. You two are amazing and I know that Ryan is looking down smiling and so proud of his parents! ❤

  9. Linda nice post. Though I do have to relate a personal story. MD was one of those states that marriage equality passed and I married my husband of 25 years in April. Both of my parents were there. My mother had she been a MD citizen would have voted for marriage equality. My father who is a MD frankly I don’t know. And I will be very honest if I found out he had voted against it I would be angry.
    My brother and I who were very close until he joined an anti-gay church I choose not to associate with him. He was invited to my wedding because of family pressure but I would have rather he’d not be there.

  10. Thank you for sharing this. I’m going to have my sister who still speaks to me, send your blog to my evangelical brother, who upon my mothers death told me he was happy she died so she didn’t have to see the choices i was making. This gives me hope.

    • How awful that anyone would say that to you at such a time as your mother’s funeral. What ARE people thinking? Unfortunately, I have been through similar hurtful situations also. I was told the same thing years ago at the funeral of my grandfather, I am sorry for your pain. God loves you very much. Give that pain and anger up to Him and ask for peace and love to fill your heart. Bitterness and anger will only make one unhappy. Why allow those words of hate to control you? Hope that this helps you.

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I sat here tonight reading your instant message with Ryan and your story with tears rolling down my cheeks. I think I knew that our son was gay from the time he was around 10 yrs old, but I chose not to believe it. We attended church and believed in the word of God much as your family. We didn’t make it easy for our son to “come out”. He did so by running away from college shortly before turning 18. He texted me and told me that he couldn’t do “this” anymore. He was gay. I replied, “What does that have to do with going to college?” He said to me, “Momma say something about my being gay.” I replied that we love him, we already suspected and come home and talk. He was angry that we hadn’t told him that we suspected he was gay. We barely saw him for two years during which time he started drinking and doing drugs. During those two years I learned what is truly important much as you did. I learned to love him as God made him. He was born this way and I love him with all my heart. It was in Aug of 2009 that he ran away and told us he was gay. Today we have a wonderful relationship with him and his partner. I still worry that he is abusing drugs and alcohol but he says he is not. He seems truly happy. We support and love him and are SO grateful for each day we have him in our lives. He calls or texts me almost daily. I know our friends don’t understand and frankly I no longer care if they do. I am thinking of my son only and not what others think. I forgot that for a while and I cringe when I think of a time when I should have been there for my son and I wasn’t. I sent your story to my husband and said this could almost be our story except so far with a different outcome at the end. We all learn new things daily. Life is a journey. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me to be better at loving my son “Just Because He Breathes”. What a wonderful example of truly loving parents you are. Hugs and love to your family.

    • notperfect,

      I love your screen name…it is…PERFECT. Cuz we sure aren’t! I am REJOICING that you have such a good relationship with your son and his partner! He sounds a LOT like Ryan…Oh, how I would love to get those daily texts and phone calls again! Thank you for understanding my heart, and the reason we are sharing our story. Much love to you!

  12. I am going to bookmark and share your blog. I am a Christian who doesn’t attend church regularly precisely because of what you state…man’s desire to jump into others’ lives before God chooses to do so. I am not gay, but I have made choices my Christian relatives disagree with. Despite them telling me their lectures come from their love for me and fear for my spirit, those lectures only serve to drive me further from them and church (but not from God). Maybe your experiences can help them understand that God will do His work in His time, and they will trust me to listen to Him, instead of them.

    I, too, have lost a child under very different circumstances. Her death taught me about Grace. I practice it often with those who have no idea what is it like to continue on living without one of your children.

    • Bless you, Erica…we are kindred spirits. We had no idea that there were so many others out there who feel alienated by “churchianity” as our pastor calls us. Each of these comments is helping us to remember why we are telling our story!

  13. Thank you for your beautiful, loving story. You two are awesome. I think the best gift you can give to children is your willingness to admit wrong and ask for forgiveness. I am a straight, 55 year old married woman with a very problematic relationship with my 91 year old parents. They are conservative Christians – I used to be, but am now much more liberal. They have never been able to accept my adult self and the person I have become. I weep for them because they have a loving, accomplished daughter but they have such a narrow vision of what is right that they have never been able to truly see or accept me and my love for them. Bless you and the memory of your wonderful son. I am so thankful you had that 10 months of acceptance & love with him. Cherish that and continue telling your moving story in order to encourage other parents and the rest of us to love more inclusively. As so many others have recognized, you are awesome and your story is a truly universal one.

  14. I shared that I was gay with the pastor of our church the day after my father died this past March (who I never told I was gay for the fear of rejection) and asked if I would still be welcome at our church? His reply was that “GOD does not make mistakes” and that I was more than welcome in the church I had been baptised in as a baby.I knew I was gay about the same age as your son. I lost my partner of nine years on Jan 9th 2011 in a different but similar way as you lost your son. When we met Michael was 21 and living in his car because his family rejected him for being gay. Michael had a very “christian” father who rejected him because of his sexuality and a mother he felt did not love him. He did not see either of them for the first three years we were together. We made a home and life together and we shared the next several years full of life and had many adventures, I gave him all the Love in the world but it never replaced the depression and intense pain he felt and could never make peace with for many of the same reasons you describe in your presentation. I cannot count the number of times he cried on my shoulder over this issue. On Christmas of 2010 he fell into a deep depression over the issue once again, found “old friends” and I found him brain dead in front of the computer after being awakened for know reason at 4AM on January the 7th 2011 just after he had become a chef with 4.0 grades, Deans list honors and many years off drugs. He had found Heroin and I believe he thought that would stop the pain. Its been over two years and I still cry every day. I had come to believe that no one understands the pain and suffering this type of rejection can cause mentally until I read your article and watched your video. Michael’s death has forever changed my life. Thank you for sharing your story.

    God bless you,

    • Hi Steve, I am writing this through tear filled eyes. I am so sorry for what you went through, and for what your Michael went through as well. I have been fortunate that my parents accepted my lifestyle, but it certainly did not happen overnight,, and I remember the pain of being separated, and feeling that rejection. I have been shunned by many other family members to this day, and excommunicated from the church that I loved and where I served for many years. My soon-to-be husband (partner of 12 years) has been greatly affected by the beliefs of his families church also. Cannot these people see what harm they are doing? I pray that God will open the eyes of churches like these SOON. God bless you and comfort you in this time of loss. Please feel free to contact me if you would like to talk with someone.

      • Thank you for the grace you are bringing to this place, Ron. Both you and Steve, and too many others like you, have been through far too much pain in the name of God. We need to start truly being the hands of feet of JESUS…the man who spent his time with those who were marginalized…the outcasts…those the religious condemned. Lord Jesus, may it start with me.

  15. Thank you. I am gay and actually a graduate of Biola AND from Seattle. My parents still live there and I live in So. Cal. I sent my mom your video and blog. I just watched it and it touched be and brought me to tears. I appreciate you so much.

  16. Well Linda I guess you only approve comments with those that agree with you. I still think you are to blame for your sons death. Good luck to you.

    • Ella..I am confused…I have approved MANY comments that I don’t agree with, in spite of my family’s, and my counselor’s protests. From now on, we won’t be posting “hate speech” like yours, in which you blame us for Ryan’s death…it isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful to us or to anyone else. If you’d like to respectfully discuss your opinions, you are more than welcome here. But no more blame and condemnation – for ANYONE – will be allowed.

    • What an awful thing to say Ella! Have you not read the whole story here? Where is God’s love in making a statement like that? I cannot believe that people can be so cruel. I will pray for you right now.

  17. Your story brought me to tears as I experienced much of the same from my parents when I came out to them. It’s certainly not been easy and unfortunately they are not as far along as you, but I still have hope.

    Thank you for sharing. It does make a difference.

  18. When I first read your story I was moved in the fact how much you loved your son. In today’s time, we often see so many stories of parents “coming out” about their experience with their child openly telling them they are gay/lesbian. Moving stories as they may be, I am deeply and spiritually moved by yours. I am 25 years old. I come from a small town is rural Mississippi. I recently…and say recently I mean last Wednesday…just enlisted into the United States Navy. My parents are so proud. Saying that they are truly proud of me and what God is doing in my life. They don’t know that they are proud of their gay son. I haven’t told them yet because over the years I’ve prayed to God to show me the right moment but fear always comes into play. Your story touched me and even caused me to pause and say a prayer for you and your family. I know now that through your story of God loving Christians, I know that one day my parents can come to love me fully. Thank you for your story. Stay strong and stay amazing. God has put you here for a reason

    • WOW!! Jordan, I am so proud of you!! I am so proud of ALL that God is doing in your life, as a gay man who loves Jesus above all else. YOU are the reason we are sharing. God put YOU here for a reason – for ME today. MUCH love to you!

      • First I want to say how honored I am that you replied. It shows you do care as Jesus instructed us. Second I want you to know that I am going to carry your story with me where ever the navy takes me. People have asked me why I joined? Why do I fight? It’s simple isn’t it. For parents and people like you. Thank you so much ms Linda. Ill pray every day for your family. God bless

  19. A lovely piece, articulate and humbly said. This blog gives me hope for the generation of my parents – and I am ashamed that I have lumped everyone in their circles, age ranges, and churches together as types which value their own view of “rightness” as more important than extending love, understanding and grace to others who fall outside their own views. And then, as I write this I realize I have not been extending the same kind of grace back to them, because their ideas do not fit with my idea of “right.” So instead, I should write “This blog gives me hope for my parents and for myself”. Keep writing, every post shows me something new.

  20. Dear Linda, I read your recent article on the Huffington Post site, which led me to this blog, and I have read all of your writing in tears. The Internet can be kind of a lawless place where people so easily disconnect themselves from the sacredness of another person’s story, which is why it is so amazing to find one like yours here. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I am so sorry for the tragedy and loss in your family’s story, but am deeply touched by the beauty that emerges in these posts from Ryan’s short life and by your expression of all the profound, life-changing lessons you learned from the painful parts. My father is an evangelical pastor, so although I ultimately left that church (in part related to sexuality, as well as my family’s difficulty in accepting many kinds of difference), I do understand very well the risk you’ve taken in “coming out” with your new Christian perspectives and how deeply humbling and disorienting it can be to admit that something we once thought was the loving response could actually harm people we care about. I am blown away by your courage to claim and tell your entire story and to lean in to the hard work of truly loving people who are different from you are. It is an inspiration.

    In one short line, your friend Jodie summed up what I have tried but failed to communicate to my estranged parents in hundreds of pages of writing that may as well (to them) have been written in code. It is so simple and yet the one of the hardest things to actually live. Our different ideologies and values can feel like an insurmountable chasm, and yet you have managed to bridge those gaps by embracing your own humanity, which we all share. I will be sending a link to this blog to my mother in the hope that your experience (so much closer to her own than mine is) might provide some language that makes more sense to her for discussing these sensitive and deeply personal subjects. I hope it encourages you to know that your story IS touching other families. You have encouraged me today.

    Again, my thanks, Joy

  21. Linda,

    I just want to say that I stumbled across your story in The Huffington Post. It brought tears to my eyes. I read through many of the comments and was heartened by the kind ones and dismayed by the not so kind/judgmental ones. So often we think that we have the “right” answers and would never make the mistakes that we perceive others to be making. But that is simply not true. We are all so very less than perfect and this life is all about learning that.

    I am so sorry for the loss your beautiful son, Ryan. As a mother of two young children, I cannot imagine the pain you and your family must be experiencing. I want to thank you for your courage in sharing this pain with the world. You are offering comfort, grace, dignity, and inspiration to so many people; please never forget that. By allowing people to see the mistakes you made and the heartbreaking lessons you learned from this you are extending the gift and grace of Ryan’s life to everyone.

  22. I found your story on Huffington Post and it moved me to tears. I have shared it with others. We have a mentally and physically handicapped son who was denied oxygen just before he was born, and at times it is difficult to be in public with an adult son with cerebral palsy. We are also blessed with another son who has taught us to accept all types of diversity, including his friends from college who are gay, straight, Black, Asian, Hispanic, non-resident immigrants — just loving people! It is my wish that your story encourages more tolerance overall in our society and to focus on the true meaning of LOVE through the perspective of Jesus.

  23. You are very brave to post these deeply personal stories. I admire you for having such courage. Thank you for sharing yourselves with so many people. I can’t blame you for not approving messages that are harmful or cruel. If you’re trying to create a safe space for yourself and for the many parents in your situation not to mention LGBTQA people themselves, then you have to have a sort of “gatekeeper” routine. There are many people out there who will personify their own struggles, anger, and pain in you and your husband, and please know that those attacks are not upon you personally. They don’t know *you.* All they know is the story you’re telling, and that story may resonate in others in ways that are sometimes not going to be pleasant.

    I wish you had gotten to see your son’s wedding. So many previously marginalized and dehumanized people are starting to get those rights and I could not be happier. More weddings means more love, more commitment, and stronger marriage, not the reverse! Next time I plant flowers I will make sure some orange ones get into the garden, in memory of Ryan. Thank you again for such a touching blog. Best wishes as you work through this pain.

    • Captain…you are amazing. I love what you said, “More weddings means more love, more commitment, and stronger marriage, not the reverse!” And thank you SO MUCH for the orange flowers!!!!

  24. Linda,
    Amazing GRACE how sweet the sound…..GOD’s grace……you and your family are truly an inspiration to many walking in a different world from the one we knew….we have a beautiful daughter with two precious boys and we have two beautiful sons…. Our natural born son and a son given to us because he is our son’s partner…. We like many have learned through our walk….and many of our “Christian” friends have had “advise” or either shunned us or just gossiped behind our backs….but then those that truly love us do just that…love us. It has not been easy, but then nothing worth learning really is. I have many experiences I could share but this is the one I chose…. I will not forget the night my son called and said, “Mom, I don’t want you to do anything I just want you to be there when I have our marriage ceremony”. The very first thing the Holy Spirt said to me was…”Ok Sister, you talk the talk, but are YOU going to walk the walk”? Bought plane tickets and we were there on the front row because we do love him and his partner….just because they breathe…..Oh my….isn’t that just how my God loves me…..

    • Karen…THIS comment has got to be one of my all-time favorites!! We will keep it FOREVER. You so illustrated how God has spoken to us…so clearly and so personally…to love our kids like HE loves us. AMAZING GRACE!! AMEN!!

  25. thank you. a whole lot more. nothing less. I’m printing out some of your pages and going to share them with my family.

  26. I just wanted to thank you for what you are doing here on your blog. Opening up a dialog about one of the most difficult things — getting your religion to line up with a gay son’s lifestyle — is truly incredible and I respect you for celebrating your son so much. You are truly gracing the world and respecting Ryan’s life by opening up such a vulnerable, honest dialog about parenting a gay son. As a lesbian who knows many LGBTQ folks that have died or been harmed by their sexuality, I believe that you, a straight person that has found a strong voice to back up LGBTQ folks, have the most important voice in this world. You have created great change through this blog! Thank you!!

  27. I obviously don’t share your theological approach on how to live a life of goodness, but you clearly are my kind of Christian, as you have sorted through the idiocies of the Christian dogmas to have reached the Truths (with a capital T) of living. Personally, I know that one can reach those identical truths without involving all the clutter of Christianity; however, for those who prefer the structure of the religious domain in their lives, it is possible to reach these truly enlightened positions as you have, provided one uses one’s God-given brains and ignores the stupid bigots, whatever their titles might be. A truly wonderful set of words you have written.

  28. This was amazing. My son came out to me about 17 years ago and to read the day of your marriage made me to leave you this comment. I love my son unconditional as you did ryan and my son and his partner of 16 years after they have bought a beautiful home, and their careers are stable they are marrying Saturday October 22nd. I had to say i love how you feel and i too could never ever turn my son away his partner is amazing and we love him too. Im happy they both found each other and the love they have for each other is so wonderful. Sometimes people need to sit back and realize people only want to be happy, loved, and understood. I hope you have a wonderful day and thank you for sharing your story. Christie

  29. This article was touching. My gay daughter just married her girlfriend. I attended their wedding because I believe in unconditional love. I gave them a bridal shower and a weekend getaway for a wedding gift.
    My ex husband refused to come and my other family sister and brother refused. They also didn’t send gifts.
    Needless to say my daughter was hurt. Where’s Christ in this rejection ?

  30. How much must I hate someone to not share God’s Truth, try to detour them from Hell, and direct them to the Savior/Prince of Peace? True Love wants what’s best for the other person; continuing in a sin is never best for a person.

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