About Me

First: About This Blog

This blog was created to tell the story…our story…of how God taught us, conservative, evangelical parents, how to TRULY love our gay son. The original Just Because He Breathes piece was written in December 2012 at the request of a small group of LGBT students at a conservative Christian university…it was never intended for a larger audience, but that is what happened.

That said – Back to About Me

I love people.

I feel extremely passionate about justice & equality for all people, because all people are children of God, created in His image.

I feel most at home spending time with other people who are messy and broken like me. I feel passionate about speaking up for the voiceless and advocating for those who are most vulnerable.

I think that it is easy to judge others until you face a situation yourself…I want to be very cautious about this in my own life. Analyzing, and blogging about, other peoples’ lives, has become a spectator sport…and I don’t want to play.

I like to have friends with people who are different than me. They challenge me and stretch my thinking. They teach me about experiences, perspectives & histories that I wouldn’t be aware of if I only spent time with people just like me. I value and respect the differing opinions of others.

I want to continually allow God to change me…making me aware of the areas in my life where I need to allow Him inside to do renovation work. I never want to stop learning. If I ever do, please, someone, hit me upside the head.

I am the blessed mom of four adult children. I truly loved the years we spent as busy parents of four children born within 5 years and just a couple of months…those were probably the most delightful, busy, challenging, rewarding and least boring years of our lives.

I am overwhelmed with gratitude that my best friend, lover, soul mate and husband walks the journey of this life with me, and makes every day of these empty-nest years more fun than the last. Rob, I love you..I love you…I love you. Each day I am amazed at how I seem to only love and appreciate you more.

June 2013


 

 

392 thoughts on “About Me

  1. PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS

    Linda, I want to express my sorrow at your loss. While you may think me to be cruel, you must take some of the blame for your son’s terrible end to his life. Far too many “parents” place the words in a book written thousands of years ago above what is supposed to be unconditional, that is the love of a parent and their child. “Good Christians” cherry pick obscure passages from the bible to justify hatred and bigotry towards Gays. Your son was intelligent and at 12 years old put forth a very convincing argument that he was born Gay and there was nothing he could do about it. Let me ask you Linda, were you a virgin on your wedding night? If you were not why did not your husband kill you? Do any of the Mothers in your family wear jewelry? Then why have not they too been killed? Do you have any other kids? Did they talk back to you? Virtually every teen has and for that they too should be killed. All are dictated in the bible. And do you know just what Jesus said about Gays???? ABSOLUTLY NOTHING!

    I am trying so hard not to be harsh on you. But the sad tragedy of what happened to your son happens each and every day in this country. It is sick, twisted, and disgusting. I feel for your loss but the thousands of Gay kids thrown out of their homes, neglected, abused, and killed in the name of religion is something I can no longer stomach…………………………….

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Plays Well With Others…I agree with you. We do own a share of the blame. We didn’t directly cause his death – drugs did that. But we played a HUGE role in the reason he turned to drugs, so indirectly, we carry a lot of responsibility. We are more aware of that than anyone else will EVER know.
      And I couldn’t agree more with your criticisms about “cherry picking” from the Bible…(see http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/literalist-gluttony). And I share your intense sorrow for what is happening, all over this country, to LGBTQ teens. It is WHY we are sharing our story.
      P.S. I WAS a virgin on my wedding night. So was my husband. But that doesn’t earn us any spiritual “points” with God. But it sure been a blessing and helped make for 30 years of great married sex.

      Reply
      1. Five Zero

        Linda, thanks for your response. Again I apologize if I was hard on you but this was the first chance I had to send a message directley to Parents who had a Gay kid who met such a tragic fate. In retrospect I should have put the pause on my fingers as they were in rapid fire mode. I just can not figure for the life of me how any family could chose the cold words written thousands of years and decide to abide by them and cast out their own flesh and blood.  I applaud what you are doing and hope that other parents see what insane harm they are inflicting on their flesh and blood……..

        In many cases I defer to the following quote:

        “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians, they act very un-Christ like”

        M.Ghandi

        Reply
      2. Criselda Marquez

        Just saw this quote and wanted to share. It is a message I hope that will give you comfort one day so that you do not feel you have to carry such guilt over your initial response to Ryan. It is what I shared with Rob as well. I pray you will one day see it the way I do and find peace.

        Don’t expect people to be perfect. If you’ll put yourself in their shoes, you’ll find they did the best they could with what they had.
        —Joel Osteen

        Reply
      3. Ruby Ruiz

        Dear Mrs. Robertson,

        I hope one day soon you read what I have to say. My heart goes out to you and your family. The awful loss you faced, there are no words to express such sorrow and my understanding. Therefore, I want to share a little bit about myself. My name is Ruby and I was raised a Christian and decided to follow Christ on my own. In fact, I rededicated my life to the Lord when I was 18, I am now 20, and still attend Calvary Chapel Downey. My testimony is that I am victim of molestation. The story alone is lengthy, but my point in sharing is this simple fact of forgiveness. When I became a teen and became more aware of what happened to me as a little a girl due to a sex education class in High School, I learned to hate myself and him for doing what he did to me. I was disgusted with myself for having sexual desires because of it, I couldn’t comprehend how I could…I wanted to commit suicide, because I couldn’t forget. I couldn’t erase what I knew. Yet, miraculously through my testimonial essay at age 17; it became my redemption along with his. It brought me through refiner’s fire. And taught me true forgiveness. I forgave him, and I forgave myself for the mess I became because of what happened. Having this taste of forgiveness, also helped me when I failed to be a Light to my friend who became my enemy. I learned a painful lesson at age 18. I witnessed Galatians 6:8 in action. He who sows to the flesh reaps destruction and to the Spirit eternal life. To be clearer, I had a “friends with benefits” friendship with this person, and I realized too late how compromising that was and how it was effecting my relationship with Jesus Christ. I realized too late because once I saw the Truth, and tried to save my friendship, it was too late, he wanted nothing to do with me. I tried everything to reach him and failed. Now I just pray for him. Ironically, yet not surprisingly, that hurt more than being a victim of molestation because I failed, I misrepresented Christ and put Him second in my life while having this compromising friendship.

        But worse of all, I no longer know how he’s doing, nor where his soul is heading. Yet I hang on to 2 Peter 3:9 that says God desires no one to perish but for them to come to repentance. There are times where I still struggle to forgive myself, he’s partially to blame, yet compared to my better understanding of Christianity, I’m more at fault. Nevertheless, my point, to me it seems you shed tears still for what has happened…it’s ok if you can’t forgive yourself, because God already forgave you, we simply just have to stand in that Truth. God doesn’t want us to be a dweller, or crier lol but a praying warrior for the lost souls.

        Lastly, and more importantly don’t be fooled, remember what it says in Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9. Do you not know that the unrighteous and the wrongdoers will not inherit or have any share in the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived (misled): neither the impure and immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor those who participate in homosexuality… We can not sugar coat the Word of God it is so deceitful. Pray to God for understanding. We must preach the Truth! There are those with testimonies of being delivered from Homosexuality. Just like people who were addicted to pornography, drugs, and sexually active outside of marriage. All delivered. Sin is sin. God is powerful and we have the choice whether to believe it or not, to die to ourselves (Matthew 16:24), pick up our crosses and follow Him. If following Christ was easy, we would never grow, And because it isn’t people will always try to find loopholes to follow Him, and be able to stay in their sin, but it’s simply not possible for you can only love one Master and hate the other (Matthew 6;24). Just like my compromising life had to come to an end. God is a jealous God. Please re-evaluate what you’re doing, what you’re preaching…the message you’re delivering…is so deceitful. It breaks my heart. Here’s a reference book I encourage you to look into THE GAY GOSPEL? BY JOE DALLAS.

        With much love and care, a sister-in-Christ, Ruby

        Reply
        1. Linda Robertson Post author

          Ruby, bless you, and thank you for so vulnerably sharing your own story. Thank you for caring about me, and my own walk with Christ.
          I know Joe Dallas’ book well for we read it back in 2006 after hearing him speak. Though many of his criticisms were correct at the time, they are no longer accurate. If you are really interested in this topic, please read Matthew Vine’s new book, God and the Gay Christian (it comes out in May and is available for pre-order now) or the more lengthy Bible, Gender, Sexuality by James V. Brownson. They will both help you to understand how millions of Christians who love the Word of God, and more importantly, who are trusting in Jesus Christ, can now, with complete peace, fully affirm and support long-term, committed, monogamous same-sex relationships.
          I am so thankful that God has given you such a thoughtful, passionate heart; I pray that He will continue to draw you to Himself, as He has done so faithfully with me.

      4. Concerned, worried and scared mom

        Linda,
        Thank you for sharing your story. My teenage son just came out to our family and I am so very frightened of making mistakes. I also have showered him with the I LOVE you no matter what conversations, but I feel him pulling away from me. I know I have already said the wrong things. I wish so badly that I could dialogue with you privately because I am scared. Are there any books or any suggestions that you may have for me?

        Reply
      5. Anonymous

        Linda,
        Thank you for opening your wounds – to shed your own blood – to use your scars as a bridge to help heal my pain and others like me.
        There is no greater Love.
        I feel as if this was a message my parents would have written to me now that they are in Heaven and know the truth of Love of Jesus and
        love for their child. I am 52 yrs old now but this article opened up some wounds …scars that buried deep pain of self loathing and grief. May I one day have the courage as you do – to share our grief and regrets to help build bridges. You have honored your son Ryan by sharing your
        deepest pain to help others. Thank you.

        Reply
        1. Linda Robertson Post author

          Ahhh…thank you for joining me in loving those lyrics…they have so much meaning for me.
          I think you are right…clearly, your parents know now what it has taken so many of us so long to learn…that God isn’t up there wringing His hands about whether we love a man or a woman…but that He simply wants us to love Him and to love others the same way.
          Your message is a gift to me…praying that you will have the courage, when the time is right.

    2. misty

      We are, all of us, making our best choices, failing and succeeding to varying degrees, absorbing the consequences and starting again. It takes vastly different lengths of times to traverse the cycle. Compassion eases the journey. We cultivate the illusion of safety by believing our choices have avoided whatever pitfall, heartbreak, or crime our fellow human being finds themselves in. I believe, rather, it is merely luck, or the grace of God, whichever you are more comfortable with.

      I wish you comfort and ease in your anger and judgment. I hear your pain at the injustice so many suffer. Hurting others does nothing to change our inhumanity.

      Reply
    3. Diego Alfonso Escobar-Garcia

      Linda,

      I don’t think you did something wrong. Talking to my parents has always assured me that everything they have done in life is so that my siblings and I have a better life. I think you did exactly that, look for the best for your family 🙂 I found the story of your son by mere chance, and found it very instructive and moving. I recently came out, perhaps not in the “best” way, but I am glad that I feel amazing when I say I like men. I still have to sit down with my parents and really talk about this, just so that they don’t freak out when I take a boyfriend to the doorstep. I have to admit it will be a daunting day for me too. I would like to thank you because it is stories like this that really make us see how precious life is, and that I am glad that I am out and proud of what I have done, which has nothing to do with my sexuality, but my drive and desire to do something more to make this a more peaceful world. I hope that one day I will be a lovely father and husband, and that my boyfriend and I can care for our family, just as much as you do for yours. I rarely ask for this, since I am agnostic, but please keep me on your prayers. I am about to graduate college and I know life outside will be though, and I hope I can be as brave as you and your family are facing the world. 🙂

      Sincerely,
      Diego

      Reply
    4. Patricia

      Mrs. Robertson,
      First and foremost I am so sorry for the loss of your son Ryan. I lost my son as we knew him at 33 yrs old. What we feel was a medical error. We lived in the hospital for 22 months,almost 2 years. Brain damage and we had to make the decision to let him go. I understand the pain very well of losing a child. The pain never goes away. No one has the right to come out and tell you ,”You need to take some of the blame”. You loved your son, Ryan very much. You said what you felt needed to be said and as we all know, kid’s are going to do what they want to do, regardless what their parent’s think. I’m sure your son talk this out with his partner. How do you know what your son’s partner’s, parent’s thought about their relationship and maybe said to their son. You cannot beat yourself up. You said what you felt as a parent, your beliefs. Mrs. Robertson there are so many different believers in what the Bible says. I truly believe your son and his mate is in HEAVEN and in Peace. But you don’t let anyone say harsh thing to you that you should take any blame for your son’s and his partner’s death. They both had to talk about what they were going to do.
      I go to the Family Christian Store. Everyone knows me there and I have spoken to them about my son. My son was cremated. People say he didn’t make it to Heaven since he was cremated. I ask one of the salesman what he thought. He said,” Pat, come here for a moment. Have you ever heard of Randy Alcorn.” I said, No. He show me the Book “HEAVEN ” by Randy Alcorn and open the book and I purchased it. Eager to get home to read it, I can’t tell you mentally what it did for me. Since then I have gone back and bought a total of 4 more books and given to family and friends.
      I believe in God. I’ve never been Baptistized. But God is in my life every single day, I read the Bible and I can truly tell you I believe your son is in a happy place. As parents when your child comes to tell you something, you listen. Ryan needed for you to know this. It’s easy for people to make judgement and not know why he turn to drugs, what did Ryan’s partner’s parents have to say? Mrs. Robinson my prayer’s are with you. I do know what it is like to lose a son, and not a day goes by a cry for my son. We did everything together and our family was very close. No parent should have to bury their child. It’s a pain that never goes away. Had I been with him, since I was in the medical field, maybe my son would be here today.
      But due to my health my husband wanted me to stay home so he could focus on our son. I carry that guilt every single day. So many questions unanswered.
      Your family will be in my prayer’s, May God Bless your family, please check out that book, as it help me so much.
      Patricia

      Reply
      1. Linda Robertson Post author

        Patricia…I am SO sorry to hear that you, too lost a precious son…my heart goes out to you, my friend. It will be such a wonderful day when we are reunited with our boys! (thanks for the book recommendation!)

        Reply
  2. Mom484

    What a wonderful dialogue to read and to see the rapid trigger finger responded to with immediate forgiveness is miraculous.

    Reply
  3. Ann

    I was drawn to your site after a friend posted “Just Because He Breathes: Learning to Truly Love Our Gay Son” on Facebook earlier today, and I have found that I haven’t been able to tear myself away for hours now. As a mother of 5, my heart goes out to you and breaks for your loss. While I do understand that you feel you are deserving, at least in part, of some of the blame regarding Ryan’s death, rest assured that I don’t believe that is at all the case. I was raised as a Christian, though definitely not an evangelical (think more of a watered down Norwegian lutheran), and to be honest, I have never been very religious, so I don’t really understand your initial reaction to Ryan’s homosexuality. By that I don’t mean to single you out or condemn you … I have simply never understood why anyone would have an issue with someone’s sexuality based on what they “think” God feels. However, what is important is that you and your husband didn’t let it end there … you DIDN’T give up on Ryan. You both had the courage to grapple with your own beliefs and help Ryan find a way back to a renewed, loving relationship with you. Yes, it is heartbreaking that in the meantime Ryan was led down a path that would eventually take his life, but I’m confident, in reading everything I have so far, that he knew your love, and in turn loved and forgave you for the past.

    While Ryan’s death is tragic, I’m so inspired by how you and your husband have ensured that it will not be in vain. I loved in one of your blog posts you quoted one of my very favorites … “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” It’s one I quote frequently when I am asked why I am so fiercely vocal about gay rights, as I don’t have any gay family members. You are living Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s words, and you are a blessing. I would guess that the number of lives you have and will continue to impact will be immeasurable.

    Blessings to you and Rob, and your family.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Ann…bless you for pointing out some of the good we did do…we still have a lot of remorse, sorrow and regrets…but we are grieving those, with God’s help. It is so encouraging to know that people like you are speaking up for our LGBTQ kids! It is people like you who will change the world!

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    My son came out to me 2 years ago that he wanted to be a girl. And has been living his life as a woman. And is having SRS surgery this May. We never saw it coming. My first stop was to my pastor, who said “We are not here to judge; we are here to love. Go love your child.” And that is what I have done, amidst the pain and never-ending river of tears. Those words have been my strength. Linda, you too, are strong and it’s lovely to see you using that strength to help others. Jesus is proud of you!

    Reply
  5. Norma140

    2013,was a year of tremendous sorrow for me. I am a single mom with 4 children
    (6 years apart) I have been on my own with them for the last 7 years. In feb my youngest daughter came to me and told me she was bi, I was literally speechless, she went and stayed with my eldest daughter to give me time to process this information. She was gone for 3 months, with me having little to no contact with her. I didn’t know what to say. I loved her,BUT! I am from a conservative christian background but could not reconcile what I was hearing with what the bible teaches. I left the church, I already felt shame as a divorcee even t hough I stayed in a physically and emotionally abusive relationship for 20 years and left when my ex assaulted my son and landed in jail.
    March I found out that my eldest daughter was a lesbian. Her room mate was actually her partner. Needless to say I was feeling completely overwhelmed and did not know where to turn. My youngest was living with her now and my relationship with both of my daughters was poor. I prayed, I read, I cried, I loved my daughters dearly, I am not homophobic, I have gay friends, I just didn’t want this for my daughters.
    I went on line to christian sites where christian parents were struggling with their children coming out, I realized I wasn’t the only parent that felt like this, I also found that the comments from people chastising these parents for pouring out their pain devastating and judgemental.
    I went to desert hope in april. Janelle hallman was phenomenal. It was a retreat for mothers with lesbian daughters, faith based. The gist of the weekend was to love our kids unconditionally and to give this all over to God. He loves them more than we can ever.
    Here it is a year later and while the wounds are trill pretty fresh, I have a relationship with all my kids again. We spend time together and I have learned that their sexuality is a very small part of who they are. They are still the amazing girls that they always were. I have a long way to go on this journey and appreciate the pain and grief that you shared on this blog. It is a very difficult journey and am saddened that you lost your son

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Norma…so glad to hear you found encouragement and support! If you ever desire to join a private, online group of moms who love Jesus and who are also committed to loving and supporting their gay children, please friend me on FaceBook and let me know! We have a wonderful group of women who are 100% committed to Christ, as well as to their kids. Much love to you!

      Reply
  6. Alyssa

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! As a bisexual Christian teenager, I’ve spent a lot of time agonizing over how to reconcile my sexuality with my faith. I’ve been filled with doubt and anger and have pulled farther and farther away from God. But he was listening all this time, and coming across your story was an answer to prayer. I finally feel at peace. Your story was exactly what I needed and I am so grateful for your courage in sharing it. My prayers are with you and your family.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Alyssa, praise God – I love hearing how He works, and how He PROVES that He loves us! If you haven’t read Justin Lee’s book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate, order it ASAP…it will be a HUGE encouragement to you!! Much love to you, Alyssa! Keep in touch!

      Reply
  7. Betsy

    Linda,
    I just saw your video when you were in Seattle.wow. Our 18 year old son, well he didn’t come out to us. He left his Facebook open, and I looked and saw he had confessed to two friends he had felt this way the past 4 months. This was in June of 2013. My husband and I lovingly confronted him and asked him about it- and confessed to snooping. Our 18 year son is an awesome kid. He was shocked but I know he saw our unconditional love. It has not been easy, especially not knowing if my husband and I were doing the right thing, saying the right thing. We are Christians and raised our 3 kids that way. We have been married 33 years 🙂 He is out at college and just recently was arrested for pot and spent the night in jail. He had for the first time, hung around a bad crowd and was smoking cigarettes and pot. To ease pain. He has since moved out of the dorm and at home, still in college. He said the temptations at college with drugs was too much for him right now. He has asked us do we think homosexuality is a sin. We are stumped as to how to answer that. We know what the bible says. But we want to know, how do you answer that. He told us recently, ” you just want me to be straight” . My husband and I said, no, we want you to love God and be a Christian and that is our prayer. He said what would we do if he had a BF, we said , ” we would love him and his BF” . This is new territory for us. We have been through all the feeling, “what did we do wrong?” But realized that we have so much room to grow in expanding our love to others and Christ’s love. Personally how do you say one is a Christian and is still living a gay lifestyle? I truly want to understand. My husband and I love our son and just want to do the right thing. Thank you and God bless you for you and your husbands openness. It has sparked hope in our hearts. Much love and hugs

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Betsy…your open spirit is BEAUTIFUL. So beautiful! I cannot encourage you strongly enough to get online and order Justin Lee’s book, Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate. It will help you understand how your son can walk with Jesus as a gay man, rather than having to choose between his faith and his sexuality. That is a great place to start…but if you’d like, you can also join our private FaceBook group of Christian moms who want to fully love and support our LGBTQ kids…they’ve all asked the questions you are asking. If you’re interested, friend me on Facebook (Linda Mueller Robertson), and we’ll get you added to the group. It is an amazing group of women who have SO much wisdom and love to share…and they all love the Lord. Betsy, I look forward to getting to know you better and walking this journey with you!

      Reply
      1. Sara

        Yes! i cried the day i found Justin Lee’s Web site! i got the book and ate it up! i am a mother and a woman of faith with a gay son. the hardest part of the journey was thinking that my son had lost his salvation. ALL I WANTED WAS HOPE! The Christian Gay Network was one of my first glimmers of HOPE!!

        Reply
  8. Travis Robinson

    Linda,
    I wanted to send you and your family some love from Arizona. I appreciate your openness as you shared your story. I was also at the 2006 Exodus Conference in Indiana, 2006, age 16. I pray that God continues to bless your family and surrounds you with his unconditional love. This topic is very near and dear to me. God is good!

    Your Brother in Christ,
    Travis Robinson

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Travis…Bless you! Did any of us meet in Indiana?? Ryan went to all the teen programming. I would love to hear more about YOUR story, Travis! Come to GCN next year in Portland! 🙂

      Reply
  9. Lisa

    I would like to join your group for moms of gay, lesbian, etc. I just can’t figure out where it is located. I searched Facebook. Can you possibly post a link? I would love to have another mom to speak with…it feels so lonely out here. Thank you

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Lisa…It is a completely private group, because all of the kids aren’t out. Friend me on Facebook (linda mueller robertson), send me a short message, and we’ll get you added!! It is an AMAZING group, and we’d LOVE to have you join us!!

      Reply
  10. Don Pengilly

    Hi Linda not sure where I found a link to ” just because he breaths” but having found it my life has completely changed as regard to the confusion about the gay issue, and I can completely understand your initial reaction to Ryan’s “coming out”. How easy it is to blame yourself, your not the first and certainly won’t be the last to react that way, Christian or not, my own dad spent many months searching his mind and asking friends with the question “where did I go wrong” blaming himself when I told him I was gay. I am 68 now. He doesn’t blame himself now and we have a good relationship. I myself am a born again Christian, gay and extremely happy, I have friends who have gay sons and I’m showing your video to them and will continue to use it here in the UK as part of my ministry that I feel God has given me in helping fellow gays and their parents, I hope soon to share it with my pastor. Keep up your amazing work, Ryan would be so proud of you, and one day he will tell you himself when we all meet up in heaven. Much love and in the name of Jesus
    Don x

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Don…What a gift to “meet” you, my brother in Christ from the UK! Bless you for your words, and even more, for YOUR ministry! Your LIFE alone is a ministry….you live out the truth that YES, you CAN be gay and love & follow Jesus Christ!

      Reply
  11. Mitzi

    Your article changed me. I have no gay children, as far as I know at this point, but reading your article moved me to a point where I know, I TRULY know, that I would be okay with one of them being gay. I am writing a freelance article, more of an opinion piece, and I would like to reference your story and provide a link to your website. Would it be ok for me to do that?

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Of course – we would be honored! And thank you for your words of encouragement – one of my prayers has been to reach young parents before their kids come out to them, so they don’t make the same mistakes that we did. Much love to you!

      Reply
  12. Courtney

    I don’t know if you will see this comment or not but I just want to tell you my heart hurts for you. My son age 15 just told me he is gay. I am having a very hard time with it. I have no support from anyone including my husband. I am lost.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Courtney….You are not alone…would you like to join our moms group? It is completely private…I will email you with details. Tomorrow is a full day for us, as it is the fifth anniversary of Ryan’s death…so in the meantime, find me on FaceBook (Linda Mueller Robertson). I am praying for you…I was SO there…where you are right now. TONS of love to you.

      Reply
  13. Wallace Barros

    Linda, i want to say that you are a wonderful human, do not hate or blame yourself endlessly. I read your story and i am truly touched by it, partly because I’m also a gay son, and my mother being a faithful christian, just like yourself, preaches me about denying me a sexual life so i can relate with your story. I think i came here to say that i pray you find peace in your heart and may god always watch over you.

    Reply
  14. Christi McCoy

    Wow. So thankful I found my way to your blog through Rage Against the Minivan. I can’t fathom your pain and I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for being strong and brave in sharing your story. I love your description of yourself – you verbalize so well how I feel. In the Deep South I am sad to say that the church (generally) has become an exclusive club and the very folks who need it most are not invited. I am proud to be associated with a new church that aims to change that. I have spent 20 years as a criminal defense attorney, so I, too, am most comfortable around the messy and broken. I believe we are ALL messy and broken – some just hide it well under the guise of that “perfect” Christian life. Quite frankly, I am grateful to be messy and broken on the outside as well as the inside. Much easier to just be who I am and not try to appear perfect.

    Again, as a Mother, a Christian and a broken and messy human, thank you for sharing. God is using you in powerful ways!

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Wow…what a huge encouragement, Christi! I have a strong feeling that God is using YOU in powerful ways, too…you must have opportunities every day to touch people who others would look down on with the love and grace and respect of Jesus!

      Reply
  15. Timothy Kurek

    Linda,

    I just began reading your blog and I am at a profound loss for words… For someone who has had to come to the same conclusions about God’s radical love for His lgbt children, I am both encouraged by your willingness to share your story and filled with sorrow for your devastating loss. I wrote a book called, The Cross in the Closet (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R6qIIvYEqs), and I would love to talk with you sometime if you’d be willing. If not, no worries. I understand you have your group to talk with about your son, but I just feel this Holy Spirit urge to know you and Rob and to let you know that I am a fellow survivor of the mindset, Gay or Jesus. If you’d ever like to talk I’d be honored. Also if you’d like to read the book, I’d be glad to get a copy to you. I love you guys, and I hope to hear from you.

    Sincerely,
    Timothy

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Timothy…I know a lot about your book…one of my gay Christian friends was reading it while I was reading Washed & Waiting…we were both trying to get through as many books as we could, so were reading and comparing notes! I am honored that you would read our story and reach out. I imagine you’ve had your own share of critics and hate mail! I don’t know if you are ever in Seattle, but we’d love to do coffee!

      Reply
  16. George hodgman

    Dear Linda Robertson: I have spent the morning reading much of what you have to say and have experienced after coming across the Huffington Post piece. My heart goes out to you and your family and I respect and admire your courage. I hope that you will one day be able to put some of your sadness behind you. I really think that what you are doing with your experience will have a positive impact on others and help many. I didn’t come out fully to my parents until I was forty years old. The silence changed my life. Now I am home again, after decades, caring for my mother who was dementia. I keep hoping that maybe she will finally take the opportunity to get to know who I really am, but this is not to be. I have written a memoir called Bettyville. I think you might like it and I would like to send it to you, if possible, if you could direct me in terms of an address. Thank you and I really wish you peace and consolation. You have my deep respect. Thank you for your current work. George Hodgman

    Reply
  17. blake love

    I read a slice of your family’s story on the Huffington Post. I wanted to take a moment and say something positive and kind to you, in light of the hate mail you received. I do hope you read this.

    In addressing the negative feedback you have received for sharing your story, I wanted to say that those people aren’t extending you the compassion and kindness I think is deserved. Do I think that you and your husband as parents were misguided in placing a schism between your sons sexuality and his spirituality? Yes. This is a fact you seem to affirm. However, I also understand that you were only humans, and erring as we are wont to do. I understand that you were misguided by your own beliefs and felt you knew what was best until you realized you didn’t. I am so overwhelmingly sorry for your loss. I know these words don’t amount to much. I also want to commend you for having the courage to change your stance and to love your son for who he was, and to commend you for taking this message of acceptance public so that perhaps other families won’t err in the way that yours did.

    I hope you can find some measure of peace in the world with the events that have transpired.

    Sincerely,

    Blake

    Reply
  18. Holly Tibbles

    Dear Linda, I wanted to say how deeply sorry I am for your loss. For years, I have grappled with my need for Jesus, and my absolute revulsion of Christianity, which I feel has hijacked the true message of Christ. I stopped going to church because the hate and judgement of others was so painfu. I could not condone it. I do not have a gay son, but I would love him unconditionally if I did. I am heartened to hear you sharing the message of your painful story; I believe you and Ryan will change hearts and minds. I really do. I respect your willingness to own some of the awful responsibility for your son’s tragic demise. It takes such courage. And, I want you to know that it has restored my hope in the possibility of a church where the true message of love and acceptance can reign again. God is using your story, keep following him. And to Ryan, I take small comfort that he is finally at peace and in the loving arms of his maker; he deserves that perfect love.I will pray for you, that you may know peace and truly accept into yourself our heavenly Father’s forgiveness. Do not forget: he gave his son, so that your sins may be forgiven. I can only imagine how proud Ryan is of you now.

    Reply
  19. twinsmom12

    Linda…I stumbled across your blog as I read the HuffPost piece about the reaction you have gotten from the LBGTQ community after sharing your journey. Firstly….I am so sorry – for both your loss and the experience you have had dealing with profound judgment from the people that often feel judged. I know about that judgment firsthand…because I am gay. I always have been, and it lead to a very long and winding path to find where I fit in and God’s role in my life. I can say that I know I am loved and I am saved by Christ and that God loves me just the way I am. I can also say that while my heart aches for this terrible lesson you have had to learn, I also know that both Ryan and God have forgiven you for any role you might have played in the events that led to your son’s passing. It baffles me to see people committing the very offense they would have you strung up for…and I don’t understand that. I know we as Christians are commanded to do two things…Love each other and don’t judge. How could I ever, as a gay woman and parent, judge you or your family for trying to do your very best? I can’t, and neither should anyone else. As a member of this select community, please let me say that it warms my heart to know that although the price was steep for you, there was something precious that came out of it…look how many people you are helping with your testimony. I have a partner that is facing the exact same situation…a very loving, Christian, conservative family that does not approve of her “lifestyle”. They would rather her be alone forever than be with someone that loves her unconditionally. I wish I knew the words to say to her when I tell her that they really do love her deep down, and they would find a way to get past it if she forced the issue…but I don’t really believe that. I don’t understand how any mother could ever disown or shun a child for something they cannot control. I know you understand exactly…and I hope to take some of the wisdom shared in your story and put it to work in my own life. I appreciate you sharing what has to be very difficult…over and over, each day. But if only one person has been affected and it makes it easier for us to love one another and be peaceful in that love, then you have accomplished a lifetime of work. I am at least one person that has been touched by words, and I thank you very deeply from the bottom of my heart.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Twinsmom12, I cried as I read your comment…Wish I could hug you. And your partner…she must be an amazing woman. I am so thankful that you are my sister in Christ…if you are ever in Seattle, coffee is on me.

      Reply
  20. Jose R

    Hi Linda,

    I’m very sorry about your loss. I can’t even imagine the horrible feeling of losing a child- specially not having yet my own-.

    I was raised catholic, 12 years all-boys Marist school in Guatemala City. My wife is an Irish girl from Brooklyn, both parents were raised catholic both converted to the baptist church so they raised my wife as a baptist.

    We both suffered the terrible teachings of an end of the world, the thought of people of different faiths (that included some of our friends) going to hell and the absolute repudiation of homosexuals. Unfortunately, this is by no means abnormal, even in the 21st century christian faith.

    The day my wife and I met, our background, religion or race didn’t really mattered to us, we fell in love and felt so passionately about one another because we were able to see each other as human beings. That’s it. How different it would have been for us to marry 50 or 60 years ago. We understand how lucky we are, we just hope everybody can feel free to love and marry who they love with no obstacles like the way we were able.

    What makes me sad, Linda, is the fact that you haven’t realized the factor that didn’t allowed you to love your son without any prejudice; and that would be religious dogma. If you are truly honest with yourself and specially honest whenever you read the bible, you will find that the judeo-christian tradition is about a revengeful, genocidal, mysogynistic, homophobic jealous deity. Your change of mind, as good and positive as it is, is absolutely a separation to the real moral values of the main monotheistic religions. Luckily, the western secular world (not only atheists and agnostics, but Christians as well, no doubt about that) forced Christianity to change, specially in the last three hundred years to become a more peaceful and tolerant religion that today is.

    Please pay attention not to what dogmatic belief you must alter or change, but to change the need of dogmatic belief at all, which once you see the world and atrocities that are committed, dogmatic belief, wether in its religious form or not, causes the biggest deal of pain and suffering around the world.

    Good luck in your quest for internal peace and your amazing task of advising other christian parents’ on how to love and understand their gay kids.

    All the best from Queens, NY

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Jose, thank you for your concern. Believe me, though, I have spent a lifetime – and especially the last five years – questioning religious dogma. The Jesus I follow now is not the one found in religion, but the one who actually lived…the one who was scandalous in his love and inclusion of the outcasts around him, the one reserved his harshest words for the religious of his day. Much love to you, Jose.

      Reply
  21. k

    Hello, No need to reply to this as I know you are so busy. I just want to say thank you for sharing so much, so openly, so vulnerably. I am so sorry for all the pain you have gone through. And I am sorry for the hateful words you have received recently. I am sorry we are all human and make mistakes and constantly hurt ourselves and others we love. We all do this. But souls like you bring love and light to teach us forgiveness, to share wisdom, to lead us to a higher path. Thank you. Bless you. May God continue to heal your heart and may your son continue to rest in God’s love, as I am sure he is.

    Reply
  22. Paul

    Dear Linda, As the father of two children I can’t fathom the loss of a child. I am so sorry for your loss. May you be kind to yourself and know that your speaking out so rawly will help others transform their views. My best to you.

    Paul

    Reply
  23. Eugene

    Hi Linda,
    I just read your new post on Huffington Post, and I’d like to offer my two cents if I may. I know you’ve written a lot and you’ve gotten a lot of response, so this may have been covered, so sorry if this is overkill. First, in a nutshell, I don’t think you’re reaching the right audience. You should be speaking directly and firmly to the homophobes who relate to your religious beliefs. In terms of background and beliefs, my mother is almost exactly like you. She loves the person she wants me to be, and thinks it’s okay to ignore what she doesn’t want to accept. That really doesn’t work for me, but we understand each other and keep a polite distance. She’s great with the usual cliches about loving the sinner and not the sin and not approving of the “lifestyle”. Whatever. Anyway, she and others like her are your target audience. The only way things are going to change is for she and you and the millions of others like you both to change. And it’s only from voices within your community like you that such messages will even be listened to. I understand your frustration with what you consider “hate” from the “left”, but we really aren’t your audience. We don’t need your explanation. We don’t need to know that you’re trying to reach out to other gay people with support and encouragement. We need to know that you are tackling this problem at the source and having success at it. The people that need your message are getting uglier every day, making it more likely that others like Ryan will have their lives destroyed. If you can have an impact on your fellow Christians, then you’ll have a champion in me. Thanks for listening.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Eugene, I couldn’t agree more. You, readers of Gay Voices, are NOT my audience. But each time they post one of my blogs, I get more letters from Christians moms whose kids have just come out to them. And THEY are. Still, we are praying for the chance to share our story with conservative Christians, the ones who are still being taught to reject their children. Thank you for being gracious, in spite of the fact that you are right, you don’t need our explanations.

      Reply
  24. devintaylor

    Linda,
    I read your original Just Because He Breathes blog awhile ago, and just came across “A letter to the people who hate us..” Firstly, I want to apologize for all of the hate you have received. I will never understand how some felt that was the appropriate response to you sharing your family’s story. In my opinion, it is quite obvious that you guys have felt and understood the consequence of your past actions. I do not believe you deserve to be punished. I do not believe in a punishing God. I believe in a God full of unconditional love and forgiveness. Your son would not want you to feel such pain and punishment. I can almost guarantee it. It takes a lot of courage to come out and put a story out there when we know we have messed up. But you did it, and you are helping people because of it.

    I came out to my mom in 7th grade. She was the first person I told. I grew up going to Catholic school. My mom had always shown me such openness and compassion, but I was still afraid. I was one of the lucky ones. I could not even say the words out loud. I texted her from across the room. She looked up and simply said, “Duh.” I was very blessed. I was already going through so much pain and didn’t like myself enough. Despite my moms love and acceptance, I turned to alcohol and other substances. It wasn’t my family. I had so much fear and so much doubt. I had all of the love and support in the world, and I still couldn’t handle me. By the grace of God, I found sobriety. I always like the saying, “My God led me to sobriety and my sobriety led me to God.” I am able to be a member of my family today. We are closer than ever. I do not know why I felt the need to message you and share my story tonight. I think part of it is that all of the support can be there, and sometimes things still happen.

    I think what you and your husband are doing is wonderful. I can’t imagine the pain you feel. I just want you to know you are in my thoughts and prayers. I appreciate your humility and honesty and just can not even imagine. Thank you.

    Reply
  25. Annie

    Dear Linda,
    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son; my prayers are with you, and your story is inspiring in uncountable ways.

    I, too, am a parent of a gay son. He is a wonderful young man, and I feel lucky to have had a relatively smooth connection with him throughout his coming out process. Although I always wanted to be accepting, loving, and non-judgmental of his sexual orientation, I had my concern as I didn’t want him to have a harder road to walk or to be in harm’s way.

    The part of my own process that has been so challenging is that my father had very “Christian” beliefs; he felt my son’s sexuality was an “abomination” and that I should do all that I could to “stop” him from being gay. The last conversation I had with my father led to yet another conflictual conversation. My father said his piece and I responded by saying that I was supportive of my son and that I was hurt and sorry he felt the way he did. I couldn’t believe he could choose his beliefs over loving my son/his grandson. My father died two weeks later (suddenly) and that argument turned out to be the last conversation we had. I never thought this would be our last conversation, nor do I think another conversation would have changed either of our minds or hearts…I just live with regret that we could’t find peace. And I guess I feel guilty because I wanted him to be more loving and realize the cost of his intolerance, yet I have just as much judgment about his point of view as he did about mine.

    Thank you for all that you do and for creating such an open forum for these conversations.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Wow, Annie…I can’t imagine how painful it must be to lose your dad before he was able to fully love his grandson, and support you as his daughter. Thank you for sharing…what a gift you must be to your son.

      Reply
  26. Jeff

    Hi Linda,
    I’m a gay man who came out later in life and read your story on Huffington Post with great interest today. I have to say I was taken aback by the extent of the anger directed toward you in the comments. It seems clear to me that you acknowledge the error of your ways and are now trying to do the right thing by preventing other parents from making the same mistake. It will never bring back your son and no one feels that pain more than you. But I hope you take comfort knowing that sharing your story with those who need to hear it can open eyes and save lives.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Thank you, Jeff…the families that have contacted me today, Christian parents whose kids have come out recently, make it ALL worth it. I have to think that Ryan would be glad to know that he taught us so very, very much. Much love to you, Jeff.

      Reply
  27. Cari

    I just want to say that I am so sorry that there are people who continue to lash out at you. I will never understand the need to denigrate another human being for trying to do the right thing, especially when they are trying to navigate through a grief as deep and profound as the one that your family has experienced. I admire your dedication and I can see the love that Jesus spoke of shining through in every word that you type. Thank you, for being willing to sacrifice your time and privacy in an effort to help others. It is a legacy that I’m sure your son would be beaming with pride over. Blessings and love to you.

    Reply
  28. Anonymous

    Linda, I came across this blog while browsing the web. First I would like to say that it is very curageous of you to share your experience. I am also terribly sorry for your loss. I know you are experiencing a significant amount of pain, sorrow and regret. Your prior views on homosexuality were understandably influenced by your strong religious views. Finding it within yourself to accept your sons sexual orientation was not easy since you were taught this as an abomination to God. I am happy for you that you have learned to accept and love others for who they are and have recognized that sexual orientation is just one small part of us. best of luck in your continued advocacy and god bless you and your family! All the best . Angela

    Reply
  29. Amy

    My heart aches for Ryan and for you and your husband. You are very brave to share your story with the world. My hope is that it will help change people’s hearts and bring us together as children of God. My prayers are with you and Ryan. Peace be with all of you.

    Reply
  30. Anonymous

    I am truly sorry for your loss. Unfortunately a blog of learning to love your “gay” son is offensive. You just love your son, gay, straight and in between. I can’t imagine turning my back on my child for something as simple as sexual orientation. May your God be more accepting.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      I am glad that you wouldn’t have struggled with that, and won’t. I wish that were true for more families, but I fear that it won’t be until we change the teaching that comes from our conservative churches. I wish you well.

      Reply
  31. robklint

    There is no reason for anyone to berate you OR to stand in God’s shoes and judge you. My family was much like yours. I could go into the whole sordid story and tell you how they yanked me out of college, refused to pay for my education, MADE me go to counseling at ORU’s City of Faith which did no good ( yes, this has been 30 years ago), and eventually disowned me, etc etc etc, but really, what good would it do? It happens to thousands of gay children whose parents come from an evangelical background. I can tell you that I didn’t turn to drugs or alcohol; I can also tell you that it’s not your fault that your son did. I did retain my faith. I was also fully aware that my parents believed what they did was right, but even now, I still wonder now if it was because of their love for me that they did it ( as they claimed), or because they were actually ashamed of me. Regardless, it happened. It caused a great schism that will NEVER be repaired. I can tell you that I told them when they did all of these things to me ( trust me, I have left out soooo much) that there would come a day when they would get old, and they would get sick, and that they would need me. THAT time has come. Keep in mind, that I hadn’t talked to them in DECADES. I had moved to a different state — largely because I was afraid that they’d actually commit me, as they’d threatened many times. ( I was and am a hardworking individual who has never broken the law or taken any illegal drugs. The only reason they wanted to have me committed was because I was gay. I have no psychological problems). Somehow they found me when one ( they are divorced now because my mother had an affair — caused she said because I was gay and she was mad at God and in rebellion) got cirrhosis of the liver and one got lung cancer. I was nice. I listened, but I did not run to their side. I stayed where I am. I never expected an apology from them, and I never got one. I did get snide remarks about my partner of 21 years — whom they’ve never met. I didn’t cry for them, and I didn’t pray for them. You see, feelings die after awhile, and in my mind, they stopped being my parents when they rejected me. I mourned for them 30 years ago. Now, they are just someone who I used to know that did some very bad things to me…but I still believe it wasn’t their fault, and it wasn’t my fault. They did what their pastor told them to do, and what many godly people ( who had known me my entire life) had told them to do. They tried to find answers in Scripture, and at one point my mother was praying “for the destruction of my flesh so that my spirit could be saved.” I was really a decent person; I just fell in love with the guy at the McDonald’s drive-thru ( seriously, I met my BF at the time when he was working at the pick-up window at McD’s and I was a customer. I thought he was cute and circled around and asked for more ketchup, and things blossomed from there)…..Anyway, my point is this: you honestly did what you thought was right. Your son KNEW that. He could also sense your motivation. Was it from love? Was it from shame? You know and he knew, too…or maybe he wondered about it like I still do. Many gay people are very hateful toward the church BECAUSE the church was hateful to them, first. Everyone — especially the church — forgets that Christ COMMANDED us to love our neighbors as ourselves. I am grieved because people — who are much like me, but I sincerely doubt the things that happened to me ever happened to a single one of them — are saying vile things to you. God taught you what you needed to know, and I am sure that your pain is everlasting. Thank you for sharing your story and for having enough guts to admit that you were wrong, and for admitting that your mind has changed.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Thank you, robklint…like so many who have commented, I am astounded by your grace and lack of bitterness even after all you went through. Thank you for reminding us of what Christ commanded…I can never hear that enough.

      Reply
  32. Adriana

    Hi Linda, first of all… my heart goes to you and your family. I can’t imagine how a life without a child must feel like. But finding comfort in Jesus is always a great idea. I stumbled upon your story by chance and I have been so touched by it I had to say something back. I’m not a mother or gay… but I’m Christian and human, so I believe there is something in here for me. Thank you for sharing such a private and strong story. It is inspiring to read stories from people you otherwise would have known nothing about. Stories so intimate and so powerful, that in the end lets me believe our world can change as long as we have faith. As a daughter I want to let you know that we understand that our parents do what they consider is best for us. It might not be the best approach, they might not have the best knowledge, but your interest in our wellbeing is genuine and we never doubt it. I can only wish you the best for you and your family.

    Thank you 🙂

    Adriana

    Reply
  33. Suzanne

    Linda, I am a mother of two 3 yr old twins. I feel awful that you are living without your son. What you did was obviously a direct reaction to your religious upbringing. It is not entirely your fault. My father is a devout Catholic, he is 85 years old. Thank God when I told him I was a lesbian 6 years ago, he was fine. I am lucky. I am sorry you had to learn a hard lesson, to love everyone equally and know that God loves us all, the hard way. I am ashamed of religion when it shows hate. Somehow I continue to believe in the grace of God, even when “religious” folks with evil signs at the Pride parades tell me I am going to hell. They just make me chuckle. I know I am going to heaven. 🙂
    Suzanne

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Suzanne, you just made ME smile! What a gift to still believe in the grace of God, even when religion has failed us. Much love to you, Suzanne! Enjoy those two 3 year olds…what a gift you must be to them.

      Reply
  34. Shell

    Hi Linda –

    I just read your recent article in Huffington Post, and then followed the link to the original story about your family and now to your website. You and I have a lot in common. First of all let me say that I offer you only love and acceptance and empathy. No criticism or judgement. My husband and I know what it’s like to be judged and condemned as parents of a gay child.

    We have a gay son who is still with us, thankfully, and was recently married to a wonderful young man. This year they both turn 30. We also raised our son in an evangelical church in a conservative state. He grew up feeling that something was wrong with him and didn’t feel like he could share it with anyone. He finally “came to terms with who he really is” when he was 25 and first told his brother and a supportive group of friends and a few months later told us. My husband and I were able to immediately accept and truly love him and I am so thankful for the grace to do that. The past five years have been an interesting journey to say the least. But all along our family of four has stayed close and grown stronger in the face of religious prejudice. The unconditional love and acceptance we have for our son has been the foundation that has held us together through difficulties.

    For us the most difficult thing that we are STILL dealing with today, is the treatment from other people – especially our “loving” extended family, our Christian friends, and even some friends who strangely thought it was “okay” that we had a gay son but then somehow drew a line when he decided to get married with a big wedding. I couldn’t imagine what layers of hurt and heartache we would go through. Losing relationships with others has been the most heart-wrenching. But we will always choose our son and our family over winning the favor of our Christian family and friends with their self-righteous demands. We are at peace with our choices and our family. Thankfully, we have found a welcoming and accepting Episcopal church to be a part of now. All is not perfect in our world, but we know what we stand for and that is love.

    Everyday that you write or speak to advocate for gay teens, you have loved and honored your son. So let yourself feel his embrace every time.

    Blessings,
    Shell

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Bless you, Shell…So thankful that you have found a loving church family, even when your own isn’t as loving (I SO get that). I would love for you to join our private group of Christian moms with LGBTQ children on FaceBook…I think you would find it really encouraging. Find me on FaceBook (Linda Mueller Robertson) so I can tell you more about it, if you are interested. ❤

      Reply
  35. Justin Maxwell

    A teaching moment:

    Linda, hello. I wanted to email you, because this would perhaps mean more if it was a private communication. But I couldn’t easily find an address, so this comes to you here. Perhaps I’m going to be arrogant in what I say – I hope not; it comes from the heart…

    Your letter, and with it the link to your article including the chat dialog with your son, popped up in my news feed, and it touched me deeply. I was in turns sad, angry, bewildered, saddened again, thoughtful, and was left feeling I wanted to reach out, compassionate perhaps.

    I get the impression you are a ‘good person’, I wouldn’t bother otherwise. But I was struck by your failure to realise quite why you received the vitriol you have over the past short while. There is an irony here: The line “sorry is the hardest word” may be a cliche, but it is also a deep truth – a truth that ties in closely with the concept of repentance and forgiveness – two themes that are very close to your religion.

    Reading the earlier piece, it struck me deeply that you never said you were sorry. Sorry to your son of course first, but sorry also to the people he might have loved, and who might have loved him, for your part in preventing that love from ever being; sorry to any friends of your family, who may have been encouraged in their following of the dark path by your choice to head down it yourself; sorry for any consequences of that; sorry to all of us out here that feel real pain on hearing of your choices and actions, and on it goes.

    You express remorse – if you read that article and letter again, you might find as I did that, despite everything, too often your remorse is expressed in connection with the pain you feel. That is not repentance, and that cannot bring forgiveness. In your letter, filled with self-loathing (is that too strong? I am not sure) where is the path to forgiveness? You don’t ask for it, you ask only for understanding, tolerance, acknowledgement.

    But then, to be forgiven, you first have to be seen to be sorrowful, to be sorry.

    You have such pain to bear, you do not deserve hate piled on top, whether you feel you do or not. But you have to first be sorry. Deeply sorry, so sorry that nothing can stop you from crying out to God and the world how sorry you are. To your son, and to all that he might have touched, had he lived. But something is stopping you – you need to work that out and overcome it, because you do not deserve to be hated. You were evil once, you are not evil now. Please excuse this ex-atheist (the only one I know) for pointing out that somehow, you have managed to preserve what you present as the same belief in the same God as the very essence and source of your prior evil-doing, and your present endeavours to atone for that.

    I can’t accept that the God you professed belief and justification back in then can be the same God you profess belief in now – maybe there is some way through that maze, and I rhetorically wonder what your thoughts are on that.

    I don’t comprehend the God I believe in whatsoever, and I certainly can’t look to any human, let alone myself, to simplify the task. But I do believe in teachings – and in this case, Jesus’ teachings on acceptance and forgiveness seem to me to be a fundamental truth. But, I said above, forgiveness follows repentance – and carrying a cross; seeking to undo as far as is impossibly possible the impact of your earlier evil, is not repentance. Scream how sorry you are to your son, to the world that cannot exist without your son alive, to anyone and everyone who is in anyway hurt by your deeds. And then, only then, can you forgive yourself – and after that, you will know how best to go forward.

    As a thought experiment – think of a parent reading your article about your son’s coming out and death – a parent with whom you want your story to resonate hard. And then imagine what happens if throughout that story, you are expressing ‘SORRY RYAN!’ at the end of every paragraph. Please ponder that – it matters. I suspect you feel sorry, so very very sorry, but for some reason, you can’t put it out there.

    Perhaps God knows you are sorry, perhaps that is enough?? If you think so, then perhaps even still, your awareness of your God is incomplete; how could you possibly be sorry, ‘sufficiently’ sorry, if you do not take every opportunity you have to express it to God/The Universe/Me/You/Ryan/Life/Keyboard until YOU can forgive yourself.

    I am sure, you would not have received so much hatred, if the people who read your article thought you truly repented. I know for certain I wouldn’t be sat here typing this if I did.

    I am going to throw some quotes of yours back at you, and I truly honestly want you to reflect on them, and see if they can help you understand WHY.

    “We will live with intense sorrow over his death until our own deaths, and right now that sounds like a very, very long time.”

    “The tapestry of our grief is woven through with threads of remorse, regret and self-reproach.”

    “he pain of knowing how deeply we wronged Ryan and not being able to sit down across from him and ask for his forgiveness (as we did during the last 10 months of his life, and as we do now with our surviving kids when we wrong them) is agony beyond all attempt to describe it.”
    [You can yet ask forgiveness of his memory]

    “Lives are at stake.” [and much more]

    “God didn’t answer his prayer, 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.” [The God you believe in now, is a different God, regardless of whether you accept that as true]

    “and most importantly, Ryan began to think that if we could forgive him and love him, then maybe God could, too.” [The God you brought your son up to believe in, is not the God you believe in now. Which version should Ryan care about being forgiven by? being loved by? Why is that more important that Truth, Light, Love, Happiness – I don’t for one moment believe you think that happiness is ONLY possible through some very narrow and precise, but pliant, understanding of Grace]

    You have been given a mission – perhaps you may come to appreciate that part of that is to do what is necessary to find forgiveness for yourselves, from yourselves and from Ryan, before your time is also up – Jesus had a lot of insight going for him, regardless of whether one sees him as divine or just perhaps divinely inspired.

    On a separate final note, I want to mention that when I read this:

    “And a child who is told “I love you, but I do not love your sin” does not hear love. He does not learn to love himself or that God loves him. Ryan did not. None of the thousands of gay children who have written to me has heard love through those words. None.”

    … I thought that maybe you still feel that homosexuality is a sin? I still can’t comprehend your continued religious touchpoints with a failure to state so so clearly that you do not believe it is. Do you? Is it possible for that darkness to still occupy part of you? Let me be plain here: believing that homosexuality is in some way intrinsically sinful is evil, and that concept can not and does not come from God. This truth is self-evident with a moments enlightened consideration, and only practiced, indoctrinated, human-induced anti-them-ism can lead to a contrary belief. Many-times-translated Scripture is fallible, Truth is not, Light is not, Honesty is not, Forgiveness is not. Equally outward, and inward.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Justin,

      I appreciate the time you took to write me such a long letter. I don’t think anything I say will satisfy you, but I would like to respond with a few things.

      1. I did apologize to Ryan, while he was alive, for a whole bunch of things. Since his death, I have come to learn of many more things that I wish I could apologize to Ryan for now. I don’t ask forgiveness of his memory – that doesn’t really make sense to me. But I do know that both my husband and I said we were sorry many times, while Ryan was alive.

      2. I have also apologized, again, many times, to my gay brother, who I greatly wronged, for many different reasons, in this journey. He has forgiven me, and is one of my closest friends. Feel free to look him up on FaceBook if you’d like to verify that. His name is Don Mueller. I am extremely proud of him, and his husband to be.

      3. I don’t honestly know why I haven’t stated this more clearly…the original blog was written after a request by an underground LGBTQ group on a university campus; it was never intended to be shared with a large audience. Perhaps, in my most recent blog, I should have apologized to the LGBTQ community for our actions…that is something I will think long and hard about, and will ask our close LGBTQ friends, both Christian and non-Christian, if they think that is something I should do.

      4. I do not think that homosexuality is a sin. Nope. I don’t. Neither does my husband. If you asked the 25+ LGBT individuals who spend every Wednesday evening in our home, they would ALL tell you that we are, without a doubt, affirming. If you ask our conservative family members who think we are no longer Christians, they will ALSO tell you that we are affirming, thus “proving” our lack of faith.

      5. You ask if the God of my religious faith has changed, in my perception. Yes, dramatically. I think God’s love is far bigger and His grace much more generous than the God I was raised with, and when it comes to the Bible, I have far more questions than answers. I trust God more, and am less fearful…I no longer think that Christians have a corner on “truth” or that everyone else is going to hell. So yes, a lot of things have changed for us.

      Justin, you brought up a good question, but I feel like you already had come to your conclusion, before you gave me a chance to answer. Perhaps you are right….perhaps if I had clearly stated that I had asked Ryan for forgiveness, and asked the LGBTQ community for forgiveness, I wouldn’t be getting so much hate mail. I’m not so sure, but you could be right. But I do know this…I don’t have ANY problem asking the people I love for forgiveness, or acknowledging my wrongs. I do it often, since I am flawed and broken. And my family, my closest friends, and the people I do life with know that well.

      I doubt this is going to satisfy you, and I am sorry. I am doing my best to keep up with all the questions, the comments, the attacks and the letters from families going through similar things. You may not believe that my intentions are good, and I don’t expect you to. You don’t know me. But I am going to choose to believe that YOURS are, and that you wanted the best for me, and for the gay community, when you wrote this. And I wish the best for you, Justin.

      Reply
      1. juttutin

        Hi Linda,

        I am not looking for any satisfaction – and you do not owe me personally any apology. I’m sorry if that is how it came across. The bits and pieces that you have picked up on, that I quoted to draw out a point, are not so important. It is not for the sake of the others that I urge you to express your heartfelt sorry to them; to be _as_ forward with your sorry as you are with all the other things. Allow me to re-bottle my thought and feeling into a couple of lines?

        You are a good person, and you have been given a worthy mission. But you have not yet found a way to be truly forgiven _yourself_. “I don’t ask forgiveness of his memory – that doesn’t really make sense to me.” I pray that in time it will. His memory is real and present and lives on so powerfully within you.

        Reply
  36. Charles

    I have just read your post about your son and am writing to offer my respect and support. I am a 57-year-old gay man. I have had losses in my life—many friends died of AIDS, my brother was murdered, and others have gone before that I miss terribly. I cannot know what it is to lose a child, but imagine that nothing is harder.

    I am no longer a practicing Christian, but I was raised in the Episcopal Church, which gets some of it right, I think. I still have a spiritual life of sorts, but it could be better (couldn’t everyone’s?). I am a recovering alcoholic with more than 32 years of sobriety, so I also know the pain of addiction first-hand.

    I have some things to share in the hopes that you will find some comfort in them. You wrote of Grace, and I wonder if you’ve ever read a book by Bill Huebsch, “A Spirituality of Wholeness: A New Look At Grace”. It is an easy read; he sets his prose in poetry lines. But what he has to say has gladdened my heart on more than one occasion, and I highly recommend you give it a read. Here is an excerpt, taken from the back cover:

    “This whole, simple process
    of naming our experiences in life,
    of coming to the edge,
    of facing the ultimate questions,
    of choosing to go back or go beyond,
    is something we often face alone.

    But for those who choose to move beyond
    for those who choose to die to self,
    this journey
    to the heart of the Lord
    will not ever be traveled alone.

    And this is our point here:
    we are graced,
    everyone is graced,
    empowered, in other words,
    to move beyond and be transformed.”

    And another, where he talks about what we can surmise from the Gospels taken as a whole:

    “We could conclude,
    it seems to me,
    from what we see in the text,
    that Jesus had a very inclusive approach
    to his friendships
    as well as to the Kingdom of God.”

    Please also watch a few videos on YouTube. The first is an excerpt from an excellent film, “Latter Days”, about a questioning Mormon missionary and a gay party boy. The excerpt I posted on YouTube has one of the most profound statements about God I have ever heard. I highly recommend the entire movie, but I hope the excerpt gives you yet another path to Grace.

    Excerpt from “Latter Days”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJb-5bd0KVs

    The second video is a song, written and composed by Fred Small, sung by The Flirtations: “Everything Possible”. I hope that you are already familiar with the song, but, if not, I hope you’ll make it a part of your life and share it with others. I so wish every child heard this beautiful lullaby.

    “Everything Possible”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VA8DFFNQFA (Click on “Show More” for the lyrics.)

    The third video is another song, “You Are My Star”, written and composed by Robert Seeley for the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. I was privileged to be a member of that group for a time, and was a member when he wrote it and was part of the SFGMC’s first performance of it. It became a song we sang often, as one member after another from the Chorus died of AIDS. The back story is that Robert was away in Oregon, caring for a relative, and his partner, Terry (who was our accompanist), remained in San Francisco. So the song wasn’t composed with the meaning in mind that it took on—but it is so powerful, just the same. Sadly, Terry is among those who died; last I heard, Robert was a composer in residence at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

    “You Are My Star”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAhpdwTnZew (Click on “Show More” for the lyrics.)

    Ryan’s death is heartbreaking, and tragic. But his story—his life and death—has had an impact on countless numbers of people. My heart aches for you, yes, but I am so grateful that you have chosen to share Ryan with the rest of the world, for the greater good. I have seen the vast changes in this country—and, indeed, the world—during my lifetime with regard to LBGTQ people. I struggled to accept my own sexuality and attempted suicide during the struggle. Ryan’s story is a powerful voice for good, and you are doing good by sharing it. I hope you know that, and receive some comfort from it, and from all the love and support that I and others are sending your way. I hope God continues to bless you and your family and all the lives you have and will touch.

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Charles…can’t wait to check out all the links…and I am putting a hold on Bill Huebsch’s book of poetry at the library right now…I LOVE the parts you shared with me.
      Thank you so much, Charles…I am so glad you shared all this!!

      Reply
  37. Nathan

    Hi Linda,
    I read your letter on the Huffington Post and all I can say is wow. Wow because reading what your son went through is exactly what I went through. Like him I too grew up in a very conservative and religious family (a few steps left of the Westboro Baptist Church). As I grew up I also attempted to stifle my sexuality and pray to God that he would make me straight. Like with Ryan, God didn’t answer my prayers either. In response, I picked up alcohol and nearly drank myself to death quite a few times in response to my feeling of hatred from my family and from God. So I can relate strongly to what Ryan felt, and quite honestly if narcotics were offered to me instead of alcohol, I would have probably walked down the same path as your son. However I can say that you are not to blame for what happened to your son. Although you, like my parents and family, obviously reacted incorrectly at first, you learned to love and accept your son while he was still alive. I have not had that blessing (however I’m totally fine with it so don’t worry about me! 🙂 ). I am so sorry you lost your son, and I’m even more sorry of what Ryan had to go through to accept himself. But I can say that if your son was anything like me (and considering he eventually had a supporting family he was probably more loving than me) he would have been so happy that you learned to love him and he would have known that you loved and accepted him no matter what at the end. I hope this brings you a little comfort. Anyone who judges you based on what occurred does not understand what love is. From someone who went through what your son went through I can tell you that although you made mistakes you should not blame yourself. There is no blame. None for you and none for Ryan. I hope you find peace because you earned it as soon as you accepted your son. Namaste.

    Reply
  38. charlesfromva

    After reading a few of the comments (I can’t read them all), I want to chime in on all the negative comments about the “blame game”. It is a silly game; much like Tic-Tac-Toe, it is unwinnable. Trying to trace the cause and effect of an incident such as this is pointless—how far back do you go? If you had never met and married your husband and given birth to Ryan, he wouldn’t have died. You can go further back—if your parents had never met and married, etc. Ultimately, it was Ryan who chose to use as a way to cope, and chose to use again even after being restored to a loving family. Trying to “fix the blame” is impossible and useless.

    I’ll quote part of the “Latter Days” excerpt from my previous comment:

    Mormon Missionary (Elder Aaron):
    “I don’t know what to say here.
    Do you ever read the Sunday comics?”

    Grieving Woman (Lila):
    “I beg your pardon?”

    Elder Aaron:
    “The comic page.
    When I was a little kid, I used to put my face right up to them, you know.
    And I was just amazed, because it was just this mass of dots.
    I think life is like that sometimes.
    But I like to think that from God’s perspective, life, everything—even this—makes sense.
    It’s not just dots.
    Instead, we’re all—we’re all connected.
    And it’s beautiful.
    And it’s funny.
    And it’s good.
    From this close, we can’t expect it to make sense right now.”

    People are so fond of quoting “Now abides Faith, Hope and Love…”, but the verse just prior to it is just as significant to me, or perhaps moreso:

    “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.”— I Corinthians 13:12

    In this life, in this place, we will rarely, if ever, have the “Why?” questions answered. We are such an integral part of the picture that we can’t see it in its entirety—yet. But what I have been told, and believe,is that God is a God of love who loves me. Who am I to question cause and effect? Who am I to question God? Like another poster, I don’t have a very clear definition of the God of my understanding other than what I just stated. I don’t think God is truly knowable by mere mortals.

    I can’t even say that I trust the Bible to be correct about everything—I know too much of its history, its sources, and how it was assembled and changed over the years, sometimes for purely political reasons. So I try to take it as a whole, to see the broad messages that it has, without going into great detail. The manuscripts on which the Gospels are based, for example, were written at least 40 years after the death of Jesus. In a culture where writing was not a common skill, what are the chances that they are totally accurate? How accurate would an account of Woodstock in 1969 be now, some 45 years later, if all we had to go on was oral history and song? How accurate would the small details be?

    So I’m not usually given to citing chapter and verse, and often just tune out those who do. (Usually because they are taking things out of context or have no idea of the source of what they just quoted.) But, taken as a whole, I think I’m safe in believing that my God is a God of love. And that’s enough. We are told to “Love one another as I have loved you”. We can’t—perfectly. But we can do the very best we can and ignore any judgement from anyone on this earth; it’s not up to them to judge. They don’t know the whole story, either—they’re also part of the picture and can’t see the entire thing.

    One of the most heartbreaking things I have encountered over and over in my many years of recovery is dealing with people who don’t make it. People who, like Ryan, are compelled to drink or use again, and wind up dead. The promising young gymnast, younger even than Ryan, who had won state competitions at the high school level decided to take drugs just one more time. He was a beautiful young man with dozens of people who loved him. The man in his late 30s with more than ten years of sobriety who went on a cruise and decided to try heroin for the first—and last—time. More famously, Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died because he was compelled to get high again, and, in all likelihood, the dosage that he took wouldn’t have killed him had he still been using. He had lowered his tolerance level by getting and staying clean for awhile and the dose that gave him a good high previously was too much for his system to handle.

    I gave up asking “Why?” as I watched friend after friend and many acquaintances die of AIDS. I lived in San Francisco from 1980 to 1995, at the heart of the epidemic and the height of its deadliness. There is no reason I can state as to why I was not infected; my behavior was often no different from those that were. Possibly AIDS was/is necessary to change our thinking about what it truly means to live and what it truly means to die, and how to do both better. I saw wonderful moments—families of horribly ill men gathering all his friends into their family and giving and receiving so much love. I also saw horrific incidents—the parents who hadn’t known their son was gay until he became ill and forbade his lover of many years access to him in the hospital, and cleaned out the home they shared, taking many things they had bought together or that were his partner’s alone.

    In the end, I much prefer love. As imperfect as it is, it is so much better than anything else we do. And it has to start with loving ourselves, in forgiving ourselves for our errors and trying to learn from them; trying not to make the same ones over and over. We will fail. But, secure in the knowledge of a God of love, we can try again—and even again.

    Blaming ourselves or others blocks us from giving and receiving the love available to us. It is much more beneficial to acknowledge what has gone before, determine which parts we don’t want to repeat, and make our best effort not to repeat them as we move forward in and with love.

    I hope, Linda, that you and your family, and everyone else who is participating in it, will move beyond the “blame game” and continue (or, in some cases, begin) to live a life of loving themselves and others. It’s so obvious that you loved Ryan; what you and others call mistakes may have been necessary parts of the picture. You’ve learned that they are not actions to be repeated. I’m sure we’ll all learn much more as we move forward and will know fully in the next life, not this one.

    Namasté,
    ~Charles

    Reply
  39. Amber

    Linda,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, and your son’s story.

    I want to hear your thoughts on some things, because this topic is very close to my heart and it is obviously close to yours as well. I am a Christian and I love Jesus with all of my heart. Six years ago or so my best friend came out to me and she has been openly lesbian ever since. I love her too, and we are still friends although we are not able to be as close as we were, since we have both grown up. But we are like sisters, and love each other very much. I have a similar belief system as you. When my friend first came out to me, we had been best friends for years, and we were kind of like Ryan in our devotion to Jesus. For me, it was never about religion. It was always about Jesus, this Man who is God who broke the power of death and whose love is real, and better than life. So I have experienced Jesus taking sinful desires and removing them from me. I have personally known His power and His love. And so did my friend. So, at first when she came out I gave her the, “don’t you know that this path leads to hell” sermon. I knew that she believed those things, so I thought maybe it would be helpful to remind her…? Actually, I was just shocked and speaking out of my shock. (: But after my shock wore off, I asked Jesus what to do, and He helped me to find that path of unconditional love. So I began making her life-change a non-issue. And it has been years since we’ve discussed Jesus, or the fact that she is a lesbian. We just always hang out with her girlfriend and my husband and my kids. It’s always so fun to see her, and I will always love her like a sister.

    However, I wanted to explain some of that because I want to ask you a little more of your thoughts on love and sexual orientation. And the reason I am asking is because I am still on a journey with this issue, mainly because I feel this crazy burning love in my heart for people like my friend, and I know it is the love of God. The truth is, as much as I enjoy her as she is, I really want her to stop being lesbian. I want her to remember the love of Jesus. For me in my life, putting Jesus first has been crucial. I had a relationship that was totally destructive in my own life, and I wanted to marry the guy so badly, but Jesus kept telling me “no.” So I decided that if I had to never fall in love again and be single for the rest of my life, that it would be worth it to follow Jesus. And I followed Him, when everything inside of my body and my soul cried out against it. I know what it is to feel that Jesus is confronting the very core of who I am and asking me to leave all – even myself – and follow Him. I know what it is to feel that I might never be pleasing to Him because I cannot escape “the way He made me”. I don’t think these feelings are unique to gay or lesbian people. I felt all of these things, and raged against God because of them, as a straight gal. I wound up raging against Him for quite some time, while ending that relationship; and I am so glad that He carried me through. He actually is worth following even if it means you might never love anyone else on earth. I realize you probably believe similarly, or that you did while Ryan was growing up.

    I am wondering what some of your conclusions are about gay people and Jesus. I think my friend is under the impression that she can’t be in relationship with Jesus and be lesbian. I think she can, but I also think that Jesus would eventually lead her out of that state, since “from the beginning it was man and woman.” Do you believe in “man and woman” as God’s original intention? Or have you changed your views on that? Of course sin issues are not deal breakers. Sin is not a problem for God, as He demonstrated the ENTIRE time he was on earth. But are your saying that being homosexual is a good and natural thing for some people? If Ryan were still alive, would you be secretly hoping and praying that he would become straight? Or at least expecting that Jesus would lead him that direction? Or would you just be happy if he was gay the rest of his life? Would you be doing what I am doing – which is making it a non-issue on the surface but secretly really caring about it? What has Jesus shown you about these things?

    In Christ
    Amber

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Amber, first of all, THANK YOU. In reading your comment – twice – I am struck by how open and willing to listen that you seem. Thank you for authentically asking what the Lord has shown us regarding this question, because He has been SO faithful to answer our prayers for clarity WITH clarity. This is a complex issue for those of us who have a high view of Scripture and who desire to please the Lord with all of our hearts.

      First of all, I’ll answer your last question, because it is the easiest. I often wish for Ryan to be here…but I NEVER wish for him to be here as anything other than who he was created to be – a gay man. But even if I could “bring him back,” I wouldn’t want to do so, for his sake, unless his addiction was gone. The addiction, NOT his sexuality, made his life a living hell. And knowing, as I do, that he is now healed from that, I couldn’t bring him back to it even if God allowed me to.
      So, why do I not secretly pray that he would be straight? Because I have learned that Ryan could have been both of the things he was…passionate about Jesus AND a gay man. I have met hundreds (at least) of amazing gay Christians who are following the Lord with all their hearts. They live such selfless, giving lives…are some of the most honest, humble and loving people we’ve ever met, and most of them, as Christians, are committed to chastity before and outside of marriage.

      So clearly, the thing that we feel differently about now, is that 1) Sexual orientation is NEVER a sin. NEVER. 2) Gay marriage, for many gay Christians, is an option that the Lord blesses and uses to glorify Himself and to sanctify the two individuals who have committed their lives to one another before Him.

      You sound like you REALLY desire to love the LGBT community well…and that you might be willing to do some reading. Start with this recent blog…he articulates my experience exactly: Distorted Love: The Toll Of Our Christian Theology On The LGBT Community.

      I’d then recommend Justin Lee’s book, Torn: Rescuing the Bible from the Gays-vs-Christians Debate. It does a GREAT job of helping you to understand this quandary from the perspective of a gay man who desires nothing more than to please the Lord with His life.

      After those, if you want to dig into theology, both Matthew Vines’ God and the Gay Christian and James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality are EXCELLENT.

      I do want to challenge you, though, on the idea that you, as a single woman, understood what a gay Christian woman would feel. We have a straight daughter who is in her late 20’s and single. She knows that God may not bring her a husband, though she’d love it. She will not settle for someone who is not God’s best for her…that isn’t even an option in her mind. However, her HOPE that someday she might be married is something that all Christians understand and support. The attraction she feels when she meets a hot, great Christian guy, is also fine with everyone at church. But for a gay Christian man or woman? Not so much. They aren’t allowed to hope for a spouse, to feel attracted to a potential mate, or to dream about who that person might be. Our daughter will always have hope that God might bring her a husband at some point. But for those who don’t believe that gay Christians have the option of marriage, then they aren’t allowing their gay Christian friends to EVER have the hope or the option of sharing life with someone else. Of living with their best friend and soulmate, as Rob and I do. This is a heartbreaking reality that very few people can live with (especially without severe depression and often suicide). Those who do, such as Wesley Hill (who wrote a great book called Washed and Waiting), admit freely to the daily, painful difficulty of their lives.

      I just don’t think that we, as straight Christians, have any idea of what it is like to grow up being taught that our very EXISTENCE is sinful. And I don’t believe that is true any more.

      Thank you for listening…I could write a whole book about this, especially about how the Lord made this so clear to Rob and I over the past 7 years. We couldn’t be more confident that the many gay Christians who make up a large portion of our community and closest friends are bringing the Kingdom of God to this world in a new and vibrant way…they are leading more people to God than most of our straight friends, by a long shot.

      And if I am wrong, if when I stand before the Lord, He tells me that I missed it on this issue, I know that He will know that I did it out of love, and because I was so burdened by the thousands of used-to-be-Christians who will not darken the door of a church, because all they got from church was HATE. And I am okay with that, and I believe that the Lord will be, too.

      Much love to you, Amber….If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask. 🙂

      Reply
  40. Kim

    I read your story and I feel your pain. I have a gay daughter and it’s very hard for her to feel loved and accepted when she is not by so many people. I love her with all my heart and hope that someday she can just relax into being who she is and not worrying about what anyone else thinks. Keep sharing your story, for it is a story worth sharing.

    Reply
  41. Anonymous

    Thank you for sharing your story. It is a reminder to all of us, even those without gay sons or daughters, that we need to learn to love without condition. Blessings to your family.

    Reply
  42. Sugi

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. This was truly heartbreaking, and I’m so sorry for your loss. This reminded me a lot of one of my friends, who died 3 years back. He had come out, and had a boyfriend, who he loved so much. However, his parents weren’t so happy. He was thrown out of the house when they found out, and he died on the streets. i still feel heartbroken, as he was one of my best friends. He was a junior in high school. I myself am 13 years old, and am not way too sure about my relation with God. But this really helped me out. Thank you so much.

    Reply
  43. Sugi

    I also want to say, Ryan seems like a really awesome guy.I would have loved to meet him. I admire his bravery in coming out, and I wish I had that kinda guts, but I don’t know how my parents are going to take it.

    Reply
  44. Buddy Blankenship

    Dear Linda, Thank you for sharing your story. So many Christians place too much emphasis on what is written in the Old Testament instead of the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said to love God and to love thy neighbor. It is a very simple message. Too often I see so much hate and bigotry coming from the pulpit and very little love and tolerance. You have learned this lesson in a very tragic and painful manner. Now there is another lesson that you must learn. Forgiveness. Ask God for his forgiveness and. then learn to forgive yourself. I shall pray that God will touch your heart and show you that there is still joy in this world. Much love, Buddy

    Reply
    1. Linda Robertson Post author

      Thank you, Buddy. You are kind. I am grateful that mixed with our grief and remorse IS much joy…I am married to my best friend and soulmate whom I adore, and we have five adult children (three biological and two by marriage) who make us laugh all the time. And we’ve been given so many dear, dear friends….God is good. ❤

      Reply
  45. Anonymous

    I raised my two boys in the pentecostal church. When I started to suspect my oldest was gay I should have pulled them out of there but did not. This past Mother’s Day my oldest son took his life. There are many factors, including financial, but I have to say although he had a healthy perspective about his sexuality he did leave the church years ago. Who could blame him? Shortly before his death he became angry and said “mom, any religion that could cause a woman to sit here and worry so much about her son’s eternity is wrong!” I have also now left the church. I have a few Christian friends left but have asked them to not speak to me of god. I want nothing to do with anyone or any institution that would cause my baby so much pain. I merely wanted to leave a comment. Do not bother to reply because I will not be back to this site even though your attitude is different than most christians. I just don’t want to get sucked back in. If my son is indeed in hell, I will do everything I can to go there too. I love my son more than your god.

    Reply
  46. edwin amir

    Dearest parents,
    I am a Pakistani christian and father of 3 very adorable children. I love my wife very much.
    What has really led to me write this comment is that the love of your son has forced you to think differently – different from prevelant beliefs preached by church. I too have different perspectives on certain points and have suffered at the hands of traditional religious mindset.
    I can only, sitting from this say, that I love you and you are well and truly serving christisnit/humanity.

    Regards
    Edwin, director, shalom Christan center, Pakistan.

    Reply
  47. Anonymous

    I just learned of your blog and read a bit of the comments posted. I hope to read more and to make my own comment. I grew up in a conservative church and I’m a Christian. I love my dear son, who happens to be gay. I don’t go to church now for various reasons. When I visited my father, I went with him to his church and it almost made me sick to listen to the anti-gay comments and the pleading from the pulpit to vote down some issue that would restrict gays from something. Praise the Lord for your work! Nancy

    Reply
  48. Paul Ricketts

    I’m so moved and touched by your openness and willingness to tell your story.
    This may seem odd, but the first person I came out to was God. It went something like, “God, I’m scared that if I tell you I’m gay, I’ll lose your love forever. I know you didn’t make a mistake, and I need you more than I’ve ever needed you. If this is truly something you detest, remove it from me, or take me home so I don’t ever have to anger you.”
    There was no judgement; only love. I realized that God was never going to judge me for how I was “fearfully and wonderfully made.” At the same time, I now know that, with God, there is no shame in telling the truth to myself about who I am, and who I get to be in Him.
    In the church(es) where I have served, there are many who may never accept me as a gay man. They don’t have to. God accepts me, and has given me a life for which I am deeply grateful.
    Thank you for your stand for people. I’m so sorry about what happened to your son. I acknowledge you for opening your hearts to those of us who, at one time or another, have had to struggle against a man-made conversation for what is right and what is wrong. I don’t have the words to tell you how much I love you for who you are in the world. We may never meet in person, and I want you to know that where I am, your message and story will be shared and told.
    How can I partner with you in furthering your commitment? Please let me know: I’m including my email in the space provided below.
    Happy Thanksgiving, and I’m grateful to God for you.

    HUGS

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s