Coming Out as Gay or Lesbian to Christian Parents – The Stages of Parental Reaction to a Homosexual Son or Daughter

Although I am not yet a parent, I am a Christian only child lesbian of a loving Christian family that was shocked to its core when my parents found out I was not heterosexual. My parents discovered my sexual orientation at 15 years old when my mom read in my diary that I was madly in love with my female best friend. Their reaction was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through, and I am thankful I was able to live through it without completing suicide. Now, close to 20 years later, I have seen my parents go through a transformation of change to becoming more supportive and loving. I have also seen this happen in many other parents of my gay and lesbian friends. This is a process and many go through stages after they hear their son or daughter is gay, similarly to what we as gay and lesbians go through when we realize that we are who we are. Below are the stages I have witnessed parents going though after they found out their child was not straight. Note that these strongly mirror the stages of grief.

♥Remember that the initial reaction of a parent after hearing their child is gay or lesbian is NOT always their final reaction.


1. Denial / Confusion

“It can’t be true.” “I didn’t raise you to be gay.” “You are just confused.” “You just haven’t met the right girl/guy.” “You are only experimenting.” “It’s just a phase.” Denial is usually the first stage. Some parents stay stuck their whole lives in this stage because they just don’t want to believe it is true. Many parents are also confused because they have misconceptions about sexual orientation and believe that their child doesn’t know what he/she truly wants. Within their confusion, parents can become stubborn and believe that they know more about their child’s true needs and desires than they do. This can occur with adult children where the parents feel that they “know best” because they are a parent, even when their son or daughter may be well past their child/teen years and fully solidified in their identity. If they feel it is morally wrong, this puts them into a major bind between choosing to be supportive of their child or rejecting them because they do not feel they can accept something that is seen as sinful.

When I had initially come out (or was found out, rather), my parents blatantly didn’t believe that their only child could be exclusively attracted to the same gender. They thought if anything, it was a “phase. ” My mother often told me that the feelings I felt towards my same-gender best friend were “counterfeit” and a false feeling “derived by Satan.” It wasn’t real love because romantic love between two females didn’t truly exist. On a personal note, my feelings towards my best friend were not reciprocated, as she was heterosexual. Therefore, we had never been engaged in any physical sexual activity. None the less, my mother tried to sexualize our relationship and water it down to only being some kind of evil fetish lust rather than love. Even before they had un-doubtable proof that I was a lesbian, there was much evidence around them that they subconsciously or consciously chose to ignore because they could not yet handle having a gay child.

2. Anger / Guilt

“Why would you do this to us?” “You aren’t trying hard enough with the opposite sex!” “You aren’t praying hard enough!” “After all that I taught you, how could you choose this?!” “If you don’t change you are going to hell!” Next came the guilt masked by anger. They were angry at me as if I had purposely chosen to be this way out of a teen rebellion. They would scream, “why would you do this to us?” During this stage my parents were very adamant about sharing the 6 verses in the Bible that appeared to condemn homosexuality. This is where parental stubbornness can go into overdrive. They were 100% right and I was 100% wrong. On a side note, many Christians are unaware that when the Bible is read in the original Hebrew and Greek language and in textual and cultural context, these verses do not condemn homosexuality as a whole. For more information, please visit my extensive research on the topic at

My mom looked at me with hatred and disgust and told me that I was damned to hell if I continued in my sin and that homosexuality was comparable to child molestation. Their reaction made me flee from God and my parents (at the time), rather than bring me closer. Remember that parents are often the model for how a child sees God. If the parent is rejecting, than the child may see God as rejecting. This can happen not only with teens, but even older gay and lesbian adults. One must take care not to damage their child’s relationship with God by their own unloving actions, lest they be accountable.

Not only were my parents angry at me, but also angry at themselves. They started looking for what went wrong in the way that they raised me which brought up a lot of unneeded guilt. As much as my childhood would be considered a perfect upbringing, they began to blame themselves as parents which brewed self-hatred and shame.

3. Bargaining 

Because there are so many misconceptions about the ability for sexual orientation to be changed, my parents began bargaining with me thinking there just might be a way out of this. They told me that my homosexuality was a choice, and I could choose to be straight. They would accept me and not act like I was permanently grounded if I went to a Christian therapist for Reparative Therapy. (Note that Alan Chambers, the leader of Exodus International which is the biggest ex-gay organization in the world, just recently admitted that he’s not seen people actually change from gay to straight and he now condemns the use of Reparative Therapy.)

Not only that, but they set me up on a date with a guy and encouraged me to will myself to be straight. To gain their acceptance (or rather conform to their idea of acceptable), I complied and went on many dates with men against my own inner feelings. I must warn parents and gay/lesbians who are in this situation. This was equally as psychologically damaging to me as Reparative Therapy. If it can be avoided, avoid it. Forming a romantic bond with someone against your nature is putting you in a situation to feel raped (emotionally and physically.)  If you are a parent, put yourself in your child’s shoes and imagine being forced to have a prolonged romantic bond with the same gender. It is not natural for you nor your child, and in some cases, leads to rape. Don’t encourage your child to feel raped and  try to avoid the selfish heartbreak of the unwanted partners.

4. Depression / Disappointment 

Parents often go through a period of depression when it sinks in that their child is gay or lesbian and all bargaining attempts have failed. This is due to a number of reasons. Many parents have hopes and dreams of their child getting married and producing grandchildren. This can be even more disappointing when it is their only child. Although some states have now legalized same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption, this is not the same for many parents. When the parents come from a strong religious background, there is also the depression and overwhelming disappointment that comes with falsely believing that their child cannot go to Heaven, even if they remain a Christian. As a reminder, please go to for more information on the verses that appear to condemn homosexuality.

My mother especially dealt with depression over my sexual orientation and sought counseling and took anti-depressants to get her through the initial few years after finding out. She even felt suicidal for a time because her grief of shattered expectations for her daughter was so strong.

♥Remember that your child has not changed, only your perception of your child has changed.♥ 

5. Acceptance vs. Rejection / Ignoring 

Some parents readily accept their gay or lesbian child the moment that they come out, but for many, it takes from weeks to months to years. When you accept your child, this does not mean waving a rainbow flag in a parade or holding up signs at a rally in support of your gay son or lesbian daughter. This can be part of it, but it certainly isn’t necessary for most to feel accepted. All acceptance means is being fully open to showing love and an open ear to your son or daughter in all matters, including their sexual orientation. You can be closer to your child if you are willing to accept them for who they are without trying to change them, judge them or blame them. If they have a romantic same-gender partner, get to know them just as you would if they were an opposite-gender partner. Treat them as you would want to be treated, and the feeling of acceptance will grow.

In some sad cases, acceptance never happens. Some gay and lesbian children are so rejected by their parents that they are thrown out of the family and never spoken to again. This can leave massive scars that affect their whole lifetime. The complete rejection of the family can often lead to dangerous outcomes such as major depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, prostitution, promiscuity, higher risk of contracting STD’s, etc. In the worst cases, which is sadly very common, gay and lesbians commit suicide because they feel so damaged by their parents nonacceptance.

Other parents choose to accept their child in every area of life, except for that one thing (which if you look at it honestly, is one of the most important things in their life to share who they love with you.) Ignoring that they are gay or lesbian can take the pressure off you as a parent from looking at them for who they truly are, but it still leaves a major hole in communication and greatly limits your personal connection. If you are a married parent, imagine if your own marriage was an off-limits topic. Not only that, but everything having to do with romantic love and dating. You can only talk about your career and the weather for so long until it becomes monotonous, restrictive and down right boring. Your child came out to you for a reason. They want to share that part of their life with you, so you should feel honored to be so close. Instead of looking at their coming out as a cry for help, start looking at it as a chance to form a closer bond with your child in every area of life. Remember that their sexual orientation is more than just who they may potentially have sex with. It about sharing love and affection just like in your own marriage. If your child can’t come to you, than your role as a parent in the matters of relationships will be taken over by someone else.  

Your child came out to you because they trust you. Do not break that trust by rejecting them.♥

So after the years of denial, confusion, anger, guilt, bargaining, depression and disappointment, my parents have each come a long way in their own time. I would have to say that my dad has been fully accepting of me for many years, although my mom is more in the ignoring stage. She is open to spending time with my partner and is very sweet to her, but she still remains my “friend” in her eyes. For me, this is fine, for now. From where she once came, I never thought she would ever get this far. But I would be lying if I said I didn’t hope for her acceptance one day. Her refusal to talk about it has made our relationship distant in comparison to my dad. My dad is very open and accepting and for this I am able to ask love advice and share in my joy with him.

Dear Parents, I encourage you as parents to open your heart to acceptance. If you are a Christian, fully research the passages that seemingly condemn homosexuality with new lenses. Get multiple perspectives and talk to many different people who have had different experiences. Also remember that heterosexual parents often confuse their “gross-out factor” of homosexuality with Spiritual conviction. It feels unnatural to them and they would never do it, so therefore, it’s wrong. The same could be said for the gay and lesbian about heterosexuality if we based it all on our feelings. Therefore as a parent, pray for discernment between what may be physically repulsive to you and what is truly unacceptable to God. Remember to act in a loving way and tread carefully as not to damage your relationship with your child. Remember, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”(Acts 10:15) “Love does no harm to your neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of God’s law.” (Romans 13:10).

Dear gay or lesbian (teen/adult) child, please remember to be patient with your parents. They are going through a grief process of losing their expected perception of their son or daughter. This can take weeks to months to years. If they never do come to acceptance, remember that God accepts you and this is the most important thing in life. If you have run from God because of your parents negative reaction, come back to His loving arms and show your parents that Jesus shines within your soul. This may just confuse them enough to really question everything that they have been traditionally taught on the topic of homosexuality in the Bible. If you are still a Christian, keep your faith strong and do not be confused by the enemy that wishes to destroy you by self-condemnation. Remember, “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) “What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.”(Acts 10:15) “Love does no harm to your neighbor. Therefore, love is the fulfillment of God’s law.” (Romans 13:10).

♥To show love and interest for your gay or lesbian child, click below to learn the original meaning behind the verses in the Bible that appear to condemn homosexuality♥


About moanti (moe·on·tee)

My main mission of this blog is to demystify the confusion of “homosexuality” in the Bible and let the rarely heard alternative perspective be known. I also aspire to spread the loving Word of Christ to the gay and lesbian community who feel left out due to our society. I have extraordinary compassion for gays and lesbians who have struggled with religious persecution, but hope that they can come to know God as loving rather than run from Him forever due to a group of naïve heterosexual Christians who discriminated against them. I want to bridge the gap of these two groups with knowledge! If only I had a bigger podium to accomplish this… Please spread the word. Thank you and happy reading!
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9 Responses to Coming Out as Gay or Lesbian to Christian Parents – The Stages of Parental Reaction to a Homosexual Son or Daughter

  1. Pingback: Parental Reaction – Let’s Toss a Coin | Mila

  2. Nate says:

    As a Christian Conservative father who was basically born in the church, my wife and I are parents of a gay 13 year old son. I am Conservative in my thinking. I take the scriptures seriously.

    Saying this, we love our son. I think that I am more accepting of my son’s homosexuality then my wife. It is a process. When I read your post it was something that spoke to me. We look at our son no so much as gay but as our son. It is hard, but it is getting better for us as parents.

    We have come a long way in our thinking. I am amazed at when my son came out he said to me that he felt safe and loved. He is braver at 13 then I was at his age. This is so personal and so emotional, but our son still came out.

    I am aware of the arguments on both sides and I choose to deal with them in a manner that I won’t be influenced by either side. My wife and I have softened our hearts toward gays and lesbians. Certainly we won’t be at parades fighting for gay rights, but we find ourselves becoming more supportive.

    My main focus as a father is to guide and teach our son on being a productive citizen, an educated voter, a man of character and a follower of Christ. Is his sexual orientation part of it? I guess? If he was straight it would not be an issue. Being gay, it should not, but it is.

    I have a lot of questions and I search and read and wonder how God fits in this. I know that as I get older and hope wiser that some of my views and beliefs change. Reality is a powerful teacher. It cannot be avoided. I have a gay son. That is reality. The reality for me is that not all of our prayers and hopes and petitions to God are answered in the way we like. This is where I struggle the most. The reality is that my son has prayed for his same sex desires to go and so have we. The reality is that they have not and that they may not. So then the next thought is that if God does not remove my son’s same sex desire is it because God maybe is not against it? This is where the confusion comes in.

    Anyway, I have said a lot. My wife and I are beginning to see the gay community as a a group of people that need to be loved and accepted and also should not be rejected by the church. If Jesus died for all, did He not also die for those who identify as LGBTQ?

    • Greetings to you my brother in Christ,
      I feel so blessed by your message! I am certain that God sent you here to read this in order to help your family. I really want to commend you for being so loving as a father to your gay son. This means the world and to act otherwise could be the difference between his life and death, as it is for so many who are rejected by their parents. This is a process as you said… I know you also said you’ve read all the arguments on both sides, but I encourage you to study my research into the topic which can be found at This is because I have been told that I present extra and deeper information that is not often discussed and I feel it will be helpful to you in your Biblical understanding about your son. This is not to say that I am trying to “win you over” to the alternate view, but I feel that an open heart and mind on these issues is crucial. The fact is that an alternate translation exists within the Scriptures that does not condemn all of homosexuality. There are a lot of ancient puzzle pieces to this, and one must have all of them to have peace on the issue. Please also read my external links provided which offer more insights. Aside from this, I feel I must share these other things with you and encourage you to share them with your wife and your son, if you feel it to be appropriate…

      A verse comes to mind for you concerning your son, which can be found in 2 Corinthians chapter 12. Paul speaks about having a “thorn in the flesh” which could be a metaphor for many things. He states, “Three times I pleaded with The Lord about this, that it should leave me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.'” (2 Cor. 12:8,9). Although I no longer see being gay as a weakness, I do know its a struggle due to those who condemn us. Sometimes we plead to God to remove our struggle, but it remains for a greater purpose. We know that “All things work together for good for those who love God.” Although I have been through many personal struggles with my sexual orientation, I can now see in hindsight how it brought me into a much closer relationship with God and I am now grateful to have had this struggle! God’s loving grace is immeasurable! Praises to Him for His eternal love and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ!

      You mentioned that you and your wife (as well as your son) have prayed for him to have a change in sexual orientation. This would of course make things easier. I recommend that you also take the time to read about my studies into sexual orientation change at and

      The fact that God doesn’t seem to change people’s orientation should say something about His view on it. From all of my studies into the Scriptures, I am convicted that homosexuality is not itself a sin. All sin under the New Covenant of Christ appears to have a common link, which is causing harm. This is supported throughout Scripture, but especially in Romans 13 which ends with “All the commandments are summed up in this word: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of The Law.” So if doing harm and a lack of bestowing love is the commonality in all sin, then how can we fit this into calling love a sin? In the alternate translations, it is clear that the Bible speaks against homosexual acts of rape, homosexual acts of idol worship prostitution, and perhaps even homosexual acts of child molestation. We know that rape, prostitution, idolatry and child molestation is wrong for either the heterosexual or homosexual. These are acts which cause harm to people and to God. Now let’s distinguish this from a loving God-centered monogamous lifelong union between two Christians. Does this cause harm?

      Although the Word of God speaks little about homosexual acts and nothing about same-gender marriage (unless David and Jonathan’s “covenant” was in fact a marriage), this is not surprising, as we make up a very small portion of the population. The Bible also does not speak about hermaphrodites (those born with both male and female sexual organs.) Who are they allowed to marry? I believe that just as the Message came “first to the Jew, then to the Gentile,” the blueprint for marriage (as a God-centered monogamous life-long covenant) came “first to the heterosexual (majority), then to the homosexual (minority.) Furthermore, we must recognize that “the majority” are not always correct, as even the Jews believed that Gentiles (and others) were all cursed and not allowed to be in a relationship with God. But we can see in Scripture that the majority of God-believers were wrong! Under the Old Covenant, It was revealed to Isaiah, “Let no foreigner who is bound to the Lord say, ‘The Lord will surely exclude me from his people.’ And let no eunuch complain, ‘I am only a dry tree.’ For this is what the Lord says: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me and hold fast to my covenant—to them I will give within my temple and its walls a memorial and a name better than sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that will endure forever. I will also bless the foreigners who commit themselves to the Lord, who serve him and love his name, who worship him and do not desecrate the Sabbath day of rest, and who hold fast to my covenant….Sovereign Lord declares— he who gathers the exiles of Israel: ‘I will gather still others to them besides those already gathered.’” (Isaiah 56:3-6, 8.) But the law against Jew and Gentile association remained by the majority of God-believers. Then, under the New Covenant of Christ, it was revealed to Peter, “You know it’s forbidden for a Jewish man to associate with or visit a foreigner. But God has shown me that I must not call any person unholy or unclean…”What God has cleansed, no longer consider unholy.” (Acts 10:28,15).

      Sometimes people argue that homosexuality is a sin because “a same-gender relationship cannot reflect Christ and the Church.” I asked God for wisdom on this topic and share what was shown to me in this post:

      Gender is a fabric of the first creation. It is obvious that God created a suitable partner for Adam, which was Eve. This was absolutely necessary for procreation purposes to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. Where we fail is to assume that this first creation was perfect before the fall and assume that heterosexual unions are the only design of God. We are told by Jesus that in the New Creation, “no one will be married or be given into marriage.” We know that all believers, both male and female, are the bride of Christ. We also know by Paul that “we are no longer male and female, but one in Jesus Christ.” With this said we can see that gender is not a focus in the New eternal Creation. The first creation had Satan lurking around the garden. The New Creation will have Satan bound forever in the Lake of Fire. So instead of trying to reflect the old first creation, why not strive for reflection of the New Creation which doesn’t focus on gender?

      We also know we are no longer explicitly commanded to procreate as it was in the days under the Old Covenant. What should be continued to be applied is to be fruitful. We know that we are to bear good fruit, which is to love and share the Gospel of Christ with others. In order to do this, we need to multiply fruitfulness. When one condemns the homosexual to hell unless they deny how they were created to love, this produces bad fruit. We see many turn away from God with this approach as well as commit suicide from total rejection from the church. However, when the alternate translation is applied, we see many coming to Christ as fervent believers. This bears good fruit. We know that “a bad tree cannot bear good fruit,” so this should say something if it leads people to the cross, rather than to flee from it by supporting the traditional approach. So the most important thing now in a world with nearly 8 billion souls should not be a focus on procreation, but a focus on multiplying fruitfulness by growing the body of believers in Christ!

      These are just a few things for you to contemplate. Please feel free to ask me any questions or comment further. I am called to help those in this situation, and I would be honored to help your family. I pray that Yahweh, the God of Israel, leads you further into the knowledge of His Divine Word. May you be led by the Holy Spirit in discernment and thank Yeshua for His atoning sacrifice for ALL who come to Him!!! Praises be to the Creator of all things in all of its variation!
      Your sister in Christ,

  3. Nate says:

    There is a lot to digest. I did look at some of your links and some of your studies on the alternative translations. As for “winning me over” I know that is not your point. I know that my wife and I have come far from the traditional belief about homosexuality. I am open. I like to study and I want to feel comfortable about a position before I make a decision. I had a professor in college who would say, “You stand where you sit.”

    I am not one to take someone at their word without them backing it up. You are very thorough and detailed. I appreciate that. I even appreciate that you do not parrot what others say and use tacky slogans on your website. This is a very good resource.

    I have apologized to my son for how the church has treated gays. I look at gays and lesbians in a different lite. I look at people who identify as LGBTQ as creations of God and not freaks. Not accustomed to transgendered, but I am commanded to love. I think of James Chapter 2 where we in the church will show favoritism and treat gays as worse then the poor. If Christ is to be Lord of all, the church has been guilty of making Christ, The Lord of some.

    I will continue to read your site and posts. I was taught to not fear opposing views or views that challenge my beliefs. I was taught to welcome them and to appreciate them. Far too many want to shut off debate because of the insecurities of their views, or lack of views quite frankly.

    I am impressed with your site and I do have a question, What kind of response do you get from Conservative Christians?

    • Hello Nate!
      Sorry for the delay in response to you! It’s been a long busy week. Anyhow, I really respect that you are open to Biblical exploration. I have found that so many Christians are afraid to even look at another viewpoint aside from the modern majority norm and hastily point to heresy before even considering anything outside what they’ve been taught. Secondly, we have in common to not just take someone’s word alone, but to research for ourselves to back up the claims. This is what I always encourage others to do so that they may uncover the truth for themselves with the leading of the Holy Spirit. Lastly on this note, I must again commend you and your wife for being such a good support towards your gay son. It’s sad that you represent such a small exception. I can tell you and your wife are really there for your son and trying to understand. Most parents that I’ve come across are so rejecting of their child after they find out… So this such a blessing that you aren’t like this to your son.

      You asked what type of response I have received from conservative Christians. This would be quite “mixed bag.” Although the vast majority seem to quote the verses to me as if they really didn’t read anything written on my website at all. An example would be, “I hate to be the one to tell you this, but being gay is a sin. You can’t be gay and Christian. It’s a contradiction. It says so in the Bible in…. So please turn away from your sinful lifestyle so you don’t go to hell.” But I see all of these exchanges as innocent people who don’t know a thing about the alternate translations and confuse their repulsion towards homosexuality with conviction. Sadly though, the attitudes towards most conservative Christians I’ve met is to flee from even trying to read that there could possibly be any other way of looking at it. They will say “you are distorting the Bible to fit your sinful lifestyle.” This is upsetting of course, since the translations I present are not based on simple conjecture, but from looking deeper into the Scriptures in light of their linguistic and cultural context. When one does that, they can see that shrine prostitution in idol worship is more contextually supported throughout all of Scripture then is to condemn homosexuality as a whole… Just yesterday I was accused of using Satan’s tactics simply for using the word “perhaps” on my website. I just use gentle rather than emphatic language to help people consider the possibilities that they could be in error of he traditional modern view. But the worst of all was an extremist conservative that believed whole heartily that the vast majority of gays were not only child molesters, but murderers! His ideas were from a hateful website that I could easily discredit, but the man couldn’t see further than his own hatred. Before our exchange ended, he called me a demon “disguising myself as an angel of light,” so he simply couldn’t explain my faith except for in those terms…. It was truly heartbreaking and difficult not to take personally. He’s not the first to have accused me of demon possession for being gay. It’s sad! But I must not forget people like you who represent the very best in Christ’s love and compassion. I have recently also met another conservative Christian who is open to exploration and recognizes the Holy Spirit within me as a lesbian, which to him was a huge shock that this could be possible. So I feel God is working to help open the hearts and minds of those who normally would close us off or automatically condemn us without a second thought. This is a huge life-changing blessing for which I am so grateful. So just knowing that there are people like you that are open to research and most of all, open to show love to LGBT people, gives me so much hope and joy and means the world. I will continue to pray for you and your family and please pray for me as well. Thanks. Let me know if you have any further questions, as I would be happy to help.
      Your sister in Christ,

      • N Johnson says:


        I thank you for responding. I was meeting with a Conservative Christian couple last Monday who have a lesbian daughter (she is 31) and I told them that the next challenge for the church is not gay marriage but how the church responds to a gay married couple in their church. I even asked what they felt what the church would do if the gay couple came in with children or even how about the gay couple holding hands in church or embracing one another? They were not sure but I said that this will cause more division and hurt. As for me, I said to welcome them. Now, I know that I cannot say that in other circles but Jesus died for all.

        As for the alternative views on scripture I will continue to look and educate myself. This is a process and I want to know. Right now, my wife and I are learning to love our son who is gay. We can love and accept him because of Jesus love for us. As I get older, I have come to realize that I am a sinner saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus. In other words I am no more special then anyone else. I am at this point in my Christian walk. I see you are very serious about your walk with Christ.

        Finally, I pray that the “us v. them” mentality on both sides is shattered. I don’t see why we in the church have to yell at each other. If my mind serves me correctly, Jesus was mad at those who made a profit in God’s house, not the prostitute, nor gentile, nor even Rome. Jesus loves those in the LGBTQ community. I hope that my brothers and sisters in the Church will recognize that.


        Sent from my iPad


  4. Ann says:

    We are conservative Christians. My husband and I were blindsided by a chain of events the past 8 years I would like to share. We have three sons and one daughter. Our daughter was married at age 24 to her college sweetheart. She had dated boys/men and fell in love twice before but this one was the man of her choice, the one she wanted to spend her life with so she said. We liked and then loved him. He fit in with our sons and their wives and they all loved him as well. The nieces and nephews all loved him too. Then two years after they were married our daughter took a job in a different state. He was to follow as soon as their house sold and he got a job. Her plan was to only work two years at this job and then they would start a family.

    Six months after the move her husband had still not moved. They saw each other every weekend but I was worried for their marriage. My daughter and I had always been close and she called every day. That had not stopped but there was a strain in her voice and when I asked her she said she was fine. Once she said she had doubts about being married and I asked if she was talking about divorce. She said she knew we didn’t believe in it but she was not completely happy. I suggested counseling, suggested marriage was hard enough without the strain of the distance. Our son-in-law worked for my husband so I suggested he ask him how things were going and when he would be leaving. That was when we learned our daughter had told him not to come. He had found a new job and she said don’t take it.

    The thing that concerned us most was our son-in-law said that our daughter had allowed a woman and her two daughters to move in with her because the woman was contemplating divorce and that their relationship was extremely close. I asked him if he thought it was lesbian and he said absolutely not, but he feared this woman was convincing our daughter to get a divorce. The only reason I even brought up the possibility of it being a lesbian relationship was because he said they slept in the same bed and that bothered him.

    We told our daughter what we knew. We asked her to come talk to us. She refused. She was angry. After a month she came home. She said she had to decide on her own if she wanted to stay married to her husband. She said she did not want her family influencing her decision. We asked about the woman. She said she was a friend. We suggested that someone going through a divorce could influence her to get one. She said she would not. Our daughter entered counseling but would not include her husband. He entered counseling and his counselor communicated with our daughter’s counselor. After six month, our daughter entered counseling with us, a counselor of her choice. Although her husband continued to believe our daughter was not a lesbian, we asked her numerous times if she was because she was adamant that she was not going to stop being this woman’s friend no matter what she decided about her marriage. But she always said the relationship was not lesbian.

    After two years, and many promises that she was leaving her job and moving back to her home and she was going to stay married to her husband, her husband signed the divorce papers she had had drawn up two years before. He said that he wanted to be married to her but only if she came home. He was not going to keep doing what they had been doing. He had gotten a different job so that he was not working for my husband. He felt if she went ahead with the divorce he could not work for my husband any longer and would want to leave the area. He told our daughter if she wanted to tear up the papers and move home that was what he wanted but otherwise she might as well sign them and they could both move on with their lives. After two months, our son-in-law contacted us to say she signed the papers and he had just been notified by mail the divorce was final. She had never communicated with him that she was signing.

    We waited for her to tell us she was divorced. She never told us directly. For the next six months she took her ex-husband to court over property that they had agreed to split that she now wanted to debate. She behaved according to him like a different person, greedy, angry, not the kind person he knew she had been. She did not tell us any of this but he was so upset at how she was behaving and he blamed this other woman who was still in our daughter’s life, who he saw as an opportunistic leach. At this point our daughter was living in this woman’s home because she had gotten her divorce and had a home so our daughter gave up her apartment. Finally we wrote to our daughter who was not coming to see us or talking to us by now and asked if she was divorced and what was going on. She wrote back just a “yes” to the divorce question and then said her life was none of our business. We asked if she was a lesbian and she wrote back NO!

    A year later our daughter informed us in an email she was pregnant via artificial insemination. She had a boy and we found out via a text. We had two aging mothers who knew none of this. They just knew our daughter was estranged from us and thought it had something to do with the divorce but since we knew nothing, what could we tell them? After her son was 6 weeks old she finally asked to bring him home to see her grandmothers and us. In all this time she had little to no contact with her brothers and texted only occasionally with two of her sisters-in-law. They suspected she was in a a lesbian relationship with this woman who they feared was using our daughter because according to them as they had met her once, she was a very undesirable, questionable person. Our daughter is a professional, an engineer, and makes very good money.She is fit, takes care of herself and this woman is the opposite of that. As soon our daughter’s house in our state sold she was going to buy one in the area she now lived. We attended her son’s baptism at a church she had joined and the woman and her daughters stood up with her. When the pastor referred to the other woman as the child’s other mother we were stunned. Our daughter did not introduce us to this woman before or after the service. We left and drove the 5 hours home not knowing what to do.

    Many times over the next few years we asked our daughter what was going on and she said either that it was none of our business or that it was not what we thought and she was not a lesbian. When both of her grandmothers passed away within a year of each other, she came to the funerals but said nothing about what she was doing. Her house eventually sold and we learned months later she bought a house. Finally two years after her son was born, she asked us to come to her home and said we could ask her anything and she would answer. We learned that this woman had adopted her son and they were co-parents. Our daughter viewed this woman and her children along with her son as her family. She wanted us to not only accept this situation but to embrace it and treat this woman and her children as equals to our daughters-in-law and other grandchildren. From that point on we have told her repeatedly we accept her decision but we cannot view them as family. We were introduced to this woman and her children that weekend. They were polite but less than welcoming.

    Holidays have come and gone. Now that her grandmothers are gone our daughter refuses to come to be with our family anytime unless we include this woman. We go to her home when invited and spend uncomfortable hours trying to make the best of a difficult situation. A year ago our daughter gave birth to triplet girls. We were not allowed to be there for the births and information was posted by this woman’s sister to our family and friends who are on Face Book before we knew anything. We offered to help in anyway we could be\ut all we are allowed to do is visit. We are not allowed to take any of the children even out to the park or on a walk. All we do is sit in our daughter’s home and this woman and sometimes her daughters who are 16 and 18 now just watch us like we are going to do something if they aren’t there. Two weeks ago we went down for our daughter’s birthday and this woman got out of a recliner about 30 minutes out of the 5 hours we were there. She never greets us and barely speaks to us. She invited us to Thanksgiving dinner and then uninvited us. Our daughter had not spoken or communicated with us in 3 months so when we got the invitation we made the mistake of asking if our daughter knew she was inviting us and who else would be there. That was apparently a mistake. We have suggested ways for us to “move forward”. We need them to respect us and our beliefs as we respect them and theirs. For them it is an all their way or nothing.

    Recently a friend of mine called me and eventually told me that our daughter had married this woman. I told her I knew nothing of this as I do not. Our daughter has not told us this but apparently this woman has posted it on Face Book that she has taken our name. Of course we assumed she adopted the triplets. We wait for our daughter to admit this to us because in all this time, she does not ever seem capable of admitting anything to us. How can what she is doing be right and be her choice if she can’t even own up to it? We read about parents whose children have come out to them and what happens after that. I read your stages of dealing with a child who comes out and we are stuck because ours hasn’t come out. We have asked her how we are where we are. We have asked if she knew she was interested in women and she says absolutely she was not. This is just that she has found someone she wants to spend her life with and why does it need a label.

    So our story has spanned almost 8 years. While it would seem our daughter is a lesbian even though she has said she is not, we are faced with not knowing. What we are to do? We love our daughter. We love our grandchildren. We would like to have some time away from her home with our daughter and her children. We feel our daughter is being held like a prisoner in her own life by this woman. She has never been kind to us. When she invited us to Thanksgiving we thought maybe we had misjudged her and were willing to give her a chance. But then came the email we were uninvited.. Our daughter’s birthday was three days after Thanksgiving and when she asked us to come for that we were shocked but immediately made plans to go. After 4 months we were eager to see her and her children.

    So how do conservative Christian parents move forward with a daughter who has not only not come out to them or any of her family but has actually denied being a lesbian to our faces? How do we move forward when she has possibly married this woman who wants nothing to do with us if we won’t make her an equal to our son’s wives? All we want is to be allowed to spend one or two days a year with our daughter and her children in our home without this woman present, time that would include her brothers and their families. FYI, her brothers have not even seen her triplet daughters and they are almost 1 year old. In return we will continue to go to her home when invited and we said that if our daughter came to our home then the next time we would invite this woman to come along. I have searched searched for other parent’s stories similar to ours and in 8 years I have found none. Can you offer any guidance for us? Everyone tells us that we have compromised enough and it is time for our daughter to compromise. Relationships are about compromise and we have been compromising and have moved further from our position than we thought possible when this all began.

    • Dear Ann,
      Thank you for sharing your story about your struggles with your daughter. I feel that before I respond, I must really pray on this issue and have already brought this to prayer with some of my closest prayer warriors. I feel honored that The Lord has led you to this website and I must take the time to be led by Him in my response so that you can receive the help that you seek. I feel that there is at least two sides to this response, one being Spiritual and the other being psychological, based on my specific life experiences. I will wait and trust in The Lord for this to be integrated in His time. I take great care in my responses, so please be patient with me as I compose this to you. I want you to know that I have great compassion and empathy for what you are going through and I am sure it has been a long and difficult road to have dealt with this for so many years. I will be praying about this and will write you back as soon as I am able. May God give you clarity and peace in the midst of this emotional storm… Before I go, I feel compelled to share with you something that my now deceased Pastor told me. When the Disciples were in the boat with Jesus and the storm was raging in the waters, they thought that they were in danger and would die, yet Jesus was sleeping. When they woke Him in a panic, He simply told the waters “Peace, be still” and all was made calm to show God’s great glory. He knew that even through the storm, the Heavenly Father was present and in control of all things, even when it appeared they would sink. My pastor reminded me that if Jesus can sleep in peace through the treacherous storm, so can we. Our God is in control and will work all things together for good in His perfect timing. I will continue to pray for you and your family and will write to you soon. Please feel free to give any additional information that you might have to give a fuller picture. May our Heavenly Father Yahweh (Holy is His name) give you peace through this storm and may His healing hand calm and comfort you!
      Your sister in Christ with love,

  5. Ann says:

    Thank you for letting me know you read my post and are praying about it along with others. That gives me a great deal of relief. I know there are no quick answers. I appreciate your biblical reference. Reading the Bible daily and praying along with talking with our pastor and other Christians has been our lifeline in this journey. But no one we talk with relates to our situation. We did speak to Mennonite parents of a daughter who came out as a lesbian. Their story was very different from ours and they admittedly could not relate to our situation. But they are praying for us and that always helps. We also did phone counseling with Joe Dallas. We had read his book “When Homosexuality Hits Home”. Again it was hard for him to relate to our situation. This was four years ago. We asked our daughter to read his book and also to read Barbara Johnson’s book “When Your Child Breaks Your Heart.” She claimed to have read them but her anger at the fact we would be reading “those kinds” of books made us feel that she just surfaced skimmed them. We thought she might have some compassion for us if she read Barbara Johnson’s book as we truly related to her reactions. And we wanted to try some negotiating as suggested in the other book, but so far there is no negotiating. Neither of these books suggests turning our backs on our daughter. They do not blast homosexuality. We are just trying to find our way but our daughter claims we are not the loving, accepting parents she thought we were. She has said she no longer respects us but then she still does want to see us and wants her children to know us. She is conflicted.

    She asked us to read “The Children Are Free” and “Above All Things.” I read both books multiple times, made notes, prayed about what I was reading and shared them with my pastor so he could discuss them with me. My husband read them with much less of an open mind as I did and was angry as he read “The Children Are Free.” I was not so much angry as disappointed. I do not think that the Bible, which to me is God’s Word, should be twisted to fit any agenda, yet that is what I felt this book did. I can agree to disagree on this book, but it is just hard for me to see how anyone can do this with God’s Word to make a point. I try never to take God’s Word and twist it on any subject. As far as what the Bible does or does not say on homosexuality, I try and not read between the lines. I do not find any way to turn Naomi and Ruth or Johnathan and David into homosexual couples. All close friendships and relationships between same sex people cannot be turned into homosexual relationships to try and support the view that other such relationships are God blessed. I don’t claim to know what God thinks about my daughter’s relationship with this woman anymore than I know what He thinks about any other relationship same sex people have. I just know marriage is clearly defined as being between a man and a woman. I don’t see how that can be debated. I accept that the Bible does not address marriage between same sex partners. So where does that leave them?

    “Above All Things” was a good book but again not comparable to our situation in our opinion. We ask ourselves often if our daughter had divorced her husband, came out to us and then brought to us a woman who was her equal and someone we could relate to, would we be able to handle this differently? What if this woman was a doctor or an engineer or a teacher or someone educated and motivated, someone who clearly took pride in herself? We can’t answer that question really because that is not who this woman is. I have friends who are not as educated as I am, friends who unfortunately are morbidly obese and do not seem to care about the consequences of their poor health habits. I am not an elitist or a social snob as it might seem when I tell you this question we have posed to ourselves. After reading this book we wondered, had our daughter brought home Ellen Ratner would we have been more accepting?

    I share these thoughts with you because you said if there was more that could help your respond I should. We are going tomorrow to spend two days with our daughter to celebrate Christmas. We wished she would come to be with us and our sons’ families but she will not as I have shared come without this woman and our family is not ready for that. So we were invited and we will go and pray God will guide us in all we say and do. Have a blessed Christmas and we look forward to your response and your guidance.
    God Bless,

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