parent summit

5. It's more than possible for your child to live a happy and fulfilled life.

Learn more about B.T and his mini-series “6 Things I Wish Every Christian Parent of an LGBTQ Child Knew.”

For millennia, LGBTQ people around the world were in hiding, never fully understanding their own bodies, fearing for their lives, and likely never finding kinship with other LGBTQ people.

To some this is an unpopular or unbelievable statement, but it’s true: In all of human history, the best time and place to be a gay person is 2019 in America.

Now, I’m not saying it’s easy to be gay and or that there aren’t any challenges. There certainly are (and I think it’s even more challenging for our trans friends, queer people of color, etc.).

However, as an out, married, gay man, I experience unprecedented freedoms.

My husband and I have carved out a really beautiful life together. We have close friends who love us deeply. We go on vacations. We attend church. Our lives our wonderfully fulfilling, meaningful, and—like our heterosexual counterparts—mundane! We wouldn’t have it any other way.

I bring this up because some Christian parents experience intense worry about their child’s future. They worry about their child being judged, contracting a disease, self-harming, being bullied, or experiencing unique hardships. I wish I could say that these threats don’t exist. They do. However, LGBTQ people are better equipped to overcome them now and experience happy, fulfilling lives. Plus, there’s an entire ecosystem of resources, support groups, educational initiatives, and non-profits set up to support LGBTQ people. This didn’t always exist!

Just because your child is LGBTQ, it doesn’t mean they’re doomed to a sub-par life. A life of meaning, family, success, and thriving is now within reach.

4. Work to preserve a long-term relationship with your child.

Learn more about B.T and his mini-series “6 Things I Wish Every Christian Parent of an LGBTQ Child Knew.”

Many years from now, do you want your child to respect you? Do you want them to cherish your words and wisdom? I hope you do.

I challenge parents to imagine their relationship with their child on a timeline.

Let’s imagine you are 50 years old and your newly-out child is 25. With advances in medicine, it’s not unrealistic to imagine that you could live ‘til 100. That means you have 50 more years of relationship with your child. 50 years!

Sadly, many parents will sacrifice the next 50 years of relationship for the short-term, compulsive need to fix their child, shame their child, or reject their child so as to “let them know where we stand.” This is a disastrous mistake.

I have gay friends in their 30s who are completely estranged from their Christian parents because of how their parents reacted to their teenage coming-out conversation. What a tragedy! This is why this principle matters so much.

I plead with parents to take a long-term relational perspective. They do that by de-escalating emotional conversations, working to find common ground, and being insanely committed to loving their children, no matter what. I want parents to have a healthy, thriving 50-year relationship with their child, so that they can maintain respect with their child. This should be the goal of every Christian parent, regardless of their theology.

Work to preserve a long-term relationship with your child.