A Christian woman was convinced homosexuality was wrong until her own daughter came out to her.
Susan Cottrell has given a powerful TED talk on how her faith and family have changed over the years.
She spent two decades as a member of an Evangelical church. And while they told her to disown her bisexual daughter, she refused.
The mother of five’s world was shaken when her 20-year-old daughter Annie called from college.
Christian mom makes the right choice
Annie told her: ‘Mom, I’ve got something to tell you. I’m attracted to girls. I think I’m bisexual. I prayed about it, Mom – I resisted, but it won’t go away.’
Cottrell immediately told her to ‘not give in’ and that she’ll support her.
Up until then, Cottrell regualarly attended a Bible study class where she was repeatedly told homosexuality is a sin.
But then she realized she was being forced to make a choice.
‘I realized I was being asked to choose between the two most important parts of my life: my child and my church. I chose my child,’ she said.
It took Cottrell some time to finally come to terms with Annie’s sexuality.
Eventually, Cottrell realized ‘God was telling me to serve the gay community.
She and her husband, Rob, started the blog FreedHearts.org. The blog offers messages of love and hope to counter the hateful ones spewed by many Christian churches.
‘As pastors, Rob and I represent the voice of God, and it’s a voice of love,’ she said.
Dad feels the same way
Her husband Rob feels the same.
‘When my daughter came out, I realized that I was now part of ’the others’ within the church,’ he told Gay Star News.
‘My eyes were opened to the church’s tragic oppression and marginalization of the entire LGBT community.’
He added: ‘‘Most of the hurt and pain experienced by the LGBT community comes from parents and others who inflict that damage in Jesus’ name’.
‘Full love, acceptance, affirmation and inclusion of my daughter and others like her is actually consistent with my faith.’