Perhaps your daughter is lesbian. Are you afraid she will never become a mother? That she will never have a stable home, a normal life?
Perhaps your son is gay. Are you afraid he will become addicted to drugs, that he will have dangerous encounters with strangers, that he will contract a fatal disease?
Perhaps your child told you that he or she is transgender and that they want a sex change operation. Are you afraid they are making a terrible mistake that they will grow to regret? Are you afraid that he or she will be ridiculed, persecuted and even physically harmed?
Society teaches us that a homosexuality is a lifestyle filled with pain and sadness and sickness. The worst kind of life. I know that for many parents, the idea of a homosexual son or daughter terrifies them. We love our children and want the best for them.
We may remember moments in our younger lives when we witnessed other people persecute “queers”. We heard the horrible names they hurled and may have even seen them physically attack homosexuals.
Who would want that to happen to their son or daughter?
Many parents with a homosexual or transgender son or daughter seek answers:
Can my son change? Who can save my daughter from the lesbian lifestyle? Who can help my child sort out their gender confusion? Is there someone out there who can help? A psychologist? A clergyman? An ex-gay group? God?
Some have tried to seek change for their children with the belief that they are doing the best for them, but in reality these well-meaning parents have ended up harming the children they love so much.
Isn’t it tragic that many sons and daughters find it impossible to confide in their parents? Many times homosexual and transgender children do not share their lives, their dreams, their fears or their hopes with their parents. They fear that their parents will reject them. Rejection from a parent can feel like the worst rejection of all.
Isn’t it tragic that so many homosexual and transgender sons and daughters transplant themselves far away from their own families? Or if they stay near the family, they often lead double lives, silenced lives. This silence creates an artificial peace. But inside your child may feel so very alone unable to open up and share honestly with you. The risks are too great.
Can your child change? Yes, but maybe not in the way you expect.
These gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual sons and daughters can grow distant from you. They can become unsure of themselves. They can feel hurt and bitter towards you and even towards God. They can live in fear and isolation that someone may learn their secret and condemn them. They become sad without the love and acceptance of the people most important to them–their parents.
Your children long for your understanding, yet they fear you will stone them, and unless they change their ways, you will drive them from home and from your hearts.
Can your child change? Can they go from being homosexual to heterosexual? No, this is not possible. Perhaps some can live like a heterosexual for a time, but their desires remain, even when they insist to you that they do not. And almost always they will end up feeling miserable and unfulfilled, hurting others along the way.
A more important question may be, Can Parents Change? Many parents can change their ideas about gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people. They can learn new ideas. They can replace their old way of thinking with new concepts.
Happy and fulfilled homosexuals thrive both in stable relationships and on their own. Many transgender men and women live full and satisfied lives. Many LGBT people serve God with faithfulness and much joy; often as a result of the love and acceptance that their parents give them.
Maybe your world and your experience has taught you that to be homosexual is bad, sinful, and hopeless. But the world is prejudiced; the world lies.
The Bible says:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)
God has a special plan for the parents of lesbian, gay, transgender and bisexual men and women. You have a vital role in bringing blessing and wholeness to their lives. Seek God and not man, and God will guide you.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? (Matthew 7:7-9)
If you want to hear the experience and insights of parents who have been through what you are going through, check out Carrol Grady’s My Son, Beloved Stranger and Jacqueline Ley’s No Ordinary Child–A Christian Mother’s Acceptance of her Gay Son. Also visit Someone To Talk To, a site for families of gays and lesbians.
For Spanish speakers, you can read ¿Puede Cambiar Mi Hijo Gay? on my Spanish blog.