With so many competing narratives around sexuality and gender today, Christian leaders are sometimes unsure of the best ways to respond to and care for LGTBQ+ young people and their families. These Jesus-loving moms and dads (two of them pastors) from four families across the country share what they need from the church and how they’re walking this road with their queer kids.
- What went through your mind when your child first came out to you?
- What have been your biggest fears about parenting your queer child?
- What are some of the gifts you’ve received on this journey?
- How did your church respond when you came out as the parent of a queer child?
- How do your kids feel about the church, about God?
- What do you wish all pastors/churches would understand about the families of young people who identify as LGBTQ+?
- What does “affirming” your child mean to you?
- How has having a queer kid affected your faith?
This 90-minute webinar was recorded on June 16, 2020. To watch, please register ($10 fee) below.
Meet our panelists:
Pei (Arizona) is a former missionary who raised her children (now 31, 29 and 26) in Central Asia. Reentry to the U.S. 18 years ago proved a difficult transition for the whole family, and Pei found herself a single mother. By the time her youngest child, as a sophomore in college, came out to her as queer, Pei felt she had a lot to catch up on and understand, so conversation with her child often felt like Q&A times. Pei says that she still has a lot to learn but that her relationship with her child has shifted to focus more on personal interests and mutual appreciation. They’ve discovered that because their values differ, it is helpful to name these differences before entering into a serious conversation with each other. Although not always easy, they are committed to staying engaged.
Jonathan (Illinois) serves as a senior pastor and as an educator on many different levels. His ministry focuses on urban ministry, youth development, holistic health, and equitable educational opportunities as well as restorative justice practices. He is a sought after speaker, writer, artist and activist. He lives with his wife, an urban agriculturist, and their two teenage daughters, one of whom identifies as lesbian. The family has been on the journey to support her while she navigates her identity in the context of being the child of a pastor.
Bill (California) is as surprised as anyone to be the parent of two queer children. His wife of 28 years is a doctor who works on Skid Row in Los Angeles. Bill served in parachurch college ministry for five years, pastored a large conservative evangelical church for 15 years, and helped start and now co-pastors a small urban church that is diverse politically, theologically, ethnically, culturally, socio-economically, and in terms of sexual and gender identity. Bill loves playing board games with his son, boxing with his daughter, dating his wife, and picking up the occasional science fiction book on the side.
Tonya (Florida) is a certified professional coach, motivational speaker, blogger and creative writer, and owner of Luminous Connection LLC. She has also had a successful career as an administrator in the nonprofit and academic sectors. Tonya serves as chair of the Diversity Committee at First United Methodist Church of Winter Park. Some of Tonya’s gifts include empathy, compassion, sensitivity, deep listening, and a profound appreciation of beauty, awe, and The Mystical. She falls in love daily with humanity, learning, contemplation, beauty of our world, and so much more. Tonya is divorced and has two kind adult children, a 30-year old son and a 26-year-old daughter who is a proud member of the Queer Nation.
For the privacy and protection of our panelists and their families, by registering for this webinar, you agree to keep the identity of the panelists and the content of the session in confidence. You promise not to record, download, screen-grab, share your registration/password, or distribute the webinar content without express of permission of CSA/Oriented to Love.
Other webinars of interest:
- Gender, Jesus, and the Body of Christ: A Conversation with Christians who have transgender or intersex experiences ($10 fee)
- Gay Marriage in the Body of Christ: A conversation with two same-sex married couples who love Jesus (FREE)
- Christian, Queer and Celibate: A conversation with three Jesus followers who are living a vocation of celibacy
- Parenting Queer Kids: A conversation with Christian parents about the joys & challenges of raising and relating to their LGBTQ children
- Gender Exploration, Identity, and Expression in the Body of Christ
- Law, Religious Liberty & LGBTQ Lives in America: A conversation about recent federal nondiscrimination policy decisions and their real-world implications (FREE)
- Members of the Same Body: A conversation with theologically diverse LGB Christians
- Pastoral Care for Queer People (FREE)