Some Advice for Folks Coming Out to Their Evangelical Parents


This article was featured in the Huffington Post’s “Religion” and “Queer Voices” section.

Before you click the link below and head over to the post, I want to add a personal perspective.

I’m honored to have people from the Evangelical and Gay communities who follow this blog, and who’ve been part of some great discussions.

I’m heartbroken however about the war between these two very huge, very influential cross sections of our world.  Both groups claim to be loving, accepting, inclusive, etc.  The hatred here frightens me.

I’ve personally decided to have a voice, best I can, in the Gay community.  I’ll write posts, make friends, build bridges, do whatever I can to say I love them and that I consider them equals.

If you’re Evangelical, you might read this post and think “He’s one of us?  Where’s the part about homosexuality being a sin?”  It’s not in there.  That’s not what this post is about.  I’m not aware of any Biblical mandate that tells me every time I try to help I have to also condemn their behavior.

I know many of you consider homosexuality to be a sin on par with something like rape or child abuse, which is why you feel the morality issue is always the first order of business.  I would too if I held that perspective.

Biblically speaking, there’s nothing wrong with a Gay person, nothing beyond what’s also wrong with the rest of us (stole that from Jenn Hatmaker).

To my Gay friends I’ll say it again.  I’m sorry for how my Evangelical brothers and sisters deal with this issue. Please have patience with them.  Allow them to think the way they think, love them, forgive them. Don’t tolerate bigoted behavior.  If you have the courage, make friends with a few.  They’re not all bad.  Some are downright amazing.

All that said, here’s the link.



3 thoughts on “Some Advice for Folks Coming Out to Their Evangelical Parents”

  1. Hi Mark!

    You do realize, no good evangelical reads HuffPo, right?

    That said, I read your article. 😉 I’m left with an observation which begs a question … the article is good advice for the young person coming out to parents who are without a clue about who their kids are / have become. What I wonder is, how typical that is? Perhaps moreso today with kids home alone, raised on TV and the internet, etc. My kids are older (between 30-40) and were not so raised … I know them well enough to have a sense for how they’ll feel about many things, how they’ll choose, etc.

    What I wonder is, is the coming out really a coming out, i.e., new news, or is the coming out really just confronting the obvious, but heretofore ignored, facts/truth everyone already knows?

    I wonder if some of the anger, disappointment, rejection expressed by evangelical parents when a son or daughter comes out, has more to do with ending the pretense (?) than for the so-called ‘sin’ itself?

    You see, for evangelical “members in good standing” the coming out of the child forces a coming out for the parents with their evangelical friends/community/fellowship. It puts parent in the middle between child and so-called friends … what will they think … what will it cost me with my church involvement / ministry …

    I’ve been on the receiving end of a bus driven by my own family members where the choice was to stand with me in a wrong done by the church, or to stand with their church and remain members in good standing … so I just wonder if more often than not, the children are ‘rejected’ moreso for how the news will affect the parents, moreso than the news itself?

    Hope all’s well with you and yours, Mark … please don’t tell any of my evangelical friends I read something at Huffpo …


    1. Hey! Yeah, I think that’s one of the bigger problems. Also, conservative religious folks simply think H is one of the worst things in the world. If my kid came to me and said I’m a serial killer I’d have to reject them… Not condoning that view of course, but it’s a reality for so many.

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