When I came out at thirteen, my mother and step-father really couldn't have cared less. Granted, our lives at the time were completely consumed by the realities of my having a debilitating, ostracizing, and potentially dangerous, chronic disability. The gender of the participants in my adolescent fantasies was so low my parents' list of concerns about my life that it's barely worth mentioning.
Over the years since then, my mom has become an incredible LGBT ally, and she's used her role as an educator to better the lives of LGBT youth whenever possible. From advising gay and trans* kids about talking to their families (or not), to spearheading the founding of a LGBT student's group in the 90s at her high school. She and I even co-taught a workshop last year on "Growing Up Queer, from the Child & Parent's Perspective" at a leading gender and sexuality conference.
Sometimes though, just how accepting she is has made it hard to get her to understand that not all parents and people are. A parent rejecting their child over sexual orientation or gender identity makes so little sense to her, that she can forget how real an issue it still is for LGBT people.
The fact that my mother subscribes to a religious faith that is very positive and affirming of LGBT people has certainly made things easier for her.
Not so for the mother who prompted a recently released letter from a Minnesota archbishop. In response to a letter that a mother sent him asking for greater acceptance for LGBT people within the Church, Archbishop John Nienstadt wrote that she needed to reject her gay child or she could go to hell (in a literal, rather than figurative sense). He also advised that unless she was willing to give up her pro-equality views, she could no longer consider herself Catholic or partake in the Catholic sacraments.
If she's anything like my mom, by now I imagine she's found a more accepting community and told the Archbishop to blow it out his ass. I sure hope so at least.
And now, here's what you need to know today: